My Struggle II 10×6: Spoken like a true psychopath.


The (un)emotional reunion we’d all been waiting for.

I do understand, Chris. I want to forget about the Super Soldiers too.

It seems that in order to facilitate said forgetfulness, we’re going to take it back… alllll the way back to the perverse politics of “Paper Clip” (3×2) and the Hitler-esque horrors of “Herrenvolk” (4×1).

Ah, yes. Hitler. I’d been wondering since “My Struggle” (10×1) what the connection would be between the hijacked title of Hitler’s defining autobiography (“Mein Kampf” in German) and this new era of conspiracy on The X-Files. It would seem that old is new again, and Chris Carter is reeling back in the real world fear of eugenics and calculated experimentation by humans on humans, humans unfettered by morality and governed by nothing but humanism and ambition. (Maybe he should have named this two-parter “Babylon” and “Babylon II”?)

We’ve eschewed the supernatural for a super human evil: Heil Cigarette-Smoking Man, the new Hitler, who is almost single-handedly punishing mankind for its failure as a species — or for his own failure to bring about Colonization, take your pick as to which — and is ready to to wipe out humanity as we knew it and repopulate the planet with the Ubermensch: the human species upgraded with alien DNA. If Mulder would just cooperate, together he, Daddy Dearest, Scully and William could become the new master race, the Herrenvolk.

Oh, and Monica Reyes. I can’t forget about Monica Reyes.

What the heck now??? Monica Reyes as the new Diana Fowley? Stah-ap!!

What’s most insulting to the character is that she’s so easily manipulated by CSM with nothing but the vague threat of impending doom. She already knew there was a battle for humanity; that’s why she helped Mulder and Scully escape in “The Truth” (19/21). What kind of science could have proven to someone who was not at all a scientist that hope was hopeless? How did she explain herself to John Doggett?? And you’re telling me he was willing to save her life purely in exchange for lighting his smokes???

I’m so done with this desperate attention seeker of a plotline. Moving on.

Scully: The technology wasn’t there, Mulder. DNA wasn’t even identified until 1944. This is all a lie! – “Paper Clip”

Scully’s doubts reflected my own for much of this episode. How could CSM & Co. have been manipulating human DNA through the Smallpox vaccine when we hadn’t yet mapped the human genome? Well, kudos to Chris Carter for harkening back to what he established way back in Season 3, that the government had long been keeping its scientific knowledge from the public.

But I’m going to have to dock a few kudos for not keeping more of this scientific knowledge from the public. “My Struggle II” is 90% science and 10% story. If in order to pull off the plot the science is so complicated that you have to take your audience back to school for half an hour for them to understand it, it’s too complicated. Leave it out. Way too much time is spent listening to Scully and Einstein explain things to each other that doctors would never have to explain to each other. What’s more, as always, Scully has special knowledge far beyond her speciality. But I suppose I’m used to that by now.

I’m also used to William being treated like a prop. Yet it would seem that if we do get a Season 11, FINALLY, the hunt for William will become paramount. That’s all I ever wanted and it was not too much to ask.

The ending leaves much to be desired. The episode leaves much, much to be desired – less exposition, more Mulder and Scully some, any, a crumb of Mulder and Scully would have sufficed. The whole point of this revival was to put the team back together. I didn’t campaign like a house-bound otaku for Miller and Einstein.

But it’s not “Babylon” (10×4), and for that, let us all give thanks.


Let me tell you about my struggle. It’s the struggle of a teenybopper fangirl who desperately wants to believe in her first love with the enigmatic skeptic inside. If The X-Files keeps going, will it get better or will it get worse? Are we apexing toward another Season 5 or are we snowballing toward more of Season 9?

I’m betwixt and between. And “My Struggle II” leaves me feeling little more than apathetic.

Though at last, AT LAST we’re seeing something akin to an apocalypse. Colonization has been threatened for so long without any significant movement in that direction. True, this large scale immunological breakdown is the machination of man, not of aliens… or is it? Chris Carter giveth and Chris Carter taketh away; he’s wont to take back a plot he’s discredited only to discredit it again. We might find that CSM put this current drama into motion in 2012 for a reason.

There may be a master plan here, but even if I make sense of it I’m not sure it will be satisfying. The ending left me with neither a sense of completion or anticipation. I get both out of “Requiem” (7×22) and even “The Truth”. “Existence” (8×21) has its faults, but at least the characters’ story arcs are made whole. “My Struggle II” ends with a pure cliffhanger, but not the kind of cliffhanger that makes you pick up the phone and call your mother screaming. The characters haven’t evolved and they’re not in any sort of emotional crisis. Mulder’s sick, but he’ll be healed. Scully’s likely been abducted… again… but she’ll be back. Then what? More giant jumps of assumption from our level-headed scientist? More mini Moose and Squirrel? More Truth Squad?


Musings of a Madwoman:

If I’m reading this right, CSM is behind the murder of Sveta and the abduction of Scully, the first to keep her quiet and the second to keep her from saving lives.

Seeing Well-Manicured Man and Krycek in the teaser made me all kinds of nostalgic. That helped propel my “Paper Clip” and “Herrenvolk” rewatches, which in turn were the best parts of watching and rewatching “My Struggle II”.

Mulder’s beat up and Scully doesn’t know where he is. It’s like old times.

Speaking of beat up, the fight scene was a little long, but it was bomb.

Scully looks the best she has the whole revival.

Okay, are we just going to utterly ignore CSM and Mulder’s familial relationship? One “S’up, Pop!” would’ve sufficed.

Scully wouldn’t have had room to weave through traffic like that if the world was in a real panic.

That’s it, huh? Scully gets abducted… again? Time for another ride on the abduction merry-go-round? How about taking Skinner next time, hmm? I guess he’s overdue for a turn.

Inevitable Questions:

I could have sworn that somewhere in the previews for the revival I saw a glimpse of the old warehouse used to store vaccination records in “Paper Clip”, but then it never materialized. Or did I just imagine it? It would have made perfect sense with the plot.

What about the people who either somehow avoided or missed the vaccine, or those who came to the country after the vaccine? They wouldn’t be affected and neither would their children.

Mulder, the Patriarch of Paranoia, has a GPS tracker on his phone? But really now?

Best Quotes:

There are times when the awkwardly formal dialogue of The X-Files can be endearing. This was not one of those times.

108 responses to “My Struggle II 10×6: Spoken like a true psychopath.

  1. This review set me in a better frame of mind about the whole thing so now I suppose I will go rewatch all of it instead of just the fight scene and the scene immediately afterwards. It was nice to see Mulder actually be able to beat someone up for once. That old man strength is for real. Plus, the “You sent for me. I’m here.” and the “You harm her, in ANY way” are the closest we get to pissed of Mulder in the revival and I dig it, A LOT. I was always a sucker for the Mulder rampaging through a hospital and being held back by Skinner/cops/whoever.

    I really, REALLY, hope they manage to get off the bridge before anything stupid happens. And it will be nice, should there be a season 11, to FINALLY get the William plotline resolved. But am I weird for thinking that the fanfic writers of the universe are going to tie it up better than we will ever see on the show?

    Mulder and Scully Jr. are still pretty bad, but I’m for keeping Mulder Jr. around because he’s nice to look at. It would be even better if he got some depth next season instead of being the boy-eyed wonder. And if we have to keep Scully-lite on board well… I really hope we dial back the facial incredulity and the snappishness. Otherwise, I hope she sloughs her stomach ebola style and we never see her again.

    And I WANT to believe, that Mulder and Scully didn’t just kick it in their unremarkable old house until they broke up, and then were suddenly slapped in the face with doomsday. But I guess that’s how it happened. Scully, you’re a(n apparently) prodigy scientist and doctor, you HAD to have seen this coming.

    I LOVE the idea of the apocalypse though. At least they are finally following through on the 23 year threat they’ve been slinging about. And I’m even happy about how it happened. I’ve been predicting death by contagion for a long time with this show.

    Annnnnnnnnnywho it’s like I said. I really wish Chris would figure out why people loved the show. He had an interview with a nice little dig on shippers that got me a little riled. No Chris, *sigh*, I never wanted to see them place house and go grocery shopping together, I PROMISE you. The only thing I want to see less than Mulder picking out fruit is well… not a whole lot more I want to see less of than that. But thank you, Salome, for at least giving me a reason to go back and watch this one more time, and hey, cheers to next season??………………………………….

    • OH and side note, I get unreasonably angry every time the writers forget that Mulder has been infected by both the alien retrovirus and the black oil at various points in his life. And also that Scully received the only vaccine for the black oil. In fact, I’m sad we seem to have abandoned the black oil because THAT plotline made sense.

      • I loved the Black Oil and I miss it too. Though by “Vienen” they had no place to take it.

        That said, Mulder has been exposed to alien DNA, but he didn’t have his DNA tampered with and experimented on by the Syndicate like Scully did. He was an incidental hybrid, not an experimental one. And after CSM excised the Black Oil in his brain and the aliens left him for Super Solider dead and he was treated with a virus, I don’t think there’s anything left in his system.

        I had to give this some thought the second watch through too.

    • I was always a sucker for the Mulder rampaging through a hospital and being held back by Skinner/cops/whoever.

      ME TOO. And there’s been nothing to get him, OR Scully, riled up this season. It’s like they’ve fallen on Vicodin and can’t get up.

      But am I weird for thinking that the fanfic writers of the universe are going to tie it up better than we will ever see on the show?

      At this point? Not in the least.

      I LOVE the idea of the apocalypse though. At least they are finally following through on the 23 year threat they’ve been slinging about. And I’m even happy about how it happened. I’ve been predicting death by contagion for a long time with this show.

      I think we’re in the small contingent that believes a fast spreading contagion is a great doomsday idea. There’s something severely lacking in the execution, however. But I am somewhat glad to see TXF trying to go where it’s only threatened… and threatened… and threatened to go before.

      I really wish Chris would figure out why people loved the show. He had an interview with a nice little dig on shippers that got me a little riled. No Chris, *sigh*, I never wanted to see them place house and go grocery shopping together, I PROMISE you.

      Agreed about playing house – Shippers are underestimated. We have taste, you know. And judging from interviews, I think CC’s attempts to reduce the magic of TXF to something calculable and repeatable led him to reversing the clock, supposedly to give us everything we ever loved about the series. It was a miscalculation of grand proportions.

  2. C+ is beyond generous. That episode failed in every respect possible. Even the so-called cliffhanger was ho-hum. Why do you suppose that “the hunt for William” will become paramount if season 11 is ordered? It’s hard to believe that continuity and logic will have much of a chance since they were absent this time. The character of “William” has provided nothing more than a poor excuse for melodrama so far.

    What’s that saying? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I certainly won’t be fooled again, and I don’t think there will be the same level of fan anticipation and media attention for this series the next time around. Unless Chris Carter is removed as showrunner, which is unlikely, I think what will be in store for X-Philes in season eleven will be more disappointment and heartache

    • C+ really is generous. But I don’t think it failed spectacularly the way “Babylon” did or “Provenance” did or even “Trust No 1”. It’s biggest problem is that it’s ho-hum from start to finish. And in some ways, being boring is much worse than being flat out bad.

      Why do you suppose that “the hunt for William” will become paramount if season 11 is ordered?

      Supposedly, no stem cells from William, no more Mulder. But CC could always pull the rug out from under that plotline… as he’s wont to do.

      I don’t think there will be the same level of fan anticipation and media attention for this series the next time around

      Definitely not. And this wasn’t the kind of outing that would pick up serious new fans either. As excited as fans have been, I suspect that if we get a S11, only a remnant will be left.

  3. I thought this was only marginally better than Babylon. I found the episode rather boring at times and amazingly surreal in others. Scully just driving through bumper to bumper cars of people hysterically trying to leave the city…all from one bridge lol. Her yelling at one guy to stop vandalizing and they all….stop?!!

    The exposition with respects to the science could have been cut drastically…show, don’t tell.

    Mulder was pretty much out of the ep except for a few cool scenes…only one with Scully at the very end. Hello??

    The M and S lite duo does nothing for me and I suspect this is just a device to extend the series with them if ratings continue.


    Except for The were-monster and home again I was very disappointed in this revival set. I watched Requiem and the first two episodes of season 8 and all three were better than ep 1,2,5 and 6 of this season.

    I know this is going to sound harsh but I thought DD and GA were mediocre in this season. I found her acting to be leaden and lacking any breadth of emotion except for some nice scenes after Home again…DD started the season in robo-mode but did tend to warm up as we went. I just never really bought their performances overall.

    I know Salome has faith in CC but the man needs to step away from the writing team if this series is to continue and be successful. I said on another thread that it’s too bad this was released at this time in TV history as I think it would have been given more of a pass ten years ago. Not a lot but some. By today’s standards (The Wire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead etc.) The revival just doesn’t measure up in most areas.

    I give it a C overall.

    • Emily Michelle

      How could I have forgotten Scully talking down rioters/looters before they’d even really started? That scene was hysterical.

      I agree with you on the acting; much as it pains me to say it, both DD and GA seemed to be phoning it in on more than one occasion this season.

    • Scully just driving through bumper to bumper cars of people hysterically trying to leave the city…all from one bridge lol. Her yelling at one guy to stop vandalizing and they all….stop?!!

      For an apocalypse, it was all way too easy and straightforward. Even Scully doesn’t have it like that. I’ve spent a lot of time in DC. That’s traffic on a normal day.

      Mulder was pretty much out of the ep except for a few cool scenes…only one with Scully at the very end. Hello??

      They weren’t in the same frame – doesn’t count. TOTAL copout.

      But maybe *gasp!* it wouldn’t have mattered? Since both DD & GA seemed to be taking the direction to act old and weary a little too much too heart for 90% of this revival. I watched them in recent interviews. I *know* they don’t sound like ex chain smokers.

      I do have faith in CC since it’s his original vision we’re all nostalgically longing for. But even the president needs a cabinet. This version of The X-Files doesn’t measure up to what it was even at it’s low ebb. Season 9, though… it compares to Season 9.

  4. Another excellent review. Just wish the episode was as good as your review in this case. I’m not knocking it…it was for all intent and purposes decent. Still, I’m left feeling uneasy. Not because of a massive spread of disease or alien invasion or whatever that ending was.

    Let’s start off with Reyes. Personally, although I’m in the minority, have always liked the character, but this just seems so unlike her to give up and agree to CSM’s terms. Realistically, what’s stopping Monica from becoming cured and taking off?!? To me, there MUST be more behind her reasons than Smokey asking and her just accepting. Did he threaten her friends, loved ones, or perhaps Doggett? Now if that happened, I might understand. This was far too shallow for Monica to flip to the “dark side” for no real reason.

    This episode takes the series in a completely different direction. Sure, we’ve had cliffhangers and crazy twists and turns in the mytharc before, but this time thing have moved out of the shadows. Things can no longer be swept under the carpet or laughed off as a work of fiction that can no be “programmed, categorized, or easily referenced.” That fine line the show has long straddled between reality and science fiction seems to have disappeared and moved entirely into sci-fi.

    Is this a good move? I’ve always loved the way the show seems to exist on the fringe of our reality, taking on some weird things, but at the same time close enough to what we know to feel like they COULD be real. It now feels like we’ve moved into some strange reality that’s harder to relate. Let’s put it this way…it feels like jumping blindfolded into a pool without dipping your feet in to test the water temperature first. This is uncharted territory, and we could discover a nice heated & chlorinated pool or freezing dirty water. At this point, we don’t know which can be scary.

    Although I doubt Chris Carter was thinking in this manner (it’d give him too much credit), perhaps this new place and the fear that goes with us is exactly the point. Much like the paranormal cases the X-Files covers, we’re feeling uncomfortable and not sure what to expect by moving away from the general ideas we knew before.

    I’ll be honest. When I first viewed this, even though I’d heard the rumors of a cliff-hanger, I was pretty upset. We now know the numbers for the revival were good, but Chris Carter had no idea how well this would be received upon writing this. Knowing this could have been the last huzzah for the X-Files, how reckless was it to leave fans hanging with no promise the show would ever be back!

    Nothing has been confirmed to date, but I do hope we get to see more. The revival has been for the most part (save for a few misses here and there) worth the wait. It’s important to give this show and the characters we love so much a proper ending, not simply leaving us out in limbo as he’s now done twice already…

    • I have a feeling CC filmed more than one ending depending on how the rating went for the series.

      • He might have filmed more than one ending but he didn’t film two separate episodes. There is no excuse to have your two heroes – the two people who, in fact, ensured you got nine seasons, two movies, and a revival in the first place – split apart for the entire episode, without so much as a word to each other. CC has gotta be completely delusional at this point. I agree with you above. He’s gotta step away. There are no more Triangles left in this now one-trick pony.

      • A friend of mine suggested the possibility of an alternative ending as well. It will be interesting to see if that’s the case when the episodes are released…

    • Emily Michelle

      I was so cheesed about Reyes! I always liked her—she’s like the nutty friend who’s kind of weird but you’ll never drop because she’s really sweet and makes you cookies and stuff—so this was a really terrible disservice to her character. I hope that, like you said, there’s more to her turn to evil than we saw, because the Monica Reyes of season 9 would have gone down swinging. I can see her caving because of a threat to loved ones or something, though. Fingers crossed that such a threat was actually made.

      • Yeah, and what in the heck was her “He loves him!” cool-aide drinking attitude about CSM’s reasons for seeking out Mulder? What?! I don’t buy her legit believing that. Annabeth didn’t even deliver that line like Reyes believed that. Gahhh! I don’t think a stint on Pretty Little Liars explains how unconvincing the majority of Annabeth’s performance in the Scully convo scene was. The scenes where she was snarking off to CSM with disgust made sense, but the Scully scene?! I don’t even know. I HAVE to believe there is more to Reyes’ motivations; my poor little Phile heart can take nothing less.

        • The only thing I can remotely rationalize about the Scully/Reyes scene was that perhaps they were being watched (likely to Reyes’ knowledge). It feels like Reyes was holding back, not saying all she knew or wanted to. I could certainly see Smoky tracking her and/or having someone go with her but hide in the shadows.

      • “she’s like the nutty friend who’s kind of weird but you’ll never drop because she’s really sweet and makes you cookies and stuff”

        This should be her official bio.

      • So very glad someone else likes Reyes! This move just seemed so out of character. Yeah, she’s a little wacky at times, but certainly has proven to be a loyal friend to both Scully and Mulder. As you said, she’d have gone down swinging unless this was done to protect her family, friends, and/or loved ones. I personally like the idea of her doing this to protect Doggett in particular. The two seemed to be hooking up romantically by the time the series ended, and I don’t suspect she’d walk away from that for no reason, IMO.

    • I’m completely with you on Reyes. I didn’t think her character was given as much background as she needed in Seasons 8 & 9, but she was a good character, a noble character and I was attached to her. What the heck is this??? Maybe if she did it to save Doggett or something. Maybe if CSM tricked her into believing she could save many lives. But Monica Reyes jump ship to save herself and live happily ever after with the bad guys? The woman who was so sensitive to evil she couldn’t be in its presence without having creepy visions? Give me a break.

      Sure, we’ve had cliffhangers and crazy twists and turns in the mytharc before, but this time thing have moved out of the shadows. Things can no longer be swept under the carpet or laughed off as a work of fiction that can no be “programmed, categorized, or easily referenced.” That fine line the show has long straddled between reality and science fiction seems to have disappeared and moved entirely into sci-fi.

      That’s it exactly. And whether this will be good or bad, time may tell. Sci-fi was always more of a storytelling means to an end on TXF rather than the point in itself. It’s thrived on the ever elusive threat of proof. Now that the proof is here, how long can they expect to drag things out? I think the only answer is to fully flesh out the story and end it, not keep dragging it out with cliffhangers the way things have been going since the end of Season 6. This calls for a definite arc, not a game of cat and story mouse.

      • “This calls for a definite arc, not a game of cat and story mouse.”

        Absolutely agree with you, Salome! They need to create a road map for where they’re going. As we’ve discussed before, it would be great for a collaborative writer’s room to plan out the end game. If we have to cross into sci-fi to bring the X-Files to a satisfying end, then so be it.

  5. The thing that is really bothering me as the series pushes on is the lack of consistency and the degree to which we are all supposed to suspend reality. They are taking artistic license to an obnoxious level. As much as I like CSM, they shouldn’t have brought him back. I believe they intended to kill him off forever in “The Truth”. He didn’t just need reconstructive surgery, the man’s entire head was burned down to just a skull. But they wanted him back, so they just tried to pull a “nevermind!” and hoped we’d just go with it. And the William thing…I believe season 7 was puposely filmed in a way that left them a lot of wiggle room as far as his origins go. Is he Mulder and Scully’s biological child, conceived the good old fashioned way (boring), or did he, as Knowle Rohr suggests, come to be because he was triggered by the microchip, effectively becoming an alien savior who’s going to save the world someday? (awesome!). Turns out the first option is more convenient, despite all the evidence for the second, so that’s what they’re going to do. Cause Mulder needs his stem cells! All this leaves me feeling duped. And as a loyal fan, I’m getting kinda pissed.

    • No doubt they brought CSM back beyond all reason or sense. But if they had done something worth watching with him, I could let it go and be happy. I’m not happy.

      As far as William, they really did, after a lot of hemming and hawing and backtracking, establish with certainty that he’s Mulder’s biological child. In fact, part of what bogged Season 9 down so heavily was attempting to obscure that manifest reality. But as I said then, there are only so many times you can flip the script on your audience, give and take away and give again, before you lose their trust and their attention. Past a certain point, we don’t care who or what William is. We just want you to put him up or shut up about him.

    • At least they gave us a story as to how CSM survived, making it somewhat believable. Still, have to agree with you. The Smoking Man is back with no real purpose except to poke the bear…er, I mean fox. While I love William B. Davis and think he’s an amazingly complicated “bad guy”, CSM had his time. Why not create another memorable mastermind behind the scenes person pulling the strings? It’s a new character to explore, and I really like to see that!

      • Despite CC’s constant avowals that they wouldn’t rest on nostalgia, nostalgia is almost all that we have. CSM is back for no good reason. Not that I haven’t missed him, of course. But even before he died he had turned into a boogeyman that was a shadow of the memorable evil he once was. Same with Krycek.

  6. Emily Michelle

    Really? The CSM was behind killing Sveta? I didn’t catch that it all. See, even when the mythology bordered on coherent, back in the glory days of this show, I couldn’t follow it. And this hot mess—humans did it! but with alien help? aliens are good? 2012 is still significant somehow?—is not coherent. I’ve gotten very good, with this show, at completely ignoring the fact that I never know what’s going on, so I guess that’s why I didn’t completely hate this episode. As you said, at least it’s not Babylon.

    And I actually loved that something actually happened: a conspiracy came out of hiding and all the sudden it’s not just in Mulder and Scully and Jeff Winger’s heads anymore. The entire world has indisputable proof that Mulder was right about something. That’s cool for Mulder, except for that it’s killing him and a lot of other people, and it’s a nice shift for the show—it ups the stakes a lot.

    And I didn’t hate the mini-me’s this episode. I feel weird saying that, but I can’t deny it. Oliver Queen’s almost-as-hot cousin stepped up and delivered some dashing heroics in the form of rescuing Mulder, and once Einstein shut up and realized Scully knows what she’s talking about, she’s not so bad. But then I guess I’m saying I only like her when she’s dying and has lost all hope. Not a great recommendation for the character.

    Of course the episode sucked, taken as a whole—and like you, I was baffled that the CSM never said “I’m trying to save you . . . BECAUSE I’M YOUR FATHER, REMEMBER?”—and also, what the heck, Scully, you just drove through a very polite traffic jam to give Mulder your magic DNA, so even if you think it probably won’t be enough, TRY IT ANYWAY JUST IN CASE—but the fact is that I liked it better than Babylon and My Struggle the First . . . and maybe better than Founder’s Mutation. What a terrifying thought. This was my third favorite episode of the season 10. That says so much about the state of this season.

    No Best Quotes at all? Is that a first for this blog? Because that is amazing. That reserves it a special spot in the X-Files Hall of Shame.

    • I can’t guarantee CSM was behind it. It just seems really likely. But you know how 1013 does us. They may not even have decided themselves who was behind it.

      And this hot mess—humans did it! but with alien help? aliens are good? 2012 is still significant somehow?—is not coherent.

      No it is not. And I guess that’s why I too didn’t hate it, because I’m used to it and expected it and I’ve seen worse from The X-Files. I didn’t like it at all, but I didn’t like it with a yawn.

      And I actually loved that something actually happened: a conspiracy came out of hiding and all the sudden it’s not just in Mulder and Scully and Jeff Winger’s heads anymore.

      I did appreciate that there was some sort of apocalyptic development. It was too late for me to care, but I duly noted a promise made good.

      Of course the episode sucked, taken as a whole


      No Best Quotes at all? Is that a first for this blog?

      “Bablyon” didn’t have any either. Surprised? I didn’t think so. As a whole, this season hasn’t been exactly quotable. I’m keeping the Dark Wizard one, though.

    • “But then I guess I’m saying I only like her when she’s dying and has lost all hope. Not a great recommendation for the character.”

      This totally made me laugh. I didn’t like Einstein at all. Way to mean proving her point and spouting off terminology to make her seem smart. Scully insisted on using science for proof, but NEVER insulted or acted superior to others. Einstein on the other hand came off as a snot-nosed, know-it-all. I’m fine if she’s abducted and we never hear from her again.

  7. C+ really is generous. I didn’t even care about Babylon (for the first half I expected this to be some kind of Mulder/Scully coup), but this was almost worse than the Lost finale. The plot made zero sense, and much of it felt like either fan service (CSM) or fan recruitment (Einstein and that mini-Mulder guy). Where is the emotion, where is the intrigue? Where were The X-Files?!

    I know PCR is regularly used as a solve-all device in The X-Files, but here it was just ridiculous. They develop a vaccine in an hour, produce it and start shipping it out to save … the whole world?! A world, no less, that’s already sick. A vaccine works in such a way that it prevents you from getting sick. Adding some more dead viruses to a body filled with live viruses DOES NOT WORK.

    “I’m also used to William being treated like a prop.”
    This probably bothered me most. The whole episode is about finding Mulder (that’s how I interpreted “My Struggle”), until suddenly, just before the Fade-to-Black, we get the William-ex-machina.

    Fan fiction is a lot better than this. F

    • Whoa, worse than the Lost finale? Ouch!

    • much of it felt like either fan service (CSM) or fan recruitment (Einstein and that mini-Mulder guy).

      That’s an excellent way to put it. And as much as CC disavows a spinoff, Miller and Eistein seem flagrantly placed to attract younger viewers – something TXF doesn’t need since plenty of younger viewers became diehard fans watching TXF on Netflix, and GA and DD both have quite the spectrum of underage admirers. Please.

  8. I have to say, your C+ is definitely a generous score.

    This gets an E from me.

    I am a true lover of The X-Files. I was one of those who took to this new thing called The Internet to discuss it with strangers in 1993. I truly love this show.

    I’m one of the biggest fans of the show on the planet. Genuinely, I’ve never met anyone who loves this show as much as me – and that makes me sad, because I’ve had no one to share my love with.

    This love has meant I’ve supported the show when it’s been bad, and always stuck by it when people gave up on it. It means I was extremely excited about this revival, but I was also prepared to be disappointed.

    This, however… this is worse than I ever imagined it could be.

    This finale was not an X-Files episode. I don’t know what it was, but it was not our show.

    From the teaser, it horrified me – in the wrong way. Actually no, it had me thrilled at first. Just like Mulder’s recap in 10×01, it made me think they understood their own show and characters.

    Anyway, I was excited, forgetting how much Mulder’s recap was then not followed by an episode worthy of the build-up.

    And then… and then they showed Scully morphing into an alien.

    That was a joke. It was awful. THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY DO IN THE X-FILES!

    The entire tone and texture of the show was not The X-Files we saw for around 7 of 9 seasons. At every stage we were simply told what was happening. Coupled with the first part, there was no mystery, apart from who was actually doing it. And the reveal was not worth us even wondering about.

    The awful Carter-esque coincidence of Scully just happening to run into a man who was showing symptoms of anthrax was bad enough, but the whole way the rest of the story was presented to us was actually as if someone had said “I don’t understand” so Carter decided to just explain it all to us. Again, that’s a continuation of the betrayal of X-Files storytelling that we saw in the first part.

    I bet most people here, when they saw My Struggle I, were hoping that we were being bluffed, being led, being played.

    But nope. Carter no longer respects the audience enough to spend time building a multi-layered story like that.

    Instead, pretty much everything Mulder and Tad O’Exposition told us was true. Which is of course completely nonsensical – if these people already run the world, what exactly do they need to take over? That was my question in 10×01, except that the answer turned out to be far worse: CSM is doing it cos he’s become an environmentalist. But… Oh god it’s so awful, given the absolute power that the people in charge already wield, they could easily have radically changed social policy to reduce the population, to undo environmental damage, to change the way we all act.

    Anyway, aside from the total nonsense of the story itself, there was so much wrong here.

    Chris Carter has completely ripped up everything we saw before.

    I don’t mind rectonning, if it’s necessary or if it adds to the story.

    But there’s no reason for what he did.

    And we mustn’t fall for the idea that he’s toying with us and wrote 10×06 and 10×06 with ideas for the outcome already in mind.


    Yep. He wrote My Struggle I without knowing what he would do in part 2. He’s admitted this in several interviews.

    This means there was no careful plotting, no careful thinking through of what to keep and what to drop of the original mythology. There was no overarching story driving parts 1 and 2.

    Once you realise that he didn’t even have enough respect for his fans, his characters, his history, his actors or his show to even plot out the new mythology in advance, you have to start wondering if *any* of the new mythology was written with the old show in mind.

    I genuinely think Carter just didn’t give a damn.

    In an interview last week, he claimed that the show had the same opening titles for 9 years, and that it would’ve been sacrilegious to have changed them now. While I don’t expect him to remember every detail, I do expect him to have spent a bit of time researching his own show’s history so he didn’t make such dumb mistakes. I don’t think he gave a damn enough to make sure he got things right, to make them consistent.

    So, I really think he made up the stuff in part 1 without caring at all about the old mythology. And then when it came time to come up with the mythology I think he just said “ok what did I say in part 1? Oh ok right so it’s not aliens, no problem. Let’s run with that”.

    Just think about the sheer number of stories from the original series would have to have been untrue for this new story to be true.

    As people have said elsewhere, it’s not as if Mulder was lied to and that’s why we now find out that it wasn’t aliens doing all this. No – it’s all the conversations in New York, it’s the farmland in Tunisia, it’s the meeting in London, it’s the flashback to El Rico base in 1973, WHERE WE SAW ALIENS MEETING THE SYNDICATE, WHO LAID THE AMERICAN FLAG DOWN ON THE FLOOR.

    It’s the whole story of the Russians working on black oil. It’s the whole first movie. It’s the entire Roush story and the odd friendship between a boy and an alien in a nuclear power plant.

    It’s such utter rubbish. So much has to be untrue. So why did Carter do it?

    Well, a few things suggest themselves.

    1) he really doesn’t care.

    I definitely think this is true. I rewatched season 9 last week and the mythology stories are so badly plotted and told. It becomes clear that Carter never bothered to think through what he wanted to do with his mythology

    2) he was extremely rushed

    Well I’ll give him that. Except that he’s also said in interviews that he wrote a whole third movie a few years back, as “an exercise”. In other words, he cared enough about the future of his show, he took the time to write a whole story. This man has had years of relaxing leisure time – time enough to learn to be a pilot, for example – and he could have bothered to spend a few hours plotting out potential resolutions to the colonisation story.

    3) Fox forced him to drop it

    I think there’s truth in this. I haven’t seen anyone else say it, and the people involved will never be honest about what’s happened. But I think it’s very possible that Fox said “yes you can have your revival series, but you’ve got to drop that awful complicated storyline”. That, or “you MUST show us the outcome of that complicated storyline”.

    It’s possible that they simply refused to allow him to carry on the original story. That could mean that he did have loads of colonisation stories written but was forced to abandon them. I could buy that. It would explain the rush.

    But if that was the case, why not have the humility to get some help with the story? There’s so much fan fiction out there, and fanfic writers would’ve gladly helped without it costing the earth.

    Either way, the result is the end of The X-Files that we knew and loved.

    It’s not just the way he treated 9 years worth of mythology, including some of the most breathtaking TV I’ve ever seen. It’s the fact that he thought it was ok not to have any interaction between Mulder & Scully at all.

    Carter rejected complaints about this, by saying that Scully did so much to rescue Mulder, and what we saw was an example of the deep love between them. The man thinks the fans just want to see that they love each other! He has not got a clue what we want, what we like or what we need. I was shocked by his defence of this nonsense.

    Speaking of nonsense. OK, I can buy that CSM was repaired. I suspect Fox made it a condition of the revival that CSM had to be in it. I think that helps to explain why we saw CSM somehow alive after 3 missiles hit him and 8 or so hit the building he was in, but we didn’t see Krycek or The Lone Gunmen being brought back.

    But the transformation of CSM into a global ruler, destroying mankind to recreate it in his own image? What on earth made Carter think this would be a good idea?

    CSM was never a big evil character. The key to understanding CSM is “the banality of evil”. He was a bureaucrat who loved his work.

    He did have a yearning to hold power. As Jeremiah Smith said, “all you want is to be a part of it, to be one of the commandants”. And when the syndicate was burned, we saw a brief scene in Biogenesis where CSM was at a meeting of military/government people talking about colonisation: most people missed it, but he was trying to rebuild the project. Then in Requiem he openly talked of it. But the key to understanding him was that he simply wants to be a part of the gang in charge. He never wanted to be god.

    The only time we see him being actually *vicious* is in season 9, in The Truth, where he says that he gets his power from seeing Mulder broken, in the knowledge that colonisation was unstoppable. The CSM we saw in The Truth was not the CSM we had seen for the previous 9 years.

    And now suddenly he’s such a vicious nasty bastard, he’s destroying almost all of humanity? And the last 60 years have been about him and his people leading up to this? Instead of using the power that he and his syndicate clearly had to shape global policy on the environment, food, reproduction etc. – instead of spending these 60 years doing what he wanted to do, which was to avoid environmental disaster – he spent 60 years allowing it to get so much worse, possibly beyond the point of no return, while his people worked on how to destroy most of the population, to… to what? To make sure humanity can’t cause an environmental disaster?

    Aside from how nonsensical the story it is, that character is not CSM. CSM wouldn’t have allowed Mulder to die. CSM wouldn’t have put Scully ahead of Mulder. It’s just nonsense. He loves Mulder. He kept him alive all these years – something that IS totally in character, even if you declare all the mythology to be a lie.

    And what about the other characters? Agent Copy & Agent Blank served no purpose at all. I didn’t like them in Babylon, and they really added nothing to this episode. Their presence allowed Mulder and Scully to be separated.

    The Monica Reyes story was a absurd as the rest. What makes it really annoying is that we had a perfect choice for someone to inhabit this role:

    We never saw Marita again after she tried to kill CSM. If CSM can be alive after being burned to death, well we could have some retconning that explained how Marita only joined in with that to keep an eye on Krycek for CSM. She then could’ve stayed working for CSM, or gone back to working for him, and she could be betrayed him again to help Scully.

    Reyes could’ve filled the role played by Agent Copy, helping Scully in some way.

    What’s really awful about this is that Laurie Holden and Veronica Cartwright both contacted Carter to ask if they could be involved. And he said he couldn’t find any way to use them!

    What sort of person turns down two of the only characters he didn’t definitively kill off? I don’t know about you all, but I loved Cassandra Spender.

    Honestly, this whole thing was a betrayal of the fans and the show.

    The ending almost felt to me like Carter was sticking two fingers up to us.

    Look at this picture, which shows Scully looking up at a UFO at the end of My Struggle II:

    Now look at this, which shows another time Scully looked up at a UFO:

    It’s as if Carter was saying “do you remember when I could make masterpieces like Patient X?”

    I am so upset by what’s happened to my show. Carter was always capable of making incredible shows and then horrendous ones just a week later.

    But this? I fear that this is the end.

  9. A few stray points:

    1) did anyone else spot the reason that Tad O’Exposition gave for the unleashing of the Spartan virus?

    He claimed it was because of the fact that he had broadcast his shows exposing the conspiracy.

    In part 1, he engaged Mulder and Scully cos he couldn’t do it without their help.

    This therefore means that Mulder and Scully caused the very thing they’d been trying to prevent.

    We shall call this “the Carter paradox” and add it to TV Tropes: “when a writer tries to create tension by explaining why something bad is happening right now when it could’ve happened at any time before, the explanation for which logically shows that the lead good guys are actually responsible for everything”.

    2) Salome, you did see the Paper Clip warehouse in the preview, but that was – like a few other brief glimpses – a shot from the episode itself, rather than from the revival.

    3) did anyone else spot that Mulder’s recap began with him saying “My name is Fox Mulder”, but Scully started by saying “My name is Dana Katherine Scully”? Why didn’t they have Mulder give his full name?

    4) I’ve been really bothered by how quiet and dull Gillian Anderson has been in this revival, until I rewatched season 9: in almost every episode, Scully is pretty much whispering. I actually got so annoyed at how unnatural her vocal patterns were. Other characters were just as bad – Assistant Director Brad Malemodel never raised his voice beyond pillow-talk level, and made me want to alien abduct him.

    5) everyone has been saying how they think Agent Copy and Agent Blank have been brought in as potential reboot characters. Carter says that is absolutely not true. Does anyone believe him?

    • 2. I knew I wasn’t crazy.
      3. I noticed that, but “My name is Fox William Mulder” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
      4. Season 9 especially used intense whispering as a fall back for almost every single character. Whispering doesn’t make it so.

  10. Okay so first things first: your tweets re: Monica give me life.

    “My Struggle II” is 90% science and 10% story. > That is the perfect way to articulate it. I liked the science of the episode well enough (with the understanding that it makes no sense but that’s fine in fiction), but yeah. It just took too much time!

    I’m a little worried about the future of the X-Files. They’re almost forced to do more by that ending, which isn’t a good thing for anybody: not for the network, not for the actors, not for the fans. Carter’s responses to critics has been predictable, but not encouraging. My hope, though, is that the people with the cash at Fox will have enough sense to be like, “This is an enormous hit, and it would have been three times as big if Carter hadn’t written those atrocious episodes. Take his typewriter away.” (Or crayon, as you so beautifully tweeted.) That way we could get more material written by Wong/G Morgan/D Morgan/maybe even someone new. We’d get William sorted, Mulder and Scully in the same room…the possibilities are endless. I want to believe? I want to hope, at any rate. This is the first time that the fans’ critiques–which were always right in my opinion–and the critics have been in agreement. Hopefully we’ll finally see some results.

    • I’m more than a little worried about the future of The X-Files, but I would sooner see it not come back than come back without a master plan. Everything has to end sometime, and my hope is that CC can pull a team together again to come up with a satisfying ending for these characters. No more cliffhangers leading to more cliffhangers.

      • I completely understand where you’re coming from, and that makes me so sad. I never have thought I’d see a day when I hit the ‘I don’t want to play anymore’ wall. I’m not quite there yet myself, but it’s coming fast.

      • I am curious why you think CC has to be the one to create that master plan?

        • Not to overstate it, but he’s the creator of his universe. That’s like asking why God has to be the one to bring salvation to the world He created.

          Now, CC being a man and CLEARLY not infallible, I sincerely hope he recruits help to do so.

      • Salome do you believe there’s any merit in people expressing this to Carter? He seemed to respond bitterly in his post-finale interviews, so maybe he doesn’t take criticism well, and publicly he’s still blaming marketing for the failure of the second film.

        I just wonder if it’s worth us putting any kind of pressure on him.

        • I took a minute today to read a couple of his post-finale interviews (I basically eschew reviews and interviews until I’ve reviewed an episode) and I sense the bitterness. But judging from what I saw in the comments sections and from some major television news sites, I’d be a little bitter too. I noticed his continued blindness in regards to IWTB (SIGH), but I don’t think the current treatment – this kind of pressure – is going to make him any more receptive. It’s probably having the reverse effect. Honestly, the internet is a different place than it was in 1993 when he would troll the boards. I imagine he tunes out a lot of what’s out there now for the sake of his own mental health. I know I would.

  11. I’m so conflicted. OF COURSE Scully’s magic, junk, branch DNA will save the world, OF COURSE. I’m kind-a glad a storyline from 22 years ago is finally paying off, but, GOOD NIGHT, we are taking more leaps and bounds than the Golden Age era Superman. So all it takes to save the world from a rapidly spreading contagion is to have Scully and her mini-me rap for a few minutes about Science with a capital “S” (like Mulder’s Truth with a capital “T”) and then create a magic, healing cure in two hours flat…No. Nope. Nah-un. Doesn’t work that way. Vaccines/medicines sometimes take decades to develop (as my Dad who spent 30+ years in the Pharma. industry will attest to). Not even Scully and her magic junk DNA can overcome that fact. But still, my little Phile heart sort of loves the fact that Scully is saving the world pretty much by her loansome (a la Buffy style); I just wish it wasn’t in a COMPLETELY implausible way. Let’s not even get started on how on Earth Scully and Einstein are able to deliver the magic cure to, presumably, every hospital in the country (world?) by themselves.

    And how is Scully running around like a boss after losing a few pints of blood? (They do have to use more of her blood then they tested to make the vaccine, I’m guessing). Personally, I know I’m pretty much physically useless for at least a couple of weeks after I give blood (the last time I gave blood was in Nov., and I’m just now getting back to not feeling lousy when I’m running).

    Reyes. No. Just no.

    Miller is incurably boring, even if he is saving Mulder from the human equivalent of the song “Last Christmas” (ie, it’s terrible and just wont die and go away).

    So now William’s stem cells are just as magic as Scully’s blood. Okay. Right. Makes just as much sense as everything else from this episode.

    Okay, so after thinking up, testing, and manufacturing a cure-all vaccine within the span of about three hours, now Scully and mini-Mulder are going to find William in another three hours so they can save Mulder. What?! Even if they do find him, Willie is most likely a 15 year old, snot nosed, Daddy/Mommy issues kid (think how annoying John Connor was in T-2); what makes them think he’d even agree to help them if they DO find him?

    Between this and Supergirl, why are all the aliens a bunch of echo-terrorists who want to save us from ourselves? I miss the evil space aliens from Power Rangers whose only rationale for taking over Earth was to, well, take over Earth. That’s a lot less annoying.

    To paraphrase and expand upon my Dad’s assessment, either this episode is going to totally ignite and excite the fans, or CC just jumped his last shark.

    • I’m kind-a glad a storyline from 22 years ago is finally paying off, but, GOOD NIGHT, we are taking more leaps and bounds than the Golden Age era Superman. So all it takes to save the world from a rapidly spreading contagion is to have Scully and her mini-me rap for a few minutes about Science with a capital “S” (like Mulder’s Truth with a capital “T”) and then create a magic, healing cure in two hours flat…No. Nope. Nah-un. Doesn’t work that way.

      Thank you for making me laugh. So true! I gave them a pass for putting the “fiction” back into science fiction, but for a story that so prides itself on its science that it gave the show’s science advisers writing credit… well…

      Miller is incurably boring, even if he is saving Mulder from the human equivalent of the song “Last Christmas” (ie, it’s terrible and just wont die and go away).

      Miller is incurably boring. And at this point, CSM feels less like a real world incarnation of Hitler and more like an otherworldly hobgoblin. One guess as to which is scarier.

      And judging from Mulder’s face, I don’t see how they can find William in time. But you know what? If and when they do, a large part of me is going to be ticked off. Why? BECAUSE SCULLY GAVE HIM UP SO THAT HE COULDN’T BE HUNTED DOWN AND IF HE COULD BE HUNTED DOWN WHAT WAS THE POINT OF GIVING HIM UP – which has been my shrill complaint from the get-go.

      I miss the evil aliens too. I miss the evil men. I’m not too into this rogue devil with his rogue plan.

      Your dad, by the way, is right on. The fans are excited… and not in a good way. Maybe we should wax our water skis.

    • Emily Michelle

      Two things: First, I noticed the Supergirl similarity too! Let’s hope Non doesn’t show up. That guy couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag.

      Second, now I have Last Christmas stuck in my head. I hope you’re ashamed of yourself. 🙂

      • Yeah, it’s the new equivalent to aliens invading Earth to save us from the A-Bomb in movies the ’60’s and ’70’s. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who noticed that!

        And second, I really, truly am. YouTube “Awkward Christmas Last Christmas.” I promise you, you will not be sorry.

  12. I did actually take 10 minutes to consider how they could possibly repair the damage done by this story.

    Believe it or not, if Carter cares enough to think about it, and if he allows some of what happened in 10×01 and 10×06 to be a lie told to slow down Mulder and Scully, it would work.

    Here’s how it could work:

    The Spartan virus is part of alien colonisation.

    Originally the human race was going to be destroyed/used as incubators/turned into hybrids by the unleashing of massive numbers of bees carrying the black oil virus. There were many possible ways that colonisation could’ve happened, and there was enough doubt in many episodes (and the film) that we never truly knew if any method was set as the final method.

    But the people behind all of this were destroyed by the rebels.

    So the aliens came up with another strategy: use the genetic meddling that was done via the Smallpox Eradication Project (which we were never told the full extent of, only that a marker was inserted into everyone) to create a variant of the black oil virus which, instead of breeding aliens, would simply kill everyone and leave the planet for the aliens.

    Why would they need this kind of method when they could simply come down and take over? Simple: in season 9 we learned about magnetite. We learned that it destroyed them. The story could be that the syndicate always knew about magnetite but controlled global scientific research to the point where knowledge could never get out (we saw the level of their control over global infrastructure in the first movie, when just a short time after a kid and some firefighters were infected with black oil in Texas, a big syndicate operation was brought in, with tankers and equipment; they know EVERYTHING).

    Once the syndicate was burned, this knowledge started to spread. The aliens plans were turning to chaos – they couldn’t land their ships safely anywhere, cos the resistance movement that sprang up (only ever really seen in This Is Not Happening, but never explored – the FBI treated it as a cult and the show never explored it; why not make it a resistance group that goes global?) ensured that magnetite was transported all over the world.

    So they needed a new plan: get their hybrids to set in motion the Spartan virus.

    It’s as simple as that. What we are seeing is colonisation, due to happen in 2012 but stalled due to the magnetite stuff, and now brought about by the destruction of our immune systems. It could be as scary as the original alien abduction phenomenon was: instead of the government taking you, so you could be probed by aliens, now the aliens come to you, inside your blood, silently, through the air you breathe.

    This could tie in with the events of Requiem: Mulder said that the original alien abductees were all being taken and were not coming back. We never got any explanation why, except that we saw them becoming hybrids. That story was always a bit nonsensical, so instead of that we can say this:

    The aliens always knew that those humans who they and the syndicate had abducted and experimented on would possibly have immunity to any genetic attacks, and with the destruction of the syndicate there was a high risk of problems being caused by these abductees being left alone, no longer monitored by the syndicate.

    So they were all abducted again, and had the most monstrous things done to them to implant an alien consciousness and body into them.

    But because the syndicate were the record keepers for the aliens (Strughold’s files, Jeremiah Smiths social security records, and later the census data from Three Words), the destruction of so many project facilities means the aliens don’t know details of all the abductees.

    The only way to save humanity from colonisation is not through this nonsense of adult sciencing stuff from her blood, but for Mulder and Scully and the resistance to find as many remaining alien abductees as possible, and use *all of them* to create an antidote.

    To give it modern TV drama angst, let’s make it so that the process that creates the antidote will kill 70-80% of them: these people who had so much of their lives stolen by being abducted and put through so much terror, would now be saving the world by giving their lives.

    Now, I’ve never written a story before, let alone fanfic. But if I can toss off a few ideas like that as quickly as I did, imagine what The X-Files writers could do if they cared. There are holes in what I’ve written, but compared to what Carter just gave us, they’re nothing, easily solved by a bit of care and love.

    So much of The X-Files was told in ambiguous ways, there’s a rich vein of stuff to be mined for new stories that would completely fit with what we saw in previous episodes.

  13. Pingback: The Art or the Artist? | Musings of an X-Phile

  14. I can’t believe the whole Reyes thing. I just don’t buy it. It seems like she has been cruelly disposed of along with any coherent mythology. I think this is my saddest X-Files moment. Consider me disillusioned.

    • My personal word for the season is “disenchanted.” But we’ll discuss that in the Wrap Up.

    • There HAS to be more to the Reyes story. There just has to! She risked a lot helping Mulder escape in the finale, and was never shown to have any reason whatsoever to give up to save herself. Besides, why couldn’t she have accepted CSM’s help to “cure/save” her than leave? There’s got to be more!

      The way I see it, there are 2 possible reasons for her to do this and still be there:
      1. CSM threatened her family, friends, or loved ones (especially Doggett). This to me would make the most sense. If this is the case, I suspect Reyes wanted to tell Scully the entire story while meeting with her, but likely was being watched, making her unable to get into the whole thing.

      2. Monica hoped to get some sort of intel out of this situation. Perhaps Skinner knows something here? In any case, it’s possible she’s still working this angle or could have found out once inside that she’s in over her head. While I don’t think this has as much storyline potential, this still remains a possibility.

      • Sure hope you’re right. I do recall Reyes and Doggett largely being left out of The Truth though. Seems they’ve served their purpose and are to be extinguished by any means.

        I know CC wrote a good Doggett episode (Patience), but not sure if he ever wrote a great one for Reyes. Anyone know? Perhaps this could help to explain his coldness towards the character.

        • I’d say 3D and/or Audrey Pauley were certainly more Reyes-centered. Both episodes showcased Annabeth Gish’s acting chops, but didn’t dive into the character of Reyes as much as I’d have liked. Think there’s much more behind her to learn, and seriously hope CC doesn’t think she’s a disposable character like some others he was a bit too eager to get rid of…

          • Both those episodes are great, but I mean if CC had actually been involved at the script-writing stage of a Reyes-centric episode he might’ve been less hasty to put a knife in a her hand. I’m surprised how he seems to know the character less than the fans. I’d like to know more about Reyes background too; I suppose she had dated that douche Follmer in s.9, but that never really went anywhere.

      • Both of those scenarios would’ve made more sense, been more interesting to watch AG play, and wouldn’t have massacred Reyes’ character.

  15. I watched I Want To Believe again after the finale. If there’s one thing this mess has done, it’s made IWTB look pretty damned good.

    I’m not joking – I really enjoyed it. It was much more “our” Mulder & Scully than what we’ve seen in this revival.

  16. This ep was indeed a whole big bag of nonsense. I think the thing that most outrages me about season 10 is the Gethsemane-like reveal that the aliens were never real, that it was all smokescreen. As viewers we KNOW that isn’t true. We’ve seen aliens running around a spaceship, changing form, etc. We’ve seen the bounty hunters. We’ve seen the black oil. We’ve seen things that Mulder and Scully haven’t even seen.

    But the worst part of it is that CSM lacks anything even approaching character motivation if the aliens were never real.

    The best part of the syndicate story was always the lie they told themselves: that they were keeping the existence of aliens and the planned colonization a secret to avoid panic while they looked for an antidote. That’s the kind of evil I can believe in.

    But this version of a secret government led by CSM just wiping out society purely to remake the world “in his image”? That’s one-dimensional Snidely Whiplash villainy.

    • He’s died so many times, maybe his brain doesn’t work anymore?….

      Yeah; there really is no excuse.

    • This isn’t the nefarious evil that we were spoiled with in the first run, the kind all the more dangerous because it’s partially based on truth. One could see where joining the dark side might’ve tempted Mulder in a weak moment before, but the idea is a joke this time. Why would he? Why would Reyes? To live long and prosper with CSM?

      • Exactly. If you want to play devil’s advocate, I think you could make the argument that CSM and the Syndicate are doing what needs to be done to stop the alien colonization. Searching for the cure while going along with the planned armageddon is an option that makes a lot of sense even if it requires some moral sacrifices along the way. Mulder is just some crazy anarchist who’s gonna doom human civilization by getting in the way while the grown-ups are trying to get real work done! 😉

  17. PS: Re-watching the episode right now. Why is Scully conducting her research in an ER? They don’t even make that mistake on Grey’s.

    OMG, Miller! I think I’ve literally had more fun watching paint dry!!!

    • But why is a pathologist conducting genetic research at all???

      Miller… if he couldn’t endear himself to me saving Mulder, it’s not gonna happen.

  18. Just found this tonight and it really resonated.

    This season proved that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson can still come back and be Mulder and Scully. It proved that people want to see these characters back. But it also proved that Chris Carter’s time has come, that he should gracefully step away. In many ways he seems to be the new version of Gene Roddenberry – a guy who created something amazing and then brought it back… but who didn’t quite understand what he was bringing back. Star Trek: The Next Generation needed to shed Roddenberry to move forward. The X-Files needs to shed Chris Carter.

    Of course the last part is not going to happen but the comparison to Roddenberry is interesting.

  19. John, et all, don’t be so darned “petulant” (bold is mine):

    CS: In the last two episodes, Mulder and Scully hardly had any scenes together. Was there any reason for that?

    Carter: That’s just the way the episodes worked out. If you consider Scully’s desperation to save Mulder, to me, that is an expression of love and concern that would be much more satisfying to me than if they were in bed together. I think there is some…I’ll say a “petulant” need to see harmony, when their relationship isn’t necessarily harmonious right now.

    • LOL

      I just can’t help it. Petulance is in my genetic code. 🙂

      I find it amusing and a little baffling that he commented in that fashion considering the question was open to many interpretations. He’s obviously a bit sensitive on the subject.

      I would counter to just say the XF work best historically when the two characters are together on the screen, harmoniously or not. The interplay, chemistry, tension et al are a huge part of that success.

      • Petulantly well said, sir! 😉

      • But I did like their phone chats. Chinga anyone?

      • He interpreted the complaint as purely about MSR, as a juvenile complaint from Shippers that they didn’t see any hand holding, when it was anything but. This duo is the reason people tune in to watch; they tuned in to watch and didn’t see the duo. Disappointment ensued.

        • Isn’t this the fundamental disconnect?

          Carter states in that interview that they weren’t harmonious during the finale which runs counter to the hand-holding-palooza in the final scene of “Babylon”, and episode Carter wrote and directed So did DD/GA covertly hold hands and Carter never noticed when shooting picture, editing and prior to airing?

          “This duo is the reason people tune in to watch” *talking to the church* And despite decades of this message from the vast majority of the fandom and DD/GA themselves, Carter lives in an alternative universe in which… WTH, I don’t even know. He’s making almost no sense at this point (and I don’t mean that to be humourous).


          • I think it demonstrates very clearly that CC has lost track of his creation as you, I and others have said all along this season.

            I know that many of the episodes in the original run were done on the fly with actors sometimes not getting scripts until they were on set. But, hey…it did work a good deal of the time but I don’t think that was the case with this season. I think that is what happened simply due to the disconnects seen in the CC episodes. They are just badly written.

            I found it a bit shocking to discover that one of the best eps, Were-monster, was a ten year old script Morgan wrote for a possible Nightstalker reboot or some such. Taking that into consideration means that for me, the only positve ep was Home again that was written explicitly for season 10.

          • Very true. The breakup was a moot exercise anyway. They were in ooey gooey love by his own hand, so who is Chris kidding besides himself? What people were complaining about was not a lack of romance.

          • #bettercallvince!!

        • That’s exactly it! I’m baffled by a show runner being so irritated by his fans…why would you want to alienate us? Being grateful and understanding is what would keep your show going. Even if shippers are all the simpletons he seems to suggest, we are still the reason the network airs the show.

    • Is it petulant to want to see the team work as a team?

      • *nods emphatically* I’ll hold the remainder of my remarks for what will likely be an epic tome in response to your S10 wrap up. The global ‘Phile disenchantment has become exhausting 😦

      • Hey there!

        Just wanted to poke my head in here and ask if you’ll be doing a season 10 wrap up?

        Take care!

  20. At this point, I am concerned about GA and DD’s careers. In our visual culture and how we associate actors with character roles, we need to fix The X-Files for them.

  21. After a few months following the end of the revival I just wanted to pop my head in here and mention that after seeing the 8 episode “Stranger Things” that THAT is the way to use few episodes for maximum effect. Oh my goodness!!


    “The X-Files Is Coming Back, but Do We Want It to?”

    I hate the complete and utter lack of excitement I have about this, particularly when reading “Chris Carter” in the article.

    They’re ruining my 90s buzz. 😦

    • I’m totally with you on this. I felt the same way. My first thought was “I wonder if Carter is ready?”

    • Carter is ready! Of course Carter is ready! He’s excited to continue exploring the ideas he started showing us in the revival – especially in the age of Trump, he wants to continue understanding what it means, not to believe, but to want to believe, at a time when so many people have lost all hope in government once again. [/English sarcasm]

      I find it hard to follow complex stories. I hope Tad O’Exposition is back to do is guerrilla cable TV broadcasts to tell us exactly what’s happening.

    • I’m… I just… I… I’m speechless.

      It may take me till 2018 to fully process my trepidation.

  23. Actually if I had one wish, something that could easily be achieved, it would be to ask Gillian Anderson to watch a few season 2 episodes and give us Scully’s natural voice back. She speaks so quietly now, in part because the English/London accent she’s got now, but mostly because the characters she’s been playing tend to be intensely circumspect.

    In The Fall, I don’t think she smiled once. But my Scully smiles all the time. Except in seasons 8 and 9, where the direction given in every episode is “your character is all emotional and depressed and vulnerable. Cry. Cry all the time. ALL THE TIME. Annnnnnnnnd…… ACT!”

    • This all day.

      The William plotline stole Scully’s spunk and Stella Gibson stole her voice.

      • Hoping that you will come back for the next installment, due to start in January 18 🙂 it wouldnt be the same without you!! have you seen the trailer for season 11? or do you prefer to be spoiler free?

  24. These reviews have convinced me that I do really need to catch up on The X-Files. So I’m going to do just that! I’m going to try and talk my sister into an epic-scale rewatch of the entire series! Provided our work schedules line up.

  25. Pingback: A Few Post-Season 10, Pre-Season 11 Musings | Musings of an X-Phile

  26. Pingback: This 11×2: You’ve really turned a corner. | Musings of an X-Phile

  27. I was sad that they blew off Reyes’s integrity. While I am willing to accept that many things might have happened to her since ‘The Truth’, which could make such a transition credible, they needed to be explored/explained. Just leaving us with ‘she did it to save her ass’ does not fit her character at all unless there is more to it that we have yet to be told.

    One other observation, Tad O’Mally says that it had been 6 weeks since he went off air. In that time Mulder and Scully managed to solve four cases. That’s got to be some kind of record, right?

    Apart from that, I appear to be in the minority by saying I really enjoyed this episode, and the revelation in ‘My Struggle III’ that it was all a vision weakens it to the point where it might as well not have existed in the first place.

    Thing I don’t get, now that ‘My Struggle III’ has been released, is the time scale. ‘My Struggle II’ – or rather the vision – supposedly took place 6 weeks after ‘My Struggle I’, but ‘My Struggle III’ is in either late 2017/2018 (some point after Trump was elected anyway), so how does that work?

    • Blame Chris Carter for the ambiguous timeline. If he didn’t put his political views or current events in it, it could have seamlessly transitioned. Then 11×02 could have been set some time later in 2018 if the writers wanted to acknowledge the date.

      A similar thing happened at the beginning of the series too. The pilot 1×79 is set in March 1992, but “Deep Thoat” onward is mid to late 1993. Nearly a year and a half difference. I have a feeling that when Chris Carter wrote the pilot it was March 1992. As he said it took him about a year to produce.

      • That’s always bothered me too. I’ve never known whether I should ignore the date of the Pilot, or accept the fact they have been working together for over a year before Deep Throat. Given that Pilot didn’t air until 1993, I prefer to think the latter, but it is frustrating.

        • I’ve always assumed the latter too. And I assumed they had been on cases we hadn’t seen. Of course, then “Requiem” came and disrupted my mental timeline by claiming their total number of cases together was the exact number of X-Files episodes.

  28. I’ve just double checked that because I thought I was having a Mandela effect moment. I seemed to remember agent chesty short saying to scully that they’ve investigated some 160 episodes. Requiem being the 161st episode. I rewatched it and couldn’t find that moment. It was driving me mad. I eventually found the scene on the deleted scenes on the DVD thank god. I wasn’t going crazy. So Salome you can keep your mental timeline intact as deleted scenes aren’t canon.

    And by the way it’s rather odd at how agent short arrived at the figure. Scully was missing for “3”. Two /three partners would have been filed under one case, and there have been episodes in different dimensions/ time zones which wouldn’t of had a documented file e.g. Triangle, Monday. Not to mention when the x files was closed, twice! So it’s good that reference was taken out.

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