“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