“The X-Files” has returned to television after its dramatic ninth season conclusion in 2001. While the 2008 feature film “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” marks the actual last appearance of the series, this current offering marks a return to the series’ televised roots.
With nine seasons, two feature films and a comic book series before it, the current miniseries “The X-Files” has high expectations. Starring David Duchovny (Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully), and Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner), the miniseries brings the show back to its origins. Mulder and Scully find themselves reinstated as FBI agents and again embroiled in a conspiracy regarding the existence of extraterrestrial life.
The two-night premiere—beginning Sunday, January 24th—served up a heaping platter of conspiracy-laden monologues and paranormal investigation. Intriguing plot twists and captivating emotional dialogue continue to make the series a must-watch experience.
The first episode “My Struggle” brings the mythology of “The X-Files” front and center, with a new take on the already established concept. Previously Mulder and Scully worked to uncover the existence of aliens and the shadow government Syndicate who worked with them, plotting towards alien colonization of Earth. In this episode the duo discovers that while aliens do in fact exist, the plot to colonize the Earth was nothing more than a fabrication created by men even more sinister than the Syndicate. Their goals beyond global domination as well as their identities remain a mystery.
Influenced by the increasing technological surveillance and paranoia of post-September 11th America, “My Struggle” reinvents the mythology with a big brother-like conspiracy. The episode contains several classic Mulder moments as Duchovny delivers his paranoia filled expository monologues. One of its most shocking twists comes with its cliff-hanger ending, revealing that the mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man—played by William B. Davis—survived his fiery demise at the end of Season Nine.
The second episode, “Founder’s Mutation,” follows a more traditional “X-Files” formula. The newly reinstated Special Agents Mulder and Scully find themselves investigating the mysterious suicide of researcher at government-funded genetic research lab. Their investigation uncovers experiments on deformed children linked to two teens possessing paranormal abilities. Mulder believes that the experiments are the continuation of Syndicate project to create alien-human hybrids last seen as the invincible Super Soldiers from Seasons Eight and Nine.
“Founder’s Mutation” has the feel of an early season episode of the series while addressing some its more recent plot points. The episode also features dialogue between Mulder and Scully in regards to their son William, whom Scully gave up for anonymous adoption late in the original series. William—the potential result of Syndicate experimentation on Scully—held significant importance for the Super Soldiers and was given up for his own protection. The exchange between Duchovny and Anderson is extremely emotional and both actors deliver touching performances imagining a possible life with William.
The new miniseries brings back original characters such as the Cigarette Smoking Man and Assistant Director Skinner, while introducing new characters. “My Struggle” introduced the Alex Jones-like conspiracy theorist, conservative, and television host Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale). The episode also introduces the repeat abductee Sveta (Annet Mahendru), whom Mulder interviewed about her experiences as a child and possesses alien DNA. “Founder’s Mutation” introduces the paranormally gifted siblings Molly Goldman (Megan Peta Hill) and Kyle Gilligan (Jonathan Whitesell). Their disappearance at the end of the episode hopefully indicates a larger role in the entirety of the miniseries.
Of particular note is the miniseries’ inoffensive portrayals of LBGT characters aswell as a more diverse cast than the original series. Hopefully these aspects are carried throughout the last four episodes.
Next Monday’s episode will be a “monster-of-the-week” story where Mulder and Scully investigate sightings of an apparent monster leaving a bloody trail. What other mysteries will the agents unravel as the series progresses? Will the Super Soldiers who last infiltrated the United States government return? How did the Cigarette Smoking Man survive his apparent death and whatever happened to William? Keep watching to find out.
New episodes of “The X-Files” air Mondays at 7:00 p.m. central on Fox.