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Review: ‘The X-Files’ in a Familiar Groove

As “The X-Files” enters its 11th season — 10 episodes beginning Wednesday on Fox — it’s beginning to look more like a membership club than a television series. It cruises along doing business the way it has since its founding 25 years ago, and it caters to an audience that knows the staff and delights in the many arcane rules and quirks of service.

And membership has its privileges. Like the country club that still turns out a good porterhouse, “The X-Files” still produces excellent stand-alone TV episodes — tremendously entertaining hours with the show’s familiar blend of spookiness, self-deprecating humor and cleverly conceptual in-jokes that only the initiated can really appreciate.

In the five episodes of the new season made available to critics, the winner is the fourth, “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat.” It was written and directed by Darin Morgan, who also provided the best hour of the show’s revival season in 2016, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” and authored celebrated old-school episodes like “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” and “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’” back in the 1990s.

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