“The suggestion is pure science fiction”
‘The X Files’ revival has been awful, without a doubt. ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster’ was the only rewarding episode. It was up to the finale, ‘My Struggle II,’ to give some reason for bring ‘The X Files’ back. Unfortunately, it existed only to give reason not to continue ‘The X Files.’ Poorly plotted, oddly paced, laughably scripted and too much crammed into one space, ‘My Struggle II’ exemplified and amplified everything that has been wrong with the revival so far…
A distracting monologue from Scully kicked the episode off, mirroring Mulder’s monologue from ‘My Struggle.’ Did we really need another recap of X Files past and present? It took up the entire pre-credits teaser and told us nothing new. A brief recap was perhaps necessary, but not one this long! It set the scene for the episode: full of rambling, never-ending sentences that said very little or too much. Even when the episode started proper (and, by the way, did we Brits get a different tag on the credits from the Yanks? We received ‘The Truth Is Out There,’ and the Yanks got ‘This Is The End.’ Why the difference?), exposition and pseudo-science took up much of the screen time. Not only that, but within the first fifteen minutes, the main plot points were repeated several times. Scully told her alien DNA theory to Skinner and Einstein, shortly after the aforementioned monologue. Okay, we get it: somebody has tampered with alien DNA! We don’t need to be told twice, let alone thrice!
“No, it makes no sense!”
The Alex Jones-esque conspiracy nut, Tad O’Malley, returned purely to repeat plot points and tell us what was happening. Of course, we were shown as well, but Chris Carter obviously doesn’t believe in his ability to rely on showing, not telling. Basically, microwave radiation amongst other things was triggering a gene in the mass of human beings to destroy their immune system. Vaccines given to people actually contained the nasty gene, the so-called ‘spartan virus.’. Mulder was MIA, so it was up to Scully and Einstein to figure out a cure…Cue tonnes of pseudo-science and actual science mixed together, with Einstein playing the sceptic. “You can’t just say that!” she said, after another exposition-filled rant from Scully. Einstein echoed my thoughts exactly; “it makes no sense” was a phrase that constantly came to my mind. Scully seemed to pluck ideas from thin air, without any evidence at all.
The script was not credited to just Chris Carter, but to two doctors as well. Their influence showed in the unnecessarily complicated spiels coming from both the mouths of Einstein and Scully. It was hard to distinguish the ‘real’ science from the pseudo-science. They blurred into one, making everything ridiculous. Carter had at least half a season’s worth of material to condense into two episodes. ‘My Struggle II’ crammed so many plot points, ideas and characters into the forty-three minutes that it was hard to concentrate on one particular thing. For example, why bring Agent Monica Reyes back? Her story that she had no choice but to be some sort of servant to the Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM)killed her character in an instant. And all she seemed to do was light up his smokes for him…Pardon? It was wholly unnecessary and silly.
“I don’t believe this…”
We discovered that CSM was behind the whole Spartan virus thing, but I almost fell asleep as he explained to a seriously ill Mulder his reasons for his evil plot. He wanted to save the earth from climate change and the ravage of human beings! Culling all but the most promising humans on earth could bring a utopia and stop certain disaster…hold on, wasn’t that the exact plot of Channel 4’s ‘Utopia’? CSM always worked best as a shadowy figure, issuing orders and perhaps having a word or two with Mulder or Scully. Here, he just seemed like a sad old man, talking endlessly without understanding his own tedium. At least Mulder broke it up with a flashback, to his Jason Bourne-esque brawl with one of CSM’s henchmen. I suppose that was relatively entertaining.
‘My Struggle II’ was a fitting end to an awful revival of a once-beloved show. Things only intermittently made sense. Characters appeared without any justification (Einstein and Millar are worthless!). Plots and ideas were crammed together awkwardly and without proper thought. The rebooted conspiracy is a tired attempt to rejuvenate ‘The X Files’ for the 21st century, but it’s simply a contrived rehash of what we’ve seen before (and I noticed the quick reference to 2012 as the starting point for this new conspiracy…but how? Surely the smallpox vaccines go back many years before 2012…so why the arbitrary starting point? To try and tie it in to the leftover plot point of 2012 in Season 9!) Maybe, if the entire revival focused on the new conspiracy and gave it room to breathe, some sense could have been made out of it. As it stands, the new conspiracy and the revival as a whole are a waste of time and talent. Awful television.
VERDICT: 2/10. If this is the quality of future seasons, ‘The X Files’ needs to be shut down for good. It was a failure on almost every level. A poor finish to a poor season.
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Click here for my review of The X Files: Season 10: Episode 5: Babylon)