The X-Files are back for a highly anticipated 6-episode mini-series, set 14 years after the X-Files closes, featuring our favorite alien hunters and conspiracy theorists. So far, we know the TRUTH is out there, we STILL want to believe, and MSR (Mulder Scully Romance) continues to hurt so good.
Spoilers ahead, sweetie…
S10xE03: “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”
One of my favorite things a good, well loved, cult, genre television show can do is parody itself and break the 4th wall. I’ve written about my favorite Supernatural “4th wall” episode, but I never thought that The X-Files would have the nerve and humor to make fun of themselves in the wonderful way that they do in this Were-Monster episode.
Okay folks, I’m gonna go meta for this post and I’m not sorry…
Over the years, TXF has gotten the reputation as all of those things I stated in the paragraph above. It is loved by a cult following of genre fans that have given the creators the push to give us this 6-episode mini series we are witnessing on television, 20 years since the show premiered. Some reviewers that I’ve come across have complained that the show has changed, that the characters aren’t “the same” and the relevancy of government conspiracies, unexplainable monsters and even the will they/won’t they of the MSR isn’t strong enough to keep audiences entertained and that PERHAPS the show should have stayed dead, in syndication and/or on Netflix.
This episode proves that the writers still have a few tricks up their sleeves and enough gumption to address each one of these complaints in a single, tongue-in-cheek parody of everything TXF stands for, while continuing to engage both new and old audiences. From the throwbacks to past episodes, a Kim Manners tribute and the fact that the monster is the complete opposite of what we have come to expect with TXF, this episode deserves all the kudos. I bow down to Darin Morgan, the writer/director of 10×3, for having the nerve to question the premise of such a well-loved show, and still come out on top with a legitimate reason for enjoying TXF.
“Because I want to believe…” -Fox Mulder
Audiences and the were-lizard realize that Mulder is disillusioned with his job and his life’s work, but he continues on because he wants to experience the bizarre, he finds joy in the exciting and strange cases that they take, he likes using science to help explain the phenomenon that he and Scully encounter, and so the were-lizard’s transformation is especially important for Mulder because it helps him sort out his feelings about his purpose on this planet. Eventually, he comes out realizing that even his “fresh, wiser eyes” can gain from a new perspective and a little hope. The fact that Mulder is the cynical one throughout most of this episode allows audiences (and Scully) to sort out why we, too, want to believe and what makes us continue on this journey alongside Agent Mulder. When Mulder starts to try and convince Scully what he believes, that there is a lizard who transforms into a man because he was bit by a human (best plot twist ever), I was bouncing in my seat like I was at church, ready to preach the good word about TXF once again! Every reason Mulder gives for the were-lizard (before he finds out that it’s actually a reverse of what he first thought and probably a billion year old dinosaur) sounds plausible in the realm of the craziness that is TXF. Sign me up for ten more seasons, I am so in.
There was a lot I appreciated about this episode but one thing I did not. There is a point in the episode when Mulder meets a trans woman who is a truck stop prostitute and a crack head who mentions her transition. The moment gives Mulder a chance to show that he’s a grown up who doesn’t make trans jokes (thank GOD) and treats all people and lizards with respect. I also appreciate the fact that the writers don’t just throw her into the plot as a joke–they used the topic of gender transition as a way to explain the genderless-lizard to hokey-white-suburban-man transition in a very well-thought out way. BUT. Apparently, TXF couldn’t find a trans woman to actually play the character, so they got actor D. J. Pierce, whose screen credits include This Is Drag and RuPaul’s Drag Race and is also known as drag performer “Shangela Laquifa Wadley” and normally presents as male. I just think that representation is so important, and I’m disappointed that this character wasn’t thought out more.
Trusting No One
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