TV Round-Up: The X-Files: My Struggle III

x-files-season-11Oh. That’s the plan. A secret space program? I don’t think so. I think this is a power play. You want me to kill him so you can implement your own plan. You want to see blood in the streets. The colonization of space? How do you plan to do that? Transport all humanity off-planet? That’s 7 billion people. That’s not possible. Only a chosen few. And you call him evil?  –Mulder talking pretty much for the entire audience…

It used to be that when I heard that Chris Carter was writing an episode of The X-Files, I was filled with a sense of excitement. These days when I hear that Carter is writing an episode of The X-Files, I’m filled with dread.

It’s not secret I wasn’t a huge fan of the conclusion to season 10.  “My Struggle II” felt like Carter throwing a lot of things at the screen and seeing what might stick. He then painted himself into one heck of a corner, flashed up the words “To Be Continued” and dared Fox not to give the series another season.*

*It’s almost like he took a page from the Sledge Hammer playbook when it came to cliffhangers.

Then Fox renewed the series for another season and suddenly Carter had to find his way out of the mess he’d created.

And with two years to come up with an ending, he decided to take the easy way out and give us the “it was all just a dream” payoff.**  That along might have been bad, but it was made a lot worse by overly explanatory monologues and a couple of moments that seem more like Carter wanted to generate some conversation on social media and see fans go “What?!?” rather than actually service the show and characters we’ve come to know and love over the past twenty-odd years.

**At least Sledge Hammer had the show reboot to take place several years before Sledge set off the nuke…

x-filesIn other words, it was pretty much a later season Chris Carter episode.

So, at this point, we’re supposed to believe that Scully has some psychic connection to her son, William and that it’s William who is having these end of days visions.  The last installment was all one big dream (or vision) and it showed us what could happen if Mulder and Scully don’t find their son.

We also have just about every character we pull back make a quick appearance on the show. It’s almost like Carter wants to remind us that there are lots of players in this universe.

CSM is back from the dead as is Spender (at least I think the series ended with him dead…but I could be wrong.)  He’s working on his own agenda to destroy the aliens and has been working from within the Syndicate all these years to forward his own agenda.  It appears the Syndicate knew this for a long time but did little or nothing to stop him because….umm…well, the plot twists this week says he should.  CSM is even ensuring that he and his select few will survive because he’s hunting for William too.  Because not only is William the magical cure for whatever virus is coming that will wipe us all out, but he’s also CSM’s son and not Mulder’s.

Still with me?

I’m not sure I necessarily believe a word of what CSM says.  He’s established as a liar and storyteller who bends the narrative to fit his point of view and agenda whenever he can.  And there was the tag line that said, “I want to believe…lie.” I feel like Carter is signalling us that CSM is lying about some or all of what he told us simply because that’s who he is.  I don’t doubt there’s some kind of plague headed our way and that Syndicate would like to somehow control humanity.  But I get the feeling that CSM was once in the inner circle and is now out and looking for a way to ensure his own survival.

And I’m sure we’ll soon feel the frustration of the mythology episode when next week we don’t have Mulder and Scully racing against the clock to find William.  I figure we won’t hear much about William until the season finale.

In between all that, we have a couple of sequences that felt like extended ads for the new line of Ford cars and lots of Scully in the hospital.  We also got the typical big mythology episode habit of keeping Mulder and Scully separate.

Again, typical Chris Carter.

For a guy who created this show, he sure seems to have forgotten why fans love it. Or maybe it’s just me and everyone else out there loved this episode more than sliced bread and I’m crazy.

And yet, I’ll be back next week to see what happens next. I’ve come this far. And part of me can’t help but wonder where this journey will end.  If the truth is closer than ever, maybe we’ll finally get a few pieces of it before the season ends.

But I doubt it…

A few small thoughts:

  • Last season it felt like the two younger FBI agents were being set-up to possibly reboot the show.  And this week, they get maybe a minute of screen time. Which made their appearance feel a bit wasted.
  • Speaking of wasted appearances was Reyes in there just to include Annabeth Gish in the show?  She added nothing to the story.
  • Is smoking a requirement to be a Syndicate bigwig?  Or do you all have to look sort of alike and pair off in trios so you can fool Mulder?  It feels like they spend a lot of time on this. Which is maybe why they haven’t overthrown the government and enslaved all of humanity yet…

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Filed under The X-Files, tv, TV review, TV round-up, tv roundup, X-Files

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