Almost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.
This post covers the second episode of the miniseries, “Founder’s Mutation.” It contains spoilers for this episode as well as the entire original run of The X-Files.
Oh god… I go first this week? This is more terrifying than shoving a letter opener into my own skull or having my brain telekenisised out of every facial orifice.
“Founder’s Mutation” begins with Mulder and Scully back on the case. The show doesn’t mention how much time has passed since the X-Files were reopened at the end of “My Struggle,” but it doesn’t seem like enough time for a government agency, specifically one Skinner called ponderous, to fire up and start accepting cases. I think that can be easily forgiven, however. With only six episodes the whole season, you don’t want epiosde two to be “My Bureaucratic Struggle ” where Mulder fights the violent, uber-fascist fascistocracy to requisition a rolly chair for the office. Jumping directly into the action was a good idea.
Also a good decision was the transition from what seemed to be a very serialized opener to a more episodic format. Given that this season’s finale is entitled “My Struggle II,” I’m guessing that one will try to close up shop. “Founder’s Mutation” hit the sweet spot that shows like Deep Space Nine were so good at, using standalones to contribute to the larger arcs. If I interpreted things correctly, those terrifying laboratories were Department of Defense facilities, likely housing and experimenting on children infused with alien DNA. That adds to the government conspiracy/nonspiracy mytharc, except through a story instead of through exposition. Good stuff.
“Founder’s Mutation” got to be creepy (THOSE BIRDS, THOUGH), violent (you heard that scientist’s skull crack too, right?), and told an interesting story. It also attempted a tug or two at the ‘ole heartstrings. Continue reading