This 11×2: You’ve really turned a corner.


 

1102_Promotional_(7)

Adorbs.

 

So, I realize the Twitter generation is probably beside themselves with Glee right now. Me? I am amused. I am also confused.

When we left off last episode, Chris Carter and I weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye. He was gazing somewhere around my kneecaps. Skinner had just been propositioned by that immortal cockroach, CSM, and he smelled like it. Mulder is not fond of the smell of Morleys and told him so. Ergo, we find ourselves at the beginning of “This” episode with Mulder and Scully reluctant to step within two feet of Skinner, they’re so distrustful of him.

But let me take a step back. Before we even get there, how ‘bout them shootouts, eh? I bet you didn’t know that Chris Carter lent Mulder and Scully out to former X-Files writers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa so that they could get special ops training from Jack Bauer. Mine is not to judge, mine is only to say that I thought the opening teaser was a 9 that would have been a 10 if there were one, two, three fewer schizophrenic cuts during the action. Even with the frenetic action, those few minutes were a far sight better than 90% of Season 10 and on par with the other 10%… all of which occurred during “Home Again” (10×2).

Still, I would’ve appreciated just a tad more emotion on Mulder and Scully’s part over Langly’s sudden resurrection. But like I said, mine isn’t to judge.

Back to Mulder and Scully’s unjustified mistreatment of the one person in this world they can trust besides each other, Skinner explains this hullabaloo was due to an Executive Order from the White House. The White House has hired private contractor Purlieu to question Mulder and Scully about… well, he never says what about. About Langly? But how did the White House know to engage Purlieu before Langly contacted Mulder and Scully? The unholy trinity, the inverse images of the Lone Gunmen, they showed up before Langly raised his staticky head.

I’m assuming Skinner was out there in the middle of the Virginia woods because he was on his way to warn Mulder and Scully, but I’m not sure why either the White House or Purlieu would tell Skinner ahead of time what they were about to do, especially since Skinner’s history with Mulder and Scully has to be well known. Heck, it’s a part of those digitized X-Files that have now been disseminated across the globe.

Meanwhile, back in the Unremarkable House, Purlieu tries to trace Langly through Mulder’s phone and those Russian Reds trigger a… KILL SWITCH!!!

Glen Morgan, please pat yourself on the back for name dropping one of my favorite episodes: “Kill Switch” (5×11). Somebody’s been eating their Wheaties and checking their X-Files Wiki. I mean, the knowledge dropping… Mulder watching Deep Throat’s funeral through binoculars, Mulder and Langly’s shared birthday, KILL SWITCH!!!

In fact, for a minute, I thought this was going to be a repeat of the “Kill Switch” plot, that two lovers uploaded their consciousnesses into an AI and sprouted internet wings. Speaking of lovers, I bet you didn’t know Langly had a girlfriend.

And she’s normal.

I’d love to buy it, 1013. I really would. But, I don’t have that much money in my pocket.

Anyway. This frighteningly normal girlfriend of Langly’s did an abnormal thing. She made a pact with Langly to give their brains to Purlieu so that they could “live” eternally (?) in a computer simulation after death.

There are many things I don’t understand about this, but since you and I both have places to be, let me limit myself to two:

  1. What is so spectacular about merely storing your memory if your goal is to live together forever? It isn’t like they’re truly conscious. Everyone in this episode stressed that this is only a simulation. And the simulation will end, as it did, when someone pulls the plug.
  2. Why did the real person have to be dead before their memory within the simulation could “come into consciousness”? That’s awfully convenient to the plot.

Reasoned reasons or not, former girlfriend Karah Hamby leads Mulder and Scully on a Pub Quiz treasure hunt back to her classroom (puh-lease), where she schools them old school on a projector before Langly’s doppelganger rises from the dead just in time to kill her before dying again.

As it turns out, Langly handed over his mind to Purlieu with a plan already in said mind of how to test the simulation from the inside. You know, just in case paradise grew pale, which it did.

I suppose it puts a poop in your party when your mind is being mined by a shadowy Syndicate. I hesitate to capitalize “Syndicate”, but as far as we know, this new Syndicate represented by Erika Price is a continuation of the old Syndicate. The old set out to put the alien in humans, the new wants to put humans in space. And now we know the true purpose of the simulation, for all Erika Price tries to confuse Mulder with a smokescreen about evolution: the purpose is to use the greatest minds of a generation to gain the knowledge needed to colonize space. I gather asking a bunch of living MIT professors would let the cat out of the bag.

Not that Mulder would ever have considered the mind dump Price described as “evolution”.

Verdict:

You know what? I’m now less confused than I was when I started typing up these little musings. Funny how explaining what you don’t understand can help you.

This hard-earned clarity frees me up to enjoy this episode even more. Because while I may not be dancing a jig, I’m satisfied. Probably about as satisfied as this two-season revival is ever going to make me. I’m not quite at “Home Again” levels of satisfaction, but “This” just gave me something I never thought I’d have the pleasure of seeing again: A Half-Caff episode of The X-Files.

For the uninitiated, a Half-Caff episode revolves around an experimental technology or science that the government or a powerful private entity seeks to control and cover up. There’s a government conspiracy, just not one related to the mytharc. It’s a tradition that started way back in “Ghost in the Machine” (1×6) and ended in “Brand X” (7×19) after dying a slow death in popularity after Season 3. But now, the tradition continues.

In this case, it’s not the technology itself that’s so valuable, but the minds the technology gives Purlieu access to. Langly’s mind, even in its confused state, turns to Mulder.

It’s a touching thought. And Langly’s tearful recall of Scully, combined with Mulder and Scully banter that’s over a decade overdue, not to mention that classic early season evidence-erase ending, is nearly enough to get my heart rate up. Nearly.

Yes, maybe the plot is easier to decipher after a rewatch. And yes, the Mulder and Scully banter was old school on point… mostly.

I mean, I know Mulder can be silly. I welcome the return of The Incurable Sarcasm. But would he really be counting loudly in the stairwell when he and Scully are on a stealth mission? Sure, he would make fun of someone who hit on Scully. But would he do it in front of the security guard and break the ruse that’s supposed to get them in the building? Yes, Scully had her fair share of zingers. But would she really joke about alien butts?

Like I said, though. I’m not here to judge. And you know what? It wasn’t “My Struggle III” (11×1)… or I… or II… and it was good.

B+

The Questions:

Are there still no security cameras in the F.B.I. parking garage? Seriously? No guard? Nothing?

Why does Mulder have to be the one to kill CSM? Hmm?

Is Erika Price Mulder’s new nearly equal nemesis now that CSM has graduated to demigod?

How did Dr. Hamby get access to Langly’s tombstone to change the date? Did he leave her in his will?

How did she get access to Deep Throat’s tombstone to change the cross? Did he leave her in his will?

How did she know about Deep Throat’s connection to Mulder when he was buried under his real name and Mulder didn’t know his real name? Langly hacked the info and gave it to her because he knew she’d be able to use it when he was buried in Arlington cemetery one day even though he could have no way of knowing that?

Mulder recognized Deep Throat’s tombstone, among all these lookalike tombstones, as the one he saw from a distance, through binoculars, over 20 years ago? This, but he didn’t recognize his name on the tombstone?

So is Langly alive or not? You’ll notice that question is never truly answered.

The Backup:

The Bureau’s not in good standing with the White House these days. *snort*

“We can’t go to OUR HOME.” – You caught that, didn’t you?

And you also caught the “all things” (7×17) couch pose, yes?

Mulder and Scully made it through the 90’s without visiting an internet cafe, but here they are. And you thought internet cafes were extinct. I didn’t appreciate the PTSD “Trust No 1” (9×8) flashback, though. Scully StupidTM circa 2002.

Mulder’s taking evidence from crime scenes. Even his line delivery is back on point. I have mixed feelings about the “adorbs”, though.

Scully’s hair is so much better. It could still be even better, but at least it’s not embarrassing.

The day The X-Files references The X-Files referencing Silence of the Lambs. See “The Truth” (9×19/20), “The Jersey Devil” (1×4), and pretty much the entire plot of “Beyond the Sea” (1×12).

In case you were wondering about the 4th Gunman in the photo – This Man – The namesake of this episode?

Best Quotes:

Mulder: Frohike look 57 to you when he died?

Scully: Frohike looked 57 the day he was born.

……………

Mulder: Who needs Google when you got Scully?

……………

Scully: Maybe he saw Mulder in his dreams.

Mulder: Who hasn’t?

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30 responses to “This 11×2: You’ve really turned a corner.

  1. This felt like a true X Files episode. With all the problems that you mentioned, it still felt like a true X Files episode. I absolutely loved it – right from the teaser, it felt like “original run” X Files.

    I’ve got almost nothing to say apart from how much I truly loved it.

    • It did actually feel like “the show”, unlike the My Struggles which felt like XF parodies.

      But what I think the tattered mythology is robbing me of is the ability to immerse myself into the overall story and watch Mulder and Scully with any anticipation of where their story is headed and what they’ll find along the way – unlike the original run, I’m watching standalone episodes like this in an emotional vacuum.

  2. This did feel more true to the show, or at least M&S did. The problems you mention are a problem though and this is essentially a Killswitch reboot. Them breaking character to be funny totally threw me off, not in a good way.

    Would have been better as the season opener, but there was that problem of s.10 to take care of. Did Mulder make an S&M joke relating to him being so adept whilst wearing handcuffs?

    • I agree that there were moments that were trying too hard to be funny, but overall, I’m pleased. I actually had to check myself to make sure I didn’t have a rebound reaction after MSIII. Almost anything would look good coming after that.

      Mulder sure did make an S&M joke.

  3. Salome, couldn’t agree with you more. I had the same questions you did and you provided most of those answers. I did do some nitpicking like the old school projector. Where is the smart board? No one has projectors. Anyway, loved the banter between them. They looked good together. And Scully was such a badass! My favorite thing about this episode. BTW, so glad you are doing commentary. Always glad to read your perspective on the episodes and M&S.

    • Thank you and I couldn’t agree with *you* more. I think the banter made this episode. And if they are going to reference “Kill Switch”, then Scully should be appropriately fierce. It’s only right.

      I just had a thought – what if the new Syndicate had tried to use Mulder and Scully to flush Esther Nairn and her David out of the interwebs?

  4. “…unlike the original run, I’m watching standalone episodes like this in an emotional vacuum.”

    Exactly. The biggest problem MS3 has created, in my opinion, with its MS2-was-just-a-vision quick fix is that its tampered with the old formula of how the X-files used to handle the transitions from Mythology back to MOTW& other standalone episodes.
    Back in the day it wasn’t particularly jarring when there were leaps back and forth between mytharc and standalone because mythology episodes typically concluded with evidence being erased mysteriously, the X-files themselves being taken away or Mulder and Scully’s hands being tied in some other way. In short they learned new info, but for whatever reason were powerless to do much about it directly so it was back to business as usual.
    But now, Scully knows exactly whats coming and for once she even knows exactly what will stop it. It’s a little hard to understand why she’s doing anything other than stockpiling those IV bags she was making with her DNA last season.
    “Hey, Einstein. I’ve seen how you and I save mankind. Clear your schedule.”
    But no, she’s seemingly forgotten all about it and has lost all that urgency because “the truth still lies in the X-files” as though there were anything else to discover about colonization. It only makes the whole thing even harder to buy into than it already was.
    Bah!
    Okay.I’m done griping for now.

    I did enjoy last nights episode, but I was forced to enjoy it, as Salome said, completely in a vacuum. It was fun in spite of its flaws which were puny in comparison to last week. Exciting opening, no cringe inducing voice overs and proper banter was back which was good overall even if a few bits were off.
    I think the handcuff joke doesn’t work because of the set up. Our 900 number calling, porn addicted Mulder isn’t exactly above an S&M joke. Rather, I think its Scully’s set up question “Why do you operate so well with your hands cuffed behind your back” that makes the joke fall flat. The dialogue not only doesn’t ring true to her, but makes the whole quip feel too forced and stagy.
    I think “adorbs” needed more irony behind it. It was too tame.

    Parts of the plot were far too convenient, but 1013 has a long history of this (FTF, I’m looking at you!). However, I’m more inclined to be forgiving of said convenience when I’m having fun (Again, FTF, I’m looking at you.)

    And yes, I was very happy to see them snoozing on the couch together! 🙂

    • It feels good to be understood.

      To be fair, I think CC was trying to add back in the element of the romantic quest by turning William into Mulder and Scully’s holy grail. And then this quest would be the motivation that would propel them in their journey through the X-Files, like Samantha once did, like Scully’s abduction once did, like Scully’s cancer once did, and like Mulder’s abduction once did.

      As much as I pushed for this William quest in earlier episodes, I’m 100% sure the mythology is irredeemably crapped out. I think I get where they’re going with Erika Price. It’s where they went with CSM and Mr. X before her. And this new Syndicate plan, well, it resembles the old Syndicate plan with its teeth filed down. Maybe if none of the My Struggles had happened and 1013 had launched right into this reboot of Seasons 1-3… the era before the mythology got unwieldy enough to require definitive answers as a payoff at the end of it.

      Like you said, it would be too simple for Scully to take measures to prevent the apocalypse, William or no William. (Though one might argue CSM could have killed Mulder many times over.) I can’t even pretend to be invested in a plot so boring.

      “Parts of the plot were far too convenient, but 1013 has a long history of this (FTF, I’m looking at you!). However, I’m more inclined to be forgiving of said convenience when I’m having fun (Again, FTF, I’m looking at you.)”

      +1+1+1+1+1+1

      P.S. The setup for the handcuffs joke was indeed too obvious.

  5. Well…The first thing that I felt after watching was that I was entertained. I was actually enjoying the show and got lost in the plot and dialogue.

    That felt good.

    The script, pacing and flow of the episode were all much better than last week…by far. The dialogue and banter between all concerned was more natural and believable.

    I agree that the humour was at times awkward but that seems to be a thing these days…look to most Marvel if you want to point a finger.

    The only thing that took me out of the story was the ending when they find Erika missing along with the banks of computers….boy, who didn’t see that coming. First thing I thought was…”ahh…just have one of you stay behind to keep an eye on things”……too late..:)

    I agree with you Salome with regards to watching these in a vacuum. I am always reminded this is a 10 ep season with a big question mark about any more coming. The dreariness of acting in a 23+ ep season is obviously a non starter but in having one the show could flesh out the kind of plots as this episode to great effect. Now you just have to move on to the next unconnected story.

    • As much as I wouldn’t wish one of those arduous seasons of 23+ episodes on anyone again, in terms of storytelling, they had their benefits. No amount of episodes could save The X-Files from where CC has taken the mythology, though. We have no choice. If we call ourselves Philes, we must ignore the My Struggles… for all our sakes.

      Meanwhile, next episode, CC returns to his doppelganger fixation.

      • I’m a fledgling Phile but I can think of a lot of reasons to ignore the “Struggles” Chris has laid on us.

        Onwards!

  6. Having checked Salome’s rating and determined the coast was Phile-clear, I watched the episode. IMO it was fairly run-of-the-mill MotW fare but then I don’t have an MSIII hangover which could bias my view of this script.

    1. Every episode should begin with Mulder and Scully sleeping together. On a couch, in a bed, on the ground in the dark forests of north Florida — I don’t care. This is the cheap and easy ticket to make me happy, if briefly, b/c it acknowledges they are a fall-asleep-on-the-couch-together-whilst-watching-television couple. As I’ve said previously, I can tolerate average to mediocre if they’d just throw me a shipper bone in that 43 minutes.

    2. The Ramones. What a great way to announce “this is a Langly episode”. And then it quickly becomes a Tarantino action sequence not IMO in keeping with how our heroes typically roll so it pulled me out of the story a bit. Glen, please leave the music video making to other, less important hands.

    3. “Better call it in from a landline” – why, exactly? And wouldn’t an actual human just say, “Scully, use the house line, there may be .”

    4. Badge number XF072161; so they’re announcing they’re X Files over the phone so anyone can hear it? Well, after their semi-biographical movie I guess subtlety died about two decades ago.

    5. How were the LGM buried in Arlington National Cemetery when they were neither veterans nor the spouse of a veteran? (Having skipped the shark jumping, it was news to me the LGM were incinerated… This made me sad as I could no ignore they’d been killed off. Damn you again, CC.)

    6. “I’ll tell you what I do know : we’ve gotta take a trip to IKEA.” 😀

    7. “What is that, the Critical Incident Response Group?” Yes Scully, the Bureau is going to have a team there to your home in the middle of no where Virginia within 5 minutes of your call. And the Bureau’d send CIRG for a home invasion incident and arrive long before the local police serving no where Virginia? *sigh*

    8. Rising up, off the floor and moving as one to grab Bad Guy’s semi-automatic, discharge the weapon against said Bad Guys, then run out, jump over the front porch railing and running into the night… Clearly they have spent enough time hand-cuffed together to function like a ballet. Upon finishing this post, I will write an MSR love song to the tune Pat Benetar’s “Shadows of the Night”. (NOTE: Scully’s little legs were moving.)

    9. “They’re not U.S. intelligence, I’ll tell you that much.” That’s right Scully, because U.S. intelligence is the F.B.I. That organization you’ve worked for on and off again for the last two decades. (Good lord, Glen, at least listen to the free 9/11 Commission podcasts to understand how FBI works.) And the fact that they also spoke like Boris and Natasha is probably another clue. I hate it when they give Scully these lines. I keep flashing back to “Darkness Falls” when CC had her asking, “The older rings (of the tree) are on the inside, right?”

    10. “Kill switch”. Woo hoo!!!

    11. “Frohike looked 57 the day he was born”. Someone with graphics skills, please make this image happen.

    12. The look on Mulder’s face, seeing him as a recognized where he was standing and who’s grave he stood before… I remember exactly where I was sitting the night I watched “Little Green Men”, that exquisite Watergate hotel parking garage conversation as world-weary Mulder described watching DT’s burial. Thank you for allowing me that flash back to such a wonderful time in my Phile fandom, Glen.

    13. “An X File? You mean like the kind that are in our office that we can’t get to X File? Right… OK.” This made me smile. This was a moment of Mulder Scully banter that has me reliving the days of yore. And I’ve really, really missed yore.

    14. “The world is different, Mulder. Now there are 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, homeland security, Russian FSB, Chinese MSS ISIS, al-Qa’ida, Blackwater….” Other than ISIS, what’s new since the 90s? Homeland Security pulled together various aspects of the U.S. government but what was *new*? I’ll over look this since Scully just referred to “OUR HOME”. *feels the yore again*

    15. Uploading brains. Uploading brains that can’t be online while the real brain is still alive. I’m just going to stop paying attention during the Too Normal For Langly woman’s plot exposition. Just, no.

    16. She was indeed “adorbs” but I heard the same tone he used when describing “with a little touch of lemon is divine”. That, and she is totes adorbs. Especially after getting onto the annoying kids on the bus. “Are you kidding me?” was awesome (and Glen’s clearing seen me on an international flight).

    17. I could see Mulder rolling his eyes and the “breaking every human resources rule in the federal government” remark to Scully but the gag moment? That and the counting flights of stairs were beyond over reaching. As a Bryan Fuller and “Hannibal” lover, Scully’s reference to Mulder as “Hannibal Lector-level psycho was cute but it took me out of the suspension of belief that was returning after that silly gag moment.

    18. Barbara Hershey in blood red is an awesome sight and as I watch the camera track towards her it occurs to me the series never had a real female counterpoint to Scully, a dark opposite. (Because we know Marita ain’t it.) Hershey is chewing the scenery here. I wish so much that her role was part of a story line that makes sense, in a role worthy of her talents. Her laugh at proposing in the 21st century the near-impossible task of living without a mobile phone, especially to the man who defined cell phone addiction back when cell phones required a backpack to carry the battery and antennae, was awesome.

    19. “And could Agent Scully be with me?” Thanks for another bone there, Glen. You’ve been very generous to my MSR needs in these 43 minutes.

    20. All that technology and they don’t have redundant power back up for their “client servers”. This hurts my brain. But then Mulder walks through the door, tousled and exhausted and his “I thought I was gonna throw up for a second but I’m okay” remark had me thinking about his boyish agility. And then their hands on each other, which also had me thinking about his boyish agility.

    21. In the end, their wordless return home and their decision to end this chaotic turn by crashing on the couch together. “THIS”, indeed.

    Random observations/questions:

    A. E-gad the wig, although not entirely convincing, looks so much better than that community theatre-derived orange mop from S10.

    B. Did the Lone Hitmen show up at Casa de MSR to kill Mulder and Scully? To obtain Mulder’s phone because it was found that Langly was making his way through the Matrix to Mulder’s phone? (Um, how convenient for the Syndicate 2.0 to have all that Top Secret mind upload technology connected to the Internet or a cellular network….) And the second round of Slavic Lone Hitmen so quickly followed up better equipped than what the Lone Hitmen 5 minutes earlier to, again, steal Mulder’s phone? There are so many easier ways to take a phone without multiple mass shooting home invasions in one night….

    C. Scully often sounds like S10 scraggly voice Scully. At least Mulder is no longer scraggly-voiced.

    D. Why did Skinner encourage them to surrender to the Slavic Syndicate 2.0 Lone Hitmen? I’m still not clear on that. Give yourself up to a domestic law enforcement (or something) contractor for… why? And why did the wardrobe gods insist Skinner wear that hokey FBI hat over his beautiful bald head? This is a crime against fictional humanity.

    F. The Sudoku puzzle that was the president’s birthdays / 33rd POTUS / location of DT’s grave ever explained? Why was this laid out in such a way, who left the little disk with the QR code on the surface? Then gain, QR codes were invented in 1994 and Mulder has amazing depth-perception for the middle of the night.

    G. I’ll bet this is the first time Gillian’s eaten carbs since the early 90s. And YES the “alien’s butt” remark isn’t a Scully statement… but then Glen had her calling Mulder “Fox” last season, so should we be surprised by this?

    • 2. If the cuts hadn’t been so frantic, and if there had been fewer of them, they wouldn’t have pulled me out of the moment a little bit. It was a little music videoish.

      4. Right? But I’m going to give Glen continuity props for including what I *think* was Scully’s classic badge number. Maybe he’s trying to make up for not knowing Scully didn’t call Mulder “Fox” last season.

      17. Right. Right. Maybe if this were a straight-up comedy like “Bad Blood”. Then again, I thought the disconnect between the tone in “Bad Blood” and its subject matter was weird too.

      A. It’s a definite improvement. But I’ve been avoiding spoilers – I wonder how she gets to the retro-Scully wig by the end of the season?

      B. The Lone Hitmen! Perfection!

      C. She does. It comes and goes.

      F. That bit was ridiculous. But Dr. Hamby used that puzzle to bring to her anyone who might be looking for Langly after he contacted them.

      G. GA said she adlibbed that joke. And it sounds like it.

    • G: Don’t kid yourself. Girlfriend made liberal use of a spit bucket somewhere off screen…
      🙂

  7. “G. GA said she adlibbed that joke. And it sounds like it.”
    *sigh*
    Do any of them truly remember Mulder and Scully’s figurative (and literal) voice???

    So the preview for next week…..
    SPACE FOR THOSE AVOIDING NEXT WEEK’S PREVIEW

    One scene in particular that was of particular interest – I’m leaning to thinking it’s a Small Potatoes scenario. No way CC would give us that, though it does sort of mirror them in IWtB. Again, I’ll wait to read Salome’s review and the remarks of our friends here before I plunge into a CC episode but if that one scene is legit then there is video editing in my future. (I’ve edited all the MSR moments in IWtB and watching only those scenes really improves the overall experience….)

  8. Once again I have to agree with you on almost all counts. I haven’t had time go by that fast watching tv since BB or BCS, not that this was anywhere near those standards, but it had my attention and in a good way. Although, I felt like I was watching the Mulder and Scully from the comic books, not the series.
    The bar scene made me wish we got to see some of them “on the run” after season 9.
    The comedic attempts fell a little flat, but I think it was all in the setup and not the delivery.
    It was odd seeing the “I Love Lucy” break-in during a half-caff. I think Mulder’s arrogance is now so off the charts that he believes there’s no way anyone can stop them so why take it seriously? Plus I think he’s on a high from two weeks alone with Scully.
    Was the alien’s butt comment much different than her joking about him giving her an alien implant for her birthday and him telling her he made them into earrings? Maybe.
    I feel like Glen is the out-of-touch dad that is really trying to give his kids what they want. Who am I to be ungrateful?
    Things I learned besides Deep Throat’s real name:
    -TLG and Scully had a deep relationship off screen that we were not privy to
    -Mulder really wants their relationship back and Scully doesn’t want to play straight man (which is another reason the jokes didn’t land)
    -Something serious happened between them (more than just depression) and Scully is still hurt and not over it. Mulder’s pain seemed to have come from them just not being together. (the whole breakup from IWTB forward is so grating and really holds back the show)
    -What the x-files would look like as a sitcom(um.. no)
    -M&S need more episodes of them sitting and/or lying together (sleeping bags falling from the sky is always a plus)
    -Skinmen only gets better with age
    -Scully’s new nickname for Mulder is “The Bureau”

    • “Plus I think he’s on a high from two weeks alone with Scully.”

      Having avoided MSIII I’m curious how we know this epi is two weeks after those events? And I also choose to believe they’ve been huddled up in their home on a two week alone time binge as well. (I’m still high on Scully having referred to the farm house as “our home” to Skinner :-> )

    • “On the run” is exactly how I expected to find them in IWTB. I was unpleasantly surprised, but I let it slide for the joy of seeing them again. Wouldn’t it have been great to see them going to dive to dive avoiding the government and stumbling upon a MOTW?

  9. What on earth has happened to Mark Snow. Half of the mystery of this show was Snow’s scores. Remember the quiet, distant piano playing hollow-sounding harmonies or simple and fragmented melodies in the final scenes? These recent episodes seem lessened on many levels, but for me the scores are woefully lacking. I wish Snow would get back to that older style. And Salome- no sign of Barfolomew for quite awhile!

    • Thank you! I started out watching this episode listening for my man’s awesome audio and then the Taratino/Ramones music video fight sequence was understandably distracting… Where was the score? Was it so quiet in the b.g. I didn’t notice or is there so little composition I didn’t (I’ll be ashamed to say) notice?

      This was the experience I had with “The Force Awakens”, I later questioned “wait, where was John Williams’ score?” because it left so little impression on me (as compared to the rest of JW’s vast, amazing soundtrack library).

    • True. True. There was nothing haunting about the soundtrack of the last two episodes. Then again, I don’t know that either plot lent itself to that. The next episode looks like it might be quirky too.

      Maybe the problem is 1013’s overall tone and MS is just waiting for an atmosphere he can sink his teeth into. Then again… I don’t remember noticing the score in Season 10 either.

      P.S. I have noted that! But who knows if we might accidentally summon him.

  10. One question…do you buy the justification this episode for them not trusting Skinner? In my mind it played 100 times better than the nonsense from last episode but it still feels clunky, especially when Scully tells him they don’t trust him.

    • I don’t buy it in the sense that I think their reasons for distrusting him are absurd considering their history together and how Skinner has proved himself over the years. But I get that this is a continuation from the last episode. It *is* clunky.

      • Oh I agree that is is absurd. If this had happened in real life, it would have played out with Mulder and Scully saying “you did what??? Come on Skinman! Ahhh well we still friends till the end.” Instead they are acting like he’s a shifty double agent. I’m just somewhat glad that they tossed some more justification into this episode rather than the nonsense from MS III.

        In the end it doesn’t really matter cuz I don’t consider the revival to be canon anyway.

  11. This was worlds better than the opener.

    BUT

    It kills me how they’ve bent over backwards to keep CSM alive despite the fact that his survival makes no sense, but they apparently didn’t consider for a second letting any of the Lone Gunmen live even though their deaths occurred offscreen and they could’ve easily been written back into the series in a not-ridiculous way. At least we got CyberLangly It was fun to see a version of him again.

  12. Jocelyn Schumacher

    Salome, I couldn’t help watching the opening scene with the Lone Hitman (thanks SteamGrrl) and thinking “This is the parallel universe “Home” moment!” We have 3 guys, in an older classic car, with what is now a “classic” song from the Ramones, intent on doing evil. Much different pacing too, so lends itself the parallel universe vibe.

    Loved badass Scully. Even if it seems a bit too Jason Bourne for X-Files.

    Side question: (Disclaimer, I love X-Files, and GA, not trying to be negative) Has anyone noticed how different her face looks? As in longer? I don’t think it is just the wig/hair, though I know that accentuates it. I am not even talking about potential botox/fillers; just her face looks quite differently shaped to me. Am I crazy?

    Again, glad you are back.

    • Ooo! So true! And that shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us since Glen Morgan was part of the team behind “Home” too, along with James Wong.

      Scully has looked different. Or, I should say, GA has looked different and I can’t figure it out. GA looks perfectly normal and as stunning as ever in real life, yet somehow, they’ve managed to make Scully look pinched and even old somehow. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s the makeup? It’s getting better, though.

  13. “This” is how I’d imagined The X files post I Want To Believe. Mulder and Scully outside of the FBI, working in the shadows, always on the run, but together. It feels more authentic to the history and evolution of the characters. They can still investigate x files and they don’t need to be in the basement office to do that. The cases are even all digitised now and can be accessed online. I like the nod to “Home” 4X03 in that scene.

    I really enjoyed this episode. The teaser was great. Seeing Mulder and Scully almost as if they are a married couple after 25 years, but still in love, still making each other laugh, and still ready for action. The teaser also sets up a good mystery which is intriguing, so it did the job in my book.

    I accidentally saw a clip on a promo of Langley on the phone and a shot of Arlington graveyard. My first thoughts were The Lone Gunnman are not dead! And I had mixed feelings about that. Sometimes it’s good if characters are left dead and not constantly brought back, CGB I’m looking at you. Then I thought they are using the Season 10 comics storyline of their resurrection, which I thought was cool. By the end of the episode The Lone Gunnman are still dead, and I have to say I’m glad. As good characters as they were, sometimes it’s good to move and develop new characters. I suspect that only Dean Haglund was the only member of the Lone Gunman available for this episode.

    I really like the premise of this episode, and it finally feels like there is a new mythology emerging, and I like the sound of it and the potential possibilities. After the “Super Soldiers” storyline which I did not really care for this feels a better fit for the show, but time will tell. The X Files is notorious for not following through on it’s storylines. The concept reminded me a little of “Kill Switch” 5X11 and of uploading of consciousness.

    The tag line was a bit of a mouthful. I think shorter is better, more memorable, and has more of an impact. If they change the tag lines too often they loose their weight.

    I felt the cinematography was spot on in this episode. It was dark and moody, and had a lot of great nighttime scenes such as the woods outside Mulder and Scullys house. Speaking of their house does Scully live back with him? Or is she just hanging out there?

    The scene in the Arlington graveyard was like the season 10 comics coming to life. In some ways I wish they adapted the mythology from the comics as it was more satisfying than the “My Struggle” episodes. I half expected Mulder and Scully to start digging and find a secret entrance to an underground lair. I loved the bit when they come across Deep Throats grave. It was moving, the score was spot on, and I always love it when x Files strives for some continuity. Mulder makes a remark in “Little Green Men” 2X01 about watching the funeral through binoculars, but we were never really sure if he was serious. But it was touching that he did, as Deep Throat was always a father like figure for Mulder. And in another nod to the season 10 comics they used the given name for Deep Throat. It’s good finally to have a name confirmed after all these years. I think we deserve that. But we’ll always still call them Deep Throat and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. It’s too ingrained not too.

    I’m glad Skinner is being used more effectively, but I would prefer if it was not in a way which has been done to death – who’s side is he really on. We know. I’m really beginning to like the character of Erica Price. I gather Mr. Y is at the top of the chain. It’s starting to feel a bit like James Bond esque organisation, a la Spectre, and I like that.

    The only scene I didn’t like was the one where Mulder and Scully get into the building at the end. Sorry but they wouldn’t have got in simple. If someone’s says I can’t show you my ID then alarm bells would immediately start ringing, but I guess the writer of the episode has to get them in somehow. Love it when Mulder pulls the sick face, when the guard expects Scully to repay the favour. And the other other line about what Mulder can do with his hands cuffed..brilliant. These interactions and chemistry are what make the show. Saying that though sometimes in this episode and the last Mulder doesn’t always sound, emote, or feel like Mulder. It’s like he’s still trying to get back into character still.

    So is poor old Langley still ‘out there’? Why didn’t the other Lone Gunnman get on board and join him? When did Langley do this? Before his death, or after? And who is this woman we’ve never seen before? I find it hard to believe he had a long term relationship with her. His companions were Melvin and John, he didn’t need anybody else. Even John gave up the chance of love with Susan Modesky.

    Overall I found this episode very satisfying and heading in the right direction.

    B+

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