There will be spoilers, so, you know, make your choice now.
We good? Ok. This first episode back to the paranoid, cell phone driven sci-fi drama XFiles on Fox is exactly what we probably expected: nine seasons of Mulder and Scully behaviours condensed into an hour of OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING? And most of us are probably quite happy with that.
The usual pseudo science and baffling personal dynamic aside, we all love this show even though the films tried super hard to kill this beloved franchise. But they can’t. The heart is not only beating, but it’s been given a shot of adrenaline and a few lines of coke.
Let us now briefly attempt to explore the plot a tad:
We open with a dry Mulder voice over (a time tested XFiles device) recapping stuff many of us know already. This is comforting for some and essential for newbies. We then see what is assumed to be the Roswell crash site. We’ll return here periodically throughout the hour to see a character we’ll call Dr. Facial Mole have many ethical conundrums about the alien survivor.
Meanwhile, Scully is called out of surgery (does not happen in real life) by our old friend Assistant Director Skinner to find Mulder, like Dr. Dana Scully has nothing better to do than be Mulder’s assistant. But nobody else knows how to reach Mulder as he stews in a tiny house.
Tad O’Malley, an Alex Jones type played with unironic aplomb by The Soup and Community fave Joel Mchale, wants to introduce Mulder and Scully to Sveta, a supposed multiple alien abductee. They meet her and she says all the right things, though she seems to take her cues from O’Malley. Scully is persuaded to test her DNA (which is not a thing surgeons do, but whatevs). Scully is then prompted to test her own DNA.
Mulder is initially disdainful of O’Malley, whom he describes as a right wing nut, but after seeing Sveta’s scoop scars (an alien abductee thing, natch) and one alien ship replica in a Farraday cage, he is naturally 100 percent convinced of something he calls Scully frantically about but fails to explain.
Mulder also meets secretly with the now elderly Dr. Facial Mole. They speak hurriedly and vaguely about being close to something, which is another beloved XFiles device, and then Mulder has a sort of mental break down (natch) in front of Scully and she pouts and is sad and leaves and gets back DNA results way too fast.
She meets up with Mulder and O’Malley and Sveta again, thought we’re not sure why and it seems like a scene explaining all this is cut. Scully is sceptical because it seems O’Malley as a thing for her (duh), plus he talked about her on his wacko conspiracy show and the good she does for earless children. You know they will go somewhere with this, but for now we have to table the earless children.
During this meeting, it is evident Mulder totally agrees with O’Malley, the guy he hated like two days ago, and the two men go on a wackadoodle chem trails/elite world government/FEMA camp rant. Scully shuts it all down by saying Sveta’s test results came back negative and she walks out and all but drops the mic.
After the commercial break, we find out Sveta is publicly recanting everything she said to O’Malley, claiming he set her up. We also see the ship destroyed, its curators killed, and O’Malley’s site is 404ed. Now even Scully is worried. She gets back repeat DNA tests (again, way too fast for real life) and sees Mulder in a subterranean parking lot (like ya do) and says she and Sveta have the same sequences. Then a ship stalls out Sveta’s car, blows her up, and the freaking Smoking Man is on the phone with someone (OMG DIDN’T HE DIE IN THE FINALE?!). His hand is burnt and he’s still smoking through the trach hole.
So now we’re set up for the next episode and we can imagine they’ll grace us with plot and meaning. But that was still amazing! It was like a first date at a rave (so 90s) followed by roller coasters.
Some observations, as I am the resident science jerk:
1. Scully’s scrubs fit beautifully, which I promise you doesn’t happen in the real world.
2. How is she getting so much blood spray from ear surgery? Why isn’t she following blood protocol when that happens? Hospitals are insane about hepetitis.
3. DNA NEVER COMES BACK THAT FAST. THANKS A LOT, CSI.
4. Mulder may benefit from a little anxiolytic prescription. Just saying. No judgment.
5. After all these years he still hasn’t figured out how to treat DOCTOR Dana Scully with a certain amount of professional respect? No wonder she dumped his ass.
6. The car stalling phenomenon is an actual thing I have experienced, in Nevada, as I was driving a couple hundred miles outside a certain base at night, on a public freeway, while very odd lights were overhead. It did, however, take a few hours for my car to stall out and die completely. The alternator crumbled to dust when the mechanic took it out. I, like Scully, am sure there is a scientific explanation.
Some acting notes:
Flawless. I have none. These are the people we know and love. They are right back on the bike. Duchovny, Anderson, Pileggi, Davis, all huggably their people. And the new cast are fantastic. Well done.
Now we breathlessly await the next one!