This has been the best X-Files episode since 1998! I’m so happy. I don’t care if half the internet thinks it was crap, because this has been the funniest thing since Bad Blood and a beautifully scripted, acted and produced homage to all the fun and excitement that was the Monster of the Week.
What we have here is an entire episode that’s basically one big joke, where every line is a punchline and pretty much every shot is some kind of in-joke. I giggled, laughed and screamed, I actually bounced up and down in my seat with delight. It was wonderful.
Who would have thought series 10 could create a cult episode. I really didn’t expect that. But this one is way up there with Bad Blood, Arcadia, Detour, Small Potatoes, Humbug and deserves a place among the best Monster of the Week cases in the history of The X-Files.
Let’s look at a few (ahem, many) favourite moments from this episode.
Act 1: Scully, I’ve had enough of believing.
Mulder has got the blues:
What’s up, Spooky?
“Scully, since we’ve been away much of the unexplained has been explained.”
Oh dear. Mulder has lost his faith.
There seems to be a bit of a mid-life crisis involved as well.
“Is this really how I want to spend the rest of my days, chasing after monsters?”
“We’ve been given another case, Mulder. It has a monster in it.”
Act 2: Let’s hunt us a monster
Look, it’s like in the old days! With better fashion choices.
Mulder pulling out ALL THE ARGUMENTS against monsters while Scully tries to argue away the rational explanations. Wait, something ain’t right. Or, as Scully sums it up:
“Mulder, I can see you’re going through a questioning phase of some sort.”
A guide to hunting monsters in the 21st century:
1.) Assess the witness’s descriptions. Deal with the important questions first:
Scully: “It had a horn? Like a unicorn?”
2.) Get out your smartphone and document EVERYTHING.
2.1.) Make sure the camera is pointing the right way.
Meanwhile, Scully takes a more old-fashioned approach:
“If this thing looks like the drawing I’m emptying my clip into it, even if it is in its underwear.”
3.) Do an autopsy. Or, just goggle it.
4.) Argue over science like in the good old days.
Scully: “What, so now you’re saying that you were attacked by a six-foot horny toad?”
Mulder: “Whoa, let’s just keep this within the real of the natural sciences, shall we?”
Oh Mulder, you’ve changed.
No wait, actually, not.
“So, we’re looking for a man-sized horned lizard with human teeth? Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?!”
Banter aside though, look at Scully’s face in this scene. Look how hard she’s trying to keep the joy inside. Look how much she enjoys being back on the job. She admits as much to Mulder, but really what’s going on here is that she’s totally loving being back with him…and it just breaks my heart that she can’t say it.
So finally, Mulder accepts that what they’re chasing is a monster, delivering a lengthy monologue in the style of the good old days. Let me sum it up for you:
And Scully’s like,
5.) Find the monster.
Rhys Darby is just fabulous in the role of the lizard man turned human, struggling with all the confusions and complexities of adapting to life as a human.
By this point we have also finally accepted that this episode is one gigantic piss-take of itself, and of every Monster of the Week ever, and not to be taken seriously. (Which someone should tell all the fans on the internet who’ve been ranting and complaining. Grow a sense of humour, please.)
After a lengthy, Jack Daniels fuelled conversation between Mulder and the lizard man about what it means to become human and why it totally sucks –
– it also turns out that the monster isn’t really a monster. Because, what if the humans are the real monsters?!
Luckily Scully figured that out ages ago, so while Mulder sleeps it off she goes and sorts out the case, arrests the monster and adopts a puppy.
Mulder finally gets over his questioning phase:
So there. It’s all good. The end.