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!

Home to Stars Hollow

The drive home to the Gilmore house had seemed extra long after the whirlwind day in D.C. Rory pulled into the driveway and parked next to her mother’s Jeep, grabbed her bags, dress and laptop out of the backseat of her Prius and started up the front porch steps. The porch light flickered on and Lorelei ran screaming from the house, nearly knocking Rory down.

“You’re here! You’re here! I have so much to tell you. You know you really should come home more often! Miss Patty has a secret man friend – we think he might be husband number nine or maybe it’s ten, whose counting anyway. I found Kirk sleeping naked on the couch this morning, apparently he had another night terror episode and ran screaming and naked through town and ended up here. Who knows how he got in! I tell ya, that Lulu sure is a lucky girl.”

“Not a dull moment in this town that’s for sure. I’m starving, do you have takeout?”

“Uh, would this be Lorelai Gilmore’s house if there wasn’t takeout in the fridge? I think not. Kid, you really have got to come home more!”


Lorelai heats up some Chinese food for Rory and sits down at the table with her while she eats.
“So, how was the inauguration? The drive?”

“Exhausting and exhilarating. I’m sad to be moving on but excited to see what New York has in store for me.”

“But…?”

” I got a call from Dean today.”

“Dean, huh.”

“Yeah.”

“Call him back?”

“No. Do you think he knows?”

“It’s a small town Rory, you know that. I’m sure Dean knows.”

“I guess I should call him back. Things are just so awkward anymore.”

“It’s been rough for him after the divorce. Lindsay moved away and I heard she got remarried. Dean’s really never dated anyone since. I don’t know why he stays in Stars Hollow.”

“He calls a lot. I never pick up. I just want him to move on, you know?”

“I know, Rory. But you’re a hard one to forget.”

Rory picks up her plate and sets it down in the sink.

“Thanks for the talk. I should get to bed – we’ve got a lot to do tomorrow and grandma and grandpa will be here and I want to go see Lane, Zach and the twins.”

“Night Rory.”

“Night Mom.”


The next morning after breakfast at Luke’s, Rory drove to a quiet spot in town and took out her phone to call Dean. After several rings, he finally picked up.

“Rory!”

“Hi, Dean. I saw you called.”

“Are you back in town?”

“Yeah, I got home last night.”

“Can we meet? I’d really like to see you.”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea. I have a lot to do to prepare for the wedding. Grandma and Grandpa are coming down tonight and staying with us for the week. Paris and Doyle are in town. I really want to see Lane. You knew about the wedding, right?”

“Yeah.  See that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Rory, I don’t think you should go through with it.”

“Dean…”

“I still love you. I’ll always love you. Doesn’t that matter?”

“We’re not meant to be, Dean. I love someone else. You were the best first boyfriend I could have had. You know that. But people change – YOU changed. You married Lindsay and I messed that up but I’ve made my peace with what happened and moved on. You need to do the same.”

Dean sighed.

“I just wish it wasn’t him.”

“I’m sorry you’re still hurting, Dean. I really am. But I’m getting married and I’m in love. We’re moving to New York after the wedding and we’ve both got great careers ahead of us. The New York Times has offered me an editor’s position and his next novel will be out this summer. Things are amazing – the best they’ve ever been.”

Silence.

“I don’t think we should talk anymore. I don’t want to strain my relationship with my new husband over someone from the past and I think it would be beneficial to you if we parted ways for good.”

“Nothing I can say will change your mind?”

“Nothing.”

“Then I guess this is goodbye, Rory.”

The phone on the other end clicked, ending the call. Dean didn’t even wait for Rory to say goodbye. She stared out the window, which was still fogged up from her conversation. A familiar car drove by and Rory wiped the condensation off the window to get a better look. Richard and Emily Gilmore had arrived in Stars Hollow.


Rory pulled her Prius in behind her grandparent’s car and ran into the house.

“Grandma! Grandpa!”

“Rory! So good to see you. You missed Friday night dinner,” said Emily Gilmore disapprovingly.

“I know, but I think I had a pretty good excuse.”

“We like to see you too, you know. You’re just so busy and you’ll be off to New York soon and you’ll never come to Friday night dinner again.”

“That’s not true, grandma. We’ll come from time to time,” said Rory.

Emily nodded in approval, then moved on to other subjects.

“So, how are things coming along for the wedding this weekend?”

“Everything is under control, grandma. Paris and Doyle are in town already. Mom is finishing up the bridesmaid dresses and Suki did a test run of the cake and reception food for mom last week.”

“And Luke?”

“He’s taking care of something out of town, but will be back early next week. He’s fixing the food for the rehearsal dinner.”

“Why you want to have food from a diner is beyond me,” said Emily.

“Suki can’t do everything and besides, Luke’s a great cook. We’ve been surviving on his food for years.”

“I suppose.”

“Grandma, I don’t mean to run off, but I haven’t seen Lane yet. I need to swing by the Dragonfly and see Paris and Doyle too, if you don’t mind.”

“Alright, Rory. Your grandfather and I will make ourselves at home and you do what you need to do. Richard! Rory is leaving…come say goodbye!”


After getting stopped by nearly everyone in town including Miss Patty and Babette, Rory finally got to spend some time with Lane, Zac, Paris and Doyle over dinner at Al’s Pancake World. Before she knew it, it was after 8 o’clock.

“Oh! I need to get home – it’s past eight now, ” Rory said.

“We need to go too – the twins won’t go to sleep unless at least one of us is there and I’m sure they are terrorizing my mother by now and no amount of reading from the Bible will help with that,” said Lane.

Everyone hugged and said goodbye for the night and Rory returned home to find The Gilmores crowding around the kitchen, eating pizza. Just as she was about to sit down and join them, the doorbell rang.

“Who in the world could that be at this hour?” said Richard.

“I’ll go get it – I’m already up and closest to the door anyway,” said Rory.

She walked through the hallway to the front door, turned the knob and a rush of cold air blew in from the porch.

“Logan??”

“Hey, Ace. Good to see you again.”

Glee: Where Do We Go From Here?

glee

This just in: Fox renewed Glee for two more seasons. That’s right not one, but TWO. Considering how the ratings the past few seasons have been consistently dropping, that decision comes as a pretty big surprise. But then again, this is the same network that’s beating us to death with twelve seasons of American Idol and nine seasons of Bones – both good shows at one time, but anymore just feel stale.

So where does Glee go from here? The current season, which started out promising by sending most of the original cast members off in different directions to college, has floundered plot-wise. We were introduced to new characters this year at McKinley High, but as it turns out, they weren’t really all that different from our old cast. Every year, it’s the same recycled plot: prepare for sectionals, regionals, finals and then on to nationals…if they make it that far.

Someone’s always on a soapbox about being bullied, gay or not fitting in with everyone else. Mr. Schuester and Mrs. Pillsbury are on-again, off-again and back on-again with their relationship. Sue Sylvester still has it in for the Glee Club. The bottom line: Ryan Murphy has written his show into a corner that’s going to be very hard to get back out of.

Listen up Mr. Murphy, because here’s what needs to happen:

  • Leave high school behind and focus on the original cast as they move past Glee Club and go off to college. Switching back and forth between Rachel and Kurt in New York and the rest of the gang that graduated (but for some odd reason still seem to hang around the high school) makes for a very disjointed plot.
  • Consider fast-forwarding a few years to speed the show up a bit. It worked for One Tree Hill and Desperate Housewives, and it could work for Glee.
  • Have an end game and start creating story arcs that lead up to that. Glee is the type of show that suffers at the hand of its own creativity. When it first aired, there was nothing else like it on television. It was fun, fresh and for two seasons, people loved rooting for New Directions at show choir competitions. But now we’re in season 4 and as previously mentioned, we’re still rehashing the same plot over and over.
  • Keep the original cast and ditch the newcomers. They’re basically less likeable versions of the old cast anyway. Have the rest of the originals that are still at McKinley High graduate at the end of this season and develop story lines where their characters grow and develop. The audience is growing up with them, so this should be a natural progression.
  • Mr. Schuester should marry Ms. Pillsbury, hand over the Glee Club reigns to a newcomer and take an amazing job in NY where he can mentor Rachel and Kurt and any of the others who might end up in NY for in college.

Since Glee still pulls in around 8 million viewers per episode, it’s probably wishful thinking that the network will decide on season six as the last. But if the writers don’t find ways to creatively move the show forward, this viewer is definitely going to tune out and a lot of other people are probably going to do the same.