By Josh Melo
‘The X-Files’ Review – S10 Ep.3 (Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster)
The first few moments of Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster had me dreading what was to come. In 2 episodes we’ve had to watch Mulder acclimate to the new status quo, going from wounded lover of all things extraterrestrial to once again being a true believer. The third episode starts the same way. Luckily, thanks to genius writing and spectacularly hilarious performances, Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster ends up being one of the most unique, funny and straight up entertaining episodes of television I’ve seen in a long time.
As briefly mentioned, there were a few fleeting moments where I held serious doubt about the episode. Having Mulder begin the episode down on conspiracy theories and the X-files makes little to no sense after just witnessing a couple of telepathic children and learning that Scully is indeed part alien. That little inconsistency is quickly forgotten however, once a new case falls into his lap. After reading up on his old cases and learning that the vast majority of them could be chalked up to fraternity pranks, stupid hoaxes or “ice”, the idea of chasing yet another monster that would probably end up like the others lacked any appeal. Yet the old fire returns when he has an impromptu run-in with the ancient lizard man and he catches a few close-ups of the supposedly murderous creature.
From there the episode spirals into almost complete parody. One of the biggest issues I had with the previous two episodes (the second being considerably better than the first) was that the actors came off as bored and tired. Here everyone seems to be having the time of their lives. Mulder ranting to himself about hypothetical lizard people running around killing innocents and exuberantly acting out Scully’s half of the conversation was perfection, but it get’s even better.
Rhys Darby, the titular were-monster, was absolutely hysterical. His entire monologue in the graveyard was delivered with such a genuine sense of fun that, despite the whole thing sounding “batcrap crazy” you can’t help but believe the guy (as was the case with a more than skeptical Mulder). The way they both start pulling bottles of booze out of their coat pockets and try to mix some logic into a story about a possibly centuries old lizard monster suddenly turning into a human afflicted with all of the mundane anxieties that come with being normal (finding work, finances, lying about sex, loving one’s pets) is nothing short of the greatest interaction I’ve seen on television in my television viewing experience.
Aside from the opening scene with Mulder throwing pencils at Scully’s “I Want to Believe” poster, every single joke hit and hit hard. From the monster lying about Scully forcing herself onto him to naming his dog Dagoo, I couldn’t stop smiling. And I can know say with 100 percent certainty that the only thing dividing humans from animals is the ability to bullshit our way through situations we have no logical reason to be in.
In addition to Rhys Darby, the episode featured a number of hilarious guest spots. Tyler Labine and Nicole Parker reprise their classic “stoner” roles and Kumail Nunjiani is unsuspectingly priceless as the “run of the mill” serial killer. Even the kooky perv from the motel had me laughing as he chugged his rubbing alcohol.
Tonally, Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster was off the charts. It has nothing to do with either of the episodes that came before it, yet it trumps those showings in every way. Scully hit the nail on the head when she said, “I forgot how much fun these cases can be.” With only 3 more episodes in the season, the show will be hard pressed to get as much out of the initial conspiracy as it can, but if the following episodes are anywhere near as fun as this, I couldn’t care less.
Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster was absolutely delightful. Duchovny and Anderson are finally looking like the characters legions of fans fell in love with and Rhys Darby will forever be immortalized as the naked lizardman that named his dog Dagoo and refused to chop his balls off (his own, not the dogs).
Overall, Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster get’s a 10/10.