The X-Files: Nothing Lasts Forever
March 15, 2018 7:44 AM - Season 11, Episode 9 - Subscribe

While investigating human organ theft, Mulder and Scully uncover a mysterious cult consumed with macabre rituals. [CW: gory surgery and dissection scenes]

The X-Files season 11 episode 9 review: Nothing Lasts Forever -- A monster-of-the-week leaves some big questions on the table in the latest episode of The X-Files. Spoilers ahead... (Chris Longo for Den of Geek)
For a show that continues to evade the cold grip of television’s grim reaper, The X-Files to its credit has been pleasantly self-aware this season. The show was pumped with an infusion of fresh blood (har har -- ed.), giving new, diverse voices a chance to write and direct, while the old guard of the franchise maintained that X-Files look and feel that fans longtime fans demand. What could be the show’s penultimate episode is a perfect distillation of what went right in the show’s eleventh season.
The X-Files Recap: The Morning After (Brian Tallerico for Vulture)
This week’s episode of The X-Files ends with one of the best scenes in quite a while, a moment between Mulder and Scully that feels like it signals the end of the landmark series, which will come with next week’s (likely) series finale. But before that happens, we get a slowly paced hour about a classic TV and movie star who has formed a cult around her refusal to age. Of course, there’s something meta about doing a story about a TV star who looks timeless, given how much David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have completely defied the aging process and that we’re watching a show that premiered almost 25 years ago. Is it really The X-Files itself that has refused to age? Or has its cult fandom kept it alive?
“The X-Files” drinks the Kool-Aid and worships a particularly bonkers cult where eternal youth is just a disturbing organ transplant away (Daniel Kurland for Bloody Disgusting)
“I found a cure for the greatest disease of all mankind. Every human has a ticking time bomb inside of them and I figured out how to defuse it.”

Sometimes a certain topic might seem like a questionable choice for The X-Files, but the areas of creepy cults and organ theft mutilation rituals are definitely disturbing content that are tailor mode for The X-Files. Seasons eight and nine of The X-Files get an unreasonable amount of hate, but the season eight entry “Roadrunners” is one of the creepiest episodes from the show’s entire run (not to mention one of Vince Gilligan’s final X-Files scripts). It’s an installment that understands how to pair together the idea of a brainwashed cult and body horror to inspired effect. “Nothing Lasts Forever” might not have the same personal stakes that “Roadrunners” taps into, but it’s still a satisfying entry that finds something new to say on the topic.
Mulder: "I finally know why I'm not a Christian, Scully. My parents never got me a puppy."
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
And if you were wondering, Barbara Beaumont does not appear to be a real actress. There is no The Barbara Beaumont Show, but in looking for how they made those old episode clips, I instead found Den of Geek's research into "the science of blood magic," which is a real thing (well, not blood magic, but the study of "young" and "old" blood). And they also look at blood magic practices, for good measure.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think it was another solid motw episode. Since I'm counting on next week being a shitshow, I'm going out and say I'm happy with this season.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:44 AM on March 15, 2018

A little tribute I noticed...

The name of the washed-up former tv star, Barbara Beaumont, is a mashup of Barbara Billingley and Hugh Beaumont...the two actors who played Beaver Cleaver's parents.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:10 PM on March 15, 2018 [8 favorites]

This episode was giving me Ryan Murphy vibes in that it was a bit much.
posted by cazoo at 2:56 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

And if you were wondering, Barbara Beaumont does not appear to be a real actress. There is no The Barbara Beaumont Show,

Thorzdad has it, Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley were the parents on Leave it to Beaver.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:01 PM on March 15, 2018

Loved this episode. Wasn’t too thrilled about the cold open when it looked like this episode was going to be a dark and gritty superhero pastiche, but once we met Ms. Beaumont and Dr. Lavinuis things went off the rails in a delightful way.

The whole theme of aging inevitably and trying to hang onto one’s youth was perfect for the penultimate episode of a show that’s lasted long past expectations, but the darkest joke in it was how Scully, a woman of a certain age, is literally thrown out with the trash.

I don’t expect next episode to be any good, as it will bookend the terrible season premiere, but I have greatly enjoyed all the episodes in between. At this point I’d be happy both if the X-Files were done forever, and if they came back for season 12—as long as Gillian Anderson is on board.
posted by ejs at 6:18 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I wasn't too thrilled with this particular episode, as the Barbara Beaumont cult was too campy and over the top for my tastes (why were all those kids too dumb to know they were just there to be used for their blood and organs?), but I will say that The X-Files has gotten its groove back. There's been a good run of episodes in this season that have exactly the same vibe as the original nine seasons, and if they've been of varying quality, well, so were the nineties-era episodes.

What's everyone's guess as to what Scully asked Mulder to do? Are they going to find William? Or are they going to get married?
posted by orange swan at 7:26 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I really disliked this. The female villain was basically every stereotype about vain women unable to cope with aging. When she started singing, I turned to my companion and said "I'd rather be hideous if that's what they have to put up with." Why were the hot teens content to just lay on garbage mattresses all day? What's the point of being really, really, ridiculously good-looking if you're just flopping around watching TV? How was eating human organs doing anything? Like, had they done plastic surgery to Olivia, or did her jaw just reset itself because she drank a liver smoothie?

Mulder's glasses were fine. I thought he looked hot in them.

Also, I loved Latina Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was badass. I wanted more of her.

Chris Carter doing his usual smug audience manipulation stuff with that last scene. Stop trying to be coy. It's so artificial and gimmicky. Just let us hear what she said, Jeebus, the whole show's about to be over.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:55 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Mulder/Scully relationship has been so all over the map this season that it’s hard to predict a resolution. Didn’t she call Mulder’s house “our home” in the episode “This?” But then in “Followers” it seemed like Mulder had never even been to her place (or maybe he just had a sudden realization that it was so much nicer than his). And “Plus One” has Scully keeping a frisky Mulder at arm’s length until the end, when she went to his room for some implied sexy times, but then in “Followers” they immediately went their separate ways after their dinner date (but later engaged in some meaningful hand holding). It seems like their relationship is fluid depending on the needs of the narrative, but I haven’t minded too much because every permutation has been fun—and we’ve seen every episode how they are true friends, partners, and soulmates above all else. If they get married it will be both surprising and not at all surprising.
posted by ejs at 9:02 PM on March 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think it's likely the Mulder/Scully relationship was written with little consistency throughout the series because everything the writers had to work with was "It's complicated", so each came up with a different take on where they were.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:51 AM on March 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

The female villain was basically every stereotype about vain women unable to cope with aging.

Well, this episode was written by a woman, and I think she knew what she was going for. The whole episode was like an old exploitation picture done right, with a Latina vampire slayer, a mad scientist sewing himself to a woman, a cult of deformed people made beautiful by a crazy vampire lady who sings There's Got to be a Morning After while she kills people. Jesus, the more I think about it, the more this episode rocks. I laughed out loud when she was singing, because it was so nuts. Everybody involved was clearly have a ball.

I thought Beaumont was great fun. She was a super-campy, drag queen-y, faded sitcom star vampire, a little bit Baby Jane, a little bit Valley of the Dolls. I suppose her name may have been a nod to Leave It to Beaver, but I wonder if it was a reference to Charles Beaumont, the writer of a number of Twilight Zone classics (including Long Live Walter Jameson, another dark look at immortality).

Fiona Vroom got her start as an Orion slave girl in a really good Star Trek fan film I saw years ago, and she stood out then as somebody to watch. This episode may be her biggest role yet and I thought she nailed it. She hit just the right note of scary/funny/sexy, with the emphasis very much on scary.

What's the point of being really, really, ridiculously good-looking if you're just flopping around watching TV?

People have joined cults for far less compelling reasons that literally having their deformities, sickness and pain taken away. In addition to whatever religious mumbo-jumbo they were being fed it also seemed like their needs for food and shelter were being taken care of, and it looked like they were mostly spending their days cuddling in the dark. I'd almost be tempted to sign up for that deal, myself.

That last scene was really moving, but it is weird how they're being so vague about Mulder and Scully's relationship even as they head into what may well be the ACTUAL series finale. I do hope Gillian Anderson can be persuaded to come back, because if the show stays this good I'd be happy to watch until Mulder is complaining about his gout.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:00 AM on March 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

The whole episode was like an old exploitation picture done right

Totally. If you take Mulder and Scully out of the story, what's left is something you'd find on a old third-generation tape with a direct-to-video horror flick made somewhere from the late 70s to the mid 80s.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:19 AM on March 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Gillian had her own comment about what Scully whispered in Mulder's ear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 AM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Fiona Vroom! Sweet!
posted by mwhybark at 11:30 PM on March 27, 2018

Juliet, portrayed by Carlena Britch, was pretty great.
posted by mwhybark at 12:11 AM on March 28, 2018

On rewatch, I still didn't like the Barbara Beaumont cult, but the Mulder and Scully bits were nice. We've never seen Scully do things like taking communion and lighting candles before, and even though Mulder doesn't share her faith at all, there he was right beside her talking to her about it and waiting for her until she'd done what she wanted to do.

And I think she asked him to have a child with her.
posted by orange swan at 1:55 PM on October 22, 2020

« Older Podcast: Reply All: #118 A Pir...   |  Full Frontal with Samantha Bee... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments