REVIEW: The X-Files Season 11 Ep8 – Familiar

I would not call this episode a triumph, or even necessarily a continuation of the string of very good episodes we’ve been having this season (after the awful exception of the premiere). It was not subtle, and ultimately forgettable. But it was still decent. It reminded me of several fine-but-not-great episodes of the classic series.

Also, these are not New England woods. Just sayin’.

Anderson and Duchovny do continue to impress. The Scully and Mulder of this season are just so comfortable with each other, and know each other so well. It was fun to see them challenge each other as always, but also so clearly respect each other – a theme of this season that I have really enjoyed. I also got a kick out of Scully’s totally unsurprised “Uh huh” response to Mulder telling her he’d seen a hellhound.

Mr. Chuckleteeth was genuinely terrifying – in the grand tradition of children’s TV characters being nightmare-inducing. The Teletubby-ripoff things were only slightly less frightening. The episode didn’t need a witch to bring any more scares. Those were plenty! The mob violence was plenty disturbing, too.

Oh, I should also compliment the child actors. They were quite believable, and very cute. I admit I was taken aback that both of the child characters were actually killed, though. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. It’s not like that was a first for this show. But still. At least they didn’t have Scully bonding with the little girl who just happened to have the same name as her daughter. Instead, there was a nice, subdued mention of William from Mulder. That was a well done moment.

Also! Roger Cross as the one good police officer in that town! I love that guy, and according to his Twitter/Instagram, this was his fifth X-Files episode. He’s great every time he shows up. (My particular favorite was as Lieutenant Brophy in the season three classic “Pusher”).

Did he mention she’s also a medical doctor? (Drink!)

The climax, and everything about the ending, was pretty predictable. I do appreciate that it was Mulder who volunteered that the erstwhile witch might have gone up in flames due to the candles all around her, while Scully added that it could have been the gates of hell. I can appreciate the role reversal as much as anybody, and of course she didn’t necessarily need to have meant her comment literally. Naturally, Scully never saw the hellhound. Not that it was an extremely impressive-looking creature. Shouldn’t a hellbeast at least have red eyes?

Anyway, this episode was entertaining, creepy, and featured some good Mulder and Scully moments. Especially in comparison with last season’s garbled, irritating mess, those are all positives. Still, it does feel sad that one of these precious few remaining episodes would be so unimpressive.