The truth may still be out there, but I honestly don’t care any more.
The X-Files returned to Fox last night after a year-long hiatus (following a 14-year hiatus before that.)
And my gut reaction immediately following its broadcast was “What in the hell did I just watch?” followed by “That was boring” and then “Did they just do what I think they did to Scully?!”
Apparently I wasn’t alone. On social media, many fans were left confused and angry.
Forgetting the fact that we know the Smoking Man is full of shit, that was too confusing to even enjoy. What just happened to me?? pic.twitter.com/ribbIHwjIE
— Ashley Rupp (@RunninRupp) January 4, 2018
I concur. Although I was more angry than confused.
There are SPOILERS ahead, so turn back now if you don’t want to ruin the… excitement?
“My Struggle III” is one of the messiest hours of television I’ve watched in recent memory.
The episode begins with a montage of the Cigarette Smoking Man’s history with alien tech, his involvement in the hoaxed moon landing and a bunch of other things that are supposed to tell the audience that he’s The Most Interesting Man in the World, and create a unified theory of every conspiracy theory ever.
Oh, also he’s Mulder’s father and his real name is Carl Bush.
Then we proceed to find out that the events of last season’s over-the-top cliffhanger was just a dream… er… vision in Scully’s head, apparently being beamed into her brain by her long lost son, William.
Mulder spends about half of his on screen time in car as we listen to a truly awkward inner monologue that sounds like a bad Sam Spade fanfic.
David Duchovny looks utterly bored in this episode, and I had to wonder if he was preoccupied with cashing his check and picking out a new car, or just wondering what he was going to have for lunch.
And Scully? Well, given that Gillian Anderson had little more to do than vacillate between being unconscious and panicking like Joyce Byers, she did the best she could do.
And while Scully tried to save Mulder, he wound up saving her from a rejected James Bond goon who tries to smother her to death with a pillow.
(Because of course he did.)
Most of Scully’s scenes were spent in bed.
Speaking of which…
The episode ends with the audience finding out that Scully was roofied by the Cigarette Smoking Man and somehow impregnated with Alien Baby — either via “science experiment,” or (more unsettlingly) as the result of the Cigarette Smoking Man having his way with her.
Literally, it was such a completely WTF moment that I had to rewind the last few minutes of the episode to make sure I was fully understanding what just happened here.
Gillian Anderson has said that she’s out after this season.
I think I’m officially out after this episode, too.
The X-Files revival is proof that you can never really go home again. And that while there’s a huge trend for networks and studios to cash in on nostalgia by reviving beloved TV series and movie franchises, sometimes it’s better to just revisit those shows in our memories.
Final Score 2/10