In Review: The X-Files, Episode 3 “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster”

First half fun, last half overdone. File under: Could Have Been.

The X-Files, Episode 3 “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” Broadcast on February 1, 2016

Written by Darin Morgan

Directed by Darin Morgan

Under a cloudy full moon, a couple are in a forest, huffing spray paint. The woman gets the man to stop for a moment and look up in the sky. “Life is so amazing. Maybe we shouldn’t waste it by getting high all the time.” Her companion replies, “No. I think about how I wish I was a werewolf.” Before their conversation gets much further, they hear groans and screams. Looking through the bush they see a scale covered man throttling his victim. The creature sees the couple, hisses, and runs off. “Did that just happen?” the wasted werewolf wannabe asks. The victim moans — he’s not dead. However, another victim won’t be rising, his throat’s been torn open. “I don’t think that dude’s okay,” the man says to the woman before taking another huff. Cue opening title sequence and first commercial break.

This looked like it was going to be a humorous classic, but the story fell apart. The beginning was fantastic, as Mulder is going through middle aged pangs, wondering if his life has been for naught. Scully was an absolute beacon of joy, happy to be back in the X-Files and running around with Fox. The supporting cast was good: Rhys Darby as Guy Mann was fun; Richard Newman as a nutsy psychologist, and Alex Diakun as a manager with several surprises. Kumail Nanijani was fun, too, until the script had him going too far, and that’s the biggest complaint with this story — it goes too far. Usually comedic X-Files’ episodes wink at the viewer. Not this time. Everything is spelled out for the viewer, including how the creature’s life is tied to that of Mulder’s. The appeal was gone after the scene at the graveyard went on, and on, and on, and on. I don’t think so much needed to be spelled out for the viewer — what should have taken ten minutes took double that time, and included the unnecessary inclusion of a dog. This entire flashback sequence was too preachy; I felt as though I was being lectured to, rather than involved in a story. The only highlight of this flashback was Scully’s involvement, which was laugh out loud funny. This was too much explaining, and not enough mystery.

The good: Gillian Anderson having some of the best lines ever, David Duchovny playing lost Mulder, Alex Diakun playing sleezy, fun monster design and make-up (reminded me of Star Trek’s Jem’Hadar), excellent opening shot of Mulder’s iconic poster, great music from Mark Snow, and check out the names on the tombstones.

Fun lines: “Mulder, have you been taking your meds?”, “That’s how I’d like to go out,” “Boxers or briefs?”, “Are you?”, “Yeah!”, “What is that?”, “Mulder, the Internet is not good for you,” “Yeah, this is how I like my Mulder,” “Who the hell knows?”, “I’m back, baby!”, “C’mon, I wanna make you say ‘Cheese’,” and “Likewise.”

The bad: Too much explaining, having the story just grind to a halt from the graveyard on, the Kolchak tease of Guy Mann’s clothes (Awwww…I was hoping for something….better), and Fox’s ringtone — the episode officially jumped the shark there.

The final line: First half fun, last half overdone. File under: Could Have Been. Okay, we’ve had the silly episode. Can we go back to serious stuff? Overall grade: C+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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