The X-Files: S11E01 “My Struggle III” Review

One of my favorite thing that these shows with the government agencies do is when people list all of the agencies that have the acronym names in a somewhat quick succession. You know, those acronym groups like the F.B.I, N.S.A, C.I.A, L.A.P.D, D.A.R.P.A, N.A.S.A, R.C.M.P, B.P.A, N.Y.P.D, C.A.S.M.I.R.C, S.V.U, S.C.U.B.A, D.O.J, N.B.C, C.B.C, B.B.C, M&M’S, U.S.A, U.K., C.Q.C, N.E.S, S.N.E.S, P.S.1, D.S.L, G.T.A. and all that stuff. I can’t help but imagine that there are some takes where actors flub a line or two saying these letters. I mean, it’s all short hand, but spouting off random letters has to be some sort of tongue twister if you’re given enough letters… right?

Sigh… I’m sorry… I just… I really don’t want to talk about this episode. I mean, I signed up for it, and I love X-Files, but not this episode. X-Files stands for some of my favorite television from when I was a child, and even now when I am (allegedly) an adult! But this episode… man. I remember last season, people were upset by an episode involving a were-lizard, because it was too silly. Those people being wrong by the way, because it was probably one of the best hours of comedy on television, but that’s besides the point. Point is, that I would take a season of completely comedic episodes over… every part of this episode.

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You will believe that Scully can end up in the hospital… twice in one episode! (Picture Source: Fox, Vulture.com)

Ok, so lets get past the point where most, if not all of the previous season never happened… I’m sure some of it happened. I’m pretty sure that Scully’s mom died. I’m very sure that Mulder and Scully were reunited, because it felt so good! I want to believe (heh) that the Were-Lizard episode happened, because it’s so good to not be canonical. But meeting the young doppelgangers from the last season didn’t happen. Also, the very last episode, the cliff hanger where everyone is dying because of an alien virus, and Scully is about to get blown up, or abducted by aliens or whatever, never happened. It was a vision of the possible future (which seemed like code for “Oh crap, we wrote ourselves into a corner! Quick! It never happened!”). I don’t even know where this show picks up from. There’s no noticeable point that I can see where this episode takes place from last season. Let’s just blow past that, cause the show sure did, in the laziest writing I’ve seen in a while.

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Why are you looking at me like that? I can’t put reason to any of this either! (Picture Source: Fox, ign.com)

Let’s forget about that terrible twist ending, where we find out that Scully and Mulder’s son, William, is actually Scully and The Cigarette Smoking Man’s son. Making William Fox Mulder’s Brother, and making The Cancer Man far more of a creep than anyone ever wanted him to be. It super weird that even when The Cigarette Smoking Man wants to literally end humanity, the worst thing he’s ever done was impregnate Scully without her knowledge. It’s ok though, cause he impregnated her science! Alien DNA, and T.C.S.M’s DNA to create a super human… or something… still sexual assault though… this episode man… the more you think about it, the more you hate it. Let’s get past that though, because that accounted for less than 5% of the episode, and as bad as it was, it doesn’t account for an entire episode.

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TWICE! (Picture Source: Fox, indiewire.com)

 

What makes this episode bad is that it’s so boring. I was so bored watching this episode. The excitement I had for more X-Files quickly waned while watching this episode. The entire 45 minutes is an exposition dump, and when it isn’t, it’s a bored sounding Mulder voice over about how a character is feeling. This just goes against everything that film class taught me about the visual medium of film, or television. Movies and television is at it’s best when it show’s, and doesn’t tell you the story. While dialogue can be great, and a lot can be accomplished with a unique use of words, what we see, and hear still needs to be intriguing. If you have to tell me your story, you could add a bit more spice so I’m not just hearing and forgetting what people are saying? I mean I’ve watched the episode twice now for the purposes of this review, and I don’t care about the motives of any of these villains, new and old! From what I understand, T.C.S.M. wants to end humanity, with the exception of an elite few, so that humanity can go back to their savage beginnings, and he’ll get away with it because his plan is so crazy, people will consider it fake news… which I don’t think he understands the general thought of what that phrase means, but whatever. Then there are a couple other conspirators going against T.C.S.M. because they, and the rest of the 1%, want to go to space, and they need to be alive to do it.

I guarantee that I’m missing some details about the plot, but again, I don’t care. The most that I can say about it is that the acting is really good. William B. Davis as The Cigarette Smoking Man is always great, and David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, even at their worst, can’t help but be a delight.

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Hey, It’s Jeff Spender! Mulder’s Brother! Remember him? No? Yea, I had to be reminded as well. (Picture Source: Fox, ign.com)

I binge watched the entire show a couple years ago, and I made a realization back then, which seemed accentuated now. The episodes involving the shows canon kind of suck. Not all of it, of course. I really did care about what happened to Mulder’s sister, Scully’s abduction was really interesting, and The Cigarette Smoking Man’s mysterious ways are ever so enticing. However, as the show kept going, I started getting less and less interested in the actual overarching plot of the show. That’s not why you watch the show though. X-Files, at one point in time, perfected the “Monster of the Week” type show. It’s always a joy seeing people you like solving weird shit. So much so, that it’s the name of my new Netflix show, “People You Like, Solving Weird Shit”, coming soon! Sorry, got to focus more.

From what I hear, the first and last episode of this season are the “Plot” episodes, just like last season. Which means every other episode is going to be the “Monster of the Week” episodes, the bread and butter. I’m excited for that, because whatever happens, It’s got to be better that what happened here… I’m not angry with you X-Files… you make me angry, but I’m not angry with you… I’m just disappointed.

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I’m especially disappointed in you! Shame on you Cigarette Smoking Man! SHAME! (Picture Source: Fox, theverge.com)

Author: Devin Melnyk

I'm still trying to figure out how the internet works.

2 thoughts

    1. Doesn’t help that the car chase was across 3 states, while Mulder was droning on about “something being off” in his inner-monologue. “French Connection” level car chase this was not.

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