The X-Files - This
Oh come on Mulder, the episode wasn't that bad.
There was some great action, some funny bits, some awesome Langly moments and well, okay, the end kind of undercut the entire episode. But we expected a little kicker right?
Something had to happen right at the end.
The second entry in season 11 of The X-Files, "This" gave us great insight into what it is to be Mulder And Scully.
They are just two human beings like the rest of us. Trying to enjoy a little bliss together in the warmth of their home. They are comforted by the quietude they share on the couch, eyes closed as the TV drones on silently.
Of course, these two aren't quite like the rest of us. Only in their world would a cell phone come to life with a being long thought to be dead. Naturally, this is followed by a hail of gunfire shattering their erstwhile domesticity.
Sigh, at least they have each other.
To tell you the truth, I was looking at this episode all the wrong way. I thought this was going to be just a "Stand Alone" episode. Perhaps we'd get a little of the mythology just to whet our appetites and a dash of "William" to keep us on edge.
First of all, THERE WAS NO WILLIAM. Not even a sniff.
Secondly, since it took me a day to realize what it was really about, I now appreciate it a lot more.
What it's like to walk in Mulder and Scully's shoes. Awesome.
What I Liked
The gravestone hunt was a lot of fun. It had a real, "Tomb Raider" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark" vibe to it. Finding clues, deciphering them and then moving on to the next level. I loved it. (Julie Ng did a documentary on the X-Files in 2015.)
The reference to "Deep Throat" from season one was so great. I loved Jerry Hardin in that role. I was so bummed when they killed him off. (Like Star Trek Discovery bummed when "You know who" was just killed off.)
Of course, any episode that has a "Lone Gunmen" reference is to be treasured. Anybody know who the fourth person is in that picture?
The use of the darkened woods was a great callback to the early days. Vancouver and it's environs really gave the X-Files its spooky mood. When everything moved to L.A. it was a little jarring. Not the same creep factor. (Well, L.A. is creepy in its own way. Let's not go there.)
The humor was classic X-Files too.
The muffins that were so good, who would care if they came out of an alien's butt.
The "Spank Bank" file that was in Frohike's database. You could see Scully suck in a breath as if to say. "Oh God, do we really have to click on that?" I was a little nervous myself. What if Frohike had cut and pasted himself with Dana in compromising positions. (Maybe that's in the XXX files!)
There was that great moment when Scully referred to someone, "Seeing Mulder in his dreams" and Fox replied. "Who doesn't?". It fell so flat for him he had to cough and nearly will himself invisible. Not in this day and age Mulder!
There was also that line about "Chaos and Control" Mulder offered to Erika Price. That had to be a clever little reference to the old "Get Smart" TV series. "Kaos" being the bad guy organization bent of dominating the world. "Control" where Maxwell Smart worked, being the beacon of upstanding truth that stood against evil. Glen Morgan must have been a fan.
The X-Files, Topical as Always
Skinner delivered that line about the FBI not being so popular in the White House these days. You think? What with the Mueller investigation and all. We saw "The President" in the opening episode too. I wonder how much today's political mood will permeate the X-Files? (Maybe the President will turn out to be an Alien.)
We had to get a little Russian involvement too. Naturally, they are secretly working inside the U.S. government as a contractor. I guess where we know where the X-Files falls in the political spectrum.
There was the title card too.
A whole lot of finger pointing going on in this day and age. (Tin foil hat alert! I'm sure the Commander in Chief will be an alien by the end of the season.)
What I Didn't Like
The new new Syndicate being behind the virtual "prison" Langley found himself in. And really? After all that work by Mulder and Scully and they get away with it in the end?
I guess its very X-Files. Always the uphill battle. So, I gather they are going to colonize space using everyone's virtual self? Ambitious.
BTW, was there a plot hole in this episode where The Syndicate tried to kill Mulder and Scully? Don't they they need them alive to find the Cigarette Smoking Man? Not to mention William. Why try to kill them? Just follow them till you get what you need.
There was some Patriot hate in The X-Files? Et Tu, Glen Morgan? Et Tu?
Speaking of plot to kill Mulder and Scully
Who is this freaky guy?
It's "A" cameraman first assistant, Dean Friss. What a great face, no wonder they used him! You could not kill this guy. But, he appeared both alive and dead in the closing moments. (You have to be dead to be in the virtual world as explained by Langly and Prof. Hamby.) Is he both dead and alive? Does he know something we don't?
This X-Files may have been a bit of a mixed bag for some. But like all things that are to be appreciated, sometimes it takes a little aging to bring out its best. If you didn't like the episode, revisit it again sometime. Perhaps it will be like a fine wine for you after a while.
Just don't wait until you're in the virtual world. Someone just might pull the plug!