“We’ve been given another case, Mulder. It has a monster in it.”
It’s an evocative title, telling you all you need to know and probably putting the viewer in a very specific mind-set before the episode has even started.
So we know we’re getting a monster and given that this is a script from Darin Morgan – with his weird, whacky and comedic previous episodes including ‘Humbug’, ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’ and ‘Jose Chung’s From Outer Space’ – this might not be a standard case of the week for our intrepid and slightly wearier FBI agents.
The cold open, with paint huffers who might be familiar to long-time fans of the show, is very much what we’ve seen numerous times on The X-Files. A violent monster attack occurs but all is not what it seems.
What follows is possibly the most bizarre episode to date.
Some people will love it. Some people will hate it. I sit somewhere in the middle. The weird and funny episodes have always had a place within the show – they work well because of the great deadpan humour both lead actors are capable of delivering and the writing here wouldn’t seem out of place in a traditional comedy.
Lots of callbacks to earlier episodes include Mulder throwing pencils as he previously did in ‘Chinga’ way back in Season 5 and this demonstrates that he seems bored and unhappy with his life and the new/old status quo. This is very much a Mulder episode, with our lead feeling somewhat lost in his own life, questioning everything he (wants to) believe in.
However, the star of this episode is the titular Were-Monster, played wonderfully by New Zealand born comedian Rhys Darby best known for Flight of the Conchords. We learn through his amusing conversations with Mulder that he was in fact born a monster and it was a bite from a human that turned him into a man. There’s no doubt that Darby is hilarious here; his attempts at adapting to humanity after life as a monster are very amusing and witty.
The actual serial killer reveal is fairly obvious but the episode simply isn’t about that; the case itself is background noise to some of the show’s all-time funniest moments and ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ is ultimately a tale of finding your place in the world, whether it be a monster living as a man or Mulder learning how to exist in a world he no longer understands.
“Well, tell that to the horned lizard. Which shoots blood out its eyeball, Scully, yes. It’s a defence mechanism. Scientific fact!”
“Mulder, the Internet is not good for you.”
Aired at 9pm on Monday 22 February 2016 on Channel 5.
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