Review: ‘The X-Files’ Hits Its Stride In Episode Two

The best way to describe the first 42-minutes of The X-Files revival would be an appetizer.

The first episode was an enjoyable experience and like most appetizers can be a necessary element to enjoying your dining experience. The second episode of The X-Files revival certainly transitions the audience from what’s necessary to what is extraordinary. The second episode entitled “Founders Mutation” jumps right into what makes the X-Files so entertaining. As always with “The X-Files,” there is a complete change of tone from episode to episode. The mythology-heavy premiere gives way to “Founder’s Mutation,” an intriguing and frequently gory puzzle written and directed by James Wong, one of Carter’s original team.When a scientist suddenly commits suicide, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate what unseen force may have driven him to it. What they uncover are a laboratory where extreme genetic experimentation has been going on for decades, breeding subjects who possess unexpected and dangerous powers and who harbor deep resentments.

After watching Monday night’s episode, many will question the reasoning behind waiting before jumping into the intriguing and the unexplained that made The X-Files such a favorite show for so many reasons. The audience can’t discount that fourteen years is a long layoff and the series creator Chris Carter had to know that it would take that first episode to lay the groundwork for the remaining five episodes.

A good sign for X-Files fans had to be when they realized that Chris Carter was able to bring back so many people from his original X-Files team. James Wong, who was with Chris Carter from the series inception and gained notoriety for writing the highly popular “Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man, ” pens an episode that reminds all of what we loved most about The X-Files, the unexplained. Wong’s talent is that he writes in a way that allows you to empathize with characters on the screen (no matter the circumstances). Wong has proven his talent over the years while penning episodes for American Horror Story, The Event, and 21 Jump Street.

In the second episode, the theme of Government mistrust is once again on display. This time, we are lead to believe that Department of Defense is behind these experiments in genetics that turn ordinary Boys and Girls into special children. Doug Savant plays Dr. Augusts Goldman, who is at the epicenter for all these genetic tests. Mulder and Scully have to figure out is he acting on his free will or is the government underwriting his twisted brand science.

The highlight of the second episode had to be the on-screen chemistry between Mulder and Scully. As I alluded to in the review of episode one, Mulder and Scully had plausible chemistry for two people who hadn’t worked together for fourteen years. In the second episode, Mulder and Scully hit their stride and were reminiscent of the FBI agents that everyone glued to their TV sets years ago. Remember, that even though this is a six-episode “event,” we still have to build towards the things that we want to transpire.

Chris Carter and his whole X-Files team had to feel the pressure going into this six-episode X-Files revival. Breathing life into a series that has been off the air for fourteen years is difficult and to compound matters, dealing with the enormous expectations X-Files fans is no small task. Well, new/old X-Files fans will be delighted to see that after Monday night, that X-Files is starting to hit its stride.

The X-Files

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.

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