My friend blogged: "Mulner and Scuzzy are apparently not fighting the aliens anymore and i am disappointed. I can see people fighting people anytime"
I wrote a lengthy reply.
TLDR: There have been 203 episodes of THE X-FILES and only 67 were about aliens. The rest were about various paranormal phenomena and supernatural creatures. Aliens amount to only 33 per cent of THE X-FILES, so doing away with that part of the mythos still leaves plenty for the show to explore. It might be for the best as the alien plot had gotten convoluted and unworkable over the nine seasons of the show.
• Originally, THE X-FILES wasn't meant to have an ongoing arc of any kind.
• This was the 90s era of characters remaining static and unchanging.
• The aliens were really no different from the shapeshifters or the vampires -- they were unexplained monsters.
• In the alien episodes, a mysterious government official would usually be seen stealing any evidence of aliens and storing it away.
• No answers were planned; the mystery was more compelling than any explanation.
• The aliens and monsters of THE X-FILES were meant to be like the Cthulu Mythos -- inexplicable, unknowable, understandable only in terms of metaphors.
• THE X-FILES' aliens were metaphors for the forces of light and darkness.
• Then Gillian Anderson got pregnant.
Explanations are Required
• The writing team decided to have her abducted by aliens to account for her absence during her character's absence during maternity leave.
• This decision compelled the writers to start offering concrete explanations for the aliens: what they were doing on Earth, why they abducted people, their relationship with the government.
• Season 2 revealed that the aliens were harvesting human tissue to create clones for some reason.
• It also established the mysterious government agent as part of a Syndicate; a shadow government controlling most world governments who'd made a deal with the aliens in some unknown endgame.
• Season 3 would reveal that the aliens were creating alien-human hybrids and also introduce the black oil, an alien lifeform that would enter a control a human host.
• Season 4 would reveal that the Syndicate, while collaborating with the aliens, were also working against them, creating a vaccine that would prevent humans from being controlled by the black oil.
• Season 5 would introduce a second set of aliens, a race of shapeshifters, called the Faceless Rebels, who wanted to stop the black oil.
• These Rebels were just as hostile to humans, often killing abductees to interfere with the black oil's plans.
• The feature film, FIGHT THE FUTURE, along with Season 6 would finally offer an explanation for the aliens' plans.
Answers at Last
• The black oil is the original inhabitant of Earth before the human race. It's a virus.
• The ice age brought on the black oil's main weakness, extreme cold.
• Aliens visited Earth and encountered the black oil and it infected them.
• The two lifeforms evolved into symbiotic partners.
• They decided to leave Earth and return after the ice age and use the evolving life, humans, as their hosts.
• Only some of the aliens were able to resist the black oil -- these are the faceless rebels.
• The black oil aliens spread the virus across the cosmos while the faceless rebels sought to stop them, with Earth as one of their battlefields.
• The aliens returned to Earth in the 1940s, but their presence was detected by the US Government.
• A shadow government, the Syndicate, determined the aliens' plans to colonize Earth and use humans as hosts for their reproduction.
• Seeing no means to stop them, the Syndicate attempted to stall.
• They offered to facilitate their Colonization of Earth by creating the ideal means of allowing the black oil to infect hosts while sustaining their hosts.
• Human abductees would be experimented on to determine the best way to use them as hosts.
• The Syndicate determined that the alien virus would be best spread through using bees as a delivery system.
• They discovered that an alien-human hybrid would be the perfect host for the black oil to reproduce itself.
• They slowed progress on creating this hybrid, hoping that the hybrid would be a way to develop an an anti-black oil vaccine to save themselves.
• The Syndicate's betrayal was discovered in Season 6 and the aliens killed most of them.
• In Seasons 8 - 9, the aliens begin deploying supersoldiers -- genetically engineered alien-human hybrids deployed to key government positions.
• These supersoldiers would replace the Syndicate in facilitating the alien invasion.
Lack of Payoff
• All of the above was revealed over the course of nine seasons.
• The secondary plan, after THE X-FILES began to develop its myth-arc in greater detail, was to do five seasons of the show and end with a movie.
• This feature film would feature the climax of the alien invasion and end THE X-FILES.
• However, the show was renewed for a sixth season and the plans to do a conclusion in the film were scrapped.
• The film became big budget episode that didn't end the show.
• Once THE X-FILES was denied its climax, the problems of the alien myth-arc became very clear.
A Troubled Mythology
• The alien myth-arc was not planned in advance, resulting in continuity errors throughout.
• How can creating an alien-human hybrid help the Syndicate survive the invasion? • The answer that it could lead to a vaccine doesn't explain how they'd survive violent and technologically advanced aliens.
• Why are bees being used to deliver a virus that consists of oil?
• Why has it taken the aliens since 1940 to get started on this invasion and why have they still not begun?
• If the aliens can create supersoldiers, why do they need humans to create the alien-human hybrid?
• The individual pieces of the myth-arc, as revealed, did not fit together into a cohesive whole.
• Further revelations served only to confuse.
A Format That Resists a Myth-Arc
• The other problem is that tone and format of THE X-FILES was ill-suited to an alien invasion.
• The show was largely presented as a criminal procedural drama where the heroes investigated monsters.
• The stories had extremely grounded, down-to-Earth settings with mundane characters.
• The plots were based in Mulder and Scully observing paranormal phenomena but rarely having any effect on the situation, being mere humans in an unknowable universe.
• This format is fundamentally incompatible with an alien invasion story.
• If the aliens invade Earth, the criminal procedural drama format is lost; the story must be focused on fighting a war against aliens.
• An alien-human war would deprive THE X-FILES of its grounded, down-to-Earth presentation and step entirely into fantasy.
• This invasion story would also end THE X-FILES as a series.
• If the aliens win, there are no more X-Files.
• If the aliens lose, the X-Files serve no purpose; an invasion makes it clear to the world at large that the paranormal is a known fact.
• Therefore, the alien invasion story was a story that THE X-FILES could never tell or show onscreen in any way.
• It couldn't fit into the format of the series.
• It would invalidate any future installments.
• As a result, the alien myth-arc of THE X-FILES became an exercise in delaying and stalling.
• Information would be doled out piecemeal.
• The alien invasion would always be described as coming soon, but it would never arrive.
• The series finale indicated that the alien invasion would come in Season 20 of THE X-FILES (2012).
• This finale was yet another instance of kicking the can farther away.
My Struggle: The Retcon
• THE X-FILES 2016 mini-series opens with an episode declaring that the alien colonization plan was a hoax.
• It indicates that there was only one significant alien encounter on Earth; the Roswell crash.
• All alien incursions and events since then have been the government or its shadow controllers using technology stripped from the Roswell ship to create a massive distraction from their true purpose.
• Their actual endgame has been to control and reshape society into a corporate controlled military industrial complex with a society driven by consumerist capitalism.
• The alien colonization and its various events were a way of diverting attention away from how the technology was actually being employed.
• Mulder has suspected this for some time, developing this theory some time after THE X-FILES' ninth season.
• This episode confirms his suspicions.
• Reviewers have protested Mulder’s sudden turnaround in abandoning his belief in Colonization; however, dialogue establishes that Mulder has been doubting Colonization ever since 2006 and when the stated 2012 invasion date came and went, his suspicions must have deepened.
• The Roswell medical doctor ridicules Mulder’s former certainty in the reality of the faceless rebels at war with the colonists at setting people on fire, which happened onscreen.
• This retcon is entirely at odds with the majority THE X-FILES episodes that featured the alien myth-arc.
• This retcon is entirely at odds with the majority THE X-FILES episodes that featured the alien myth-arc.
• The abductions, the Syndicate's desperate attempts to develop a vaccine, the alien human hybrids, the faceless rebels, the bees, supersoldiers -- all were presented as genuine from a third person point of view.
• The idea that these were all actors or deceived Syndicate members who bought into the hoax is absurd.
• However, the retcon is no more contradictory to the mythology than the numerous contradictions already within Seasons 1 - 9.
• If anything, the retcon is an acceptance of reality.
• Once THE X-FILES failed to deliver an alien invasion in the feature film, the myth-arc was doomed to offer endless stalling until an inevitable anti-climax.
• There is no way to do an effective alien invasion story in 2016 that serves as a solid finale to THE X-FILES after nine seasons of delaying tactics.
• The time has passed.
• There is no way to fulfill the alien invasion story in a manner that does not render the X-FILES format and storytelling platform irrelevant.
• Therefore, this retcon effectively concedes defeat.
• From an in-universe perspective, the X-Files must redefine themselves without the alien mythology or the impending invasion.
• Even without aliens, it still has 67 per cent of its mythos left -- the supernatural and paranormal material that's unrelated to aliens.
• The absence of aliens creates a void.
• That void is easily filled by creating new material and new purpose for the X-Files in the twenty-first century.
• The continuity contradictions resulting from the retcon are unfortunate.
• They are, however, irrelevant to the majority of THE X-FILES' stories about investigating monsters of the week.
• The anti-climax of "My Struggle" was an inescapable inevitability THE X-FILES' format once the series missed its chance to do a climactic alien invasion in its feature film.
• It is entirely possible that the debunking of the myth-arc in "My Struggle" will be overturned at a later date.
• In that case, these bullet points about the necessity of doing away with the alien myth-arc may be invalidated.
• The explanation of the alien colonization plot is based on my recollections of the series and may be inaccurate in various places.
• The author apologizes for any errors.