“Through some blood curse, this man undergoes some kind of nocturnal transformation. He becomes the same shape-shifting trickster as that mythical dog.” — Fox Mulder
“So what is he going to do? Walk in here, skitter across the linoleum and pee in the corners?” — Dana Scully
Mulder and Scully investigate a number of killings blamed on a dog that is believed to be extinct.
Radhika: Every once in a while, an X-Files episode will annoy me, not just because it’s outright bad, but because it’s boring — the worst sin the show can commit. “Alpha” fulfills the role of the boring episode in season six, and my mind was wandering throughout this rewatch just as much as it did the first time I watched it more than a decade ago.
Mulder receives word of an animal attack on a ship from Karin Berquist, a canine expert, which of course means that he and Scully end up on the case. The dog’s owner Dr. Ian Detweiler says the dog is a Wanshang Dhole, an Asian species believed to be extinct. More attacks occur and Mulder comes to believe the dog has near-human intelligence. As time goes on, we come to realize the dog is capable of mimicking any shape and Mulder eventually believes Detweiler is the animal, tranquilizing himself to stop attacks. It all comes to an end when Detweiler, who indeed does transform into the dhole, ends up in a confrontation with Berquist and both die in a fall out of a window. Continue reading