THE X-FILES Episode 2 Review: Founder's Mutation

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It's Mulder & Scully's first new FBI case in 13 years (we don't talk about the second movie, right?) and it's sorta like a lost episode of Fringe. Here's our review of Founder's Mutation.


The first episode of The X-Files revival needed to be heavy on the show's mythology. There needed to be a good enough reason to reopen the investigations - beyond just that of David Duchovny's bank account needing topping up - and there needed to be a significant game changer if the show was going to be relevant in 2016.

My Struggle achieved all those things fairly successfully and delivered an entertaining 45 minutes of television, but one could argue that The X-Files were often at there most entertaining when they dropped the mythology and presented stand-alone stories. Weird unconnected cases of the unexplained. Gross out monsters and paranormal investigations. So I was very much looking forward to Founder's Mutation, I mean I would've been anyway, but even moreso after reading that it was billed as a stand-alone episode.

Stand-alone? Yeeeaah, not so much! It was entertaining, for sure, although often in a head-fucky kind of way, but boy was it mythology heavy. And mythology of both the old and new type too.

In the new corner we have mutated children and unborn babies being experimented on by "men" (oh, those men!) who are maybe/maybe not using the salvaged alien tech to maybe/maybe not create the next step in evolution. In the classic corner... so very much in the classic corner. Primarily though it's William, Mulder and Scully's son who they gave up for adoption to protect him. The fantasy sequences of a life they might've had, the joys of loving and the terror of losing a child, presented from both parents were a little... odd, and cut into the narrative in such a way that it took a second to work out just what was going on. I get that it saved on the explanations in what was already a very exposition heavy episode, but it didn't quite work. Not for me anyway.

One thing that did work very well in Founder's Mutation was the humour. From Mulder's encounter in the bathroom, to "the truth is in here" line, Edward Snowden's name drop and "not being able to unsee" someone's eyes popping out. And whilst we've gone there, let's talk about the first class gross-out moments. Dr Sanjay's patented earwax remover, and what was left of his cadaver after Scully was through examining him. The genetic mutations, the scene where pregnant Jackie Goldman "let's out" her son Carl, and the Carrie-like siblings taking down their father. First class gore and humour presented in The X-Files unique way.

Overall Founder's Mutation was a little bit patchy and a little more clunky in places than My Struggle, but once again you can overlook these minor issues as, just like the opening episode, it was an entertaining 45 minutes with an interesting story. However, I'm still waiting that one killer episode that will make this revival all worthwhile. Right now, it's for the fans, and I'm sure most of us are more than happy with what we've seen so far, but The X-Files needs a watercooler story to get everyone talking about it. I think they've got it in them, but with only 4 more episodes left it better arrive soon.

And Scully still doesn't have a desk!

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