The X-Files: Season 10 - My Struggle Part II (Review)
Review by Rob Carnevale
SOMEONE should explain to X-Files creator Chris Carter that stories should have a beginning, a middle and an end, for the final episode of his popular revival seemed to be missing the third part of that equation.
True, the cliff-hanger ending is now a mainstay of popular TV… a feat of audience manipulation that The X-Files was one of the main instigators of. But this particular cliff-hanger holds no promise of answers to come.
And while no one can doubt that Carter’s decision to revive The X-Files has been popular in terms of viewing figures [if not critical acclaim], there remains an eerie silence as to whether there will be more episodes to follow… ever!
That’s not to say the climactic episode of this event mini-series was bad; merely anti-climactic, and frustratingly so.
The case harked back to the event series premiere, in which Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) were reunited to discover more about the alien conspiracy that has driven them for so many years.
As the episode picked up, Mulder was missing (in itself a nod to a well-worn X-Files device), while Scully was being warned of a health pandemic with catastrophic consequences for mankind. As the episode wore on, it became evident that the pandemic was man-made, and orchestrated in part by age-old nemesis The Cigarette Smoking Man, while Mulder himself had contracted it.
Scully, however, remained immune, thanks to alien DNA that had been previously implanted within her. Salvation therefore came from the self-same DNA, which Scully harvested from herself with the help of Agent Einstein, while also searching for a way to save Mulder.
The ensuing race-against-time was two-fold: save the planet and the man she loved, the father of her child.
Yet while humanity’s future appeared to be in safe hands, Carter delivered a cruel sting in the tale. No sooner had Scully found Mulder and offered to administer the liquid that could save him, then both herself, Mulder and Agent Miller were enveloped in a bright ray of light from a spaceship hovering above them. In the blink of an eye, the episode then ended, leaving viewers with the assumption that the FBI duo were about to be abducted.
Yet, given the lack of a guarantee of future episodes, this felt like something of a slap in the face. Or rather, the ‘present’ that Carter and company bestowed upon eager fans felt empty. Had we really embarked upon a six-week journey to get to a point of no conclusion? Surely, that was a contemptuous way of treating the fans?
In the run-up to that finale, things had been going pretty well, even if Carter continued to serve up more questions than answers. The doomsday scenario was credible in the way that it played upon real-world fears (global warming, super-bugs), while Mulder’s wordy confrontation with The Cigarette Smoking Man tapped into age-old chills that emanated from previous encounters.
The fact that so much was at stake with so little time also ensured that attentions were gripped, if only to see how things would play out. Never mind the fact that the questions posed throughout this mini-series about the fate of Mulder and Scully’s child were never attempted to be answered, or explanations given about the revival of said Cigarette Smoking Man or how Mulder was among the first to contract one of the fatal viruses.
Perhaps we all wanted to believe that Carter would ultimately deliver the answers. But alas, it wasn’t to be. My Struggle Part II proved to be an exciting but underwhelming, and even downright annoying way to end the series.
Then again, perhaps Carter is testing our faith a little bit longer ahead of another X-Files return… It’s a risky game to have played but one that could yet yield some vaguely satisfying answers. I want to believe this may, indeed, be the case, even if it doesn’t erase the immediate sense of disappointment.
Next review: X-Files: Season 10 – Babylon