"You make it sound like I go home from work with post-its on my ass."
REVIEW: No matter who runs the X-Files office, one of the leads must have an obsession that puts them at odds with the regular FBI. With Mulder it was UFOs and his missing sister. When he left, Scully was obsessed with Mulder's abduction. Now that neither of them are the proper leads (though Scully is still in the opening credits, and hey, Skinner too - 'bout time, and 'bout time they changed the damn thing to something made for widescreen TVs!), Doggett is the one obsessed. Being who he is, it's a "policeman"'s obsession, to uncover a conspiracy inside the Bureau, and take down, if necessary, Deputy Director Kirsh. Kirsh is going to have help though (that's if he's guilty at all, of which I've never been convinced). Evidence is being tampered with, star witness Fox Mulder is just gone, and everyone else is telling Doggett to drop it, if only to protect Scully and her baby. And then there's Assistant Director Brad Follmer (love Cary Elwes), an evidently opportunistic guy (looks young for an A.D.) who used to have a relationship with Agent Reyes (now he's got sexual harassment written all over him), and is to be Doggett's antagonist, one too energetic to be left behind a desk. Nice. I really like the scene where Kirsh puts him in charge of "punishing" Doggett; you can pretty much see in his eyes that he trusted the wrong man and has been thrown under the bus.
And so Doggett's investigation is set to take a long time, probably the whole season. The other continuing subplot relates to the nature of Scully's baby and how it might be able to move a mobile with the power of its mind. So much for normalcy! Mulder's disappearance is suspect given how the previous season ended, but I wonder if he really is gone. Going by Langly's blue face - so the Lone Gunmen escaped Morris Fletcher's clutches and we're not told how? "Don't ask" indeed! Arrrgh!!! - these events aren't long after we spotted Mulder playing Deep Throat with Jimmy in an underground garage. So could he BE the show's new Deep Throat, the one responsible for leaving important news clippings for the X-Files office to find? It would make perfect sense.
Regardless of who put the team on the case, this one deals with a woman who not only can breathe underwater, but is also killing people who might find out about a new additive, chloromine, going into the water supply. The implication is that it is responsible for her condition, but it might also be that she's a killer alien, and that chloromine is some kind of mind control drug to turn the humans into sheep. If I was stoked to see Elwes on the show, it's even more true of having Lucy Lawless on. Her underwater sequences look great too, as does Kim Manners' general direction of the episode. We're off to a good start, I think.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Maybe the show should have ended when the two original leads started talking about leaving, but if The X-Files must continue, then I think it's doing so in a great way, remixing what worked before with great technical mastery, though perhaps not scripts as sparkling as they used to be.