If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: In a world of ever-increasing automation and artificial intelligence, Mulder and Scully find themselves targets in a deadly game of cat and mouse. (IMDB)
Writers: Kristen Cloke and Shannon Hamblin
Director: Glen Morgan
Running Time: 45mins
Black Mirror has done a lot to warn us about the dangers of technology in our society but in case you forgot, The X-Files did it first almost 25 years ago in a Season 1 episode entitled “Ghost in the Machine“. While this idea isn’t necessarily new nowadays, it was still fun to watch this X-Files take on it as this episode saw Mulder and Scully battle various forms of technology.
To truly enjoy the episode, one mustn’t overthink it too much and simply enjoy the ride. One thing that sets this apart from other episodes was its shortage of dialog not that we needed it after 10+ seasons. After so much time together, Mulder and Scully don’t need words to communicate.
The first sequence featured no dialog during a bad date between Mulder and Scully at an automated sushi restaurant. Mulder’s order was wrong and things just got worse from there as it seemed, from that point on, like all technology was out to get them for whatever reason. From there, they went their separate ways with each having different encounters with their technology. Seeing Mulder and Scully get frustrated with everything that was happening and the fact that there was seemingly no way out felt relatable as we have surely had similar run-ins with our own technology, including our cell phones, smart homes, cars, or robotic vacuums just to name a few. It was also kind of sad as it shone a light on how automated our lives are (perhaps an exaggeration of it) and what could happen if everything went wrong. It was also kind of scary, seeing how easy it could all go wrong.
Throughout the episode, Mulder kept getting notifications to remind him that he hadn’t yet tipped the sushi restaurant but he simply kept ignoring them. Mulder and Scully later reunited to escape them predicament and as it looked like a robot was going to win, Mulder learned that the reason for the sort of technological uprising was because he didn’t provide a tip at the restaurant earlier despite the bad service he got.
This episode would not have worked if not for Duchovny and Anderson’s performances and chemistry. They could communicate so much between each other without words and their ability was on full display here. The episode was so fun to watch because they were fun to watch and very relatable. They were just trying to have a normal evening and unwind but there technology did not want to cooperate.
Overall, this was an amazing episode with a fun to watch, self-contained story, that put Duchovny and Anderson’s acting ability on full display thanks to its excellent script and direction. This was a great filler episode that served as an entertaining distraction from the main story but with 3 episodes left this season, hopefully they will start leaning in that direction and provide a satisfying finale.