burning questions

Every Lingering Question From the New X-Files

THE X-FILES: L-R: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and guest star Joel McHale. The next mind-bending chapter of THE X-FILES debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 24 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, and continuing with its time period premiere on Monday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
From left: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and guest star Joel McHale. Photo: Ed Araquel/FOX

The X-Files is back! And it’s … well, not exactly better than ever. Last night’s “My Struggle” at least brought Mulder and Scully back to us, but the episode still left us with a lot of questions. Namely: Can we get Scully some better surgical gear?

• In the episode’s opening shot, someone burned so many gorgeous eight-by-ten, matte-with-a-border prints of every significant moment throughout the show’s run. Who? Are these supposed to be Mulder’s personal files, and if so, why does he have so many X-Files promotional photos as personal mementos, even though no photographer would have been present at any of these moments? Are we supposed to think these are surveillance photos, and if so, has that surveillance … ended? Does Mulder no longer need evidence of that surveilling? Are these artifacts stolen? Are we supposed to think they’re Cigarette Smoking Man’s, given how the episode is bookended by roaring fires, and that one of his minions is destroying those files because those are young(ish) hands? If so, when do we think that burning occurred: before CSM knew the X-Files were being reopened, or after?

• When Scully calls Mulder, her scrubs have a weird splatter stain around the neck. What is the origin of this stain? Is that blood? Whose?

Photo: FOX

• Scully asks Mulder if he’s seen Tad O’Malley’s show on “the net.” The net? C’mon, Scully.

• Mulder rides shotgun in an Uber?

• Sveta has alien DNA “for sure,” though not confirmed by a doctor. What led her to believe that in the first place, then? (Also, do HMOs cover DNA sequencing in search of alien DNA?)

• Did Tad O’Malley make all his money from vlogging? I’ll buy all this alien stuff way before I believe that someone is chartering private helicopters with money he earned from a web series. Also suspect: the production values of his web show. I guess that’s just life on the net!

• Here is some more Scully neck blood. Surgeons are really not supposed to get patients’ blood on their skin. And should there be this kind of breach of hygiene, surely they’d wash that blood off of themselves. Unless she’s testing it too for alien DNA and wants a weirdly corrupted sample? Who can know.

Photo: FOX

• Is that Sveta’s house? Does she live alone? If so, her decorating style seems odd. Or did the aliens also abduct her taste?

Sure, that decor makes sense. Photo: FOX

• How should we feel about Skinner’s beard?

Photo: FOX

• Mulder and Scully have met plenty of people who say they’ve been abducted. Why on earth would Sveta seem so special to Mulder?

• If Sveta’s house is so remote, how come everyone can drive up so easily and quickly?

• Scully! Why can’t you get a more comprehensive gown? One that covers your neck?

Photo: FOX

• What messaging app is that, Mulder?

Photo: FOX

Remember, though: The truth is out there.

Every Lingering Question From the New X-Files