The X-Files Returns

24 01 2016

XFilesPicX-Philes eagerly await the return of their beloved X-Files to the TV screen on Sunday, January 24, 2016 after the NFC Championship game, the first episode in a 6-episode event. David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and Mitch Pileggi reprise their roles as Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, and Walter Skinner respectively. “My Struggle” starts with a lengthy re-introduction to the X-Files world so as to invite new viewers who do not understand the detailed mythology of the show. It was written and directed by Chris Carter. At this point, Scully and Mulder are not a couple. Scully is working at a hospital and Mulder is…well we don’t really know. The title of the episode hints at what this new chapter of the X-Files is going to be about, drawing its title from “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler. “My Struggle” is filled with the humor we have come to know and love. The thread of conspiracy will blow your mind as they tie current events into the new plot lines. In fact, there were so many, it made my head spin. If I had any criticism, it would be they overreached for too many theories to the point where it made you laugh. By the end of episode 1, I wanted to believe. All their past cases were now open to reinterpretation.

Episode 2 “Founder’s Mutation” re-examines one of those cases. This episode moves you in the direction of the new plot line. It causes Mulder and Scully to both think about what life would be like if William, their son, had not been given up for adoption to protect him. What I loved about this episode too was seeing so many characters in the sci-fi world we love to see in roles: Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary, Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies); Omari Newton (Continuum); Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica); and Christine Willes (who was in the original X-Files series, The 100, Dead Like Me).

Things then came to an abrupt halt with what appeared to be a stand-alone episode in “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” The episode was a callback to the style that was seen in “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” in 1995 (and Scully even mentions something from that case in the episode). It was my favorite episode of the three, but it worried me that Chris Carter would take this pause in the storyline of a limited-event series (unless, of course, it is renewed) to have a moment of fun. If you look hard enough there are cute things in the background that make fun of the episode, like the sign in the cellular phone store that says “Monster Savings” and the sweet nod to Kim Manners (former producer/director of X-Files) who passed away January 25, 2009, and Jack Hardy (former first AD) who also passed away.

I think the 6-episode arc will give Chris Carter a better medium to tell a story versus a 2-hour movie. While I look forward to seeing the final 3 episodes, I do have concerns that if the storyline isn’t wrapped up by the end of the event, and the series is not renewed for next year, fans will be left feeling angry, taking to petitions and desperate pleas to Netflix, the new home of great series who were given the ax by their networks (Arrested Development, The Killing, Longmire, etc.)   It is a gamble, but I hope it will garner fantastic ratings and Fox decides to renew it for another limited-event next year.

(Screeners courtesy of Fox VIP)

 

 


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