"The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat"
Series The X-Files
Season 11, Episode 4
X-Files 11x04 001
Air date January 24th, 2018
Writers Darin Morgan
Director Darin Morgan
Producers Garfield Cunningham Whitman; Gabe Rotter; Darin Morgan; James Wong; Grace Gilroy; Chris Carter; Glen Morgan
Starring David Duchovny; Gillian Anderson; Mitch Pileggi; Brian Huskey
Episode guide
"Plus One"

"The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" is the fourth episode of season eleven of the paranormal mystery series The X-Files and the 212th episode of the series overall. It was written and directed by Darin Morgan. The episode first aired on the FOX Network on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 at 9:00 pm. This is a self-parody episode that plays with the concept of false memories, and a collective phenomenon dubbed "The Mandela Effect". As such, viewers get to meet Mulder & Scully's new... err... old partner - Reggie Something.

Cast Edit

Starring Edit

Actor Role
David Duchovny Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Dana Scully
Mitch Pileggi Walter Skinner
Brian Huskey Reggie Something

Guest Starring Edit

Actor Role
Bill Dow Pangborn
Stuart Margolin Thaddeus Q. They

Co-Starring Edit

Actor Role
Dan Zukovic Martin
Keith Arbuthnot Alien
Alex Diakun Buddy/The Devil
Susan Wright Reggie's mom
Antonio Cayonne FBI agent #1
Wolsey Brooks FBI agent #2
Ryan Hesp Henchman #1
Shane Dean Henchman #2
Charles Andre Detainee

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • The X-Files was created by Chris Carter. The premise of the show involves two F.B.I. agents named Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who investigate cases of the paranormal, while also becoming drawn into various webs of government intrigue and conspiracies concerning matters of alien abductions, scientific experimentation and manipulation of the truth.
  • The Opening credit sequence contains two notable departures from the norm. First, the musical echo effect is performed a capella as opposed to the classic keyboard effect crafted by composer Mark Snow. Secondly, the character of Reggie Murgatroid is added to the opening credit sequence after Mitch Pileggi. As his full name has yet to be revealed, he is identified only as "Reggie Something".
X-Files 11x04 003

Mulder returns from Squatch hunting.

Allusions Edit

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Scully and Mulder.

  • This episode plays upon the idea of The Mandela Effect, which is a pneumatic characteristic in which multiple groups of people mis-remember something that they believe to be true, which does not coincide with accepted fact. The name is taken from South African political figure Nelson Mandela, whom many people erroneously believed to have died in prison in the 1980s, when in point of fact he died a free man in December, 2013.
  • Another example of the Mandela Effect presented in this episode is the alleged occurrence of a 1990s movie titled Shazaam starring the comedian Sinbad as a genie; such false memories may be the product of a confluence of factors, such as a performer wearing a genie costume during a TV presentation of Sinbad the Sailor movies in 1994, and a similarly named 1996 film Kazaam featuring a genie played by Shaquille O'Neal.
  • Reggie Murgatroid demonstrates his own version of the Mandela Effect by calling it the "Mengele Effect". This is a reference to Nazi officer Josef Mengele, the so-called "Angel of Death", who was responsible for committing numerous atrocities against Jewish prisoners during World War II. Murgatroid asserts that Mengele died in the United States in the 1980s, when he actually died in Brazil in 1979.
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"I NEED to find that Twilight Zone episode!"

  • Numerous references are made to the The Twilight Zone in this episode. The Twilight Zone was a science fiction anthology series created by Rod Serling. It aired on CBS for five seasons from 1959 to 1964, spanning a total of 156 episodes. As Fox Mulder later learns for himself, there is no episode called "The Lost Martian".
  • The name Thaddeus Q. They is a play on the plural pronoun "They" as it relates to the mythology of the series. As in: "They" are out there, or "They" are watching, etc. Doctor They may also be a wink at the British science fiction TV series Doctor Who.
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Not your average Devil.

  • Doctor They makes a reference to George Orwell. George Orwell is an author who is notable for writing the books Animal Farm and Nineteen-Eighty-Four. He attributes the quote "He who controls the past, controls the future" to actor Orson Welles. This is actually a double example of The Mandela Effect, as Welles did not speak that line, but point of fact, neither did Orwell. The actual quote is "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past".
  • Dana Scully fondly remembers a desert from her childhood called Goop-O. This is a fictional gelatin based product whose name is similar to that of an actual item called Jell-O. Scully was particularly fond of the cherry flavored Goop-O, but not the lemon or lime flavors, which she states "Tastes like a leprechaun's taint".
  • The Martian that appears at the end of the episode is intended as a parody of Donald J. Trump, who was the forty-fifth President of the United States. One of Trump's campaign promises during the 2016 election was that he was going to build a wall around Mexico to keep Mexican from entering the United States illegally. He is also quoted as referring to them as criminals and rapists. These sentiments are echoed by the Martian figure in this episode. Other references to Trump's policies are made by Thaddeus Q. They, who pokes fun at the concept of "Fake news". This is actually the second reference to Donald Trump from this season. The first was a photograph of Trump from "My Struggle III" with the implication that Carl Gerhard Busch had some measure of influence in the outcome of the election.
  • Fox Mulder references a fictional television series The Dusky Realm, which is supposedly a cheap knock-off of The Twilight Zone. It was The Dusky Realm that produced the episode "The Lost Martian" that Mulder begins obsessing over. Although he admonishes Scully for questioning his ability to differentiate between classic anthology shows, she actually turns out to be correct.
  • Fox Mulder is seen Bigfoot-hunting in the beginning of the episode. "Bigfoot" is the Americanized slang term for a mythological cryptid known as a Sasquatch - so named because of the apparent size of its feet. Casts of alleged Bigfoot footprints have been made, which is one of the few traces of evidence that such a creature even exists. Mulder has his own Bigfoot cast, which is later used as a Goop-O mold by the end of the episode.

Quotes Edit

  • Fox Mulder: Confuse The Twilight Zone with The Outer Limits? Do you even know me?!?!!


  • Fox Mulder: The Mandela Effect. When someone has a memory that doesn't coincide with everybody else's or the facts. So named because some people have a memory of hearing that Nelson Mandela died in the '80s while imprisoned, when, in fact, he died a free man in 2013.
  • Reggie Murgatroid: No. It's called the Mengele Effect because people have a memory of Josef Mengele getting apprehended in Ohio in 1970. So, it's the Mengele Effect.
  • Fox Mulder: The Mandela Effect has been an Internet meme for almost a decade. It's always been called that.
  • Reggie Murgatroid: Ah, see, you're having a Mengele Effect about the Mandela Effect.


  • Thaddeus Q. They: Oh. Did you like that? I made it. "Phony fake news." It's a presentation of real facts, but in a way that assures no one will believe any of it.


  • The Martian: We are building a wall. It will be a beautiful wall. Don't send any more probes. We can't allow your kind to infiltrate the rest of the cosmos. You're not sending us your best people. You're bringing drugs, you're bringing crime, you're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But we have no choice, believe me.


Crew Edit

See also Edit


The World of the X-Files

The X-Files miscellaneous

External Links Edit

Series links

Episode links