'God does not play dice with the universe.'
'Nor does he play checkers.'

Title: Improbable
Season: Nine (2002)
Duration: 43m
Written by: Chris Carter
Directed by: Chris Carter
Rating: ****

Season nine opened with Robert Patrick's John Doggett being joined on the X-Files by Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), a character introduced towards the end of season eight. While Scully was returned to her FBI role as a medical Doctor, her path repeatedly crossed with the X-Files cases, and Anderson was still credited as the star of the show. Joining the series as a new nemesis was Assistant Director Brad Follmer (Cary Elwes), a boo-hiss panto villain that, despite Elwes' best attempts, was never in the same league as the Cigarette Smoking Man.

The X-Files' final season was actually a step up from the prior one: while again it often felt inessential and a lot of instalments were so-so, over half of the episodes were above average entertainment. Fans of Lost might also get thrills from seeing the actors behind John Locke and Ben Linus in separate episodes, to say nothing of Bud from Married With Children. The final episode was a somewhat flat, Mulder-centric bow-out that did seem a little hard on Patrick and Gish, being sidelined in the series that they'd helped keep afloat in Duchovny's absence. But generally speaking, the nineteen episodes of season nine were pretty watchable stuff, even if the series did, with Lord of the Flies, produce arguably the worst episode in its history.

In the middle of all this was Improbable, a light comedy that was probably the best episode of the final four seasons. Improbable features Burt Reynolds playing God and musings on the nature of fate, quantum theory and numerical probability. As with most of the comedy episodes of The X-Files, there’s a weight behind the ideas that make it far more than throwaway laughs. The concept of every human being having a pre-ordained, genetic ‘number’ that governs their life is an intriguing one, and God’s passive observer status to events is doubly engaging. The addition of unusual Karl Zero tracks and some fine cinematography add much to this special instalment.

Select A Track
1 Rocks Off: Never Again

2 Rip This Joint: Redrum

3 Shake Your Hips:
The Post-Modern Prometheus

4 Casino Boogie:
The Goldberg Variation

5 Tumbling Dice: Improbable

6 Sweet Virginia: Small Potatoes

7 Torn and Frayed: Home

8 Sweet Black Angel: One Breath

9 Loving Cup: E.B.E.

10 Happy:
Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man

11 Turd On The Run: Tooms

12 Ventilator Blues: Anasazi

13 I Just Want To See His Face:
Clyde Bruckman's Finale Repose

14 Let It Loose: Humbug

15 All Down The Line: X-Cops

16 Stop Breaking Down:
Jose Chung's From Outer Space

17 Shine A Light: The Pilot

18 Soul Survivor: Beyond The Sea

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