Within seconds of the opening of the X-Files, my brain was awash in dopamine. Not gonna lie. It was as if the aliens had beamed me right back onto my couch after 13 years of lost time, and suddenly, here I was again, in X-Phile heaven with my old pals, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, picking right up where we left off.
Yes, I did choke up seeing those fresh-faced FBI badges flash on the screen.
They were just wee agents then, chasing the conspiracy-laden dream. As David Duchovny’s “that was then, this is now” voice over led us through memory lane and brought us into the present, I was filled with unmitigated, fannish glee. I may also have reached over and slapped my husband delightedly on the thigh when Joel McHale’s name showed in the credits. Bless you, TV Powers That Be.
There was so much to love, but here are some of my favorites:
Consistency. Mulder is depressed and sexily disheveled. Scully is a practical medical doctor practicing practical medicine. Skinner is bald and vaguely angry. All is as it should be.
Roswell U.F.O. flashback! Yessssssss, child. This is the X-Files I know and love.
Guest stars! I loved Joel McHale as the O’Reilly-esque conservative douchebag whose paranoia about big government has made him a conspiracy believer. Also: Annet Mahendru from The Americans, delivering her trademark performance of a beautiful, vulnerable woman caught up in circumstances beyond her control. (If you haven’t seen her in The Americans get thee to Amazon. It’s a really good show and she is one of the good things about it.)
My husband, who is sometimes banned from watching shows I recap with me because he fails to fangirl as hard as I do and thus often harshes my vibe, thought the intense porch conversation about the scope of the epic plot against humanity and the extent to which Mulder and Scully have been misled (apparently for decades) was “cheesy.” However, those of us who are and have been heavily invested in the Mulder/Scully relationship and who think of them like this in our hearts:
were deeply gratified by the emoting and shoulder-touching, and this:
The X-Files are back and our intrepid agents are just where we like them, in deep kim chee. Scully’s got alien DNA and we don’t know what that means for her. The bad guys are not aliens as we once thought but in fact plain old horrible humans who are using alien technology to (veeeeeery slowly) conquer and enslave humanity. Also, somehow this guy is still around. Possibly artificially preserved by all those chemicals in cigarettes. Like human beef jerky.
This brings us into the second episode of this 6 part mini-series, which involved insidious government sponsored experiments, hideously mutated children, and squirm-inducing usage of a letter opener.
My favorite bits were:
The untimely demise of Dr. Sanje. Sorry, dude. That looked like a terrible way to go, and it did bring back flashes of Lena Dunham in that one scene with the q-tip in Girls, but man, was that some good vintage X-Files shit.
The flashbacks or whatever they were with William. I really hope we get to see Mulder and Scully reunited with their son at some point, but I’ll take these scenes for now.
The creepy sort of menagerie of mutant kids in the hospital, because creepy is part of the fun of this show.
Dr. Goldman getting his eyeballs melted by his indignant offspring. Now, that’s karma.
The government is harvesting mutant babies as part of its horrific plan, and we are left to ponder how our dynamic duo will stop them. The truth is out there!
As a long time fan, I have to say that I am thrilled with this return. Is it over the top and sometimes hokey? Yes. Unquestionably. But the fact remains: I want to believe.