The 13th Floor

5 Important Things About the New X-FILES: Episode 2 — “Founders Mutation”

I was once an obsessive X-FILES fan. The mythology got a little too dense for my teenage brain and I lost interest altogether when David Duchovny left the show. This new miniseries/Season 10 has sparked that obsessive bit in my brain. With that, let’s dissect a few key points about the second episode…

[Attention: Spoilers aplenty]

The Baby

Tonight’s episode is about kids, so naturally, baby William comes up a lot. After they first meet Agnes, and Mulder thinks she and the other girls are being used as incubators, Scully says: “Is that what you believe happened to me 15 years ago, when I got pregnant, when I had my baby?” She said my baby. Not our baby. Not even the baby. She specifically said “my baby.” Regardless of what William’s biology was, Mulder was his father until they put him up for adoption. It is just odd to me.

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But then they each have images of what life would have been like had they raised William. Scully imagines taking him to school, then rushing to his aid when he breaks his arm, then answering his panicked cries from a late-night nightmare, only to discover his features have smoothed out and his eyes are alien. Mulder is seen watching 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY with William, then shooting off model rockets in the yard. When he answers William’s nightmare cries, he finds William being abducted, just like Samantha was. Both Mulder and Scully’s “daydreams” of William culminate in their own personal fears: Scully’s is that she had a hybrid baby; Mulder’s is that he will lose William like he lost his sister. In each scenario, Mulder and Scully are parenting alone, and when they come back to the “present,” they are alone, looking at the same photograph of baby William. I find this profoundly sad.

Sister Mary

When we meet Sister Mary, I thought she looked awfully familiar. Christine Willes, the actress who played Sister Mary, has been in everything, so I thought it was just that… but a scan of her credits revealed that she appeared in three early episodes of THE X-FILES, as Agent Karen Kosseff. I have a hard time believing that series creator Chris Carter does anything without having an ulterior motive or some deeper meaning… but I may be reading too much into this. This might just be a LAW & ORDER-type thing, where they hire actors to play multiple characters with no connection to one another.

Sanjay and Gupta

I am sure those names are very common in the Indian culture; like Smith and Jones in America. But here, used together so frequently, I cannot help but think of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the CNN medical correspondent.

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Kyle

Why would Kyle “speak” to Mulder, but not Scully? What was it about Mulder that made him communicate with him? Both agents have been abducted, and arguably, Scully has been through something more similar to Jackie Goldman than Mulder has. And it wasn’t proximity.

Unsatisfying?

THE X-FILES has gone back to its old format: it presents a case, we discover weirdness, then a government conspiracy cleans it all up and we are left with nothing more than a sense of unease. There are no answers to anything. In this age of good TV overload, this feels off-putting. It is perfectly X-FILES-y, but I was honestly expecting Joel McHale’s story to be a thread throughout the entire miniseries. I think that just may be my expectations based on how television has advanced over the years.

Additional: Miscellaneous musings…

A few things that I saw tonight that are really just for obsessive X-Philes:
  • Mulder is right back in his FBI suit and clean-shaven face.
  • Scully’s hair is back to being red! I think in the first episode, Gillian Anderson must have been finishing up on HANNIBAL.
  • When Scully did her autopsy tonight, she gave her measurements in US customary, instead of metric – like she did in the old series. Maybe that is the product of them shooting in Canada back then; Los Angeles now.
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