REVIEW: The X-Files S11 Ep2 – This

I could start this review the same way as last week’s, for a whole different reason: Why, Chris Carter? Why??

Why have that confusing, insulting mess of a season premiere at all, if you were going to have great episodes like this one afterward?

These two should always be standing together against the world (and against bad writing).

Glen Morgan has written a terrific episode that is pretty close to exactly what I would have hoped for in an X-Files revival. Mulder and Scully were both badass together, Skinner was gruff and conflicted but still helping them, there was good continuity, and the bad guys were interesting. And unlike most of last season’s episodes, the whole story was coherent, without feeling like key scenes had failed to make it into the finished product.

I had forgotten that Glen Morgan originally created the Lone Gunmen, so it’s fitting that he give Langly, at least, a better revival (ish) than these three ever got in S10. It was great to see Dean Haglund again, and great that Langly got to lead Mulder and Scully on a fascinating chase. Too bad Frohike and Byers didn’t show up, too.

And oh, to see Scully be all awesome and Scullyish again was so very refreshing and gratifying. She took charge, she got things done, she was snarky and smart and everything we love about her. Plus, she and Mulder having to be on the run together again was just awesome. They really shine as characters when they’re allowed to be equal and work together like they have actually been partners for decades. Both their non-verbal communication and their banter was spot-on. Also, Scully called the house “our home,” and a million MSR shippers died of happiness – including me.

Right. So. The plot. It’s not the most original thing in the world, but it works. Barbara Hershey’s cabal (I still don’t remember her character’s name) wanting to keep humanity going by harvesting their consciousness makes sense in this X-Files universe. And of course Langly would be smart enough to figure out something is wrong with his Heaven-world (but by the way, I love that the Patriots never winning is part of why it’s so perfect! Yes!), and naturally he would contact Mulder so it could be fixed.

Scully and Mulder in that booth were the textbook definition of “adorbs.” Cr: Shane Harvey/FOX

Scully delivering Mulder as a prisoner in order to get inside the NSA stronghold doesn’t make a lot of sense, since the NSA should probably know that they’re partners/lovers/basically married. But the scene was funny. Besides, maybe Barbara Hershey just decided she’d take that chance to talk to Mulder again, face to face.

Overall, this was a very satisfying episode. In my opinion, it would have worked just fine as the premiere. I suppose then we wouldn’t have had a mention of William, but given what Carter and company have apparently decided to do with that storyline, I wouldn’t have missed it. I only wish we didn’t have any more Carter-penned episodes to dread – er, look forward to.