It took me a little bit to get into the right headspace for this week’s episode, I have to say. After last week’s back-to-back episode premiere, I was in full-on hardcore conspiracy mode! I wanted aliens! Dark government secrets and creepy old smoking guys! Emotionally fraught revisiting of long since abandoned quests!
Instead, we got, well…a goofy lizard guy.
However, it only took a short time before the lenses on my fan-goggles adjusted and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Besides, if you’re going to have a goofy lizard guy, Rhys Darby of Flight of the Conchords is a primo choice.
Right from the beginning, it was clear that this episode would be whimsical, if not downright quirky. The paint-huffing couple who get the bejeezus scared out of them by the were-lizard were a dead giveaway. Also, and I mean this in the best way, so was the casting of Kumail Nanjiani.
This ep was a reminder of how fun the X-Files could be and how a good old MOTW (monster of the week) can be a great thing. The fact that the were-monster turned out not to be a man who transforms into a lizard but, in fact, a lizard who transforms into a man (and hates it) was a great twist and a not so subtle commentary on the drudgery of human existence. Plus, how often do you get to see a lizard man in tighty-whities? Not often enough, I say.
Some of my favorite bits:
– Mulder irritably throwing pencils at the “I Want To Believe” poster in his office because so many X-Files have turned out to have mundane explanations.
– The poster is actually Scully’s!
– The role reversal of skeptic and believer with Mulder playing the part of disillusioned naysayer and Scully just kinda going with it because, you know. It’s fun! And then her satisfaction when Mulder finally admits, yeah, ok. It’s a monster.
– The Scooby Doo-esque motel, complete with hidden passageways and fake eyes in the stuffed animal heads. I also enjoyed how the motel manager is just straight swigging what is apparently rubbing alcohol and Mulder never even blinks or refers to it.
– The graveyard shoutout to the late Kim Manners, who produced and directed the X-Files, complete with his trademark “Let’s kick it in the ass!” phrase on the headstone. I got a little teary, seeing that.
– Mulder’s reaction when Guy recounts his steamy encounter with Scully.
– Of course, Mulder’s ringtone is the X-Files theme.
– The final farewell between Mulder and Guy Mann, the lizard man, when Guy reveals that he hibernates for 10,000 years and Mulder’s all like, “Nawwwww. Really?”