More Mulder and Scully makes me happy.
I never really cared that much about the conspiracy episodes, except for the fact that they tended to put our heroes in a kind of danger that gave us insight into Mulder and Scully’s characters. That was always fine for me. And all these years later, the world has changed in a way that these two characters maybe hoped wouldn’t happen, and in turn Chris Carter has rejiggered some of his conspiracies to make the show fit into our current lives.
I am fine with this. The conspiracy shows were always a little bonkers and unwieldy, and so it doesn’t bother me that maybe things don’t line up, as long as I am entertained, and I almost always am. (Have I mentioned I am an exceedingly easy audience when it comes to “my” shows? Well, I am.)
Because, for me, this show isn’t about the aliens or the power players, or all the crazy monsters, but about the people. We love Mulder and Scully, and as long as they are still awesome (Spoiler- they are!), then that is pretty much all I’m looking for.
My favorite thing about this show, is that it comes up with insane questions, and then tries to answer them. Sometimes the attempt flames out spectacularly, and sometimes it is a glory. That is brave storytelling, and I fully embrace it. I am happy to report that Chris Carter and the gang are still doing their best to be brave.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny wear their characters like old friends, and their chemistry is as electric as ever. It is a delight to watch these two fit back into their iconic roles. The banter between them in the second episode made me grin like a little kid, and their obvious affection for each other is just about all this old shipper can take.
In the first episode, “My Struggle III”, the conspiracy comes at us in full force. Turns out the harrowing virus that attacks Mulder in the finale of season 10 was all a hallucination in Scully’s mind, leading her to fall to a seizure, which lands her in the hospital. There is morse code in Scully’s brain scan (!!!); The return of Spender – the keeper of the location of Mulder and Scully’ son, William; The Mulder and Scully doppelgangers; New conspirators – including an ominous Barbara Hershey; and the insane revelation that Mulder isn’t William’s father, rather he is the result of a science based impregnation by none other than The Smoking Man.
It’s all a little bonkers, and who knows how much of it is actually true. The opening tag in the credits reads the familiar: I Want To Believe; but then morphs into I Want To Lie.
Oh, we could go round and round as to what that could possibly mean, but as with most of the conspiracies of this show, it’s best to not think too much, and just enjoy the ride.
The second episode, “This”, starts with a rousing fight scene accompanied by The Ramones, and an attack on our heroes in Mulder’s home. By the end of the episode we have seen them solve a puzzler at Arlington, talk with a dead Lone Gunman (Langly), shoot and punch a lot of bad guys, pull a Wookie on a ogling FBI dude, get chased by bad guys, be suspicious of Skinner (What’s new?), and end the whole thing right back where they started, in Mulder’s now ransacked home.
I could post six zillion gifs to express my glee, but just see this tumblr page instead. I bow to this poster, who clearly loves Mulder and Scully as much as I do.
The crazy, unbelievable monster of the episode? Langly seems to be alive, yet not alive, in some kind of simulation that sucks out the brains of geniuses and downloads them into a server once they die, so the wack-jobs who want to export humanity from the planet (The Barbara Hershey Conspiracy Wing) have some smarties to help them once they are living in space. The next human evolution. Langly, one of the sucked, has figured out how to reach Mulder through his cell phone, and everyone wants to get their hands on the thing.
Turns out the X-files are on a government server these days. And Skinner seems to be as deliberately obtuse as ever.
Mulder and Scully bounce from cafe to bar trying to make sense of everything. Mulder: “I’m gonna open an X-file on this bran muffin. I’m going to get to the bottom of why it’s so freakin’ good.” Scully: “I don’t care if it came out of an alien’s butt, I’m gonna eat the whole thing.”
That, my friends, is one example of the epic level of banter in this episode. It is worth the price of admission for the Mulder Scully banter alone.
Anyhoo! After a few logic leaps, and Scully scolding some kids on a bus (How random was that? And awesome. Random and awesome.) Mulder gets caught and monologued, Scully powers down the evil servers, and they both are duped by Barbara Hershey and their quick packing minions.
Overall, an excellent mix of action, suspicion and Mulder and Scully repartee.
My favorite part of this season so far, is how all of it feels exciting, but also par for the course for Mulder and Scully. The ass-kicking, the unnerving conversations with evil overlords, and the Is-Skinner-For-Or-Against-Our-Heroes trope (He always is with them, in the end, isn’t he?). Mulder and Scully breeze through all the chaos with a maturity and grace, popping zingers and bad guys, and it is all so much fun.
Eight more episodes to go. We have been told that there are only two conspiracy episodes this season, so I expect to see some cracking monster-of-the-week shows to come, and I can’t wait.