RECAPITATION! The X-Files Season 11 Episode 9

How do we watch modern Monster of the Week episodes of The X-Files in a post-procedural TV world? That was the question that I’ve been toying with this entire season of The X-Files, a show that I will of course want to watch, like Mulder wants to believe, but as the season progresses I wonder...can we have a show like The X-Files in 2018? Or have the shows that were born on the back of The X-Files now surpassed that which they were inspired by?

In Nothing Lasts Forever, our duo find themselves investigating a possible ritual killing after discovering a man with all of his organs harvested in The Bronx, New York. The local cops believe it to be connected to an organ theft ring as the doctors (oh, they were found murdered by a mysterious woman with a metal bar in the cold open) that were found dead had links to the Russian Mafia. Of course, this being The X-Files, something is always afoot at the Circle-K, and we are introduced to Barbara Beaumont an 85 year old former TV star who looks no shy of 30. Turns out her and her hubby Dr. Randolph Luvenis (the ever reliable Jere Burns makin’ dat paper) have found a rather unique way to stop aging, and it involves:

  1. Eating Body Parts With Their Blood Cult, natch.
  2. Surgically attach themselves to people, back to back, to hook up young hearts to old.

Almost sounds like a cute geriatric dating site but nooooope. This form of anti-aging is the most unique little twist in this episode of The X-Files. So unique and underutilized in fact that I’d bet five whole dollars that the writer discovered that a part of the heart goes to your back, thought of this wild idea, and wrote the episode around it. It really is quite striking when you first see Luvenis attached to a woman, conjuring images of a much more sticky Brian Yuzna film. 

This may be the penultimate episode of The X-Files and it’s...not bad. The blood cult of Barbara Beaumont is an arresting visual as she sings classic songs, sipping a chalice full of groopy red but...again, it feels as if The X-Files has been watching the shows it inspired, in this case American Horror Story, and failing to deliver the goods. It’s like the Jimmy Fallon version of The X-Files, enjoyable, but ultimately you miss when it was transgressive. With the final episode airing this week, we will see the departure of Scully and Mulder probably forever. And I’m fine with that why? Because you’ll never take away the original show, those episodes will never lose their authenticity to fans worldwide. And while Season 11 may not have captured lightning in a bolt again, it can’t take away our memories.

ReviewJacob Trussell