Does Chris Carter hate us? Like, here you go! An old-school X-Files episode like the ones you really used to love, and as an added bonus: I'm gonna have Scully and Mulder share a hotel bed BUT LOL I WILL FADE TO BLACK the moment you think there might be kissing. Let's recap this bad boy so I can lower my blood pressure for a minute.
A group of assassisns tried to take out Mulder and Scully when Richard Langly successfully reached out to them from the great beyond. That "beyond" turned out to be the simulation he had his brain uploaded into when he died, so that he could live eternally with his 1 TRU LUV but also, of course, part of a top-secret government project. Read the full recap here.
This Week’s Case File
(Ouch That's) Cold Open
PUNK ROCK SHOW, YEAH! The young people are enjoying their headbangin' tunes when from his high, bodysurfing vantage point, a guy sees...himself. Staring back at him. He heads out on a chase after himself, but his evil clone twin appears in the front seat, grabs the steering wheel and crashing both of them into a tree.
CUE THEME WHISTLES.
I W_ N T _O B _ L I _ V _
Okay, so turns out the guy's name was Arkie, and he survived. Mulder produces his mug shot, and explains to an ever skeptical Scully that Arkie swears his evil clone caused the accident. And turns out, this is, like, a thing in Arkie's small Virginia town. A mass phenomenom, if you will. A brief in-person interview with Arkie and his doctor leads them to Little Judy, a schizophrenic who plays games of Hangman "telepathically" with her twin brother and tapes the games up on the wall. One of the games spells ARKIE, and while Judy doesn't know who Arkie is, she points to an empty chair in the corner and says, "She does."
Scully and Mulder head to the nearest hotel where *oh dear* there's only one suite available, and they'll have to share. But alas, no sexy time to be had tonight: Arkie was found strangled to death in his jail cell by a security guard named Chucky Poundstone...who happens to be Little Judy's telepathic Hangman-playing brother. When Mulder heads over to Chucky's garbage pile of a house to investigate the next day (giving us all Home flashbacks as he does it), Chucky is...a handful. And like his sister, he has Hangman games taped to the wall, and a second personality to keep him company most days. Scully, meanwhile heads back to visit Little Judy, but is met by "Demon" Judy instead, Little Judy's less than pleasant alternate personality.
I'll take, "Karin Konoval popping out of places unexpectedly" for $500, Alex.
Demon Judy is all scary sass, berating Scully that she's not good enough for Mulder, calling her old and a dried up "hosebag." Scully keeps her chin up and walks out, but it's clear later that evening that Judy's gotten under her skin. Scully is feeling a little insecure about her age, but also uncertain that there isn't some sort of psychic interference happening in this town.
Have you seen my sword collection? ::wink::
When Chucky and Judy set their sights on Arkie's creepy defense attorney, D-E-A-N, Mulder and Scully are on a tight timeline to get down to the bottom of things. Dean sees himself outside the general store in town, and knowing this is the first sign he's next on the Poundstone Sibling Hangman Hitlist, he rushes home and attempts to dispose of any could-be weapon his clone could murder him with. And my man does a bang up job of it, but at the end of the day, he's battling a pair of telepathic siblings and he has a sword collection...so you can guess how this ends. To make matters worse, Scully sees her own evil clone while they're at the crime scene that night.
Back at the hotel, she's rattled...and seeks out comfort in the arms of our fair Mulder. There's cuddling, and talking of what could be, and what will be, and in the classic style of Mulder-Scully romance, it's all very vague and withholding (RUDE).
The fandom would chase them away, obviously.
They promise to always be there for each other, and he tries to make her feel better about getting older and not having another kid. And as always, the camera pans away and there's a fade to black before we get to actually see any making out.
Take your bread pills, Dana.
In their own respective rooms, Chucky and Judy are playing another high-stakes game of Hangman. Judy's page says _ _ U _ _ _ and she asks Chucky if there's an L. Chucky looks down at his own page: _ U _ _ _ _ . Yes, he tells her, there is an L. Cut back to Mulder, who gets out of bed and goes to get a drink of water, where he sees himself in the motel shower. Unlike Scully, who has tried to ignore her clone, Mulder loses his shit. He rushes back to the bedroom to get dressed, and encourages Scully to do the same because SHE IS NAKED UNDER THE COVERS DEAR GOD AM I EVEN ALIVE ANYMORE.
THERE IS NO BEING CALM R/N U R NAKED IN BED WITH HIM
They split up, Scully heading to the hospital and Mulder to Chucky's house, where he has to scuffle with himself. Judy, who is certain she's spelling S-C-U-L-L-Y, has asked for a "C" but Chucky, who is attempting to spell M-U-L-D-E-R, tells her there isn't one. They fight over their game, convinced the other is cheating. But when they each spell out the others' name in a fit of rage, their alternate, evil personas appear, leaving them both dead as a couple of crazy doornails.
Case closed for now, Mulder and Scully head back to the hotel, where Mulder tries to lure Scully back to bed with him. She says no and he closes the door, but when she changes her mind and opens it, he's standing there waiting for her...ever the believer.
Open an X-File on me, guys, because I just checked my pulse and I am definitely dead.
I seriously, KID YOU NOT, didn't realize that Karin Konoval was playing BOTH Judy and Chucky until the secoond half of the episode. That's how freaking great she is in this roll. Not only is she playing good Judy and evil Judy, she's playing Chucky's multiple personalities as well. And though I'm assuming you all recognize her, in case you didn't, Karin played one of the most iconic character roles in X-Files history: the mother from creepy AF, only-aired-in-primetime-once episode Home.
This will never not be nightmare fuel.
It is no secret that evil-clone-of-himself Chris Carter would deny us Scully and Mulder makeout scenes. He's been doing it for almost 30 years, why change now?
Also no surprise is the INSANE amount of romantic chemistry between Gillian and David. I read that they just bought houses next door to each other IRL and I wouldn't be even remotely surprised if these two hot, unmarried people with a long history of sexy chemistry have some casual hook-up situation going on. There's a lot to unpack there.
FROM THE BUREAU SURVAILLANCE FILES
"Oh yeah, with that tasty, little redhead. You tappin' that, Special Agent? Or can Chucky bust a move?" - Chucky, referring to Scully, of course.
"What's he see in you, your handsome partner? One taste of Little Judy and he'd forget you even exist. Maybe I can make you go away too." - Judy, referring to Mulder, of course.
"Scully, put a dimmer on that afterglow and get yourself to the hospital before they hang us both." - Mulder, to Scully, who is naked in his bed.
BEST SCULLY EYE ROLL
For an episode that played heavily into classic Mulder-as-believer/Scully-as-skeptic roles, Tumblr refuses to furnish me with a single Scully eye-roll gif from this episode. But I want to believe they exist.
- Not so much an unsolved case, but I loved that the nurses mentioned that Judy and Chucky's parents hung themselves, then we saw the Hangman games that said M-O-M and D-A-D, implying the twins have been killing people via Hangman games their entire lives.
- Did anyone else think that ending felt a little anticlimatic? Don't get me wrong, the motel stuff was great. But Judy and Chucky's demise felt a little rushed, like Carter had written himself into a corner.
- ARE MULDER AND SCULLY DOING IT ON THE REGS HELLO I NEED ANSWERS