The X-Files - The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

That, my friends, was a modern day classic.

It was so wonderful to behold I'm not sure I should even blog on it.  Maybe instead, I should just preserve it as a memory and cherish it.

You know, like it was Jell-O.  Or was it Goop-O?


This particular entry into the annals of the X-Files had everything a fan could want.  Humor, pathos, irony, meta-commentary, politics, love and grief.  Yes, even grief.  

No, not the grief that Mulder is dead, although I do think there is a clue in there for us to stow away.  It's the grief of nostalgia, of a time gone by when The X-Files was appointment TV.  Back when they turned out such classics like, "Tooms", "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Home".  That clip where Reggie was inserted into all of the above was both hilarious and poignant.  Such great memories.

I know some people are disaffected in the direction of the X-files this season.  But, the second half of the season is as promising as this episode was delightful, then we are in for a great ride.  

Let's take a look at some major points.


Like Fox Mulder I grew up watching those old reruns of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Night Gallery.  The creepier the better.  I had visions of Zanti crawling over me at night.  Or better yet, finding an inter-dimensional door behind my bed.  (Naturally, the dog would find me.)

How cool was it to this homage of, "To Serve Man" when the Alien descended from his craft late in the episode and handed a book to Mulder.


Ah, memories, these are the things that (happily) scar you for life.  Fortunately, Mulder's book contained all the answers not recipes.

While we're at it, that spacecraft the alien descended from looked a lot like the UFO that was featured in the old series called, "The Invaders" that ran from 1967 to 1968.

Here's a comparison.

Pretty damn close!

I swear "Dr. They" was a homage to another great character from the Sixties...

...Uncle Fester of course.  Racoon eyes!


I'm not sure what all the Sixties references are for.  In the first episode of this new season we saw a car chase between Mulder's Mustang and the new Dodge Charger.  Just like in the 1968 movie, "Bullitt".  The second episode had an oblique reference to "Get Smart".  "Plus One" had Patty Duke playing on the TV.  This episode was a treasure trove of Sixties Easter Eggs.

What gives?

Steve and I do an X-Files podcast and Steve has this great theory that Mulder is in a coma left over from the incident on the 14th street bridge that concluded season 10.  If you follow this logic, all this season is a delusion of Mulder's as he lies in a hospital bed waiting for William's stem cells.

Maybe as Mulder wastes away he is seeing his life flash before his eyes including watching all those reruns of the Sixties classics.  He does so because it's the things that make him happy.  Working cases with Scully, reliving his youth and in a meta sense, having actors from previous episodes take part in this season of coma induced dreams.  Very nostalgic and very Psych 101.

This is why I think Dr. They calling Mulder, "Dead" in the episode was a deep clue to his real condition.  Well, not really dead but near death and in a coma.

Make sense?

Reggie Something


The real star of the episode was, of course, Reggie.

The man that never was.  The man with all the answers but none of the proof.  

A bravura performance from Brian Huskey who is known for his comedic chops.  Check him out in, "People of Earth", "Veep" and his voice work in "Bob's Burgers".  I don't think I'll be able to see forehead sweat without thinking of him!

We've actually seen Reggie before in episode 2 of this season, "This".  As Mulder rifled through all the digital X-Files we got a quick look at Reggie's ID.  Here is a look.

The funny thing about this ID is the slipshod way it was made.  Almost if Reggie did it himself.

Did he?

His story about being employed as a civil servant in an improbable amount of jobs actually seems believable.

From working in the Post Office to the IRS, the SEC (sleeping on the job) the Justice department, the CIA (waterboarding a prisoner in the same cubicle) to the Pentagon, (Boom goes the wedding cake!) and finally to the NSA where he discovers Mulder and Scully.  (BTW, watch his plant during that clip, it goes from hale and hardy to limp and dead until it is replaced by a cactus.)

Reggie falls in love with Mulder and Scully the same way we did.  By sharing their adventures, the flights of fancy, the danger, the paranoia and the willingness to fight the good fight.  To protect your country and what you know to be true.  Especially, when the odds are stacked against you.

(GIF courtesy of Forever Young Adult.)

That clip where Reggie re-imagines the X-Files "intro" followed by inserting himself into some of their most memorable cases (Tooms and Clyde Bruckman!) was pure genius.

The final case they share was one for the books too.

The Alien with the moving steps that don't go all the way to the bottom.  The Segway that he uses to roll up to our trio.  (Obviously an advanced species.)  So great.

Naturally, we can't go without a little metacommentary.  Not only is this funny but it is sharp and incisive.  Plus, to think, in a universe where we are not alone, we truly are.

Because we lie!  Sigh, at least we're free to explore Uranus.

As Reggie is taken away we are left with one last mind bender. 

Of course Skinner knows who Reggie is.  Now we are left to question everything once again.

And that's the point.  We truly are on our own.  All we have is each other.  Or as Reggie so succinctly put it,

"Maybe the point wasn’t to find the truth but to find each other, for no matter where we go in our lives we will always have the memories of our time together, and no one can take those away."

Thank you Reggie.

Odds and Ends

I loved the cinematic technique behind putting the shadow of Mulder's "X" signal across his face.  It had a real film noir feel to it.

The Political Commentary


The "Some Things Never Change" department.  Yesterday's wink at collusion with Nazi Germany mirrors today's link to Putin's Russia.

Just when you think "Dirty Tricks" are a thing of the past.  Yesterday's scoundrel in Richard Nixon is replaced by today's Trump.


You can't have a little political commentary without a tip of the hat to #MAGA.  "Hundreds of millions in attendance".

Death by lawn darts or "Jarts".  There were 6,700 reported injuries related to lawn darts including 3 fatalities.  Holy sh*t!

You really had to feel for Mulder in this episode.  A lifetime of searching for the truth only to be confronted with today's disdain for it.  Ouch.  (As this scene faded out there was subdued laughter deeply embedded in the background.  Et-tu creepy sculpture?)

Aw, what the heck, one last loving look at Reggie.  Hauled away in the ambulance for that one way trip to the Spotnitz Sanitarium.  Frank Spotnitz being the long time producer of the X-Files.  I guess you have to be a little crazy to be one of the geniuses behind this show.  (The Man in the High Castle too!)

Well, back to "Reality" with the next episode.  Damn.  At least we are promised some more clues about William.  (Who?)

I'm off to visit Reg at the sanitarium and bring him a new plant to talk to.  See you next week!




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