The Walking Dead is by far the biggest horror drama on TV nowadays, but there was a time not so long ago that the title belonged to The X-Files. It was the series that brought monsters into primetime in the 90s, and its success clearly influenced a variety of other series. The latest episode of The Walking Dead included an Easter egg nod to The X-Files that only eagle-eyed fans of the adventures of Mulder and Scully could have caught. Take a look!
Evidently, Dwight's cigarettes of choice are none other than the Morleys. As any X-Files fan will remember, Morleys were the brand of smokes favored by the Cigarette-Smoking Man himself. The iconic X-Files villain was seen so often with a Morley in his mouth than he's still better known as the Cigarette-Smoking Man than C.G.B. Spender. The man was literally dying of lung cancer, and he was still puffing away at those Morleys through the tracheotomy hole in his throat. The Walking Dead's inclusion of Morleys was a pretty perfect way to make a nod to The X-Files without distracting from the zombie apocalypse action.
This actually wasn't the first time that Morleys made an appearance on The Walking Dead. Morleys first turned up on the show way back in Season 2, when Dale was spotted holding a pack. They made a comeback in Season 5 when Daryl found a whole carton of Morleys while on a scavenging trip. Somebody behind the scenes at The Walking Dead is evidently a fan of The X-Files.
Interestingly, The Walking Dead has actually featured several actors from The X-Files. One of Laurie Holden's most well-known roles before taking on the part of Andrea on The Walking Dead was as Marita Covarrubias on The X-Files, Scott Wilson guaranteed himself an X-Files legacy when his character freed the serial killer Donnie Pfaster from prison, and who can forget Jeffrey DeMunn being mauled to death by an alien in the first X-Files movie? The Walking Dead has been filled with familiar faces from Mulder and Scully's time with the FBI from the very beginning; the Morleys made for a fun bonus Easter egg.
Of course, it was only a fun Easter egg for those of us who actually caught it. Diehard X-Files fan as I am, I still didn't realize that Dwight was lighting up a Morley until my second watch. I suppose it's a credit to the episode and actor Austin Amelio's performance that I was so absorbed in the episode that I didn't even notice the nod to the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Well done, Walking Dead!
You can catch new episodes of The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. There's no saying at this point if we'll ever get any more new episodes of The X-Files, so we can at least hold out hope for more spooky Easter eggs in the zombie apocalypse. Given that Eugene may be on a villainous path and Negan is still killing whoever he feels like killing, there should be plenty of zombie apocalypse action to keep us on the edges of our seats. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can catch on the small screen.