The X-Files S10 Ep2 – Founder’s Mutation

Well, the nostalgia factor is still very high in this episode, for sure. And it still wasn’t perfect. But for a ‘monster-of-the-week’ episode, which I usually like better than the mythology, this one even tied into the mythology in a satisfying and rather heartbreaking way. I’m liking the upward trend of quality of the show, thus far.

This sound may have legitimately triggered a migraine for me, so I feel ya, Mulder.

This sound may have legitimately triggered a migraine for me, so I feel ya, Mulder.

Anyway, this week we start off with Special Agents Mulder and Scully (with badges and guns and flashlights and everything!!) called in to investigate an apparent suicide at a company that does top secret scientific research. The deceased seems to have heard a high-pitched buzzing sound that no one else heard right before he stabbed himself in the ear with a letter opener.

Even though the DOD quickly swoops in to stonewall our agents, AD Skinner’s on their side. He tells them that due to FBI bureaucracy, it might be a few days before the case is officially closed. Go, Skinner!

It doesn’t take long for Scully to realize her own (former?) place of work, Our Lady Of Sorrows Hospital, is connected to the man who died: the man’s boss funds a ward at the hospital for pregnant women whose babies are at risk for genetic disorders. And it turns out this man, Dr. Augustus Goldman, is experimenting on these children.

In the process of digging up the doctor’s dirty secrets, Scully admits – and gets Mulder to admit – that they’re both worried about William, the son they gave up as a baby fifteen years ago. Considering the chaos surrounding him (and Scully’s alien DNA), it’s not surprising that they’d worry he might be involved in some kind of secret government-run tests.

This plotline is the strongest of the episode, and beautifully done. We get to see both Scully’s and Mulder’s dreams and fears about their son. First, we see a happy, carefree Scully drop young William off at school. She sees him through normal kid stuff – and then sees him panicking as it looks like he might be turning into some kind of alien hybrid.

When we see Mulder’s dream, it’s about sharing classic sci-fi with his son, and then launching rockets in a field together. Little boy William wants to go to space someday. Of course, in a painful juxtaposition, Mulder then imagines him being abducted from his bed, just like his sister Samantha was, never to be seen again. Major kudos to both Duchovny and Anderson in these scenes.

"Welcome back, you two," indeed.

“Welcome back, you two,” indeed.

In the end, the case is not really solved. We do learn that Dr. Goldman had two children that he experimented on (presumably giving them alien DNA). His son (who was born via a terrifying self-administered C-section) can’t control his powers, which caused the suicide at the beginning of the episode. He also hurts Mulder with the same psychic buzzing.

The kid wants to reunite with his sister, whom he’s never met. They do meet at the end of the episode, killing their father, Dr. Goldman, with their minds. And there’s a lot of freaky telekinesis throwing both Mulder and Scully around, too. Then they vanish, and the DOD takes charge of the scene again.

That’s about where we leave off. I think what I like best about this revival so far is how much Scully has grown. She’s still a woman of science, and therefore skeptical, but she also knows what she’s seen. She’s willing to believe such things as alien DNA and enhanced mental abilities. Also, she’s still as ready as ever to stand by Mulder’s side, even when that means protecting him from his own rashness.

So far, so good, show. I think it’s pretty safe to say six episodes will not seem like enough!