"Anybody miss me?"
REVIEW: Even though everyone was saying "this isn't happening" last time, and this episode starts with Scully saying "I don't believe this", with Mulder dead and buried for at least three months, you GOTTA believe it. Or maybe you can just have faith that there are enough strange things in the X-Files universe that could resurrect him. Your faith would be rewarded. Turns out dead abductees are simply in a state of suspended animation, and as their flesh rots away, the alien virus implanted in them will come out, reborn, from that decaying chrysalis. That's who the aliens now plan to take over, and Absalom and Jeremiah were trying to prevent this silent invasion by healing the abductees before they could turn into aliens. This is a slow process, so I guess the invasion force would have popped out their graves - holy crap, this is Plan 9 from Outer Space! Mulder's life is saved almost by accident, and it looks like antibiotics are all he'll need to bounce back. Too easy? Hey, the guy was dead for three months, nothing about this is actually easy.
His return, or rather his awakening, is my favorite scene of The X-Files in a long time. Perhaps ever. Anderson puts in a beautifully emotional performance, of course, but what gets me is that Mulder trolls her! He was taken from her more than 6 months ago, and his reflex is make her (and us!) believe he's lost his memory. It's just a joke! A terrible one! But she laughs, out of relief perhaps, but it's a very funny moment, one that deserves laughter as well as tears. He's not sure just how far gone he was, but he sees it on her face, and his instinct is to get her spirits up. After all this time, same old Mulder, same great chemistry. I don't think we realize how much we've missed him, and it.
But there's more to praise! Doggett is given a second chance by Kersh, but the agent divines the deputy director's intention to use his promotion and Scully's maternity leave to close down the X-Files. Their final talk is a great scene; Doggett is perhaps finally a member of the team. Krycek is back to threaten Skinner with the nanites in his blood, getting us back to where we should have been before the Season 7 finale maladroitly tried to close the books on too many things. And of course, he's the a-hole who tells Skinner to have Scully's baby aborted (the mystery looms large now) and throws Mulder's vaccine to the ground rather than let Doggett have it. And there's pretty cool stunt with Doggett fighting Krycek, hanging on to a moving car. The gross effects when an abductee sheds his decaying flesh in the shower. And Scully determines that while she's a skeptic, resistant to Mulder's hallowed Truth, Doggett is just pig-headed. I'm sure Mulder had that thought about her a few times in past seasons!
REWATCHABILITY: High - Fires on all cylinders, and who isn't happy that Mulder is back after the trauma of the last episode?