If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: A chilling secret is revealed when an old friend reaches out to Mulder and Scully in a seemingly impossible way. (IMDB)
Writer: Glen Morgan
Director: Glen Morgan
Running Time: 45mins
After a decent albeit muddled mythology premiere, it’s time to go with a standalone episode, something that the revival has done a better job with so far. The episode might have been a standalone but it didn’t forget what happened in the premiere and built on it, perhaps hinting at where this season may be going.
The episode started with a trio of armed mercenaries heading somewhere. Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully were relaxing on the couch in Mulder’s house until they were interrupted by a message from Langly (of the long deceased Lone Gunmen) warning them that someone knew something sinister that he knew. Not too long after, the earlier mercenaries show up and a shootout ensues. After Mulder and Scully dispatched them, more show up and we learned that their leader was Russian. Skinner advised that they surrender but they weren’t going to do that. When it looked like these mercenaries had them, they escaped into the forest.
In the forest, Skinner was there to offer assistance and told them that the mercenaries were private contractors headquartered in Russia working for the executive branch. He didn’t know that they wanted to kill Mulder and Scully. With Langly’s message, the question was whether or not he was really dead. An investigation at Arlington Cemetery led them to a clue that pointed them back to an x file. Mulder and Scully confronted Skinner asking to see the X-Files and he informed them that they were digitized by the same private contractor from earlier, giving them control until they files were reopened.
When Mulder tried to lookup the information Langly gave them, he found that it was wiped from the system but he directed them to a person that they could turn to if he were erased. When they approached her, she informed them that she was being watched. She told them that she and Langly were approached with a group claiming to have found a formula that allowed people to live forever by uploading their consciousness into a computer system which would be active after death. This made the version Langly that contacted them a simulation. Langly’s memory of working on a similar case led him to become self-aware of what was going on and to contact them. As she was giving them a formula to allow Langly to contact them again, she was killed by another mercenary.
Langly contacted him again and told Mulder and Scully about his simulated world and how great it was but also told them to destroy it. The world was not as it appeared and the minds being uploaded were being used as slaves to develop science so the elite could leave the planet. He directed them to an NSA building in New York where the simulator was held. They used a ruse to get into the building, however, they split up when they were found out with Mulder placed in a room with Price.
Price had sent the mercenaries after Mulder and Scully but was reconsidering wanting to kill him now that she’s seen his skills on display. Meanwhile, Scully was searching for the servers running the simulator. Price explained that the simulator was necessary for the evolution of humankind as a species. She believed that now knowing what he knew, he wouldn’t want to destroy the simulator. Mulder then tried to manipulate Price into taking him to the servers by pretending to want him and Scully to be uploaded. At the server room, he ran into Scully and she worked at destroying the servers while Mulder took on a mercenary.
When Mulder and Scully went back to the adjoining FBI building to bring back some agents to go after Price, the building had been cleared out. Now back to where they started, they received another warning message from Langly before he was pulled away.
Overall, this was a good standalone episode with some mythology elements that built on the premiere by using the past with Langly to connect to the present with Price. It was exciting to watch from beginning to end with unrelenting action, putting the great chemistry between Mulder and Scully on display with some fun banter throughout. The attempts at being current in the premiere didn’t quite work but they worked better here with Skinner expositioning them about how the world was. This is more like it.