What with the new season of The X-Files, it was only natural that I would choose to feature Apt. 42 Revisited‘s review of the first episode of Season 10, an episode that has generated a lot of conversation and disagreement between hard-core fans and a lot of confusion among casual ones. I like the realistic, cautious optimism in this review though; it doesn’t pretend that the episode was perfect, rather looks at its weaknesses head on. But at the same time, it’s obviously written by two people who know their show pretty well, which is something that has been lacking in the many reviews out there.
Apt. 42’s Review of The X-Files, Season 10, Episode 1: ‘My Struggle’
You know that part in Fight the Future when a frustrated Mulder vents to his partner that with all that they have seen and learned they are seemingly back to where they were with nothing? Well that is part of my frustration with this episode. Do not get me wrong, I was thoroughly entertained from cold open to end credits, but the way events seem to be unfolding for our heroes is eerily reminiscent of the events of about 20 years prior, when one Michael Kritschgau told tales of government abductions and experiments under the guise of extraterrestrial activity. We’ve been here before and done that, especially with evidence since then that proves the erstwhile DoD employee wrong. Now, neither Radhika or I know how the rest of the season will bear things out in this regard, but in terms of the big picture, this is my main gripe with the episode.
What “My Struggle” (and the series as a whole) does so consistently well is the little character moments. Back in the hospital when Scully runs tests on Sveta, their entire exchange tells so much of the backstory of where Mulder and Scully have been mentally over the past eight years. Whereas Mulder and O’Malley’s big pow-wow is all clunky exposition, here Carter gives the characters and the audience room to process and fill in the gaps on their own. I absolutely loved how Scully let Sveta know that she too is an abductee, in a way the Scully of 1993 would’ve rolled her eyes at. Sveta herself is a wonderful character, and if this is indeed the last we see of her I am sad to see her go. Annet Mahendru is an incredible actress, able to communicate the deep wells of pain and loss that are her experiences.
Read the rest of the review here.