Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, Joel McHale, William B. Davis
Writer: James Wong
Director: James Wong
Network: Airs on Fox, Mondays @ 8p.m.
Original Telecast: Jan. 25, 2016
So this was definitely more what I was hoping for from THE X-FILES in terms of storyline and bringing the characters together in a proper reunion (see my review of the first episode here)
“Founder’s Mutation” did more in the first 15 minutes for this revival than the entire previous episode did. We see Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) once again part of the FBI’s task force to tackle strange and unusual cases now that The X-Files have been re-opened. The first of which is a case that has to do with government cover-ups and experiments on children that when grown to adulthood exhibit some pretty impressive powers.
This episode relied more on the monster-of-the-week (strange experiment-of-the-week?) theme than the larger mythology type storyline that we got last week, which is all right by me. I always thought the single storylines were always what made THE X-FILES great and the mythology stuff was more of a bone to chew on because they needed something more than just these types of stories to be successful. The single episode stories always had a basis on the government, a corporation, or shady individual conducting experiments on things (usually humans) in order to either improve humanity in some twisted way, cure some rare disease or to create some ūber-human capable with supernatural abilities.
“Founder’s Mutation” had all of this. Scully and Mulder are called in to investigate the apparent suicide of a researcher for the Department of Defense (DOD) that killed himself with a letter opener to the brain. When the episode opens we see the man has been suffering from intense, extremely painful sounds causing him to freak out. After some digging, Mulder beings to suffer the same painful sounds leading the agents to believe someone was causing it.
Along the way, Augustus Goldman (Doug Savant) a doctor that is using bleeding edge medicine to cure children of the rarest of the rare diseases. Mulder believes the good doctor isn’t telling all and soon they learn he has been using alien DNA to experiment on people to see if that might lead to a cure. At any price I guess. He even experimented on his own children to the point where his pregnant wife left him but after a car accident the baby crawled away on its own. Crazy stuff.
In the end, we learn who is causing the painful sounds, their ties to everything else going on and why someone was trying to cover up some of the players behind it all.
As an interesting sidebar during this main plotline, we see both Mulder and Scully imagining what life would have been like if they hadn’t had to give up their child for adoption (fearing the government conspiracy would use him against them). It is a nice moment to give the kid that played such a huge role in the second movie some of his due and maybe this isn’t the last time we will see the Mulder/Scully baby emerge.
A solid episode and one that will make any X-Phile happy as it really harkens back to the salad days of the show. Hopefully the ball will keep rolling in the right direction.
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Article: TV Review: THE X-FILES – Season 10 – “Founder’s Mutation”