So how about that episode of The X-Files last night? From committing one of the great writing sins — last season’s finale was all a dream — to the hilarious confrontation between Mulder (David Duchovny) and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) to the improbable return of Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens), it all felt like a joke. Or, at the very least, I was laughing as the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) weaved his latest and ugliest plan to annihilate most of humanity and rule the survivors with Scully (Gillian Anderson) and William at his side. Between all the bad editing and hilarious recreations of the series most pretentious moments was one overriding realization: the show’s mythology is a bug now, not a feature.
But that shouldn’t matter for the next eight weeks as the series gets back to monsters of the week and crazy plots, some of which are buried within this promo for the upcoming season. Sure, it’s still heavy on the “humanity’s end” concept from the season premiere with appearances by Barbara Hershey’s Erika Price and The Lone Gunmen‘s Dean Haglund, but that parallel universe episode looks like it will be great fun.
Thankfully, the mythology will go dormant until the tenth episode of the season, in which creator Chris Carter will no doubt craft with another cliffhanger he’ll never pay off on. At least he’s honest this time. Consider the tag to this week’s credit sequence: “I Want to Lie.” He’s been doing a good job of that for decades.
The X-Files airs Wednesdays on FOX.