If we were breaking down the type of X-Files episodes, three definite categories would be: mythology related (usually heavy on the aliens), monster of the week, and paranormal satire. “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” is definitely the latter. Striving to balance the previous week’s rather mythology and emotional heavy two-handed premiere, this week’s episode lets our agents have a bit of snarky fun.
A good monster will cheer you up: While huffing paint in the forest a couple sees a horned monster seemingly attacking a man. The monster runs off, leaving behind a dead body and a still alive animal control officer. The bizarre killings land on Mulder and Scully’s newly reinstalled desk in their familiar basement. But Mulder is facing a midlife crisis, unsure if anything paranormal that he’s ever believed in is real. Scully seems determined to perk him up with the case.
Man vs. lizard: Searching the scene of the attack, the agents find evidence it is likely a human is the perpetrator despite the sketch of a horned, three-eyed monster provided by the crack eyewitnesses. Then the monster “attacks” again, this time a transgendered prostitute at a truck stop. Mulder and Scully run into the animal control officer (Kumail Nanjiani) but he wants no part in hunting the monster. But the lizard-man finds them and Mulder gives chase. He and Animal Control are attacked from behind, though both survive, and Mulder manages some blurry photos of the creature. They follow the monster into a Porta Potty but only an English man (Rhys Darby) with his pants down is inside.
Bad video evidence: The results of Scully’s autopsy show the bite marks on the victims were made by a human being. But Mulder believes his video from last night shows the creature shooting blood out of its eyes, similar to the Horned Lizard. He compromises. “So we’re looking for a man-sized horned lizard with human teeth.” Scully is not amused but she tells him she is having a very good time investigating these cases again with her partner.
The helpful peeping-Tom: At their hotel that night, Mulder overhears the manager screaming about a monster. Looking through a trashed room he finds the entrance to elaborate peep-hole set-up. When he returns to question the manager, the man confesses. While spying on his guests that night he saw an English man ranting in his room and then change into a horned monster. Mulder confirms the man is the same one from the Porta Potty and the monster is the same one they’ve been chasing. He wakes up Scully to tell her the latest evidence supporting his lizard-man theory, which she still does not buy. But she’s happy to see him more his normal self.
Man and lizard: The next day Scully happens upon Porta Potty man at the cell phone store and Mulder rushes over to question him. But the man storms away when Scully tries to start the questioning early, much to Mulder’s frustration and concern. He follows the man to the cemetery and engages him in a very long, rather detailed conversation. The lizard-man has always been a lizard-man but a few days prior he was bitten by a human. When he woke up the next morning he’d turned into a man with all of the thoughts and compulsions of a human. At first he was elated but soon he discovered the monotony and wished to either stop the transformation or die. He pleads with Mulder to kill him and when the agent refuses, and reveals he’s with the FBI, lizard-man angrily runs off.
The real monster is…: Waking up after an alcohol-induced nap in the cemetery, Mulder gets a call from Scully telling him she’s at animal control. While they’re on the phone, the crazed animal control officer attacks her. Mulder rushes to her aid, but Scully has everything under control. She cuffs the killer, revealing the autopsy actually showed strangulation was the cause of death. On a hunch she’d tested his pole and found tissue and blood from previous victims on it. Mulder then realizes the lizard-man’s story is true and goes out to the forest to meet him. The creature is headed to hibernate for 10,000 years but shakes hands with Mulder as a man then transforms right before the agent’s eyes. Mulder’s faith in the otherworldly is renewed.
- Scully: “Mulder, the Internet is not good for you.”
- Mulder: *tells Scully numerous theories about the lizard-man all in rapid fire*
Scully: “Yeah, this is how I like my Mulder.”
Mulder: “So you’re agreeing with me?”
Scully: “No! You’re batcrap crazy!”
- This episode was a clear homage to “Bad Blood” and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” but didn’t have the same laugh out loud moments as these two. At least not for me. That said, it’s nice to see X-Files using this revival to play around with what fans loved about the original series and give us plenty of Easter eggs along the way.
- Kim Manners, the name on the tombstone where Mulder places flowers, directed 52 X-Files episodes. He died in 2009.
- Scully sneaks a dog named Daggoo out of the animal shelter, planning to adopt him. Daggoo is another of the harpooners on the Pequod in Moby-Dick, just like Queequeg, Scully’s previous dog.
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