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.

Kitten

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.

Kitten

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

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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.

Ghouli

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

11×02: This

“Mulder, do gravediggers work at night?” — Dana Scully

After a cell phone transmission in the guise of Richard Langly interrupts an evening of going over old files, Mulder and Scully find themselves ensnared in a top secret program with implications of potential immortality.

This

20th Century Fox

Max: Well, that was certainly a marked improvement over last week. An episode positively bursting with ideas and the frenetic edge-of-your-seat pace of the very best of classic X-Files, “This” sees our heroes stare down the machinations of quasi-state actors intent on abusing the dreams and goodwill of others to further an amorphous agenda of sinister design.

The aforementioned transmission brings our dynamic duo into conflict with Titanpointe, a Russia-based intelligence operation sponsored by the United States government and seemingly headed by Erika Price, the woman Mulder encountered last episode as she let him in on an operation counter to that of the CSM. Here, we gain knowledge of a program that Lone Gunman Richard Langly and his friend — mathematician Dr. Karah Hamby — participated in which involved duplicating their biological brains so that their consciousness may live forever inside a computer simulation. Little did they know that this simulation was merely a conduit so that operations like Titanpointe can use their minds to work on problems and projects that require great brain and computing power. Continue reading

The X-Files Season 10: Our Final Thoughts

In lieu of the best and worst roundup we wrote each season while rewatching The X-Files’ original run, we’re going to summarize our thoughts on season 10. Here’s what we thought worked, didn’t work and what we hope to see in what seems to be an inevitable season 11.

Founder's Mutation

20th Century Fox

Radhika: The six-episode miniseries that was highly anticipated by even the most cynical of X-Philes has drawn to a close and this has us mulling quite a few things over. After solid ratings, a cliffhanger ending and interviews indicating that the show will probably be back in some form, it looks like we’ll get to see more of The X-Files at some point. But is it what we need?

Despite the fact that the revival ultimately left me with mixed feelings, I remain interested in seeing what more the show has to offer. What we received in this mini season was not the show at its highest quality, but it affirmed my belief that as much as I enjoy The X-Files: Fight the Future, The X-Files is best in the medium where it got its start: Television. Continue reading

10×05: Babylon

“Dude, I was on fire.” — Fox Mulder
“Dude, you were an embarrassment.” — Walter Skinner

A bombing at a Texas art gallery sends Mulder on a Magical Mystery Tour as he tries to figure out a way to communicate with a terrorist in a vegetative state.

Babylon

20th Century Fox

Radhika: I love The X-Files. I love The X-Files enough to admit when I don’t like an episode — and frankly, I did not like this one. The hot mess I saw on my television screen tonight further confirmed suspicions that many fans have at this point: Chris Carter may have been brilliant enough to come up with a wonderful concept, but he often manages to write his own show into the ground. This episode, penned by the creator himself addresses the subjects of terrorism and religion while trying to incorporate elements of comedy. But while a number of comedic X-Files episodes can be considered some of the series’ best, this episode falls short and instead just leaves you with a terrible overplayed Lumineers song stuck in your head. Continue reading