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The X-Files “My Struggle II” Review (10×06)

22 Feb

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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.

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The X-Files “Babylon” Review (10×05)

15 Feb

THE X-FILES: L-R: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the "Babylon" episode of THE X-FILES airing Monday, Feb. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

This will be short, as I don’t really have much to say about this episode and/or why it exists. Penned by Chris Carter, “Babylon” is as tonally scattered as any episode of television can be, and it proves that Carter has no business attempting to tackle concepts as complicated as terrorism or religion (Islam in particular). The opening sequence is well done, tense, and chilling, but every single scene that follows can be summed up with the image of a guy jokingly smashing cymbals as somber music plays in the background. It’s all over the place.

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The X-Files “Home Again” Review (10×04)

8 Feb

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“I don’t care about the big questions anymore, Mulder.”

I’m of two minds about this episode: I feel like each storyline is compelling on its own, but there are some clear problems that arise when they occupy the same hour. I understand the time constraints with a 6-episode miniseries, but fully committing to the emotional William story or to the monster of the week would serve “Home Again” well. “Founder’s Mutation” pulled off a dual role nicely, but this week’s episode is clunky at times.

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The X-Files “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” Review (10×03)

2 Feb

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“If there’s nothing more to life than what we already know, there’s nothing but worries, self doubt, regret, loneliness.”

“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” takes the paranormal and turns its lens back on us, back on the “monsters within us” as it explores what it really means to live life. It deals in the idea of absurdity, and Darin Morgan uses his setup to deftly comment on both the characters in the series and the series as a whole. Over a decade after the series finale, how do we make sense of this revival? How do we make sense of the ludicrous happenings in the world? How do we make sense of this X-Files universe?

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The X-Files “Founder’s Mutation” Review (10×02)

25 Jan

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“I think that one day, you’ll probably have your own ideas about it.”

“Founder’s Mutation” is undoubtedly a step up from the premiere, effectively utilizing the “monster of the week” setup that it perfected way back in the ’90s. Old X-Files scribe James Wong imbues the episode with a continuous undercurrent of tension, kicking off the episode with a creepy opening and including quite a bit of unsettling imagery throughout the remainder of the hour. Even if the episode has its problems, it at least has some momentum going for it; also, it has a story structure that doesn’t attempt to do too much, that doesn’t try to be anything other than the entertaining sci-fi show it is.

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The X-Files “My Struggle” Review (10×01)

24 Jan

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“The truth is out there/you want to believe/trust no one/insert catchphrase here/etc. etc. etc.”

Pure nostalgia alone makes “My Struggle” worth watching. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are two characters who never fail to make me smile, and seeing the original opening credits play out on a large screen is undoubtedly an exciting experience. This is a show that had its ups and downs–and it certainly explored both ends of that quality spectrum in depth–but in the end, it was a classic, setting the foundation for much of the television landscape afterward. And here, thirteen and a half years later, it’s making a return to TV in this age of reboots, remakes, and sequels.

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