The strong start to season eleven of The X-Files continued with its third episode, Plus One. Featuring a look into murderous doppelgangers, though it wasn’t quite classic X-Files, it had enough moments calling back to the heyday of the show to represent a reasonable facsimile. Curiously, however, what was learned from the episode was more in what it wasn’t, than what it was.

The first outright standalone episode (or Monster of the Week, if you prefer) of the season, Plus One stepped away entirely from the mythology of the show. In fact, Mulder knowingly referred to it as going back to his and Scully’s “bread and butter” — though whether you agree with that or not likely depends on how you feel about the show’s alien conspiracy mythology. Still, by not focusing on conspiracies, aliens, and corrupt governments, we learned once again that The X-Files was always much more than that.

Sometimes, all you need is a refresher course.

Ultimately, Plus One was an odd tale of psychic siblings on the surface, while deeper down, it was an examination of the show itself, the relationship between Mulder and Scully, and even a bit of a treatise on the nature of good versus evil. While it struggled at times to find its tone, it was a mostly fulfilling outing — so let’s take a look at what we learned from it.

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