Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Founder's Mutation

Last night's new episode of The X-Files, the second of six in this mini-run, was a bit of an improvement over the first. Still, it fell far short of my hopes for this revival.

"Founder's Mutation" was certainly a more coherent story, with a more logical plot. More importantly, it actually gave Mulder and Scully personal stakes in the action as they pined for their lost son William. The dream/nightmare sequences in particular were a nice touch, though I think Mulder's spoke more specifically to a vision of parenthood lost, where Scully's played more generically on fear.

I am grateful the episode at least took those two scenes to slow down and breathe, because the rest of the story felt a bit overstuffed. This single investigation started out with a sonically driven suicide but then veered sharply into the issue of genetic experimentation. Before it was all done, we were seeing X-Men. (X-Files Men?) It all moved a bit swiftly, and didn't even cover how in the world Mulder and Scully are just back working for the FBI as if nothing has happened these past 10 years. (I know, the first episode said the X-Files were reopening, but is it really just as simple as Skinner snapping his fingers?)

I noticed the episode went out of its way to be current, with Mulder's conspicuous jokes about Edward Snowden and ObamaCare. It's as if the writer really felt compelled to remind us that these are new episodes of the show. I'm not sure that will help the shelf life of these episodes, but then again, so far I don't envision watching either of them again.

Muddled, but moving in the right direction, I give "Founder's Mutation" a B-.

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