11×09: Nothing Lasts Forever

“I’m sorry, but we’re looking for Barbara Beaumont.” – Dana Scully
“You really don’t recognize me? I’m Barbara. I’m Barbara Beaumont.” — Barbara Beaumont
“We’re looking for an 85-year-old woman.” — Dana Scully
“Yes, well, I look good for my age, don’t I?” — Barbara Beaumont

Mulder and Scully investigate a case centered around organ harvesting and wind up stumbling across a strange cult.

Nothing Lasts Forever

20th Century Fox

Radhika: Well, this was an odd episode, while also being the type of episode that made me regret the burrito I bit into right as I watched a surgeon lick some pancreas. Did that sentence sound bizarre? Good. Because I wound up watching this episode with a detached sense of bemusement for the most part, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but does indicate the generally disorienting nature of it all.

Mulder and Scully get embroiled in a case seemingly about organ harvesting, but there’s a little more to it than meets the eye, including a cult centered around a former child actress who should be 85 years old (but looks a lot younger) and a doctor, who have seemingly been chomping on organs and also surgically attaching themselves to people to absorb their youth. It’s a bizarre monster of the week involving something of a vampiric youth-obsessed theme, as well as themes of revenge, and it’s also kind of grotesque. It’s probably not the strongest or most logical story in the show’s history, but it also manages to feel like it fits the show despite simultaneously seeming a little wacky (even for a series about the paranormal). So I’m not particularly mad that this is the second-to-last episode of the season (series?), though I’m still a little befuddled by it. Continue reading


11×08: Familiar

“I’m not convinced.” — Fox Mulder
“You sure about that Mulder.” — Dana Scully
“I’m not sure about anything.” — Fox Mulder

After the son of a police officer dies, Mulder and Scully are called to a small town to investigate his death, all while uncovering things long buried.


20th Century Fox

Max: With only three episodes left of the season, Radhika and I expressed our interest in wanting to see one really good, creepy Monster of the Week episode before the show signs off — possibly for good. Well, be careful what you wish for, because “Familiar” gave us that and amped the deranged quotient to eleven, giving us a tableaux of violent and eldritch horrors that hearkened back to the days when the strangeness and novelty of The X-Files was still fresh in the minds and imaginations of viewers.

Everything begins so innocently, two moms taking their children to the local playground to burn off energy, when one of the children, Andrew, sees in the forest one of his favorite television show characters, a rather creepy individual known as Mr. Chuckleteeth. When no one is looking, Andrew follows him into the woods and as a result is found dead hours later when a search party locates his mauled corpse. Enter our heroes, as they immediately set up shop and declare that this is a murder despite the fact that the police are ready to call it a wildlife attack. Naturally, as with all things X-Files, cases aren’t so easily closed. Continue reading

11×07: Rm9sbG93ZXJz

“You suck, Mr. Phone.” — Fox Mulder

The machines rise up against Mulder and Scully in an episode that also revisits Mulder’s tendency to be a very bad tipper.


20th Century Fox

Radhika: Before we dive into this week’s discussion, I’d like to start with some shameless self promotion for a podcast Max and I had the honor to be guests on recently — the Not Another X-Files Podcast Podcast! We chatted with the hosts before tonight’s episode aired, but you can mosey on over here to listen to us talk about Season 11, the X-Files’ past and what we hope for in the future. (That is, if you’re interested in experiencing our thoughts outside a written medium).

Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” — which translates to “Followers” in base64. It’s a concept that isn’t particularly new, exploring how dangerous machines might be to us humans, and The X-files has certainly tried to explore it in the past (starting with the less successful “Ghost in the Machine” and also including the flawed but much more enjoyable “Kill Switch”). In an era with shows like Black Mirror and Mr. Robot, this episode isn’t necessarily doing something new. But it managed to feel fresh and different and still appropriate for The X-Files and for that reason, I found it to be one of the more exciting episodes we’ve had this season. Continue reading


11×06: Kitten

“I tried to suppress that mistrust but it gnawed at me. Then you two — you two came along and you taught me not to hide from it but to shine a light directly into the darkest corners.” — Walter Skinner

Upon learning that AD Skinner has gone AWOL, Mulder and Scully dig into his wartime past in search of monsters both real and perceived.


20th Century Fox

Max: Mitch Pileggi has been playing Assistant Director Walter Skinner in one form or another for almost 24 years. Throughout, we have seen a man once thought to be a thorn in the side of our intrepid heroes become a staunch ally — and fan favorite. But this episode does remind us that we know precious little about Walter Sergei Skinner outside glimpses from “Avatar,” “Zero Sum,” and his eloquent monologue about his time in Vietnam during Scully’s harrowing road to recovery in “One Breath.” It is this period in his life that rumbles its way back to the surface in this episode, as Skinner’s complicity in some dirty deeds committed by the United States government come back to haunt him.


20th Century Fox

Called to the office of Deputy Director Kersh (the mustache is back!!!), Mulder and Scully are grilled as to the whereabouts of their immediate supervisor, a question they actually can’t answer, despite Kersh’s belief otherwise. Their investigation brings them to the small town of Mud Lick, Kentucky, where a number of deaths and mysterious happenings occur in the shadows of Glazebrook, a government-run mental hospital. Wanting to make things right with his former comrade-in-arms John “Kitten” James, Skinner comes face-to-face with John’s son Davey, while our heroes work with a local police officer to track down their boss. Continue reading


11×05: Ghouli

“Maybe I should have had the courage to stand by you. But I thought I was being brave because it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done — to let go and to know that I was going to miss your whole life.” — Dana Scully

Mulder and Scully investigate the strange case of a couple of girls who attack each other, claiming to see a monster, but soon realize that the case is more about them.


20th Century Fox

Radhika: We’re halfway through season 11 and it looks like the writers decided to give us an episode that feels like a Monster of the Week, but is really something of a mythology episode in the end. With its spooky opening, this episode feels somewhat vintage X-Files when it starts, but then it digs into the story of Mulder and Scully’s son, William, and we find ourselves in some mixed-up territory.

Mulder and Scully are looking into an X-File (shortly after Scully has a “waking dream” that mirrors the visions she was having in the “My Struggle” episodes) involving two girls who attacked each other, each claiming to have seen a monster that they insist was the culprit. Both teens have a boyfriend in common — a Jackson Van de Kamp, who Mulder and Scully decide to visit, only to find the boy may have killed himself and his parents in a murder-suicide. But something doesn’t feel quite right, and as Scully realizes they’re in the house she was in during her dreamlike episode, she begins to suspect that the case has something to do with William, the son she gave up years ago. Continue reading


11×04: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

“Looks like my ride is here…” — Reggie

Mulder and Scully get roped into the very real delusions of a former civil servant who believes They is out there — with the truth.

The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

20th Century Fox

Max: Right off the bat let me say this, “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” is not the best episode that Darin Morgan has penned for The X-Files. Understandably, there is a great deal of hype and expectation that gets stirred up when we are talking about Mr. Morgan, since his mind is responsible for some of the most indelible images, lines, and laughs that keeps X-Philes coming back for more, including what is considered now perhaps the sole saving grace of last season. It is with this in mind that I come away from this episode bit underwhelmed. Was I expecting the next “Clyde Bruckman” or “Jose Chung”? Perhaps, but at the very least a good Darin Morgan episode is much better than a lot of what television has to offer, and there were a good number of laughs and witty moments to make this one worth anyone’s while. [Editor’s note: Screw it, I loved it. This is some delightful, brilliant stuff.]

Do you remember Nelson Mandela died in the 1980s? Or a how a certain children’s book series about a family of bears spelled the titular family’s name? I do — I think — I mean I can clearly recall seeing Luke Skywalker hang around with his pals at Tosche Station in the original Star Wars film. Memory is a tricky thing, and when you involve a number of people, you get something like the Mandela Effect. Look it up sometime. Continue reading


11×03: Plus One

“I know what you’re thinking Mulder.” — Dana Scully
“Anyone for a game of Hangman?” — Fox Mulder

Our agents find themselves investigating a series of murders involving doppelgängers that may be connected to a pair of twins playing a deadly game.

Plus One

20th Century Fox

Radhika: And we continue on in this new season with a Monster of the Week episode, which didn’t necessarily contain the best case I’ve seen on this show, but did manage to maintain that spooky (yet fun) X-Files atmosphere that feels a lot more like the show I’ve loved all these years. The case was kind of interesting, but the thing that makes the episode is ultimately the Mulder and Scully relationship that has always been at the core of the series.

In this episode, Mulder and Scully investigate a series of murders in which the victims see doubles of themselves before eventually ending up dead. The case finally leads them to a pair of twins (one is institutionalized) telepathically playing a game of “Hangman” that seems to be playing a role in determining who dies next. And while our favorite agents wind up seeing doubles of themselves during the investigation, they manage to survive with the twins instead dying at their own hands. Continue reading