A Few Post-Season 10, Pre-Season 11 Musings


 

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But is the truth still out there?

 

I can’t call this a wrap up because I never had the heart to write one. Season 10 left me feeling… disappointed.

At first, it was enough just to have my babies back. Mulder and Scully. The dream team all other dream teams wish they were. Back on my screen. Never before seen moments. Be still my heart.

But it quickly became clear that while Mulder and Scully were black, much of their magic wasn’t.

Maybe it was the lack of Kim Manners-style closeups. Maybe it was the retcon, confusing (not to mention mind-bendingly ridiculous) mythology. Maybe it was the mythology’s invalidation of decades worth of my television-viewing life. Maybe it was the inescapable emotional hurdle that is William. Maybe it was the glaring lack of chemistry in what was once the best partnership ever seen on screen.

Maybe it was just “Babylon” (10×4).

Whatever it was, and how many things it was in combination, what it was was that it wasn’t. It wasn’t what I hoped for. It was what I had suspected. It was what it was.

I am, though, nothing if not OCD. And The X-Files is nothing short of my one, true television love. So where it goes, I go. And we’re going into Season 11.

I can’t even sugarcoat this. I have a wishlist.

  1. You Heard Maggie – Go get William. The Philes didn’t ask for him. It’s not too much to ask for you to bring him back. 1013, this is your fault. Fix it.
  2. Rehab the Retcon – I don’t know where the mythology was going as of “My Struggle II” (10×6) except that it wasn’t going anyplace anywhere near a town called Interesting. I never thought I’d say this, but I could stand a Super Soldier right about now.
  3. No More Romantic Red Herrings – The Breakup was mechanical bull. It was based on nothing and evaporated back into nothing. There was no point. There was no value. But I hope you got that ratings boost you wanted, Chris Carter.
  4. Embrace Baldness – I want more of the Skinman and I want them to treat him right, though the previews have me slightly worried. Here we go reversing character development again…
  5. Turn on the GPS – And take me somewhere. I mean, let’s type in an address because I have to feel that finally, FINALLY, the story of Mulder and Scully is headed to a definite destination.

You see, as much as I could stare at David and Gillian’s faces forever (indeed, their poster is staring back at me now), what drove my desire of many years to have The X-Files back was that I wanted to see a conclusion. I wanted to see a climax and a resolution. I wanted to see Mulder and Scully win, dagnabit.

I’m sure you did too. Which is why you’re here about to watch Season 11 and why you sustained yourself through many years of television drought with a headcanon.

Show of hands, who doesn’t have a headcanon? No one?

Show of hands, who thinks when Season 11 is over they’ll go back to their headcanon?

Listen, my wishlist isn’t even that long. I’m keeping an open mind, but I can’t say my heart is as open as it was Season 10. Heck, my expectations were tempered back then. They’re timid now.

But, who am I kidding? I’m a Phile at heart. I’m a Phile deep down in my soul. I know very well it doesn’t take much to get me school girl giddy over Mulder and Scully. I can feel the growing weight of nostalgia in my chest despite myself. Stranger things have happened than The X-Files coming back from the dead, like this brilliant phenomenon ever happening in the first place. 

And it can’t get worse than “Babylon”.

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24 responses to “A Few Post-Season 10, Pre-Season 11 Musings

  1. Good to have your well-thought and spot on opinion back! I’m in full agreement with your statement above. The 10th season was underwhelming. Sure, there were a few moments here and there which gave us hope or a glimmer of recognition of the Mulder and Scully we had loved over the years, but it felt different.

    It was a mixed bag of episodes, which is par for the course for the show. However, while fans might have accepted an occasional mis-step among a 20 episode season, with the extremely shortened season to begin with, I (like others I’m sure) hoped for quality over quantity. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

    The mythology now appears to be whatever comes to Carter’s mind at that particular moment, with no end game in site…which should likely come as no surprise, as that train derailed, crashed, and blew up long ago. The only thing that seems to live on from the original series is CSM. While he may be the best bad guy ever, and I’m always enthralled by William B. Davis’ onscreen presence, how I wish Carter would stick with his self-created problems (deaths, bad conspiracy ideas, and so on…) and see them through. Or at the very least, have some idea of where the series is headed instead of some toss spaghetti against the wall idea, hoping that something sticks. If that doesn’t work, at least have the decency to hand the show off to someone who can guide the ship safely and interestingly into the next destination.

    Yes, I’m disheartened, if that hasn’t come across yet. I’m sad about what was done with Reyes, and hope for her redemption in the upcoming episodes. Unfortunately, the signs are pointing to the same fate for Skinner as well, which is just as upsetting to me.

    And then we get to the Mulder/Scully breakup. Call me a die-hard fan, as I was even willing to accept that to see my two favorite characters together again, in a hope that we might be able to see the two fall in love all over again. You’re right, though, this was BS, unneeded hype, and ultimately made last season fall flat.

    So, I sit here just prior to the premiere of Season 11 with a mix of emotions. With news that Gillian says this will be her last on the show…I just don’t know what to think. She’s done this in the past, and with the way she’s been treated in regards to salary compared to her counterpart, I don’t blame her for perhaps using this as a bargaining tool. If indeed she is serious, I don’t know that I’d want to watch without her. Certainly have no interest in a Einstein/Miller (*eye roll*) centered show either. That said, if this is the end, I seriously hope for a decent and fulfilling ending that fans can walk away feeling content. Knowing Carter, this will be another cliff-hanger ending with no promises of more episodes or commitments from his lead actors.

    As you can tell, I’m having a little trouble getting excited about season 11. I do hope they prove me wrong, but my expectations are fairly low.

    The truth might still be out there…I just hope it’s not too late to find it.

    • Girl, I wish you could have been here to walk me through the watch! I was thinking of you!

      We’re on the same page. I can only imagine what you’re thinking about where they’re taking Monica.

      I’ve purposefully limited myself to JUST the official trailer. So I really have no idea or expectations about what’s coming. Although, I did see a headline that said something about Gillian not coming back. If so, good for her. Someone has to know when to pull the plug.

      I know The X-Files can’t be The X-Files forever. I just want it to go out still being The X-Files.

      Disheartened is the word.

      • *hugs* I know you need them after the season 11 premiere.

        Glad to know I’m not the only one having my love of this show seriously tested. While I pushed for the show to have a movie, more episodes, or something to end the show properly after season 9’s disappointing finale, now I wish we’d have left well enough alone (or at least just left it at some good fan-fiction). This just isn’t what I’d hoped.

        I was trying not to vent too much about Reyes, but your statement of “I can only imagine what you’re thinking about where they’re taking Monica,” opened that old wound…either that or it was the premiere, which is entirely possible. Reyes, even with all her whale-song, happy-go-lucky, believer faults, was a good guy. She proved it time and time again to Scully, Mulder, Skinner, and especially Doggett. A person like that doesn’t just flip a switch overnight, get scared by the rantings of an old man who smokes too much and was practically blown to pieces, and completely change her life by turning on everyone she’s ever known for something as little as the promise (by a habitual liar, I might add) of being cured of a virus!!!

        There had to be more motivation there. Did CSM have some dirt on her that if exposed would seriously harm her or someone she cared about? Was Monica asked to do some undercover work by working/spying on him? Or maybe she did it with the promise that her parents and possibly Doggett would be spared from either the virus and/or harm in some other way?

        And riddle me this…why Monica? Why did CSM single her out? He wanted someone who might be gullible enough to believe his story? Does he have a thing for brunettes (al la Diana Fowley)? Wanted to bond over the best type of ciggies to smoke? I just don’t get why she would be important to his plan.

        This is so NOT the Monica Reyes we’d seen in the last 2 seasons of the show. All those years I defended her as an interesting character just feel so wasted. Chris Carter is making rash decisions when it comes to Reyes, as he’s done to so many characters in the past (Jeffrey Spender, Alex Krycek, the Lone Gunmen, and even CSM). He doesn’t have a plan, and clearly doesn’t give any thought about any of them. So tired of the “rise from the dead” or “completely out of character” $#!%@ Carter is starting to make his go-to writing style. It sucks and nobody wants to watch that crap.

        Thing is…I still like Reyes. No, actually, I still love the character and her potential to be that same Monica. There has to be some redemption for her. If not, and little else changes about this show’s current hot mess, it might be time for me to sail off into the horizon and forever leave the X-Files behind.

  2. Hey there!

    Nice to see you back at it. It wouldn’t be the same watching this season without your words describing what I can’t. 🙂

    I’ve read a review of the first 4 eps recently that stated it was a mixed bag much like season 10. Carter hinted at no finale so I guess we’ll find out together.

    Cheers

    John

    • Thanks, John!!

      I haven’t heard or seen anything except the official trailer. I’ve been circumspect because… I didn’t want to get my hopes further down. :/

      Sigh. If it’s a mixed bag, at least let something really, really good be in the mix.

  3. Salome! Once again I thank you for taking one for the team.

    My lesson was learned and after decades of “I’m tired of settling!” rants, I’ve decided I’m all in for the Darin Morgan episode, I’ll read the reviews and spoilers prior to watching the Morgan/Wong episodes and Trump will become a coquettish, humble Shakespeare quoting Buddhist monk before I’ll endure any further writing from Chris Carter unless the consensus is clear and he’s delivered a “Irresistible” script (pun intended). Just read the review from EW (an XF apologist magazine if ever there was one) and the big twist is standard Chris Carter —s on our shipper fixation yet expects us to come back for more. *sigh*

    I do hope DD/GA’s normal, non-raspy voices have returned. And it appears the wig is much better this time around. In the meantime, I’ll simply *gaze* at Scully and Mulder’s photo from an S11 epi and build my M&S shipper reality* around it (SPOILERS FOR S11 https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/3/16847784/the-x-files-season-11-my-struggle-this-black-mirror-david-duchovny-gillian-anderson).

    *Also in my M&S shipper reality, Vince Gilligan is showrunner and lead writer.

    • Hey!!! I wondered if you had completely given up! But I know you’ve been a diehard fan too long.

      “I’ll read the reviews and spoilers prior to watching the Morgan/Wong episodes and Trump will become a coquettish, humble Shakespeare quoting Buddhist monk before I’ll endure any further writing from Chris Carter”

      LOL!!! Hilarious. I wish I could tell you you missed something, but…

      In better news, they sound more like themselves again. I’m especially happy to report that Scully both sounds and speaks much more like she’s supposed to. I’m seeing Scully expressions!

      But don’t torture yourself. I’ll report back.

    • I’m 100% behind Vince Gilligan taking over as show runner and lead writer for the series. At least he has some idea of where he’d like to go and has the ability to make it interesting along the way.

  4. Glad to have you for Season 11. Your musings have been an essential addition to my X-Files love. Let’s see where they take us. My expectations are low but I still enjoy tuning in to Mulder and Scully. Forever classic characters.

    • Hey!! I’ve been reading through old comments recently and admiring how simpatico we were. Glad to see you back! And I’m honored.

      It’s like the mafia and we’re Michael Corleone. There’s no getting out. There’s just no way I could resist the opportunity to see these two together on screen.

  5. Salome!!!! I’m so glad you’re back and giving season 11 a chance. I’ve been borderline stalking you on this site and your various social media pages ever since I heard Fox picked up another season in the hopes I’d have your reviews and insight to enjoy along with it. I don’t think I could make it without you…

  6. Oh boy. I just watched it. A bad story is one thing, but having all your characters constantly telling you what they are doing and why is just painfully boring. The X Files used to be great at giving us “you know how important Agent Mulder is to the equation” puzzles, but now it’s just “here is the equation, here is the thinking behind it, and here is why I chose this particular methodology”.

    It was one thing seeing the first scene with Scully – it was painfully obvious what they were doing, and I was willing to give it a shot. But then they spent the whole episode doing set pieces (a car comes at Spender and for some reason the driver crashes it and then gives up and doesn’t even pull a gun – damn those cursed glass doors! A man chases Mulder but then doesn’t spot Mulder following him on empty country roads for hundreds of miles, but that’s ok cos he wanted to be followed, but don’t ask why he chased Mulder so hard he caused a crash first and also didn’t have an airbag!), awful voiceovers that weren’t even up to the worst of Carter’s prose, and painful, painful, painful pages and pages of exposition dialogue. Absolutely no showing, all telling.

    And they committed the big sin they committed last season: All the fantastic shots from the trailers were simply extremely short shots used in flashbacks. The trailer made it look like we were going to get into the alien experimentation, awful conspiracy stuff – but it was literally filler to be used over more exposition dialogue. Imagine how great it would’ve been to have a scene where the different conspiracy members were arguing over some new technology in the 1960s, and then we cut to a proper secret black site where CSM is overseeing experiments that even the syndicate doesn’t know about. But no, instead we get CSM telling us that he did it and then other conspirators telling us that he was a bighead who wouldn’t take simple management instructions.

    The whole episode was people explaining stuff to each other, cut with car commercials and such bad attempts at creating drama. The scene with Mulder and Skinner. What THE HELL was that about? Shove Skinner, then a pause for 2 seconds, then Skinner simply shoves him back? WHAT?

    Oh Carter, when you put the words “Leave it alone” in to Skinner’s mouth 3 times, I think you were sending us all a message.

    And this is all before we get to the big reveal. I am absolutely outraged that they would do this.

    I’ve said it before, but one of the awful things they did to Scully was make her a passive recipient of male actions. “WHERE IS MY BABY!” plus “I am going to trust complete strangers” plus “INT: Scully cries, FADE TO BLACK” in so many season 8 and 9 episodes – it turned an amazing female character into a plaything.

    When you see what they’ve done to Scully in this episode, from start to finish, you see how Carter really feels. This is him when he doesn’t have to run his thoughts by people who care. The entire episode was Scully being used as a deposit for information which Mulder could then race off and use. Of *course* Carter split the two of them up for most of the episode.

    But hey, at least Director Chris Carter allowed us a shot of Mulder grabbing Scully’s hand.

    This was worse than even my worst expectations. I really don’t mind a bad story – that’s just someone else’s creative vision that I might not agree with. But to tell that story through endless minutes of people telling each other what their plots and plans and histories are is just offensive.

    And to turn Scully into a mere vehicle for CSM’s plans and Carter’s plots is just disgusting.

    I know this isn’t a review thread, but I just had to vent form London. I watched it as soon as it appeared on the torrents cos I couldn’t sleep, and now I’m so angry I can’t get back to sleep. I might repost this with other thoughts when you write up your thoughts.

    • Evilpants, I completely and utterly feel your pain. You wrote what I would’ve wrote had I watched it. I’m sorry you’re so upset but grateful to you for confirming I made the right decision by skipping this episode. *hugs*

    • “A man chases Mulder but then doesn’t spot Mulder following him on empty country roads for hundreds of miles, but that’s ok cos he wanted to be followed, but don’t ask why he chased Mulder so hard he caused a crash first”

      And our brilliant F.B.I. Agent is too dumb to catch on!! So aggravating.

      But I’m not even angry because it’s getting too easy to ignore this nonsense. Any time the story takes that much exposition, if the writer has to explain each character’s every step, it’s time to back away from the word processor.

      There’s a time for monologues and voiceovers. It’s not every time.

  7. All I have to say is, what the Hell did I just watch? Did Scully seriously just St. Elsewhere? You didn’t even give her a snow-globe. Baby Mulder and Scully are now not just unbearably boring they’re also super stupid. Shifty guy literally bumps into us on the way to Agent Scully: that’s not weird; Hey! How about we go for some TCBY! Also, EWWWWwwwww, just ew, Cancer Man.

  8. A lot of gabbing here. I was hoping someone could tell me what happened in the twins episode 1/18. M&S were in bed, she needed him to hold her and console her. Next morning she’s topless in the motel bed and he references her afterglow. Did they sin? Asking for a friend…

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