At its core, The X-Files has always been a show about paranoia. Take away Fox Mulder’s gun and FBI badge, and you still have the story of a troubled man, suspicious of everyone in a dark suit and sunglasses (including, at times, himself). The show’s original nine-season run explored seemingly every imaginable aspect of that paranoia, from secret human cloning to an impressively complex government conspiracy to collaborate with aliens and destroy Earth. You know, the type of things you might expect to see on B.o.B’s Twitter.

In a way, a 2016 revival of the series made sense — if there was ever a time for a little mistrust of government, today’s post-Snowden world seems like a good choice. So when FOX announced it was bringing back the series for a six-episode revival, fans were thrilled — and, as all X-Files diehards should be, more than a little suspicious. After all, with more than 200 episodes under its belt, how much more could there be for everyone’s favorite paranormal investigators to do?

But as the revival’s two-part premiere reveals almost immediately, a lack of ideas is hardly the show’s biggest problem.

For fans hoping for an immediate return to form, “My Struggle” quickly becomes one. An opening photographic montage serves as both a “previously on…” and a reminder of the show’s storied past. Mulder might be talking about the gravity of government conspiracy, but the actual message is clear: “Remember all the great adventures we had together, guys?”

The episode walks a strange line between reminiscing and reinventing — an early flashback to the Roswell incident is vintage X-Files, somehow mysterious and captivating while being as straightforward as possible — there’s never any question about whether such an event actually occurred.

But while 1947 might still be the same, when the show finally finds itself in 2016, things begin to falter. Mulder, the once-legendary bad boy/sadboy of the FBI is cooped up in his home watching YouTube (oops, “MindQuad”) videos — which really makes you wonder what a guy like Mulder’s search history is like. Scully, on the other hand, is working as a medical doctor — both are a far cry from their basement office at the FBI.

Of course, while an hour of Mulder surfing the Web sounds amazing (what kind of porn do we think he’s into these days?), he and Scully are soon reunited in Washington to meet the host of a right-wing conspiracy theory Internet show, Tad O’Malley, played by an utterly believable Joel McHale (seriously, are we sure this guy doesn’t already host a show like this?).

It’s with the addition of O’Malley that the show hits paranoia overload — a scene that lasts seemingly forever shows O’Malley and Mulder explaining their newly discovered global conspiracy to take over the world using alien technology to Scully, who half-heartedly reprises her role as resident nonbeliever before jumping on board.

“My Struggle” shares the same (alien) DNA as the show’s original “mythology” episodes — and with it, the same problems. It’s bogged down by nine seasons’ worth of intricate backstory and the general ridiculousness of the conspiracy at hand. In order to subscribe to it, you already need to believe in aliens, UFO crash cover-ups and a world order.

Despite its obsession with conspiracy, the majority of X-Files episodes strayed from the alien-centric plots of the show’s mythology. These “monster of the week” episodes offered some of the series’ most mysterious mysteries and monstrous monsters.

So when the second episode of the premiere, “Founder’s Mutation” begins with a gruesome cold open in which a scientist apparently goes insane in a meeting and commits suicide with a letter opener, a sigh of relief could almost be heard during the iconic theme:

“Finally, The X-Files is back.”

The second episode is more or less the antithesis of “My Struggle.” It’s fast-paced and brutal, leaning heavily on its impressive, disturbing visuals to tell the riveting story of a twisted doctor who performs genetic experiments on the children of single mothers (including his own son and daughter). It’s every reason that fans of the show were excitedly awaiting its return. Take away the legacy of The X-Files, and “Founder’s Mutation” is still damn good television — even if it does follow a less-than-stellar premiere.

If anything, the revival of The X-Files proves that even in 2016, paranoia is a double-edged sword. For a show like this one, so deeply rooted in suspicion, it can be the driving force in an edge-of-your-seat thriller, or it can be the roadblock of delusion that stops a show in its tracks. And, if the first two episodes of the series are any indication, we’re in for a little bit of both.