The X-Files S10 Ep3 – Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

Wowee, that episode was probably the textbook definition of “quirky”. Coming from Darin Morgan, whom fans of the show’s original run might remember as the writer of “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” and “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”, that wasn’t unexpected. Still, this episode just may be exponentially quirkier than all his other episodes combined. And that’s saying a lot.

"The Internet is not good for you, Mulder." I love these guys,

“Mulder, the Internet is not good for you.” I love these guys.

At the beginning, we have a noticeably gloomy Mulder, mostly convinced that his lifelong quest to prove the existence of monsters has been foolish. After all, most of the creatures he has professed belief in have now been proven to be fakes. But Scully’s brought him a case with a monster – some kind of human-sized lizard creature has been sighted in the woods in Oregon. It seems to be attacking and killing people.

Of course, the sightings and witness statements seem sketchy at best. (Two of the first witnesses are actually the two stoners we saw a few times in the classic show, which is hilarious.) Mulder seems more skeptical than Scully. But then we see that it’s more of a front – he still wants to believe. It’s just that he doesn’t want to be disappointed again.

In true fashion for a Darin Morgan episode, we can’t be sure what is actually going on. But their suspect, the were-lizard-man (played perfectly by guest-star Rhys Darby), eventually confesses to Mulder that he is actually a human-sized lizard creature who was turned into a kind of were-human when a human bit him. He claims he isn’t the one who killed anyone – it was the man who bit him.

His story of how transforming into a human forced him to look for a job, BS his way to being hired, see a psychiatrist, buy a pet in order to find some happiness, and then despair when the dog ran away, is, naturally, ludicrous. But Mulder listens to the whole thing (in a graveyard which includes a memorial to beloved, late X-Files producer/director Kim Manners).

The lizard-man asks questions about human existence that we’ve all wondered about – where’s the meaning, if we all just end up dead? What’s the point of worrying so much about bills and retirement? Why does it seem like spending time with animals is so much more rewarding than spending time with other humans? Mulder doesn’t have a good answer.

Mulder arguing all of Scully's objections for her may be the best scene in the episode.

Mulder arguing all of Scully’s objections for her may be the best scene in the episode.

Scully, meanwhile, doesn’t hear this story. She’s following the scientific evidence, which points the same way as the lizard-man’s claims: toward the killer being the animal control officer who was one of the first people to be “attacked”. They catch the guy. Scully doesn’t believe in lizard-men, but Mulder does, by the end, as he gets to see the guy return to his “true form”.

There are also loads of callbacks and in-jokes in this episode: everything from Mulder’s infamous red Speedos to Scully being immortal. Mulder’s phone even has the show’s theme song as its ring tone. These were some of the quirkiest moments, in fact, and some of them didn’t work for me. But overall, I just sat back and let it flow. I’m pretty sure this one will only get better when I re-watch it.

What did you think? Was the quirky too much, or did it just bring you back to the good old days of X-Files comedy episodes? Let us know in the comments.