You See What I Want You To See replaces the usual tag of The Truth Is Out There in the opening credits for the episode Ghouli, written and directed by James Wong. First airing on 31 January, 2018, we are led to believe before the opening credits that this may be a cool monster of the week, but as soon as you get a change on the tag, that usually means something arc related.
And this time it pays off, emotionally. Especially for Scully (Gillian Anderson). She and Mulder (David Duchovny) head to investigate a violent assault that seems to be related to some Creepypasta, but what they find, especially when they learn that the two girls involved shared a similar hypnogogic dream as Scully, is that the perpetrator could have been their son, William, who was put up for adoption and now living under the name Jackson (Miles Robbins).
When it looks like his adopted family and Jackson were involved in a murder-suicide, Scully faces the horrific and heart-wrenching possibility of conducting an autopsy on her own son. However twists, reveals, and discoveries, found by Mulder and confirmed by Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) with an unnerving appearance by CSM (William B. Davis), show us that Jackson/William is truly a product of Operation Crossroads, the combination of alien and human DNA (hinted at by the name of the boat at the beginning of the episode, Chimera), and can project images of a false reality to slip the noose of the hunting agents of the DoD and DoJ who are after the young man.
But he also knows who Mulder and Scully are to him, and makes sure that there is an emotional payoff before the episode’s end.
Kitten was written by Gabe Rotter and first aired on 7 February, 2018. Scully and Mulder’s growing mistrust of Skinner nears a boiling point when the Assistant Director goes AWOL, as his past comes back to haunt him, as we are given a flashback to his time in Vietnam in the opening teaser, and the tag in the credits this time reads A War Is Never Over.
Kersh (James Pickens Jr.) makes an appearance sending Mulder and Scully out looking for the missing Skinner. Investigating his apartment they find a connection to his days in the service, and time in Vietnam, which leads them to Mud Lick, Kentucky only to discovery that a government project that was being tested in Vietnam, may still be at work, now in the States.
Haley Joel Osment plays one of Skinner’s platoon-mates (and later his son), and may be the connective tissue for the mystery, having been exposed to a horrible gas in Vietnam, and now residing in Mud Lick. How does it all connect to the visions people are having of monsters, and what’s Skinner’s connection to it?
While the whole truth of what happened may not be revealed, wrapped up as it is in conspiracy (much like actual events that could have served as the episode’s inspiration), what is does do, by story’s end, is unite Skinner, Mulder and Scully again in common purpose as the two agents gain a better understanding of the man who is their boss.
Next week, we close in on the end, with my penultimate installment of The X-Files but the truth is out there… right?