“The X-Files” is a show that can sometimes do comedy well. This episode was a shiny example as it took a “Monster of the Week” idea and subverted it into something new. If this was an episode of “Supernatural” it would have annoyed me big time, but the genuineness of everyone in this made it feel real and fun rather than cheap.
The episode was written and directed by Darin Morgan.
The story involves a mystery surrounding a reptilian creature who Mulder and Scully are tracking for the murder of a bunch of people around town. During this time Mulder is dealing with his skepticism and trying and find other explanations for events.
The Pros: Guy Mann – Guy is the monster who is turned into a man after the killer bites him. He’s a lot of fun as he gains anxiety, intelligence and even gets a job working at a shop because he is so good at bsing. He was a fun character.
Scully – Scully is the one who is more open to the stories being true (another subversion as she’s usually the skeptical one) and in the end she finds the actual human killer and is the one who finishes the case while Mulder is tracking Mann. We see at the end this was purposeful to help Mulder with his doubt.
Mulder – Mulder is skeptical in this and isn’t all together there this episode. It isn’t until the end when he shakes Mann’s hand before Mann goes into hibernation that he is back to a full believer again and in awe of the mysteries that are still out there as he had just befriended the monster of the week.
Subverting “Monster of the Week” – In this the whole idea is that we are the monster as it is a normal human sociopath who is the killer versus the Reptile-like monster who is a guy just trying to live as a human when he is turned into one against his will. He even befriends Mulder eventually and he is the normal guy in the episode, which is a great subversion. The monster is normal and just trying to live.
The Cons: Side Characters – Episode starts out with a few people huffing paint and the killer is just a dog catcher. They are flat characters and easily the weakest part of the episode.
This was an enjoyable and good episode. The subverting of concepts and X-Files tropes was handled intelligently and the show was strong, outside of the side characters who were very poorly written. Guy Mann was the best part and I really liked how they handled his story this episode.
Final Score: 8.5 / 10