X-Files - Scully and Mulder

OfficialXFiles.com: January 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The X-Files Episode 4 recap: 'The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat'

The legendary Darin Morgan returns for one of the best episodes of The X-Files ever made. Much as Morgan did last season with “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” he flips viewer’s expectations, but this time he does so through the filter of the Trump administration and the battle over fake news. How can somebody believe that “the truth is out there” when no one agrees upon the truth? It’s funny, smart, irreverent, and, in keeping with a theme of this season, it playfully comments on the X-Files fanbase, who probably remember an episode or two differently than they actually played out.

“The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” is about gaps in collective memory, a phenomenon known as the “Mandela effect.” (Not the “Mengele effect,” despite what one of the characters says in the episode, for the record.) The Mandela effect refers to what are essentially shared mistakes in memory. Memory is a pliable, funny thing: People can be convinced they saw movies they didn’t see, such as the Kazaam issue Mulder references in the episode, or that more people attended an inauguration than actually did. It often happens with movie quotes, too: What if I told you Darth Vader never said “Luke, I am your father” or the Queen in Snow White never said, “Mirror, mirror on the wall”? This episode applies this fascinating concept to the history of The X-Files.

We’re introduced to the Mandela effect through the story of Reggie Something, played by Brian Huskey. We meet him in full Deep Throat mode, chewing sunflower seeds in a parking garage, having a clandestine meeting with Mulder. He knows he’s going to seem crazy, so he gives Mulder a very personal example of the Mandela effect, revealing to him that his favorite episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Lost Martian,” doesn’t really exist. Of course, we know it doesn’t, but Mulder is convinced that he saw it when he was a kid. He rummages through his belongings to find it, leading to the great line when Scully suggests it might be a different series: “Confuse The Twilight Zone with The Outer Limits?! Do you even KNOW ME?!?!”

Now it’s Scully’s time to meet with Reggie and learn what her Mandela Effect is. It’s a Jell-o knock-off called Goop-o ABC, which Reggie hands her before yelling “Just prove that I’m real!” Of course, his fingerprints on the box don’t match anyone’s in the system.

Now Mulder and Scully decide to talk to Reggie together, and we learn his trigger that allowed him to see the falsity of his memory, his “Lost Martian” or his Goop-o ABC. When he was moving his mother, he came across a book by Dr. Wuzzle. The only problem? He remembered his favorite childhood author being named Dr. Wussle. Eager to investigate, he found his way to a nostalgia shop and saw a cartoon drawn by, of course, Dr. Wuzzle. He explains to Mulder and Scully that the Mandela effect is being controlled by someone, quoting George Orwell when he says, “He who controls the past controls the future.” (There’s even a brilliant edit in which Reggie talks about companies controlling their image and it’s meant to appear like a modern brand name got cut out.) There’s a wonderful comedic energy to the scene, as the three characters argue over whether Reggie’s problems are due to government conspiracy (Reggie), faulty memory (Scully), or alternate universes (Mulder). Reggie points out that “they” want you to think all conspiracies are silly. And Darin Morgan has an answer for just who “they” is.

Meet Dr. Thaddeus Q. They, the man who figured out who to manipulate collective memory. While working on Operation Soy Bomb, he made astronauts forget home and was fired for making them think they were chimpanzees. He works for “unknown, mysterious clients,” he was in a movie called Ka-Blaam, and he was last seen at the 2017 inauguration. Reggie latches onto the fact that Dr. They worked in Grenada, where Reggie claims he saw alien land almost four decades ago. Reggie remembers seeing the alien being taken away by mysterious men in black. Then he drops the biggest bomb yet: He started The X-Files. In an amazing montage, we see Reggie cut into old episodes of the show from its original run. It’s a meta reference, telling us, the fans, that we remember these classic episodes differently than they actually played out. It’s an episode about manipulating history that manipulates the history of itself. Brilliant.

While Mulder tries to figure out an answer without coming back to alternate universes, he gets a call from Dr. They. In another clandestine meeting, the good doctor of “phony fake news” castigates Mulder for not finding him sooner, telling him that his time has passed. We’re in an era in which powerful leaders don’t need to keep secrets anymore because no one believes or cares when they’re revealed. As he says, “We’re living in a post-cover-up, post-conspiracy age.” The “poco” age, as he calls it, doesn’t need conspiracies if people can’t tell the difference between real and fake — if people only believe what they want to believe. This is an episode that’s about the spread of disinformation, and how it’s going to be a defining characteristic of our time when historians write it.

When we get our final parking-garage meeting with Reggie, Scully drops the bomb: She found out about his past. He was just a government employee, a guy who rose the ranks from USPS to IRS to SEC to DOJ to CIA to DOD to NSA, and he was committed to a mental institution a year ago. Is Reggie just a disillusioned employee imagining he still fights for truth and justice? He willingly puts on a straitjacket, but Mulder asks about their last case before he goes.

It turns out that Reggie, Mulder, and Scully did find the truth. The alien from Grenada came back, as he promised he would, and gave them a book called All the Answers, but only after telling them never to come to outer space again. Lest anyone think there wasn’t already Trump commentary in this episode, the alien in this flashback quotes him deliberately, saying that the Earth isn’t sending outer space “your best people” and that the rest of the universe is going to build a wall to keep humanity out. Mulder throws a tantrum in response. He doesn’t want all the answers. He wants to keep searching.

Back in the present day, Skinner asks where they’re taking Reggie before Scully and Mulder settle in for some TV and snacks. It turns out “The Lost Martian” was on a show called The Dusky Realm and Goop-o ABC looks gross. And that’s when Scully hits us with a melancholy line: “I want to remember how it all was.” We all do, Sculls.

Other Notes
• We’ll get to the other Easter eggs and references in a minute, but here’s a huge one that you might have missed. Two weeks ago, in “This,” as Scully and Mulder were flipping through the electronic X-Files, an ID badge for someone else went by. Guess who? Reggie! Does this mean his story about working with Mulder and Scully is true? Why else would his badge be in the X-Files?

• I love how Reggie calls them Foxy and Sculls.

• Just for the record, Scully says “leprechaun taint” in this episode and I’m willing to bet those two words had never before been put together on television.

• The Mulder flashback with an 8-year-old body and David Duchovny’s head was brilliant.

• Soy Bomb Conspiracy is a real thing.

• The Grenada UFO Stamp is also real.

• Reggie is shown a political cartoon from WWII drawn by Dr. Wuzzle. If you’re wondering, Dr. Seuss drew political cartoons in that era, although I doubt anyone remembers his name as Dr. Seuzz. Maybe they will now.

• Dr. They is played by TV legend Stuart Margolin, who won two Emmys for The Rockford Files.

• Two great quotes: “I’m Fox freaking Mulder, you punks!” and “We’re not alone in the universe, but nobody likes us.”

• There are several classic episodes in the montage of Reggie being in The X-Files, including “Squeeze,” “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” “Home” (with a shot of last week’s guest star Karin Konoval), and “Small Potatoes.”

Copyrights: vulture.com

THE X-FILES - Mid-Season Trailer

Next Episode: 'Ghouli' Promo - 'This Is Where It All Started'

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

'The X-Files' - Episode 3 'Plus One' - Recap

Chris Carter returns to pen this week’s episode, “Plus One,” an hour that works mostly as a standalone thriller but is far more effective for anyone who has a history with Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. In a sense, this is the most old-fashioned X-Files episode since the reboot as it featured the two leads in their most common roles — Mulder the believer vs. Scully the skeptic — and it plays off their still-palpable romantic chemistry. It also brings back a character actor from the heyday of the show, a performer who starred in two of the most beloved episodes ever: “Home” and “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.” And then Carter went a step further by giving her multiple roles.

The actress in question is Karin Konoval, who appears here as both Judy and Chucky Poundstone, telepathically connected twins who play a deadly game of Hangman. First, we meet one of our poor victims of the week: Arkie Seavers, a young man just having a good time at a concert when he sees his doppelg√§nger. He flees the concert, only to have his “other” grab the wheel and drive him into a tree. Bring on the X-Files!

Fox Mulder gets the Seavers case and discovers that a number of people have tried to kill themselves after claiming they saw someone who looked exactly like them. Is it the rare (and true) phenomenon known as a “suicide cluster,” or is it something more supernaturally sinister? Of course, Scully thinks Arkie is lying, but Mulder is more inclined to believe. And anyone who’s ever seen an X-Files knows that Arkie is doomed.

Before the young man dies, Mulder and Scully meet a patient with split personality disorder named Judy Poundstone. Her room is filled with games of hangman, which she claims she plays with her brother, Chucky, who lives across town. Mulder charms Judy a bit, and that charm may very well be the reason he survives the episode.

Mulder and Scully check into the St. Rachel Motel in a suite, but Mulder takes the couch. He comes to her in the middle of the night to reveal Arkie’s death, and the investigation sends him off to find the irascible Chucky. Unfortunately, he scenes between Mulder and Chucky are the ones that don’t quite work. They’re a bit too laden with Carter’s clunky dialogue and Konoval isn’t quite as believable in the second part of the dual role. There’s a goofiness that doesn’t quite click, even though both actors are clearly having a good time.

Better are the scenes between Judy and Scully, including the first one in which we meet “Demon Judy,” one of her evil alter egos who literally “flings dookie” at Scully. In what first seems like a throwaway line from the nurses, we learn that both of the Poundstone parents hung themselves — later we’ll see hangman drawings of “Mom” and “Dad,” implying that their kids did them in √† la Arkie Seavers. Scully tries to get more information out of Judy, but is tormented by this new nemesis, and she takes that torment with her when Judy suggests that she’s over the hill and “all dried up.” As Judy says, “Nothing hurts like the truth.”

Back at the motel, Scully drops a pretty cool meta-reference to the role that you probably know Konoval best for, even if you didn’t realize it. Scully mentions that having “dookie” thrown at you makes you want to “gather the other apes and make war against your enemy.” Konoval played Maurice the Orangutan in all three of the recent Planet of the Apes films, including last year’s excellent War for the Planet of the Apes. This scene also includes a bit of thematic development when Scully and Mulder discuss the truth behind ghosts: Are they scientifically explainable phenomenon or visitors from the other side? We know on which side these characters fall, but it’s wonderful to see them slip back into a pattern of supernatural debate. Scully also expresses vulnerability by asking Mulder if she’s old. Of course not, he says. She’s still got some “scoot in her boot.” And Mulder tells her to “knock three times” if she needs him.

After a couple of scenes with Chucky and Judy, it’s time to kill the wonderfully-named Dean Cavalier, the attorney for the now-deceased Arkie Seavers. First, Dean sees his double and goes to tell our heroes. That leads to another conversation about evil and the devil as concepts instead of realities. There’s a thread in this episode about how much we believe in things that we know aren’t really true — like ghosts, the devil, or the magic pills that the nurses at Judy’s clinic take just in case they work. Scully herself still sleeps with her back to the door in case the devil comes in the night. We all have superstitions, even the most skeptical among us.

Dean winds up cutting off his own head, which is quite a feat, and any fan of The X-Files knows that the threat will eventually get to Mulder and Scully in the final act, but not before an excellent scene between Anderson and Duchovny in their hotel bed. Scully reveals that the case is getting under her skin, and she asks Mulder what will happen to them when they’re older. These two actors have such wonderful chemistry and an easy rapport, this scene feels like it easily could have come from the original series. It’s one of the best of the new season so far. There’s even a bit of that Chris Carter mouthpiece dialogue — about the President bringing down the FBI in a world that’s going to hell — buried in their emotionally-driven exchange. When people speak of the best TV duos in history, Mulder and Scully often make the list, and this scene once again shows us why.

And then, the action. Mulder sees his double in the bathroom and freaks out in an appropriate manner. (Although I’m not sure telling Scully to “put a dimmer on that afterglow” is quite appropriate.) As Mulder races to confront Chucky and Scully goes to stop Judy, we discover that the twins are fighting each other. They can’t decide which agent to hang, which makes for a weird twist if you really think about it. What if Mulder and Scully were just a little less sexy? Or perhaps this is Carter’s way of revealing how much he thinks of his leads and characters: Don’t worry Scully, you still got it, at least enough to interest a homicidal, telepathic twin.

In their disagreement, the twins basically “hang” each other, making for something of a lackluster ending to an episode that wrote itself into a corner. However, the epilogue is strong as Scully plays cool like she doesn’t need Mulder and then changes her mind, only to find him in the doorway already. He’s always the believer.

Other Notes
• “Plus One” is tightly-packed in terms of narrative and locations, which is a credit to director Kevin Hooks for moving it along so smoothly. He’s a veteran of quality TV with credits that include everything from St. Elsewhere to LOST.

• Karin Konoval played Madame Zelma in “Clyde Bruckman” and Mrs. Peacock in “Home.” She also appeared in two episodes of Millennium (“Weeds” and “Through a Glass Darkly”). It’s great to see her back in the fold for the revival.

• A note about last week’s recap. A reader pointed out that the Lone Gunmen died in “Jump the Shark” and not “The Truth,” to which the answer is only … of course they did! I was so focused on figuring out the tombstone Easter eggs that I must have confused their last appearance (they appear as ghosts in “The Truth”) with their demise. Sincere apologies to Langly.

• In season 11, The X-Files seems to be recognizing its own shelf life and mortality more than ever. All three episodes so far have played with the show’s own past, either through direct reference or even meta-casting, and it’s starting to feel like Carter knows this is really the final lap. (Anderson swears she won’t return for another season, and Carter said he won’t do it without her.) Let’s see if that keeps up and if he truly brings the saga of Mulder and Scully to a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

These Quotes from Last Episode are one of the many reasons we still love X-Files

Mulder: “I’m going to open an ­X-file on this bran muffin. I’ve gotta get to the bottom of why it’s so freaking good.”
Scully: “I don’t care if it came out of an alien’s butt. I’m going to eat the whole thing.”

Skinner: “The bureau is not in good standing to the White House these days.”
Mulder: ‘The FBI finally found out what it’s like to be looked upon as a little spooky.”

Mulder: "Who needs Google when you have Scully?"

Scully: "We can't go to our home. They'll be waiting for us at our office." That's right — Scully says "our home." !!!

Scully: "Why do you operate so well with your hands cuffed behind your back?" 
Mulder: "As if you didn't know," 

And Finally, 'This':

'The X-Files': Detailed Explanation of Episode 2 'This'

Now “This” is more like it. Last week’s sloppy premiere got season 11 off to a rough start, but the state of The X-Files is looking much brighter after this Glen Morgan-penned (and directed) hour.
We find Mulder and Scully, blissfully unaware of any paternity concerns, napping on the couch in their home (Scully may call it “Agent Mulder’s residence” on an official FBI call, but to Skinner she calls it “our home.” If she hasn’t moved back in permanently, she at least seems to be heading in that direction). It’s unclear how much time has passed since the events of “My Struggle III,” which made contemporary Trump references despite picking up right after an episode that aired in February of 2016. This episode also alludes to the current political climate, meaning we’re dealing with a time jump of anything from two weeks to nearly two years. But this is a show whose pilot, which aired in September of 1993, was inexplicably set in March of 1992, and that time difference was never explained either. Welcome to the new X-Files, same as the old X-Files.
Files are strewn on the table; the TV is muted on an old Ramones concert (the San Francisco Civic Center in 1979. If you’re interested in useless trivia, that’s just around the corner from a building by the name of Fox Plaza). Mulder’s buzzing phone rouses Scully, who nudges Mulder: It’s a FaceTime from an old, long-thought-dead friend who loved The Ramones. Langly, one of Mulder’s trio of hacker friends The Lone Gunmen, seems like himself but not. He says, “I believe you knew me as Langly” and asks, “Am I dead? If I am, they know that I know.”
The pseudo-reunion is interrupted by a creak on the porch and a silhouette in the window, and Mulder and Scully spring into action. At Mulder’s signal, Scully dives under a table, Mulder shoves the couch against the door, and the music kicks up: The Ramones’ “California Sun.” Remember that these two went on the run after the original series; after that, taking down three armed home invaders is as easy as summer vacation. Scully shoots one; Mulder gets another; the third, a sinister-looking man with long white curls, flees.
And apparently it’s open season on the FBI’s most unwanted, because no sooner does Scully report the intrusion than a pair of humvees roll up to the yard. They’re under the command of a cocky young Russian, credited as Commander Al, who acts like Mulder and Scully were in the wrong for defending themselves against his men. “They were wearing body cams,” he says, “so you know how that turns out for the ones who weren’t.” Setting aside the fact that I didn’t see any body cams, the commander’s point stands: Even a tool that’s meant to uphold objective truth can be bent to fit the story of whoever holds the power. History is written by the authorities.
The soldiers come in shooting, pinning Mulder and Scully to the ground while Al retrieves Mulder’s phone. But the guys make a crucial mistake when they proceed to cuff our agents together, and with practiced badassery, Mulder and Scully fight off the man guarding them, run out the front door, and dive over the side of the front porch while still handcuffed to each other. They’ve never been cooler.
They’re met in the woods by Skinner, whose allegiances are still questionable but whose fetching FBI baseball cap is not. After freeing Mulder and Scully’s wrists, he gives them the lowdown on what they’re dealing with: The soldiers work for Purlieu Services, a private American security contractor headquartered in Moscow that has ascendancy over the FBI thanks to a directive from…the executive branch. You can practically hear the theme song over that last bit. Mulder and Scully draw the line at getting in Skinner’s car (he did tell them to surrender, though he claims he had no idea the soldiers were trying to kill them), so the assistant director leaves his agents in the woods with all the money he has on them. Trusting Skinner seems so obvious at this point, but it’s a time-honored tradition for Mulder and Scully to suspect him of betrayal despite more than two decades of evidence to the contrary. Their mistrust would be exhausting if the premise behind it — Mulder and Scully will still burn everyone they care about to protect each other — weren’t so central to the show. It’s “trust no one” to the extreme.
That mentality leads them now to the graves of the only three men who could ever match them for paranoia. After sacrificing themselves in season 9’s “Jump the Shark,” the Lone Gunmen were given a heroic funeral, but the X-Files season 10 comics series, executive produced by Chris Carter, suggests that the Gunmen faked their deaths and are now hiding out beneath their graves. When Skinner pointedly tells Scully, “They’re buried in Arlington,” I thought he might be hinting that this story was about to take the same turn. That doesn’t seem to be the case, but thankfully we’re not denied the fun of Mulder and Scully on a veritable date night in Arlington cracking ciphers National Treasure-style. (Next: Scully aces American history)

With an assist from Scully’s encyclopedic brain (“Who needs Google when you got Scully?”), the partners follow clues on the Gunmen’s graves to the final resting point of another, even-longer-dead ally: Deep Throat, Mulder’s first informant. (This must be a season for revealing the real names behind the monikers; turns out Deep Throat was a Ronald.) “He’s dead because the world was so dangerous and complex then,” Mulder marvels. “Who’d have thought we’d look back with nostalgia and say that was a simpler time?” So far, The X-Files’ 11th season seems concerned with how our memories can never match up to the past — wrestling, basically, with nostalgia, the driving force behind the show’s return. Mulder knows how easy it is to rewrite history; nothing is ever as we remember it.
This seems like a good time to note, then, that there’s something off with the photo of the Lone Gunmen in Mulder and Scully’s home: A fourth face looms in the background, and judging by eyebrows alone, it’s almost definitely “This Man,” a viral hoax that claimed people around the world were seeing the same creepy face in their dreams. What does this mean? Is it just a playful nod to the kind of hoax the Gunmen loved, or is it a sign to distrust our memories? (At one point, we flash to the photo after Scully assures Mulder that yes, the Gunmen are dead, and their bodies were incinerated.) It may also be a tie-in to the fourth episode of this season, written and directed by Glen Morgan’s brother Darin Morgan, which looks at the Mandela Effect. A face from that episode, actor Brian Huskey, can be spotted in the files our agents are about to search. How will we remember him in two weeks?
Fittingly, a “memory medallion” on Deep Throat’s grave gives Mulder and Scully their next lead — which they access, like the throwbacks they are, in an internet cafe. Video on the medallion directs them to look into New York’s Long Lines Building, which Snowden documents indicate was code-named Titanpointe and used as an NSA mass surveillance station. Mulder, a government conspiracy trendsetter, has had a file on the building since the ‘90s, but they’ll need Skinner’s help to access those files.
Or maybe they’ll just need a computer. As it turns out, after the X-Files were shut down in 2002, they were digitized to allow easier access by other U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Russians who just tried to kill Mulder and Scully. (And who was lobbied for jurisdiction? Then-director Mueller, who now heads an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.) Mulder bristles at the idea that his file-babies are no longer his and Scully’s alone (a secondary motif this season, maybe, tragically: Mulder losing possession of what he thought was his), but as Skinner points out in a perfect mic drop, what’s in the files “belongs to everyone. That’s the point of them.” Hasn’t it always been Mulder’s goal for the truth to be known?
 Skinner tries to get the hunt for Mulder and Scully called off, but the FBI isn’t in the best standing with the White House right now. “How do you like that?” Mulder jokes without joking. “The FBI finally found out what it’s like to be looked upon as a little spooky.” The whole Bureau is one big basement office. Which, of course, means Mulder and Scully aren’t safe in the Bureau at all. When the exception becomes policy, there’s no room for what made it exceptional.
With Skinner’s help, Mulder and Scully scan the database only to find that Langly has been erased. His fellow Gunmen, Byers and Frohike, are still in the system, including Frohike’s unfortunate “Spank Bank” folder adorned with a picture of Scully (must we?). In that file is another file, named “53rd_3rd”: another Ramones song, this one about a Green Beret who becomes a male prostitute after returning from Vietnam. The title references a corner in New York City that was once a center of gay nightlife. The San Francisco Civic Center, where the Ramones played earlier on Mulder and Scully’s TV, has historically played host to anti-war rallies and demonstrations for LGBT rights. As Mulder and Scully go underground and on the run, this episode is literally mapping hotspots where the marginalized have gathered in the past: new basement offices. (Next: Heaven is a place on Earth)
The files send Mulder and Scully to Karah Hamby, a professor of mathematics in Bethesda, which is where things take an unexpected turn for the Black Mirror: Apparently, Hamby and Langly were part of a program that uploaded their consciousnesses to a simulation they could live in after death, “San Junipero”-style. It’s a surprise that Langly was in a romantic relationship, if that’s even what this is — maybe he and Hamby had the sort of purely intellectual partnership some people still believe Mulder and Scully have, even though it’s now confirmed they use handcuffs recreationally. At the very least, they wanted “a life eternal together.” It’s also a surprise that Langly would take that deal; in his final episode, he said of his hero Joey Ramone, “He never gave in, never gave up, and never sold out. Right ‘til his last breath. And he’s not dead. Guys like that? They live forever.” Langly’s definition of living forever seemed less literal and more to do with legacy. But maybe I’m remembering him wrong.
Langly sure seems to be remembering Mulder right — he picked the best people to trust with this. When the white-haired home invader shows up and shoots Hamby, Scully kills him (finally), and Mulder and Scully take Hamby’s phone and hide out in a bar to get back in touch with what’s left of their old friend’s mind. Langly lights up at Scully’s name and tells the agents that he’s living in what might as well be his personal heaven: No one dies of cancer, The Ramones play “California Sun” every night, and the New England Patriots never win. (That makes Langly’s heaven the antithesis of the world shaped by the Smoking Man, a walking cancer who insisted in season 4 that the Patriots’ rival Buffalo Bills must never win the championship as long as he’s alive.)
But in a Brave New World-esque speech, Langly explains that this world he’s in needs to be destroyed: There’s no choice or diversity in it. “We dream, but we’re not allowed to have dreams.” He, along with other great minds who also uploaded, like Steve Jobs and Michael Crichton, is just a “digital slave” whose mind is being used to develop the science that elites like Erika Price and Mr. Y want to use to colonize space. The neon lighting on Langly also illuminates Mulder and Scully in that scuzzy bar, drawing them into the nightmare in which a person is broken down by brain chemistry alone, all science and no X-File.

The partners suffer a rowdy bus ride to New York, then con their way into Titanpointe by pretending Mulder is a “Hannibal Lecter-level psycho” whom Scully has captured and brought in for NSA questioning. (This isn’t The X-Files’ first Silence of the Lambs reference, but this is the first time it doubles as an inside joke for Gillian Anderson.) The ploy works until it doesn’t; Mulder and Scully are cornered in the stairwell, but Scully badasses her way out as Mulder stays behind to fight back.
He’s brought before Erika Price, who monologues about the coming end of humanity, and while it’s good to see some continuity with the premiere, she doesn’t really say anything new. Price admits she was trying to kill Mulder, disappointed in his response to her earlier proposal, but he’s since impressed her with his instinct for survival. It doesn’t hurt his cause that out of all 7 billion people on the planet, Mulder is the one Langly chose — though of course what Langly needs is Mulder’s instinct to never give in, never give up, and never sell out, not the sort of instinct that might compel him to upload to a computer. Which is not to say he isn’t tempted — Mulder asks Price if killing his father would be enough to get him into San Junipero 2.0, and if Scully could come with him. Even as he’s maneuvering to get in a room with the machine and hopefully destroy it, he also obviously sees its appeal.
Scully, a woman of faith for all her scientific degrees, doesn’t. As soon as Mulder gets Al to unlock the door to the computer room, he fights off the commander while Scully shuts down the machine in dramatic, glass-breaking fashion. (“Bye-bye, Ringo.”) Mulder staggers away from his long day of hand-to-hand combat, victorious (he even got his phone back) but about to pass out, and he and Scully return home and collapse on the couch in wearied heaps, because they aren’t going to literally live forever but they are, for now, alive, and maybe more alive than we’ve seen them in a long time.
And the fight goes on: All traces of Purlieu Services are erased before the FBI can open an investigation, and Langly buzzes back to life on Mulder’s phone, begging him to destroy the “backup.” He disappears; the white-haired assassin takes his place.

credits: ew.com

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

'The X-Files' Episode 2: Watch the Action-Packed Opening Scene From 'This' (VIDEO)

'The X-Files' Episode 2: Watch the Action-Packed Opening Scene From 'This' (VIDEO BELOW)

No copyright infringement intended; this was uploaded purely for historic/archival/entertainment/promotion purposes!

The copyright of this video belongs to 20th Century Fox

Thursday, January 4, 2018

'The X-Files' season 11 premiere contains a hidden secret message

Yes, at the end of the premiere, 'My Struggle III', there's a scene that features a young man struggling while squeaky alien voices rise over the top of the other sounds and the music.

Clearly not one to leave a creepy alien voice be, it seems one X-Files fan noticed that the sounds were actually reversed speech, and decided to reverse the recording to unveil a secret message, which they later shared on Reddit.

"If this is the end, it's been a wild, wild adventure with some of the finest people I know and the greatest fans that we could've hoped for," the user identifies the message as saying.

"Here's to you. The truth is out there, 2018."
Here is the Audio clip:

If this is indeed the message, X-Files fans have speculated that it come from the series' creator Chris Carter, and could confirm that the show is ending after its second revived series plays out.

Other X-Files fans have suggested this could be a message from actress Gillian Anderson herself ahead of her stepping down from the role of Scully – but then again, Gillian firmly stated that this would be her last season just last week, so there would seemingly be no need for the "if this is the end" if this was from her.

'The X-Files': More photos from upcoming episodes of season 11

'The X-Files': More photos from upcoming episodes of season 11

'The X-Files' Season 11 Episode 1 Review: My Struggle III

It was all a dream! Well, it’s more complicated than that. Actually, it’s all rather confusing and I had to watch The X-Files Season 11 premiere, “My Struggle III,” 2.5 times to feel confident that I had the plot straight and how it relates back to the long, winding history of the show’s myth arc. I’m still undecided if the premiere clears up the outstanding issues created by season 10, or even makes some of them worse, but a few overarching elements of series creator Chris Carter’s narrative (the complete four-part arc titled My Struggle) did set up some semblance of a compelling intro to the season.
On my initial viewing, much of that goodwill was squandered by long exposition dumps, with David Duchovny doing voiceover in a car for seemingly half the episode, and a sense of urgency that bordered on parody. What the episode does do well is introduce a path forward with potential. More importantly, it continues a somewhat unexpected dialogue on the current state of public affairs. To Chris Carter’s credit, much of the groundwork to make the show feel “relevant,” as we’ve seen a number of critics including myself say in the spoiler-free reviews, came from the panned aspects of “My Struggle I” (Does that make most of “My Struggle II” unnecessary? Maybe!).

Picking up from the cliffhanger, we open on Dana Scully in Mulder’s office (I can only presume at this point that somewhere in season 11 they’ll finally get this poor woman a desk). She sees flashes of the UFOs, Mulder dying of the Spartan virus, etc., and passes out, only to wake up in a hospital and recount the visions she saw to Mulder, who has no idea what the hell she’s talking about.

This is far from the first time we’ve seen a white flash of light erase or reset some big scene in this show. Fans might get a little testy, and possibly even be triggered by the lack of explanation and execution. I was at first! But there’s plenty of precedent in the history of The X-Files for us to move on and accept Scully’s vision as the premonitions they prove to be in the rest of the episode (update: as others noted, it's William giving her these visions). Our X-Files correspondent Matt Allair also pointed out how it mirrors Mulder’s comatose visions of the hellish end times in season six’s “The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati.”

I don’t like crediting Tad O’Malley with anything, but he was an avatar for the disinformation campaigns we’ve seen in the two years since the episode aired. Sure, it looks like Tad was right about the Spartan virus, but he served to focus Mulder on fighting even harder to make the truth surface today amongst all the loud, brash bullshit online or within our government. One guy who knows that better than anyone is Carl Gerhart Bush, or C.G.B. Spender, or the Cigarette Smoking Man. Back in all his glory and holding the world in his hands, some of the best scenes of the episode are William B. Davis engaged in the machinations of the end times, and the flashbacks that establish him as essentially the most powerful man in the world.

Putting aside the direct missile hit we’ll have to assume he survived thanks to alien technology or medicine, CSM can sit on his perch and watch the world destroy itself. Fake news, natural disasters, and a lack of trust in science distract us, while our impending doom creeps closer. It’s the ultimate cover for a man who spent the decades operating in the shadows. “I’m not a bad man, I’m a practical man,” CSM says, which we’ve heard before. Can we believe it at this point? By offering immunity to the virus, is he offering one final peace treaty to the group of people he’s tormented and toyed with for years? Or is it something more sinister, like when he told Mulder in the original series finale, “The Truth,” that he protected him for years only to wait for the day he finally got to break the agent’s spirit.

Further complicating the storyline is the men sent to harass former agent Jeffrey Spender, who through the powers of modern medicine is no longer horribly deformed, and tail Agent Mulder in the world’s most boring and inconsequential car chase. Spender is being pressured to give up the location of Mulder and Scully’s son William, who is apparently the key to stopping CSM’s plan. There’s another, new group looking for Mulder. The group needs to stop CSM, but their motives are mysterious and unclear.

In the best scene of the episode, the group says the aliens aren’t coming. Extraterrestrials have “no interest in a warming planet with vanishing resources.” If true, maybe that answers for the Mayans fucking up their calendar and the lack of an alien colonization in 2012. Somehow, CSM is in possession of an alien pathogen that will be “the end of history.” The group says they want to save humanity, and that CSM was a rogue operator and left their group long ago, presumably to help form The Syndicate. It’s no surprise that in a matter of moments, CSM is framing himself as a hero, a man who tried to bargain with the alien colonists and protect our society. So does this mean there were two factions attempting to save humanity at all costs? Or one trying to stop the other? Can the story of either party be verified? Are both groups lying to Mulder?

In the biggest reveal of the episode, one that will absolutely destroy shippers, is CSM claiming that William is not Mulder’s son, and he impregnated Scully during their getaway in season 7’s “En Ami,” which is cool because the first draft of the script was originally written by William B. Davis. But again, IS THAT A LIE, X-FILES? Who knows?!
Somewhere in this episode the truth has been laid out. It’s up to Mulder and Scully to wade through the lies at a time when it’s easier than ever to dismiss and obstruct the truth. I do like that setup, if even it’s handled a little cleaner in the subsequent episodes.

My issue here is the pacing. Some of the great X-Files directors like Rob Bowman and the late Kim Manners knew when to press on the gas and when to slow down and let the dialogue breathe. In the “My Struggle” episodes, the show seems to have adopted the breathless walk and talk dialogue of The West Wing. And for a show that used all kinds of music as well as any drama to amplify its intense, emotional, and scary scenes, the undercurrent of upbeat and generic action drama melody in the episode is another unneeded distraction. These are nitpicky, maybe minor points, but it adds up for longtime fans, and might take some people out of what could be a really fun arc.

This season is structured a little different than the 10 that come before it. Elements of “My Struggle III” bleed into the next handful of episodes, a slight departure from the show’s church and state separation of the myth arc and monster-of-the-week episodes. “My Struggle III” leaves a lot of questions, many that will not be answered truthfully. We know by now that truth and proof are as hard to come by as little green men.

“My Struggle I” and “My Struggle III” were not great episodes by any stretch, but they at least reaffirm why we need to commit to finding the the truth. Remember Mulder’s final courtroom statement in the original series finale?

“Liars do not fear the truth if there are enough liars,” Mulder says.

Published by denofgeek.com