TV Review: The X-Files, Episode 6, “My Struggle II”

Published on February 24th, 2016 in: Reviews, Science Fiction, TV, TV Reviews, We Miss The Nineties |

By Jeffery X Martin

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…and that’s it.

The reboot of The X-Files is over, ending with the direct sequel to the first episode. I wish there were easy answers here, a quick snazzy way to recap everything and make it nice and tidy.

But The X-Files was never about nice and tidy. It created a mythology that spread throughout time and culture, from the Mayan calendar to smallpox immunizations. The X-Files absorbed everything and spit it back out, twisted.

This is why we should have known that we were going to get a weird ending. “My Struggle II” is so linear, it almost hurtles. It carries on at breakneck speed with no distracting sub-plots. This episode is Afoxalypse Now. But, it’s Scully and Agent Einstein who do the heavy lifting here. We’ve always known Scully had alien DNA; this episode tells us why. We’ve always known that the main goal of the bad guys’ plans is colonization of our planet; this episode tells us how they intend to do that. There are so many long-standing questions answered, and in such a gleeful fashion, why not give us a brain-banging B-A-N-A-N-A-S BANANAS ending that leaves long-time fans screeching up at the skies at their gods, who have long abandoned them for reruns of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?

THE GOOD

–Duchovny always looks good a little scruffy, and even when he’s bleeding from his eyes because of eye tuberculosis and slurring, well, come on. That’s hot.
–So many answers! So many things finally latch-hooked together! Chemtrails, the smallpox vaccine, anthrax, Scully’s magical DNA… looks she really is going to be immortal.
–The Cigarette Smoking Man has always been a pompous ass, and even after living through an explosion and wearing an adorable Vanilla Sky mask, he’s still that once in a lifetime character: same as he as ever was.

THE BAD

–Was the ending bad? Well, sort of. It’s lousy to stop things right in the middle. Scullitis interruptus is a difficult thing to deal with. But here’s the thing. If we had actually seen what was about to happen, then we could have been angry, in the best self-righteous way possible. That ending would have been too on the nose, way too spot on. In this case, the ambiguity helps. There’s still a chance for massive laser blasts and explosions. Bring on the aliens doing what these aliens are supposed to do: destroy humanity.
–But that’s obviously NOT what was going to happen, and the thought of some hybrid deus ex machina coming down to usher in some kind of weird haz-mat utopia makes my gut tie itself into a goddamned bowline knot. Alien comes out of the hole, runs around the tree, alien goes back in the hole…
–Also: why is Agent Einstein so shrill? For someone who thinks she’s the voice of reason, I can’t figure out why she talks like the hostess at an Olive Garden with a terrible health rating.

Instead of the standard “The Truth Is Out There” legend, the beginning of this episode reads, “This Is The End.” Yeah. It is. They’ve pushed it so far, they can’t go back and there’s no sense in going forward. What kind of mysteries could there be in this Beta Earth they’ve set up? Why would we want to revisit this brave new world? I’m not mad about it, like some folks, but I am very disappointed.

The guy with the funny hair was right.
It was aliens, all the time.

In the end, the most obvious answer was the right one. Part of me is sad about that. I wanted something grander. I guess I still wanted to believe in a show that, in this iteration, stopped believing in itself.

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