Double Trouble: The X-Files S11x3 “Plus One” Review

January 20, 2018 at 7:09 PM | Posted in TV | 4 Comments
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SPOILER WARNING: This review contains major spoilers of The X-Files season 11. Read at your own risk!

When I first saw the trailer of the third episode of The X-Files season 11 titled “Plus One,” I thought it would be like a different take of season 1’s classic episode “Eve.” Old fans of The X-Files would know that “Eve” was about the story of two 12-year-old twin girls who had a penchant for killing people including their parents. They turned out to be products of a scientific experiment that clone humans.

But for some fans of the show, they feared that “Plus One” might be another “Fight Club” type of story. “Fight Club” was one of the least liked episodes of The X-Files. It featured a Mulder and Scully look-alike. I don’t even remember the story because I’d rather forget about it. That’s how bad the episode was.

Anyway, “Plus One” greatly differs in the sense that it tells the story of fraternal twins who play a deadly game of hangman. It’s interesting to note that this episode is written by Chris Carter. And surprisingly, it’s a lot better than expected. Carter might have messed up the “My Struggle” story arc but he surely made it up with this episode.

In the episode, we see Mulder and Scully investigating a case where a young man named Arkie sees his doppelganger who tries to kill him. What’s unique about his story is that he is the only known victim who survived such a similar attack. Apparently, several people in Virginia died after seeing their doppelganger. Their doppelgangers stalked them for days before finally killing them.

THE X-FILES: L-R: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the “Plus One” episode of THE X-FILES airing Wednesday, Jan. 3 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Shane Harvey/FOX

Further investigation leads Mulder and Scully to a patient at a mental ward. This patient, named Judy, suffers from schizophrenia and spends her days playing hangman telepathically with her twin brother Chucky. Chucky also happens to be a jail guard at the prison where Arkie was detained for a driving under the influence (DUI) case. He also suffers the same mental illness as his twin Judy. Eventually, Arkie gets murdered by his own doppelganger.

It’s worth noting that Karen Konoval, the actress who plays Judy in this episode, is the same actress who played Mrs. Peacock in the darkly disturbing and highly controversial episode “Home” from season 4. What’s even more interesting is that Konoval also plays Chucky in “Plus One.”

When I first saw “Plus One,” I didn’t know that Konoval was also the one playing Chucky. I mean, she was hardly recognizable as Chucky. She had her hair pulled back in a sleek and had a moustache and sideburns. Even her voice sounded male! I was amazed when I found out from several articles that it was her all along. She did a fantastic job playing the schizophrenic twins Judy and Chucky. Technically, she played four characters in all: Nice Judy, Nasty Judy, Nice Chucky and Nasty Chucky.

When Mulder and Scully first meet Judy at the mental ward, she exhibits the traits of Nice Judy – a soft-spoken, mild-mannered woman. But when Scully confronts her later on to ask about her connection to the murders, Judy becomes nasty. Mulder witnesses the same with Chucky when he goes to his house to inquire about the killings.

GIF image credit: mylifeasadeadmman.tumblr.com 

Later on, Mulder and Scully figure out that Judy and Chucky kill their victims by playing hangman. But this unique ability of theirs would also be the cause of their downfall when they decided to target Mulder and Scully as their next victims.

This episode actually creeped me out and gave me the chills. It’s classic X-Files at its best with its tone and intensity. Who knew that a game of hangman could be that intense and scary?

I only have minor complaints about this episode. For one, how come Mulder chanced upon the right patient in the mental ward? He could have checked several patients there before settling in on Judy. What made him decide to focus on Judy only? Second, I don’t buy that Scully would take the bread pills herself given that she’s a medical doctor and she would know that those pills have no “super powers.”

Photo credit: badtv.it

Also, Scully was hesitant to share a bedroom with Mulder at a motel in Virginia. They used to live together as seen in the I Want to Believe movie before Chris Carter decided to break them up (because Mulder is allegedly depressed) in the revival series. There’s no need for Scully to be wary (for lack of a better word) of Mulder.

Breadcrumbs

  • Mulder and Scully spooning and talking about their lives when they retire. “I’ll push your wheelchair… with my wheelchair.” — Mulder. I loved this!
  • “Scully, put a dimmer on that afterglow.” — Mulder. Mulder and Scully definitely did it. Enough said!
  • ATTHS (And then they had sex) again!
  • The skittish nurses were rather scene stealers.
  • Why was Nasty Judy holding cans of dookie in the first place?

4 Comments »

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  1. What is the current status of Mulder and Scully’s relationship ? They seem a little on and off. It’s obvious what he feels but she behaves hot, warm and cold. What do you think she wants ? Perhaps she wants to have a relationship with Mulder when they have found William ?

    • It’s quite unclear at this point on where they stand but it seems to me that they are close to getting back together. Scully seems to be spending most of her time at Mulder’s home as shown in “This” episode. As for her feelings, perhaps she’s holding herself back a little to avoid getting hurt? It must have been hard for both of them to break up in the first place.

      Maybe they are still in the cooling off period and testing the waters again this time. I think Scully still wants a relationship with Mulder eventually but she’s preoccupied with William right now. I don’t see any reason why they would not want to be together after all this time. It’s obvious they still care about each other. We’ll just have to wait and see when the season finale comes.

      • Thanks for the analysis. Yeah I agree about William. What made them break up in the first place ?

        • According to Chris Carter, Mulder and Scully broke up because apparently Mulder was depressed and it took a toll on their relationship — or something to that effect. Carter’s reasoning is rather vague and flimsy. I just don’t get it. For me, the break up was unnecessary.


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