We got another new episode of the X-Files last night, and this was easily my favorite so far. It wasn’t big onto the overarching conspiracy story, which I’m fine with, because it was just a fun episode, which are also the ones I enjoyed most from The X-Files in the 90s. Even if the rest of this mini season are back to the big bad conspiracy, I’ll be happy for this revival just for this episode. Spoilers after the break.
The story starts off with a couple (one of them is Tyler Labine, from Reaper, and other stuff) huffing paint to get high, who then hear some noises and see what looks like a lizard-man running by them. Then they find 2 people unconscious and one of them won’t be getting back up.
Mulder in his office throwing pencil darts into an “I Want to Believe” poster on the wall, which Scully claims is hers. He then starts talking about all the cases that have since been debunked now that there’s plenty of information on the internet. So now he’s become a skeptic.
Scully tells him they have a case and even if it’s not a lizard-man, there’s still people being killed so they should go investigate. They meet with an animal control officer (played by Kumail Nanjiani, who I loved on Portlandia) and then find a few bodies. Mulder is still doubtful it’s anything but an animal attack but they get a sketch of the creature and Scully takes the body to a morgue to examine.
Then they get a call from a street walker who saw the creature and hit it with her purse, so there’s a hole in it from his horns. Mulder has a camera that won’t stop taking pictures, and thinks he can get a shot of the creature if it really exists. They run into the animal control guy again, who was called about a dog, but when he hears something worse, runs off in the opposite direction. Mulder runs into the lizard-man, literally, and gets some blurry and non-identifiable pictures.
We see the creature run towards a porta-potty, but when Mulder gets to it, there seems to be an Englishman inside.
So they leave. Mulder tries showing Scully the pictures he took but they’re not conclusive, and he claims there was blood shot into his face from its eyes.
Back at their motel, Mulder hears the manager scream about a monster, but he claims it was the renter calling him one for asking for the money and trashing the place. Mulder discovers the motel is set up to be a peeping tom’s dream, with a bunch of animal heads with eyes that can be looked through and a walkway between the rooms.
Mulder tells the owner he’s not going to arrest him for that, because you should expect that kind of thing from this establishment but wants to know what he really saw, so he tells him about the guy who turned into a lizard-man. It turns out to be the guy from the porta-potty.
Mulder finds some anti-psychotics he left behind, and uses that to locate his psychiatrist who is a fun character himself, and prescribes some meds for Mulder, because who’s more crazy, the guy who thinks he turns into a lizard-man, or the guy who believes him? He also tells a tale of how a piece of green glass was used to kill such a creature long ago, and mentions how a lot of tales seem to involve some form of penetration. And suggests taking a walk at a graveyard to remind him of his own mortality.
Scully finds the man working at a cell phone store, but he runs off, and Mulder finds him at a graveyard, as the doctor seems to suggest to all his patients and practice himself.
He asks Mulder to kill him, with a broken green glass bottle, having heard the same story from the psychiatrist. Mulder agrees but only after he tells him what happened to make him transform. And that’s when we get to the really good part.
It turns out, he was a lizard-creature that was bitten by a man and is now cursed to turn into a man except when the full moon is out. That’s right, it’s a reverse were-creature and it’s awesome. He relays to Mulder than he saw a man killing another man and tried to scare him into stopping but was instead bitten. Then he transformed into a human, and suddenly found himself feeling the need to wear clothes, and have a job, and watch porn, and then hate his job and want to quit but be scared about how he’ll pay his bills. I very much enjoyed where he explained he’s good at his phone selling job because he has no idea what he’s talking about but neither do his customers. He even gets a pet dog, but it runs off, and is actually the one that animal control was called about. It turns out he’s a pretty friendly lizard-creature, who just wants to stop turning human.
Eventually it’s revealed the real killer is the animal control guy, who tries to attack Scully but she fights him off and has him in cuffs by the time Mulder arrives.
So Mulder says goodbye to the friendly were-human who hopes that when he turns back he’ll be able to hibernate for the next 1000 years like he normally would, and Mulder is back to being Mulder.
A very fun episode indeed, and worth the revival of The X-Files just on its own as far as I’m concerned.