The X-Files Review by John Keegan

The X-Files 10.06: My Struggle II

The X-Files 10.06: My Struggle II

Written By:
Dr. Anne Simon, Margaret Fearon, and Chris Carter
Directed By:
Chris Carter

There were two surprising aspects of the tenth season finale: first, that the plot was so straightforward, despite all the technobabble; and second, that the damn thing ended on a cliffhanger.  A lot of people are calling Chris Carter out for arrogance (some say hubris), but let’s all remember: everything about this miniseries was vetted by the network and everyone involved has expressed a desire to keep it going from the start.  Duchovny and Anderson have both been fairly clear about wanting future seasons, so long as they are relatively short. 

Yet I can hardly argue that there would have been ways to end the miniseries in such a way that it could either end or continue.  Cut that embarrassingly silly drive through traffic a bit, and we could see if Mulder and Scully would finally be reunited with William (he had better be in that damn “UFO”, which is clearly supposed to be alien-based human technology).  Speaking of which, didn’t I say that the entire season arc would come down to William in some way, shape, or form?

For all the byzantine Carter-esque dialogue and trappings, the story is quite simple, even if it sidesteps aspects of the mythology in certain ways.  In rough accordance with previous hints about “colonization”, plans to eradicate a good chunk of the human race began in 2012 and are now in full swing.  Similarly, as more or less established over the course of the series, the Syndicate (now essentially just Cigarette-Smoking Spender and his chosen) has altered some of the population with alien-DNA that will allow them to survive the so-called “Spartan virus” that has systematically removed the immune systems of the general populace.

I can understand wanting to streamline the mythology to some extent, but considering how Carter attempted to show how this is the culmination of the entire continuity from the earliest days of the series, why create an entirely new element of the threat, this “Spartan virus”, when the mythology already has the “black oil/Purity” virus that would have been just as easy to pull out of the woodwork?  Considering the hand-waving that was necessary in this story anyway, why not just have it be the spread of Purity like it was always supposed to be?  For all that, it could have simply been the means by which the immune systems were compromised or something.  Point is, if you already have a virus on the table, why create a new one and retcon it into the mythology?

I’m sure fans of Agent Reyes were a bit upset as well.  I don’t entirely buy her conversion as a servant to CSM, but I suppose that’s to provide a sense of continuity?  Which is of course ironic, when one thinks about it.  Regardless, there was a certain comfort level to having someone familiar spout all the conspiracy nonsense this time around.  Speaking of which, conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this one, aren’t they?

It’s worth mentioning that the new agents, Miller and Einstein, had a much better showing this time around, even if Miller still has a complete lack of personality.  The same problem persists, of course; when a character is introduced in a comedic fashion, it’s hard to switch gears so quickly to see that character as serious and competent.  Einstein is better served because she provides Scully with a sounding board, allowing the audience to see how far Scully has evolved over the course of her life with (and without) Mulder.  But that requires Einstein to be little more than an early-Scully analogue, so these new agents simply don’t stand well on their own.  They exist to allow a little more flexibility in the scripting, for all intent purposes.

The new characters also serve (or try to serve) as mitigation of what many will perceive to be the main sin of the season finale: the complete separation of Mulder and Scully.  It’s actually a classic maneuver for the first part of any major mythology story, when one thinks back, but with so little material in the tenth season and the future always uncertain, fans don’t want to see their favorite agents apart.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Even on a small budget, it’s nice to see the culmination of the mythology in some form
The Bad:
  • The retcon for the mythology is mind-numbing
  • Why keep Mulder and Scully apart for the entire episode?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

The X-Files by - 2/23/2016 7:18 AM230 views

Your Responses


Grade: B-
I was surprised at how intense the entire finale was, but I too was a little let down by the cliffhanger ending. Funny how both this and the Heroes limited series had open endings (though this one more extreme) despite claiming to be limited. But I never buy into that network spin. If it gets good ratings, it'll be back, if not it won't, no matter how "limited" the series is. Still, I'll happily watch more because I was intrigued the whole run. It was better than season 9 by far.

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