The X-Files: Season 10 Review

27775

On January 24th, fourteen years after what fans thought was the series finale,  The X-Files kicked off its much hyped six episode event. Ratings were HUGE with 16 million people watching episode one (probably didn’t hurt that it directly followed the Super Bowl) and even though episode two only pulled in about 10 million viewers, those are still big numbers for any network show, but especially interesting considering the show’s age (the pilot episode of the X-Files premiered 23 years ago.)

Critics eviscerated the first episode (“My Struggle”), but from a fan perspective, I thought it was pretty good. Granted the first episode brought a lot of happy nostalgia with it, which probably skewed my opinion of the episode a tiny bit, but at the end of the first two hours, I felt like the show still had something special to offer. Yes,  a lot of information was thrown at us all at once but the writers only had so much time to catch everyone up, introduce a new alien conspiracy and set in motion the rest of the season.

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny also seemed a little bit rusty with their character portrayals, although by the second episode, the actors seemed more like their usual selves. But maybe the most jarring part of watching was seeing how much Mulder and Scully have aged from previous episodes – it took some getting used to and probably seemed more prominent since I had just finished watching the entire series the week before.

Episode two (“Founder’s Mutation”) felt more like your typical X-Files, re-introduced us to the William story-line and left fans feeling a little bit weepy. By episode three (“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”) fans were treated to a monster-of-the-week episode written by Darin Morgan who wrote several of the show’s all time best episodes. “Home Again” contrary to early speculation was not a sequel to season four’s “Home” (although that would have been really cool) but instead continued with the monster-of-the-week theme.

By episode five, the season 10 story arc had switched gears, moving things toward the finale. “Babylon” felt more like an episode of 24 and touched on post-9/11 subject matter and themes that the show never got to explore  in its initial run. The episode also has one of the funniest moments of season 10 when Agent Mulder is given psychedelic mushrooms and sends him on a country music fueled trip that also includes a tribute to the Lone Gunmen – another weepy moment for the show.

That brings us to episode six (“My Struggle II”) and the finale. We’re brought back to where episode one left off and a deadly contagion starts wreaking havoc across the globe . Scully seems to be the only one who is immune to the virus and begins work on a vaccine made from her DNA but when she finally reaches Mulder in time, only their son William can save him. The problem? No one knows where William is.

Cue the alien spaceship and bright light beaming down on Scully and cue the end of season 10.

Fans were promised a cliffhanger and Chris Carter delivered. The only downside is, we have no idea when/if the show will continue, so opening up a whole new chapter on the X-Files when there are no more episodes being planned is really quite typical, but frustrating.

Do I think there will be more? Probably. Ratings were solid, fans will be eager to see what’s next and the actors have said they’re open to more. Personally, I’d like to see maybe thirteen more to explore the themes the show opened up this time around but I say after that,  wrap it up and give some closure to the series.

When that will happen remains a mystery. Until then, I want to believe there’s more story left to be told. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another fourteen years to tell it.

 

A Look Back at the X-Files, Season 6

x-files-season-6

Season six of the X-Files picked up where the movie left off and focused on Mulder and Scully’s reassignment to other cases within the F.B.I. The agents, who had been taken off the X-files, still found themselves dealing with cases very much like what they had been working on before, much to the chagrin of the director of the F.B.I.

During season 6, production of the show left Vancouver and relocated to Los Angeles, giving a little bit brighter  appearance and tone to the show. We began to see more subtle hints of a potential Mulder/Scully romance and the episodes were a little more humorous than previous seasons.

There are also signs that the end of the series is approaching – major story lines were beginning to wrap up and answers to some of the show’s biggest alien conspiracy revealed.

This was also the season which contained the excellent episode, Drive,  featuring guest star Bryan Cranston that eventually led Vince Gilligan (producer on the X-Files and Breaking Bad) to cast him in the lead role of Walter White on Breaking Bad. This one is a MUST WATCH for fans of both shows!

Here are just a few other notable episodes from season 6:

Episode 4 & 5: Dreamland and Dreamland II
Mulder and Scully travel to Area 51, only to be detained by top secret government officials. A mysterious craft flies over as the agents are being confronted, causing Mulder and another official to switch bodies.

Episode 6: How the Ghost Stole Christmas
The agents investigate a haunted house and are tricked by ghosts into believing they are a real couple that murdered each other. Lily Tomlin guest stars.

Episode 8: The Rain King
A man claims he can make it rain at will and seems to be profiting off his supernatural ability to control the weather. However, things aren’t always as they seem and the agents discover it’s actually a local weatherman who can’t control his feelings over the woman he’s loved since high school.

Episode 13: Agua Mala
Mulder and Scully travel to Florida after an old friend of Mulder’s calls about something mysterious in the water. A hurricane is raging and with all the sea water coming in the pipes and up the drains a different kind of monster emerges.

Episode 15: Arcadia
The agents go undercover as a married couple and move to the suburbs where residents mysteriously keep disappearing.

Overall, this was another stellar season for the show. I’m currently about 10 episodes in to season 7 (and right back on schedule with the 201 days of X-files rewatch that has been happening on Facebook), so it shouldn’t be too long before I am finished and ready to recap again.

Happy watching!

A Look Back at the X-Files, Season 2

The-X-Files-Season-2This week I completed my re-watch of the second season of the X-Files. It’s my goal to completely re-watch the entire series before the new episodes air in 2016. It had been quite some time since I had watched any of season two and I found myself really enjoying most of the episodes – the show took on a more monster of the week format instead of the alien/government conspiracy plot and the monster of the week episodes are just better stories in my opinion. I feel this way about Supernatural too, but that’s for another blog.

Season two is where Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny really found their groove with their characters and seemed more comfortable as actors playing off each other. Mulder eats a little less sunflower seeds (although there are a couple funny scenes involving those) and Scully seems a little less skeptical of the paranormal. Special guest stars included a pre-Breaking Bad Dean Norris and Nicholas Lea as Alex Krycek. I also swear Will Forte was in an episode but can’t seem to find any acting credit for him in that episode, so I can’t prove if it was him or not.

Humbug, which is one of my very favorite episodes of the entire series season and was just as good this time around as it was the first time I saw it. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a definite one you should watch! In the episode, Mulder and Scully travel to Florida to investigate a bunch of murders in a circus freak sideshow camp. This was the first comedic episode of the series and it’s so much fun to watch. I especially enjoyed how bizarre the characters are and how incredibly weird the culprit turns out to be.

I’ve moved on to season three now, so expect a recap of that here in a month or so, but for now, I’ll leave you with a few of my must watch, favorite episodes of season 2:

Episode 2: The Host
Episode 14: Hand die Verletzt
Episode 18: Fearful Symmetry
Episode 20: Humbug
Episode 21: The Calusari
Episode 24: Our Town