Murderous doppelgangers are not a new premise in the world of The X-Files, but it delivers a balanced serious standalone episode sorely missing since the revival in 2016.
What makes the show unique is how you have a mix the main plot delving into shadow conspiracies, super soldiers and alien viruses combined with random mysterious phenomena in an anthology setting. While the auxiliary supporting cast helped bring depth to the show, they’re mostly use to drive the main plot. The episode Plus One can easily fit as a season 7-9 episode.
Spoilers from here on out.
Mulder and Scully investigate a string of deaths and injuries related to those who reported seeing their evil doppelganger as responsible for carrying out the deeds. They come across brother and sister duo, both played by Karin Konoval, who play hangman to trigger the evil twin to inflict harm on their targets. The sister found in a mental institution (Judy) and the brother (Chucky) lives in a house. Ben Wilkinson, who plays Dean, a lawyer who meets an unfortunate demise at the hands of the two.
Both Wilkinson and Konoval chew up every scene they’re in going over the top with the quirks, while Duchovny and Anderson play it straight.
The comedic elements don’t feel forced with the natural chemistry Mulder and Scully have for one another. There’s even a running gag when Scully tries to sleep on her side, but always finds Mulder lurking over her on the other side as she turns. They also share a tender moment discussing their own mortality.
Given the limited number of episodes, there could have been something bigger, but the more subtle nature of the episode reminds fans why the show had such wide appeal.
The episode was directed by Kevin Hooks, who has extensive TV background including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Punisher, and written by series creator Chris Carter and writers Brad Follmer and Benjamin Van Allen.
This is by far the best standalone episode since the show’s return.