Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The X-Files Revival: S10X03 Mulder and Scully
Hold up in his office, Mulder is questioning his middle-agedness. Nearly all of the cases he and Scully investigated, or runs that excited him the most about the possibilities of the world, have been solved - either through technology, a weather phenomenon, or hoaxes. It's safe to assume that the sails have been knocked out for him, and he immediately realizes the childish naivete he had all those years ago.
Until Scully springs a new case on them: it's got monsters in it. Well, a monster to be exact. Out in the middle of a small Oregon town (where everyone nearly seems to high off their rocker), a series of animal attacks on humans brings the agents out to investigate. Mulder begins leaning towards a lizard-man Guy Mann (played by Rhys Darby) as the culprit, while Scully sorta sits back and enjoys this new side of Mulder. A side of Mulder who now uses the internet for all of his google-searching on supernatural phenomena, and a new app he hopes will help him capture phenomena on his phone. What would the Lone Gunmen think about this?
Darin Morgan has written and directed a few fair favorites of the series so far - War of the Coprophages might be my all-time favorite. This story that he brought to Chris Carter for the mini series had been scrambling about in his brain until the original series, and you can totally tell - this episode goes far beyond just a throw-in homage to all of the tiny, minute details fans know about - the two paint-huffing stoners, how Mulder and Scully are supposed to die, Dagoo, and so much more! There's some hidden details even die-hard fans caught that I never believed could be caught. What Morgan brings back is the humor and horror that was so memorable about the monster-of-the-week style.
It's not hard to do when Darby as Mann is so charming. His monologue of being a human sized lizard, becoming a human and facing the confusing trials of what mankind puts itself through - getting dressed, getting a job, keeping a job he hates, worry about retirement and the future, is funny and touching.
As funny as the episode is, it's heartwarming too. Mulder starts out very much in a skeptic Scully sorta way; sulking in the corner of his office and struggling to believe what he wants to believe. And, this case comes along that takes them on a wild goose chase. Scully into the lair of who the serial killer is, and Mulder into understanding who and what Mann is - a human-sized lizard man.
The newer episode are also treading the fine line of handling the advancement of modern technology since the series finale. Staples of the original series was big honkin' computers hardly hooked up to the internet and landlines. If Scully and Mulder went on an adventure together, or separate, they had to be near a payphone or phone in general to stay in contact to the outside world. Now, the world is so much smaller with the internet. While the agents now are not completely obtuse to today's world, their work is not grounded in constantly being hooked to smartphones. Again, another nice touch accomplished between Mulder and Mann.
My only complaint for the mini-series so far is Scully - there just isn't enough of her (well, in this episode we see enough of her in the best ways but there just isn't enough of Gillian). While I would've liked to have seen more of Scully for the mini-series so far, this is another tall-tale of Mulder relinquishing to the truth. It's not necessarily about proving something deep about the truth being out there - you gotta believe it in your heart. He makes a genuine connection to Mann, and we certainly do too. By the ending credits, this episode brings on the feels and has us frolicking with rejuvenated hope. This is the way we like our Mulder and our X-Files.