Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster 10×3: I forgot how much fun these cases could be.


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Yes, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for since 1996. Darin Morgan is back on The X-Files. Tell your moms. Tell your mutants.

Whether you’re an old head or a newbie Phile, if you’ve made it as far as the revival then you already know that writer Morgan is a giant among giants as far as this show is concerned, and nearly as mythical as Big Blue, considering that he all but disappeared no sooner than his genius was recognized, and in the wake of his disappearance a legend was born. After all, what is a legend but magic once witnessed and thereafter unseen?

And herein lies part of this episode’s inescapable hurdle: The expectations for it, and its writer, are so high that it will either inevitably fail to live up to the wishes of the viewer, or it will inevitably succeed in the eyes of the viewer by virtue of the legend, and either way the viewer will inevitably fail to see it for what it is.

So now that we’ve cleared up the vanity of our little exercise, let’s take a look at Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.

As much as I welcome the return of Darin Morgan, what matters to me more than anything is that MULDER AND SCULLY ARE BACK. And Scully, especially my Scully. Her attitude is back. Her facial expressions are back. Her voice is back.

Scully!! There you are! There you are!!! *sobs* Where have you be-e-en! Where were you? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU???

This is my girl. No, she doesn’t believe this nonsense. But she’s still here. She’s still giving it her all. Why? Because Mulder. And why else? Because there are victims who need her help.

And one more thing: Scully has officially confirmed that she prefers her Mulder bat-crap crazy. Can we let that confession stand now? Can we stop feigning every so often that Scully is turned off by Mulder’s insanity instead of admitting the truth we all know, that she thrives off of it? Okthanksbuhbye.

Yet even as I celebrate Scully, I recognize that this episode is mostly about Mulder. We can call that unfair if we want to, but we all know that this quest began with Mulder, that Scully joined in and jump started a mission he was already on. And, frankly, both he and we needed some reminding that this journey on the X-Files is still about a quest, a quest in search of a reality that most mortals never get to see, a key aspect of the show that the show itself seemed to lose sight of as far back as Season 7.

This confirmation of the quest and the recommissioning of our resident believer comes at an interesting time in my personal fandom as I’ve been in an internal debate with my various selves since the premiere. Yes, much of the success of the early seasons relied on the audience vicariously experiencing Mulder and Scully’s awe and wonder with each new extreme discovery. But how much awe and wonder do Mulder and Scully still need or could they realistically still have at this stage of their lives? As every episode of the revival so far has taken great pains to remind us, they’ve been around the block more than a few times.They’re no longer the upstart non-conformists they used to be. They’re coming back, middle-aged and emotionally scarred, to the institution and authority they once ran from. Can anything still believably surprise them? And if it did, would the joy of discovery still be in it?

Thank you, Darin Morgan, for making the answer a clear “Yes.” That gleam in Mulder’s eye after he finally gets to shake hands with a prehistoric lizard man… well, it’s a gleam I haven’t seen in a very, very long time. But I’ll be a leaping lizard if I don’t still recognize it.

Earlier in the episode, Mulder quotes the Apostle Paul, musing that it might be time to put away childish things.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. – 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)

But he momentarily forgot that “childish” and “childlike” are two things that shouldn’t be conflated. Childlike faith, childlike optimism, childlike curiosity… suffer the little children, my dear Mulder! Go ahead and grow a brain, but don’t grow up completely. I don’t want you to grow up. I need a Monsters-R-Us kid.

Let’s say the newly skeptical side of Mulder is right. Let’s say most of what he thought and believed in the 90’s is intellectual flotsam and jetsam these days. Even if 99% of what Mulder and Scully encounter on the X-Files is bunk, that 1% can rock the world, or at least, completely change the course of Mulder’s life and give meaning to his own existence, a motivation that he at long last has recalled.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the episode not so subtly draws to our attention, he’s not the only one who needs his life infused with some meaning. Because it wouldn’t be a Darin Morgan episode if said author didn’t poke his finger in the hole of the side of the futility of human existence. The perceived futility, anyway.

Just like having no choice but to see every episode of The X-Files within the context of every other episode of The X-Files, it’s impossible to watch this episode without comparing it to Darin Morgan’s other work on the show, so I won’t try not to. Frankly, as self-referential as this is, it invites comparison. I haven’t seen this many easter eggs since I was seven and on an actual easter egg hunt. There are about twenty too many Easter eggs, if I’m being honest.

For Darin Morgan especially, it’s more than a bit on the obvious side of self-parody. “Humbug” (2×20), the pointed and pointedly underplayed comedy that started it all, opened the door to The X-Files commenting on The X-Files, but it did it in such a way that you could easily miss the elbow to your ribs. It was more like a gentle brush than a jab. “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’” (3×20) was much more obvious, but it also gave itself completely over to biting philosophical commentary. Now that’s a jab to the ribs. “War of the Coprophages” (3×12) was a mad world, but what it lacked in focus it made up for in laughs and memorable moments. And my favorite, Darin Morgan’s pièce de résistance as far as I’m concerned, “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (3×4) was the perfect balance of everything: deep questions, deep belly laughs, and good-natured self-awareness.

How does “MASMTWM” fit into this overall picture? Well, I think if we took “Humbug’s” preference for the freakish over the mundane, mixed in a hefty dose of “JCFOS’s” spoofishness, added a dash of “CBFR’s” sentimentality and middle-aged it just right, we might approximate something close to what we have here.

We’ve arrived back again at the irrationality of humanity. Guy Mann echoes every above-mentioned episode when he tells us that human behavior makes so little sense, it’s frightening. Humans with their 9-5’s, their plans for futures they’d rather not live, their pants – they’re the freaks. The comedy here is the tragedy of the invisible question mark that hovers over most people’s heads. But whereas once, Morgan seemed to make fun of Mulder for trying to make sense of it all in “JCFOS”, he now seems to be anointing Mulder to go and make sense of it. For all our sakes.

In one of the more obvious spiritual parallels of the show, Mulder has always been out to prove that there’s something out there, something more than the banality of mundane human existence. This episode is a moment of validation to affirm that not only is that exactly what he’s doing, that’s exactly what he needs to be doing. If there’s nothing more, what in the paint-filled bag are we doing this for? So go to it, Mulder and Scully. Find a rhyme and reason for lives that seemingly have neither.

#HowMulderAndScullyGotTheirGrooveBack

All that said, and as genuinely relieved and amused as I am at this episode, it’s so loaded down with easter eggs oozing gooey chocolate that it doesn’t match the depth and profundity of Morgan’s earlier work, not that I truly expected it to, I just kinda hoped it would. And before you say it, I do realize that not everything needs to be deep or profound or even perfect. But “MASMTWM” actually attempts anchor itself in the depths of shrewd observation and winds up treading the shallow waters of long-winded exposition. A slightly more balanced “show” to “tell” ratio would have increased its impact dramatically.

Don’t get me wrong, It’s the clear best we’ve seen from the revival so far. It justifies both by its very existence and by its content the resurrection of these characters. But maybe part of the reason it’s forced to rely on in-jokes so much is because a dramatic series needs time to develop rhythms and patterns before those rules can effectively be broken in the name of comedy. Darin Morgan’s reign as a writer on The X-Files didn’t commence until the show had already firmly established its routine and its aesthetic. And as Chris Carter likes to remind us in nearly every single interview, this isn’t a reboot. This revival is a fresh creation and it’s saying and doing things the series proper never dreamed of. I suspect I would have found “MASMTWM” even funnier if it hadn’t harkened back to the old days as much as it was rooted and grounded in the new.

Verdict:

Mulder and Scully have met a Silurian from Dr. Who and I think the game is officially afoot, Watson. Mulder has his sense of wonder back and Scully her sense of adventure, two things we both historically got and desperately needed from both characters. They’ve changed, they’ve grown, they’ve endured, but at least we know we still know them. (Though I submit the show is overdoing the awkward middle-aged, post-90’s thing a little. It’s not like our two leads are pre-computer dinosaurs. Heck, they’re not even retirement age. They’re smart people and I’m sure they would have learned how to work smart phones right along with the rest of us.)

It’s funny, but it’s impossible to know yet whether this will be an enduring masterpiece. It will have to endure for us to tell. For me, it isn’t only not “CBFR”, it’s not even at a “Bad Blood” (5×12) level of funny. Then again, I was a freak who thought “Bad Blood” was only okay the first time she saw it. So take my opinion for what you will. Humans are truly the unfathomable creatures.

But if this episode gets credit for anything, besides for reigniting my love for these two characters, it’s for its note perfect tribute to the late, great Kim Manners whose aesthetics as a director, without exaggeration, were foundational in shaping the show into what it became. I’m merely one of the unprivileged masses who never knew the man personally, yet somehow I’m quite sure that he would have gotten a kick out of Mulder stealing flowers for him and getting drunk at his grave. I’m pretty sure that’s the highest known form of flattery.

B+

Comments:

I’m not going to bother with all the easter eggs because we’d be plopping them into our baskets all night. But I think the first one was the best one: The stoners from “Quagmire” (3×22) and “WOTC”.

The scene between Scully and Guy Mann in the phone store started off funny and quickly devolved into much too much. That was one of those moments that took me out of the episode.

Be-Puzzlements:

Mulder hears a panicked cry of “Monster!” but takes the time to put his shirt on so he’s presentable before he goes to investigate?

Again, Scully’s in trouble, and Mulder takes the time to put his suit jacket back on before running with the cavalry to her rescue?

How does Guy Mann know not only about Shakespeare, but about the history of folios? Did those instincts download in the bite of an animal control officer too?

Best Quotes:

Mulder: I’m just looking for some kind of internal logic.

Guy Mann: Why? There isn’t an external logic to any of it.

———————–

Guy Mann: Because if there’s nothing more to life than what we already know, then there’s nothing but worries, self-doubt, regret and loneliness.

———————–

Dr. Rumanovitch: No matter how overwhelming our anxieties might be, they will soon be resolved when we’re dead and buried for all eternity.

———————–

Annabell: They think I’m on crack.

Mulder: Are you?

Annabell: Yeah!

———————–
Scully: Mulder, the internet is not good for you.

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69 responses to “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster 10×3: I forgot how much fun these cases could be.

  1. Oh, man! I give this episode at least an A! It was brilliant and hilarious. Exactly what I missed about this show.

  2. Great review!

    I was waiting impatiently for it and it was worth it.

    This was the best of the three so far..by a long shot imo. I found DD’s performance the most improved but still found GA to be either on Valium or confused if she was still playing Stela. Not that she wasn’t better but..well, maybe it’s just me wanting her to be Scully from season 6 (that I’m currently watching).

    The story itself was wonderful and a great theses on the pitfalls of being human. To me it was about Mulder rediscovering those mysteries of life when he all but felt it was exhausted…that we now know all there is to know.

    Best scene was Mulder talking to and answering for Scully in the motel room….:) You knew he was starting to find the part of his life he was mourning for.

    I read a review about this episode last week that postulates that Mulder’s interactions with Guy Mann were discussions with his own thoughts and feelings about life, the universe and everything (apologies to Douglas Adams). Something to think about.

    • I too really enjoyed this episode. I also agree that GA is still presenting us a different Scully or a not quite Scully, Scully, but this episode was more on target. I don’t think it’s that she is tuning into Stella though. Her Stella is so intentional and measured and utterly unique that I don’t really see that character bleeding into the revival. I think it’s more that figuring Scully out again was hard. Also, season 6 Scully is amazing.

      • Fair enough with regards to GA/Stella. I haven’t watched all of the Fall yet so my interpretation is not to be trusted 😉

        I think there is an obstacle she is running into with her performance. I can’t put my finger on it. Like you say, I think she is finding it quite hard.

        Regardless, I enjoyed the episode a lot and felt this one made me feel it hit the mark.

        How about that sneak peak from yesterday with Scully turning? Yikes!!

        • I think the opposite. You can tell that she went back to Scully with the knowledge that this was not the character that we left however many years ago.

          If nothing, David Duchovny is Mulder playing David Duchovny is Hank Moody playing Mulder playing David Duchovny. I love him. His comic timing is fantastic, but let’s face it—it’s hard to differentiate between them. I have a hard time separating him from his characters and vice versa.

          Whereas with Gillian, I am watching different characters. Her stance and mannerisms are completely different between Stella and Bedelia and Scully. Yes, her voice has a different timbre now, but in this episode I think she really SOUNDED like Scully used to.

          Really looking forward to seeing her in May take on Blance DuBois in Streetcar. Her performance in episode 4 was heartbreaking.

          • I agree she was very good in episode four…best of the quartet imo.

            As far as the acting of the two we’ll have to agree to disagree. Maybe it’s just that I see DD having more…I don’t know..energy? and engagement up until episode 4? Regardless, GA rocked it last night and the first time since season 10 started that I didn’t feel she was struggling to find the character.

            The episode fits neatly into the MOTW that I love from their heyday and grabbed me every bit as much…the side story with DS mother was a great contrast to the main plot.

            Did you see the Superbowl spot with GA? WTH??

            • DD was very good in this episode acting opposite her. He’s not bad at all–he can play an emotion with just an eyebrow, I just have a harder time separating him from his character. I don’t think he has quite the same range.
              The whole mother storyline–I really did want to call my parents after it.
              OK, I missed the Super Bowl spot because I was actually watching the Super Bowl and was entertaining. Do I want to see it? Is it a spoiler?

              • DD doesn’t have the same range…absolutely. I would rate him a good actor but GA is a great actor. She has more range, can play and has played such varied characters in her career.

                I think that is why I found DD so engaged and “into” the Mulder character from the hop (well, except the pilot, which I didn’t find either of them engaging). is because he doesn’t have to hop that far from a lot of the other characters he’s played over the years…while GA has to..a lot.

                BTW…I did call mine 🙂

                The superbowl spot is….a spoiler to be sure but since I don’t know if it’s a dream sequence or reality I cannot say whether you should watch it or not. The basis of it is something you would definitely know about as it concerns DS mythology with alien DNA.

              • Okay, so, I agree that GA has absolutely terrific range, and all of her characters are tremendously different. (This is kind of minor but I’ll also note that we, as viewers, may be more able to differentiate her characters because their appearances are different — Stella Gibson and Scully don’t really look the same, aside from face-wise.) However, I must disagree with this notion that DD plays all of his characters the same. I watched all of Californication and never once felt any particular affinity for Hank Moody, whereas I love Mulder to pieces even when he’s being stupid. Part of that can be attributed to differences between the characters and how they’re written, but I also think that DD brings a soulfulness and sadness to his performance as Mulder that’s not there in his other characters — I’m thinking specifically of Paper Hearts, Closure, hallway scene in FTF, anytime he gives Scully giant sad puppy eyes. . . . I also think both he and GA are just so terrific opposite each other that they are both elevated as actors when they’re together. And they are at their best when they’re playing these heartbreaking, poignant scenes together as in “Home Again.” A punch in the gut, all of it!

                • No, you’re right. He doesn’t play his characters all the same but I see a lot of DD in each character. More so than I do with GA.

                  That being said I am a huge fan of both and they do compliment each other as characters and actors in XF extremely well. So well in fact that the show is some of the finest ever produced for television due to their acting/chemistry in large part. Not to take anything away from CC or the brilliant writing team but…you know what I mean 🙂

                • I haven’t seen Californication so I can’t compare, but I can confirm the soulfulness of Fox Mulder, who is my man.

            • I’m just gonna innocently insert myself here a minute and say:

              1. I agree that last night finally felt effortless and right and I’m kinda not over it and may never be over it.
              2. What Superbowl spot did I miss??? Dang it, I knew there was a reason to keep watching past the halftime show.

              • There is a brief scene where Dana enters a room in blue scrubs and while looking in the camera….morphs into a grey alien….o_0

        • I got quite a kick out of the end of that clip. It was an amusing visual representation of Scully’s alien DNA situation.
          I hope you finish The Fall. I’m incredibly impressed with it.

      • I still haven’t watched The Fall (a mere oversight, I assure you), but I think we can all agree that Season 6 Scully was Wonder Woman without the cape.

        • The Fall is the epitome of TV at its best. It has a strong and consistent message and it is precisely written. I hope you watch it, but I would wait for the third series to come out because I’ve watched the first two as soon as they were available and the waits are tiringly long.

    • Season 6 Scully is my Scully, and all others are put to the Season 6 test.

      I kid. Sort of.

      I completely agree with you that it was mainly about a jaded, disappointed Mulder rediscovering the mystery in life and that was more than worth the price of admission. To see the two of them going at it (with some oomph!) over a case again was worth just as much. I probably missed that more than Scully did.

      That’s a really interesting thought, too, that Mulder was really in conversation with himself.

  3. I loved it! The fox head, the red speedos, the stoners – it was like being welcomed home after a long holiday. I tend not to delve too deeply in each episode; I just enjoy them at face value. I don’t think have the right mindset to analyze all the details so I’m quite happy to suspend my disbelief for an hour.

  4. “I haven’t seen this many easter eggs since I was seven and on an actual easter egg hunt. There are about twenty too many Easter eggs, if I’m being honest.” This is pretty much what I said to my husband. However, I immediately rewatched the episode and was laughing loudly enough the second time that he, who is only a casual fan, wandered in and watched and laughed right along with me. Rhys Darby was inspired casting and I’ve been waiting for Kumail’s episode since the day he announced his dream had come true! But the true best was, as you say, that Mulder and Scully were believable versions of Mulder and Scully- charming, adventurous, curious, supportive of one another, but a trifle edgy too.

    • I laughed aloud the first time and liked it even better the second time. I leveled out at the third time and wrote the review. LOL.

      But the true best was, as you say, that Mulder and Scully were believable versions of Mulder and Scully- charming, adventurous, curious, supportive of one another, but a trifle edgy too.

      I couldn’t agree more.

  5. First off…welcome back girl! Missed your reviews and the X-Files. Okay, my weekly adventures with Mulder & Scully a little more, but hey, you & the reviews were a big part of that!

    Until you pointed it out, I didn’t realize how this episode gives us Scully back. Laughing, smiling, and thoroughly enjoying working on the X-Files, Scully needed this! We needed this too! Poor thing has been this sad, serious person who’d gotten absorbed by her job, broken up with her man, and in the process forgot how to have fun! Maybe she *thinks* she’s better off without Mulder, but you’re absolutely right – she needs this bat-crap-crazy to keep her life interesting and give her some enjoyment/challenge again.

    Yes, there were a lot of easter eggs, but I enjoyed them. Think a lot of other hard-core Philes did too. That said, a friend of mine who was more a casual fan of the show wasn’t fond of this one. Think the numerous nods to previous episodes made it loose some of it’s appeal to the general audience which is sad. The underlying exploration of perceptions and the actions of humanity is worthy of our understanding.

    Overall, thought this was a solid episode. Looking forward to seeing the rest, although can tell since we’re already half way through know that 6 episode is not going to be enough for me!

    • Hey, girl!!!

      You’re so write. 1013 made so many bad things happen to Scully that she turned into this sad, staid little creature and I missed her verve. I could be wrong, but I get the impression GA likes playing the more confident, humorous sides of her too.

      she needs this bat-crap-crazy to keep her life interesting and give her some enjoyment/challenge again.

      That’s all I’m sayin’!!

      I honestly didn’t think at all about the Easter eggs going over the heads of casual fans, but I wonder if that was a concern for them, and if it wasn’t, it should’ve been. There were so many that you would had to have known you were missing something, even if you didn’t know what that something was about. That said, this felt like more of a reward/thank you to the fans who loved this show hard enough to get it resurrected. So we can’t be mad at that.

      So far, we’re on a distinctly upward trajectory. If we keep this up, we’ll hit Episode 6 right at the climax… which will drive me insane. I know everyone’s busy, but how about a compromise at 8 episodes next time, hmm?

  6. I loved this episode because it felt familiar to what I love about the Xfiles. And not because it was a comedy. It was just more of a natural fit with characters and story and stricter etc etc etc. it just also happened to happen in the comedy episode. I’m hopeful for tonight because Xfiles has stellar thriller episodes that are iconic for the series. I want them to hit the same punches they did with our werenonster episode.
    That being said, I completely get your constructive criticisms in some areas. I loved the Easter eggs but they do run the risk of falling into the traps of too much fan service. It can drag a story down. People had issues with Star Wars for that reason. Fan service and playing to nostalgia. But that’s a double edged sword for me because I love the history. We can bring up those “greatest hits” type moments because they ultimately make me smile and not groan. It’s a very valid critique though and while I smile, I know they know they’re scoring an easy smile and not an original one.
    I’m on your page in a big way with the fantasy sequence with Scully and Guy. I love Gillian and think she’s gorgeous. I also think she gets even hotter as she gets older. But the scene felt awkward and uncomfortable to me when we’re now having Scully against a wall having sex and her cleavage saying hello world. It really threw me and I’m not anti-sex scene or saying down with sex appeal. It just took me out of the episode to use your words. I felt like all the sudden we had frat boys writing the show and wanting to see Scully get banged in the storage closet. I was pulled back in fairly quickly though because I liked Mulder’s quick reply. No way buddy. You’re lying and that’s a fact.

    Anywho…it was really good and I’m glad it was received well. The show is doing what it needs to to make noise at Fox and hopefully get these beloved characters back in front of the camera for another go. Using your ratings, I’d give this episode an A-….but that’s comparing it to the revival. To the whole series, I think I’d give it a B-. The show’s own history is a mighty high bar.

    • It was just more of a natural fit with characters and story and stricter etc etc etc.

      Yes, yes, and yes. This felt like it belonged.

      I loved the Easter eggs but they do run the risk of falling into the traps of too much fan service. It can drag a story down. People had issues with Star Wars for that reason. Fan service and playing to nostalgia. But that’s a double edged sword for me because I love the history. We can bring up those “greatest hits” type moments because they ultimately make me smile and not groan. It’s a very valid critique though and while I smile, I know they know they’re scoring an easy smile and not an original one.

      So true in every respect. The thing about the Easter eggs is that they tend to make the audience think “Cute!” rather than actually engage the audience. “Cute!” is still really good and really fun, but “Cute!” doesn’t make a masterpiece. A masterpiece has to do something fresh, somehow. NOT that this was stale or boring, mind you. I thought it was “Cute!” and funny and smart, but I’m not sure how memorable it will be for me in the long run.

      And as for GA getting more gorgeous with age, it’s true and it’s the real X-File here. I don’t know who sprinkled her with pixie dust, but I want some. Like you said, the issue isn’t celebrating GA’s obvious attractiveness (unfortunate wig not withstanding), it’s indulging in the Scully fantasy to the point of awkward disgust. BUT, Mulder’s reaction was absolutely perfect though. Man, I’ve missed DD’s comedic delivery. It did help make it (almost) all better.

      If I were grading it just based on the revival, it definitely would have been an A. But when I think about the series as a whole and episodes like “Bad Blood” and “Je Souhaite”, “Humbug” and “CBFR”, it gets a B+. And I do love me some B+’s.

  7. I had a bad feeling you weren’t going to like this episode as much as a lot of us ended up liking it, myself included. It seems like people are either loving or hating it, with a lot of people claiming it is over the top – even for Darin Morgan.

    My thing is… I feel like Jose Chung’s and even to an extent Clyde Bruckman were way over the top, too, even if not as overtly easter eggy. I mean Darin has always loved to bash on Mulder (girly screams and, can you imagine going through your entire life looking like that?), and he still gets his kicks in here. Even though a lot of the ridiculousness from Jose Chung’s was because of third hand story telling, it was still there.

    And I loved the easter eggs, even the silly ring tone one. I loved that Daggoo is named after a harpoonist in Moby Dick (Now I want to name my next dog Tashtego. Thanks X-files.) and loved that Scully straight up stole him. I love that we can assume that Scully is still awesome enough to handle kicking some animal control worker’s butt after getting snared and thrown into a wall of dog crates – and that she still harbors a tendency to play with Mulder’s ties. And I loved Fox in a Fox on Fox. I dunno. I enjoyed the whole thing. And when I initially watched and found myself thinking, “Man, Rhys’s monologue has gone on for a minute here…” I realized I didn’t even care; I was enjoying it too much. About the only thing that really bothered me in this episode was how Mulder’s gun was holstered when he ran through the cemetery headed for his car. But even that I had to smile and sigh because it seems like my biggest pet peeve in this show is how awful of a marksman/weapons handler Mulder almost always seems to be (especially after drilling the target in Pusher center mass).

    I’m also glad it really does seem like they maybe had colds (and were also consciously probably playing more “serious” in Founders but maybe that choice was exacerbated by being sick or something) and they sounded fairly normal in this episode.

    My favorite easter egg didn’t even make it into the show. Apparently the t-shirt she was sleeping in was supposed to be a New York Knicks shirt, which I think would have been subtle-ish and would have made me smile. And as a straight female at the age of 32, I also want to take a moment, because there has been a ton of Scully worshipping going on, to say that if I have the fortune of marrying a man in my life that looks like that sitting up in bed at the age of 50-whatever David Duchovny is, I will consider myself a lucky woman. That man has to have straight been hitting the iron in the off-season because new Mulder easily out weighs old Mulder by about twenty pounds and has gained about two inches on his biceps… Whoo boy.

    So yeah, I guess this got long winded but in conclusion I probably would have given an A-. Some people are saying it is one of the best ever, and I don’t agree with that, but then I’m the weird person who LOVES Never Again so I guess my tastes don’t necessarily account for a ton.

    • I hadn’t heard any hate on this one. Admittedly, though, I haven’t been on the interwebs much this week and I try to avoid reviews of episodes I haven’t reviewed yet anyway. Honestly, I’m both surprised and not surprised to hear that. I had my personal misgivings, but I thought this would be an easy win for the Twitter generation.

      JCFOS was absolutely over the top, which is part of why it took some getting used to for me. (It’s still not my favorite.) Same thing with “Bad Blood”. But I think JCFOS won its fans not so much because of its craziness but because it was grounded in an insight that allowed it to fly off the handle. MASMTWM is too, it’s just that its foundation is shallower. Which is fine, really, because sometimes you just need some fun. And considering we all lived through the twisted knife in the spleen that were Mulder’s daydreams of his child in “Founder’s Mutation”… Well, we needed some lighter fare.

      I heard about the shirt thing!! That’s really too bad it didn’t make it in. Wasn’t it a licensing problem or something? That would have been per-fect.

      And truth be told, I considered an A-, but I couldn’t honestly say I enjoyed it quite as much as “Bad Blood” which I already gave an A- to. Sorry, MASMTWM.

      • I’ve begged for that t-shirt to be a NY Knicks t-shirt since this clip was released on-line, perhaps I’ve Tulpa’d it into existence? Her t-shirt was burgundy and heather gray, the Knicks colors are blue, orange, silver, black & white so they’d have missed even a subtle reference by a long shot.

        More important than a BtS Easter egg would be the implication she’s sleeping in Mulder’s t-shirt; this is the tv reality in which I choose to wrap myself. 😀

  8. I loved it. Absolutely loved it.
    I really fell in love with Guy Mann. Rhys Darby is a comical genius and I’m happy The X-Files might have opened him up to a broader audience.
    I was trying to imagine someone else playing Guy Mann and I think it would have suffered. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much. I totally agree with bunnypirate on that one. “Inspired casting”. Right on the money.
    I was happy to see Scully and Mulder back to basics and banter. But the revelation for me really was Guy Mann.

    I actually started out watching and didn’t think it was so great, it seemed a bit too gimmicky and too “slapstick” humour for me. But the delivery at the end where all those tiny little bits come together and turn into this outrages plot. Well… from that point on I was laughing out loud. That cemetery scene was just perfect.
    It was so cleverly put together.
    Not that I expected less, but well… I feared my expectations were way too high.

    It takes a great writer with an amazing sense of comedic timing to have me cringe one minute and then turn and have the audience pack an unexpected hilarious punch. –> The scene with sexy Scully… wow, cringe-fest. I just couldn’t watch it. And then he comes out with the line.
    “Ever since I’m a human I can’t help but lie about my sex life.”
    Excellent.

    I do see your point in how the “Unbearable Lightness of Being”-theme was a lot less subtle than in previous episodes of Darin Morgan, but that actually worked for me. Mulder is/was suffering from a gigantic midlife crisis, hence all the over the top mentions of how old they have gotten. And at that point, life’s big questions just are a lot less subtle. They are there in plain sight. Obnoxiously obvious. To me it feels like the story and how it was told seems to have evolved and gotten older with the characters.
    That said, the camera flash was ridiculous. But I sniggered at it anyway.

    And with that I can only say: I tip my hat to the people who have the talent to rub the depressing thought that we are all leading meaningless lives in pursuit of meaningless trivial things before we end up in a hole in people’s faces and have them (almost) crying with laughter.

    So I guess you can say I’m in the “instant classic”-group.
    I’ll keep a seat for you, Salome, in case this turns out to be your Bad Blood 2.0.

    Ow… and I’m happy there is a new dog. YES! More “Why did you bring the dog to an investigation”-banter. Please? For old time’s sake.

    • Rhys Darby was a great foil for DD. No complaints here. And one Easter egg I probably should have mentioned was the Guy Mann character wearing Darren McGavin’s clothes from Kolchak: The Night Stalker, one of the inspirations for The X-Files. Now I have. My job is done.

      It takes a great writer with an amazing sense of comedic timing to have me cringe one minute and then turn and have the audience pack an unexpected hilarious punch. –> The scene with sexy Scully… wow, cringe-fest. I just couldn’t watch it. And then he comes out with the line.
      “Ever since I’m a human I can’t help but lie about my sex life.”
      Excellent.

      Darin Morgan is unequivocally a great writer. And you’re right. As much as I cringed at that scene, I laughed when it was over. Mulder’s response was perfect too.

      I do see your point in how the “Unbearable Lightness of Being”-theme was a lot less subtle than in previous episodes of Darin Morgan, but that actually worked for me. Mulder is/was suffering from a gigantic midlife crisis, hence all the over the top mentions of how old they have gotten.

      My thing with the over-the-top mentions is that it’s been all three episodes so far. The theme of the entire revival can’t be “Mulder and Scully Got Old.” The aspect of Mulder questioning his life’s purpose up till now I actually really like. In some ways, this was their real welcome back to the basement office, not the previous episode.

      And with that I can only say: I tip my hat to the people who have the talent to rub the depressing thought that we are all leading meaningless lives in pursuit of meaningless trivial things before we end up in a hole in people’s faces and have them (almost) crying with laughter.

      Oh! One thing I was thinking about watching this was that while it has basically the same message, it ends on a MUCH more hopeful note than JCFOS, even if it’s still depressingly funny. I ran into some interview years back where Darin Morgan said his only Jose Chung regret was that it sounded absolutely hopeless at the end and he didn’t mean for it to, so I suspect the (slight) change in optimism was conscious. But that’s what a good comedian or writer does, takes a good look at humanity and then flips the mirror on us. It doesn’t always look good, but if they get it right, we have to laugh.

      I’ll keep a seat for you, Salome, in case this turns out to be your Bad Blood 2.0.

      A heating pad would be nice. Just to be sure it stays warm.

      More “Why did you bring the dog to an investigation”-banter.

      YES! PLEASE!!!

      • I ran into some interview years back where Darin Morgan said his only Jose Chung regret was that it sounded absolutely hopeless at the end and he didn’t mean for it to, so I suspect the (slight) change in optimism was conscious.

        See, I never thought “Jose Chung” was hopeless. To me, the book was an outsider’s interpretation of M&S’s quest — two government employees with absolutely no “personal” lives chasing something that in “reality,” outside the context of M&S’s intense and intimate, life-altering, character-building, extreme experiences, is really “bat-crap crazy.” But I feel like in the end of “Jose Chung,” the X-Files’ audience is left thinking, how sad it is, actually, that Jose Chung doesn’t get it. Or maybe it’s that, of course, he’s right, but that M&S seek meaning and truth despite the mundane realities of their lives. And there’s hope in that. Jose Chung’s impressively effective way of bringing humor to the case is only half of the equation. He is able to allow us to laugh at our beloved characters and the idiosyncrasies of the others involved in the case — an important first step. But his ending is a call to action for us, maybe, to counter-argue his hopelessness with all the beautiful evidence to the contrary.

        • It’s really that last line: For although we may not be alone in the universe, in our own separate ways on this planet, we are all… alone.

          And then that Rashomon effect, that there is no “truth,” only perception, that I can’t wrap my heart around.

  9. On second viewing I appreciated it more. The first time I watched it I really didn’t like it. I felt it was too silly and something about the acting felt off to me. I loved Rhys Darby though, I thought he did an excellent job.

    • I did enjoy it the first time and laughed out loud, but I also thought it improved with a second viewing. It leveled out at a third, though. Maybe in a month. 😉

  10. I was wondering if you would end up more on the fence with this one after watching it!

    I’m definitely one of the ones who enjoyed it – for me I would put it in solid third place in my Darin Morgan eps lineup. At the bottom, WOTC, then JCFOS, then this, with Humbug at second and Clyde Bruckman in first.

    I had some casual viewers and a newbie (my bro-in-law who has never seen a single ep) and they were all giggling and laughing through the whole thing. They didn’t get a lot of the easter eggs, of course, but they still really enjoyed it…as did I 😀

    I fully agree with you on the Guy/Scully thing…that one was a BIT too far for me in the midst of the episode. But what made it worth it was the fact that Mulder was 100000000% not accepting Guy’s BS! I loved Mulder’s face (even screen capped it for my post!) – it was just so classic and that moment of him looking at Guy like he was insane was enough for me to shrug off Guy’s fantasy.

    [Scully has officially confirmed that she prefers her Mulder bat-crap crazy. Can we let that confession stand now? Can we stop feigning every so often that Scully is turned off by Mulder’s insanity instead of admitting the truth we all know, that she thrives off of it? Okthanksbuhbye.]

    YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! If Carter seriously tried to keep up this whole teeter-totter of Scully not wanting Mulder to investigate the X-Files I think I will find out where he lives and go punch him in the face. Thankfully, since they’ve actually been back on the X-Files themselves it hasn’t come up, and I’m hoping that whatever happens in the next three eps will make Scully even more invested than she seems to be currently.

    #HowMulderAndScullyGotTheirGrooveBack

    • I loved Mulder’s reaction, too, which is what made the scene just fine in my book. “Stopp. That. Did not happen.” LOL It was just the perfect mix of angry, righteous indignation on behalf of his girl, and not even the least bit worried that it even happened.

      • There was a brief instant during Mulder’s flat-out “that didn’t happen” when the phrase “because she’s my baby mama” popped into my brain and I giggled like a maniac. I’m blaming that on my happy M&S pheromone high.

    • Nay, but I think that’s a very fair lineup!

      I feel like this is an accessible episode. In some ways more accessible than JCFOS precisely because it keeps its philosophy at an armchair level. It’s a lot less preachy (which I appreciate, actually).

      But, oh, Mulder’s response after the “incident” was hilarious. Guy’s response too. So all was not lost.

      If Carter seriously tried to keep up this whole teeter-totter of Scully not wanting Mulder to investigate the X-Files I think I will find out where he lives and go punch him in the face. Thankfully, since they’ve actually been back on the X-Files themselves it hasn’t come up, and I’m hoping that whatever happens in the next three eps will make Scully even more invested than she seems to be currently.

      1. I feel like you could get a crowd up.
      2. They’ve probably only laid off because of time constraints.
      3. OMW, what we just saw!!!!

  11. The actor who played Guy Mann was delightful.

  12. The stoners! I was so happy to see them. Between them and Kumail Nanjiani in the opening scene, I was in love with this episode before the opening credits rolled. It definitely had its weak moments (I totally agree on the sex scene completely pulling me out of the action; they could have stopped the Scully-in-the-phone-store scene after she first came onto him and the joke still would have landed, so it is the very epitome of “gratuitous”), but it was so wonderful to see something that felt like one of the good old X-Files that I’m willing to forgive it a lot.

    It was great to see both leads get excited about their work again, after the last two episodes have been so dour, and I liked the questions raised by the plot: werewolf myths posit that for a human to be turned into an animal is a fate worse than death, but have we ever thought that maybe an animal would be equally horrified to turn into a human? Is “planning for a future you’d rather not live” (great line, by the way) really preferable to living free in the forest? As someone who’s looking into buying a house and freaking out at how much mortgage payments will cost me, I’d say it’s genuinely a hard question to answer. 😉

    “The comedy here is the tragedy of the invisible question mark that hovers over most people’s heads. But whereas once, Morgan seemed to make fun of Mulder for trying to make sense of it all in “JCFOS”, he now seems to be anointing Mulder to go and make sense of it. For all our sakes.” This sums it all up for me. It’s perfect Darin Morgan in that it asks existential questions in such a fun way that you don’t even mind that the underlying themes are sometimes downers. But it ends with Mulder rejuvenated, ready to try to find meaning in his work and his life. So great.

    And I can live with too many references to the old days of the X-Files, since the last two episodes have been pretending the old days never happened. 😛

    • I totally agree on the sex scene completely pulling me out of the action; they could have stopped the Scully-in-the-phone-store scene after she first came onto him and the joke still would have landed, so it is the very epitome of “gratuitous”

      Thank you for mentioning that because it’s true.

      but it was so wonderful to see something that felt like one of the good old X-Files that I’m willing to forgive it a lot.

      Me too. This was something I finally felt took place within the context of the series at large. Darin Morgan may not have been writing for the show anymore, but he clearly watched.

      As someone who’s looking into buying a house and freaking out at how much mortgage payments will cost me, I’d say it’s genuinely a hard question to answer. 😉

      Hey, he poses a great question. And if anything, it should make us allstep back for a minute and make sure we have our purpose panties on! What good is being born, getting things, and then dying?

      And I can live with too many references to the old days of the X-Files, since the last two episodes have been pretending the old days never happened.

      Burn!!

      • You know it occurs to me that the sex scene was supposed to pull you out of the action. Because that’s what happened to Mulder. Mulder, who typically listens to suspects and gets pulled along by their stories, was absolutely stopped in his tracks and had to react and call him out on it. And, to that end, it absolutely worked. And gosh — does that mean that the audience was actually in Mulder’s head for a change? Dear lord, that seems like it should always be too much.

        • That’s an interesting thought. We were supposed to be as shocked as Mulder by how “out there” the fantasy was? I’m sure that’s true. Though I think I was more appalled than Mulder.

  13. I loved this episode! Instant classic… An A! True, it wasn’t as terrifying as it could be, but if you’ve seen one serial killer, you’ve seen them all. This is what we needed. This is exactly the perfect episode for the X Files at this moment. We wanted a good ol’ fashioned classic, and we got one. It was funny, it was thought provoking, it kept me scratching my head. It pleasantly and surprisingly over delivered; I didn’t even get a chance to shoot blood out of my eyes.

    • I agree that the timing was right and we were definitely due for a laugh not a scare. I’m not sure it feels quite “classic” to me, more like “classic-ISH.” But I definitely recognized my show in it. Whew!

  14. I loved this episode! B+? Really? I was so waiting for your review of this episode, but I thought you were going to give it so much more love! Once again I am going to pull a Pollyanna on Season 10. I respect your criticisms and I understand where they are coming from, but I watched this entire episode with a grin on my face. And I’ve re-watched it about 10 times.

    First of all, I geeked out over seeing Kumail Nanjiaji’s name in the credits during the opening scene in the x-files basement office. So happy for him. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate Scully’s perfectly fitted trousers. OK – Mulder’s issues with his phone app: People have criticized this as being a tool to show how the show is no longer in the 1990’s, but I have issues with my own smartphone and I’m not a moron. Also, since Mulder is new to the x-files he may have installed new apps that he doesn’t yet understand how to use (i’ve done that for sure).

    Sidebar: Scully: You’ve got blood on you. Mulder: I don’t think that it’s mine”. Demons (S0423 anyone?)

    There are so many reasons that people that love the x-files love the x-files. The mythology, scary MOTW, shipper moments, conspiracy elements, etc. I love the X-files for all of these things (heaviest on the MSR) but what I love the most about this episode is how Darin Morgan threw out massive love back to the fans. I acknowledge that it may have been too obvious or pandering for some, but I was so giddy and grateful.

    I loved the autopsy scene. They were all in each others’ personal space, a la Kim Manners. Mulder was close to getting his paranormal boner back and Scully was so into that but still adhered to being Mama Scully and told him to go back to the hotel and get some sleep after a long day.

    Sidebar: Then awesome full moon shot, DD in a t-shirt finally looking like the casual Mulder I wanted to see, speedo, etc…

    Mulder’s monster speech. This is how I LIKE MY MULDER! Kudos to DD for his delivery of this oratory. I thought it was perfect. But I wish Scully could have said “bat shit crazy” instead of “bat crap crazy”. Seriously, there are gory kills in this episode and Founders Mutation had horrific scenes but they won’t allow Scully to say “shit”?

    Rhys Darby kills it. I actually shed a tear when he lost Daggoo. It was so sad to see when Guy realizes that Mulder doesn’t believe him at first after his long story.

    I totally love the meta X-files ring tone on Mulder’s phone. I loved all of the nods to the fans. Why debate about that stuff, it’s just love from the writers to the fans and a mutual acknowledgement of how crazy and cool it is that this show has endured for 23 years!! These things are so amazing to have in this short revival, I’m really not into people being so nit-picky about them.

    I don’t find the Scully/Guy sex scene odd or gratuitous at all. It’s the fantasy of some dude who’s only recently become human. It seems totally plausible that that’s what he would imagine. It’s not Scully being out-of-character or odd, it’s his primal suddenly-human fantasy. And I don’t think that that scene was used as an excuse to showcase Scully/Gillian as a sex symbol at all. I think it was playful and over-the-top and a pointed (although quite stereotypical) comment on human men in general.

    Is it odd that I find hung-over Mulder sexy? Damn you Hank Moody.

    Scully: I guess maybe I just miss having a dog to love and someone to hold my grudges for me (holding grudges – IWTB reference to the scratchy beard “I’ll curse god for you” scene).

    I’ve read very mixed reviews regarding the Scully “I’m immortal” quote. I think it’s sheer gold. I don’t care what comes of it. Maybe it’s Glen Morgan fucking with us, maybe CC will do something unexpected and convoluted with that concept. Don’t care. I loved that moment in the episode and how Scully delivered it to Mulder, all nonchalant and tapping his tie.

    I thought that the ending scene with Mulder and Guy was phenomenal. The case of this dude is leading Mulder back into wanting to believe. When Guy extends his hand to Mulder and says “I’m glad to have met you”, I actually a;sdkfja;sdlkfjl;skd (shed a tear). And then the next 30 seconds ending with Mulder saying “Likewise” and him smiling that old school Mulder smile that we haven’t seen in over a decade… as;kdm;zlsdkcj;zlkdn (a few more tears).

    Thank you Darin Morgan and thank you to everyone that gave us these new episodes. Seasons 1-9 took me through my high school and college years and it’s such a gift to have these new episodes.

    Like I said, I just gush love for all of Season 10. I totally understand some of the criticisms of the new episodes, and I love that some fans are so into the show that they uphold it for the best that it can be and was and won’t settle for less. But I just love that it exists and is back.

    Color me giddy.

    • I would never fault you for adoring it! I expected most people would, and in fact they did. I do appreciate the fanservice, but for me, too much of it feels like an exercise rather than an episode. A fun exercise, but an exercise nonetheless. I still thought it was the best so far and I laughed out loud too, but not as much as I did for “Bad Blood” which only gets an A- from me, so no higher than a B+ could this go. Like you said, the series set its own bar.

      Then of course, comedy is a tricky animal and some people laugh out loud at what others cringe at. There’s just no getting around or fixing that.

      I’ve gotten a few private messages with more severe criticisms of all the in-jokes (and here I thought I was ambivalent), but I think all the Philes at least agree on the love and appreciate the acknowledgment straight from the mouth of 1013. This is a happy little X-Files bubble we’re all bouncing around in together.

  15. Sorry, spelled his named wrong: s/b Kumail Nanjiani, not the typo I posted earlier….

  16. Probably the only time I’ll say this but: I think they should have used CGI rather than a lizard suit.

    I don’t think I like this one as much as others seem to. Felt like something was a bit off, not to mention Mulder’s acting. Also, this “I don’t believe anymore” rubbish is too deja vu for my liking. Get a memory Mulder.

    I think some kind of love story would have worked in this one, like in Rain King. I mean, as soon as he said he was the monster before a human, I guessed it would be a subversive “we are the monsters really” type of thing. And it was, nothing more. This aint’ no Bad Blood.

    • I don’t think I like this one as much as others seem to. Felt like something was a bit off

      You and I both. Which isn’t to say I *didn’t* like it, but I’m not over the moon.

  17. I’ve just posted in the Founder’s Mutation thread about my view of how under-prepared the actors were in this mini-series, but here I am, giving this episode an A+.

    Why? Because somehow, despite this being filmed before Founder’s Mutation and therefore before Anderson and Duchovny had had the experience of filming as many episodes of this revival, somehow Darin Morgan was able to bring us our old characters back. The warmth, the chemistry, the *laughter*, the completely in-character comments, the completely in-character madness, that’s entirely missing from other episodes in this miniseries.

    What did he do? How did he do it? I get the feeling that maybe the two actors loved the material and it gave them a massive jolt of energy.

    Does this mean their lacklustre performances in other episodes were down to poor material? Possibly. I don’t know – what I do know is, some magic was made here.

    The A+ comes from that fact. You’re right in your review – it isn’t a masterpiece on the level of Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. But when you see what it was filmed alongside, when you see the performances and attitude that came out of the other episodes, I think Morgan deserves massive praise for somehow pulling Mulder & Scully back out of storage, and giving them to us in such a wonderful way.

    The one thing I felt from this episode more than anything else was *warmth*. From Guy, from Scully, from Mulder. There was the warmth of colleagues who love working together, and the warmth of people who loved the material they were working with.

    If the rest of this series had been up to the same level, I think a lot of us would’ve been a bit let down by this episode: the joy comes from seeing *our* X-Files characters back again. They were missing in the first 2 episodes, they disappear again later. But here they are, and I love them.

    I really love them.

    • I think Morgan deserves massive praise for somehow pulling Mulder & Scully back out of storage

      Most definitely. They were more alive than they’d been since, well, the series ended. And I do think that DD and GA, as good as they already are, perk up when there’s a good script. Who can blame them? But it does show. You can tell they had fun making this episode and it comes across in their performances.

  18. A few asides here:

    1) we see Mulder admitting to being an alcoholic here. At the graveside, when Scully calls him, he tells her that he “fell off the wagon”. That’s universally known as meaning you were an alcoholic and you stopped drinking, but now you’ve had a drink.

    2) this episode really felt like The Unnatural in the way it made me feel about Mulder and Scully’s interactions. That might be just a personal thing, but it’s interesting that David Duchovny and Darin Morgan can both evoke that emotion

    3) I often get the feeling that Darin Morgan really doesn’t like David Duchovny. Even recently, I heard him make comments that were either a private joke (as in, he pretends with David that they don’t like each other) or he really still doesn’t like the guy much. Am I reading things in that aren’t there?

    4) I’m with StellaBlue42 above re the Easter eggs. It was pure love and gratitude producers to the fans, and I accept it all with the same love and gratitude. It’s ONLY there for those of us who stuck around. And it’s a wonderful thing – you only notice it if you were there from before, and if you weren’t there before you won’t care. So, I really appreciate the Easter eggs and I don’t debate whether they were over the top or not.

    5) RIP Kim Manners. That choked me up. And the way Mulder touched the gravestone.

    6) what do people think about the fact that this episode wasn’t written for The X-Files at all, but was for Kolchak The Night Stalker (hence how Guy Mann was dressed)?

    • 1. With the episode being so lighthearted from top to bottom, I took that as a joke.
      6. I heard about that, and all I’ll say is it showed…

  19. Hi Salome – I just wanted to say thank you for your great website. I am super late to the X Files party but was delighted find that people were still talking about the 20+ year old TV show I have recently become oddly smitten with. I don’t know what I have enjoyed more – your insightful, ridiculously well-written and witty reviews or the thoughtful, respectful community of X-Philes you’ve gathered. Bravo!
    I hope that CC and 1013 also find their way here (although they probably won’t be looking for someone else who greatly disliked – ok, loathed – “The Field Where I Died” like I was). It seems like Season 11 might happen and I think it could greatly benefit from your perspective. I, for one, don’t think that MOTW can work at all until they deal with William and his associated repercussions. As preposterous as many of the things I hear happen in Season 9 and IWTB are (I have seen through Season 8 but don’t know if I have the stamina for what your posts tell me happens later), the most preposterous thing is that Mulder and Scully would gallivant off on one-off adventures that are not related to whatever threat made Scully give up their son (don’t get me started on whether or not the child is Mulder’s: at least two of the three (or is it four?) options for his conception involve Mulder, so the degree to which God, science, or aliens also played a role seems irrelevant). I did watch several episodes of Season 10 and while I can see the appeal of the Were-Monster compared to other episodes, it still didn’t work for me because I don’t know why Mulder and Scully would be chasing him or any MOTW in the first place. I don’t need a blow-by-blow of their relationship but I do need enough context to understand why the characters are where they are and are doing what they are doing. I think you can look to the Force Awakens as an example of how to do this right – JJ Abrams and company don’t spend much time telling you specifically what happened between Leia and Han, but what you knew about past events gave you enough to say, yep, I could see them breaking up after all that. (See how artfully I avoided spoilers for a movie everyone on the planet has seen?) I want to see the characters of Mulder and Scully (and Skinner) that the writers, directors, actors, etc. spent so many years developing into rich and interesting people behave consistent with those character’s history and personality. I am willing to suspend enormous amounts of disbelief to watch those people do pretty much anything. However, once the characters become less consistent and therefore less compelling, I turn a much more critical eye to the plot and let’s be honest, even my favorite episodes don’t hold up to too much logical scrutiny, taking place as they do in an alternate universe. The details of what and how things happen matter much less than the motivation behind what is happening and how the characters are responding.
    I’d love to see another Scully Squared moment (it’s been soooo long!) in which she takes the whole shooting match in hand, starts answering questions in a scientific manner, and ditches the “a single person is the answer to all you’ve sought” canard. I’d be willing to overlook a whole array of plot holes (as I have in the past) to see that happen.

  20. I have not as yet seen any episodes of the revival, despite my interest in it. What can I say? Life gets in the way. But this episode is the main reason I need to find the time. My parents absolutely loved this episode, the internet loved this episode, and I’m sure I’ll love it once I finally have the time to watch it.

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