The X-Files: Monday   Rewatch 
December 12, 2015 2:20 PM - Season 6, Episode 14 - Subscribe

A woman is trapped in an endlessly repeating time loop that ends in a tragic bombing in which Mulder and Scully lose their lives every time.
posted by town of cats (2 comments total)
This episode has a special place in my heart because the only XF fanfiction I ever published on the web was a Groundhog Day story, and I got to it a year or so before this aired. When I heard that Gilligan and Shiban were going to use the same plot conceit I'd already used I basically died of delight. Happily I no longer remember much about the fic other than the fact that I wrote it and was proud of it and it had a time loop in it, so I couldn't even google it if I wanted to. Which is great, because it was certainly terrible.

This episode is good at some things, bad at others. With any Groundhog Day style storytelling a major issue is making sure it doesn't get boring for viewers. It's very easy to lose the audience if you strike the wrong repetition balance. I think this episode does a good job of changing it up, by having Mulder slowly wake up to what's going on and react accordingly and by varying what happens just a bit each time. I also like that there's a little bit of philosophizing about time and free will. And I think my husband has the same edition of Gravitation you see above Mulder's bed. Since I was initially attracted to my husband in large part because he bore superficial similarities to Mulder I'm always amused to find a parallel between them I hadn't seen before.

As an X-File, though, this episode is pretty shaky. The agents never investigate what happened; it's unclear why they were caught in a time loop, how long it went on, etc. The woman who was able to remember the previous iterations was clearly the key to the phenomenon somehow, but I feel like a truly classic X-Files episode would have had the agents somehow examining the time loop while caught in it.

Also, I realized watching this episode that I have become way, way more sensitive to gun violence in entertainment in the last few years. There is a fair amount of gun stuff in this episode and I don't think I'd have even noticed that when it aired. But now it really bugs me.

Finally, I love when the X-Files writers inflict something out-of-character on Mulder or Scully and then destroy it violently a few episodes later. Queequeg and Mulder's poor, ill-fated waterbed are the two best exemplars of the genre. I loved Mulder's pathetic attempts to avoid explaining that he did not, in fact, purchase a waterbed and doesn't know how it got into his apartment. So funny.

I've got family and friends galore descending on my house through the holidays, so I'm going to post this episode right now, then watch Field Trip tomorrow and post it, and then consider myself finished with my mini-rewatch and ready for the new mini-season in January. I would be delighted to discuss other episodes if someone else wants to post any I skipped, though!
posted by town of cats at 2:23 PM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

This episode made Shaenon K. Garrity's 'top five X-Files episodes not written by Darin Morgan' list. She also mentions the waterbed:

'The show’s homage to (or ripoff of, depending on how kind you are) Groundhog Day, “Monday” forces Mulder, Scully, and everyone inside a downtown bank to repeat the same disastrous bank robbery over and over again…and only the robber’s accomplice/girlfriend is fully aware of the time loop. A cool idea, nicely executed, with lots of gloomy cinematography and shots of Mulder looking downcast–that’s what a solid “X-Files” episode is all about. Plus it ties up the all-important loose end of the waterbed Mulder acquired in the two-part body-swap storyline “Dreamland.”'
posted by jwgh at 5:23 AM on December 13, 2015

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