The X-Files (S10E02) “Founder’s Mutation”

 

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Review by David Paul Hellings

@HellingsOnFilm

Written and directed by X-favourite James Wong, episode two of this six episode mini-series sees us move back into classic territory with a sense of the continuing conspiracy regarding genetic experimentation by shadowy people, now implicating also the Department of Defence, plus a nod to Cronenberg’s “Scanners” and De Palma’s “The Fury”.

Doctor Sanjay (Chris Logan) hears unbearable sounds in his head, tries to destroy corporate computer files, but lobotomises himself to stop the pain of noise. Mulder and Scully, now officially back in the folds of the FBI, but facing opposition in their pursuit of the truth by the Department of Defence and sworn to secrecy (cue Mulder gag about Edward Snowden), investigate to find respected and powerful Doctor Augustus Goldman (Doug Savant) and his work treating children with extreme physical disabilities may hold more answers than they expected.

“Founder’s Mutation” is a mix of conspiracy and monster of the week (although more of the second clearly comes with the upcoming episode 3 “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”) and moves the audience and plot forward from the necessarily thoughtful introductory episode One. Into the mix is also a touching ‘what if?’ relating to Mulder and Scully’s son William (secretly adopted during the original series).

There is a genuine sense in the quality of the episode of being on the mark in relating it to the original series and having the best of tone so that it’s fresh for the modern day. This felt like classic “X-Files” and Duchovny and Anderson give strong performances as usual. Suddenly six episodes don’t seem enough.

The original series, like so many successful, multi-season dramas, lost the plot in terms of story and its way when Duchovny jumped ship in his war against what he saw as unfair financial treatment by Fox. So far, the new mini-series seems to be a case of a happy cast and crew investing wisely so as not to undermine positive memories of the classic series.

image: Fox Broadcasting

This review originally appeared on SFFWorld at:
http://www.sffworld.com/2016/01/the-x-files-s10e02-founders-mutation/

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