The X-Files Tries Again
The X-Files tries again with its second episode and I’m getting flashbacks again, as Mulder and Scully deal with weirdos, monsters and crazy kids. I guess I’m of two minds on this one. On one hand, it’s a way better episode than the first. Better pace, better dialogue and some better characterizations. On the other hand, it’s just a fluff monster of the week episode. That’s it. It is nothing deep or long-lasting, though the writers were smart enough to tack on something about baby William to make in meaningful.
Everybody hates TV babies, but this didn’t feel like your usual family bait and switch. By golly, there was some actual character development going on in this episode. That’s not to say I’m surprised, though we’ve gotten a lot of hit and miss characterizations in the nine seasons of the original show. The characters we’re seeing in this episode are basically the same ones we’re always known. Mulder is still chasing windmills and Scully is still the doubting Thomas, which is good because we love those character types. But it’s also bad for the writers, who can’t change them too much without losing some of the audience, which basically means 50 year old Mulder and Scully get to be parents from afar.
Anyway, this episode had the strange, weird and crazy elements you might expect from a monster-of-the-week presentation and it works. It references the mythology in the middle of the episode very randomly and that comment by Mulder probably went over everyone’s head. I just dismissed it.
Doug Savant played the evil scientist and did an alright job I guess, but since he was just there to be an antagonist, you can’t say much about his character. Christopher Nolan arguably does a better job as Sonjay and he turns some strange stuff into good acting.
Honestly, I’m not sure how Mulder and Scully got this case to begin with, as they had a scene with an evil guy from the Department of Defense in Skinner’s office at the beginning where he tried to curtail them. That scene really meant nothing, as Mulder and Scully still get access to everything and still talk to everybody involved in the case. I hope the show addresses how Skinner is doing all this.
Overall, this episode was pretty good. It is possible to have a bad monster-of-the-week episode, even though they can be pretty generic, but this one doesn’t stoop to that level. The dialogue seems a lot sharper than the first episode and it’s not all mired in technobabble and alien crapology. I like the improvement.
Top Ten Questions about the Founder’s Mutation:
- Is this a cult or a scientific group? Who calls themselves by a capitalized pseudonym?
- Where’s all the human rights groups that usual bother and invade all these hospitals or sciencey things?
- Who did Mulder and Scully really take over for?
- Why does Skinner have such a small office?
- How much power does Skinner really have? Will this be a story point?
- Where do the kids go now that the Big Bad is dead?
- Did that kid have a psychic power or an electro-psychic power or was he Professor Xavier or what?
- Why does Mulder like rockets?
- What does the reference to Planet of the Apes mean?
- Where is William?