TV Club: Mulder takes a trip and hears the music

“Babylon” opens with a young man praying to Allah. It’s a peaceful, lovely sequence which only becomes disturbing in context. If we’d never seen a TV show before, or watched a modern action movie, we might be forgiven for assuming the man we are seeing is about to be the victim of a monster of the week. Or, if we’re familiar with The X-Files, maybe we’d assume he’s about to make a horrible mistake that turns him into a monster. Technically, this is what happens, but at the end of the cold open, the young man becomes a monster of a familiar sort: a suicide bomber who blows up a museum with a fellow believer. It’s a sequence that wouldn’t have been out of place on 24.

That’s unfortunate. Even putting the young man (whose name is Shiraz) and his fate aside …

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