The X-Files: Plus One – the evil that exists in all of us


Are doppelgangers real or are they figments of our imaginations? Does evil truly exist or is it just the manifestation of our own darkness? Last night’s X-Files episode “Plus One” explores the answers to those questions.

“Time to get back to our bread and butter.” – Fox Mulder


Back to Weirdness

The X-Files – Arkie Seavers – Courtesy of Fox

Last night’s episode was like a pair of comfortable slippers. This was what the X-Files were all about in the original series. Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) together investigating cases that took them into dark areas and down strange paths.

Plus One was like a trip back in time and harkens back to some of their better efforts from the 90s like “Pusher.” In the very first scene which takes place in a mosh pit at a dive club, Arkie Seavers (Jared Ager-Foster) is having a great time grooving to his favorite band.

Out of the blue, his doppelganger appears. That good night he is having is about to get seriously rough. Spooked and who wouldn’t be after confronting a malevolent version of yourself, Arkie escapes in his pickup truck. Only in the middle of his ride home, the doppelganger appears again.

This time, he succeeds in veering off the road and hitting a tree leaving Arkie battered and bruised. It’s about to get weirder. Enter Mulder and Scully who are eager to get back to what they do best, investigating creepy cases.

Think back to “Squeeze” and “The Host,” although this isn’t the typical monster of the week fare, it is still what made the X-Files great. The unexplained phenomenon and the quest for answers keeps the audience on their toes.

What Mulder and Scully discover is something far stranger than mass hysteria culminating in suicides. Instead, they find that the doppelganger generator might in fact be originating from someone’s mind.

After speaking with Arkie in jail, the duo visits the scene of his accident where they prove that he didn’t wreck his car, someone else or something else did. This explains how he survived and didn’t die like the other victims.

Wanna Play a Game?

The X-Files – Scully and Judy – Courtesy of Fox

In the course of doing research on their case, Mulder and Scully talk with Dr. Babsi Russel (Denise Dowse). She tells them that she has seen a rash of less than upstanding citizens claim to see their doppelgangers and then became mentally ill.

She introduces them to Judy Poundstone (Karin Konoval). By all appearances and actions, Judy is demure and prone to acting like a little girl. Mulder becomes transfixed by the different Hangman drawings on her wall.

Oddly enough, he comes upon one with Arkie’s name on it. He questions her about it and she replies that she plays telepathically with her brother. After the two agents depart, Judy returns to drawing in her notebook.

It turns out that she is adding a sad face to Arkie’s hangman figure.

Meanwhile, at the jail, Arkie finds out that he is being mysteriously transferred. He is left alone in a holding cell so of course, what an opportune time for his doppelganger to appear.

The Evil Twin

The X-Files – Chucky Poundstone – Courtesy of Fox

Mulder and Scully are inquiring about getting a room for the night. Since they have no reservations, the only one available requires that they possibly sleep together. Scully seems more apprehensive about it than Mulder who clearly by the look on his face is entertaining thoughts of getting closer, perhaps.

However, both end up sleeping alone and Scully is abruptly awakened by Mulder who tells her that Arkie is dead. When they get to the jail, they notice the trustee who is recounting the scene to the police. Arkie’s lawyer, Dean Cavalier (Benjamin Wilkinson) is demanding answers and thinking that it is a murder.

Scully explains how Arkie hung himself with a belt. However, Mulder believes that something supernatural is at play. After leaving the jail, Mulder takes off to visit Judy’s brother, Chucky. When Chucky answers his door Mulder immediately recognizes him as the trustee from the jail.

The Demons Inside Us

The X-Files – Demon Judy – Courtesy of Fox

It starts to make sense to Fox what is going on. He and Chucky have a rather unpleasant exchange but Mulder finds out that he is Judy’s twin and that there is an invisible entity that only he can see.

On the other hand, Scully is visiting Judy who is experiencing her “demonic” phase. Flinging around food known as Dookie, Scully starts asking her questions about Arkie. In turn, much like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, Judy pokes at chinks in Scully’s armor by reminding her that she is older and dried up.

Although Scully acts like it doesn’t get to her, the impact of Judy’s words hit home. Before Scully leaves, Judy lets it slip that Arkie killed himself. Now, Scully believes that there is something more than mental illness going on and it could be a possible psychic transference.

What she is about to find out is that even she and Mulder are not immune to facing their doppelgangers and demons mentally and physically.

The Moments We Have All Been Waiting For

This should be a very special episode for the X-Files shippers. There are several touching scenes involving the duo. After her visit with Judy, Scully is pondering her age and getting older. Mulder dissuades her fears by telling her that she has it “going on and she still has some scoot in her boot.”

There is another touching moment between the two. We get to see Scully show her vulnerable side. The interaction between Mulder and Scully is the best they have had since the time when Mulder called her his touchstone.

When Scully talks about aging and what the future might have in store for them, it is almost unbearable. You feel a deep sense of regret from her at the way things turned out between her and Mulder. She even laments what if he finds someone younger to have children with to which Mulder asks if she wants another child.

You get the feeling that this pair has unresolved moments between them that will be explored at some point within this series. Hopefully, they will find closure.

The Verdict

The consensus of critics on the net is that this was a C+ episode. I am going out on a limb and saying I disagree. This script was one of the purest returns to the original series than even the Were-Monster in season 10.

There were many different levels going on with this episode. Of course, the obvious story line of tracking down the cause of mysterious deaths. Then there is the idea of doppelgangers or actually the demons inside us that can kill us plus relevancy of our lives as we age.

Chris Carter has managed to weave together complex ideas that Kevin Hooks’ masterful direction was able to materialize. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson made us realize why we love their characters.

Karin Konoval is a powerhouse talent that was extremely convincing in both of her roles. Actually, you could say she played three roles if you count “Demon” Judy!

If this is the last season of the X-Files and this is an indicator of future episodes, I can honestly say that for me, it will be a fitting end to a legendary television show.

Next: The X-Files: William gets a show? David Duchovny thinks it can happen!

What did you think of Plus One? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. We want to hear from you!