My Struggle III 11×1: Who or what had reason to put her through the trauma?


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Someone, please call 9-1-1.

Well, I honestly didn’t see that coming. And I wasn’t overly fond of it going. The entire season finale was fake, a mere premonition in Scully’s head. The long-promised apocalypse is not upon us. Thank you. Thank you, Chris Carter.

You see this picture of Scully, my fellow Philes?

x-files-clip

This was me watching “My Struggle III”. Gillian Anderson was mocking me.

Before I start ranting for real, let me take a moment to focus on the positives (I bet you thought there weren’t any).

Scully felt like Scully. She sounded like Scully, emoted like Scully, moved her face like Scully. That was Relief #1.

Mulder felt like Mulder… sometimes. His famously irrational, knee-jerk anger, so often on display and misplaced toward Skinner whenever Scully winds up in the hospital, felt a little forced. He was missing some genuine intensity. Remember “One Breath” (2×8) or “Redux II” (5×3)? THAT was Mulder on the verge of a breakdown at the thought of losing Scully. I’ll take him slitting the throat of anybody who touches her, though.

In less ambiguously better news, Mulder upgraded from that Oldsmobile Intrigue to a Mustang.

And there was more Skinner. A lot more Skinner.

……

That’s it. That’s all I got.

Now, let’s talk about why I have a headache this morning.

For the love of the Lone Gunmen, did Chris Carter just insinuate to me that Scully may have given birth to Mulder’s brother?

I can’t get over it. I can’t get around it. I can’t get under it.

I want to complain about Reyes’ characterization, about Skinner’s character reversal and that, after all this time, they want to turn him back into an is-he-isn’t-he character, about William not having Scully’s coloring like Mulder said he did in “Existence” (8×21) (even though I personally always wanted him to look like Mulder), about the borderline Biblical, nay, Shakespearean dialogue that was easier to forgive in smaller doses in earlier seasons when we were invested enough in the overall story to benevolently ignore it (SO. MUCH. TALKING.)… buuuuuuut I can’t. Because Chris Carter just said to me that Carl Gerhard Busch (CSM to those in the know) made a baby with Scully.

He said CSM made a baby with Scully.

If I sound like a broken record, it’s because my brain seems incapable of moving past this point.

Of all the disgusting, stomach-turning, hurl-inducing retcon crap. You’re gonna dig into the archives, after blatantly ignoring and shedding the series canon because you couldn’t keep track of it yourself, to find a long forgotten (if admittedly underappreciated) episode buried in the doldrums that was Season 7, a season most people didn’t much watch, and bubble back up to the surface with this pile of manure? Really?

You’re in love with her.

Stah-ap!!!!

If 1013 Productions is going all the way back to “En Ami” (7×15) to find inspiration for their new direction, their compass is broken.

I’m not having it. I’m ignoring it. LALALALALALA! I can’t hear you!

And yeah, I am a grown woman.

Verdict:

I’m so fed up, I can’t even get excited about Spender being back, or the fact that he has a face. I’d be happy to see him if I were happy.

But I’m beyond disappointed, I’m disgusted that 1013 still hasn’t learned from Seasons 8 and 9. It wasn’t the audience, it was you: The question of William’s paternity is not interesting. They still haven’t gotten the message that no one wants to see that? No one wants to ride the yo-yo of is he Mulder’s, isn’t he Mulder’s? Ridiculous.

It’s even more ridiculous than Chris Carter’s signature purple prose here. Now, you all know I tend to take it easy on Chris. I can even hear some of those stilted speeches with a little bit of affection. But it was an entire hour of awkward exposition that didn’t even feel true to the characters. That was Chris Carter talking. Chris Carter talking and venting about the modern world, it’s people, and politics. We’re supposed to believe “Jagoff Shoeshine Tip” Mulder talks to himself like that in the car? At first, I was feeling a little nostalgic about it a la “Colony” (2×16) and “End Game” (2×17), but then it kept going like the Energizer Bunny.

And could the Einstein and Miller doppelgangers be any more useless? You don’t think so either?

The aliens aren’t coming, Mr. Mulder. Just so you understand.

Why does Chris Carter seem to think he can recapture the magic by reversing everything and then rehashing people and plots x2?

F

Leftovers:

Really, though. Those bedside scenes between Mulder and Scully were lacking some punch.

Scully’s spitting out Morse Code from her brain? I’m all for Scully having her turn at heightened brain activity. After all, Mulder read minds in the “Biogenesis” (6×22) trilogy. But this seems a little… comical.

Mulder: The thought is imperishable. (Well, if the thought won’t die, then kill me.)

CSM has become way too godlike for the plot’s own good. I remember when he was relatively low on the Syndicate totem pole.

We first learned CSM’s name in “Two Fathers” (6×11), only Scully wasn’t so sure.

Scully despised Spender at the end of “William” (9×17) after he pretended to be Mulder and cured William of his superpowers (That didn’t take.). Even if she agreed with him that William was in danger, she believed he was in danger from people like Spender. Why would she let him arrange William’s adoption? Why would she trust him to be the only soul on earth to know where her son was?

Best Only Quote:

Scully: You need him. And I need you.

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74 responses to “My Struggle III 11×1: Who or what had reason to put her through the trauma?

  1. It’s a bad episode, Salome, when your review sounds like my sentiments. *sigh* Perhaps hypnosis or some form of mild sedative will help with the pain and help you unsee all that awful. Here’s hoping next week (Glen or Jim’s epi?) turns the S11 Titanic around.

  2. I had a lot of similar thoughts. Although I appreciated the twist in William’s paternity ( although CSM is not a trustworthy source of info) I’ve absolutely hated the William story line since it started. It’s not the first or last show to throw a baby in the mix to create drama. It still angers me that Mulder and Scully’s relationship was handled so poorly.
    I just feel like Chris Carter has become the George Lucas of TV, in that he created an amazing show that he just can’t stop ruining in his old age. How many times must he put Scully in the hospital?! Dude, it’s getting really old, if not comical (don’t get me started on the shitty farewell we had to Sheila Larken last season). And all the exposition/monologues really tested my patience last night as well.
    Here’s hoping the stand alone episodes, which were always my favorite, are more enjoyable.

    • CSM is definitely lying. Even so, I resent it as a gross and unnecessary twist. I’m hoping that the headlines are right and the next several episodes are much better. I’m not getting my hopes up, though.

      As far as Chris Carter, isn’t that the definition of a Greek Tragedy? When a hero destroys his achievements with his own hands?

  3. Thank you. I wasn’t planning to watch this season and this confirmed why. I am beyond disgusted by Chris Carter. I said after season ten that he needs to give up writing for this series. Until he does, I don’t want to watch another episode. I hope GA sticks to her guns about quitting. The characters don’t deserve this garbage.

    • I’m seeing positive headlines about the standalone episodes, but yeah. Even if they’re amazing, it’ll be hard to get this taste out of my mouth.

  4. Thanks for saying everything I’ve wanted to say but was too furious to. Also, I realize that Scully is sometimes not a very thorough investigator, but I’m telling you, if you can’t trust a trained investigator and SCIENTIST to do a rape kit on herself after being drugged and waking up in jammies she’s never seen before, then there’s no reason to hire her back to work for the FBI. And Chris Carter telling us that CSM raped Scully? (Whether it’s accurate or not, that’s what he just told us.) Right. He went there. Doesn’t matter if it’s by turkey baster or activating the neck chip or whatever, putting a bun in somebody’s oven without their express permission is rape. The end. How can William B. Davis let that stuff even come out of his mouth? Especially in our current culture? “Hey, Mulder. I went all Bill Cosby on the love of your life. And now you have a brother because of it! No worries. I’m chucking you to the curb and just taking Scully and your brother with me.” And CSM thinks that that little reveal is going to make Skinner want to go along with him on anything? Good grief. Someone needs to check Chris Carter for a ministroke. Scully already chose between William and Mulder, and she chose Mulder. Now your big idea is to have her do that again? I just can’t even. This was the worst piece of television I think I’ve ever seen. And getting through the expositions was painful. I still have a kernel of hope this is all fake. Maybe they wake up on that ship in Dod Kalm where they age into old geezers and we find out they’ve just been spinning yarns to each other to pass the time.

    • What I can’t figure out is how is telling this obscene lie to Skinner supposed to manipulate him into finding William and helping CSM? Is Skinner going to Scully-crush too now? Is he imagining himself running off into the post-apocalyptic sunset with her and her boy now that Mulder’s not the father? Of course not.

      Obviously, William can prevent this whole thing somehow and CSM wants to stop him. He’s trying to convince Skinner that he won’t hurt William. I can’t imagine why we’re supposed to believe there’s even a possibility Skinner would fall for that. I guess we’ll find out why and how Skinner’s toying with CSM soon.

      Blatant lie or not, how could CC have thought that throwing this red herring in here was a good idea? The implications of CSM impregnating Scully are enormous.

    • ““Hey, Mulder. I went all Bill Cosby on the love of your life.”

      THIS. Reading these remarks – having made the decision to forego the CC episodes – I kept thinking, “Wait, am I reading this correctly? I can’t possibly be interpreting this correctly.”

      Hollywood is top of the violator list in the #MeToo movement and CC just retconned a drugging/sexual assault scenario? This is repulsive in its insensitivity, even for a writer who’s often mind-bogglingly insensitive toward Scully’s womanhood/motherhood.

      This really, truly bothers me on so many levels.

  5. This wasn’t an episode. It was a 45-minute half script that was likely written drunk. It was embarrassing and amateurish, an empty shell where The X-Files should be. And once again Chris Carter throws in medical rape as a plot device in order to shock fans. It’s not only disgusting, it’s dangerous.

    Carter did say in an interview that CSM wasn’t the biological father but that he “scientifically impregnated” her. And then he had the audacity to say that doesn’t count as rape.

    Glad you’re back!

    • Hey, you! I missed you!

      Yeah, I just saw that this afternoon. CC’s got a bad case of Foot-In-Mouth disease: http://ew.com/tv/2018/01/03/x-files-creator-season-11-premiere-interview/

      To those Philes who hadn’t read this yet, I’m sorry.

      For me, it’s not so much the idea of an evil character doing an evil thing, but it’s in such poor taste, so vile, and so unnecessary to the plot. That CC would use such a blatant and gross red herring to shock his audience to attention tells me he doesn’t know how to read his audience anymore. He thought that would be a good idea? Really?

  6. I’ll be in the minority here, but I’m not outraged by the ending. Aside from the fact that CSM is either lying or is wrong about William’s paternity, Carter gave a vile concept to a vile character that is literally the anti-christ of the show. This isn’t the first time the show and tread on fine lines.

    • You’re not wrong. And it’s not that it’s a vile idea period. I’m not outraged at the idea that a bad character did a bad thing. But it’s in poor taste for the show. And it feels like an insult to all characters involved and to the fans who have followed this ridiculous William storyline for so long only to be slapped in the face with this gross and obvious lie.

      I also think CC misread the current political and social climate if he thought his audience would be interested in this plotline.

  7. I’m so glad you mentioned Biogenesis. It’s exactly what I thought of when the doctor started talking about abnormal brain activity. I half expected them to cut to Scully pacing around in a padded cell. Thank God, they didn’t. Although I’m not sure what we got was any better. “Her brain is on fire” immediately reminded me of “He’s more alive than he’s ever been”. Only that time I rolled my eyes, “her brain is on fire” actually made me laugh at loud And not in a good way. I laughed again when Mulder repeated it to her later.

    “The doctor says your brain is on fire.” I laughed while typing that. And the Morse code brainwave was…was NO. Just No. Not only corny, but utterly useless to the plot since Scully's first words upon waking are to tell Mulder they need to find William. It's not like her thoughts needed to be communicated exactly two minutes ahead of time…I can't believe I just had to type out "Morse code brainwaves"…It's making me nostalgic for killer sewer cats.

    Anyway, I don't actually mind that the whole season 10 finale hasn't happened. Mainly because it wasn't a good episode. And they really did write themselves into a corner. What were the options?
    1.) Let Mulder Die? Bummer. He's died and been resurrected twice on the show already.
    2.) Find some cheesy miracle cure like Mulder's brain disease and Scully's cancer? "We don't need William really. Here Mulder, try these super vitamins."
    3.) Find William and his magic stem cells? ..Except they'v established Mulder has very little time and they can't find William too soon into the season.

    So I'm okay with it. Also its nice to have a clear goal and objective. Scully has to find her(their?) son and save Mulder from certain death and the world from invasion. Its nice to know that its a determined and certain looming deadline unlike the false alarm invasions of the new millennium and 2012 that never happened. We know exactly whats coming and how they're going to go about trying to stop it. I find that oddly comforting.

    But you know, Scully didn't have to spend the whole episode in the hospital. She really didn't. Especially didn't have to get released only to end up back there ten seconds later. She should have gone with Mulder to find William or CSM or whoever. The episode wouldn't have been saved, but it would have been stronger. We could have enjoyed Mulder/Scully car banter instead of the voice-overs. And if it were oh-so-important to demonstrate Scully's life is threatened they could have demonstrated that in the car chasing shenanigans. (Not that I didn't enjoy Mulder slitting that dude's throat.)

    Also, why in the name of All That's Holy didn't Skinner just shoot CSM when he has his gun on him in that car? He had the cure in that little bottle right there with him. Shoot CSM, take little bottle of antidote, share it with Mulder, let Einstein and Scully go all science on it to determine what it is and how to make more to save everyone. Problems solved.

    And until otherwise proven, I'm choosing to believe that Reyes and Skinner are on the right side and simply playing double agent on CSM. I think Monica is trying to help from within CSM's service and Skinner hasn't really turned but just couldn't find the words to tell Mulder what he just learned a few moments before their confrontation.

    And speaking of that confrontation, it really felt like an excuse to put a dramatic Mulder/Skinner shove fest into the promos and trailer.

    And speaking about CSM, the biggest problem with his big "plot twist" is that it seems really ineffective for making Scully choose him and William over Mulder. Learning William is an alien experiment and not her and Mulder's son (assuming it's true) I feel would only push her more towards Mulder and away from William. It would change everything about how she views William.

    Scully: I haven't been part of any experiments.

    Right. Except for Emily, your cancer, your disappearance and your ova must have just fallen out one day…Also in the very last season you told Mulder you have alien DNA (HOW DO YOU THINK THAT OCCURED?? Also its your prime motivation for needing to "stop these sons of bitches" CAUSE. THEY. EXPERIMENTED. ON YOU. ) I can’t even.

    But yeah, in spite of everything I’m watching the whole season. I don’t think Darin Morgan will let me down. I have hope for the stand alones.

    • I just realized something. I know I should probably let this go…I mean whats the use of digging for plot-holes in an episode that is basically the Swiss cheese of retcon?… But what can I say? I just have a lot of feelings.

      If Scully’s DNA provides the antidote to the super-alien-immune-crushing virus/contagion thingy then why can’t she just give that to Mulder herself? She doesn’t really need William to save Mulder. The only reason they needed him in the finale was because it was tool late for magic-Scully-blood-miracle-cure. But if she now ALREADY KNOWS its coming thanks to Magic Abnormal Brain Activity Premonitions…why not start working on what she knows will cure Mulder and everyone else?

      I know, I know. I’m just torturing myself.

      Also, remember that time that Mulder had seizures and collapsed having visions so Scully took his car keys (Demons)? Yeah last night that same Scully, *ahem* Dr. Scully, Scully the medical doctor chose to go for a drive after she collapsed on the phone with Mulder after JUST HAVING BEEN HOSPITALIZED FOR SEIZING AND LOSING CONSCIOUSNESS.

      Okay, I’m done.

      • I’m far from understanding genetics, but I think only William can save Mulder because he shares his DNA. Scully has no genetic relationship to Mulder.

        Good catch about “Demons”! I didn’t even think of that.

        • But then how is Scully able to save everyone else she saved before she found Mulder? Einstein and all those other doctors she made IVs for? Why wouldn’t that work for Mulder too if she administers it in time?

          I sincerely hope I’m not coming across as argumentative, I’m genuinely just trying to make sure I didn’t miss something that you caught so I can better understand the turn of events 🙂

          • So, I tried to watch “My Struggle II” several times the other day, but the stream kept stopping in the middle, so I couldn’t watch the whole thing. But if my memory serves, Mulder was too far gone for the vaccine to work… or something.

            • Exactly. But now she knows it will work if administered timely. So why not start making it now with her DNA before Mulder even has a chance to get sick? See what I’m saying?
              I wish I knew more about science. I can’t even tell if I’m making sense. 😦

              • I know, I know. I just need to let it go. Trying to find internal logic in x-files science is futile. This is the man who brought us Deadalive after all.

              • Doh. You’re right. The plot falls apart (not that it’s falling far). I may need to try rewatching again to verify.

                • The x files is doing something that I and a couple other biomedical science grad students caught last season (and really before that as well) with regards to the genetics. They use particularly sexy newsy science things (stem cells! Crispr cas! Gene editing!) to explain x files science. It’s usually pretty thin. Honestly that doesn’t bother me a ton. So here’s my loose attempt to make it all connect. William is a magical baby with special powers due to his parentage and possible alien-ness. This makes him immune to this virus thing. To harness his immunity, Scully needs his stem cells and other gene editing tech to make a cure. It’s really not well thought out, but not horrific by TV science standards.

                  • “William is a magical baby with special powers due to his parentage and possible alien-ness. This makes him immune to this virus thing.”

                    Check. I’m with you so far.
                    However, in My Struggle II we were told that Scully also has alien DNA and is also immune to the virus. That’s why her and Dr. Einstein made a cure with Scully’s blood in the previous episode. She simply didn’t reach Mulder in time with the cure, he was too far gone for the IV and needed full on stem cells which only William can give being both alien AND related to Mulder.
                    So my issue is that if we’re now being told that none of that happened, but that Scully only saw it in a vision and that it come to pass in the near future…then why can’t Scully, now knowing her blood cures the virus and that Mulder will need a cure, make the cure he will need with her own blood and make sure Mulder gets it before his condition becomes so critical that a stem cell transplant is his only hope.
                    See what I’m saying? I’m okay with phony science. It’s a science fictiony show after all. I only ask that once established the keep the phony science logically consistent.

                    But 1013 has a terrible track record with this in the past. So, I probably just need to let it go if i’m going to survive season 11. 😦

    • I certainly don’t feel bad saying goodbye to much of the plot in “My Struggle II”, but I’m appalled at how easily CC can press the reset button. You can’t just keep erasing problems after you write yourself into them! For the love of Mulder, man, outline the plot!! I do realize that he planned to do this, but still. The X-Files has become characterized by its inability to stick to the stories it tells.

      I think Double Agent Reyes makes sense. Skinner too. We *have* to see more of how both of those situations went down, though. And I’m anticipating we will.

      I thought that too! What does she mean she hasn’t been part of any experiments?? Please, child.

      I agree about Scully’s choice – who wouldn’t be grossed out? But I think what CC really wants us to guess is that CSM impregnated her with Mulder’s sperm. At least, I want to believe.

  8. Hey Salome! First time commenter, long time stalker of your site. Thank you for being here for us and thank you in advance for allowing me to vent. I agree with you wholeheartedly. In fact, I agree with all the above comments.. I’m trying to think clearly, but it’s really difficult. Best part of the episode? Watching Mulder slit that guys throat. Forget CSM, that’s what Mulder is going to do to Carter when he finds out.
    Watching the interaction between Mulder and Scully, I’m still not feeling the love. It seemed forced and Mulder’s narrated thoughts sounded like some bad fanfic I wrote. Carter is like William H. Macy’s character on Shameless. Drunk and rambling political nonsense at a half empty bar to anyone that will listen. A show I have loved more than any other television show Carter is going to make sure I hate by the time of the last episode. I’m really trying to wrap my head around this. So a doctor that pretty much takes DNA like someone takes blood pressure, never tested William’s DNA? We know she had Mulder’s DNA because she used it to test if Jeffrey Spender was really Mulder. Even with all the questions about William being an alien? So they are going to spend the next 9 episodes with a premise that they are also secretly searching for William for stem cells to save Mulder when William can’t save Mulder because he’s not the father. I still think Carter hasn’t gotten past the episode Home. Three brothers fertilizing one egg. Surprise! CSM is the father, but Surprise! So is Mulder. Surprise! So is an alien.
    Then the argument that unwanted pregnancy is what they’ve been doing from the start isn’t the same as taking Scully’s last shred of control. Chris Carter took one of the truly strongest kick-ass female characters of television and had her abducted, discover she was infertile in front of a judge, had her first child die and what she thought would be her only, had to deal her sister’s death, forced to wear an implant or die of cancer, had her bury the one true love of her life only for him to come back and have insomnia concerning their relationship, forced her to send Mulder away and give up her only son.
    Then this abomination happened. This was not entertainment. Surprise! She was raped is not a plot device or a twist.The misogyny went way too far in this episode. How were the actors okay with this? #takeaknee, but yippee let’s all get medically raped? What more could he have done? She has a stroke, gets in a car crash, attempted smothering with a pillow, nearly choked, and now she was raped and Mulder isn’t the father and Chris denies it was rape? How do you not know the definition of rape? Then this lame subplot of Skinner hiding the truth? Now what? We’ll watch Mulder and Scully get closer and flirty so he can pull the rug from us about that too? Chris said he planned this from the beginning, then why say that conception happened during “All Things”? Why? Why come back at all? Just to get your last licks on all the remaining X-Philes? We’re in a twisted Black Mirror episode trapped inside some sick Peanuts comic strip app where Chris Carter is Lucy, we’re Charlie Brown and MSR is the football. How could Chris Carter hate the people who made him rich so much? How could he hate his own characters? Even if this is all a lie…. Why do this to us?
    I really need these MOW episodes to be good.
    Please let me wake from this nightmare. If I want to watch an FBI agent in the infinite circle of hell, I’ll watch Twin Peaks’ Agent Cooper spend eternity fighting the mother of all evil. At least that was mind blowing and Laura was there to scream out our frustrations. Maybe Denise will make a cameo – “We’ve located the mother of all evil Gordon.. And his name is Chris Carter.”

    • Well, I’m glad you decided to chime in, Maddie! Welcome!

      “Mulder’s narrated thoughts sounded like some bad fanfic I wrote.”

      Don’t insult yourself like that.

      “A show I have loved more than any other television show Carter is going to make sure I hate by the time of the last episode.”

      This is why a large part of me, most of me, didn’t want to tune in this season. But at this point, nothing can come between me and my love of this show during its heyday. My love survived “Trust No 1” and “William”. “Babylon”, even. It can survive this… because I choose to ignore this.

      “So a doctor that pretty much takes DNA like someone takes blood pressure, never tested William’s DNA?”

      I’m sayin’!!!

      “So they are going to spend the next 9 episodes with a premise that they are also secretly searching for William for stem cells to save Mulder when William can’t save Mulder because he’s not the father.”

      I think CC’s headed in a “Mulder’s the daddy but CSM’s the one who impregnated her with Mulder’s sperm” direction. Ick.

  9. I actually was hoping this wasn’t gonna be as horrible as it was. I said, ooo, are we flipping places where Scully becomes emotional and Mulder becomes rational and with it we have the flip of the brain waves storyline. Then they said she was having seizures, and I was like nooooo. Make her be like Mulder so she could actually participate in the episode. Other side note: pretty sure that wasn’t the hypothalamus Skinner pointed at- rather, it was cortex. Too bad cuz it was the right slice. Then we had the reference to Scully putting a gun on Skinner – but unfortunately that wasn’t good. Then we had the reference to Mulder flipping out in the hospital, and that was under acted. So basically they just referenced a bunch of good shit, but forgot to write an actual plot. Also, wouldn’t it make more sense if one of these bad guys were Krycek or Marita? Spend the money and time y’all. You did have a decade plus to perfect it.

    • It *was* underacted, which is why I was grumpy from the get-go. What happened to smoldering, barely able to contain himself Mulder??

      And that was no hypothalamus. All these science consultants and no one caught it. Shame.

      Sigh. Remember when Scully held Skinner at gunpoint and it was both shocking AND exciting?

      If they can bring back CSM from the dead, why not Krycek? I found myself missing him too, right around the time of that drawn out car chase. Marita isn’t even dead. They don’t even have to resurrect her. Where the heck is she??

      • I LOVE wild Mulder over hurt/missing/possibly dead Scully (a la Redux II, Ascension, One Breath, FTF Cornfield, Unruhe, Kistunegari)
        But I will say this in mild defense of DD’s performance. In both ReduxII &One Breathe, Scully was on her actual death bed and on life support -courtesy of the Consortium. In MyStr3, he had no real reason to yet suspect foul play or to expect that she wouldn’t recover. A seizure is serious but for plenty of people ( Mulder included) its an isolated event. Therefore, its reasonable for him to be concerned and fretful, but not completely losing it.

        The choking scene establishes he’s as overprotective as ever. He doesn’t pull the guy off, pull his gun and demand he let her go. There’s no arrest and no chance for surrender. He simply slits her assailants throat.

        COLD.

  10. EWWWW! Just EWWWW! I’ve been saying that about this episode for almost 24 hours straight. Guess I was wise to go into this episode with low expectations. It certainly delivered on that.

    The Good:
    I’m digging Mulder’s new wheels! However, where’d he learn to drive like that?

    Barbara Hershey – Loved her in Once Upon a Time, and am excited to see her in the X-Files. She’s a fantastic actress. I just hope we see more of her & that her talents aren’t wasted on a bad character/script.

    Mulder & Scully were pretty much on par, except for Mulder’s pissing contest with Skinner. Mulder obviously still loves Scully, which makes me happy. Unfortunately, a lot of time was spent with these two apart. Hope we get more bonding time in the near future.

    The Bad:
    The pace of this episode was fast. Too fast for me. Made it not feel like the X-Files episodes of the past, but perhaps it was the same pace as season 10. Perhaps there’s a desire to cram as much into the limited run as they can. Wish they’d simplify it, as it would likely make for a better story in general.

    Monica first, now possibly Skinner. PLEASE! Right now, I’m begging for CSM to give me the Spartan virus so I can die from this dreadful storyline!

    My Struggle II – that was such a waste. Feel like of like it was the Star Wars Snoke of the X-Files world.

    Jeffry Spender – what a debacle this is. First, how did he suddenly return to his practically normal looking self? And Scully handing William off to him of all people after his “fake Mulder” act to find his adoptive parents? She didn’t trust him!!! Guess Chris Carter forgot that episode in his re-watch.

    The Ugly:
    Okay, I remember the theories around Scully being preggers with Smoky’s baby after En Ami. Thought that was disproven as impossible some time ago as it just didn’t work with the Hollywood AD time jump. Kind of tired of this whole “baby daddy” drama. If I wanted to see that, I’d tune into some soap opera or talk show that does paternity testing. No thanks. The idea that Carter would do this to Scully is just horrible. No matter if it was “scientific” or done the old fashioned way, this was not consensual – PERIOD! Will someone PLEASE, I BEG YOU, REMOVE THAT PEN and/or COMPUTER FROM CHRIS CARTER’S HANDS?!? He’s grounded in my book until he can come up with something original or better.

    Final Thoughts:
    For a brief moment, when Skinner was questioning CSM about who the father was, I thought CSM was going to turn to him and say, “you’re the father, Water”. With Mulder’s insinuation in Existence that William looked an awful lot like Skinner, I would have ate least gotten a laugh out of it. A complicated, cheap laugh – granted- but still better than what we got in the end.

    CSM is a habitual liar. The episode started with the tagline “I Want to Believe” which quickly changed to “I Want to Lie”. Could the lie be referring to CSM’s reveal? That’s what I want to believe.

    Guess the good news is, I’m not Chris Carter. Have visited Twitter, Facebook, and several other places. Think he may likely be the most hated man on the planet today.

    • I wondered about Spender’s new face, and how they copied his old one so well, but then I got too frustrated to care. Chris Owens almost always guest starred on The X-Files in heavy makeup. Why let the tradition die?

      But the idea that Scully would trust HIM, of all people, with the knowledge of William’s location… I don’t think CC rewatched William. Or maybe he did to find the little loophole that Spender’s DNA was tested against Mulder’s, not against William’s. So in theory, William could be someone else’s. How Scully would not have him tested after/during all that soul-searching in Seasons 8 and 9, though. The very insinuation is cruel to Mulder who pinned his love and hopes on that little baby.

      CC needs to take a step back from the word processor. Are the other writers critiquing his scripts? Like, at all?

  11. I actually liked it better than My struggle II….a bit.

    what I liked was the serious tone of the plot and story. I liked CSM just for his general presence and off the cuff remarks about human annihilation.

    I liked Skinner but don’t buy his response to CSM and co-conspirator.

    The editing is rapid and such a departure from the generally slow burn of the original seasons. For some reasons it leapt out to me with this episode. Perhaps the long car chase did it.

    The fact that the last ep in season ten was all in Scully’s head was laughable but probably necessary when Chris sat down to look at this season. Just so lame regardless. If anything this episode just further cemented my belief Carter is the wrong man to write for this show any longer…hasn’t for a while imo.

    The guy who played the second smoking man…I really liked him and the performance along with Hershey.

    With Spender all of sudden coming into the game I found myself feeling a bit confused…I think the next few episodes will be better.

    Thanks for your review, Salome…great as usual.

    • To be honest, at first, I thought it was going better than “My Struggle II”, but then the crazy train kept rolling.

      In tone and content, even in the plot reversal shenanigans, it resembled the mythology during its heydey more than anything we saw last season. But, for me, it was every weak aspect of the mythology amplified.

      I think Chris Carter needs to get a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc., etc., opinions on his scripts… if he insists on writing them. The best mythology eps he had a partner on. And the few that he got sole credit for… I strongly suspect he also had a partner on. At the very least, we know The X-Files’ writers’ room was collaborative.

      It’s like he’s sitting in an echo chamber of his own making, insisting that if they loved it before, by George, he’ll force-feed them until they love it again. He’s just doubling down on his bad habits.

  12. All I could think of was your review for “William”. We didn’t ask for all of this, now you want to put one more hammer in our fandom. I don’t get it. And his tasteless remarks that “Scully wasn’t raped”…I hugely beg to differ. I really hope this and his EW interview are just BS, meant to rile us off and piss us off.

    • CC needs a filter. He has Foot-In-Mouth disease. That said, I’m actually going to be the devil’s advocate and say I don’t think it was rape according to any dictionary definition since it wasn’t sexual. Doctors who have done this, and I’m *horrified* to tell you that there’s one, let alone more than one (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/no-jail-fertility-doctor-impregnate-patients_us_5a342aace4b01d429cc8b196), are typically charged with fraud… as far as I know, and not rape.

      But it WAS a gross and inhumane VIOLATION. And that CC thought that would fly after the “Me too” year that we just had shows that he’s out of touch with reality.

      The very thought of CSM violating her like that is too much, even on a show where she’s already been violated by being abducted and experimented on. This time it’s personal. And it’s too much. Mulder’s father impregnating an unconscious Scully? Much, much too much.

      Ugh. I feel like I need to take a shower.

  13. Salome, you are the only person who can actually get me through this new season. You helped me with all the others and I’m so thankful you’re back for this one.

    Two things made me laugh out loud: “Well, if the thought won’t die, then kill me.” and “…he pretended to be Mulder and cured William of his superpowers (That didn’t take.)” This is why you’re the best. You’re helping me laugh through the pain.

    I am also glad that you agree that Gillian really felt like Scully in this episode. That was one of my issues with the last season. I love Gillian dearly, but she was missing something last time. I’m so happy that she found it again. I think the main reason why Mulder and Scully’s scenes felt a little off is because the dialogue is just…awful. Gillian, in my opinion, saved all of those moments with her face acting.

    My complaints:

    – I’ll start with the gross, obvious one of Scully being medically raped and impregnated by CSM – which I hope to god he is lying about, but shame on them for even putting it out there for shock value. Hasn’t Scully been through enough?? And to just casually throw something so terrible like that out there??? Leave Scully alone! She was literally falling over and being beat up this entire episode and then you have to end with that. My struggle is that Dana Scully is a literal and figurative punching bag. CSM in love with Scully. I just want to burn that idea from my brain. And I DO NOT want to play the who’s the daddy game AGAIN. It was not fun the other 20-odd times before now.

    – All those damn voiceovers. I was also clutching my head trying to physically block myself from them. The Mulder ones were worse than the opening ones because it just felt so unnecessary. CC really does not trust the audience to get ANYTHING.

    – How quickly Skinner and the doctor were jumping to the supernatural element. Her brain is clearly flashing in morse code? You need to find William! Also, what doctor starts talking about the fact that some people have been tested on by the government as a plausible option? Is all of that seriously listed on her medical file?

    – The treatment of both Skinner and Reyes. I hate to see Reyes as the new Diana, but I did get this feeling that she may be playing along with CSM in an undercover kind of way to protect William and Scully and Mulder. At least, that is the only thing keeping me sane because I truly can’t believe she would betray Scully. And I don’t want to play the is Skinner bad game AGAIN. Character development clearly does not exist on this show AT ALL.

    – The amount of CSM in this episode. How did this show become all about him instead of Mulder and Scully and aliens? I like that they even had to say that the aliens aren’t coming just in case there was a part of the audience that thought MAYBE that aspect of the show would return. Honestly, the whole time CSM was talking to Reyes I kept thinking of Syndrome from The Incredibles when he says, “You caught me monologuing!” Can’t someone just shoot CSM while he’s distracted talking about his plans to cleanse the world?

    – Did Spender actually help give away William? I thought Reyes did that. I’ve blocked so much of that from my brain. I also find it strange that no one was THAT surprised to see Spender. They all acted like they all had met last week for game night or something. I also forgot that he gave William the vaccine until you mentioned it. I wonder if that plot point will just be conveniently forgotten.

    Wow…I needed to rant. Thanks again for writing these reviews and giving us all a place to vent 🙂

    • ALSO they changed the dialogue in the En Ami flashback. In the original episode when Scully wakes up in her pajamas and confronts CSM about it the dialogue goes:

      SCULLY: How the hell did I get out of my clothes and into bed?

      CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: I carried you. You’d been up for over 30 hours. You were delirious. I only wanted to make you comfortable.

      In My Struggle III, he says my nurse and I carried you. In an interview that CC did with EW just recently he was asked if this horrible medical rape story line was thought up from the beginning and he said yes: http://ew.com/tv/2018/01/03/x-files-creator-season-11-premiere-interview/ Clearly he lied about that. I hate all of his plots that he adds in retroactively – Mulder’s stupid brain disease and the IVF treatment, even when all the episodes surrounding it clearly indicate that thing DID NOT HAPPEN. This one, though, is something we can CLEARLY see he changed. Did he think no one would notice? I assume he will come up with some BS story like he does for everything else.

      • Yes, they did. It was the most blatant retcon I’ve seen since… “My Struggle I”. Then the question is, who does CC plan to insinuate into this revived plot?

        Also, this is proof that he was fluffing during the EW interview. They may have contemplated in Season 7 the idea of Scully becoming pregnant by conspiracy, an idea they explored and reexplored all over Seasons 8 & 9, but CSM saying he’s the daddy? I don’t think that line would have gone over back in the 2000s either. Even my teenage self would have thrown up my hands and walked out.

    • “I think the main reason why Mulder and Scully’s scenes felt a little off is because the dialogue is just…awful.”

      ITA. As brilliant as they are as actors, there’s only so much an actor can do. I realized this when Annabeth Gish and Gillian Anderson sat across from each other and had to whisper with conviction the drivel disguised as exposition in “Provenance”. Nothing could save that scene. Nothing.

      Methinks Gillian went back and watched some X-Files for homework, because girlfriend’s facial expressions were back on point.

      – He’s lying. Everything points to him lying. But every cell in my body resents the very insinuation.

      – How can the audience get it if CC himself doesn’t?

      – Everybody’s a believer these days. Look how easily Reyes believed CSM.

      – Seriously, though. We’ve gone up and down trusting Skinner enough times. Just when you thought he proved himself in “End Game”, Season 3 shows up. And just when you thought Season 3 was over, tease! It’s “Zero Sum”. And if you thought distrust of Skinner was put to bed there, you forgot about “S.R. 819”. Then let’s not forget about the inexplicable anger that came his way during the “Biogenesis” trilogy. But don’t get me started…

      – What I want to know is when CSM became a demigod.

      – I don’t think we ever knew who was directly responsible. I always assumed it was Scully. Surprise!

  14. There were lots of other little things that annoyed me – like, how has Mulder got Spender’s number on his phone (when he called Mulder, his name appeared on Mulder’s phone)? After all this time, and with who these people are, this means that either Spender kept the same number he had 13 years ago, or that they’ve been in touch since.

    That’s the kind of small lazy plotting that underpins the huge holes already talked about here.

    I always found it funny how these major global conspirators had the time to listen in on mundane everyday phone calls. CSM is literally listening in to Spender and Mulder’s phone call. Him, personally.

    It was bad enough when somehow the Syndicate was monitoring 911 calls and heard that a child had fallen down into a hole and his eyes went black in Texas, and was able to react fast enough to send falsely marked tankers along cos somehow they knew there would be loads of black oil there – but, given that that was in the first film, I enjoyed it as a way of thinking about a conspiracy *so* powerful, they were actually able to know everything that was going on in the world.

    For CSM to be monitoring Mulder’s phone calls personally – boy, this man must have absolutely nothing to do.

    I think it’s clear that the “CSM is the father” stuff is a lie, but the way it was shown was meant to just shock us *with the news that CSM was the father*. How hard would it have been to show it as *Skinner being revolted at Scully being raped*? It wouldn’t have made the story any better, but it would’ve put it in the POV of this being another example of the nazi-like disregard for human life that the Syndicate has shown since they made the agreement with the aliens in 1973. If you have to abuse Scully like this, at least show it sympathetically.

    Most of what I feel has been said already, but it just pisses me off so much to have almost the entire show done as people telling each other their plans and histories. You can do this stuff so much differently. And they used to.

    • I didn’t even see that! I was probably too busy shaking my head to look at the screen. No way Mulder should have Spender’s number. Nah uh. Doesn’t make sense. I don’t care if they did share a not in the courtroom during “The Truth”. Am I the only one who wants to forget “William” ever happened who still remembers that it happened?

      “That’s the kind of small lazy plotting that underpins the huge holes already talked about here.”

      Ooo, preach.

      He’s definitely going Third Reich with this. I’m offended for all Germans that he gave CSM a distinctly German name. Between that, the entire series’ obsession with the Nazi’s medical experiments, and the blatant use of “My Struggle” (“Mein Kampf”), I think it’s a little obvious. This will probably result in CSM declaring his creation of the Ubermensch (William) using Scully.

  15. My hunch from looking at the credits btw is that Carter does the writing and producing for his mythology episodes completely alone. The number of credited producers on this show is so small – essentially, Carter, Morgan, Morgan and Wong, with only two EPs (Carter and one other).

    Given the complete tonal shift we saw between episodes in season 10, I honestly believe that the episodes are done as sealed units.

    I think that helps to explain why Carter’s worst tendencies – telling each other the story, revelations by voiceover, absurd science morse code brains, bad structure and editing – appear to be completely unchecked by decent writing. We are seeing a man who has no one next to him with modern television sensibilities or serious writing skills.

    It makes me think that Fox knows it’s getting this kind of show and doesn’t really put the resources into it. The fact that we’ve seen these extended Ford car commercials in both recent seasons adds to that feeling. It’s almost as if they say to Carter, “do it quick, do it cheap, and pay for it with car commercials, and you can do what you like”. With the sheer quality of other TV on offer, something has gone badly wrong when a studio allows this dross to go out as a season premiere.

    One final production thought, and this MIGHT contain a spoiler, so I am going to avoid being specific. I’ve avoided all spoilers but I saw this.

    A character who is one of my favourites appears to be coming back for season 10. I was so thrilled when I saw the actor’s name – we’ve not seen this person since season 6. But given what they did with Reyes and the retconning & failure to remember basic story details from the past, I am really worried that they are going to ruin this character too.

    I know people hope we will see the real motivation behind Reyes’s actions, but I think the truth here is that Reyes is only in that role because Carter had no one else to do it. His other “potential bad guys” had either all been killed or neutralised. He seemed to just cast around for a character he could use for shock value. That’s why the story of Reyes is so jarring and demands explanation – because there is absolutely nothing inherent in the character or her history that would lead to this outcome. It has to be shoehorned in somehow.

    I hope their treatment of this character I’m talking about is good. I have absolutely no faith in Carter to deliver though.

    • “My hunch from looking at the credits btw is that Carter does the writing and producing for his mythology episodes completely alone. The number of credited producers on this show is so small – essentially, Carter, Morgan, Morgan and Wong, with only two EPs (Carter and one other).

      Given the complete tonal shift we saw between episodes in season 10, I honestly believe that the episodes are done as sealed units.”

      Yes, yes, and yes. My thoughts are the same. There are too few cooks in the kitchen and CC generally did write best with a partner.

      And who else remembers what happened when Morgan and Wong came back for Season 4? They had their own ideas for the show that didn’t necessarily match where it was when they found it. But they were given free reign without what sounds like much outside input and, voila, tonal shift. Now, some loved that shift and some didn’t, but it was noticeable and controversial.

      “We are seeing a man who has no one next to him with modern television sensibilities or serious writing skills.”

      Mmm. Mmm. Mmmhmm.

      “That’s why the story of Reyes is so jarring and demands explanation – because there is absolutely nothing inherent in the character or her history that would lead to this outcome.”

      Her very nature, nay, her very soul as it was explained to us in “Hellbound” would preclude her doing this.

  16. Okay, we’ve already heard my minor rant on the St. Elsewhereing of Scully and Miller and Einstein finding froyo more enticing than, say, doing their jobs and protecting their nascent ally/”friend,” but I just have to point out a few things that I’m not sure if anyone else did yet but, first off, I my have my background is Social and Personality Psych., but darn-it if I didn’t have to draw enough sketches of brain anatomy in Bio-Psych class to tell you, THE HYPOTHALAMUS IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT IN THE PRE-FRONTAL CORTEX IN THE FRONTAL LOBE! (It’s actually basically behind the Temporal Lobe, but that’s beside the point; also, I’m pretty sure only a dead brain would look like that on an fMRI scan…also, while we’re on topics of Limbic System brain anatomy, why did they pick the Hypothalamus over the Amygdala? If we’re going to humor CC and his asinine idea of brain structures spouting out mores code, wouldn’t you pick the structure that’s also hyperactive during panic attacks and PTSD and stuff…?…also, am I the only one who has a favorite brain anatomy structure…?…Can you even do an fMRI on an unconscious person?…Also, Scully, the Dr.-physicist-FBI Agent not only speaks German and has a deep understanding of Eastern Philosophy, but also knows mores code and can transmit it during a coma?…how many comas is this again?…I digress.)

    Also, even having gone through what I think we can all agree is the lowest of the low in terms of a law enforcement academy (you guessed it, Corrections), even WE were taught during our class on first aid, or whatever the heck that was supposed to be, that after a person suffers a seizure it’s LITERALLY ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO DRIVE UNTIL AFTER TWO YEARS SEIZURE FREE, NOT TWO MINUTES!!!!! WHO DOES CARTER HAVE FACT CHECKING HIM?!

    And while we’re on the subject of public servants, Miller and Einstein happening to see Scully’s car (which she SHOULD NOT have been driving) accident because they were pulling into the FBI parking lot that morning really rubbed me the wrong way; yeah, we get it, you don’t get paid much as a public servant, but for the love of Pete could you take some pride in your work and not arrive at your PLACE OF BUSINESS in the morning after a woman who just had multiple Seizures?!?! GAAHhhh, the “half-hour rule” isn’t a real thing! On second thought, I don’t like you two; you are free to go get that TCBY.

    Also, aside from the fact that I’d be hard-pressed to believe that a licensed neurologist would be so quick to believe that a fifty-something year old woman with a history of Brain Cancer and concussions wouldn’t just be having a normal Seizure and was actually the victim of brain experiments by Dharma or The Initiative or something, but the actress who played said neurologist rubbed me the wrong way. I had no idea why this was until I played “Canadian Bingo” and realized, ‘Oh! She’s the chick who played that corrupt corporate lady who almost inadvertently got Jules, Amy Jo Johnson’s character, killed in Flashpoint!…poor lady and Canadian actor casting, but I kind-of hate this character…just.for.that. Sue me.

    Last point; can we just talk about Reyes, just for a moment, I swear? Really? Okay. It’s sad, but one of my favorite moments of this episode is when Reyes leaves the car and Skinner yells at CSM to stay and that Annabeth Gish’s face was just like, “screw this BS, I’m out. This is rapidly becoming the worst acting gig I’ve ever had…and I was one of those has-been middle-aged actors on Pretty Little Liars and in *off camera cringe* Steel…STEEL!!!!!!”

    Okay, one more last point, but I really think Chris Carter was truly and honestly going for a call back to “One Breath” with Scully and the EEG prongs and Mulder being all nuts about finding THE TRUTH and then realizing he just needed to be with Scully and everything, but it came out reminding me of the name of that episode of Daria where Jake and Helen’s aging hippie friends come to visit: “That was Then, This is Dumb.”

    • I felt smug when I’d worked out that it was a dream/vision – the absurd strobe-light cutting right at the start, as the camera went close to her eye, was the obvious signal that we were going “inside her head”. Right at that moment, I didn’t hate it. But it was a brief moment. I thought, “ok I don’t mind if it didn’t happen, cos My Struggle II was a bad story badly told”.

      But the absurdity of the “Find him” morse code was the first “oh you’ve GOT to be kidding me”. There was no point to it. It served no purpose for the story, aside from making the audience think “she wants to find William” but we then find out that she actually meant CSM.

      They were setting up the “brain stuff” as if the exact part of the brain mattered. And now you’ve explained it, it’s even worse. Just pointless drama. It would’ve made so much more sense to have a rash appear on her arm or something similar, some other physical symptom of psychic distress manifesting itself as a message.

      But it’s just the same problem that we’ve got with the whole episode – bad storytelling structure. They chose to tell the whole story through narration, flashbacks and visions. When you write like that, you get lost in this nonsense and decide you have to do SCIENCE to make more DRAMA.

      There are so many ways to tell what is actually an interesting story: a fracture in the remaining syndicate, with one of them planning to take alien technology to wipe humanity out himself (putting aside the retconning; if we HAVE to have this story, it has a lot of potential).

      I always felt there was a missed opportunity in later years – there’s a brief scene in Biogenesis where we hear some military people saying “there appears to be nothing we can do to prevent it – it becomes a matter of managing the crisis”, or something like that; the camera focuses on CSM, and that’s the last we hear of what is clearly an attempt to rebuild the syndicate. The next time we hear about anything like that is when CSM suddenly tells Krycek that the crashed ship in Requiem is their chance to rebuild the project for some unexplained reason.

      • Don’t you love how the whole premise of CSM’s plan is predicated on the fact that people don’t care about science anymore and are only worried about fake news and the next daily drama/crisis…and then all of the “science” in the episode was completely wrong? That kind-of undercuts your message, Chris.

        The flash in Scully’s eye at the beginning was pretty obvious, but I didn’t really feel smug about figuring out the conceit; I rolled my eyes and waited for Scully to actually be staring not at a computer screen, but a snow-globe.

        And am I the only one confused about how Scully is just gonna magically go back to work from here? Have the seizures stopped? Do you no longer have a mystical psychic connection to your son? Is that just not gonna be a thing anymore? Whatever, as long as Mulder doesn’t let Scully drive the car.

      • “But it’s just the same problem that we’ve got with the whole episode – bad storytelling structure.”

        I think you nailed it. And I’ve been waiting for years for CC to pick up where the Syndicate left off. Like I mentioned in my review for “One Son”, there were still a lot of questions left unanswered when 1013 wiped the slate clean. And the “Biogenesis” trilogy teased a new beginning to the Syndicate with CSM, Krycek, and Marita Covarrubias. What *was it* Krycek stole from CSM that landed him in jail?

  17. This episode was awful for all the reasons you mentioned…but I still think it was an improvement over My Struggle I and II. Yeah it sucked and the “twist” is insulting and disgusting, but I am just glad that they retconned the last episode. If they hadn’t I don’t think I could enjoy the upcoming MOTW which I hear are good.

    Check out my review of the episode on my site if you get a chance. Thanks!

    • Just want to say, I read your review (https://lazystreamofthoughtlessness.com/2018/01/05/my-struggling-impressions-of-the-x-files-s11e1-my-struggle-iii) and thought it was excellent.

      On Facebook, the X Files news feed is full of people saying how “awesome” and “brilliant” the episode was. Sometimes I worry that I’m really being too negative – but reviews like this and yours really reassure me that it’s not just me.

      • I hear ya. I happen to have a twitter account and follow GA at times like when the XF are coming out…every tweet..no matter how mundane is treated by her followers like she is the second coming…no exaggeration. And I like her as an actor a lot…it’s bizarre actually.

        My point is that Facebook is similar imo. An echo chamber.

    • Your mention of My Struggle I and II reminds me, can we PLEASE get a new title for these episodes, preferably one that isn’t a reference to HITLER’S manifesto?

    • I really enjoyed that! Thanks! And I have to admit, up until the end, I was cringing, but still enjoying it better than “My Struggle II”. I don’t think anyone’s sorry to see that sorry plot go. Even so, and assuming he planned it that way, it felt like the plotting of a lazy writer to reduce nearly your entire season finale to a feverish dream.

      Looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the new episodes!

  18. Just a brief thing on this “the aliens aren’t coming, Mr Mulder – no interest in a warming planet”.

    First, given how advanced the aliens always were in 1973 when they made the agreement with the Syndicate, they would’ve known that humanity was already heading for environmental disaster. The global economy ran on oil and the US was already committed to global economic domination – that had been part of its planning since the late 1940s.

    Second, given that the aliens would’ve seen how backwards we were regarding the environment, why would they have agreed to the whole “we will create a slave race for you” stuff the Syndicate offered? The consequence of it was the “warming planet” – 50 more years of environmental negligence on the part of the industrial nations. If they want this planet and it’s a choice of “kill everyone and take back the planet” or “develop a slave race but by the time it’s all done, the planet isn’t worth anything”, why would they choose the latter?

    Third, hold on a damn minute. Didn’t the ship in Biogenesis kind of prove that the aliens had been directing human evolution and social development for millions of years? The message from those episodes was that the alien ship had the power to direct the way the whole planet worked. Plus, didn’t the start of Fight The Future show us that the black oil had lived on the planet for a looooooong time? Plus, Well-Manicured Man said that the aliens “arrived here millions of years ago”. So, wouldn’t that mean that the aliens understood the extremes of climate that this planet might be subjected to? Actually, the Biogenesis ship thing made me feel so horrible – if that ship, which can bring people back from the dead remember, had been left there to direct planetary/human evolution, it means humanity was always there to be developed into vessels for the aliens. It fits back to the “incubators” story from Fight The Future, which only happened cos Fox (the studio) insisted that the movie needed an alien monster in it; the “using humans to incubate more aliens” was never supposed to be a part of the storyline.

    Now, I’m glad they at least tried to address the issue of whether there was gonna be colonisation or not. But even if I’ve got details wrong above or haven’t interpreted the story correctly, the “no interest in a warming planet” thing falls apart at the slightest thought.

    Ugh, sorry, I’ve done it again: I’ve acted as if the people who make this show care about the integrity of their stories.

    • Maybe the aliens were as good at steering human evolution as Napoleon was leading his army into a Russian winter? If that’s the case, wouldn’t that mean that they’re actually pretty stupid and that we could probably defeat them through their own arrogance? That would totally be more fun.

  19. Has everyone seen the Reddit AMA that Carter did? I think we discussed CC’s inability to take criticism here before, and I certainly did with Steamgrrl on AV Club.

    People asked him about Scully not having a desk, about how badly she’s been treated as a character. And instead of getting into an honest discussion about it, he focussed on one word that was used (“misogyny”) and hung his response on that – rejecting charges of misogyny and avoiding discussing anything about the issue surrounding it.

    He then blamed Scully herself for not demanding her own desk. He literally blamed a character he created for not being assertive enough. Except, of course, Scully *did* ask for one. But OK Chris, we remember how you said you didn’t think your show needed a “show bible”. That’s really worked out well for you.

    He finished the discussion with a nasty sneery comment: “If Gillian comes back, Scully will have a desk”.

    He called his audience “petulant” in terms of people complaining about Mulder and Scully being separated for most of the season 10 mythology episodes, but he really does keep proving that he is completely incapable of taking honest criticism.

    In recent years, we’ve developed language to describe this – “toxic masculinity”, “fragile masculinity”. That’s exactly what we see with Carter. Instead of being willing to listen with an open heart, he immediately feels stung and gets defensive, which then leads him to rejecting all criticism.

    I don’t doubt at all that all the criticisms of him in the past have been filtered through exactly that mechanism, which is what led him to split M&S up even more, and to clearly refuse to allow their relationship to be central to the show anymore.

    This article was my way in to reading the AMA: https://www.themarysue.com/x-files-ama-female-fans/

    • “Has everyone seen the Reddit AMA that Carter did? I think we discussed CC’s inability to take criticism here before, and I certainly did with Steamgrrl on AV Club.”

      Thanks for the shout-out, evilpants! I’ve been too lazy to set up the non-Discus account for AVC and there’s nothing about S11 (thus far) to motivate me to do so.

      The MarySue article was very interesting. The same author also posted “Rape Culture Is Out There in The X-Files Season 11 Premiere, and Fans Are Angry” (https://www.themarysue.com/x-files-season-11-premiere/).

      MY QUESTION TO PHILES:

      XF was always a “boys club” (I’m quoting someone who worked on the show in Vancouver). The lack of diversity was always an issue and often lamented by fans during XF’s production but now in this age of “woke” there’s greater understanding and thankfully less tolerance for this b.s.

      That said, where is GA’s responsibility in all of this? She was co-lead on the show and after several seasons – and certainly after DD’s departure – had the contractual leverage to *gasp* demand an end to the ongoing assault against Scully female organs (or for a bloody desk, at the very least).

      Did GA only read Scully’s lines in the MyStruggle III script or did she read the entire story, discover that CSM admitted to sexually assaulting Scully and chose not to let it go? Give it a pass because it’s a television show, she’s getting a big paycheck and it’s her last season?

      More than anyone else on this earth, Gillian owns Scully. As such. does she not have responsibility to demand better for the character – much less for the (predominantly) female and (woke) male fan base?

      IMO GA could have said “hell no” to the sexual assault “twist” and pressed CC for a re-write. But then both DD and GA could’ve demanded better scripts than what’s been shoveled out of late… perhaps it’s the sad reality that we the fans care so much more about the XF property than the entire creative team.

      • I think you are completely right about GA re: Scully. Or DD re” Fox for that matter. At this point in time the two actors have an incredible amount of leverage and I can see them being as engaged in the creation process of the XF as they want…or not.

      • (My kingdom for an edit function as I stream-of-consciousness post here :/ )

        • I was thinking about your comments about GA again on this topic of leverage with regards to the XF scripts and writing. GA has recently decided to leave American Gods because Bryan Fuller and one other I can’t think of right now has left the show.

          So…obviously she can make a huge impact when she feels the need to support others she works with. Hell, even with season 10 of XF she made a big stink about wage disparity with DD…(and rightly so).

          So why she would look at ep 1 of season 11 and sign off on it is puzzling. GA is a fairly engaged feminist so I can only imagine she would be looking at this script and thinking pretty much what many on this comments section has posted.

          My only thought about why is that she must feel she owes CC to this day…and she does owe him the start of her career. With the XF I suspect she would still be a great actress but a fairly unknown one in comparison.

  20. Pingback: My Struggle 3: Why. Why. Why. Why. | xphile relapse

  21. It’s not too late to retcon seasons 8, 9, 10 and 11 as a vision of Scully’s super brain.

  22. Evilpants inspired me to head over to AVC and read the comments section; this particular exchange was so great, I had to share:

    Kandy Karter 1/04/18 1:15am
    I wish there were a TV branch of child services that could come take X-Files away from its father. Chris Carter is abusing his child.

    Batmanuel 1/04/18 2:41am
    I think Vince Gilligan could really give the Mulder and Scully the kind of loving, supportive environment in which they could thrive.

    Kandy Karter 1/04/18 2:52am
    See, now we’re getting somewhere!

    igotlickfootagain 1/04/18 3:28am
    “But I wanna stay with Uncle Darin!”
    “I’m sorry, X-Files. I know he’s “fun”, but Uncle Darin’s just not a good role model.”

    • Hi again Steamgrrl – it’s thanks to you that I found this website; your contributions on AVC made me feel so much better about my disappointment when season 10 aired. I’m a cis gay man, and seeing so many women writing such strong, compelling articles/arguments/comments has been fantastic and educational, as well as a lot of fun. So much of “fandom” is centred on men and that really skews discussion and argument. I want to enjoy reading and writing about shows I love, and writing like yours and others really makes my day.

      Did you notice how few comments there are on 11×01 compared to 10×06 and 10×01? They’ve all got over 1,000 comments but 11×01 has less than 200. Obviously people have had a year to comment on season 10, but I’ve had email notifications set up for comments, and I think the vast majority of the comments were left soon after the show was broadcast.

      I’m not sure what to make of that. I certainly didn’t feel compelled to write anything there.

      • Oh I forgot. I *did* post one comment, in response to someone who thought the episode title came from Mein Kampf. I mentioned the book “My Struggle” that Carter did name the episode after.

        I’m mentioning this cos I posted it over 48 hours ago and, along with loads of other comments on the site, none of the moderators have approved it. Since they moved over to the new comments system, after the initial flurry of comments they then forget to approve any new ones.

        • Wait! I thought it was from Hitler’s Mein Kampf too. Where did it really come from?

          • It’s a series of books by Karl Ove Knausgård, all subtitled “My struggle, book [X]” (Amazon link to the first book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Family-Struggle-Book-Knausgaard/dp/0099555166). I think it’s an extremely detailed autobiography – I can’t quite remember now, but Carter did say something about how much he loved that specific series of books and how much detail they went into.

            Of course, even with Carter saying that the title comes from Knausgård’s book series, he’s being extremely insensitive by using the title. However I bet he went “oooooooooh! CSM is kind of like Hitler, the mythology is all about the wiping out of undesirables and the ‘purity’ of the planet – so in a way the story of The X Files is like Main Kampf!” and decided that the coincidental title of Knausgård’s book was too good to resist.

            So it could all be typical Carter nonsense.

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

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