It’s time for a creepy twin episode!
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from television and the movies, it’s that twins always have special powers and that those powers often lead to people dying. I’ve also learned that, roughly 75% of the time, one twin will be saintly while the other will be a total jerk. I have to admit that, whenever I meet twins in real life, it’s always a bit of a let down when it turns out that they’re not planning on taking over the world or opening up some sort of soul-sucking vortex.
In this case, the twins are Judy and Chucky Poundstone (both played by Karin Konoval). Judy is in a mental hospital. Chucky is a hoarder. Both Judy and Chuck are also inhabited by Demon Judy and Demon Chucky, which could be a sign of either multiple personalities or demonic possession, depending on what you believe in. All four of them are constantly playing a telepathic game of hangman, spelling out the names of the people who have annoyed them. (Chucky, in particular, has a judgmental streak.) Early on, it’s mentioned that their parents both hanged themselves. Look at their old hangman games and you’ll see drawings of both “Mom” and “Dad.”
People are dying. The authorities say that they’re all committing suicide but almost all of them, before dying, claimed that they were being pursued by a doppelgänger. When one man manages to survive being attacked by his doppelgänger, that’s all it takes to get Mulder interested in the case. Scully, of course, is skeptical about whether or not people are actually being murdered by their doppelgängers. Not Mulder, though. He has Twin Peaks experience, after all. He knows better than to laugh off talk of doppelgängers.
This was a stand-alone episode of The X-Files, a monster of the week episode. There was no talk of conspiracies or the Cigarette Smoking Man or William or anything else. Judging from the reaction on twitter, a lot of people were happy about that. Myself, I found it a bit jarring to go from the paranoia of This to the relatively straight forward investigation featured in Plus One. I guess I’m just always surprised to discover that Mulder and Scully are not only still working for the FBI but they still take their jobs seriously. Speaking for myself, if I had been through half of what they’ve been through, I’d probably end up fleeing the country and living off the grid in Canada.
That’s not to say that Plus One wasn’t a good episode. I didn’t like it quite as much as everyone else did but, at the same time, it did have its share of creepy moments. To be honest, anything involving a doppelgänger is going to be creepy. I also enjoyed the deliberately absurd scene where the lawyer attempted to suicide-proof his house. How many guns and swords does one attorney need? For some reason, the fact that Mulder and Scully didn’t really seem to care that much about any of the “innocent” people who were killed amused me to no end. I don’t know if that was deliberate or not but there was just something very amusing about the way both of them just shrugged at the idea of the lawyer chopping off his own head. Eh, they seemed to be saying, we’ve seen worse. Karin Konoval played both Chucky and Judy. She was great as Judy but a bit less convincing as Chucky. (In all fairness, the scenes between Mulder and Chucky featured the episode’s clunkiest dialogue.)
One final question raised by tonight’s episode, what is the current status of Mulder and Scully’s relationship? Judging from tonight’s episode, I would say that they’re friends with benefits.