The X-Files: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster
February 1, 2016 9:08 PM - Season 10, Episode 3 - Subscribe

When a dead body is found in the woods, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate whether it was an animal attack, a serial killer or just maybe a strange creature as described by eyewitnesses. Meanwhile, Mulder is able to confront some of his own demons about feeling disillusioned with his life's work.
posted by town of cats (101 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, as far as I'm concerned, this episode justifies the existence of season 10. I've sat through seasons which had much lower concentrations of Darin Morgan writing and found them acceptable.

When the dog was named Daggoo I was like "HE DIDN'T" and then I was like "HE TOTALLY DID." And that just kept happening.

And, wow, apparently Kim Manners actually did pass away in 2009. Rest in peace, you brilliant blankety-blank.

(I'm 100% sure I'll have more to say about this episode later. Consider this my moment of silence.)
posted by town of cats at 9:15 PM on February 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


This was almost X-Cops level of sublime for me. Capped off with the theme being Mulder's ringtone. It was great. Rhys Darby as a reluctant were-human was amazing. It managed to do some dark humor philosophizing without being too on the nose. I was really put off by 1 and 2, but this has redeemed the season for me.
posted by codacorolla at 9:54 PM on February 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not as big on Darin Morgan as a lot of other fans, and the comedy episodes were generally some of my least favorites from the old show. But I thought this one was on the right side of cute.

A few thoughts:

* It seems like just being bitten by a random human turned the monster guy into a man. In an episode that was pretty weird already, that was weird.

* An unwelcome X-Files throwback: an episode where a dude (in this case the motel manager) does non-consensual sleazy stuff and gets away with it! There was way too much of that in the old comedic episodes.

* Mulder is once again questioning his faith in the paranormal. It's hardly the first time... but, jeez, Mulder. Still? How many freaking monsters does he have to see up-close before he stops angsting over whether he's wasted his life?

* The transgender stuff, like the almost-blowjob in the previous episode, somehow falls just short of seeming intolerant. It's hard to explain, but it just feels weird. It plays like they shot a really broad, intolerant sequence but then all the really bad jokes were taken out. Is anybody else getting a weird vibe? And if so, can you please articulate it better than I did?

* I loved it when Scully said that wildly conjecturing, monster-chasing Mulder was the Mulder she liked to see. Me too, Scully!

* I'm guessing they got a look at the footage from the first two episodes and figured out they needed to adjust the lighting or something, because Duchovny and Anderson both looked a lot better than they did last week!

* Having Darby cosplay as Kolchak was really random. At first I thought maybe he was going to be a paranormal investigator who'd been bitten by a monster or something, but there was no payoff to that homage at all.

* The tombstone tributes were sweet, but the inscriptions were so prominent in those scenes it was kind of distracting. But then again taking you out of the story with meta stuff is kind of Morgan's whole deal, so I guess I should be grateful that the tombstones and Mulder's ringtone were about as pushy as it got here.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:07 AM on February 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


This featured a lot of those great Darin Morgan trademarks, the impossibility of finding the truth illustrated hilariously by unreliable narrators, human condition juxtaposed by fantastic comedy and solid pacing throughout punctuated with a murder FBI case. Morgan's formula still hasn't stopped being awesome.

I've actually used the idea of a were-human in D&D before. This was executed way better than what I did though. Now I can never go back to that well.

Scully has a nice winking "I'm immortal" line, which has to be a callback to the Morgan-penned "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," in which the psychic tells Scully she won't die. A lot was made of that line by the online fanbase, although according to Morgan, he was just being nice when he said that.

Kumail Nanjiani and Rhys Darby! Two comic actors and both awesome in their part. Nanjiani even avoided the "I recognize that guy, therefore he must be the killer" trope just because I thought maybe they just gave him a small part just because he's a super-fan.

The transgender stuff, like the almost-blowjob in the previous episode, somehow falls just short of seeming intolerant. It's hard to explain, but it just feels weird. It plays like they shot a really broad, intolerant sequence but then all the really bad jokes were taken out. Is anybody else getting a weird vibe? And if so, can you please articulate it better than I did?


I'm getting the same feeling. Almost like the writers are saying "see, we're aware of these social justice movements. We actually know what's going on." Like the only reason the transgender person was in there was so the character of Mulder/the writers could show they can have a transgender person without mocking them (and also make a genital surgery joke). The transgender character is a respect prop basically? Is that too harsh?
posted by john-a-dreams at 12:43 AM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The transgender stuff, like the almost-blowjob in the previous episode, somehow falls just short of seeming intolerant. It's hard to explain, but it just feels weird. It plays like they shot a really broad, intolerant sequence but then all the really bad jokes were taken out. Is anybody else getting a weird vibe? And if so, can you please articulate it better than I did?

I'm having a hard time articulating it, too. I guess for me it's the fact that they have a trans character (the first in the series' history?) who is a crack-smoking prostitute? That combo and its jokiness felt like it was riffing off of the assholey "It's a trap!" fear of trans women. There's clearly nothing overtly disrespectful, but it does feel like a setup for something that is. I've rewritten this a couple of times and I don't know if I'm just talking out of my ass here.

At any rate, a solid episode otherwise.
posted by brundlefly at 1:39 AM on February 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'll be disappointed if we only get one really great episode out of six, but this was so great, I might be able to live with it. I think the Kolchak costume was fitting, not only because it was an XF inspiration, but because Darin Morgan originally wrote this script for a Night Stalker reboot a few years back. It was never shot because the show got canned.

I agree the scene with the trans woman came a little close to being offensive, but I think the writers are aware enough to know how far is too far. I could quibble, but it was one of the scenes in this season that felt legitimately like it was from a 2016 show and not one from 1995.

Apparently the paint sniffers were from earlier Morgan episodes, which is great - really solidifies the theme of this season "what am I doing with my life" or "is what I'm doing with my life worth it".

The nod to Kim Manners was great.
posted by crossoverman at 1:55 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Scully has a nice winking "I'm immortal" line, which has to be a callback to the Morgan-penned "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," in which the psychic tells Scully she won't die. A lot was made of that line by the online fanbase, although according to Morgan, he was just being nice when he said that.

Not just the fandom; the later episode "Tithonus" strongly implies that Scully does indeed become immortal.
posted by kewb at 3:32 AM on February 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


* I loved it when Scully said that wildly conjecturing, monster-chasing Mulder was the Mulder she liked to see. Me too, Scully!

I actually liked the exchange that came immediately after that -

MULDER: So you believe me, then?

SCULLY: God, no, you're bat-crap crazy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:53 AM on February 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


I don't remember the show being this corny back in the 90's, but everywhere I look people are praising it as a welcome throwback to the original. Last night's episode seemed so out-of-place to me that I'm starting to think I was watching a different show back then.
posted by GrapeApiary at 5:23 AM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I recognized Tyler Labine as a grown-up version of the stoner kid who appeared in at least one of the old episodes, but was the woman with him also one of the former kids? If so that's a funny callback, but also really sad. Those two have been out in the woods huffing paint since like 1994.

GrapeApiary, I wouldn't call it corny (which to me suggests triteness and sentimentality, and this sure wasn't that,) but whatever this was, the old show had PLENTY of episodes in this vein. This was actually rather mild on the goofy/weird/meta scale, compared to some of the stuff they used to get up to. (I still shudder when I remember Hollywood AD.) Those episodes were often the fan faves, and I always felt like the lone grump who was just sitting there waiting for the show to stop making fun of itself and get back to being spooky already.

Much as I'd hate to lose her, I hope Scully's not immortal. She appears to be aging at a normal human rate, and immortality without eternal youth can get very peculiar indeed.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:41 AM on February 2, 2016


I agree the scene with the trans woman came a little close to being offensive, but I think the writers are aware enough to know how far is too far.

I saw the transgender character as a contrast to Guy's condition - she chose to make a change in order to be who she wanted to be, unlike Guy. I agree that they brought it right up to the line and wish there was room in the script to have her not be the stereotype truckstop crackhead.

The drug use in the episode - paint, crack, anti-psychotics - was very nihilistic Morgan as well (Life is an ultimately meaningless mess - do what makes you happy in the now). I'm glad Guy was for the most part an upbeat character to contrast that. I was really hoping he'd say, "I'm a were-lizard not a swear-lizard" but you get what you get and you don't get upset.

I'm happy for Kumail and Rhys that their episode was the good'un!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:11 AM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


The transgender stuff, like the almost-blowjob in the previous episode, somehow falls just short of seeming intolerant. It's hard to explain, but it just feels weird. It plays like they shot a really broad, intolerant sequence but then all the really bad jokes were taken out. Is anybody else getting a weird vibe? And if so, can you please articulate it better than I did?

So, the whole episode when you look back at it comes off as being a bit of a ham-handed attempt at a transgender metaphor by somebody who means well but maybe didn't do as much research as they should have. "Guy Mann" is totally a drag king name, the disgust he feels toward his human form and the instincts he has in that form is clearly a description of gender dysphoria, I'm pretty sure he actually calls his transformation a "transition" at one point, etc. Including the transgender prostitute character was clear lampshade-hanging.

And, listen, I'm not even saying the concept didn't work. I don't think I'd call it offensive, and at least Mulder caught himself a bit after the "used to be a man" line, which was probably the most offensive thing. But, like, I don't think this was the best way to do a transgender metaphor. For instance, the actor playing the transgender prostitute is actually a drag queen. Definitely not the same thing, but I'm not sure anybody involved in the production of this episode actually understood that.

Ultimately, though, it was not as bad as the handful of times Bones has done the whole "wait a minute, this female victim is actually... A MAN!!!" reveal. Progress?
posted by tobascodagama at 6:12 AM on February 2, 2016


Was the hotel manager the same guy who was the second psychic to be murdered in Clyde bruckman? And maybe he was the dog faced boy in the circus freak ep?
posted by double bubble at 6:14 AM on February 2, 2016


Oh, but I should make it clear that despite my quibbles with the handling of transgender topics (which I reiterate felt well-meaning, if a bit under-researched), I really enjoyed this episode. Mulder trying to take a cell phone pic of the monster is up there with Mulder's reaction to the aliens in Jose Chung's From Outer Space as one of the funniest damn things this show has ever done.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:14 AM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't remember the show being this corny back in the 90's, but everywhere I look people are praising it as a welcome throwback to the original. Last night's episode seemed so out-of-place to me that I'm starting to think I was watching a different show back then.

Did you see Jose Chung or Bad Blood? The show generally wasn't, but this is pretty much in keeping with those episodes.

And, listen, I'm not even saying the concept didn't work. I don't think I'd call it offensive, and at least Mulder caught himself a bit after the "used to be a man" line, which was probably the most offensive thing.

I thought Mulder trying, and sometimes failing, to be respectful in ways he clearly only sort of understood was the best part of the transgender thing the episode was doing. It felt very real and very Mulder, who believes in giant lizardmen, but sometimes struggles with the stuff that deals with actual humans. That catching yourself is something that pretty much all well-meaning cispeople have done, especially people of Mulder's age, so I liked that. The rest was kind of ehh, though.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:27 AM on February 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Rhys Darby really stole the show in this one. Excellent casting choice, excellent performance. The graveyard sequence is exactly what you want from Darin Morgan; Guy is the perfect foil to Mulder's obsession... he doesn't know the truth, rejects the notion that his actions have any logic or meaning (which makes the idea of a conspiracy a non-starter), and despite being absolutely guileless and standing before him in broad daylight, Mulder still can't tell if he's real or not. I loved it!

And as a devotee of the X-Files Files, I also loved seeing Kumail Nanjiani!
posted by lefty lucky cat at 6:42 AM on February 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Those two have been out in the woods huffing paint since like 1994

Speaking of immortality...
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:18 AM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, Mulder is able to confront some of his own demons about feeling disillusioned with his life's work.

Next time on X-Files, watch as Mulder pulls up to the scene on his new Harley in a leather jacket and more edgy sun glasses, and his new bad-ass "I'm going through a mid-life crisis and I have zero fucks left to give."

Then Scully just rolls her eyes, and they're back to work as usual, but with more sass from Mulder.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Hey Scully, check out my new shirt!" Mulder unzips his jacket, which shows a white tee with black text that reads "I wanted to believe, but all I got was this dumb shirt"

Scully tilts her head and looks at Mulder in disbelief, as he turns around and shrugs the leather jacket off his shoulders, to show her the text on the back -- "and a big, ugly government conspiracy"

Mulder says "I made you one, too," as he goes over to his motorcycle and pulls another white shirt out from the compartment under his seat. "Here" and he throws it to Scully, who catches it, only to turn and toss it into a trashcan as she walks into the building where she starts describing what she knows about this crime so far.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 AM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


When the dog was named Daggoo I was like "HE DIDN'T" and then I was like "HE TOTALLY DID."

For those of you who, like me, didn't get the reference - Daggoo was one of the shipmates in Moby Dick, as was Queequeg.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:24 AM on February 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Pretty negative take on the Transgender issues over at Slate.
posted by anastasiav at 9:28 AM on February 2, 2016


It would have been a great opportunity to turn the trans prostitute stereotype on its head. Opportunity missed.
posted by double bubble at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


"But, hey, at least she wasn't the monster of the week, right?"

Yeah, unlike in "Gender Bender". (Oy vey on that episode.)
posted by tobascodagama at 10:11 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


We laughed so hard when Scully asked Daggoo "You wanna come home with me?" then looked around all sneaky-like, grabbed the cage, tucked it under her arm, and took off.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 2:00 PM on February 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Daggoo?!
posted by cazoo at 2:06 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The drug use in the episode - paint, crack, anti-psychotics

Wasn't the clerk also drinking rubbing alcohol? It was a very not-very-good-for-you-high kind of episode.

Speaking of alcohol, I loved how the were-human and Mulder just kept pulling bottles of bourbon out of their coats. I need to find out who their tailor is.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:16 PM on February 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


Pretty negative take on the Transgender issues over at Slate.

Actually, yeah, that final conversation with the were-man was a bit on the wrong side.
posted by crossoverman at 2:25 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now that I think of it, the whole bit with Mulder apparently getting blotto drunk and passing out in the cemetery in the middle of the day (but waking up without a trace of a hangover) seemed off to me too. But with Morgan I feel like I have to be grateful when an episode basically makes sense, doesn't totally lose the plot and doesn't annoy me too much. He does have talent, but I feel like he did a great job on Humbug and then nobody ever edited the guy again. He also inspired the other writers on the show to their own spectacular flights of self-indulgence. (You didn't write the episode where Burt Reynolds was God, Morgan, but I blame you anyhow.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:09 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


For me, the only thing that kept me watching the show was that it could go off-the-wall and be entertaining for it. Once I realised the mythology eps basically didn't end up, I watched the show like it was an anthology series and it was all the better for it. I'm glad for Darin Morgan and Morgan & Wong because if not for them, I don't think the series would have taken off in season two and three the way it did.

I think Chris Carter was a good producer, because he trusted his writers to take the ball and run with it. I think Carter is a pretty terrible writer, though occasionally he'd make a great myth arc ep - which would probably be undone the next time he wrote an episode. It was only post-Morgan(s) & Wong, when the show could be anything that it became the classic. If it was just the MOTW stuff from season one, I don't think it would be the classic it is now.
posted by crossoverman at 3:47 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]




I really want to see the gag reel for this episode. There must have been a lot of giggles.
posted by homunculus at 4:30 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I always felt X-Files borrowed heavily from Night Stalker: the gruff boss, the monster of the week, the inevitable cover-up at episode's end. So it was nice to see Rhys Darby dressed as Darren McGavin. Also a decent thing to tip your hat to your influences.
posted by maxsparber at 4:41 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I really, really enjoyed the hell out of this episode, though also experienced discomfort with the handling of the trans character. I guess I am a Darin Morgan fangirl after all.

That said, I would like to throw a pencil dart at the head of whoever decided it was mandatory that in EVERY SINGLE FUCKING NEW EPISODE one or more characters must explicitly say "I want to believe" and/or "the truth is [preposition] t/here" because STOP IT WE KNOW IT'S THE X-FILES AND THOSE ARE YOUR CATCH PHRASES
posted by olinerd at 5:19 PM on February 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Carter & Co. were always very open about the show being inspired by Kolchak: The Night Stalker; tiny baby X-Phile me had never heard of Kolchak until some of the XF creators mentioned it in an interview.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:22 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The drug use in the episode - paint, crack, anti-psychotics

Wasn't the clerk also drinking rubbing alcohol? It was a very not-very-good-for-you-high kind of episode.


Don't forget Scully asking Mulder if he was taking his medication! A question which he dodged. Please at least be taking antidepressants, Mulder. (Though I think he did keep the bottle of psych meds he stole from the were-human's hotel room?)

Thinking back, I'm amazed that more original episodes didn't involve Mulder going "hey Scully, come over and let's take lots of mind-altering drugs and try to commune with spirits / psychically contact aliens / move buildings with our minds, in the spirit of scientific inquiry. Plus I have brownies."
posted by nicebookrack at 5:35 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


> Much as I'd hate to lose her, I hope Scully's not immortal. She appears to be aging at a normal human rate, and immortality without eternal youth can get very peculiar indeed.

Well, it's the X-Files, so immortality would probably not be a blessing.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 5:47 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't remember the show being this corny back in the 90's

I remember the corny episodes from the 90's more than any other type. I've felt every episode thus far has been meta X-Files Season 10 where the meta is just apparently understood but this episode did it best.
posted by juiceCake at 5:59 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


No, I know about the Kolchak influence, Carter hasn't been shy about that. But if you're going to dress a character EXACTLY like Kolchak, I'd expect him to be a paranormal investigator or at least a journalist or an FBI agent or something. Dressing a were-lizard exactly like Kolchak seems like a weird way to do a shout-out, but it didn't ruin the episode for me. I thought this one leaned more toward Humbug than Jose Chung, and that's how I like it.

As I think back on it, the only thing that really does bug me was the peeping tom motel guy getting off scott free, with Mulder shrugging and saying that people who stay in a motel like that basically have no right to complain if a creep is watching them sleep. On the original show they had the weird rape-y stuff in Postmodern Prometheus and Small Potatoes and probably some other episodes I'm not thinking of, and guys doing hilarious non-consensual sex stuff is a trope I'm not happy to see repeated.

I suppose I should just be grateful Morgan kept the Stupendous Yappi out of this one.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:01 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder to what extent this episode served as a letter to the X-Files from Darin Morgan, operating on the assumption that it might be his last chance to write one? The entire graveyard dialog seems like an extended conversation between the writer of the show and the show itself.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 6:04 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love this episode so much, in no small part because it had to be written for Rhys Darby. I may have even screamed WEREWOLVES NOT SWEARWOLVES.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I always felt X-Files borrowed heavily from Night Stalker...

Which makes sense, since Kolchak founded the X-Files in the first place.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:17 PM on February 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Darby was great, but I also would have loved to see Nanjiani as the were-lizard. I'm sure he was stoked when they offered him a part at all, but it would have been really sweet to see such a raging fanboy given the chance to play one of the actual X-Files.

If they do another run of episodes, they're guaranteed to do one where Mulder is stuck in the woods with a bunch of reality show idiots looking for bigfoot. I'm calling it now. Either that or they'll do some thing where Mulder and Scully end up on one of those shows where people creep around some abandoned mental asylum with night vision cameras, insisting they just heard a ghost. (Although that genre is kind of played out by now, and Supernatural beat them to it.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:26 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Also, it just occurred to me that we have reached an unlikely moment in history where Supernatural and The X-Files could do a crossover episode, and that won't happen but it really really should.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:28 PM on February 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Darby was great, but I also would have loved to see Nanjiani as the were-lizard. I'm sure he was stoked when they offered him a part at all, but it would have been really sweet to see such a raging fanboy given the chance to play one of the actual X-Files.

Also, it was kind of weird to make such a big deal about serial killers being so boring and cookie-cutter, then it turns out that the serial killer isn't a middle-aged white guy (you know, like Guy Mann). Animal Control Dude is at least statistically unusual.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:55 PM on February 2, 2016


(Also, it just occurred to me that we have reached an unlikely moment in history where Supernatural and The X-Files could do a crossover episode, and that won't happen but it really really should.)

Or Sleepy Hollow. Or Bones. Either of which would actually be fantastic.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:56 PM on February 2, 2016


Or a three-way Sleepy Hollow/Bones/X-Files crossover, since Sleepy Hollow and Bones already take place in the same universe, apparently.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've been gunning for that Bones/Sleepy Hollow/X-Files 3-car-pileup since Fox announced the crossover and X-F reboot!

The best part of a Sleepy Hollow/X-Files crossover would be that, unlike with the Bones crew, Ichabod Crane could be completely honest about being a resurrected Revolutionary War soldier, and it would still drive Mulder nuts because no one could prove it.

Plus the life-changing event: Scully and Abbie Mills onscreen together as tiny perfect badasses who shoot to kill.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:20 PM on February 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Really it's a damned shame that Sleepy Hollow's plot went a bit off the rails in season 2 and that this season will probably be its last, because character-wise Ichabbie hits the Mulder & Scully chemistry perfectly, with a racially diverse cast to boot.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:26 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


The only thing missing from this was a Flight of the Conchords reference. Otherwise, utterly perfect!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:20 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I keep going back and forth about how I feel about the trans situation in this episode. My initial reaction was, "It is delightfully unrealistic that a white, male, cis federal employee in his 50s would be even THIS inoffensive about trying to explain what it means to be trans; I count this as a dubious, awkward victory but a victory notwithstanding." Ultimately my parents watch X-Files too and it's nice to think that they'll see someone who's roughly their contemporary on TV trying to explain what it means to be trans in a sympathetic way. But then why even have the character at all. I guess in an episode that's in part about waking up in a body that feels wrong and having to fake a lifestyle that makes no inherent sense to you, it just felt too obvious not to do in 2016.

Buuuut she didn't have to be a prostitute on crack, definitely. Urgh. Not a total victory, that's for damn sure. But...progress. Certainly progress compared to the original series.

The pervert hotel proprietor has been in, like, every Darin Morgan episode, right? I remembered him as a hypnotist from Jose Chung for sure. I was so thrilled to see him still alive, what a face that man has. While I agree it sucks that nonconsensual voyeurism is played for laughs in this episode, I don't feel like they make him a terribly sympathetic character. He's not semi-lovable, sleazy schlub Eddie van Blundht...he's a creep running a terrible motel, drinking rubbing alcohol like someone's about to fight him for it. I don't think anyone's rooting for him.

My favorite line in the episode was the "mortgage...whatever THAT is" line. I remember distinctly having to look up what a mortgage was when we were first applying for one after faking my way through a meeting with a mortgage broker. And "escrow"...I'm still not 100% sure I know what escrow means, but boy is that one of those grown-up human words I love throwing around.

In short, to me this was just an episode about getting older and confronting the hard facts of adulthood, and revisiting the things of your youth and appreciating them for what they are and trying to let go of what you don't love about them. So the fact that it contained some stuff that I didn't love was actually sort of perfect. The X-Files has never not been problematic, and I'm grateful that I'm now a person to whom that is obvious, and grateful that I now live in a time when that is pointed out to people to whom it isn't obvious. But the X-Files has also on occasion been entirely fucking delightful, and it was nice to have a chance to sit with that a bit and cherish what it was about the show that made it special and unique. The last two episodes haven't given the audience that sort of space but because this did that meta thing Darin Morgan always does, there was a lot of mental room to feel warm feelings about this show, what it meant to me, and how it shaped me.
posted by town of cats at 8:27 PM on February 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe it's just aliens manipulating the RGB values on my TV, but I've noticed a correlation between Scully's hair colour and the quality of each episode so far. The redder her hair the better the show, and her hair was on fire tonight.

Really enjoyed this! Will report more observations later.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


There was comment on Scully being "barely redhead" in the discussion of the first ep, and you're right, Scully's hair was a little redder in the 2nd, and more red in the 3rd.

Sunny/Overcast/Night-dominant scene differences in lighting?

... or conspiracy?

--

So what I don't get is - if the bipedal lizard hadn't been bitten by a human, he* would have remained a uni-formed lizard-looking biped who would subsequently go back into hibernation in a few days (? how long has it been awake and running around ?).

Evolutionarily, this is a huge dead-end; low density of members of the species, extraordinarily short active periods, extraordinarily long inactive periods, no apparent synchronization of active/hybernation periods (like cicadas), and they're kinda physically wimpy.

Alternatively, I could see a cryptospecies that hibernates for long periods of time to avoid periods of environmental stress - say, wait out an ice age - who upon revival samples DNA from the currently dominant pool of species for adaptations to current environments and incorporates it for their own use.

This absolutely can happen in microbes, but beyond that, is complete nonsense in higher organisms due to constraints imposed by complexity.

--

I loved this episode.



*the contact is worried about external genitalia and in human appearance, takes on the male aspect
posted by porpoise at 9:47 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, it was kind of weird to make such a big deal about serial killers being so boring and cookie-cutter, then it turns out that the serial killer isn't a middle-aged white guy (you know, like Guy Mann). Animal Control Dude is at least statistically unusual.

Actually, tobascodagama, research by the Bureau's Behavioral Analysis Unit has found that the racial composition of serial killers reflects that of the country as a whole - like Charles Ng, on death row in San Quentin, born in Hong Kong, convicted of eleven killings and perhaps responsible for over twice that number - or Derrick Todd Lee, who died before he could be executed, a Black man, initially overlooked by the local police who themselves mistakenly fixated on the idea of the White serial killer - the list goes on, showing that men of all races turn to serial murder at roughly equal rates, with the myth that serial killing is a particularly White behavior both an illusion and a deception - an illusion as the universal rates of this particular form of criminality contrast with the disproportionate rate at which members of some minority groups are victims or perpetrators of more pedestrian violent crimes, and more worryingly a deception, perpetuated by a corporate media functioning as a distributed conspiracy eager to play on the prejudices of the American populace, for example aggrandizing the White serial killer as a sort of twisted demigod figure, or in the prejudice that minorities are less intelligent and thus not capable of slotting into the also-mythical role of the hyperintelligent serial predator - this smokescreen clouding our perceptions in general but also quite particularly in this case, where we must realize that it is no more unusual that Animal Control Officer Pasha is a Pakistani-American serial killer than if he were just an innocent civil servant of the same ethnicity, and look past that to consider the real mystery, namely, why was Mr. Pasha's bite capable of inducing anthrosaury in the cryptid being we came to know as Guy Mann?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:41 PM on February 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


I believe that Mr. Pasha is also a were-human, but since he's human to begin with he only transforms into himself when the moon is full. And since his victims up to now have also been human (and dead before he bit them) there's no way anyone could tell. No doubt there's a monkey's paw, gypsy curse, or unfortunate deal with a higher power somewhere in his past, but that's extraneous to this story.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:51 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


No love for "Smart Phones ... is Us"?

I winced every time.
posted by Mezentian at 11:20 PM on February 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Mulder Scream was a nice callback to the original girly scream.

I really enjoyed most of this episode.

The crack whore owning up to being on crack was funny. I can kind of understand why introducing somebody transgender could be a good parallel here but uh why a crack whore and in 2015 why would Mulder be tripped up on it. Do not expect me to believe for one little minute that his vhs porn collection did not feature all flavors of transfolk back in the day. Out of all the people on the show I find it hard to believe Mulder would have to explain or justify wtf is going in there. The entire run of the series has been about Mulder being an outsider...so I'm saying there's a pretty big chance he met other outsiders who were transgender in the past. So, his reaction there was just kind of super annoying to me.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:18 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I didn't feel like Mulder's fumbling attempts to explain transgender people were too bad. I could have easily pictured Mulder making some crappy, very 1993 jokes about trannies, so I was glad it went the other way and he was clearly making an effort to get it right. He seemed flustered, but he's a cisgender FBI guy and to be honest I'm not sure how I'd do explaining the concept of transgender people to a were-monster in a cemetery either. (I feel bad calling him a lizard monster! The guy specifically said he WASN'T a lizard, so I honestly don't know what to call him.)

Duchovny himself has always struck me as relatively comfortable with trans stuff, and I suspect he would have objected if they'd tried to make Mulder transphobic. Over the years I've seen various talk show hosts try to tease Duchovny by showing a clip of him as Denise the transgender FBI agent on Twin Peaks. Duchovny, to his credit, never behaves as if it's anything to be embarrassed about. The closest he got was a few years ago when somebody showed a clip and when they came back from it Duchovny kind of cringed and said, "Boy, I haven't aged a day, huh?"

Come to think of it, why did the were-monster guy assume that getting SRS would solve his problem? Even as innocent as he was in the ways of the world, that still seems like a strange leap to make.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:45 AM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


She appears to be aging at a normal human rate

And if I can be completely shallow for a second...based on this episode, that normal human rate is being very, very good to her. Yowza.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:10 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really feel like I must've watched something different than everyone else. That or I've completely forgotten what the show was like.

Everything about this episode was awkward and painful to watch. It COULD have been a good episode. I mean, I get what they were trying to do. There's a way to be clever and entertaining and meta and make some kind of social commentary without YELLING AT ME THAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY. This episode was the TV show equivalent of an all-caps-no-punctuation-barely-parsable-unintelligible-nonsense internet comment.

I WANT TO BELIEVE that these new episodes will be good (and maybe even a step towards more new episodes), but we're halfway in, and I'm just confused and disappointed.
posted by MsVader at 6:31 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I binged the first four seasons or so of the original run in preparation for the revival. Believe me, the older episodes were often way more awkward than this.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:40 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think my favorite part was this tiny little moment, where Scully is standing outside the phone store, talking on her phone to Mulder: he hangs up, but she doesn't realize it at first. I love this, because it must happen to them all the time! They never say goodbye! They just hang up. And here we finally see the obvious result: one hangs up before the other has actually finished.

It's this sort of realism that I appreciate in my stories about were-men lizards.
posted by meese at 7:37 AM on February 3, 2016 [11 favorites]


MsVader, go back and review some of the funny episodes from the old days. This show has always had a bad case of "Get it?? That was a joke!! We're making JOKES here, people!" syndrome.
posted by town of cats at 7:52 AM on February 3, 2016


I loved the physicality of the lizard. The little leg kick he gave when running into the woods had me in stitches.
posted by ian1977 at 8:10 AM on February 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Also...did he say 'gigablorks'?

You'll notice the shape is quite rectangular. Hahahahah
posted by ian1977 at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Good jokey episode, and I now I know why everyone who had seen it was hyped. Loved the idea of a reverse werewolf, and instead of showing basic animal instincts, he started to develop very dull human instincts.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:21 AM on February 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


GrapeApiary: I don't remember the show being this corny back in the 90's, but everywhere I look people are praising it as a welcome throwback to the original.

My wife and I are no x-philes, but we loved this episode. We were sad that Sock was just a random paint huffer in the woods, but my wife was happy to see Shangela, and we both thought Rhys was perfect as the ancient lizard creature turned were-human.

Guy Mann: My craze wouldn't be satiated until I found steady work. So I walked straight into town and rather tragically I... I found something right away.
Guy Mann flashback: Now, this model comes with 3,000 gigabertz of pixelbitz...
Guy Mann: It's perfect for me. I have no idea what I'm saying, and neither do my customers.
Guy Mann flashback: You can see from the shape of it that it's quite rectangular...
Guy Mann: By the end of the day, I was the manager.
Mulder: Putting aside the logistics of no Social Security number, no references...
Guy Mann: I don't need any of that stuff. You see, now I possess the one Darwinian advantage that humans have over other animals-- the ability to BS my way through anything. I mean, it's better than camouflage!

Sooooo good! We watched that bit a few times, especially the 3k gigabertz of pixelbitz bit.


homunculus: I really want to see the gag reel for this episode. There must have been a lot of giggles.

I was assuming Rhys did some ad-libbing, but he says it was mostly scripted (and that he got his part by reading an emotional scene, and that believes in supernatural things, even co-hosting a podcast called The Cryptid Factor).


The drug use in the episode - paint, crack, anti-psychotics

Wasn't the clerk also drinking rubbing alcohol? It was a very not-very-good-for-you-high kind of episode.

Don't forget Scully asking Mulder if he was taking his medication!


And then the psychiatrist popped a few of Guy Mann's antipsychotics with a shrug. Lots of people trying to escape reality or make the mundane world more survivable. Dealing with reality was the theme of this episode.


Ursula Hitler: Come to think of it, why did the were-monster guy assume that getting SRS would solve his problem? Even as innocent as he was in the ways of the world, that still seems like a strange leap to make.

Remember, he wasn't aware he could die before his transformation ("I know this sounds weird, but... until a few days ago, I didn't know we die"). I'm not sure if he was less mentally evolved, or his kind are immortal. He's still putting the world together, so I can see that, in keeping with the "changing who you are" theme of this episode, changing your gender could be something that a lizard creature might have trouble comprehending.


I recognized Tyler Labine as a grown-up version of the stoner kid who appeared in at least one of the old episodes, but was the woman with him also one of the former kids? If so that's a funny callback, but also really sad. Those two have been out in the woods huffing paint since like 1994.

Yes, Nicole Parker was "Redheaded Chick" in the episodes War of the Coprophages and Quagmire (both from season 3, first aired in 1996), the other teen with Labine who was out in the woods in search of ways to get high (huffing manure fumes and licking toads).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I binged the first four seasons or so of the original run in preparation for the revival. Believe me, the older episodes were often way more awkward than this.

I took a look at a few episodes in the recent past and almost stopped watching. Some of the things Mulder in particular was saying, doing, and believing were just so silly/absurd, not to mention neither Scully or Mulder seem to understand how to operate a light switch on a selective the plot calls for darkness basis, but then you get used to it I suppose.

The two parter with Michael Mckean, Dreamland, had a similar "feel" to this episode.
posted by juiceCake at 2:32 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm worried about Daggoo, considering the cosmic vengeance that's been visited upon Scully before for presuming to believe that she could have any connection in her life outside of the X-Files for as long as she's actively working on them.
posted by invitapriore at 4:23 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or any connection when she's not working on the X-Files. The "I Want To Believe" movie was in 2008, and there's nothing in this season to indicate that there's been anyone for her between then and now. She only goes out with Tad O'Malley in "My Struggle" because he needed her to get in touch with Mulder - that is, the connection between them was X-Files related. She didn't meet him through work or anything.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:16 PM on February 3, 2016


Scully and Mulder were a couple in I Want to Believe, and I don't think the new series has established how long they've been separated. But the movie ended with them happy together on a boat, so I'm guessing it was a while before they split.

It's weird to remember how apathetic people were about that movie, given the revived X-Files mania now. 2008 wasn't that long ago, but even the X-Files fans I knew were like, "Yeah, maybe I'll see it on Netflix..." I guess 2008 wasn't long enough for people to forget how disappointed they were by the last few seasons of the show. (I liked Doggett and Reyes well enough, but they sure weren't Mulder and Scully.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:03 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


That monster was classic Buffy. Like, I wouldn't be surprised if they just found an old costume and touched up the paint.
posted by sgrass at 6:14 PM on February 3, 2016


Or maybe a Silurian outfit stolen from Who.
posted by sgrass at 6:28 PM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


That monster was classic Buffy.

I was reminded of Lorne from Angel.

Overall, this was an enjoyable episode. Parts of it broke the fourth wall with some lines sounding like they'd be from the actors rather than the characters. I was particularly glad that they didn't do Scully in Peril when she confronted the animal control guy.
posted by toomanycurls at 7:25 PM on February 3, 2016


YOU GUYS THIS WAS THE BEST EPISODE! I was laughing so hard. I love their cheesy eps and this was so reminiscent and had awesome awesome jokes. I laughed more times than I can count. Plus I love Kumail being the real killer. It just had everything I love in their b-movie type episodes and it was wonderful and goofy and fantastic. Awww.... X-files.

He also got an X-file to take home after his guest appearance and Skully never got one.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:42 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I realized something - Scully STILL doesn't have a desk.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I realized something - Scully STILL doesn't have a desk.

There was something against the wall (below the poster) that could have been her desk but it's in a very awkward position in the room and in relation to Mulder's desk.
posted by toomanycurls at 8:31 PM on February 3, 2016


Skinner can only accomplish so much, even if he is the longest serving Assistant Director in the history of the FBI.

"Pull your old desk out of storage? Sure, I'll go get it right now. Buy a new one? There's no budget for that!"

Incidentally, in my previous comment I was kind of nibbling at the edges of why Scully rejoined the X-Files. We understand Mulder's motivation: he got a glimpse of THE TRUTH once again, only to have it pulled away, so he's back on the hunt. At first he thought the evil government was behind everything, but shaking hands with Guy in this episode reminded Mulder that the world is plenty weird, and he got his sense of wonder back.

So what about Scully? In "My Struggle" we see that she has has a successful career as a surgeon going on, and doesn't really need to downgrade her pay by becoming a Special Agent. It's not entirely clear what she does, but apparently she assists other surgeons when they transplant ears onto needy children, which sounds like a pretty fulfilling job. So why did Scully drop everything and say "yes" when Skinner called her back? Near as I can see she came back for Mulder.

Scully likes Mulder and wants to be with him, but not when he's clinically depressed. So if the only time he's happy and truly functional is when he's obsessively chasing down X-Files, that's when she'll be with him. Her life is bigger than the X-Files, but it's not the same without him, so she'll make the sacrifice and go backwards in her career if that's the only way they can be together.

And yes, there's some foofarah over her having alien DNA. But that's nothing new for Scully.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:47 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Scully makes consistently terrible decisions where men are concerned. Of course she came back for Mulder. She's like a moth to a flame.

Ursula Hitler, I agree it's really funny to see the difference between fan sentiment about I Want To Believe compared to now. I guess it has been eight years...I did actually go see it in the theater and remember feeling borderline disgust with myself that, once again, I was wasting time and money on this entertainment franchise that had been jerking me around since my early teens. And here I am once again...rushing my preschooler through bedtime on Monday nights so I can run down the stairs and get watching.

Moth to a flame, man. It never changes.

It's way more fun liking X-Files when you're not the only deluded sap who still gives a shit about these characters, though! I was definitely the only person I knew who went to IWTB in the theater, and I had a lot of super-crazy 'Phile friends back in the day.
posted by town of cats at 8:58 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Scully may have had a successful surgical career, but she felt so much more energetic and less tired in this episode than she did in "My Struggle." I'm glad that she's choosing the X-Files and Mulder because she enjoys them. That's the way I like my Scully.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:43 PM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Conflicting agendas in my noodle. Found the seduction scene gratuitous (and yes, that was pointed out as bullshit in the ep) yet I was thankful for Gillian Anderson/Scully taking clothes off.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:01 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ditto on both counts, fluffy battle kitten, ditto on both counts.

I do enjoy that this is the scene that firmly convinces both Mulder and the audience that Guy Mann is an unreliable narrator who is making up at least some percent of his story. Hornytoad monster turned were-human in the midst of an existential crisis? Possible, even plausible. Random vapid sex kitten Scully? NEVER.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:56 AM on February 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


As is typical for Darrin Morgan, that moment also serves to convey a fundamental truth about the show. Mulder wants to believe. Mulder is capable of doubt. But the one constant in his life, the thing he never doubts, the thing he doesn't "want" to believe because he actually believes in it, is Scully. Mulder can accept anything else that Guy tells him, because he exists is a permanent state of suspended disbelief. But he can't suspend his disbelief about Scully. And that's why they're a team, even though she thinks he's batcrap crazy and he thinks she's too closed-minded to accept the truth.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:11 AM on February 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


But, I mean, there probably was some other way to convey Scully acting out of character than having her turn into a sex kitten.

That said, I'm pretty sure that bra was something she wore in a cheesecake photoshoot during the 90s, but I'm not entirely positive which one. (I mostly just remember her FHM shoot, which was literally published the year I turned 13, so you might say it had, uh, special significance to me.) So I think that sex kitten scene might actually have been some meta-commentary on how Gillian was treated in the press during the show's original run.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:16 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


So what I don't get is - if the bipedal lizard hadn't been bitten by a human, he* would have remained a uni-formed lizard-looking biped who would subsequently go back into hibernation in a few days (? how long has it been awake and running around ?).

Evolutionarily, this is a huge dead-end; low density of members of the species, extraordinarily short active periods, extraordinarily long inactive periods, no apparent synchronization of active/hybernation periods (like cicadas), and they're kinda physically wimpy.


GM: I don't know how it works. I'm not a scientist.

FM: I'm just looking for some kind of internal logic.

GM: Why? There isn't an external logic to any of it.
posted by nubs at 8:45 AM on February 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


FM: I'm just looking for some kind of internal logic.

It's beautiful how Mulder and Scully have rubbed off on each other over time. Quoted from all the way back in the pilot:
Mulder: When convention and science offer us no answers, might we not finally turn to the fantastic as a plausibility?
Scully: What I find fantastic is any notion that there are answers beyond the realm of science. The answers are there. You just have to know where to look.
Mulder: That's why they put the I in FBI.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:51 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Scully may have had a successful surgical career

I don't know what to make of Scully's surgical career. Not that she's slumming it, but I never go the sense that she became a hotshot surgeon or anything. I got the impression in "My Struggle" that she was kind of hanging around other surgeons as a consultant, not that she was calling any shots. It didn't feel like there was anything that would stop her from dropping it all and running off with Mulder again.
posted by AndrewInDC at 1:25 PM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, "My Struggle" made it clear that she was assisting the other surgeons. It's good work for a good cause, but maybe knowing that she would only ever be playing second fiddle made her long for a return to working with Mulder on the X-Files as an equal partner.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:44 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wasn't sure how to take the Scully porno scene. It kind of seemed like creepy fan service, but also a joke about fan service. It was definitely one of those great big X-Files WTF moments. (The first thing I thought was, well, this is sure gonna spawn a lot of gifs.) Anderson herself seemed like she was having a blast. I get the feeling she's a born goofball who really likes to do over the top comedy stuff but rarely gets the chance. So, if she was on board with it I'm gonna resist the urge to overthink it.

IIRC, in I Want to Believe she was performing some life-saving surgery on a kid. So whether she was assisting in the ear surgery or not, I think we're supposed to assume she's a big deal doctor lady doing important work. It isn't that her career as a surgeon is drab or unfulfilling. I think it's more that she senses Mulder is on to something, she's worried about him and maybe she can't resist chasing that old thrill of monster hunting. I think they've also just plain missed each other, but if they're hoping to rekindle something I'm not sure if they've quite admitted that to themselves.

The six episode run is kind of frustrating. I'm guessing they'll try to pack the conspiracy stuff and a bunch of relationship angst and the status of their kid and the return of Cancer Man into the final episode, and that's a lot.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:57 PM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I get the feeling she's a born goofball who really likes to do over the top comedy stuff but rarely gets the chance.

Yup. Track down some of the show's' gag reels (I'd link one or two, but it'd just send you down a rabbit hole) - she has an absolutely fantastic laugh, a full-on belly laugh that she rarely got to bust out on the show. (One of the things I loved about when David wrote and directed "The Unnatural"was that he let Scully laugh.). And the gag reels are a little on the sophomoric side -lots of cussin', lots of fart jokes, lots of pretending to make out - but Gillian is the one cracking the joke equally as much as David is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 PM on February 4, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh, what the heck - this clip is sort of a brief collection of "Gillian cracks up on camera" assemblage of out takes Chris Carter made for some "how the show gets made" special they did on FOX once.

The actual gag reels feature way more clowning around and mess ups and double-entendres and shirtless Mitch Pileggi, but this way you can hear her laugh because it is fantastic.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:15 PM on February 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


The crack whore owning up to being on crack was funny. I can kind of understand why introducing somebody transgender could be a good parallel here but uh why a crack whore and in 2015 why would Mulder be tripped up on it.

Crack is so 2015 where I am, and if you met someone who whacked someone in the head and they had a horn you'd be confused.

Admittedly, the crack whore at a truck stop did seem cliche, but I have never been to a US truckstop.

Do not expect me to believe for one little minute that his vhs porn collection did not feature all flavors of transfolk back in the day.

Call me crazy, but back in the day they were She Males (true!). And, if you still have classifieds in your paper, they may still be.And Mulder seems to be have gone all quiet in recent years. He may have missed the Twitter era/gender fluid teens/etc.

Out of all the people on the show I find it hard to believe Mulder would have to explain or justify wtf is going in there. The entire run of the series has been about Mulder being an outsider...so I'm saying there's a pretty big chance he met other outsiders who were transgender in the past.

Also, he forgot that one time in Twin Peaks.....
posted by Mezentian at 8:11 AM on February 5, 2016


I think the crack whore bit was more to keep up with the theme Mulder is frustrated with x-files because a lot of what he has on his desk are either hoaxes or pranks, or backed by blurry photos and unreliable witnesses. At least this is how I read it, not as a trans crack whore throwaway joke.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:22 AM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay: Ursula, you know how you said you bet that Gillian is a "goofball" who really wishes she could do more comedy?

I've just watched an interview with David and Gillian from 2013, and it came up that when David was on Californication, Gillian apparently nagged him a couple times that she should come on the show and do some kind of guest spot where she played a Scully-impersonating stripper that Hank picks up one night. ("Come on, couldn't you see it? I'd have one of those pastel pantsuits on, you know, and then.........")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:52 PM on February 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Tabascodagama, that bra looked eerily familiar to me too.
posted by town of cats at 7:00 PM on February 5, 2016


I'm so glad I avoided all spoilers for this one. What a virtuoso performance by Rhys Darby!
posted by Catblack at 8:01 AM on February 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


The objection that I - and many trans people I've chatted with - have to the truckstop scene is that trans women are almost never portrayed as anything but sex workers and/or victims and/or criminals. There was absolutely zero reason that character had to be trans.

Saying it's sorta progressive that at least a trans person was included is like saying it's sorta progressive they included a Muslim character, even if he did have a bomb strapped to his chest. Even if they threw a "not all Muslims" line in there, it would still be shitty because the episode has nothing to do with Muslims.

As far as Mulder's conversation with the were-monster, it propagates the notion that the truckstop character "used to be a man." (The character's line about her underwear added to this.) I'm bothered by the comparison to the monster's transition; trans people's experiences have often been dismissed as fantastical and alien, like wanting to become a mermaid. Granted, this is a show about aliens and the supernatural, but it's obvious they put zero thought into the real harm this stuff can do to people.

Also, once again, there's a cis man playing a trans woman.

If I thought Gillian Anderson had anything to do with these scenes I would have cried, and she is the only reason I will keep watching the show. But Darin Morgan and David Duchovny are getting some serious side-eye from me (Duchovny didn't write that, but he has enough pull to stop it). When trans people are literally fighting for the right to go to the fucking bathroom, let alone have jobs and shit, they need to be extremely careful how they portray us.
posted by desjardins at 8:40 AM on February 6, 2016 [17 favorites]


"No, I know about the Kolchak influence, Carter hasn't been shy about that. But if you're going to dress a character EXACTLY like Kolchak, I'd expect him to be a paranormal investigator or at least a journalist or an FBI agent or something. Dressing a were-lizard exactly like Kolchak seems like a weird way to do a shout-out, but it didn't ruin the episode for me."

It didn't occur to me as well but think about it. Where did the were-monster get his clothes from? R.I.P., Kolchak.
posted by I-baLL at 11:04 AM on February 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh, to be clear in case I wasn't: The serial killer killed Kolchak thus allowing the were-monster to steal Kolchak's clothes.
posted by I-baLL at 11:20 AM on February 10, 2016


I wondered if that was the implication, but we saw the extra who'd worn those clothes and he was a younger guy.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:49 PM on February 10, 2016


I love the fact that Scully took the animal control guy singlehandedly. Mulder dashes to the rescue and she's already taken care of it.
posted by humanfont at 11:22 AM on February 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I laughed at Mulder's phone having the x-files theme tune as its ring-tone.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:05 PM on February 18, 2016


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