Although at first I was a little put off by the new, Season 10 episodes of The X-Files, I have to admit that I am starting to reconsider my opinion. I still think the execution was lacking–the first and last episodes of the run were too hurried and not particularly well written, for example, and perhaps some of the MOTW episodes should have been replaced by mythology episodes so that things could have been better explained.
So I thought it à propos to feature Apartment 42 Revisited‘s review of the latest, last episode of The X-Files that we have available to us, the one that ended on such a cliffhanger that one can assume Season 11 will be happening at some point in the future, and that there is no reason to fight it.
Apt. 42’s Review of The X-Files, Season 10, Episode 1: ‘My Struggle II’
Unable to reach Mulder, Scully has to deal with a frightening escalation of medical cases that may be linked to the biological threat of extraterrestrial DNA.
Max: I wonder — if The X-Files revival might not have gone as well as it has ratings-wise — where the hell that would leave us if this episode was the last we’d see of Mulder and Scully for the foreseeable future. Certainly, we as viewers are left with a doozy of a cliffhanger that portends that the race against time might be all for naught. At the very least, “My Struggle II” improves significantly upon the season premiere, but not without scores of unanswered questions and narrative revelations that still do not quite feel in step with the classic conspiracy mode we all know and love.
Scully is approached by both Skinner and Agent Einstein when Mulder seemingly disappears, called to alarm by a new Tad O’Malley report that the alien threat in the form of mass illness and casualties is upon us. In the midst of all of this, droves of afflicted people begin to arrive at Our Lady of Sorrows hospital, leaving Scully and Einstein racing against the clock to locate and isolate alien DNA in Scully, in order to create a vaccine.
But being that this is The X-Files, things aren’t that simple. Monica Reyes reemerges with some startling new information, including what she has been doing for the past decade. Turns out she was called to the bedside of a very badly burned Cigarette Smoking Man, who got her to work for him with promises that she would be saved from a coming biological attack. She reveals that the alien genome is what is needed to save people from certain death and only a select few — like Scully — have it.
An increasingly debilitated Mulder, who tracks down and confronts the CSM, is given the choice to be spared as well but refuses to give his longtime nemesis the satisfaction. Luckily, Scully is able to isolate the necessary genetic material and fabricate a crude vaccine, but Mulder (finally found by Miller) has gotten far too sick for it to work. He could be saved by stem cells from William — but the episode ends with a UFO hovering over the agents on the Potomac River.
This may not be the rally that we were all hoping for after slogging through the unevenness of this season, but it is a start — a step in the right direction — and with Fox likely to order more episodes given the stellar ratings, something I am looking forward to. But this is latter day X-Files, so we have to deal with leaning into the wrong things story-wise. The episode continued the push into the unfounded paranoia surrounding vaccines and chemtrails, for example, which comes off as nearly a ringing endorsement of what people like Alex Jones have been feeding people for years. Also, the pacing and structure of the episode was off, and didn’t get corrected until the final act. It’s also a bit jarring to see the kind of doomsday scenarios of countless Hollywood blockbusters see their way into a show that was more low key and subtle about its threats.
Read the rest of the review here.