The X-Files delights in keeping viewers on their toes, asking dozens of questions and only half-answering half … only to turn around a few episodes (or seasons) later and challenge those same notions. Herewith is a list of 30 things we learned in Season 11, Episode 2, "This."
· Mulder and Scully fall asleep on the couch in Mulder's cabin.
· The cabin still has a landline. What year is this.
· Richard "Ringo" Langly may be kind of alive. A video message of Langly on Mulder's phone wants to know if he's dead: "If I am, then they know that I know."
· Is Richard Langly alive? Nobody will actually answer the question. No one saw the Lone Gunmen's bodies, which were presumably incinerated.
· Mulder and Scully are still in fighting form for combating mysterious assailants. Scully seems to be the better shot.
· Scully's identification number is XF072161.
· Mulder doesn't trust evidence lockup. "Scully, 10 minutes ago we received a message on this from a man who's been dead for 16 years. You want me to give it to evidence so it'll be locked up for 3-4 more years?"
· Mulder shops at Ikea.
· Mulder and Scully haven't talked to Skinner recently and "don't know where he stands." Skinner actually knows they're being attacked and by whom and advises surrender.
· The bad guys turn out to be a national security contractor from Russia … via the executive branch.
· Skinner had the director of the FBI speak with "the executive branch" to get this called off. Buuuut… "The bureau's not in good standing with the White House these days." *side eye*
· Byers' name is misspelled on his headstone: "John Fitgerald Byers" instead of Fitzgerald.
· Langly's headstone is backward and has the wrong birthdate, intentionally.
· Mulder and Langly shared a real birthday: Oct. 13.
· They're trying to make Google vs. Scully an actual thing: "Who needs Google when you have Scully?" (Last season, it was "I'm old-school, Mulder. Pre-Google.")
· The clues lead to Deep Throat's grave. Deep Throat died in 1994. "He's dead because the world was so dangerous and complex then. Who'd have thought we'd look back … and say that was a simpler time. Everything we feared came to pass — how did that happen?" Except, you know, that whole 2012 alien invasion, Mulder.
· An X-File: Apparently Internet cafes still exist because Mulder and Scully found one … with excellent bran muffins so good they rise to the level of X-Files. "I don't care if it came out of an alien's butt. I'm going to eat the whole thing." – Dana Scully, everyone
· The bread crumbs lead to an NSA building Titanpointe, on which Mulder has an X-File that predates all that Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA activities inside the building.
· "We can't go to our home. They'll be waiting for us at our office." That's right — Scully says "our home." !!!
· Mulder and Scully are so in danger they can't go into their office … but they can totally corner Skinner in the FBI parking garage. #security
· The X-Files were digitized in 2002. And those Russians had access.
· Mulder types "richard langley" as a search term — Langly's name does not have an E.
· This Russian contractor has been around for a while since 15 years ago they scanned and copied people's brains, uploading them into a simulation. One of these was Langly's brain; he consented. But they only come to life in the simulation when they die in real life; going in, Langly had a theory about testing the fakeness of the simulation.
· Langly got tangled up in this because he and a woman who now helps Mulder and Scully wanted a life eternal together. <3
· Mulder thinks Scully "looks adorbs." He also thinks later that she "looks good." And mimes gagging when she flirts with another guy.
· Scully says she's "married to the bureau."
· The simulation is like Langly's idea of heaven, which sounds heavenly: eat hot dogs and doughnuts all day (the American dream) and "the New England Patriots are here and they never ever win – ever!" (praise hands emoji) But they're "enslaved brains" developing ideas for bad people in the real world and have no choice and no diversity, so Langly wants it shut down.
· The woman in charge is Erica Price, who in the previous episode was working with the Syndicate and hunting for CSM. And she says "life on this earth … is about to be crushed." The simulation is their idea of evolution and continuing life.
· They can take anyone's brain, through their phone. #creepy
· "Why do you operate so well with your hands cuffed behind your back?" Scully asks Mulder. "As if you didn't know," Mulder responds. #Scullyknows
· Mulder gets his phone back.
· Mulder and Scully and forensic FBI agents find all evidence is gone.
· They end where they began, on the couch, where another message of Langly comes back to ask them to destroy the backup.