Category Archives: The X-Files

The X-Files – Season 10, Episode 6 – “My Struggle II” – “The X-Files” Sucks at Endings

My Struggle II

   I’m disappointed…but I shouldn’t be surprised. “The X-Files” has never been very good at endings. The show has always been overdependent on Cliffhangers and often times a lot of the myth arc doesn’t feel completely thought out. This ending was a glaring example of all of these things and from what I heard, was the same problem the films had too.

    “My Struggle II” was directed by Chris Carter who also wrote it along with Margaret Fearon and Anne Simon.

SPOILERS ahead

     The story involves the Cigarette Smoking Man’s endgame as the secrets behind the alien DNA and the World Conspiracy are revealed.

Okay: Scully – Scully feels like her character and is the one who saves the day in this episode as her alien DNA is being used to make a cure for everyone who is infected (most of the population) including Mulder who is dying. Her final scene is with UFO above her, Miller and the dying Mulder.

The Cons: The Writing – The dialogue feels stilted and doesn’t work and does all the cliches. From “The Cigarette Smoking Man,” wanting to be God over Earth and the whole stupid virus plot and infecting the populace. Nothing worked at all.

Agent Reyes – Agent No One Cares About returns and is working for “The Cigarette Smoking Man.” Her reasons for doing so felt contrived. She felt as useless as Miller and Einstein this episode.

The Cigarette Smoking Man – In the end he’s just a megalomaniac. Boring. If you are using aliens and supernatural or unknown things…you can at least come up with an interesting idea for world domination or have some subtlety.

Mulder – The guy is just reactive and he didn’t feel like a character at all, just the idea of Mulder. I hated his conversation with “The Cigarette Smoking Man.”

       I honestly can’t think of any pros for this episode. Everyone is reactive and the final plan was just so stupid. So “The Cigarette Smoking Man” just wanted to be God over a decimated population? Really? What a weak reason for the aliens exist and for their DNA to be what saves people.

1 / 10 Point for Scully.

The X-Files – Season 10, Episode 5 – “Babylon” – The Power of Words

The X Files Babylon

     This was easily the worst episode of “The X-Files” mini-series so far. The tone is all over the place and it doesn’t give any of the ideas proper space and time to develop and grow so remains a disconnected and disjointed mess. This is an episode that if it had chosen to focus on one of the big ideas it would have been great, but instead tried to to do much and failed.

     “Babylon” was directed and written by Chris Carter.

      The story involves Mulder and Scully investigating an area after a terror attack as they try to communicate with one of the terrorists who survived the bombing, even though he is in a coma. They are working with their younger counterparts as well with Agent Einstein in the Scully role and Agent Miller in the Mulder role.

The Pros: The Idea – The idea of investigating the afterlife or the idea and concept of God and belief is fascinating and could have worked with a tighter script, a smaller cast and a rewrite. I still like the ideas they wanted to explore.

Dana Scully – Scully is great in this as we see her working with Miller to find where the terrorist cell is. She is also the calm and collected to Mulder and after Mulder get’s high she’s there for him to bring him back down.

Fox Mulder – Mulder is just crazy this episode, and because it’s Mulder it works. It still one of the weakest ways he’s been written though. His hallucinating The Cigarette Smoking Man in the afterlife was just weird.

Skinner – Skinner appears briefly in this to reprimand Mulder…I wish we had gotten more time with him as anytime he’s around there is a great dynamic. I’m glad he survived the series thus far.

The Cons: The New Agents – They don’t really work as they feel like cutouts of Mulder and Scully while missing the fact that Mulder and Scully were actually fully developed characters.

God and Religion – We never really get this explored. There are trumpets that sound and no one knows from where but they never investigate it really and it is forgotten about. If it wanted to explore these ideas it should have taken the time to do just that.

Tonal Dissidence – The episode begins with a suicide bombing, radicalization is briefly discussed and we have Mulder get high and go to a Cowboy Club before he travels to the afterlife…What the hell?

   I wouldn’t recommend this episode. It doesn’t really work in anyway and I wonder if Chris Carter was the writer who took the show off the deep end before it was canceled based off what I watched here. If you want to see high Mulder it’s probably on youtube now and that’s pretty much it as far as comedy goes in an episode that should have been serious and focused.

Final Score: 2 / 10

The X-Files – Season 10, Episode 4 – “Home Again” – A Voice for the Voiceless

X Files Season 10 ep 4 Home Again

    “Home Again” is another good episode of “The X-Files” that gives us a fascinating “Monster of the Week” while exploring deeper ideas and concepts and further exploring Mulder and Scully’s relationship. It is one of the best of the mini-series thus far.

     The episode was directed and written by Glen Morgan.

     The story begins when a city official dies mysteriously as Scully and Mulder must investigate the existence of “The Trash Man” who keeps showing up in art around the area and explore the homeless crisis in the city.

The Pros: The Artist – The artist is an activist and advocate whose art developed a life of its own. MHes a fascinating guy who seems to a be a little mad or off but is there enough to work with Mulder and Scully to try and write the wrongs of the creature he created, before he leaves his hideout.

The Trash Man – The Trash Man is a great villain as it is a creature that was made from clay that came to life because of the voiceless homeless people who had no advocates and their fear and anger at those who were hurting them became expressed through this monster. The monster is pretty cool.

The Death of Scully’s Mother – Scully’s mother dies this episode and it is rough as we see when Mulder was waiting for Scully recover and fearing for her life and the countless times Scully has lost people finally leading to this. Each of them gets their emotional moment from what happens and you feel for the death of Margaret.

Fox Mulder – Mulder is great in this as both the one who sees why the Trash Man exists and dealing with mortality and death as he remembers Scully being on the bed in a coma. From this he is there for her as we see how close they are after all the loss they have been through.

Dana Scully – This is Scully’s episode as we see her deal with the death of her mother and face loss and mortality. She doesn’t let the loss and what’s going on stop her from working on the case though and we see just how strong she is through all of it and how the past traumas have made her and Mulder close.

   This was the best episode of the mini-series so far and I highly recommend it. The monster is great, the emotion and loss are powerful and our characters feel fully realized. Even the side characters don’t feel like cardboard cutouts. This is an episode worth checking out.

Final Score: 9.4 / 10

The X-Files – Season 10, Episode 3 – “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” – A Comedic Twist on a Monster Concept

Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

“The X-Files” is a show that can sometimes do comedy well. This episode was a shiny example as it took a “Monster of the Week” idea and subverted it into something new. If this was an episode of “Supernatural” it would have annoyed me big time, but the genuineness of everyone in this made it feel real and fun rather than cheap.

The episode was written and directed by Darin Morgan.

The story involves a mystery surrounding a reptilian creature who Mulder and Scully are tracking for the murder of a bunch of people around town. During this time Mulder is dealing with his skepticism and trying and find other explanations for events.

The Pros: Guy Mann – Guy is the monster who is turned into a man after the killer bites him. He’s a lot of fun as he gains anxiety, intelligence and even gets a job working at a shop because he is so good at bsing. He was a fun character.

Scully – Scully is the one who is more open to the stories being true (another subversion as she’s usually the skeptical one) and in the end she finds the actual human killer and is the one who finishes the case while Mulder is tracking Mann. We see at the end this was purposeful to help Mulder with his doubt.

Mulder – Mulder is skeptical in this and isn’t all together there this episode. It isn’t until the end when he shakes Mann’s hand before Mann goes into hibernation that he is back to a full believer again and in awe of the mysteries that are still out there as he had just befriended the monster of the week.

Subverting “Monster of the Week” – In this the whole idea is that we are the monster as it is a normal human sociopath who is the killer versus the Reptile-like monster who is a guy just trying to live as a human when he is turned into one against his will. He even befriends Mulder eventually and he is the normal guy in the episode, which is a great subversion. The monster is normal and just trying to live.

The Cons: Side Characters – Episode starts out with a few people huffing paint and the killer is just a dog catcher. They are flat characters and easily the weakest part of the episode.

This was an enjoyable and good episode. The subverting of concepts and X-Files tropes was handled intelligently and the show was strong, outside of the side characters who were very poorly written. Guy Mann was the best part and I really liked how they handled his story this episode.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10

The X-Files – Season 10, Episode 2 – “Founder’s Mutation” – Experiments and Loss

Founder's_Mutation

     We return to “The X-Files” with an actual X-File, though still connected to the overall mystery too, which is great. This is a episode that could have been so much more, but for what it is manages to be enjoyable. There were a few different ways things could have been taken and rather than getting questions answered we are shown more of what Sculley and Mulder are feeling, which was needed but overshadowed everything else sadly.

    The episode was written and directed by James Wong, who wrote some of the best early “X-Files” episodes.

      The story involves a Sculley and Mulder investigating a scientist who went mad and tried to export files from his company. They soon discover a darker plot as the FBI and company attempt to uncover up what drove the scientist mad.

The Pros: An X-File – It is great having a standard X-File as it truly shows they are looking into all the unknowns again! I liked that it is connected to the overall myth arc too.

Walter Skinner – Skinner is the disproving boss once again, but after so long he does have their back and supports them as he can, even with his hands being tied by the conspiracy.

Fox Mulder – In this we see how much Mulder misses his son as kids are who the organization is experimenting on. It is great seeing that tender side of him as this and last episode he’s just been tired and stressed. It humanized the character a lot and I felt for his loss. He has dreams of being with son that end with his son being abducted the same way his sister was.

Dana Scully – Like Mulder’s humanity I felt Scully’s too. We see her in the mother role in this in how she is able to take care of relate to the interviewee who had a lost a child and how she reached out to the kids who were the experiments.

Okay: The Experiments – We meet the kids who are experiments but nothing substantial is done with them. We never get their stories and thoughts and they exist more as a plot device for Scully and Mulder to miss their child.

The Cons: The Antagonists – The antagonists are just bland. Whether it’s the government or the company their idealistic reasons didn’t fit because the actors gave them mean looking faces. They weren’t complicated, just greedy and that is a waste in any show. The mysterious owner of the organization was completely forgettable too.

   This episode was not as good as the pilot of Season 10 but is still worth checking out. It has some great personal moments for our main characters, even if the overall mystery arc doesn’t quite work. Still worth checking out though.

7 / 10

The X-Files – Season 10, Episode 1 – “My Struggle” – A Return and Attempt to Go Somewhere

The X-Files My Struggle

     “My Struggle” is an episode that shows a lot of potential of where they can take the series and finish it off. I wouldn’t call it great, as it still has some very obvious issues but seeing a lot of the old cast back and in great form as their characters was rewarding…and the improvement in CG lead to some great images that captured the mystery of the “Myth Arc” of the series. I’ll get into more detail later down, but non-spoiler thoughts is that it is a story with potential.

     The episode was written and directed by Chris Carter.

     The story involves Scully and Mulder being pulled back into action when Skinner wants Mulder to talk to a conspiracy television host who maybe onto something big. This leads us into the action as our characters face the dilemma to go fully back into solving the X-Files and stopping the conspiracy.

The Pros: The Soundtrack – Mark Snow has composed some beautiful music for this series. It captures the mystery and tension, as well as the existential dread that haunts are characters as they try to face the much larger machine of the conspiracy.

The Cinematography – The cinematography is stunning and the use of darkness and shadows does a good job at expressing conspiracy and mystery. Can’t wait to see what new images are created.

The Characters – The main cast is compelling, even when their scenes are small. In each scene we learn something more about them, which helps drive the story forward.

O’Malley – This is the conspiracy theorist who hooks Scully and Mulder up with Sveta, a girl Mulder had interviewed when she was a child who had been abducted. He’s all about the “False Flags” and coverups of all kinds, which made it hard to take him seriously. They managed to humanize his character though and he is true believer in what he sells.

Skinner – Skinner tries to help when he can but when Mulder goes to meet him we see someone who is afraid and beaten down. He’s keeping his head down and it’s paid the price on how he looks and acts.

“The Cigarette Smoking Man” – He survived and is still around is probably pretty high-up if not the leader of the conspiracy at this point. Curious how they’re going to explain he’s a live…as they have a lot of ways they could do it.

Fox Mulder – Mulder has matured a lot and we see him dealing with his feelings for Scully throughout the episode. It is implied she ended it because she had trouble dealing with his depression and over the course of the episode we see that his suspicions are proven right when Scully tests her own DNA and discovers she’s a hybrid. From here they decide to start up a new X-Files to unravel the conspiracy once more.

Dana Scully – Scully’s arc is her becoming a believer in the events that have happened in the last seasons as she finally tests herself and discovers she is an alien hybrid like Sveta. From here she commits to the fight and finding Sveta, not knowing they are too late. Gillian Anderson is one of my favorite actresses and it is wonderful to see her back in this role.

Okay: Sveta – Sveta is alright but she doesn’t exist as a character beyond a victim and McGuffin. This is a shame as I wanted to know her story outside of being a victim of the government or aliens. She has abilities but that is all we know about her.

The Scientist – This is the guy who watches the government slaughter an alien who crashes and was involved in the experiments. He’s Mulder’s contact and makes Mulder a believer when Mulder realizes that it’s not the aliens, the aliens are cover for a great conspiracy.

The Cons: Monologues With No Answers – The Scientist and others go on long monologues that hint more than anything…I would have preferred less, especially if it is all just a big government cover-up.

Going Full “False Flag” – In this case I was hoping the aliens would be in on it (maybe they still are?) but what I got was full “False Flag” where the government or a clandestine government organization is controlling the world and responsible for all past events. “The Blacklist” does that better. Part of what makes “The X-Files” are the aliens and monsters and how they fit into everything.

   This was a show that is built on being subtle with the mystery, which is part of what made the mystery compelling initially. This episode’s biggest con is the lack of subtlety as the big conspiracy theorists are the ones who are proven to be correct by the end by implication. This Cabal better have a good idea for the “New World Order” if that really is the plan that is going down. Suffice to say we’ll see. I plan on reviewing the episodes as they come out, so we’ll see how it goes.

Final Score: 8 / 10

Thoughts on “The X-Files” Before I Review Its Return

The X Files

      After a long hiatus “The X-Files” is finally returning! This is a show that I think died for good reasons as the show had truly lost it’s way and missed so much of what made it good. I am looking forward to seeing what happens as I only made it through Season 2 before things got a bit too crazy and all the supernatural X-Files that were never brought up again eventually made it to hard for me to take seriously as a drama (“Supernatural” has a similar problem) and the fact that the answer is never answered. Part of what makes a mystery great is solving it, and we never have a false X-File, which made Scully’s role almost meaningless, especially since that is the entire point of Scully and Mulder is to find the truth. We never got that in any meaningful way.

    It was for these reasons that I stopped watching the show so long ago, even though I love the premise and am going to give it another chance. The first 2 Seasons on the myth arc were largely gold and now that this show has had to time think and re-cooperate we can continue to grow with the characters as the characters have always been the strongest part of the show.

    Whether it’s the Cigarette Smoking Man, Skinner, Deep Throat, X and Mulder and Scully…these characters were what really made it compelling as how they related to one another under both love and fear kept me watching and why I am giving it another chance. This show knew how to write characters.

   Eventually I will do a re-watch from the beginning, especially if Season 10 sells me that even the filler episodes and filler Myth arc were leading somewhere and had enough to stand on. When there was a great mystery or one shot story it really stood out and the myth arc when it worked, really worked and that is where greatness has the chance to happen again in this show. Well, the truth is out there. Let’s find out what the truth of this show is.