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.

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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 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