Gobbledygeek episode 345, “The X-Files: Season 9 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The truth is out there, or so we’ve been told. As Paul, Arlo, and special British guest Wesley “Wezzo” Mead reach The X-Files season 9 and find the series’ original finale “The Truth,” they wonder if they should have just left it out there. Despite ostensibly having new leads in Doggett and Reyes, Chris Carter & Co. cling to Scully and Mulder–the former is a bored-looking recurring character, the latter is literally no longer on the show–harder than ever before. The gang discusses why Carter’s inability to let go of the show’s past hinders its present, how the character of Dana Scully is destroyed, and whether or not “The Truth” is truly one of the worst series finales in TV history. (Spoiler: it is.) Plus, Arlo and Paul get down with killer clowns with Terrifier and Deadpool 2.
Next: Arlo’s getting hitched! Gobbledygeek will return in June.
(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 9.”)
Don Draper is a serial philanderer. Walter White is a meth kingpin. Nicholas Brody is a (possibly) reformed terrorist. Nucky Thompson is a gangster. These are not men who do good things. Why, then, do audiences hate their wives so much?
Don, Walt, et al. are enormously popular with viewers, and rightfully so. They’re not necessarily good people, but they’re not strictly bad people either; they’re contradictory, complex, nuanced, comprised of all the elements that make for great drama. If, like myself, you enjoy reading reviews or seeking out online reaction to each episode, though, you’ve probably noticed a worrying trend. Though many applaud the behavior of these characters, all murderers (save Don) and adulterers (save Walt), they’re a lot less willing to afford their wives the benefit of the doubt. Look, I’m not here to be the Moral Police; I’m not interested in discussing the pros and cons of infidelity, especially considering most of these characters’ wives are guilty of same. (Sidenote: I, uh, hope we can all agree murder is bad.)
And it’s not like I don’t get the appeal. I don’t watch Breaking Bad just because it’s a devastating portrait of a man sacrificing everything he holds dear at the altar of power. I also watch it because it is freaking awesome when Walt pulls off the perfect heist. How giddy did the classic “RUN” moment make me? Answer: very. And at the end of the Mad Men season finale, when Don gave the honey at the bar the patented Draper Stare…goddamn. As a viewer, I know full well how thrilling and visceral it can be to watch these men do their dirt. The problem is when you view them as the heroes of their respective stories and any attempts–especially by their wives–to curb or question their behavior as hindering their quest, whatever you think that is. The numbers show that not a whole lot of people actually watch Breaking Bad, and I know that its small but loyal following contains some of the sharpest TV viewers around. But the Internet would also lead me to believe that a bunch of folks would be okay with a show where all Walt does is make meth, kill people, and become the most awesome greatest badass superhero on the planet.