This was a great episode, of the satirical and self-parodying sort that the X-Files regularly offered throughout its history.
Early in the episode, Mulder reflects on how much of the unexplained has been explained since he previously worked on the X-Files, often in terms of pranks by college students. He uses a phrase from the New Testament as he considers that perhaps, as a middle-aged man, it is time to “put away childish things.”
The individuals who claim to have seen the monster are all drug users, and so the influence of narcotics as an explanation for certain experiences is mentioned. Mulder has a camera app in his phone, although he isn’t sure how to work it properly. Everyone carries phones these days, and so the implications of that for unexplained phenomena is also raised. Mulder manages to get some photos, but they are blurred or otherwise imperfect, and would not convince a skeptic – not that a better photo would, in our era of photoshop.
Scully says at one point, “The internet is not good for you, Mulder.” Later, Mulder has a conversation with what he knows Scully would say. He considers whether some legends were based on realities which have the potential to expand our scientific knowledge. That is a key element at the heart of the X-Files – how do we distinguish between ridiculous nonsense, and those rare glimpses of something real yet startling which drive our understanding of our universe forward?
Mulder goes to speak to a psychologist, who says it is easier to accept monsters out there, than to accept that the real monster is in us. He also asks who needs an antipsychotic drug more – a man who believes himself to be a were-lizard, or a man who believes that man.
The story the man called “Guy” tells is inverted from what was expected: it is the story of being a lizard creature, who gets bitten by a man, and from then on starts transforming into a human. He becomes aware that he is naked, and through a primordial human instinct he clothes himself (another nice Biblical reference). He talks about the human instinct to BS our way through anything (which may or may not involve a Biblical reference).
When Mulder says “I want to believe” towards the end of the episode, it has the same connotations as the New Testament plea, “I believe! Help thou mine unbelief!”
This satirical episode did a wonderful job of showing that the lives we live – the ties we wear, the jobs we work, the lies we tell – are no less ridiculous than the stories of monsters we weave. It explores in an entertaining and comical way the things that drive us to tell stories and enjoy myths.
What did you think of the episode?