Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

The X-Files: This

“Bye bye, Ringo.”

Well, “This” is better than That (aka “My Struggle III”), but the charming antics of Mulder and Scully are enmeshed in more incomprehensible mythology.

Maybe the plot of this episode makes sense to some of you? If so, please share your wisdom. I think that Russia has something to do with digitizing Mulder’s X-Files and that a whole bunch of people were shooting at Mulder and Scully (while miraculously failing to hit them), and Barbara Hershey plays a leader of a group that wants to “save” humanity by uploading them…somewhere, and that it’s a different set of armed men/women who handcuffs Mulder and Scully before conveniently letting them escape. Who’s in the first group of attackers, who’s on second (base)? I’m so confused.

Regardless of the mayhem, shooting sprees, and hand-to-hand combat – I do enjoy watching Mulder and Scully quipping mightily while going on the run together. Langly making an appearance as a disembodied electric ghost is also a big part of the fun. Langly’s not my favorite Lone Gunmen, I prefer Byers and Frohike, but his part in the story’s enjoyable to watch. I also appreciate being reminded of “Kill Switch,” (it’s twilight time…) which is one of my favorites. Oh, the good old days. The place where Langly’s consciousness is imprisoned doesn’t sound like an ideal final resting place. It might be pleasant, but it’s obviously phony and repetitive. Langly wants out – help him Mulder, you’re his only hope.

Anyways, after lots of much needed touchy-feely moments between our heroes, the big climax results in… not much. Langly’s still being used as a Matrix-type battery and after Mulder’s hard-won battle with a bad guy, no one decides to watch the premises while the cavalry’s arriving. Just go ahead and leave all that important machinery and data sit there, unattended, so that it can all be removed by persons unknown. Good plan.

Other Thoughts:

What a surprise, Mulder and Scully don’t trust Skinner again. Really? After all the times that he’s saved them, cried over their deaths/abductions, and came to their rescue? I don’t like that, not one bit. Skinner deserves a spot on Team X-Files, forevermore, without any doubt. He’s earned it and Mulder and Scully should trust him. On the other hand, Skinner basically says that he can’t help them (much), and that they better run for their lives. He did give them money, though.

The couch scenes are very sweet, as is Scully referencing Mulder’s house as “our home.” Mulder has a house? Cool. I bet he doesn’t have a waterbed, though.

It’s always good fun when characters get handcuffed together while being chased. I’m reminded of the Remington Steele episode, “Steele Away with Me,” where Laura and Mr. Steele wind up handcuffed together while running around a picturesque countryside.

I really like the train scene and Scully using her “Mom” voice on those annoying children. The two boys sitting behind Mulder and Scully on the bus are Oscar and Felix, Gillian Anderson's sons. That’s so cute!

I don’t like watching Mulder fighting that bad guy. It’s too close-up and I cringe at the thought of how painful that must be. I’d rather watch fights from far away, it’s just easier to deal with, I suppose. It’s great when Mulder’s out of breath and admitting that he might puke, however.

Isn’t it funny how the heroes of a television show can be fired upon by automatic weapons and survive without a scratch, when the bad guys are usually taken down by one well-aimed bullet?

The lovely professor that Langly seemed to be involved with, is a surprise. She doesn’t seem his type, or vice-versa. I’d see her with Byers, though. Who knows? Maybe Langly had hidden depths that I’d never suspected were there. He always seemed like a big man-child, to me.

The best thing about this episode is how close Mulder and Scully seem to be. They’re simpatico, here. They also didn’t mention William, which just makes them (and me) sad.

Scully calls Mulder a Hannibal Lecter-level psycho. I tried to watch Gillian Anderson on Hannibal, but that show was too gory for me. Also, too slow paced, after the first couple of seasons.


Skinner: “The bureau is not in good standing to the White House these days.”

Mulder: “The FBI finally found out what it’s like to be looked upon as a little spooky.”

Scully: “You think we could get in looking like this without raising suspicion?”
Mulder: “You look good.”

Mulder: “Frohike look 57 to you when he died?”
Scully: “Frohike looked 57 the day he was born. His birthday is the same day that FDR died.”
Mulder: “So, Langly... March 28, 1969. Any president die that day?”
Scully: “Eisenhower.”
Mulder: “Who needs Google when you got Scully?” Indeed.

Mulder: “I'm gonna open an X-File on this bran muffin. I gotta get to the bottom of why it's so freaking good.”

Scully: “Why do you work so well with your hands cuffed behind your back?”
Mulder: “As if you didn’t know.” Ha, good one.

Langly: “Please, for all of us, shut this down!”

Note: I can’t deal with Mulder’s line to Scully that used the words “adorbs” and “Glock.” It’s just too weird, for me.

This is an episode that I like, but I can’t help feeling that Mulder and Scully are too old to be fist-fighting and duck and cover-ing. These plots could be less physical and more cerebral. I love a great mystery to solve. All the violence, car crashes, and assaults just seem to be too much. I’m not enjoying the violent parts, at all. I’m a similar age as David and Gillian and watching me do all those stunts wouldn’t be entertaining, either. Maybe some of you disagree (that watching an aging Mulder and Scully isn't ideal), that’s perfectly okay. The X-Files used to be my security answer for favorite television show. I don’t type it in that field, anymore. It’s nice to check in on Mulder and Scully, and even though this is an enjoyable episode, I still can’t help feeling underwhelmed. I think I’ll go watch “Kill Switch” again and bask in Mulder and Scully’s glory days.

Three and a half out of five Invisigoths.


  1. Yeah, it wasn't perfect. But it also wasn't wall-to-wall incomprehensible Chris Carter exposition, like the last one, so I liked it a lot better. It was just Mulder and Scully and a mystery, and it was creepy and interesting and fun. This was what I wanted. Plus I loved that it started and ended with the two of them on a couch. :)

  2. As an huge fan of Longmire, I can confirm that you can have older actors playing their age and still have a gripping TV show. Sci-Fi is only believable until something too unbelievable breaks the illusion, and a pushing-60 Mulder doing those fight scenes certainly breaks it for me :(

  3. Gotta shout out to Mallena for the Remington Steele reference: my favorite eighties television show! And agree with you that Byers would have made more sense for a romance with a professor than Langly. He was the only one who was conventionally successful and accomplished (before falling with the others), as well as the best looking.

  4. I never thought that I would fall for Walt Longmire, but I did. He's so determined, tough, yet vulnerable. Great show.

    Yep, I also love 80's romantic comedies. Good times.

  5. Just the fact that the horrible New England Patriots lose all the time would make me love the virtual reality Langly was trapped in.

    Let's hope the upcoming standalones will be more fun then the 1st two episodes.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.