The problem with the revival series is that it takes what would normally be covered over ~22 episodes and attempts to condense it to 6. There’s just no way six episodes of television can deliver some solid monsters of the week, tackle a huge new conspiracy, delve into character drama, and introduce new characters for a possible season 11. Chris Carter certainly tried, but he’s failed in many aspects. Here’s what I would’ve preferred: six episodes devoted to the mythology, or six monster-of-the-week episodes showcasing different genres and styles.
Alas, we get an awkward mashup of the two, and it builds up to a fairly lackluster finale that seems hastily put together. I don’t think it’s a terrible episode of television, but within the context of the season, it’s pretty disappointing (but ultimately unsurprising). Although it’s tighter than last week’s episode, it’s still all over the place, unfortunately separating Scully and Mulder and falling victim to the same problems that plagued the premiere.
The intent is to show how, in the words of the Cigarette Smoking Man, “the world is crumbling around us”. The intent is to create tension through the notion of an incredibly wide-ranging conspiracy, to capitalize on the idea of paranoia in relation to our relationships with the supernatural and with each other. As the Cancer Man tells Mulder: “I didn’t set out to destroy the world, Mulder. People did.” So, when the UFO drops down over the bridge at the end of the episode, it’s a reflection of ourselves, concentrated in the eye of a woman who is now responsible for salvation.
Is William on the ship? Who knows? The fact that we end on a cliffhanger is slightly infuriating, but I’m not really surprised considering the episode didn’t really know what it was doing as it progressed. I’m hoping that in potential future seasons, there’s a better and more well thought out purpose going in. Of course, this miniseries is still worth it because we got to see Mulder and Scully again. We got to listen to the opening theme and see more monsters of the week and enjoy another Darin Morgan episode. It was slightly disappointing, but it was also a fun ride.
MINISERIES GRADE: B
-Always nice to see Annabeth Gish again as Reyes.
-I’d say my favorite of the season was “Founder’s Mutation”. That was The X-Files doing what it does best.
-That’s it for me! I enjoyed writing about the show over the last six weeks, and thanks to everyone who offered up their thoughts. If the show returns–please don’t be a Miller/Einstein spinoff–I’ll definitely write about it again.
Photo credit: Fox, The X-Files