Fans of “The X-Files” won’t be disappointed by its return — as long as they skip opening night.
I suppose creator Chris Carter had to make Sunday’s premiere a mythology episode, one that tries to justify a Mulder-Scully reunion and raise the anxiety level to dark red. But viewers have been “catfished” by the series so many times in the past that it’s hard to believe the latest premise — the agents begin to believe that the government is purposely spreading paranoia to strengthen central power — will lead anywhere but the same dank portal once occupied by “Lost” fans still scratching their scalps over that show’s disappointing ending.
“I spent a decade of my life in the office, all the time being led by my nose down a dark alley with a dead end, exactly as they had planned,” says the eternally youthful Mulder (David Duchovny) after being keyed up by exposition from a conservative talk-show host, played with dutiful enthusiasm by Joel McHale.
Hey, Mulder. How do you think we feel?
The show diverts from the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory when the series moves to its regular Monday slot, starting with a somber case involving abnormal children stripped from their families in the name of research, a heartbreaking investigation that dovetails nicely with Mulder and Scully’s haunting memories of how they gave up their own son. Next week’s episode takes a much more comical tone as the agents hunt down a were-lizard, portrayed by the perfectly exasperated Rhys Darby, best known as the befuddled manager on “Flight of the Conchords.”
Come for the monster, stay for the inside jokes, which include Mulder’s choice for a ringtone on his cellphone.
“I forgot how much fun these cases could be,” Scully (Gillian Anderson) says at one point.
So did I.