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