The Truth is Still Out ThereFebruary 28, 2016 at 9:36 PM | Posted in Fandom, Geek, TV | Leave a comment
Tags: sci-fi series, The X-Files revival, The X-Files season 10
So X-philes from most parts of the world just witnessed the final episode of season 10 of The X-Files. While some fans felt The X-Files revival was unsatisfying, most are actually satisfied with the way it turned out. Ratings wise, The X-Files revival was a hit. It still garnered around 20 million viewers in the US from the season premiere. And the final episode drew in about 7.6 million viewers in US alone.
I previously wrote reviews of the first three episodes of season 10. This time I’ve written reviews of the last three episodes. Here they are:
Episode 4: Home Again
This was a Scully-centric episode that dealt with the death of Scully’s mother and how she coped with it. I saw two sides of Scully in this episode – the vulnerable and emotional Scully who desperately wanted to keep her mother alive, and the strong, rational one who wanted to catch a criminal. That emotional side of Scully was intensified with her strong feeling of guilt about William, the son she had with Mulder who they gave up for adoption. Underlying this episode was a story about a mysterious figure killing people who treated the homeless like they’re disposable things, easily discarded and forgotten.
I admit I didn’t know what to make of this story the first time I saw it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. While Gillian Anderson’s emotional performance was commendable, I didn’t feel any connection with how she was feeling when her mother died while I was watching it. Maybe because it was so long ago when I last saw Scully’s mother and couldn’t remember the final episode where she was in. For me, it wasn’t as compelling and emotionally raw as the “Memento Mori” episode from season 4. I just think it was kind of off that Mulder and Scully could still tease each other during an investigation given the circumstances about her mother. Yeah sure, the flashlight scenes were cute and awesome but the story about an artwork coming alive to kill people just didn’t do well for me. It sort of reminded me of that “Arcadia” episode. It’s not really new. It didn’t creep me out like the “Founder’s Mutation” episode did.
Episode 5: Babylon
Terrorism and racism are such serious matters and this episode’s attempt to fuel a discussion about these two social issues was a complete failure. “Babylon” was a story about an FBI investigation of a recent bombing of an art gallery by two young Muslim men. Two new FBI agents who resembled the younger versions of Mulder and Scully were called in to investigate the case. Agent Miller – like Mulder, was a believer of the supernatural and the paranormal while Agent Einstein – a medical doctor just like Scully, was a sceptic. The two young agents sought the help of Mulder and Scully during the investigation. One of the men who bombed the art gallery survived and was in a coma. Mulder and Miller believed that they could still communicate with the comatose terrorist by supernatural means to find out details of another bomb plot by Muslim extremists.
Written by Chris Carter, this episode was riddled with problems right from the first scene. I remember feeling dreadful when I watch the first few scenes. The minute they showed a young Muslim man praying shortly before bombing the art gallery, I knew this episode was in trouble. It’s another attempt to stereotype Muslims. I know Carter deliberately wrote this to show us the ugly side of terrorism and racism and maybe spark a debate but it just fell flat for me. I could understand why some Muslims felt offended by the episode. And for me, the episode hit closer to home. The scene where a nurse said to Agent Einstein how immigrants were stealing American jobs and healthcare almost mirrored the words that my aunt heard when she first immigrated to the US. She experienced racism in the US firsthand. It was terrible. And the way that nurse in the episode said it, it was so hateful that I was offended.
These serious issues presented in the episode would have worked if it weren’t for the fact that Carter added humor to it by piecing together a sub-story about Mulder getting high on “magic mushrooms” (which turned out to be a placebo) to try to communicate with the comatose patient in another realm. I actually winced when they showed Mulder going to a Texas bar and dancing to Achy, Breaky Heart. And that 50 Shades joke was awful. Not even the appearance of The Lone Gunmen could make this episode better. The only scenes I liked in this episode were the ones with Mulder and Scully walking along outside Mulder’s house at the end. That was a shippy moment.
But what was that about witnesses hearing trumpets from the sky? That wasn’t included in the investigation anymore. It was all but forgotten by the agents.
“Babylon” had the potential to be great if it was split into two stories – one episode dealing about terrorism and racism, and a separate funny episode where Mulder can go high and dance all he wants from the magic mushrooms.
Episode 6: My Struggle II
This episode was slightly better that its first part, although there were still loopholes in it. For the most part, “My Struggle II” focused on Scully and Agent Einstein figuring out how to stop the Spartan virus that was quickly spreading all over various cities. Mulder, on the other hand, spent his time tracking down the Cigarette Smoking Man – the one responsible for the spread of the virus – and trying to convince him to stop the outbreak. The twist of this episode was that there was no alien invasion that happened in 2012, only the discreet and massive dissemination of the Spartan virus through anthrax injection years ago. Scully’s alien DNA turned out to be the one solution they needed to kill the virus. Replicate her alien DNA and administer that to the sick patients and they would save so many lives.
While I was admittedly at the edge of my seat while watching the episode, I couldn’t help but still feel frustrated by it. Mulder and Scully spent most of the episode apart when they could have solved the outbreak together. And I was disappointed that Agent Monica Reyes appeared in the episode only to reveal that she was conniving with the Cigarette Smoking Man. She could have refused CSM’s offer and sought the assistance of Assistant Director Skinner. But no, she went ahead and made a deal with CSM to save herself.
And I still couldn’t believe that everyone seemed to believe Tad O’Malley’s every word. He’s a well-known conspiracy theorist that some people might not even consider legit. Are we supposed to believe that people accept his words as truth instead of other authorities or prominent newscasters? Where was the FBI in all of this? Skinner should be in most of the scenes there along with people from the CDC.
The ending was so abrupt and deliberate that you could tell that Chris Carter intended it that way so people would want another season to find out what happened in the story. I was also confused with that ending. Was that really an alien ship that hovered over Scully and Agent Miller or was that a man-made aircraft built in alien technology? We would never know for sure until the showrunners tell us there is a continuation of the story in season 11.
While there are fans who want Chris Carter out of season 11, I wouldn’t mind him being there for season 11 as a director or executive producer. I mean, he created the show in the first place. He created Mulder and Scully and I am forever grateful for that. He just has to come up with better storylines about the mythology. Season 10 is far from perfect. But overall I enjoyed it. And as fans, we should be thankful that Carter, Fox and the cast and crew gave us season 10 in the first place. I, for one, would still love to have season 11.