The X-Files Season 10: Our Final Thoughts

In lieu of the best and worst roundup we wrote each season while rewatching The X-Files’ original run, we’re going to summarize our thoughts on season 10. Here’s what we thought worked, didn’t work and what we hope to see in what seems to be an inevitable season 11.

Founder's Mutation

20th Century Fox

Radhika: The six-episode miniseries that was highly anticipated by even the most cynical of X-Philes has drawn to a close and this has us mulling quite a few things over. After solid ratings, a cliffhanger ending and interviews indicating that the show will probably be back in some form, it looks like we’ll get to see more of The X-Files at some point. But is it what we need?

Despite the fact that the revival ultimately left me with mixed feelings, I remain interested in seeing what more the show has to offer. What we received in this mini season was not the show at its highest quality, but it affirmed my belief that as much as I enjoy The X-Files: Fight the Future, The X-Files is best in the medium where it got its start: Television. Continue reading

Advertisements

10×06: My Struggle II

“You think it’s power what you’re doing, but it’s not… it’s sickness”
— Fox Mulder

Unable to reach Mulder, Scully has to deal with a frightening escalation of medical cases that may be linked to the biological threat of extraterrestrial DNA.

My Struggle II

20th Century Fox

Max: I wonder — if The X-Files revival might not have gone as well as it has ratings-wise — where the hell that would leave us if this episode was the last we’d see of Mulder and Scully for the foreseeable future. Certainly, we as viewers are left with a doozy of a cliffhanger that portends that the race against time might be all for naught. At the very least, “My Struggle II” improves significantly upon the season premiere, but not without scores of unanswered questions and narrative revelations that still do not quite feel in step with the classic conspiracy mode we all know and love.

Scully is approached by both Skinner and Agent Einstein when Mulder seemingly disappears, called to alarm by a new Tad O’Malley report that the alien threat in the form of mass illness and casualties is upon us. In the midst of all of this, droves of afflicted people begin to arrive at Our Lady of Sorrows hospital, leaving Scully and Einstein racing against the clock to locate and isolate alien DNA in Scully, in order to create a vaccine. Continue reading

X-Files Bulletin: Smartphones with Caller ID make obsolete “Mulder, it’s me.”

Mulder and Scully

20th Century Fox

Note: This blog post will be relatively spoiler free. However, it may refer to points that have already been brought up in various interviews and media with Chris Carter and company — so if you’ve been avoiding all news of the show, maybe you don’t want to read this. But I will not be delving into any plot particulars whatsoever, so if that sounds fine to you, go ahead and read!

Ladies and gentlemen, the last time both of us had the opportunity to talk to you was last August, when Radhika and I finished rewatching and writing about the 202 episodes and two feature films that made up The X-Files corpus at that time. Earlier that year, all of us got an amazing present. Mulder and Scully were coming back, and they would be appearing in a familiar place — our television screens. Sure, times have changed and our old boxy CRT televisions have been replaced by sleek Internet-connected flatscreens, but that classic Mark Snow theme still sends shivers down our spines. Continue reading

The Best and Worst of Season 9

Screencaps: 20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Screencaps: 20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

It’s no secret that season nine is our least favorite season (and the least favorite of most X-Files fans). It wasn’t just because Mulder was gone or Scully was sidelined — the stories genuinely felt tired after a somewhat creatively boosted season eight. Our snark and boredom were pretty obvious in most of our rewatch posts for this season. But there were at least a few episodes we enjoyed, even if they wouldn’t make any “classic of all time” lists. And there were naturally episodes we disliked even more than others.

So here we go, time for our last look at the best and worst episodes of The X-Files’ original run. As always multi-part mythology episodes count as one installment for our purposes: Continue reading

9×19 & 9×20: The Truth

“You’ve always said that you want to believe. But believe in what, Mulder? If this is the truth that you’ve been looking for then what is left to believe in?” — Dana Scully
“I want to believe the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us as part of something greater than us — greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen to what’s speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves.” — Fox Mulder

Mulder returns, a courtroom drama ensues and somewhere in the middle of it all, the truth is still out there.

The Truth

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: Oh boy. Here we are, about two years after starting this blog, at the series finale of The X-Files. It feels like something of a bittersweet step, considering how gung-ho we were about the bulk of the show until we got to the last couple of seasons. As far as series finales are concerned, this one was something of a mixed bag for most people when it aired — not particularly great, though at least saved by the fact that we got to see Mulder and Scully together again. And I still have mixed feelings revisiting it now, years after the show ended, having had time to reabsorb the series’ various threads and knowing that a six-episode TV revival is on its way. In retrospect, the finale is a little boring, even with some exciting elements thrown in there. It also makes a little more sense than I thought it did in the old days. It’s not quite the bang that I would have wanted this show to go out on, but let’s face it: Most series finales aren’t particularly satisfying. Continue reading

9×18: Sunshine Days

“What I witnessed was Freaksville, man! My friend was murdered. Who would have thought this could happen at the ‘Brady Bunch’ house.” — Mike Daley

The final MotW episode of the original run has our heroes face a lonely man who has a thing for a certain classic sitcom.

Sunshine Days

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: I first tried to tackle this post about five or six times before I said uncle and chalked things up to a case of writer’s block. However, thinking about things later, the frustrations I experienced were a bit apropos for “Sunshine Days,” a maddening episode I’ve always considered one of the weakest entries in the series — and now I can’t help but like parts of it. The final MotW of the original run, it doesn’t have the iconic pathos of a “Clyde Bruckman” or a memorable freak like Eugene Victor Tooms, but the episode is a showcase of the possibilities that could be and throws in some laughs before the series finale wraps up the mythology.

When a guy named Blake drags his friend Mike to a house he swears is the Brady Bunch house, Mike is astonished to find his friend is telling the truth. But while Blake’s curiosity draws him further inside, Mike is spooked and waits in the car. That is when Blake shoots out from the roof of the house and lands smack dab on top on Mike’s car, dead from the impact. Continue reading

9×17: Release

“You’ve been following my son’s case.” — John Doggett
“For a long time. He calls to me.” — Rudolph Hayes

Doggett is drawn back to trying to figure out his son’s murder thanks to a mysterious FBI cadet.

Release

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: I’ll be honest: Even though “Release” tackles a plot point that is pretty significant for the Doggett character, I had largely forgotten about it by the time I rewatched the episode for this blog. This is something of a damning thing to say under normal circumstances, but I will also confess that while it is not a flawless episode, I was pleasantly surprised revisiting “Release,” which is reasonably atmospheric, compelling and emotional compared to the bulk of this season.

It begins when Doggett receives a tip that leads him to a dead body in an abandoned apartment building. When Scully performs an autopsy, one of her students, Rudolph Hayes, guesses that the victim had met a killer in a bar and the murder is eventually linked to another killing. Doggett and Reyes work with Hayes who eventually leads them to ex-mobster Nicholas Regali. It turns out that Hayes has a bit of an obsession with crime scenes — his apartment walls are plastered with crime scene photos, including those related to Doggett’s dead son, Luke. Hayes tells Doggett he believes a man named Robert Harvey kidnapped Luke, but that Regali was the man behind his murder. Continue reading