The X-Files (S10E06): “My Struggle II”

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Review by David Paul Hellings

@HellingsOnFilm

 

“I’m on the King’s throne” – Mulder.

A Scully voiceover as we see a series of photos detailing the classic conspiracy storyline from the ‘old’ seasons including Scully’s abduction, pregnancy and illness culminates in an interesting click bait cheat of a CGI transformation and we’re off one last time in the finale of the ‘event’ mini-series.

Forming a bookend with the mythology first episode, we return to the world in which shady forces are using alien DNA and technology to carry out their evil Masterplan. The words “This is the end” appear at the end of the opening credits, but is it? Who has trashed Mulder’s home? Where has Fox gone? Are Tad O’Malley’s claims that virtually everybody in America has had their DNA altered true? And can Chris Carter answer all of these questions and more and wrap the series up in just one episode?

Returning are Agents Miller and Einstein, this time minus their comedic placing and thereby losing their original purpose and becoming plot devices, like a joke without a punchline and taking up screen time that would have been better reserved for Mulder and Scully (the former getting a far more limited outing that is reminiscent of Mulder’s disappearance from the original series). This is Scully’s episode.

Also returning is Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) – Robert Patrick as John Doggett was also a possibility, but Patrick’s scheduling elsewhere meant that he was unfortunately unable to participate. Reyes now also has a problematic history, having worked with the nefarious Cigarette Smoking Man (William B Davis, as splendidly creepy as always). Here we’re back into the big conspiracy area and that’s sometimes where “The X-Files” and many other series lose their way. The super conspiracy becomes too complex or convoluted. The demented ideologies of previous regimes such as Hitler’s Nazis were actually pretty simple in terms of what they were trying to do and how they were achieving them. The DNA changing ideas designed for a new elite of survivors in “My Struggle II” seem too much in a short series span, and worked better in the length of a full series as we’re used to.

This is an episode of contagion, in which the endgame is seemingly upon us. It’s a world of germs and gene tampering. It’s an episode of talking about scientific solutions, hanging out in the lab, testing and figuring out how to fix the problem. In effect, it’s all of the things we’ve seen in virus cinema and television for a long time. Trying to fit this in a final episode results in the feeling that this was a storyline that needed a two-episode finale. In fact, maybe six more episodes, or a full series. It’s the end of the world as we know it, but don’t give up because help is on its way. Is it William? We’re left with a major cliffhanger and no idea whether there’ll be another series.

“My Struggle II” is big on production values and ideas. It’s also the end of the event. The question is whether the Fox Network will commission more? Chris Carter is in talks. Fans deserve more. It’s unlikely we’ll see another full series, but another miniseries would be just fine. It’s been a welcome return for Mulder and Scully. Please bring them back again. Soon. Because the truth is still out there.

This review originally appeared on SFFWorld at:

http://www.sffworld.com/2016/02/the-x-files-s10e06-my-struggle-ii/

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