Mulder and Scully track investigate a series of murders suggesting a lizard-man is involved. Through a series of light-hearted calamities and tech-mishaps, Mulder discovers the creature represents the reverse telling of the were mythos and struggles to believe in such an entity after years of dissolving his own conclusions on such matters.
It originally took three seasons to generate the concept of unusual humor diced in with the serialized serious tone the series had normally been known for. After two episodes into season 10, the decision to return the agents into that comedic paradigm has both good and bad elements to explore, most of which are centered around Mulder’s middle-age crisis on his belief in not just the paranormal, but the creature-aspect as well. It was a rough plot to sit through, but the last act did manage to resonate on old fears and reinstitute that just because most things don’t exist, doesn’t mean all of it doesn’t.
A couple in the woods decide to get high on spray paint and notice a…you know what? I can’t write this recap. It’s too ridiculous. I’m just going to skip to the next section if that’s alright.
The last act helped put things in perspective for Mulder and it’s interesting that they chose a comedy episode to do it in. Twice we’ve seen Mulder give in to the charade that has plagued his life. What baffles me is how after so many years he’s so ready and willing to discount everything he’s personally seen including the existence of so many forms of creatures. By seeing one again, he’s back to the wonder of his youthful self when it was easy to believe in that phenomena. I doubt this will have a lasting effect on the agent, but at least the story is generally centered around a defeated personality that is too cynical even for Scully. What this season needs to remind us in so few episodes is that Mulder is in a lot of denial over what he’s seen over the years. It’s all being washed away by simpler concepts and only when it hits him right in the face will he return to those roots and be as he once was.
I’ve always believed that all X-File related comedy episodes take place in their own universe apart from generally accepted darker tone of the franchise. Episodes like “Hollywood A.D” “Dreamland” and “Improbable” are given such a fantastic approach to the world they live in that to view these episodes in their hilarity means to suspend all disbelief that the world they inhabit could be this sardonic and bi-polar in nature. In any case, They wanted to remind the fans that they didn’t forget about this funny dimension where everything is just a little out of sync and even the agents just don’t notice because they’re too busy living their cynical lives to wonder.
Having said that, this was still a very awkward episode to watch, and placed too soon in the list of episodes that “need to be told” in season 10. New fans simply won’t understand the sudden switch into the comedy realm so quick and now will expect it probably by the 5th episode. The concept of the reverse were tale was something I would have expected in a show that once aired and ended on SyFy. What saved it was how the lizard-man connected with Mulder and how it parodied the status-quo life of a human in general. In a way it represents that aspect of Mulder that also grew up and became disillusioned with his life and whether Mulder understood it or not isn’t the point, but that he found a spark of his old self in seeing the unbelievable before him. Still, this was a hard episode to sit through based on the plot alone.
I also wasn’t expecting such a wild moment with the way Scully was depicted in the lizard-man’s fantasy. If I was in my 90’s mindset, I’d have probably watch that part a dozen times, but seeing it now was just strange. Not to say it wasn’t a surreal and candid moment for the actress, but it just made little sense except to accentuate the robust nature of a man who sexualizes in the same manner as the “typical” male would given his vanilla-driven life. Even Mulder didn’t think of her like that…allegedly.
When Mulder rants to Scully and doesn’t let her rebuttal with him on her thoughts about the case. It was classic Mulder but this time he finished Scully’s sentences for her. I almost feel the entire episode was written just for this scene in mind. It shows they can still perform at a caliber that seems like nothing’s changed over the years, and even more so, it’s like how a married couple would react if one just knew what the other would say given any typical situation in their lives. Mulder is just good at ranting.
The lizard-man was unbelievable and for this moment, he deserves some credit for at least playing the part of a crazed middle-life male who adapted to conformity as an instinct just as a werewolf would when it became the creature. I just wonder why they played at him having such an over-done accent.
I’m still at a loss with why Mulder would be so out of touch with things like phone tech. Just because we haven’t seen his character interact with the world for years doesn’t mean he just lived without some form of progressive technology at his disposal. Sure he’s avoiding the “government”, but he also gave up that part of his life, twice.
The grave that Mulder passed out in front of is Kim Manners, a producer and writer of the show way back when. I couldn’t find anything on the other gravestone.
Also, I refuse to believe Mulder actually has the X-Files ringtone on his cell. I guarantee that ringtone will not go off in any serious episode from here on out. Still, it was funny to hear.
This season so far has been extraordinarily well lit which is something I’m not used to on this franchise. Even in comedy episodes, there’s still a resonate tone that fits with the same lighting scheme, but now we’re digital and it’s all too clean. If they’re going to remind us how 90’s and out of touch Mulder is, they should probably dust off that old film quality too, I wouldn’t mind.
They never really clarified how a human bite could turn the lizard-man into a were-human as it were. Does that mean anyone could have done it, or did it have to specifically be that animal catcher?
6 out of 10. Even with a sentimental ending that gave Mulder a moment to reflect on his beliefs in the supernatural, I think it was way too soon to introduce the comedy genre that gave the X-Files a different lens to view through. We’re already halfway through the season, and we’re nowhere close to understand what this show is trying to do. Is it only using these 6 episodes to bring about a new set of characters to breathe life into the show? Is it just a reunion that isn’t meant to have longevity therefore we’ll get an episode that details all the different tones this series has come across? At this point, I just can’t make a real guess except that nothing will be essentially wrapped up by the finale. As a stand-alone, this episode was over-the-top, goofy, and lackadaisical, offering nothing more than the over-satirized theme that the older we get, the more bland our reality becomes. Mulder is better than that. Let’s hope he continues to find his belief that the truth is out there. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next week.
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