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 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