Review: X-Files S10E3

Review: The X-Files - "Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster"

By: Matt Spaulding

This episode opened on a couple huffing paint in the woods. They hear a sound through the trees and when they look the see a couple of men apparently being attacked by a scaly monster. The monster runs off and we're sent into the credits wondering if that really happened (they were huffing paint, after all).

After the opening credits, we find a Mulder we've never seen before: skeptic Mulder. He's found that, in the age of greater scientific discovery, cell phones with cameras and the spread of information via the Internet, that everything he's spent his life chasing has been explained. There are no paranormal phenomenon left and probably never were any to begin with. He's despondent. And then Scully walks in to his office with a case about a monster.

 

What follows is one of the best episodes of The X-Files in a very long time. It's funny, it's well acted, well written and well shot. Scully's attempts to reinvigorate Mulder and make him believe again coupled with Mulder's newfound outright skepticism (leading to a wonderful gag where he just holds his cell phone out in front of him taking constant pictures trying to capture the monster he doesn't believe in) is a joy to watch. And it all culminates wonderfully in totally unexpected yet totally brilliant twist at the end.

It's clear to me everyone making this episode had just as much fun making it as I did watching it. Duchovony and Anderson are on their "A" game, as are guest stars Rhys Darby and Kumail Nanjiani. I loved the emotion in this episode because it felt so genuine. As a skeptic myself (one who actually used to believe in lake monsters, and bigfoot and UFOs back in the days that Mulder first did) I especially enjoyed the scenes of Mulder being a skeptic because they highlighted a familiar path for me (though I was much much less disappointed than he was. As in, I wasn't disappointed at all. But still). And Scully's attempt to bring belief back into Mulder's life to make him the person she knows and loves were heartwarming.

A truly classic episode, I give this one a solid A.