TV – The X-Files Season 10, Episode 3

Steve Taylor-Bryant takes a look in the woods as Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster...

“Mulder, the internet isn’t good for you”

Two druggies are in the woods huffing chemicals under a full moon and discussing more options for getting high when they spot a monster attacking an Animal Control Officer before running past them, leaving a traumatised Officer and a dead body in its wake. Mulder is in The X-Files office throwing his pencils in frustration that, in the time he has been away, most of the unexplained has been explained and he is going through the archives, seeing how many times he has been duped and he is considering giving up and definitely doesn’t believe so much anymore. Scully informs him that they have a new case and it involves a monster. There are no pictures and the main witnesses are stoned but there have been more victims discovered, one of them naked. Scully seems to be the excited one and Mulder is questioning why he is there. A monster attacks a prostitute in a parking lot at night and, during the interview, she tells Mulder it only had two eyes not three and was wearing tighty-whitey underpants like the prostitute used to wear before she went for her gender reassignment. The Animal Control Officer is at the parking lot, looking nervous, when they hear a roar. Mulder tries to take photos with his new phone app and another body is discovered. The Monster is spotted and flees, with Mulder giving chase and still taking photos. The Monster manages to knock down both Mulder and the ACO and disappear into a portacabin but when Mulder and Scully open the door it is just a man inside, a man with hidden horns!

Scully is trying to do an autopsy but Mulder keeps getting in the way, showing off his photos and videos, including the part where the monster shoots Mulder with blood from its eyes. The bite marks on the body are human but Mulder thinks they are looking for a 6 foot tall creature that resembles a lizard. Back at the motel Mulder hears shouting and goes to investigate, finding a creepy motel owner getting drunk and talking about a guest who wouldn’t pay his bill. Mulder goes to the guest’s room to find it trashed but there is a secret door that opens into a corridor behind all the rooms where the owner can spy on his guests. Mulder confronts the owner, who says the man he saw, Guy Mann, was arguing with his alarm clock and his mirror and started smashing the place up whilst changing into a horned monster. Mulder decides Mann and the creature are one and the same and excitedly explains this to Scully whilst doing both parts of the conversation and not allowing Scully a word in edgeways. Mulder interviews a psychologist who says that Guy Mann was a patient of his and that he had been prescribed an anti-psychotic and talked about a fairytale where you could kill a lizard man with a sword made of green glass. He tells Mulder he thinks Guy Mann might be hiding out at the cemetery.

Mulder pretends to be a mourner and steps next to the grave that is beside Guy Mann. Mann befriends Mulder and explains that he didn’t even know his kind could die and wants Mulder to kill him with a broken green alcohol bottle as per the myth. Mulder agrees to kill him if he can have the whole story first.

Are you ready?...

Guy was in the woods in lizard form just chilling out when the ACO and another man fell through the bush. The other man was already dead so Guy tried to scare the ACO with a roar but the ACO was a bit deranged and bit Guy which frightened him so he ran, straight past two stoned druggies. He awoke to find he was transforming into a man with human thoughts and needs. He found three more dead bodies, stole the clothes from one of them, and started craving a job. He took part in ritual animal murder (buying a burger) and found that, in the motel, he couldn’t stop watching free porn. The alarm woke him and he turned into a human again, realising he now hated his job in a phone shop and feared human things like bills and bank loans, so he bought a puppy. Puppy escaped and he was looking for it in a parking lot when he saw the ACO. He wanted to take revenge on the man for biting him and starting the change but witnessed the ACO brutally killing a man and was appalled at humanity and didn’t want to be human any more. He explained how a prostitute lady hit him with her bag, she felt as strong as a man, and then occurs the strangest talk about transgender ever committed to a TV screen, Guy sees no logic in anything, he tells Mulder about some raunchy sex he had with Scully when she visited the phone shop, a fact Mulder knows is not true, and Guy admits since he has been human he hasn’t been able to stop embellishing tales of his sexual prowess. Guy thinks Mulder will arrest him anyway even though he didn’t commit the murders.

Scully meanwhile is with the ACO where she has tackled the Officer and arrested him for murder based on evidence she found scientifically. Mulder realises Guy was telling the truth and rushes to the woods to see him. Guy removes all his human clothes and tells Mulder he is going to hibernate, which takes 10,000 years. Mulder sees Guy change into the lizard and finally has something to believe in.

During the episode, Gillian Anderson as Scully remarks that she had forgotten how much fun cases like these could be and so had I. This episode won’t win any technical awards for forwarding the development of special effects, the director, Darin Morgan, won’t be spoken about in the same breath as maybe Cary Fukunaga, who did something different with direction in television, the episode won’t be responsible for any awards in writing or acting, on the face of it the episode isn’t even a good ‘Monster of the Week’ outing BUT this is the most fun I have ever had watching television. This was Mulder being Mulder. This was Scully being Scully, but most of all this was the Rhys Darby show. The very idea of a 6” lizard that transforms into a man is an incredibly ‘B’ Movie one and those movies only really worked if there was one actor that could hold the madness together and perform as if his or her life actually depended on it. Step forward Rhys Darby, the New Zealander most famous for voicing an elf in a Christmas animated film. Step forward Rhys Darby who seems to have made a career out of very little. Darby was spellbinding as Guy Mann. The scene between him and Duchovny in the graveyard as he explains the recent events shouldn’t have worked, it was crazy, and yet Darby pulled it out of the bag. I’ve never seen the whole of modern human evolution explained so concisely and with so much humour before, and the way Darby delivers his scathing yet funny look at being a human you, for a second at least, start to believe that maybe he isn’t human, maybe this is a documentary. Darby and Duchovny had a chemistry that just worked. Duchovny as the almost monotone unexcitable Mulder was the perfect foil for the camp show-off within Darby’s Guy Mann and this will never repeated on this show or any other again. This raises the bar for ‘Monster of the Week’ shows. This makes it special. This makes its legendary.

This makes it The X-Files.

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