The X-Files: S11E10 “My Struggle IV” Review

Whenever a show is about to end, and you’ve been watching it for years, you can be overwhelmed with different emotions. I remember when Buffy ended, it was during a down time of the series, but you still wanted to see the continuing adventures of these people. But time is time, and you can’t control the end of the thing you love. Even Lost, I didn’t watch the show for years when the series finale came on, but for some reason, without know what happened in the past, I tuned into the season finale, and I actually cried, because I still watched the show for 3 years, and was happy to see where the characters went. The end of a series is always some sort of event, and whether it ends well, or poorly, that part doesn’t matter. What matters is what makes you want to watch the series finale in the first place, and that’s usually because you at least like the show, and you’ve committed, for better or for worse.

“But Devin!” I hear you say, “Chris Carter has been talking about wanting to do more!”

Nope, Gillian Anderson says she’s done with the show. Make like a Suda 51 game and Let It Die.

“But wait, there’s still so much more that they can do with the show! The conspiracies now are way juicer than in the 90’s!”

Then reboot it! Call it “X-Files: The Next Generation”, give it a Boy Meets World, or Degrassi vibe for no reason, but keep the aliens and bloody violence! Bring back Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose, they were great! Go crazy with it!

“You’ve got to stop eating fluoride and aspartame, because it’s effecting your brain, and making you talk the crazy talk!”

YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO MOM!

“Why don’t you talk about the damn episode?”

…Fine.

It takes a lot for me to shout at the television. Good or bad, I’m usually immersed in the experience enough to wait until the end of the episode before I start thinking about it’s quality. I’ll question decisions made during the episode, but I usually remain respectful until the end. “My Struggle IV” made me yell at the tv, admittedly, at the very end of the episode, but at that point, I was just tired of the episode.

This is the culmination of the “My Struggle” series of episode, veering very heavily into the mythology of the series, involving government conspiracies, aliens, Mulder and Scully’s son, who isn’t Mulder’s son, but the Cigarette Smoking Man’s son, who is also Mulder’s father, making Scully’s son Mulder’s Brother, making him a mother lover, and already I hate these episodes. They don’t offer up anything interesting, and if anything, they ruin the past. “My Struggle III” basically erased season 10. And this episode was just… unfortunate.

It’s an episode about Mulder and Scully trying to find William, while at the same time, having to keep the conspirators and the CSM at bay from destroying the world, in some laughably expositional scenes. Seeing CSM on the phone with Scully, saying “I’m ready to unleash the contagion, it’s going to happen,” is an almost desperate ploy at showing the stakes of the episode. None of this emotionally effected me in anyway. We see the characters going from conspirator to conspirator and causing their deaths in one way or another, and everytime one dies, I’m left with the sense of “… who? Wha… what’s their deal?”

Also, there’s the Cigarette Smoking Man plot of… trying to find William. He’s being led around by Monica Reyes, the star of season 8-9, and basically his prisoner. Monica tries to help the good guys, without bringing perking CSM’s suspicion, but ends up getting shot by Skinner, right before he gets run over and possible dies. This is all to undermine characters we know and love for the purposes of… tying up loose ends? I don’t know, this shows version of tying up loose ends is to kill them.

William fairs a bit better, but not by much. He gets some good scenes where we find out about his trouble maker past, and anytime he uses his powers is great (even if he’s a terrible person), and he has a wonderful moment with Scully (disguised as Mulder), but beyond that, he seems like an X-Files version of Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. This is not a good thing.

But what made me scream at the television, the moment the broke the camels back, was the end scene. Spoilers. Mulder is chasing after William, but looses him, and runs into his father, The Cigarette Smoking Man. They talk about how they need to get William, by any means necessary. CSM says “I brought you into this world, I never thought I would be the one to take you out of it.” and he shoots Mulder in the head, and falls into the river. But then, Mulder comes in from behind, and shoots the hell out of CSM (never in the head though… I mean, dude survived a rocket launcher, I’m just saying). Then Scully comes in, and Mulder tells her what happened, and that CSM shot William in the head, while thinking it was Mulder, and how he’s kind of bummed that CSM would be willing to shoot him in the head. Scully explains that it wasn’t their kid, even though he grew inside of her, and she birthed him, but he was actually a CSM experiment. Mulder’s like “But if I’m not a father, then who am I.” and Scully is like, “But you are a father!” and she then puts her hand on his belly.

“Fuck this show.” I screamed.

We get post show thing, showing William is alive, but does any of this matter? Without and anchor, what kind of weight do any of these actions have? The idea for the “My Struggle” series is so ambitions, that the fact that it’s rushed into these four somewhat disparate episodes is mindboggling. What were they thinking? There’s no room for any of these episodes to breath to make me care about what’s going on? What’s more, the things that they do, and the decisions that are made are so asinine, and stupid, it makes me wonder if Chris Carter asked for any second opinions before he shot the script. I’m mostly bored in these episodes, and if I’m not bored, I become a typical internet nerd, mad because they ruined my childhood show. And I’m never like this! I’m the type of dude who loved “The Last Jedi”, but understands why people don’t. I’m the type of guy who says, “If this piece of media ruined your childhood, you didn’t have a good childhood.” But the amount of disrespect that’s shown to all these characters made me mad, and almost understand the vitriolic nature of fanboys.

But I got over it. I’m done now.

As angry as I am with this episode, I’m still glad that I got my extra 2 seasons of X-Files. I’m a big enough boy to be grateful that I got as many quality episodes that I did. Do I want to see more? Of course, but it should be the Mulder and Scully show. Would I except “X-Files: The Next Generation”? We’d have to see, but I’d give anything a chance. All I know is that things come and go, quality degrades. But if the show is able to affect you, even for a bit, at one point in its run, and change your life in some small way… isn’t that enough?

Author: Devin Melnyk

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

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