Note: this is mostly a review of episode 3, “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” and where it sits in the miniseries. We also have a recap specific to the episode you can read here.
The X-Files does its first humor episode for the reboot / season 10, and — for the most part — it’s a howl … well, if lizards howled. Say what you want about the show, but I always thoroughly enjoyed the humorous episodes of The X-Files. Whether you’re talking about “Arcadia” (where they pretend to be married), “Hollywood A.D.” (where writer/director David Duchovny both laughs with and at Hollywood culture), or my personal favorite “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” (that’s a bleepin’ dead alien!), these episodes took what worked for the show and turned it on its head. They tread that fine line between laughing with and laughing at the show, the fans, and everyone involved.
“Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” is much of the same, taking what we all know and love of the show and yet — for what seems like the first time in this reboot — acknowledging that yes, time has passed. While the first two episodes, for me, came across as trying too hard to forget there’s been 13 years since we last saw this universe, this one joyfully admits it, both for the real world as well as for our characters. Mulder (Duchovny) spends most of the first half of the episode basically telling the kids to get off his lawn, complaining about how there’s just nothing unexplained anymore, while Scully (Gillian Anderson) seems to take to the case that may contain a monster as a way to attempt to cheer Mulder up.
It also pulled out all the stops for humor, from including comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby to having Mulder seen sleeping in red pants and Scully in an imaginary make-out scene that feels like it should be out of the parody porn video, the episode doesn’t really have a single moment that takes itself seriously. There’s a Bela Lugosi wanna-be, Mulder’s ring tone being the theme music for the show, a moment with a secret door and a mask that’s straight out of Scooby Doo, and a fight sequence that is at the same time the best and worst fight scene I’ve seen on the show. There’s also tons of references to prior episodes, as our recap mentions, both funny and sad.
Now that we’re midway through this miniseries, I find myself at a crossroads. With the first two episodes, I had the same reaction that I did when the Star Wars prequel trilogy came out: we waited this long and got this? This episode, however, made me remember why I loved the show so much, while it still pushed forward the idea that time has changed.
I’m also still not 100% liking Mulder this time around. As I’ve stated in my first and second recaps, I’m not sure how much is coming from the fact that I’m a different person than I was 13 years ago, but I’m still finding him extraordinarily frustrating. There’s a scene where he’s monologuing to Scully, and basically predicting what she’s going to say. While on the surface, it’s part of the humor, after a moment I found myself ticked off that he wouldn’t even let her talk for herself. There’s also some humor with a hooker that feels very ’90s in its cluelessness.
I’ve given up believing this six-episode miniseries will answer any questions we may have about the overall plot of our characters, whether it’s the eventual fate of William, why CSM is still somehow alive, or even what conspiracy theory to believe in currently.
However, I finally felt like I was watching a good episode of The X-Files. With three episodes to go, I can only hope it’s not a fluke, man.
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[Also published on SciFi4Me]