WARNING!!! SPOILERS LAY BELOW! DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ALL 6 EPISODES!!
It’s been a very welcome return for our long time truth hunters who returned to our screen in January after a decade plus long absence. The shows main hurdle to overcome was whether or not Mulder and Scully could still draw in the audiences it once drew in all those years ago while being reachable to new viewers not overtly familiar with the characters and the show.
When season 10 closed with that insane final episode, I for one, like to say that yes, The X-Files was able to bring me – a long time fan of the show – back into it’s fold and also welcome in new viewers. With the revelation that ‘little green men’ do in fact exist and that their alien mechanics had been used for decades to create secret technology and their DNA used to protect chosen ones from an impending global disease crisis, dedicated fans got to travel full circle with Mulder and Scully on their hunt for the truth.
This reveal, in some form, closed the ‘is the truth out there’ book and opened a brand new one revolving around powerful men and the Alien secrets they have been choosing to hide from the public basically transforming what we all knew about The X-Files and the team involved brining back this show did it good.
That’s not to say though that The X-Files return did not come with its flaws.
While many critics applauded the shows quick return to monster-of-the-week flair (episode 3 – Mulder and Scully meet the were-monster) I found that to be one of the series weakest. While the on-screen chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson was stronger than ever, the tongue-in-cheek poke at Mulder and Scully’s monster hunting felt incredibly far fetched with the story of Guy Mann, a lizard to human shape changer that included way too much dialogue and not enough of the dark stuff we had been treated to in the second episode with insane geneticist Augustus Goldman (Melrose Place’s Doug Savant) building genetically enhanced (and disfigured) children.
Episode five introduced two new agents – Agent Miller (Robbie Amell) and the ridiculously named Agent Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) to the fold and went even further south of episode 3 and gave us Mulder, deep in the heart of Texas, boot scootin and line dancing his way through a psychedelic trip that eventually saw him face to face with a comatose bomber. These two weak episodes felt like a very poor and feeble attempt at recapturing some of the more light hearted and fan favorite episodes of seasons past such as Bad Blood from season 5.
Funnily enough, what critics hated the most, I found to be engaging and very X-Filesey. The cigarette smoking man playing puppet master god, Scully’s alien DNA proving to be a most useful tool, Mulder working with conspiracy theorist Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale), Scully’s former partner Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish) returning out of the blue to provide a shocking piece of information….this funnily enough is where most felt the X-Files lost it’s way during its original run yet felt like The X-Files.
So how did each episode fare?
Episode One – My Struggle
7 out of 10
The X-Files not only had to re-connect with long time fans but also, draw in new ones and in doing so, produced a lot of information, like mountains of it. From Aliens landing in the 1950’s to how their technology was stripped from them to the semi-annoying Tad O’Malley gobbling up too much screen time to learning about what Mulder and Scully had been up-to since we last saw them.
MVP: Sveta ( Annet Mahendru) was the perfectly eerie and damaged character to bring Mulder and Scully back together. A survivor of multiple abductions, Sveta’s fragility in coming forward with her claims played immensely well into the X-Files lore.
Episode Two – Founders Mutation
8.5 out of 10
An almost perfect return to form for the show, the mystery surrounding Mulder and Scully’s son William was answered and the two shared a wonderful amount of screen time together that made us all happy. Pair this with the mad scientist trying to genetically breed children story line and we have ourselves a fantastic episode.
MVP: Augustus Goldman (Doug Savant) was the bad guy we needed to see early on in the series return. While for only one episode, his elusiveness to reveal just what he has been up-to provided a much needed creep factor to the show plus, it was great to see Savant play against type.
Episode Three – Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster
3 out of 10
The weakest of the bunch, Mulder and Scully’s monster hunt episode felt forced and contrived as they hunt for a monster that has been killing and feeding on innocent people. The lame attempt at touching on the humorous side of the show fell flat and produced nothing really new that had not been done before – even Guy Mann’s overtly sexy retelling of his encounter with Scully felt icky. There was also waaaay too much dialogue – the scene with Mann and Mulder in the cemetery…it needed to end long before it began.
Episode Four – Home Again
7 out of 10
Another ‘monster-of-the-week’ episode but done very very well. The gruesome “band-aid nose man” was terrifying and chilling enough to rekindle my love of those episodes from seasons past and Scully’s heartbreak at loosing her mother was equally touching and tear-inducing.
MVP: John DeSantis’s Band-Aid nose man was freaky enough to join the ranks of other well known X-Files monsters such as the Flukeman and Tombs.
Episode Five – Babylon
5 out of 10
Mulder and Scully parting ways to try and communicate with a disfigured and comatose bomber was a premise I truly wanted to love but there was too much other stuff getting in the way for me to actually enjoy. Agent Miller and Einstein proved no real purpose other than to accompany Mulder and Scully on their efforts and Mulder’s drug induced Billy Ray Cyrus trip…I swear you can see in Duchovny’s eyes he’s thinking “What the actual fuck am I doing?”
MVP: David Duchovny only for actually going through with this episode.
Episode Six – My Struggle Part 2
8 out of 10
While this episode once again featured a little bit too much of Tad O’Malley (are people seriously using his web show as their source of nightly news?!) the Scully based episode actually bests the Mulder led episode one in which Scully learns she may hold the cure to the impending global medical disaster. Even Agents Miller and Einstein were tolerable as they try and help the masses and that final scene…..cliffhanger much?!
MVP: Agent Monica Reyes! So glad to see her back (even though it’s without Robert Patrick’s Agent Doggett) but wasn’t too keen on her portrayed as a weak willed woman who would give in to cigarette smoking man’s demands.
Clearly that final scene with Scully looking into the down-shining lights of the UFO opens up the likelihood of more X-Files episodes. I’d be more than happy with these short 6-10 episode stints and now with the backstory told, it opens up the ability to give fans a continuation of the X-Files we knew and loved. Many fans are suggesting that if and when the show returns that creator Chris Carter ‘share the load’ or so to say and not monopolize his control of the show. bringing in new blood to the world of The X-Files can only be a smart move to keep things fresh.
What did you think of the series? Agree with my thoughts on each episode of disagree completely and feel that 10×03 was one of the best episodes yet? Sound off in the comments above!