Mulder Is Back To His Old Self On 'The X-Files' & Yes, That Means He Wants To Believe Again

When I think of Fox Mulder, some words that come to mind are paranoid, obsessive, and perhaps a little too passionate about his work for his own good. So, naturally, seeing him play the role of skeptic seriously unnerves me. (Trust me, Mulder — that job is best left in Scully's capable hands.) When the Feb. 1 X-Files episode "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-monster" kicks off, Mulder is casually throwing pencils at the iconic "I Want To Believe" poster, until Scully comes in the room and demands to know what he's doing to her poster. As Mulder rattles off a bunch of examples of his debunked theories (many of which were chalked up to fraternity pranks and practical jokes), I frantically began to wonder if I was even watching the right show. Luckily, Scully hauls him off to chase a monster in Oregon and by the end of the episode viewers everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief — because I'm happy to report that Mulder is back to his old self.

Sure, when they first arrive in the Pacific Northwest to investigate three killings, Mulder is less than enthused. Scully dismisses it as a "questioning phase of some sort" and makes him get to work, even though he initially seems more concerned with figuring out the new camera app on his smartphone. (Yes, Mulder now owns a smartphone.) But, not to worry — after one encounter with the "monster of the week," he snaps back to his old self and is so full of theories that Scully can barely get a word in edgewise.

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When he's finally done with his rant, Scully's response is, "Yeah, this is how I like my Mulder." (Same, Scully. Same.) Mulder temporarily is super excited because he thinks she agrees with him — but, nope, she's quick to tell him that he's "batcrap crazy" and he has "no facts" to back up his theory. And now, order has officially been restored on The X-Files.

As it turns out, the were-monster is a harmless and hilarious shapeshifter named Guy and the person responsible for the three murders is a human being. But, Mulder spends some quality time with Guy and it rejuvenates him, even though he doubts elements of the man's story. As Guy tells him about his "absurd" past few days, Mulder points out that they both "want to believe in things that aren't real or even possible." When he questions Guy's assertion that he needs to go back into hibernation for approximately 10,000 years, the monster is chagrined that Mulder doesn't believe him. When Mulder tells him, "I want to believe," I breathed a huge sigh of relief because I really can't live in a world where Mulder plays the role of skeptic.

And, if you ever doubted that there could be a touching moment between a man and a monster, I'm sure this episode caused you to change your tune. Before Guy heads off into hibernation, he tells Mulder: "I don't mean to get too personal, but this has been a real trying time for me. I've been through a lot. But just having someone like you to... What I'm trying to say is, I'm glad to have met you." They're about to shake hands, but then Guy transforms back into monster form and runs off. As he's left standing by himself, Mulder smiles and says, "Likewise."

Guy's words apply to Mulder in every way — we know from the first two episodes of the revival that he's been in a dark place since the last time we saw him. After losing his job, his son, and his relationship, he's barely left the house and he's felt as though his career and mission were meaningless. Meeting Guy was exactly what Mulder needed, and he knows it. Although this episode was light-hearted and hilarious, it also marked an important turning point for Mulder because he finally began to show his trademark energy, enthusiasm, and passion for all things supernatural again. I agree with Scully — this is how I like my Mulder.

Images: Ed Araquel/FOX (2)