X-Files Flashback: ‘Dreamland, Part Two’


Season 6, Episode 5
Director: Michael Watkins
Writer: Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, Frank Spotnitz

Completing the most recent The X-Files 2-parter, “Dreamland, Part Two” suffers from the same pointlessness that plagued its predecessor. After all the body switching / merging, you’re left wondering what the point to all of this really was. And, if there is no point, then that’s ok too. The broadly comic tone of the episodes – mostly mining comic gold from Michael McKean’s sexed-up take on David Duchovny – is only appealing for so long. After a while, we need something tangible to carry us through the 2-episode arc, and, frankly, that juicy something isn’t here at all.

The second half begins with “Fletcher” – Mulder in Morris Fletcher’s body – being taken away, screaming at Scully that he’s really Mulder. After being detained and questioned, “Fletcher” returns home to his wife, Joanne (Nora Dunn), and tells her he’s really Fox Mulder. She assumes he’s either crazy or undergoing a nasty midlife crisis. He convinces Scully to attend a dinner at his apartment, which “Mulder” completely redecorates into a swank bachelor pad, waterbed included. After dozens of innuendos and passes, Scully takes “Mulder” at gunpoint and Fletcher relents. In a somewhat complicated setup at a bar, there’s a lot of business around the flight recorder to the UFO and the mole that revealed its existence in the first place.

After discovering that the original warp that switched Mulder and Fletcher in the first place is now reversing, everyone who was body swapped – Mulder/Fletcher, the solider/Hopi Indian woman, necking tourists – all reconvene in the same area. When the warp occurs again, everything is restored to what it was when the original swap happened. When Scully and Mulder return to his apartment, however, it is still spotless and immaculately decorated, leaving Mulder and Scully puzzled.

“Dreamland, Part One” made me laugh a bit, but it left me wondering what the hell was going on with this out of the blue episode. The second half did not clarify it an ounce for me. And that’s completely fine. Apparently, I have a personal mental block with these two episodes. I fail to see their point or their ultimate value. As such, I don’t really have anything intriguing to say about them. They’re efficiently made in a shoulder-shruggingly banal way. They’re swiftly paced thanks to their generous proportions of good humor, but what’s left in the end? To me, nothing. And that’s all I have to say about that. Time to move on.

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