When "The X-Files" returned to Fox, it brought more than just Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) back with it. Eagle-eyed fans can tell you this.
In "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster," not only did the show bring back stoner characters played by Tyler Labine and Nicole Parker, but it also cast Alex Diakun in a new role, featured Mulder in red briefs (never forget) and had callbacks to Scully being immortal, her dog and the 1970s series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker." And that's not all. Two familiar names were featured on tombstones in the graveyard: Kim Manners and Jack Hardy. Manners directed more than 50 episodes of "The X-Files" and Hardy served as the first AD on "Millennium" and "The X-Files: I Want to Believe."
"It's really our way of dedicating the episode, if not the show to him," series creator Chris Carter told E! News about the Kim Manners tribute headstone. "It's funny, I couldn't imagine doing 'The X-Files' without Kim coming back, but I had to because he's no longer with us. I wore my little 'K.M.' button in his honor and [writer-director Darin Morgan] decided to put his name on a headstone."
"Kim, first among a group of – I think – largely unsung directors on the show...as much as the writers, the directors were responsible for figuring out how to scare us, how to thrill us, how to horrify us and how to make us laugh. Kim could do all of those things, as could David Nutter, Rob Bowman, Dan Sackheim, Bob Goodwin – these directors, Kim directed most episodes out of any of them –I think are owed a huge debt and helped put 'The X-Files' on the map in a big way," he added.
Out of all the callbacks in the episode written by Darin Morgan, Carter said the inclusion of actor Alex Diakun is his favorite. Diakun was in three episodes of the original run and in the second movie.
"He's become sort of the ensemble," Carter said. "I think just for me, the greatest touchstone is the silly absurdity of Darin's episode."
As for the whole Scully is immortal thread, well, that's not over. "It was originally meant to be a joke, or at least an evasion," Carter explained. Keep an eye out for more in the remaining three episodes.
With three episodes down, the response to "The X-Files" has been mixed from critics. "I knew not everyone would like it, so I read the good reviews with a smile on my face," Carter confessed. "I read some of the not so good reviews with a frown and to be honest, with head scratching in some cases. You put yourself out there, you try to do your best work and you walk away and hope that people get it."
The return of "The X-Files" is a short one. Three episodes down, three episodes left. What's ahead? "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" offered a "change of tone," a "breather," Carter said, "before you get horrified, terrified and I think frightened in the end for things that no one wants to imagine."
"The X-Files" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.