“Scully puts the ‘science’ in science fiction,” is a concept that stuck out from my previous article arguing Dana Scully’s essential role in The X-Files. When we left Scully and Mulder in ‘My Struggle,’ Scully had scientifically proven that both her and Sveta have alien DNA. This ties into bigger X-Files mythology around abductees, the Cigarette Smoking Man, and The Syndicate. Of course Scully is key to these storylines, and Scully and Mulder fear their son William is a part of The Syndicate’s conspiracy.
Now ‘Founder’s Mutation,’ which starts off like a monster-of-the-week episode, goes on to explain what exactly this conspiracy is. The Syndicate, featured heavily in The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998), worked to implement a project for aliens to colonize and repopulate the planet. The full details of this storyline never really played themselves out in The X-Files. This episode looks into human-alien hybrids as the new theory on how this alien colonization will work. For The Syndicate this has been their goal all along, as some twisted way to speed up human evolution. One great allusion to the human evolution theme is when Scully and Mulder run into Agnes (Kacey Rohl) at the hospital. In one of the shots with Agnes, the audience can see Planet of Apes playing on a TV in the background.
Scully and Mulder’s investigation lead them to discover a series of inhumane genetic experiments, most of which are preformed on women and young children. This is a call back to Scully’s choice to give up her son for adoption in Season 9. Could William be like these children that Scully and Mulder find in Goldman’s hospital? Bringing back William Scully might be Chris Carter’s master plan to finally give audiences the answers to all the alien-related storylines. Often the government conspiracy and alien cover-up storyline felt tired. These mythology episodes usually didn’t work for me, because any answers given to the viewer felt vague. But in The X-Files revival these mythology-heavy episodes hold my attention, because Scully can quantify what’s fact and what’s fiction. Scully’s medical background makes her indispensible proving the science in these genetic experiments. As a former abductee, Scully continues to develop through her character arc. Dana Scully adds complexity to the story, as she can relate to and help investigate other survivors.
The second episode works by giving audiences the Scully and Mulder team that fans know and love. It’s a call back to some serious nostalgia, complete with scene in Assistant Director Walter Skinner’s office. Here the mission is clear, and Scully has a lot of challenges ahead of her.