Now this. This is The X-Files.
This is the X-Files episode we’ve all been waiting for. After a mediocre premiere and a great second episode, ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ is like a breath of fresh air to old and new fans alike.
This is a monster-of-the-week. Last week’s episode – ‘Founder’s Mutation’ – was in a way, but with an overarching, emotional focus on part of the show’s mythology. But here we have a MOTW in its truest form, and one that is written by one of the Gods of the X-Files writing room back in the day – Darin Morgan. We’re in for undoubtedly the best episode of the revival.
This episode has everything. Hilarious comedy and a fantastically written script? Check. An awesome monster? Check. Mulder and Scully hunting down said monster? Check. Darin Morgan has such a unique talent of balancing when it comes to writing X-Files episodes. He wrote the majority of the classic comedy episodes of the show back in the 90s: ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’, ‘Small Potatoes’, ‘Quagmire’, ‘Humbug’ (to name a few). The qualities we’ve all grown accustomed to through those episodes shine through here.
Even though there’s a focus on comedy throughout the episode, Morgan has the ability to give an underlying, meaningful viewpoint on life as a whole. Mulder is in the midst of, according to Scully, a ‘questioning phase’, where he believes his work on the X-Files has all been for nothing and finds his faith in the unexplained faltering. Scully tries to relight his undeniable enthusiasm for the paranormal, by suggesting that they investigate a dead body found with its throat cut open outside of a town in Oregon – which involves a monster of course – and eventually leads to Scully getting her Mulder back.
The real highlight of this episode is Rhys Darby’s portrayal of an individual named Guy Mann, whom Mulder suspects to be a murderous were-monster and who is able to transform into a lizard person. It’s with Mann that the twist of the episode and the main social commentary on the human condition occurs, so I won’t spoil it for you. This twist has got to be my favourite moment of an X-Files out of everything that has come before it. Morgan has outdone himself with this gem.
It also features an appearance from life-long fan Kumail Nanjiani (portraying Animal Control officer Pasha), who somehow managed to live through this whole ordeal without collapsing from an overwhelming sense of awe from being on his favourite television show. I applaud the man. I wouldn’t have been able to talk, let alone act.
‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ is an instant classic within The X-Files canon. After a rocky start through Carter’s premiere, Morgan has proved that The X-Files is a welcome return to our television screens.
The X-Files airs on Mondays at 9pm on Channel 5.