Ooooh, getting the band back together…
There is just something about those words that just kinda makes me feel a little shivery…
Especially when the band involves ones of the hottest television partnerships in history:
Yes, the long awaited season 10 of The X Files, otherwise known as the renewal, finally premiered last night after the real horror, aka the NFC championship game. Well, I guess it was a horror if you happened to be rooting for Bruce Arians (or his hat, how can anyone not root for that that hat?) and his Arizona Cardinals, but I digress…
So the much anticipated first episode of the mere six we are being teased with aired this past weekend. Was it what I expected? In some ways, yes. Was I confused? You betcha, but as a fan of this series since the first episode (yes, I was a X Phile before it was cool), that’s just par for the course. Do I want more? Well, of course, but again, see the previous statement. Was I bored? Not on your life! Will I be tuning in again? Now what is it about a bear defecating somewhere with trees?
So, without any further ado, here is my recap and review of The X Files Renewal, episode 1, titled “My Struggle.”
And, as always:
The episode begins with a voice over by Fox Mulder, who gives a summary of his work on the now defunct X Files, and how the abduction of his sister Samantha when both were children has driven him to seek the truth regarding the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, and the possible government cover-up of the existence of alien life forms and alien technology. Mulder also mentions his partnership with Dana Scully, who aided him for a time in his quest.
We are then shown a scene in 1947. A UFO has crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, and the scene is being investigated by the military and a scientist. The group encounters what appears to be an alien. The alien is shot by a man in a black coat, despite the pleas of the scientist.
The show flashes back to the present day. Former FBI agent Dana Scully has returned to medical practice. She receives a call from her former supervisor, Walter Skinner. Skinner requests that Mulder and Scully meet with right-wing webcaster Tad O’Malley. O’Malley is an admirer of the pair’s work, and an admirer of Mulder in particular. However, Mulder has gone “off the grid”, and the only person able to reach him is Scully. Scully convinces Mulder to meet with O’Malley, despite Mulder’s initial reluctance.
Mulder and Scully reunite in Washington D.C. Mulder appears to be stressed over something, but is glad to see his former partner. The agents then meet with O’Malley, who takes them for a ride in his limousine. The group ends up at a house in rural Virginia, where they meet a young woman named Sveta. Sveta claims to have been abducted by aliens, and impregnated multiple times. She tells the agents that her fetuses were stolen from her, and that some of her DNA is actually alien DNA. Scully is skeptical, but does agree to test Sveta’s DNA.
Scully meets with Sveta at the hospital, and runs several tests on her. Sveta tells Scully that she is telepathic, and begins to tell Scully what was supposed to be private information. Sveta reveals that Scully and Mulder were formerly a couple, but that Mulder’s struggles with depression ended the relationship. Sveta also reveals that Mulder and Scully have a child together. These revelations make Scully uncomfortable, and Scully appears especially uncomfortable after Sveta breaks down and tells Scully that she cannot possibly understand what it is like to be abducted against her will.
O’Malley then brings Mulder to a covert site where scientists experiment with “alien” technology. Mulder sees an aircraft disappear before his eyes, and is told that alien technology has been around for many years. Mulder then meets with the old man who is actually the doctor who investigated the crash at Roswell. Mulder tells the man that he believes that he and Scully were mislead during their work on the X Files, and that man, not alien, is responsible for a massive, global conspiracy. The old man tells Mulder that he is close to the truth, but there is still more to be revealed. Mulder returns to his old office, and lets Skinner know that he is angry as he feels that he has been mislead over the years.
Mulder meets with Sveta again, who tells him that she did not tell him the truth when he spoke with her previously. Sveta confirms that men experimented on her, not aliens.
O’Malley visits Scully at work. Scully tells him that she performs surgery on children who were born without ears. O’Malley expresses admiration, and Scully accepts a date with him. Before she leaves, Scully receives the results for the tests on Sveta’s DNA. She is unsatisfied with the results, and orders another test.
While on a date with O’Malley, Scully receives a frantic phone call from Mulder, who still believes that he has been mislead over the years. Scully and O’Malley meet with Mulder, and Scully tells Mulder that he is treading on dangerous ground. Scully also reveals that the tests did not find that Sveta possessed any alien DNA.
Several things happen, in succession. Sveta recants her previous statements in an interview, stating that she was convinced by O’Malley to lie to the public. Sveta then seemingly disappears when Mulder tries to speak to her again. O’Malley’s website is shut down. The site that contains the alien aircraft is destroyed by men dressed in military uniforms, and the scientists are murdered as well. Sveta is then seen in a vehicle on an isolated road. Her car is obliterated by a UFO, and Sveta is seemingly killed when her car is destroyed.
Mulder and Scully then meet again. Scully is distressed, and tells Mulder that they must protect Sveta at all costs. Scully confesses that she tested Sveta’s DNA again, along with her own DNA, and that both samples appear to contain alien DNA. The agents then receive a text from Skinner, who requests to meet with them both.
The episode ends with a reveal of the presumed deceased Cigarette Smoking Man, who tells us that the X Files have been re-opened.
Well, the band got back together. And like I said, I do enjoy it when the band gets back together.
In many ways, this episode was akin to coming home to visit your parents after you had been away for some time. Everything is familiar. And comforting. In fact, it feels like a big hug.
But then again, your parents have the nerve to change things! They get a new new couch. They remove that ugly carpeting and replace it with hardwood floors (actually, that was a good thing but you get my point). So it’s like trying to impose two pictures on each other. A headache, in other words.
Well, I am not sure that watching this renewal really gave me a headache (actually, that’s tax season’s job, but again, I digress). But I did have the feeling of trying to impose an old picture on a new picture: sometimes, things lined up. And sometimes, they didn’t. But then again, who expects things to line up all the time? And should they line up all the time?
We had aliens. So that lined up, sort of. I did enjoy the flashback scene that actually showed the spacecraft and the alien. That scene makes me think that we will get more than in previous seasons, and that is something I would not mind. Geez, Chris Carter, you can be such a tease!
And then there was Mulder. Mulder and his earnestness. Mulder knowing that he is right, and that he needs to convince everyone around him, including Ms. Skeptical to a Fault aka Scully. Mulder getting closer and closer to the truth, and gaining some powerful enemies in the process.
But now we are told that it’s actually not aliens that are the enemy, it’s men! This is something that does not line up. Or does it? No, I don’t think aliens are out of the picture, at least not completely. And in the older episodes, men played a pretty big part in a lot of these issues. Who was responsible for getting Scully kidnapped? Definitely a man. Will Mulder get some answers this time? Or is he just doomed to repeat his quest over and over? Only time will tell…
And speaking of Ms. Skeptical to a Fault er Scully…
Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same, right? Scully bordered on being bull-headed in the past, and she was pretty bull-headed in this episode as well. Did she forget everything that she saw when she worked with Mulder on the X Files? She saw pretty much everything known to man (and alien), but seemed to have blocked it all out, at least until the end of the episode. Live a little, Scully…is that hard to believe that poor Sveta could have alien DNA and be telepathic too? I think not!
Tad O’Malley. What are we doing with Tad O’Malley, I wonder…
Is he some kind of stand-in for these guys?
Or is he dues ex machina? In other words, was he just introduced to the show so that we could get the band back together? And what of him and Scully? I think he is just a little out of his league, actually…
I will say that this episode ended with a bang. Or is that a cigarette?
Yes, one of the baddest on-screen motherfuckers made his presence known in the last 30 seconds or so of this episode.
Well, maybe he is not that bad a motherfucker, but he is pretty close!
You may be bad, but you will never be as bad as the Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM, for the uninitiated) smoking a cigarette via his traech.
And the CSM is someone that lines up, in some ways. He is a villain that we all love to hate. He is an antagonist, always in Mulder and Scully’s way, trying to stop our heroes from doing the right thing and finally getting some answers. And that is comforting, in some way.
But then again, see the presumed deceased line. Apparently, there is now another show with a Lazarus Pit that can resurrect anyone on demand. Hey, it is The X Files, I can’t put anything past my favorite arch-villain! And I am sure the tale of resurrection will be interesting, assuming that tale gets told. Which it better, or I may have to seek out some vigilante justice of my own!
Yes, there are definitely lots of questions in this review. But then again, that is one of the things that lines up when super-imposing the pictures: The X Files often contained more questions than answers. And that is part of the intrigue and what kept me hooked, tuning in every week to see I could get a little closer to some answers, right along with my favorite on-screen duo. And the present and the past do line up in that respect: I will not stop tuning in during this run either, and I will be seeking answers in 2016, right along with Mulder and Scully.
So that’s it for My Struggle. Join me week, as I review and dissect episode 2 of the renewal, aka Founder’s Mutation.
Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel!