This X-Files review contains spoilers.
The X-Files Season 10 Episode 6
My road trip came to halt tonight to watch the finale of The X-Files revival. I’m out in middle America, far from my home in the light-polluted Big Apple, where you can actually look up at the night’s sky and see the stars. As an adult there’s little time to look up and wonder, so now when I peek into an unobstructed sky I recall the memories of my youth. Those were the days when it was OK to ask aloud whether there was more to this universe than we’re led to believe.
The evening news anchor of a local Fox affiliate told me it was all a lie. In a television spot usually reserved for fear mongering, the anchor said they found “de-classified material” that would explain the unexplained. Maybe the UFO on the “I Want to Believe” poster was just a hot flash of light, but I wasn’t going to tune in to find out.
Several seconds after the promo, “My Struggle II,” The X-Files season finale, started and went on to all but end my curiosity to see what lies beyond this earth. I’ll need several (neck) smoke breaks in between writing this review to muster up a positive outlook on The X-Files revival when it’s bookended by two soul-crushing episodes. The baffling cliffhanger should rightfully be the immediate point of contention among X-Files fans. Yet it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as literally everything that came before it.
Chris Carter’s two-part storyline failed to come together in a coherent way from a conceptual and structural standpoint. The best elements of the uneven premiere—Mulder and Scully having an actual story arc, Roswell, and Mulder’s creepy old informant—are absence from part two. Instead, David Duchovny doesn’t appear long enough to capture a 6.5 second Vine. Gillian Anderson is forced to play a character that vaguely embodies Dana Scully. Monica Reyes’ sorry excuse to return to this show is the fucking worst and I want those scenes stricken from the Blu-ray release. I was actively rooting for Tad O’Malley’s on-screen death to derive any pleasure from the episode. Poor William B. Davis was hit with a goddam missile and had to live to see this episode come to fruition. CSM, an all-time great villain, deserved better. We all deserved better.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny were trolling fans with hints of more X-Files during the episode so there’s that. You have to assume Carter was beyond confident more X-Files would be in order when he decided to gut all the fun aliens taking over the world stuff for humans inevitably destroying the planet while our extraterrestrial neighbors to the north just watched. It becomes all the more surprising considering they wrapped production long before the two-night season premiere proved to be ratings gold. What if the ratings bombed from the second episode out?
The original series finale, “The Truth,” was scrutinized for its lack of question answering, but I’ll take that over a handholding plot any day. I came into “My Struggle” hoping I wouldn’t be watching The X-Files live for the final time. In my immediate rage, I was questioning whether I even want to see more episodes. I’ve enjoyed and will defend the middle episodes of the revival. This one, though, broke me, leaving you nothing but the musings of a mad man.