Up to now, I’ve been watching episodes of season 11 as their own, individual narratives, divorced from the larger story. Excluding the irregular references to Mulder and Scully’s son William, we weren’t given a long-running tale to latch onto, this individualized viewing experience of each episode was the best approach for me. That all changed last night when it dawned on me that was the penultimate episode of the season. This realization adjusted the way I viewed the episode because for the first time, I watched is as part of the comprehensive Mulder and Scully saga. And I really did not like what I saw.
Maybe in isolation, last night’s episode “Nothing Lasts Forever” was a decent entry. Remember last time The X-Files tackled the subject of organ harvesting? The 2008 film, The X-Files: I Want To Believe, was terrible. Compared to that movie, this episode was a much better attempt at this subject matter, but still a mediocre one. I alternated between confusion: was the Fox App I was using to watch the show somehow malfunctioning? Was it cutting off scenes and making me miss the story development? Or was the story badly written?
The episode begins at a shoddy human organ chop-shop set up in a garage, where a creepy pancreas-munching doctor and a couple of nurses are murdered by a girl obviously auditioning for either Daredevil or The Avengers. She stabs them in the heart with a metal rod, while reciting Bible verses, because you either go full Dracula killing mode or go home. Mulder and Scully arrive to investigate the scene in the Bronx. How did they find this case so quickly, classify it as an x-file, and get down to New York to investigate? Who cares! Later, Scully and Mulder go to church, and as they leave, Mulder spots three iron bars missing from the church’s fence These three bars exactly match the ones used in the murders, sticking out of the victim’s torsos. Coincidence or convenience? Who cares! This church is also where our vigilante girl walks in, right past where Mulder and Scully are sitting. 2Coincidencer 2Conveniencer? Who cares! The organs from the crime scene were mysteriously left at the door of a hospital emergency room. Mulder and Scully implant the heart with a GPS until, and lo, the organs are stolen from the hospital, leading Mulder and Scully to the apartment building of a has-been actress from the 70s. How’s that for quick plot development? Lazy? Who cares! The apartment building turns out to be the lair of an organ-eating, youth-chasing cult, a member of which is the vigilante’s sister (poor thing is Human Centipeded to the cult’s male leader). A scuffle ensues. Our lady Punisher exacts her vengeance, goes to jail, the case is closed. How did the cult leader discover the science behind his bloody fountain of youth? Who cares!
There were a few bright spots in the episode, mainly the exchanges between Mulder and Scully. When Mulder took out his new glasses, we were gifted to old-school banter, which was a comfort to my ears and heart. Their conversations during the church scenes were sweet and pulled the viewers back to the heart of the show. And their talk at the end of the episode gave us shippers an update to the state of their relationship. “If only you fled earlier,” Mulder said to Scully. On the surface, this was a sweet, almost selfless statement to make. But chew on that a little bit and doesn’t it make you mad that after all her sacrifices, after all the time, Mulder seems to imply that he doesn’t respect Scully’s decision to commit herself to him, to their partnership, and to their work? I hated how dismissive his statement was.
“I’ve always wondered how this was going to end.” Us too, Mulder.
For the record, Ursula cares. You can chat with her here.