It has been three months since the finale of the latest season of The X-Files. I really wanted to take my time and properly digest all these episodes had to offer before talking about them. Unlike your standard season of twenty-some episodes this time around we got a six episode mini-season. It was composed of every single conceivable style of episode that was traditionally found in The X-Files. I’m going to talk about each episode separately and my personal thoughts on them. But first, a little background on my fan relationship to this series.
-Where it Started-
The X-Files kicked off it’s first season in the fall of 1993 and I can’t say that I got to watch it then. I was in fact five years old at the time, so even if I had wanted to watch it my mom probably would’ve stopped me. It was my older brother, in his teens at the time who became the first fan in my family. A few years down the line when I was nine and The X-Files was at the peak of it’s popularity was when I took notice. It was season five and the movie that pulled me in and since then I’ve kept a vested interest in adventures of Mulder and Scully. I own all nine seasons and the two films on various forms of physical media and was even one of the few people who saw The X-Files: I Want to Believe in theaters. So when it was announced that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were returning the small screen for a limited run I was doing backflips. So what did I actually think of this return? Let’s find out.
Picking up fourteen years after the original series finale (And not acknowledging the previous film, but whatever) those not up to speed on the mythology get a quick explanation before diving in. Fox Mulder is pulled back into the fray by Dana Scully and Walter Skinner to look in on a woman’s claims of alien fetal harvesting and a loudmouth conspiracy theorist/webcaster preaching of shadowy government cover-ups. It was an adequate way to bring people back into this world. But it never really went above and beyond. This was suppose to be a triumphant return of a beloved series and yet it felt run of the mill. I will give it credit for ending on a very strong note.
Written and directed by original series regular James Wong this definitely feels like something straight from that era. Medical experimentation and the supernatural abilities a human can possess are the crux of this episode’s story. Pretty standard stuff for the most part. It’s a good episode and takes the viewer away from the mythology.
-Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster-
Confession time, this to me was the best episode of the season. I’ve always enjoyed the funnier episodes of the series (Bad Blood is one of my favorites) and this was hilarious. Written by Darin Morgan (who also wrote season three’s episode Jose Chung’s From Outer Space) Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate a dead body that was severely mangled by some creature. Mulder meets “Guy Mann” a lizard person who after being bit by a human begins to transform into one himself. In a hilarious play on the “man into monster” trope we see them flip the script. How would a creature handle having to adapt to life as a human? Throw in that it’s Rhys Darby in the role of Guy and you’ve got comedic gold. One of the other pieces I like about this episode is seeing Mulder question his belief in the supernatural. While away from the X-Files many cases have been solved and proven to have logical explanations. It’s interesting to see an almost mid-life crisis in Mulder and how meeting Guy re-affirms his beliefs. There’s also touching references to Kim Manners and Jack Hardy both of whom worked with Chris Carter previously and passed away since the last X-Files film.
A throwback to the dark “Monster of the Week” episodes, Home Again was the scariest episode of the season. I loved that the story took on how gentrification pushes those less desirable out of a place they’ve been forced to live in. How an emotion in art can unintentionally bring forth something malevolent. The violence took me back to a dirtier time in The X-Files when you had episodes like “Home” (no relation to this episode) and “Our Town” airing on TV.
Now we dip into the supernatural side of The X-Files. With a man in a vegetative state after a bombing, Mulder and Scully face a ticking clock as another attack is imminent and this man is the only one with the information to stop it. Mulder has one idea on how to make contact with the man involving hallucinogens while Scully tries to have another agent speak Arabic and gauge the man’s ECG reactions. While tripping Mulder sees weird things in a cowboy bar while jamming to Billy Ray Cyrus and that’s just for starters. I have mixed feelings about this episode. I like the “A” plot of the story, but I just didn’t find the introduction of Agents Einstein and Miller all that interesting. It felt as though FOX and Carter were testing the waters to see how these two would handle taking over The X-Files. It’s a shame as I really like both Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell as actors. I will say for those of you who have not seen the episode there’s a fantastic set of cameos that made me smile when they popped up.
-My Struggle II-
Bookending the season with another mythology episode that shows in Mulder and Scully’s absence these past few years things have reached a boiling point. Citizens begin to get sick from alien DNA stripping away their immune systems making them extremely susceptible to illness. We begin to see how the past has come to bite our heroes in the ass and how they must “Fight the Future”. This has to be one of the biggest cliffhangers The X-Files ever left us with. We’re left to wonder, “What does this mean for season eleven!?”
In a nutshell, this season has it’s ups and downs, but it’s The X-Files and that’s enough to keep me invested. So long as Anderson and Duchovny are willing to return I’ll watch it. I do hope that FOX announces season eleven, preferably in the next few minutes. As usual, what are your thoughts? Have you been a fan of The X-Files since the beginning? Did you like season ten? What would like to see another season get made?
Want to read even more ridiculous thoughts from my brain? Follow me on Twitter @SDFilmThoughts. Thanks for reading.