The X-Files may only have gotten a six-episode reboot, but critics have already seen the first three episodes — and the verdict has been particularly positive for this Monday’s installment, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” Entertainment Weekly‘s Darren Franich gave it an “A” grade, calling the episode a “masterpiece.”
“[It’s] a wild, playful, brain-twisting, heart-pulling, and above all adventurous episode of television.
“Suffice it to say that ‘Were-Monster’ feels like the ‘X-Files’ you remember. Duchovny and Anderson both seem more relaxed, finally rediscovering their old zip-zap chemistry. Guest stars Kumail Nanjiani and Rhys Darby are delightful. It’s scary, then funny, then existential, then shockingly moving.”
Rhys Darby spoke with EW about the episode and revealed he suffered a minor injury while filming. He joked the scar reminded him of his time on The X-Files, and the stitches were even in the shape of X’s.
As for his character on the episode, he’s remained tight-lipped, although he confirmed he’s under Mulder’s suspicion of being involved in a series of animal-like attacks.
“Viewers will be surprised. I was surprised. It’s a wonderful twist on the old classic were-monster.”
In a preview clip for the episode, Darby’s character meets Mulder in a graveyard, where actor David Duchovny is standing in front of a headstone in tribute to Kim Manners, the now-deceased producer/director who was an integral part of the original X-Files series. The men end up engaged in a strange altercation.
Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson agreed the “Were-Monster” episode is where the X-Files reboot really takes off, restoring the show back to its former glory.
“[T]he energy is up, the jokes are flying fast, and audiences are reminded how fun ‘The X-Files’ can be when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
“Were-Monster” was written and directed by Darin Morgan, who won an Emmy for his writing on the previous incarnation of The X-Files.
The return of The X-Files last Sunday brought in high numbers for Fox. EW reported that 21.4 million viewers tuned in live, streamed or watched the show on DVR playback. It posted one of the best season premieres this year for the 18-49 demographic and ranked 24 percent higher in this age group than the show’s first series finale. The second episode, which aired on Monday night, also had strong ratings.
Fans that have hope the series might have another life beyond the six-episode mini event might have to wait awhile — at least if Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are to be involved. In an interview with Variety posted earlier this month, Anderson said her hesitation to come back to the show had less to do with the series than the schedule.
“It was only at the point that we were having conversations about six or eight (episodes of ‘X-Files’) that I would even, or could even, consider it. I don’t think it took that much convincing once that became a reality.”
Duchovny, similarly, liked the idea of doing a shorter run. He said that even this small episode order was rushed because it took so long for everything to fall into place.
“There were so many moving parts to get this thing together. By the time we did, it was late. That’s the only reason I think we’re doing six. I think we would’ve preferred to do eight or 10, but we all have other things (on our schedules).”
Anderson had been working on the U.K. series The Fall and Duchovny was just seen on NBC’s Aquarius.
Although the actors may be reluctant, studio head Dana Walden said in that Variety article that Fox would get behind additional episodes, based just on what they’d seen during production.
The X-Files airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on Fox.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment]