After the events in the first episode of the new X-Files miniseries ‘My Struggle’, Mulder and Scully are finally FBI Agents again. After 14 years, the X-Files are officially reopened. ‘My Struggle’ implied this may be the case, but as soon as our favorite agents are in frame they are part of the bureau again. This episode wastes exactly 0 seconds explaining the intricacies of how they are allowed back in. Honestly this doesn’t matter, because we only have six episodes in this series and why waste time with paperwork?
‘Founder’s Mutation’ seems to be a true monster of the week episode at first, but soon the old conspiracies start to creep in. The alien mythology never gets too heavy, so it still feels like a stand alone episode at times. Again, given that there are only six episodes, it shouldn’t be surprising that no episode wastes time with truly stand alone storylines.
The episode is about a scientist at a genetic research facility who commits suicide due to loud noises only he can hear. This leads the newly rechristened FBI agents to investigate the death, but are limited to only the body, not the digital information in the room the victim was trying to access at the time of this gruesome death.
The agents research many leads, one of which leads to a hilarious misunderstanding in a bar.
They uncover a conspiracy related to deformities and eugenics. Some of the imagery of deformed children is more disturbing than any death or alien conspiracy in the new series. If you’re a parent, you feel incredibly sad for the children portrayed in this episode. This isn’t a critique, but a compliment to the effectiveness of the episode.
Though not the main focus, the situation with children being taken or given up reminds the agents of their child William. If you are new to the series, William was Scully and Mulder’s child (though Mulder’s part in the parentage was kept a secret for most of a season). In the final season of the original series, Scully gave William up to a family, whose location was kept secret, even to her. William’s powers due to Scully’s abduction made him a target for the new shadow government/conspiracy, so she gave him up to keep him safe. The second movie, I Want to Believe barely, barely touched on this whole subject. This episode doesn’t add anything to the story of what happened to William, but involves his parents dreams of the lives they wished they could have shared with their now missing 15 year old son. The ‘what if’ scenes with William are straight up heartbreaking and quite possibly the best part of the episode.
This episode’s violence is a bit more bloody than the previous. The pre-credits scene is not for the squeamish. Well, most of the scenes towards the end also gets gory, so be prepared, in a world of PG-13 horror moviies, the X-Files is showing that it couldn’t care less about these trends.
‘Founder’s Mutation’ confirms that The X-Files is back in full force. The story structure returns from being largely absent from the first episode. This doesn’t mean that nothing new is brought to the table, but now it’s safe to say the miniseries has hit its stride. The episode is disturbing, but shows it has a lot of heart. The world awaits to see how Mulder and Scully’s long awaited return will conclude, but given the quality of this episode, it sure as hell won’t be boring.