The X-Files Season 11 Episode 2 Review: This

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Those of you who LOVED The X-Files Season 11 premiere can turn away for a few seconds. The rest of you must be breathing a sigh of relief. 

Then again, The X-Files Season 11 Episode 2 should have also done pretty much what I said it would do; it left you in just a little bit of a state of confusion as to why "My Struggle III" was aired when it was because, with the exception of a few minor details, Scully and Mulder were in better form than they've been in ages.

If there's a mad search on for their 17-year-old son, they were comfortable, warm, and relaxed while it was happening. I daresay they were more intimate than they've been. Maybe ever.

Mulder and Scully Armed - The X-Files

That's entirely alright with me. After having watched "This" twice, it gets better with age. There is more to appreciate the more you watch.

The first thoughts that come to mind are that "This" is nothing new. Black Mirror has had an entire season reasoning different portrayals of the same subject.

What happens when consciousness move on from the corporeal and into the cloud? In "This" case, there wasn't a body at all that we were given access to, but it sounded like Barbara Hershey (the name of whom I still don't know) has plans with her pal Brando.

It was only a brief few words but being revived again and again without worry about male, female, black, white (or animals??), gave me the impression there would be a body component to their idea of evolution. If not, it's not exactly evolution, is it? 

Langley Lost - The X-Files Season 11 Episode 2

Nonetheless, expect the topic to become more relevant as the days go by. Netflix has Altered Carbon coming out soon, too, and that will be a prominent feature of the series.

It was a fun way to bring Langley back into the picture, especially since he's still alive in some form.

He wants his new world to be abolished and fast, but with the computers responsible for his world on the move, who knows if and when he'll ever see an end to daily hotdogs, chats with Steve Jobs and Michael Crighton, and a sun that doesn't make you warm.

The clues left to find him were quite elaborate, and I was pleased Scully wondered how in Hades he managed to leave them as well as the gagging Mulder did when they found their way into Titanpointe via a 1940's type ruse.

Arlington Cemetery - The X-Files Season 11 Episode 2

There's nothing that works better on The X-Files than when they question what's going on right in front of them. 

Speaking of which, did you catch any of the, I guess you'd call them Easter Eggs, while they were going through the online X-Files? There was a reference to the Home, Pennsylvania case, as well as a photo of (I think!!) Brian Huskey, who features in The X-Files Season 11 Episode 4, "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat."

I had to laugh at how ludicrous it was that Mulder was seated an entire Lamps Plus table away from Barbara Hershey as they had their discussion. The room was so dark they wouldn't have been able to see each other's faces with the simple lighting of the room.

With the film crew assist, it worked, but what kind of conference table gives such low lighting to every meeting participant? You'd be blinded trying to see each other over the glare of the lights and back down at whatever you were staring at on the table.

An Old Friend - The X-Files

The highlight, of course, was the genuine love and affection between Fox and Dana. The opening with them snuggled on the couch to their amazing shootout to running in tandem through the woods...every second of that worked only because of their close partnership.

Scully: Why do you operate so well with your hands cuffed behind your back?
Mulder: As if you didn't know.

Do not go up against them at the next FBI office party. No sack races or eggs on spoons. They are the dynamic duo. 

The fight scene in the stairwell was equally as impressive, and I'm hard-pressed to remember a time their cases were so athletic! 

Let's not forget their verbal exercises, either.

Scully, you looked so adorbs just there, all curled up in a ball in the booth of a skanky bar with your fingers wrapped around the grip of an assassin's Glock.


Mulder singing Scully's praises every time he gets is something I can get behind. If Scully is going out after this season, I'd like to see them closer than ever before she disappears. Probably into the cloud now that Chris Carter has that out. Who hasn't talked on the phone for two hours?

And Gillian Anderson was heaving as much of the comic weight as David Duchovny.

Mulder: I'm gonna X-File this bran muffin, get to the bottom of why it's so friggin' good.
Scully: I don't care if it came out of an alien's butt. I'm gonna eat the whole thing. Mmmm.

The hour was so less dour than The X-Files Season 11 Episode 1 it felt as if the shows were unconnected. Anderson and Duchovny were free to be the characters they have grown to love, and we were free to enjoy the entertainment and pick up on little details as necessary.

"This" is what I want out of The X-files. And if you watch The X-Files online, you know that is not all you get with the show. Sometimes you get struggles, and the genie is put back into her bottle. The magic is stifled.

For the next three hours, the enchantment will continue.

What did you think of "This"? Did you enjoy the return of Richard Langley? Was it OK if it was a topic we've seen so much recently? Did you think Skinner was talking not only about all the US Intelligence agencies but all the similar X-Files shows, too?

Comment away! Surely this one leaves you with something to say!

This Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (19 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The X-Files Season 11 Episode 2 Quotes

I don't know what I know. But I'll tell you what I do know. We gotta take a trip to IKEA.


Mulder? Am I dead? If I am, they know that I know.