More than most, the latest episode of The X-Files (“Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” written and directed by Darin Morgan) is filled to the brim with Easter eggs, callback characters, and other assorted references. We’ve attempted to gather as many of these as possible; fellow Philes, call out any we missed in the comments.
The two paint-huffing stoners (Tyler Labine and Nicole Parker Smith) in the teaser sequence previously appeared in a pair of season-three X-Files episodes: “War of the Coprophages” (also written by Morgan) and “Quagmire” (which Morgan did an uncredited rewrite on). “Do you ever think life is so amazing,” one of them asks, “that maybe we shouldn’t waste it by getting high all the time?” And more paint-huffing ensues. It’s nice to see that, much like Mulder and Scully, time hasn’t changed the two of them that much.
Mulder and pencils. Usually he throws them into the ceiling (the first episode where that happened was the killer-doll episode “Chinga,” from season five, co-written by Stephen King). Here, Mulder throws his No. 2s like darts at the ever-present “I Want to Believe” one-sheet. “Mulder,” says Scully, “what are you doing to my poster?” Glad she had a replacement after Mulder kicked and ripped another one in the season-ten premiere.
How Mulder dies. In their initial survey of the murder scene, Mulder remarks about how one of the victims might have taken a midnight stroll in the nude and been attacked by a wolf, a lion, and a bear all at the same time. “That’s how I’d like to go out,” says Mulder, clearly forgetting that in the Darin Morgan–penned season-three episode “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” the title character played by Peter Boyle (a semi-psychic who can predict how people are going to die) said the agent’s life would end as a result of “autoerotic asphyxiation.” Typical Mulder — always forgetting the important stuff.
How Scully dies. Speaking of “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” that was also the episode in which the Boyle character predicted Scully’s demise: “How do I die?” she asks. Bruckman responds, with a gentle grin, “You don’t.” Hence Scully’s “You forget … I’m immortal” quip to Mulder in this episode.
Porta Potties. The agents first come across Guy Mann (Rhys Darby) in a Porta Potty, which I like to think is a reference to a scene in the classic season-two episode “The Host” in which the sewage-dwelling Flukeman hides in a similar cartable toilet. And the guy who played the Flukeman? Darin Morgan, of course.
Guy Mann’s human wardrobe is the same as Darren McGavin’s character from the 1970s TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, which Chris Carter cites as a primary influence on The X-Files.
Alex Diakun. The peeping-tom motel owner is played by Canadian character actor Alex Diakun, who appeared in three prior Morgan-scripted X-Files episodes (“Humbug,” “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” and “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’”), as well as in Morgan’s season-two Millennium episode “Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me.” He also shows up in another Millennium installment, the Chris Carter–penned “Lamentation,” from season one. And he’s the head-transplanting lead physician in the second X-Files movie, I Want to Believe (2008).
The red Speedo. When the motel owner peeps into Mulder’s room, he sees the agent sleeping in the infamous red Speedo from the season-two mythology episode, “Duane Barry,” which set so many viewer mouths to “drool.”
The graveyard sequence is especially dense with references. Mulder approaches, and lovingly touches, a tombstone engraved with the name of the late Kim Manners, the director who helmed the most X-Files episodes (52 in total), from his season-two debut (“Die Hand Die Verletzt”) to the season-nine series finale (“The Truth”). The epigraph on the stone, “Let’s kick it in the ass,” was a frequent Manners saying.
Jack Hardy. The tombstone Guy Mann is standing in front of is for the late Jack Hardy, an assistant director on two Chris Carter series — Millennium and The Lone Gunmen. He held the same position on the second X-Files movie, I Want to Believe. Julie Ng, who is working on the behind-the-scenes features for the season-ten X-Files Blu-ray, told me that Hardy was an especially beloved member of the Vancouver film community.
Mulder’s ringtone. After Mulder drinks himself into a stupor in the graveyard, he’s woken up by his ringtone — the X-Files theme song, composed by Mark Snow.
Daggoo! Finally, we need to talk about Daggoo, the cute canine Guy Mann adopts and Scully later sneaks out of the animal shelter. This continues Morgan’s trend of referencing Herman Melville’s time-honored Moby-Dick. In the novel, Daggoo is one of the harpooneers on the Pequod, the ship captained by the tyrannical Ahab. In one of the Morgan-ghostwritten scenes for season three’s “Quagmire,” Scully likens Mulder to Ahab, and compares the agent’s quixotic quest to Ahab’s obsessive search for the great white whale. It’s also in that episode that Scully’s pet Pomeranian, Queequeg, who is introduced in “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” is eaten by an alligator. Queequeg is another character in Moby-Dick — a harpooneer on the Pequod and good friend to the novel’s narrator, Ishmael. And as we found out in the season-one episode “Beyond the Sea” (co-written by Morgan’s brother Glen), Scully was often referred to as “Starbuck” by her father — Starbuck being the Pequod’s chief mate. No surprise Scully feels an immediate connection to Daggoo beyond his sheer adorableness.