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THE X-FILES Review: Meet Miller and Einstein

By on February 16, 2016
L-R: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the "Babylon" episode of THE X-FILES. Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

L-R: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the "Babylon" episode of THE X-FILES. Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

By Pauline Perenack

Last week’s episode of The X-Files brought back the Monster of the Week type format, a fan favorite, while also delving deeper into the main theme which has emerged over the season – Scully’s feelings of guilt over putting up her and Mulder’s son, William, for adoption.

If you are an old-school X-Files fan, references and call-backs to the original series have been plentiful. Last week, we saw flashbacks to the episodes “One Breath,” “Existence,” and “The Truth,” in addition to Mulder and Scully bringing her mother’s ashes to a rocky beach which was very similar to the one where they spread her father’s. Also, how creepy did Petula Clark’s “Downtown” make that death scene? It was a good throwback to many original series episodes. Which ones did you catch in tonight’s episode?

Speaking of tonight’s episode, “Babylon” explored the shifting beliefs of Mulder and Scully, as they each dealt with a younger version of the other, while simultaneously trying to capture a suspected terrorist cell. So, let’s recap what happened.

I Don’t do Woo Woo

Tonight’s episode, “Babylon,” starts off with us watching a morning in the life of a man, as he starts his day. As he drives through the streets of Southwest Texas, he receives the disapproving stares of locals because he’s Muslim, and works hard to ignore them. Arriving at a hotel, named Babylon, he picks up a friend, and they drive away. At their destination, they sit in the car and pray, before walking into an art gallery, which then blows up.

As Mulder and Scully review footage of the explosion, one of the night’s main themes introduces itself with Mulder discussing how witnesses described hearing trumpets playing after the explosion, with no apparent source. Mulder and Scully debate about the existence of God, but are interrupted by two agents, who look eerily similar to a younger version of Mulder and Scully. They introduce themselves as Special Agents Miller and Einstein, with Miller being a young Mulder, and Einstein being a young Scully. They inform Mulder and Scully that one of the suspected bombers is alive, but in a coma, and Miller wants their unique skills to help him speak to the suspected terrorist. The two young agents leave, but Mulder is intrigued.

At the airport, Miller and Einstein watch a Breaking News story on the bombings, and discuss where hate comes from before moving onto the topic of Mulder and Scully. Einstein is convinced Scully is in love with Mulder, because there’s no other explanation as to why she would continue working with him. They are interrupted by Miller’s phone, and it’s Scully, saying she has an idea how to communicate with the terrorist, and will meet Miller in Texas. As Miller is on the phone, Einstein receives a call from Mulder, who also has his own idea of how to communicate with the terrorist, and wants Einstein’s help. The urgency to get through to the suspected terrorist quickly becomes apparent as we see a terrorist cell making bombs.

Arriving in good faith, Einstein meets with Mulder in his office, and the two discuss the weight of words, and how powerful they can be. However, like a young Scully, Einstein is skeptical of Mulder’s theories, and once Mulder brings up the plan of him taking magic mushrooms to enter a different realm to talk to the terrorist, Einstein storms out. It also doesn’t help matters when Mulder asks to keep it all between the two of them.

Scully, meanwhile, flies to Texas to meet up with Miller and explains how they can talk to the suspect using science. She mentions it’s a personal quest for her, as she thumbs the strange quarter necklace of her mother’s, which she now holds in her hand. The two make their way to the hospital, and discuss using an MRI machine to monitor the suspect’s responses to questions. As they’re about to begin, agents from DHS come in, and try to get Miller and Scully to leave. The two refuse as they realize something is shady about the agents, and manage to stand their ground. As they do, Einstein arrives, and is surprised to discover Miller is working with Scully, so she calls Mulder to come to Texas.

Back in the hospital, Miller and Scully are once again asked to leave, but this time because the hospital is under a terrorist alert. Reluctantly they leave the suspect with a nurse, who turns out to be a racist extremist, and turns off the suspect’s life support. The suspect is barely saved, by the sudden arrival of Mulder and Einstein, forcing the nurse to turn the machines back on. The nurse begins to rant about the influx of immigrants on the country’s resources, so Einstein ushers her out, allowing Mulder to take the magic mushroom pills she managed to procure for him.

The pills immediately take effect, and we see Mulder’s hallucinations, where he ends up in a country bar with everyone from Skinner to the Lone Gunman visiting. His hallucinations get even stranger from there, and after a sighting of The Cigarette Smoking Man, Mulder sees the suspect being held by his own mother, who beckons Mulder over to whispers something in his ear.

Waking up in a hospital bed to a disapproving Skinner standing over him, Mulder learns Einstein did not in fact give him magic mushrooms, but rather, a placebo. Unsure of how he could have seen what he did without drugs, he tells Skinner how he was under the influence of the power of suggestion, and talked to the terrorist, but it was in Arabic. As Einstein wheels him out of the hospital, muttering that she’ll be banished to the basement with him, Mulder recognizes the suspect’s mother standing outside, and brings her into the hospital. The two bring her to her son, where we learn his name is Shiraz, and she tells them how Shiraz talks to her in her dreams and prayers.

Mulder describes how Shiraz talked to him, and said something in Arabic. Miller and Scully are back as well, and Miller is able to decipher that Shiraz was pointing them to the Babylon hotel. A SWAT team quickly descends on the hotel, and takes down the terrorist cell inside.

At the airport, Miller watches the raid on TV, with Einstein beside him. The two discuss the case, and it’s quickly apparent that Mulder and Scully left an impression on both of them.

Meanwhile, Scully drives to Mulder’s house, and the two discuss the case, continuing the overall theme of a higher power.  They discuss how powerful words can be, regardless of where those words come from, but both agree that a mother’s love trumps everything. And to further drive home the point, as the camera pulls away, ending the episode, Mulder hears trumpets playing.

NEXT: Nobody But the FBI’s Most Unwanted

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