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

10×05: Babylon

“Dude, I was on fire.” — Fox Mulder
“Dude, you were an embarrassment.” — Walter Skinner

A bombing at a Texas art gallery sends Mulder on a Magical Mystery Tour as he tries to figure out a way to communicate with a terrorist in a vegetative state.

Babylon

20th Century Fox

Radhika: I love The X-Files. I love The X-Files enough to admit when I don’t like an episode — and frankly, I did not like this one. The hot mess I saw on my television screen tonight further confirmed suspicions that many fans have at this point: Chris Carter may have been brilliant enough to come up with a wonderful concept, but he often manages to write his own show into the ground. This episode, penned by the creator himself addresses the subjects of terrorism and religion while trying to incorporate elements of comedy. But while a number of comedic X-Files episodes can be considered some of the series’ best, this episode falls short and instead just leaves you with a terrible overplayed Lumineers song stuck in your head. 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

9×15: Jump the Shark

“You got to admit, Byers. It hasn’t exactly been our year. And to top it all off, we screwed the pooch pretty good today. Maybe we should pack it in.” — Melvin Frohike
“And do what instead? We never gave up. We never will. In the end, if that’s the best they can say about us, it’ll do.” — John Fitzgerald Byers

In which we bid farewell to a trio of misfits.

Jump the Shark

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: So here it is: “Jump the Shark,” the moment where we say goodbye to The Lone Gunmen, a trio that often brought humor as well as occasional moments of depth, to The X-Files over the years. While the trio had never been major characters on the series, they did have their chance in the spotlight during a short-lived spinoff prior to season nine. So this episode winds up serving as a coda to that series as well with somewhat mixed results.

Former Man in Black Morris Fletcher, first introduced to us in the “Dreamland” episodes of season six, approaches Doggett and Reyes, claiming that Yves Adele Harlow — an acquaintance of The Lone Gunmen — is a super soldier. The Lone Gunmen don’t believe this, but then Harlow murders an immunology professor, prompting a lot of questions. Harlow reveals that the man had been experimenting with shark immune systems and grafting pieces of the animal onto his body to become something of a biological weapon. Her father, an international arms dealer, was funding this research. And meanwhile Fletcher, a bit clueless about the extent of these underhanded dealings, had been hired to find Harlow and stop her from foiling things. Harlow also reveals that there is a second biological weapons host that needs to be stopped. Continue reading

The Lone Gunmen: Extreme Government Watchdog Group for Hire

“Oh, I love you guys. I really do. I mean, you’re the ‘Lone Gunmen,’ aren’t you? You guys are my heroes. I mean, look at this crap you print.” — Morris Fletcher
“We uncover the truth.” — John Fitzgerald Byers
“Oh, the truth. Well, see that’s what’s so great about you monkeys. Not only do you believe this horse pucky that we create you broadcast it as well.” — Morris Fletcher
The X-Files, Episode 6×05: Dreamland II

We’ll soon be reviewing “Jump the Shark,” an episode that brings The Lone Gunmen’s story to a close. The episode also concludes the storylines presented in The Lone Gunmen’s short-lived spinoff program, which we’re taking a look at in this post.

The Lone Gunmen

20th Century Fox

Thirteen episodes of network television is not really enough to make any kind of real impact in the media landscape at the turn of last century, let alone in today’s oversaturated cable and streaming megalopolis. This was the case in 2001, when Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan, and John Shiban cooked up the idea to have a show about The Lone Gunmen. Sure, we’ve hung out with the characters many times since their brief introduction in “E.B.E.” (most notably in TLG-centric episodes in the fifth and sixth seasons), but Carter and company were in expansion mode, even when Millennium and Harsh Realm were canceled.

The show runners set up The Lone Gunmen’s namesake show as one about a type of high-tech detective agency, with the trio using its expertise to uncover decidedly non-paranormal activity. Continue reading