The X-FilesTV ReviewsThe X-Files Season 11 Episode 4: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat Review

Keith NoakesJanuary 24, 2018

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Exploring the idea of The Mandela Effect, in which large groups of people remember an alternate history, Mulder and Scully find out how the X-Files themselves may really have originated. (IMDB)

Writer: Darin Morgan

Director: Darin Morgan

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

Now we’ve come to the Darin Morgan episode. Last season’s Darin Morgan episode, the wacky “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster”, was the highlight of of an arguably mediocre season. This episode looks to do the same for this season. It may not be as wacky as the Were-Monster but it took the ideas of the series and focused them on today’s society in a funny way.

In this episode, Mulder and Scully meet a mysterious man named Reggie (Brian Huskey) who claimed to know them. He had memories of a conspiracy-filled past full of aliens and government cover ups but he was dismissed for being crazy. Then they both had memories of things that defied fact or weren’t shared by the rest of society. This was known as the Mandela effect. The episode explored this phenomenon by playing with our perceptions about truth and reality.

Reggie believed that the government intentionally orchestrated the Mandela effect. Scully thought it was all ridiculous and Mulder’s parallel universe explanation was met with an even worse response by Scully and Reggie. Reggie believed the person responsible was a doctor named They (Stuart Margolin). He also claimed to have met an alien in Grenada before the U.S. invaded in the 1980s. This discovery led him to start the X-Files.

This led to an incredible sequence where Reggie would appear in an alternate version of the opening credits and where he was inserted in classic X-Files episodes including “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” and “Home”. What Reggie claimed to be henchmen chasing him where really other FBI agents who were tasked to find out who Mulder and Scully were talking to. Mulder made sure they didn’t forget who he was after they weren’t impressed by him.

Mulder then got invited to meet Dr. They. He stayed in the open because he wasn’t worried about being found out. He took advantage of the post-truth world where no one knew the difference between fact and fiction so government conspiracies didn’t matter as much anymore. He couldn’t really control memories but instead controlled people by spreading misinformation. After this happened, Scully exposed Reggie for who he really was. This was followed by another fun satirical sequence were Reggie would work different government jobs from the same cubicle. His nervous breakdown led him to fantasize about having worked with Mulder and Scully.

A final fun sequence involved the three of them riding in car to meet the earlier alien who came back to announce that they wanted nothing to do with humans before making a series of Trump like claims touching a wall and his comments about Mexicans. It also gave them a book of what it claimed to be the answers for everything including some that Mulder didn’t necessarily agree with. Skinner then came out and asked where Reggie was going.

The episode ended with Scully telling Mulder that she wanted things to be more like the way they used to be.

Overall, this was an amazing and well-written episode full of hilarious comedic moments that sort of made fun of the series’ relevance in today’s society. There may not have been too much flashiness in the episode but Duchovny and Anderson looked to be having a blast here and their excellent chemistry, along with Huskey’s Reggie, sold it and made it fun to watch.

Score: 9.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and also like me on Facebook.

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