No really recognizable guest stars in this episode, but I will say…there’s a really effective jump scare in the cold open.
The Case: Lizard Man!
The Rest: Scully is packing up to go out on maternity leave, looking over various easter eggs from earlier episodes (RIP Queequeg). She tells Doggett, someone she feels close enough to hug now, that she may not be coming back, even giving him an Apollo 11 medallion that Mulder gave her once as a good luck charm. That actually works because Doggett’s dropping the thing is one of the major clues that allows Mulder to rescue the guy later, and Mulder and Doggett are apparently on good enough terms right now that they won’t even yell at each other anymore.
As it is, there’s a scientist who figured out how to splice himself with reptile DNA, and he’s spitting out venom that blinds people and eventually kills them, and in comes Doggett with his new partner, Special Agent Fangirl.
No, her name is actually Leyla Harrison. She won’t last past the episode, but what she basically is is an X-Files superfan. In-universe, this is her first field job as she was the accountant who approved all of Mulder and Scully’s expenses, and as such, she knows all about them. She references multiple episodes as possibilities for what she and Doggett are looking for while Doggett is doing an actual investigation, even telling her at one point that she can’t just pop off theories.
Then the lizard man jumps the two of them, blurring their vision with its venom, and it’s up to Scully (working in a lab) and Mulder (just going there) to save the two of them, making the episode feel like old times in ways I suspect Harrison would approve of.
By the by, the lizard guy is actually mostly impressive. This show has always been good at monster make-up, and the actor playing the lizard man in human form even kinda looks like a lizard. So, this Curt Connors guy, he might be CGI in spots, and if so, it mostly works since he sticks to the shadows, with I am guessing close-ups being saved for an actor in make-up. Really, this show has always been good at making good-looking monsters.
As for the case itself, Mulder does manage to find Doggett and Harrison before they get killed, and he then guides Doggett to shoot the lizard man since Mulder’s the only person in the room who can see and isn’t covered in scales while Doggett is the only one with a gun. All things being equal, it’s a good monster-of-the-week episode in a way I haven’t seen in a while since Mulder and Scully were actually back working together to do this sort of thing.
Oh, and then when Mulder offers to give Doggett the Apollo 11 medallion back, Doggett suggests Mulder and Scully give it to Harrison, who has already decided to leave the X-Files, and Harrison then goes and asks a question: how did Mulder get himself and Scully back from Antarctica at the end of the movie?
I legit laughed out loud when she did that, and watching Mulder and Scully squirm a bit as they fail to answer…well, that was just the topper for what was probably the last Scully-Mulder-monster episode until the revival seasons.
Up next, alien super-soldiers? Call Captain America!