Re-Opening The X-Files: The Host


Mulder: Success in our work is imperative, Scully. Reinstatement of the X-Files must be undeniable.
Scully: That came from Skinner?
Mulder: No. We have a friend in the FBI.

The Host

Outside of Tooms, I’d argue the Flukeman from “The Host” is one of the most recognizable and iconic monsters from the first two seasons of the X-Files.  

“The Host” is an important episode for a couple of reasons.  It introduces us to Mr. X (only heard, not yet seen), it gives us an hour of solid gross-out scenes (I’d argue that only “Home” is as unnerving as this one) and it brings Darin Morgan into the series.   Morgan (if you don’t know it) is the guy in rubber suit that is the Flukeman.   He would go on to join the writing staff for a season and a half, penning some of the definitive episodes of the series.

But first up is “The Host,” an episode clearly designed to not be watched while eating.   From the autopsy scene to the sanitation worker coughing up a flukeworm to Flukeman escaping and getting back into the sewer system, there are so many disturbing and creepy visuals in this one.  And yet the episode understands that less is more.  We get a lot of looks at the Flukeman, but we also keep him hidden in the dark shadows of this show.  And he’s far more creepy and effective that way.  

Mulder is assigned a seemingly random case by Skinner and, at first, thinks it’s another trivial and pointless assignment to bring Mulder in line.   But it turns out there is more to it — when called on the case by Mulder, Skinner says that everyone answers to someone.  And Mulder gets two mysterious phone calls from a new friend who says that the case must be solved because it will create indisputable evidence that the X-Files must be re-instated.

All of that stuff alone is enough to make you positively giddy. It’s also enough to make you want to binge the entire arc that is unfolding this season, seeing how well everything ties together.

And on top of that you’ve got a superlative monster of the week story that is creepy, disturbing and scary.

This one is easily Chris Carter’s best writing since “Deep Throat.”

If you haven’t seen it lately, I can’t recommend watching this one again enough.   Just make sure you’re not eating while watching.

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Filed under Re-Opening the X-Files, review, The X-Files, TV review

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