Week 2 of The X-Files’ (FOX, Wednesdays, 8/7C) second event series features the return of an unexpected character in an episode that bridges mythology and standalone episodes.
When Richard ‘Ringo’ Langley (Dean Haglund) appears on Mulder’s phone – asking if he’s dead or alive – Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) embark on one of their strangest cases yet.
Langley’s phone call wakes Mulder and Scully as they doze on Mulder’s sofa while watching TV. The timing is fortuitous as three anonymous punks break into the house to the strains of The Ramones’ California sun.
While the two take care of business, they are soon facing a small army of unknowns who cuff them and search for Mulder’s phone. Once they have it, their intent is to kill Mulder and Scully – but the duo manages to escape.
With Skinner’s (Mitch Pileggi) help, they access the X-Files digitally and find themselves searching for a unique artificial intelligence – a world of digital backups to some of the world’s most brilliant minds.
The appearance of Erika Price (Barbara Hershey) signals a connection with the show’s mythology arc, but the episode – written and directed by Glen Morgan – is essentially a standalone that pits Mulder and Scully against a development of super-science.
This is a smarter, faster-paced and generally more X-Files episode than the season premiere. It sees Mulder and Scully doing what they do best – investigate, and attempt to resolve, cases that virtually every other intelligence agency in the world would write off as unbelievable.
This is a proper X-Files episode – and one of the better ones.
Final Grade: B+