Peer pressure is bad, but if you took issue with the premiere episode of The X Files's 11th season, you should probably get high and chill. I’m not telling you that you have to partake to enjoy it, but watching Mulder and Scully fumble around in the dark with some flashlights whilst chonged on a bobo is one of the last minor American luxuries that everyone can enjoy.
In a world where nuclear war feels less like a threat and more like a GCal invite I have yet to reply to, the fact that there are new episodes of The X-Files blows fresh, THC-laden air into my lifelong commitment to turning on, tuning in, and dropping out. It’s the closest I’ll probably ever get to the feeling of renewing my wedding vows, only my partner in sickness and in health takes the form of two mid-level government employees fighting against a galactic alien conspiracy. The show's an 11-season love story told through off-hand glimpses, with as many inconceivable twists and turns in 52 minutes as there are in a year of the current White House. You’re not gonna watch that high?
Seriously, the only logical reason I can come up with for why us reefer heads are hell-bent on ingesting weapons-grade THC percentages is to make watching things like The X-Files even more entertaining. Whether or not it’s a gateway to other things, you simply cannot deny its influence over generations of open minds—weed, I mean. But did you know there’s also a strain of weed called X-Files? Yeah. The X-Files is weed. And there are people who hate weed so much they want to destroy it. It’s messed up!
When The X-Files returned after a 13-year hiatus, it was less a gift for fans of the show's story than it was for fans of a certain—dare I say psychoactive—approach to storytelling. It's a universe imbued with depth not through plot but through truly three-dimensional characters. Manipulating the way you tell it allows your audience to glimpse the magical: See The Twilight Zone’s “Twenty-Two,” Breaking Bad’s “Fly,” and The X-Files’s own “Monday” for unforgettable examples of style slam-dunking on popular conceptions of substance—and well-executed style often comes from people who are relaxed, if you get my drift.
On the other hand, you have the utterly un-stonerly self-seriousness that means Jon Snow can’t go wight-hunting without cheapening all of Westeros. Even Eleven can’t have her “trip to the big city” episode without lifting veil on the illusion that Stranger Things is more than a hundred-million-dollar ad for a “retro-inspired new arrivals” collection at your mall’s alt-department store. In an era where more Americans everyday actually believe the earth is flat, we need TV that gets as high as we do.
The best part about pot is that it makes plot holes less pressing than possibilities, and that’s why I’ll be watching the new season of The X-Files—the show that is weed, way higher than an earthbound It balloon. And if you’re the type who'd rather argue on the ship than take a spacewalk, suit yourself: You didn’t want to believe in the first place.