If you watched the season 10 premiere of “The X-Files” on Fox Sunday night, there are more than likely a few things that you found very familiar. Mulder gave a monologue about the truth being out there that we’re pretty sure that he has said word-for-word at some point in the past; meanwhile, he continues to frustrate us with his relationship with Scully (now lack thereof), and it felt like creator Chris Carter tried to throw everything and the kitchen sink into this episode in the hopes that it would make everyone smile from ear to ear.
“My Struggle” was not even close to the best episode of the series, but the funny thing is that it’s hard to really be upset about it. Hell, we’re not even upset at all. Watching the episode live, even in spite of its flaws, was a joyous experience. Many critics out there got a chance to watch it in advance courtesy of a screener, and in some ways we feel like that was doing them a disservice. Maybe they were able to look at it more objectively, but there has been something magical about looking back at this gem-of-a-show with all of social media and seeing the joy everyone shares for the story. They missed out on the communal experience of the conspiracy, the little nods to the past, and the frustration that Mulder and Scully are not together anymore. (Aside: ARRGH at that.)
The highlights of the episode are easy to describe: Gillian Anderson if phenomenal once more, no one does obsessive / paranoid quite like David Duchovny, and guest star Joel McHale brought the right about of smarmy behavior to the role of Tad O’Malley, the latest conspiracy freak to get Mulder up in arms. Unfortunately, the whole scheme about alien DNA turned out to be just that (for now): A scheme. There was no DNA in her system, and she claimed later that it was all a tool for Tad’s radio show … allegedly.
Who do believe? What makes sense? To quote Mulder so many times, that is still out there. We saw that better than ever in the closing seconds. (Guess who’s back with a cigarette?) The only truth we’re willing to accept with this show is that nothing really ever makes complete sense, but just as this episode explains in a microcosm, we really don’t care.
In the end, this was an uneven hour in terms of telling a concise story, and also in terms of giving us everything we wanted; yet, we loved almost every second of it. It’s funny how this world works. Grade: B+.
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