“Founder’s Mutation” was the title for the second episode of “The X-Files” season 10, and the scariest thing to think about while writing this article is the notion that we are now already a third of the way through this season. How in the world does this happen? How did we allow this to happen? Oh yeah, it’s something called the passage of time. If there was a way to go back and pretend that we were still at the premiere, we would.
This episode was for the most part a step above the premiere “My Struggle,” most because first and foremost, it established a much clearer, coherent narrative. While mostly standalone when it comes to its primary mystery (the mysterious death of Sanjay and the ringing in Mulder’s ears), it still touched on the past; specifically, the sense of haunting that Scully feels over giving William up so many years ago. Being a mother has given her further intuition and instinct, but also immeasurable pain.
Throughout the hour, Gillian Anderson was spectacular, and it really makes us feel more than ever that she was underrated at the time in which the show was airing. The subtlety of her performance was eventually overshadowed by the ending, where we learned the source of the ringing and the uncontrollable actions that killed Sanjay: Kyle, a young man with extraordinary abilities but also the propensity to cause pain. As it turns out, his sister has some powers of her own, as well.
As the main story came to a close, what we also saw through the lens of Mulder was his own reality, one in which he also saw William in the way that Scully did (happy, loving), but with the same sort of fear and emptiness in the end. We dare you to not be choked up by the tail end of this.
Maybe you could say in some way that the dream sequences actually overshadowed the case of the week instead, which did have some cool imagery (the birds!) and the gory violence. Yet, these scenes gave us just the inner monologue for Mulder and Scully that we needed, and made us even more grateful the show is back. Grade: A-.
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