TV Recap: The X-Files, ‘Founder’s Mutation’

Written by Ryan Demarco

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Government conspiracies, mind control, and genetic mutations. That is what I’m talking about!

Last night part two of the special two-night premiere, titled “Founder’s Mutation,” certainly came out swinging, and did not dissapoint. Although it’s loosely connected to Sunday’s episode, I found it to be more homed in to what makes this show so great. Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are back to their roots conducting an investigation regarding a government cover-up.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

When a scientist at a government research facility commits suicide after experiencing torturous auditory spikes, Agents Mulder and Scully come to find there’s much more to the case, and they’ve only scratched the surface. When Scully finds the words “Founder’s Mutation” written on the victim’s hand, they are quickly lead to an elusive Dr. Goldman (Doug Savant) who may or may not be conducting highly classified experiments making genetic modifications on children with severe abnormalities, thus trying to repopulate the planet with superior human subjects. Oh, and his work is being funded by the Department of Defense. That’s not a red flag or anything.

The case takes a personal turn when Mulder and Scully each experience puzzling visions of their son, William, whom they put up for adoption years some years prior. The two can’t help but wonder what their son has grown up to become. This is a nice emotional arc for the two characters to experience this week. The last image of Mulder sitting alone in his house holding his son’s picture adds a haunting element to the story that can’t be easily shaken.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

The episode is clearly a return to form of the series signature monster-of-the-week, and is a breath of fresh air from the previous episode’s plot involving an alien conspiracy. As much as I enjoyed the first episode, I found myself enjoying “Founders Mutation” much more. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson seem much more relaxed settling back into their roles, although they’re not all the way there yet.

Props to writer and director of the episode James Wong (Final Destination 3) for delivering a sharp story that has some nice thrills and dramatic beats, as well as some nice moments of humor involving Mulder having an interesting encounter. Having said that, the episode has a big buildup with an abrupt end that may not answer some of its own questions. Lastly, I wish the writers would stop with the constant bombardment of reminding audiences that Mulder and Scully are “old school” and their investigative tactics date back to before people had social media and Google. We get it. They’re older characters. But it doesn’t need to be constantly brought up that they are adjusting to the times.

“Founders Mutation” signaled the real return of the paranormal pair, reassuring fans that the show is in good hands and still have great episodes to tell. I find myself excited to see the new episodes and watching the cast still enjoy themselves.

Rest assured people, this show has lasted the test of time, and still works!

Rating 8.5/10