Re: The X-Files

I think they had to spend at least two episodes on William. His departure from the series was a massive emotional blow and there is no way he could be ignored. Also, Carter intends to use him in some fashion. I think the problem is that there is no sense of progress due to the altered episode order. The plan was Episode 2 presents William as a source of grief and loss and agony and regret while Episode 5 shows the strange and twisted joy and the maddening longing Mulder and Scully have when they think of him, leading to Episode 6 where... who knows?

Instead, what we have is the reverse and instead of progression, it's repetition. This messed up airdate order has also caused other problems. The X-Files office makes no sense. It's fully furnished in Week Two, yet bare and nearly vacant in Week Three. Week One has Mulder realizing the alien conspiracy is a hoax and who knows what else as well. Week Two has Mulder casually referring to the Syndicate's alien human hybrid colonization plot like it's real and believing in the paranormal. Week Three has Mulder with no belief in the paranormal and regaining that belief. Mulder's character arc is seriously confused now.

It's pretty awful that 21 years after SLIDERS, FOX still can't air episodes in the right order.

Re: The X-Files

That is true.

I'm also confused about the Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell characters. In the preview, they look like spoof characters. They look like something from a comedic episode, rather than serious additions to the team. However, they're appearing in both of the final episodes, which means that they are legit characters who just happen to be carbon copies of Mulder and Scully. Why would they do that? People thought that those two might be spun off into their own show, but how will anyone be able to take them seriously?

Doggett and Reyes were at least characters of their own.

Re: The X-Files

Babylon--

There were some strengths and a lot of weaknesses here. First, I will talk about the weaknesses (so I can end on a positive note).
Chris Carter can't write. That is a weakness. He forces the episodes and the dialog to be far more convoluted than they have to be, in order to make them feel super deep. But sometimes depth doesn't come from a five minute monologue, using the biggest words you know. Sometimes depth comes from a quick glance, and you have to trust the audience to pick up on it. He needs to learn how to be subtle. This also goes for the mushroom trip... what the hell was that? (though I'm glad that this was the only way the Lone Gunmen came back and they are still dead).
Carter has never depicted Texas well. In the first movie, it was just poorly filmed (they used deserts and mountains as their Dallas location. Not remotely accurate). In this case, he allowed his disdain for Texas show through like a spotlight. His version of Texans, with their cowboy hats and their blind hatred of anything that wasn't white, is arrogant, self-righteous, and wrong. This episode was based on the attempted attack in my own town (though the outcomes were quite different). There are a lot of Muslims around here, and the number seems to be rising. We don't just go around giving them the evil eye or making comments about their color, or else we would have no time left in the day. Newsflash: We have quite a lot of non-white people around here!
Also, nobody wears cowboy hats and boots, unless they're going to a country-themed club or they actually work on a ranch. Even then, probably not. People claim that this episode was racist toward Muslims. I disagree. All that stuff was based on the news, and Carter went out of his way to sympathize and humanize them. If anything, the episode was racist toward Texans.
Once again, he also showed his inability to relate to or sympathize with anyone he doesn't agree with politically. The nurse who tried to kill the terrorist could have been a really interesting character, but he turned her into a rambling idiot who started going off about random political issues that weren't even related to the situation. Who does that? And if she is that crazy, why would she have been put on that patient? Why would she still be working in the hospital, instead of being a patient there?
I know that it is hard to write characters who don't share your values or opinions. We all struggle with it. But you don't usually just throw in the towel and make the whole lot of them cartoon characters!
Argh.

Miller and Einstein. I don't get it. Why did they have to be such copies of Mulder and Scully? Again, it lacks any hint of subtlety. We don't need to be bashed over the head with it. The characters could have been great new characters without all of that. As it was, they seem like failed parodies. Failed, only because they were actually pretty interesting on their own, once you cut through the crap.
Unfortunately, the energy that the new agents brought to the episode only highlighted the lack of energy in Mulder and Scully lately. Their spirited debates and excitement over new cases has turned into monotone exchanges, with neither seeming like they care much at all. Is this because Duchovny and Anderson don't feel excited to be there, or is it just because the characters have been bogged down for the entire six episode run, with broody stories about dying mothers and a lost child?

Okay, now the positive...

I did actually like Miller and Einstein, aside from the over the top similarities to the original actors/characters. Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose were fun to watch, and worked well with Duchovny and Anderson.

Mitch Pileggi seem exactly the same! How is he the one who didn't age?

I'm glad that they didn't bring the Lone Gunmen back to life. They found a way to include them without ruining another element of the old show.

And the terrorists were terrorists! This never happens anymore! Since it's considered racist to depict Muslims as terrorists on TV, we usually get the "shocking twist" where the crazy Christian extremist is actually behind the attack on whatever show they're on. I can't remember the last time I saw a Muslim attack like this on TV. They did almost go there, with the "he decided not to do it at the last second, so he's not too bad" thing, but overall, I was impressed that they actually went through with this storyline. Especially since it was based on a real story.

Re: The X-Files

I enjoyed this episode a lot, although I would've liked it more if it had aired as Episode 4 rather than 5. This was clearly meant to come after the lighthearted were-monster adventure, following up on Mulder's mid-life crisis with Agent Einstein's cutting and accurate condemnation of M&S's careers. (That said, they must have something going for them given that they were hired back to a security-clearance heavy job after a 14-year hiatus during which six of these years were spent as a wanted federal fugitives.)

I don't disagree with your criticisms, in an odd turn for us both. I'm as flabbergasted as you are. However, I sometimes find myself not worrying too much that a writer's view of reality doesn't reflect actual reality. Sometimes, it's interesting just to live on Planet Carter and its knotty, contradictory complexity. This is without question one of Carter's most lighthearted efforts ever and one of the *very* few happy endings he's ever offered. This is quite possibly one of the few X-FILES stories where the lead characters actually managed to save some lives.

To me, this episode was what I WANT TO BELIEVE wanted to be as a film -- a criminal procedural that, due to Mulder's presence, suddenly takes on paranormal and supernatural overtones. But where I WANT TO BELIEVE was a hackjob scripted in a mad rush in a few weeks before the writer's strike, "Babylon" was clearly someone enjoying what they're doing.

It's weird. As you can tell from my posts, despite talking a lot about THE X-FILES, I don't actually like it very much. It's just that it's from an era I care about (being contemporaneous with SLIDERS) and it defined genre fiction and received everything denied to SLIDERS (creative freedom, secured actors, high budgets, a feature film, grounded production values) while still being quite a lot like SLIDERS (long, drawn out, confused, incoherent and kind of pointless). I'm not a fan of THE X-FILES as much as a polite acquaintance -- but I actually like this mini-series.

Re: The X-Files

Yeah, I'm the last guy who should demand that a writer should reflect reality all the time. I just think that Carter could be so much better if he had a really good writing partner. Someone who could take his ideas and reel them in when necessary. One more pass on this script could have made a huge difference.

Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

Carter has never depicted Texas well. In the first movie, it was just poorly filmed (they used deserts and mountains as their Dallas location. Not remotely accurate). In this case, he allowed his disdain for Texas show through like a spotlight. His version of Texans, with their cowboy hats and their blind hatred of anything that wasn't white, is arrogant, self-righteous, and wrong. This episode was based on the attempted attack in my own town (though the outcomes were quite different). There are a lot of Muslims around here, and the number seems to be rising. We don't just go around giving them the evil eye or making comments about their color, or else we would have no time left in the day. Newsflash: We have quite a lot of non-white people around here!
Also, nobody wears cowboy hats and boots, unless they're going to a country-themed club or they actually work on a ranch. Even then, probably not. People claim that this episode was racist toward Muslims. I disagree. All that stuff was based on the news, and Carter went out of his way to sympathize and humanize them. If anything, the episode was racist toward Texans.

Had the exact same thoughts.  I'm from Texas too, and it was annoying to see the same, tired stereotypes.  Has Carter really never been?  I don't own a pair of boots or a Cowboy hat.  I was born in Texas, and I've lived here my whole life.

The first movie drove me crazy with their version of "Dallas"

What was weird about this one, outside of the honkey-tonk stereotypes and the overtly-racist Texans, was the oddity of the location - where was it supposed to be?  I think they mentioned "southwest Texas" at the beginning, but every other reference was just "Texas."  "Our flight to Texas."  "You'll have to meet me in Texas" Then, to top it off, the airport just says "Welcome to Texas."  I wouldn't put it passed a Texan airport to say this, but "Texas" is a pretty big place with a diverse geography.  Not that Carter would know anything about that.

Re: The X-Files

I'm from New Jersey originally, but I've been in Texas for over 23 years now, so I consider myself mostly Texan (the foodie part of me is still from New Jersey). It is really starting to upset me when I see snotty, elitist east coasters/west coasters acting like everything in the middle of the country is white trash and meth heads.

It started to bother me more since I started watching YouTube videos by foreigners who come to the US, and then talk about the culture and their experience here. Some of them are genuinely shocked to visit the south and see white people talking to black people, or big tough southern men interacting with gay guys. They really expect us to be the version of the fly-over states that are written into TV shows, by people who have obviously never been anywhere without a coastline.

Hell, I've had family members from the northeast come to visit and act as though we live in the wild frontier, where we don't even get real news! It is insane!

Texas might have crappy pizza, Chinese food, bagels and seafood, and the salt water taffy sold here may be a joke, but it is still a big, modern, civilized state!

The Mexican food is good. And the steaks are... I saw a steak for sale in Georgia, and I took a picture because it was so laughably small to me.


I got off track here.

Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

Texas might have crappy pizza, Chinese food, bagels and seafood, and the salt water taffy sold here may be a joke, but it is still a big, modern, civilized state!

The Mexican food is good. And the steaks are... I saw a steak for sale in Georgia, and I took a picture because it was so laughably small to me.

I can direct you to some good pizza (NY or Chicago style).  And I've had some decent seafood - not in DFW but closer to the coast.

We do barbecue (I recently found my new favorite spot in North Dallas), Mexican food, boutique tacos, and burgers really well.  I'll buy Carter some pretty solid brisket if he ever wants to visit.

Re: The X-Files

NY is the only true pizza. smile
I actually do have a solid NY style pizza place, owned by some Italians from New Jersey (that is a weird sentence since Italians can't be from New Jersey, but you know what I mean). But it isn't like up north, where you can throw a rock and hit an awesome pizza place.

What is your North Dallas barbecue place? I don't eat out much, but I was thinking of finding a good place for the next time family comes to town.

Re: The X-Files

http://www.ten50bbq.com/

It's East Texas style barbecue - you can/should order by the pound, and they just cook as much meat as they have.  Really good sauce, really good sides, delicious desserts.  They also have bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos (chicken or brisket) that are fantastic.,  They're supposed to have the best fried okra in Texas, but I'm not a fan of fried okra.

Re: The X-Files

That's the one that I was looking at! It caught my eye on my way home from Dallas. Now I will have to try it.

Re: The X-Files

"Sliders BBoard - come for X-Files discussion, get barbecue suggestions."

Let me know if you enjoy it.  I've been a bunch and love it.

Re: The X-Files

So essentially the x file was Mulder hallucinating? I didn't enjoy Babylon, I mean there really was no X-File. Where's the mystery? Where is the science fiction? Is there a episode in this season that is really a true X-File? I enjoyed "My Struggle" but it seems every single episode is more comedic, lighter and seems it must have a political statement in every episode. Whether it be homosexuals, religion, arabs, culture, etc. it's forced and so obvious. Remember the dark nights, the dreary Vancouver skies and abandoned buildings? The mystery is gone.

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Re: The X-Files

I have to agree. I mean, there were always episodes where Mulder was called upon to use his profiling skills on a normal case, or Scully had to do something medical. In those situations, the X-File element could be minimal. So, talking to a comatose terrorist could fit with some of those stories. But the way it was executed just felt off to me. Their approach to introducing the concept of talking to someone in a coma wasn't elegant at all. Maybe the nurse should have had the ability, instead of turning her into a political cartoon. Or maybe Miller could have been coming to Mulder to inquire about a specific person from an X-File, and see if Mulder could help track them down. But as it was, they all come up with the idea of talking to someone in a coma, as though everyone could do it if they had just thought of the possibility in the first place.

Like I said, there was a good episode in here somewhere. They just needed to sculpt it a little more smoothly.

Re: The X-Files

I think "Requiem" can only be understood by reviewing both the aired episode and the original script by Michael Reaves on EP.COM.

Re: The X-Files

"My Struggle II" truly was... my struggle.

It was one of the most nonsensical, convoluted, poorly written, horribly shot pieces of television that I have seen in a long while. I don't think that there was one element that made sense or felt natural. I don't think there was one moment where I actually cared about what was going on. The whole thing was... the second season finale of Millennium. And just like that, they will eventually have to come back and undo the mess left in this episode.


As excited as I was for this revival, and as much as I still want the show back, Chris Carter simply has to go. Because of him, half of this revival was thrown away. It was garbage. Of the three remaining episodes, one of them had a villain that was a repeat of something that we've already seen on the show (a sign of a poor showrunner here). Because of him, this revival is two thirds wasted.

Re: The X-Files

I thought it was perfect.

:-)

I really think the finale was very well done and it solved a long-standing problem with THE X-FILES.

Re: The X-Files

Seriously?

Okay, putting aside the actual plot... Traffic wasn't moving at all. AT ALL. But Scully magically makes it through traffic? She stops looters by... asking them nicely? These aren't huge examples of what went wrong with the episode. There were far bigger issues, involving everything from plotting to characterization. But I'm just saying that even the smallest, simplest elements of the episode were a complete mess that could have been avoided with simple fixes, like thinning out traffic or cutting the stupid looting scene. Neither one of these things was necessary.

Re: The X-Files

There are certain levels of unreality I am prepared to accept with television, such as Barry Allen recovering from a lengthy coma and immediately resuming work as a forensic scientist in a crime lab he and only he seems to use when in Real Life, any court case with Barry's work would see his mental stability and competence questioned. With the driving, I imagined that it was actually a slow and gradual process of weaving in and out between cars, with us seeing only the edited highlights to indicate Scully's frantic state of mind where what took hours seems to happen in seconds.

With the looter -- I loved it. This is the end of the world. The foretold apocalypse. The destruction of the human race teased since 1993 and made explicit in the Season 2 finale (Colonization) followed by the feature film's description of impending doom. Teasing madness, terror, insanity -- and in the middle of it is a stalwart woman calmly intoning that we just need to go to the hospital. We just need to behave thoughtfully. Rationally. Scientifically. Open-mindedly. And we'll survive.

The threat of Colonization has always been *impossible* to square with the criminal procedural format of THE X-FILES; in "My Struggle II," the battle to save mankind is revealed as being nothing like INDEPENDENCE DAY (the poster of which Mulder peed on in the first movie). Instead, the battle to save mankind is a hospital scene like so many other hospital scenes -- the threat, having been recontextualized as part of the conspiracy of men using alien technology, finally functions in this world.

The world is ending. All that desperation and fear, all that panic. "Stop! Stop it, please! Everybody, get to the hospital! Get to the hospital, help is on its way." The end of the world isn't unknowable, beyond our power -- it's simply a problem and one that we can solve. And then at the end, even with everything laid out and revealed (albeit through some retcons and ignoring huge portions of the past and implications rather than exposition), THE X-FILES ends on a moment that shows there will always be something unknown.

Yeah! I really liked it! And I was kind of glad to see it while I'm working on the final phase of SLIDERS REBORN. It's been super-instructive.

Re: The X-Files

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watchi … he-revival

I'm somewhere in the middle between the two of you.  I didn't think it was awful, but I didn't think it was great.  They were able to capture the feeling of a global apocalypse with a TV budget.  That's something.

Re: The X-Files

It was just an attempt to make a big, grand episode that will ultimately have to be reduced and explained back to a small-scale blip on the radar when next season premieres. It's what happened with Millennium. The world ended, and Frank was forced to choose between saving his wife and his daughter. Obviously he and his wife saved their child, and his wife died. The world ended.
Then season 3 started. Turned out that the hype over the outbreak was overblown. The world went on, as though nothing ever happened.

Without fail, it is a bad idea to show an apocalypse on TV. What you have are a bunch of extras running around, screaming nonsensically, creating chaos in the background. Some fires burning in garbage cans. The sound of helicopters overhead. It always looks cheap, because it always is cheap. This episode didn't pull it off any better than when Smallville did it. The best thing that Supernatural ever did was directly avoid going this route in season 5. They kept it small and personal, which ended up making it feel bigger and more dangerous.

Scully's scene with the looter made her look stupid. She could have pulled her gun and told the guy to back away, and that would have been somewhat less stupid. But ultimately, it was still nonsense. The guy would have smacked her over the head with the sign, stolen her medication, and left her for dead.

The whole plot was so vague that it seemed like an afterthought in the middle of writing riot scenes and the bridge scene. We have seen terrorist attacks on a massive scale in this country. We have seen the threat of dangerous outbreaks. We have seen natural disasters that threaten thousands of lives. Those things don't lead to riots and looting. What leads to riots and looting is political outrage over perceived injustice... and sometimes the wrong team winning a game of some sort.

Chris Carter wanted it to look big and epic on screen, so he thought of these sequences that would attempt to give his episode that scale. What he failed to realize was that throwaway scenes of chaos don't make things feel bigger to an audience. Having Reyes spend a few more minutes explaining exactly how this all worked (similar to Lucifer revealing how every detail of Sam's life had been controlled) would have made the story feel more real and scary. But then, I don't believe that there was enough thought put into the plot to fill such a scene. I don't believe that he had any idea how to explain his vague concepts. He threw a bunch of crap at the wall, hoping that people wouldn't notice everything that didn't stick, and hoping that the audience would fill in the blanks with their own imagination.


Damn, that episode was useless.

Re: The X-Files

Wow. I agree with HitFix! They hit a lot of the points that I did in their review of the season.

The bottom line is that you have to know what your limits are with something like this. They had six episodes, and they knew that going in. Of those six, Carter knew that two of them would be mythology. Trying to tear down nine years of mythology and completely rebuild it in two episodes was a stupid idea. Adding to that his horrible writing, and the nonsensical nature of the retcon... even if it could have been smoothed out over six episodes of its own, the mythology still has a lot of problems. They should have wrapped up that story, so that whatever comes next is new. Instead, they set us up for another year of this same mess. After spending the season promising William (by mentioning him every frigging five minutes), they didn't deliver. If this episode had been Scully realizing that Mulder had been infected with something and that William could save him, and that was it, it could have been so much better. Instead, they didn't follow through on William, which means that they dragged the whole season down for no reason.

Damn, that episode was useless.

Re: The X-Files

Actually, I think this episode has pretty much wrapped up the whole alien crisis and resolved the fate of the world.

I don't disagree with a lot of the complaints towards this episode in the overwhelmingly negative reviews. But I'm not looking at THE X-FILES from that perspective; I'm looking at "My Struggle II" as a climactic chapter at the end of a book that was written without a clear outline and written with many improvised hints and clues towards a future that was not in any way mapped out.

In many ways, I saw the Spartan virus as a metaphor -- a metaphor for the alien conspiracy myth-arc that had infected the show, slowly killing it over nine seasons that must now be cured.

THE X-FILES has always had a central problem: it's building to a climactic story it cannot tell within its TV format. The original and vague plan to break the format with a big budget feature film finale was set aside when it became clear FOX had no intention of cancellation at Season 5.

So, my interest in THE X-FILES is: how does it handle a story it cannot tell? How can we tell the story of an alien invasion when interstellar dogfights and ray guns and laser swords don't remotely fit into THE X-FILES' office sets and hospital hallways and rural locations and shadowy Vancouver streets? Furthermore, the threats have always worked best as humans.

The Cigarette Smoking Man has always represented how power corrupts and corruption infects; he craves power and importance, his own body is a metaphor for that, riddled with self-inflicted disease to which he is an addict. In contrast, aliens are faceless, personality free and anonymous. Carter's solution was always a non-solution: he stalled for time. He kicked the can down the road, kicking the can 10 years away in the original finale. Now he has to wrap it up. What the hell is he to do!?!?!?!?!?

(Personally, I always thought Mulder and Scully would recruit the ghosts, vampires, werewolves, cultists, demons, shapeshifters and parasites to fight the aliens.)

Anyway! Carter's solution is: the alien menace isn't Reticulans and ray guns. The menace is in our blood, in our cells, in the very air we breathe. The enemy isn't in the skies above; it's in the darkness of our hearts, the sense that humanity is doomed to destroy itself and the Cigarette Smoking Man will speed up the process so he can rule over the rebuilding with only the ones he likes and can control.

So, in this fashion, the alien invasion is recontextualized as an invasion of our bodies, of our immune systems, of our resistance to infection. And this new context makes it a story that THE X-FILES *can* tell in its office sets, in its hospital hallways, in its rural locations, in its shadowy streets. Finally, the myth-arc and the format are merged into a unified whole.

But I understand if you don't see it that way, if you just see incoherent nonsense. I'm seeing it from what is probably a *very* peculiar and eccentric perspective. Both THE X-FILES and SLIDERS were left in a very bad state in their finales and I'm admiring the surgery being done to revive the patient. In my view, if the patient is back on his feet, the fact that he needs a cane and some heavy duty painkillers and a lengthy term of rehab isn't cause for complaint?

I don't feel this is a big cliffhanger. The solution was already laid out; a cure is being made from Scully's DNA and all of the Cigarette Smoking Man's chosen survivors, including Monica Reyes, can be used to mass produce it. I also don't feel that the situation is analogous to MILLENNIUM: the so-called cliffhanger was meant to be a series finale with the idea that a third season would be set in this post-disaster setting, doing a TV version of Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD. Unfortunately, the Season 2 creators were replaced by a new team who discarded the Season 2 team's intentions.

The other stuff I liked:

Reyes
•   The way Monica Reyes came into the show; her contempt for the Cigarette Smoking Man is palpable and her reasons for collaborating with him are presented clearly and without dialogue.
•   Even without being spoken, it's clear: Reyes agreed to help the Smoking Man because she hoped to learn everything she could to stop him, hence her meeting with Scully and Scully later calling Reyes "a friend."
•   Annabeth Gish played her hatred for the Smoking Man beautifully, especially with her disgust as she gives him his cigarette.

The Smoking Man
•   His character has always been a figure of corrupted power and I liked how William B. Davis played the Smoking Man's cruel glee as he motions for Monica to give him his nicotine.
•   He shows twisted pleasure in controlling a beautiful woman with a gesture -- the relationship he attempted to build with Scully in Season 7's "En Ami" and a joy he took in using Skinner as a henchman in Season 4's "Zero Sum."
•   He seems to especially enjoy that Monica hates him yet has to do his bidding.
•   His reasoning for the entire Colonization lie and controlling Mulder through the myth of the alien invasion was presented succinctly and clearly and, like Monica's collusion with him, done without dialogue.
•   The line where he remarks that the aliens foresaw mankind destroying itself is a grim and cutting recontextualization of the original show's prophecies of doom and indicates the arrogance of man to think it would take an outside force to obliterate our race as opposed to us doing it ourselves.

Scully Saves Us
•   I really enjoyed the rapid-fire scientific discussions between Scully and Einstein, although I only understood bits and pieces of it.
What I loved was very simply, the grandeur and horror of Colonization being reduced to Scully in a lab, surrounded by bloodwork and DNA sequences, looking absolutely determined.
•   The Smoking Man says earlier that our destruction is really our own doing; he's just changing the timetable.
•   Scully shows that he's not the only one who can do that and the solution is brute force, hammering away at the problem until a cure is found.

The Cliffhanger
•   I don't think it's much of a cliffhanger. The world was saved in the hospital.
•   Monica Reyes knows who the Smoking Man wanted kept alive; Scully would not have called Reyes "a friend" unless Reyes offered that information; Reyes would not have colluded with the Smoking Man unless she was trying to secure that information.
•   There are lots of people out there who can help mass produce the cure now that Scully's devised the method to do so.
•   The world will be fine.
•   At this point, Scully has kicked Colonization's ass and the alien conspiracy has been laid bare.
•   But the appearance of the spaceship makes it clear: there's always more to learn.

Achievements of the Revival
•   The Colonization arc has been resolved.
•   The Syndicate has been explained.
•   A countermeasure to the alien threat has been devised.
•   The X-Files have been reopened and the ability to tell criminal procedural stories with supernatural overtones and content has been re-established.
•   The full gamut of X-FILES stories has been re-established as well: supernatural thrillers, conspiracy thrillers, metatextual humour, tragedy and drama, and social commentary.

Season 11
I would probably open Season 11 with an episode set however long it's been since "My Struggle 2" where Mulder and Scully have been missing since the End of Days of 2016. Start with Agent Einstein on a case with paranormal overtones, in danger, about to die -- then Mulder and Scully appear to save her. Where the hell have they been for the past year / two years? Not now, Mulder and Scully say: let's focus on the monster of the week.

Re: The X-Files

Loved it. I only wish they got the 10 episodes fox originally wanted.  6 was too tight. They needed 8 minimally.

Re: The X-Files

I see the potential in the story that was presented, but the execution was still incredibly bad. It's like Tim Kring... maybe Carter is good to have for ideas, but he doesn't know how to bring those ideas to the screen in a way that makes any amount of sense.

Since I'm sitting here with some free time, allow me to take you through my version of the season finale...

For starters, I would rewrite the premiere. No alien DNA. CSM would not appear. Scully would check Svetta's DNA and find nothing alien. They can still find something anomalous, but the alien aspect doesn't really seem necessary... If the plan is to remove things from people's DNA, disabling their immune systems, then all they would have to do in order to save people like Scully is... not f*** with her DNA!

Okay, so the finale...



Scully's voiceover as we saw it, ending with her turning into an alien. Only, I would have her wake up from that dream. Show us that it's been on her mind, and that it's something that scares her. I might have played up some of the violence and victimization that she suffered over the course of the original series. She is a strong woman, but she's been through hell.

Scully shows up in the basement office, but Mulder is nowhere to be found. She finds the laptop with the Tad video on it, and presses play. He isn't as frantic as he was, but he also isn't in his studio. He is recording his video from a cell phone, talking about finally discovering proof that the government has been genetically experimenting on American citizen ever since the beginning of the smallpox vaccinations. During the video, he would make reference to the children that Mulder and Scully investigated in episode 2... he has been in contact with Mulder. Scully looks at her watch, looks around the office once again because Mulder should be there, and then walks out.
Scully walks into Skinner's office and takes a seat. Skinner asks where Mulder is, and Scully says that she has no idea. Skinner can't help but smile at that. They've started off countless meetings the same way. Before they get down to work, there is a knock at the door. Agent Miller walks in. Skinner asks where Agent Einstein is, and Miller replies by saying that he doesn't know. Scully and Skinner look at each other.

In a hospital (preferably one that doesn't look like something from a 1950's horror movie), Mulder begins to regain consciousness. He is pale and sweaty, and at first, he thinks that Scully is sitting beside his bed. He smiles. But as his vision clears up, he realizes that it's Einstein. His smile fades considerably.
She explains that Mulder was found on the side of the road the night before, beaten and delusional. The police found her card in his pocket, and called her. At first, she assumed that he was on another mushroom trip, but something else is going on. His brain scans are irregular somehow (insert medical mumbo-jumbo here) and he is fighting off a severe infection of some sort. His blood work is insane. She's having it run again, because it looked like he was infected with about three types of disease, all of which should be covered by his vaccinations.
Mulder wants Scully. Einstein says that Scully is her next phone call, but before that happens, she wants to know what the hell is going on. What happened to Mulder on that street?
Mulder says that Einstein needs to get Scully now. He tells her to let Scully know that "He's alive. The son of a bitch is alive..."
"Who?" asks Agent Einstein.

Cut to some time later. Scully and Agent Miller arrive at the hospital. Scully gets an update from Einstein, including the information that “Some cigarette smoking man is still alive...” Einstein has no idea what that means, but Scully stops walking and says, “You have to be kidding me.”
When she sees Mulder, he tells her that he was supposed to meet with Tad O'Malley at his house the night before, but when he got there, his house was a mess and O'Malley was gone. His bodyguard was dead on the front porch.
Mulder was attacked by a man who tried to use chloroform on him, but Mulder fought him off. He couldn't get to his car, so he ran for his life. That's when he was found on the road and brought to the hospital.
Scully asks about CSM, and Mulder tells her that he saw him as he was being loaded into the ambulance. He was there, smoking his cigarette through a hole in his neck and talking on his cell phone.
Einstein cuts in to say that a man who's “smoking through a hole in his neck” would probably have a hard time talking to anyone.

Anyway, a series of tests on Mulder ensues, and Scully even sequences his DNA to check for alien DNA. There is no alien DNA, but there are certain abnormalities. Blah-blah-blah, immune system being turned off through manipulation of his DNA. This is something that could have been done to him as a child, through immunizations, but somehow triggered now.
Miller jumps in to suggest that the man at Mulder's house wasn't using chloroform, he was triggering whatever was in Mulder's DNA. Mulder starts to put together that Svetta's alien DNA wasn't about them putting something into Svetta, it was about them taking something out. What if everyone who was ever vaccinated has these genetic bombs that are waiting to go off, with certain people being altered to remove the threat.

All of this is just mumbo-jumbo to get to the point that Scully needs to find a way to reactivate Mulder's immune system. Einstein says that they would need a donor who was a genetic match. Scully says that Mulder's mother died six years earlier.
“Does he have any siblings?” Einstein asks.
“That's a loaded question,” Scully comments. “But it's not an option.”
“Kids?”
Scully pauses. Of course they have a kid.

Mulder doesn't want to put William in danger That could be exactly what CSM was trying to do when he attacked Mulder. He'd rather die than put William back in CSM's sights. Scully isn't convinced that this is an issue. She thinks that Mulder was delirious when he saw CSM. He's dead. Reaching out to William might not be the threat that it once was.
Mulder points out that Svetta an Tad might think otherwise, since they're both missing or dead.

While they debate that issue, Einstein points out that if this is a widespread issue, with specific people being given immunity, there is obviously a threat for a large-scale attack here. If everyone in the country were suddenly to have their immunizations turn on them, they'd be dealing with countless types of outbreaks, all at the same time. It would be an apocalyptic event.
“For what purpose?” Miller asks.
“So that he can rule over the survivors,” Mulder explains.
“The cigarette smoking dead guy?” Miller asks, not entirely following.

And so this becomes the finale. Scully is on a search to find William and get a sample of his blood that could be used to cure Mulder. She discovers that William was adopted by a family named the Van De Kamps, but both parents fell ill soon after. Though both recovered, it wasn't until after they were forced to give up the child that they'd just adopted.
Suddenly, Scully's dream of William's adopted family is shattered. She is terrified.
Her search continues. She finds a social worker who handled William after the Van De Kamps gave him up. The woman says that the baby was nearly adopted by another family, but an FBI agent discovered that the couple wasn't actually married and their identities were faked. The child was in danger, so the agent managed to work out a sort of witness protection-type adoption for the baby. The circumstances were far from typical.
Scully asks the name of the agent who helped William survive. The social worker tells her, “Monica Reyes.”

Scully breathes a sigh of relief. She tracks down Reyes and the two talk. Reyes says that going to William would be incredibly dangerous. There are still people who would love to get their hands on him. Scully says that she needs this. She doesn't need to see him personally, but she needs his help and... she needs to know that he's okay.

Reyes reluctantly agrees to help, but she will meet with the adopted family, not Scully. Scully agrees to the terms, and waits for Monica to contact her.

While this is happening, Miller and Einstein are tasked with finding out what happened to Tad O'Malley. The investigation leads them to a big chase of some sort and a revelation about the apocalyptic plans of a mysterious group of people who have been faking alien abductions, etc... basically, it's like a season 1 Mulder/Scully investigation.

Scully returns to Mulder's side while he continues to deteriorate. She's trying her best to help him, but there's nothing that she can do. Finally, at the last minute, Reyes arrives with a sample of William's blood, as well as an envelope. In the envelope, there is a letter from William, telling his birth parents that he is okay and that he has had a good life, with a family that loves him. He knows that they didn't have a choice in giving him up, and he knows that they love him. He loves them too. He tells them to stay safe.

There is also a picture in the envelope. Scully pulls it out and looks at a picture of a teenaged William, with his adopted family. She immediately gasps, recognizing the people who have raised William. It's her brother, Charlie. William has been with family this whole time. He wasn't estraned from the family because of a falling out, he was estranged because he had taken on the task of protecting Dana's child.

She finally has closer, not only in regards to William, but in regards to her brother as well.

The blood saves Mulder, but Miller and Einstein warn Mulder an Scully that the potential for the apocalypse outbreak is still a very real threat. They don't have the answers they need to stop it yet.
Mulder tells them that they will find the answers. The truth is out there.
Scully rolls her eyes.

fin.

Re: The X-Files

This is a great story. As always, you are a great writer. But I don't feel it's the story Carter needed to tell. In 2016, Carter needed to (finally) tell the god-damn Colonization story, pay off 23 years of build-up and resolve it. That said, the world at large seemed to hate "My Struggle II," so you could be onto something.

In my view, THE X-FILES had been building to a global catastrophe. Seasons 3 - 5 and the movie make it clear that the endgame is "Colonization." The original inhabitant of this planet, the black oil, parasitically infected alien visitors and formed a symbiote race that was driven off the Earth by the ice age. They intended to return and use the evolving human race as incubators to propagate their species. The Syndicate attempted to work with the aliens to secure their own survival and were killed, replaced by alien-created supersoldiers infiltrating every level of government to keep Colonization on track for December 22, 2012.

Carter, after a 14 year hiatus, needed to step back and find a way to make Colonization a story that would work in a TV episode on a TV budget. He chose a grand retcon; Colonization was a hoax. There was no alien conspiracy. Instead, it was a conspiracy of men using alien technology scavenged from a post-WWII crash, secretly manipulating and intimidating society for their own purposes.

As a student (as opposed to a fan) of THE X-FILES, I don't think these two mythologies can fit without declaring numerous scenes and episodes to have been staged if not wholly ignored. Nevertheless, this shift doesn't do away with the need for a payoff. The Syndicate/the conspiracy of men was building to some endgame -- Colonization. It's just that Colonization isn't an alien invasion, it's something else.

So, after "My Struggle," Carter still had to provide a Colonization-like scenario of global proportions. A Colonization that reflects real-world problems: militarization, establishment falsehoods, biological threats. Preferably something that could be rendered in THE X-FILES criminal procedural format.

The scenario Carter chose was a crisis of immune system failure across the globe, which is a pretty relevant concern given the numerous reports of antibiotic resistant superbugs developing due to overuse of antibiotic medication in livestock and humans. The onscreen events of "My Struggle II" are a parallel to widespread antibiotic failure and superbug infection and present Colonization as a physiological alien invasion rather than a military one -- and therefore, Colonization now works within the criminal procedural format.

In this context, Carter is able to have Scully confront and defeat Colonization -- creating a cure using her DNA and, by implication, the DNA of the chosen survivors all over the world. Scully took on the invasion and she won.

So, as of "My Struggle II," the alien invasion has been recontextualized into a conspiracy that Mulder and Scully could conceivably fight, and Scully has beaten it. Any future X-FILES is now free of the mythology and they can focus on the monsters of the week.

Just my take, of course. :-)

Re: The X-Files

I can see that. I just don't think that the depiction of this idea needed to be as large as it was. Keeping it limited and personal allows them to explore the idea, without stepping over the line and looking more silly than scary. The riots and looting and all of that was too much. If they absolutely needed that, they could show a report from a less developed country (a testing ground), but still keep a distance between our characters and that huge event.

At the risk of shooting myself in the foot (as a writer), I just don't think that the chaos helped the story. Every person in that city could die... Or not... And it really won't matter either way next season. Yet, the character stories in the episode were so impersonal and disconnected that there was no emotional core, and ultimately no sense of validation or closure for all that we have been through over the years. Mulder and Scully don't share screen time. Mulder's scenes play out like a thousand before them, adding nothing to the mix. Scully's story was based on the frantic cure, relying heavily on BS science that doesn't hold up. It was like a Star Trek episode that was all technobabble.

And after spending the season dragging down the series, William ultimately doesn't play any role at all. There is an old saying that if you introduce a gun in the first act, you need to use it by the third. William is the gun, never used. Despite never appearing, he became more annoying than Wesley Crusher.

If you watch interviews with Anderson and Duchovny, they still seem vibrant and energetic. They still sound like themselves. Yet on screen, Mulder and Scully sound raspy and brood through every scene, because of the ghost of William standing in the corner of every scene.

So that was my motivation in restructuring. How do we make the threat more personal? How do we make the struggle for a scientific cure more compelling? How do we make the cure feel more fulfilling as a resolution to the series.

Re: The X-Files

The personal element you suggest is fair. Certainly, for a TV budget, it's better to go with the small-scale approach of SIGNS rather than trying to do a TRANSFORMERS movie. We'll have to agree to disagree on the end result -- although I did read enough from various biologists to get the sense that the science in "My Struggle II" was solid. The scientific consultant for this story did a Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZrL4MF … e=youtu.be

I really liked Carter's script? I thought the exchanges just really came alive.

"You sent for me. I'm here. You set this in motion. Now you're gonna put a stop to it."
"It's far too late for that, Fox. Too late for your heroics or mine."
"I don't believe you."
"You don't want to believe."

"You may not believe this, but I really want to save your life."
"I don't make deals with you."
"So you can see Scully again."
"You harm her in any way -- !!"
"Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."
"You think it's power, what you're doing, but it's not. It's sickness."
"It's sickness not doing it. I didn't set out to destroy the world, Mulder. People did. We have just had the hottest year on record on planet Earth. I didn't do that. I'm not responsible for the 40% loss of bird life or the decimation of the megafauna."
"So just murder all the people?!"
"Aliens predicted all this. They saw it happening to themselves."
"And you kept it a secret!"
"Look at world history, Fox. Neither you nor I could save mankind from self-extermination."
"So you plotted your endgame."
"I just changed the timetable. Everyone still dies in the end."

"This is no time for pride, Fox."
"I don't want your help!"
"The ultimate irony. The defeat of the big-brained beasts by the tiniest unthinking microbes."

Just for fun, I attempted to write a Chris Carter style monologue for Quinn Mallory. Matt read the first two sentences and refused to read anymore. :-)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IY5 … PO_r8/edit

Re: The X-Files

No... Never take writing lessons from Chris Carter.

Okay, so in the X-Files, certain injections manipulated the DNA of American citizens, creating a situation wherein the immune system could be deactivated and the immunizations would become infections, right?

And Scully is immune to this because of alien DNA, right?

But... Wouldn't any human being with unaltered DNA be equally immune? What is the specific purpose of the alien DNA here?

Furthermore, Scully devises a cure for this disease, so all of the hospital patients can be cured. This includes those who are near death, right? So, what makes Mulder a special case who absolutely needs stem cells from their long lost child?

And all of this is ignoring the many tests that would need to be run, the results of which would not be found in hours, especially in a hospital that looked like the set of a Tim Burton movie.

I would go into the comment about the warmest year in history, but I feel like that is probably one of those issues that would result in a long debate that neither of us would get anything out of. smile


During the original run of the series, the show's mythology became a poorly woven mess of a fabric. Over the last 13 years, or whatever it was, we came to terms with that and the dust settled. 2012 came and went, and that was that. The worst thing that Carter could have done was try to make sense of that mess. He went back to a boarded up well, yanked on the threads of that poorly woven fabric, and nothing good or fulfilling came of it. (In my opinion, and I am fully aware of the mixed metaphors) Now we have a whole new mythology which is far more messed up than what came before it.

To quote a wise man... You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

Carter knows none of the above. And the ideas that he does have are poorly expressed through thick layers of convoluted dialog that most people stop listening to midway through. A good writer makes his point. It isn't always neat and pretty, and Lord knows we ramble, but at least people know what you're trying to say. With Chris Carter's need to sound super intellectual, he destroys the chances of conveying his ideas.

Re: The X-Files

I thought the overall arc was weak, but it was awesome to have the show back.  Gillian Anderson's speech was really weird though, did she have a mouthful of cotton balls?

Re: The X-Files

It's weird! Look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6pLxYXpW8I&list=WL

They're old Mulder and Scully. They're moving normally. They sound normal. They have the same energy that they did before.

Then you watch the actual show and it's like they're both 90 years old, and former smokers! I am going to say that it's because the episodes kept forcing them into quiet brooding tones, but I don't know. They still have it. It just wasn't on the actual show.

Also, whoever did the sound on some of those episodes this year was pretty back. It sounded like they were talking through paper bags at times.

Re: The X-Files

Chris Carter's monologues and dialogues have a very formal, professorial tone with a lot of scientific terms and unnecessary adjectives, attempting to elevate his B-movie alien invasion concepts to a more poetic, metaphorical level. It's a tool. It has its applications. Mulder and Scully's recaps of the classic series were an interesting way of describing ridiculous events with distancing language to make the first nine seasons seem more coherent and meaningful than they actually were.

And I didn't like putting Quinn's voice in this format -- I didn't like losing his informality, his accessibility and his blue-collar nature -- Quinn is not an Ivy League child of privilege like Mulder, he's a scientist labouring in his garage. But there was certainly something to be said for summarizing three seasons of man-made tornadoes, dragons, dinosaurs, vampires, supersnakes, bubble universes, emotion draining theme parks, unstuck men, mini-scoops, Cyberiads with poetic and distanced language:

We survived and thrived as interdimensional nomads -- until we were confronted by a peculiar series of events, forces and creatures, all of which existed in contradiction to science as we knew it.

These strange experiences suggested that reality itself was somehow decaying and unravelling.

The multiverse that had taught us to endure and excel suddenly turned on us in harsh and unyielding measure, resulting in the demise of two friends, followed my own dissolution, leaving only one of our number as the final slider.

But then the interdimension that had so abruptly become an enemy shifted once again, and through a turn of events bewildering and astonishing, my friends and I were reunited and reborn.

It's a tool! It has its uses.

Re: The X-Files

It does. For example, it made sense when Scully's voiceovers were played over the visuals of her writing up her reports for her bosses. That made sense. You'd expect her to be more formal, and to try to use that poetry and scientific jargon to try to make herself sound less insane than she would if she wrote "We were attacked by a worm man!"

But Carter started using that tool in the wrong places. Scully's journal/letters to Mulder in the beginning of season 7 didn't sound like her talking to Mulder. It sounded like she was writing a report/love letter, which was a weird blend. And the way they were used in season 10 was neither of these things, but the characters' own rambling thoughts... in which case, I would really hate to live in their heads.

Re: The X-Files

Someone posted a quote from a writer named Richard Price on Facebook. I don't know much about the writer himself, but the quote seemed relevant to the discussion that we are having here, so I shall post it... just because...

"The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don't write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid's burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance."


I think that's an interesting way to approach the issue.

Re: The X-Files

My favourite X-FILES site, Eat the Corn, has posted a write-up of the episode. http://www.eatthecorn.com/2016/02/27/10 … ruggle-ii/ They thought it sucked! Hahahah!

The most interesting section, to me, was when Eat the Corn attempted to bridge the Colonization conspiracy of Seasons 1 - 9 with the Conspiracy of Men and flat out gave up.

After My Struggle, we were waiting for the second part to see whether the new elements presented would be confirmed or if there would be another twist. There has been no twist and this new mythology appears to be “the truth” (for now). The change of the nature of the conspiracy do not warrant even a passing mention: what has been said in My Struggle is now the new normal and Mulder feels okay with this.

In Scully’s opening monologue, when she talks about a conspiracy of men, she doesn’t mention colonization; and yet we see photos of the Syndicate Elders. This definitely identifies this new conspiracy with the old Syndicate. There are many, many things wrong with this. Such as:

If an easily inserted DNA bit like the one Scully has was sufficient, what was the point of the complex alien/human hybrids program? Why Cassandra Spender was more successful than others? What of the Syndicate’s pact with the alien Colonists? What was the significance of the abduction of Samantha? Who were the Faceless Rebels?

What of the clawed alien gestated by an infection by the Black Oil? What about when the Well-Manicured Man, shortly before sacrificing himself, says “This isn’t Colonization, this is spontaneous repopulation! All our work! If it’s true, they’ve been using us all along!” Where are the Supersoldiers, alien replicants in power since 2001?

Certain possibilities to reconcile all this present themselves, however all of them are problematic.

The Faceless Rebels could have won the war against the Colonists, off-screen, and left, leaving the stage free for a conspiracy of men. Or, the aliens left for greener pastures and the conspiracy of men expanded. But we are told the Spartan virus was delivered with the smallpox vaccination, and so it must have existed since before the 1970s; what was the use of it then?

The Supersoldiers really were a governmental program, not a program run by aliens. But they were against the CSM, who is presented here as a mastermind of the governmental conspiracy.

The Spartan virus was conceived by the Syndicate as a last-minute resistance solution against the alien Colonists. But we are told that the genetic technology was “given to them by an alien race”, and the aliens wouldn’t give the Syndicate the tools of resistance.

What we see is indeed the start of colonization: the Spartan virus will also activate something that will have similar effects to the infection by the Black Oil. Or, Scully is giving everyone what she thinks is the cure, when in fact she is putting alien DNA to everyone, that will become active and turn everyone into aliens. But that means that the CSM is being manipulated as well -- which is odd, since he knew all about colonization in the previous 9 seasons.

What was meant by “colonization” was something different from what we though it did: just the takeover of the planet by the global elites, assisted by the aliens, who want to “save us from ourselves”. [But this discounts the aliens' work towards using humans as incubators.]

The only possible option — and it is a big stretch — was that the CSM manipulated everyone in the Syndicate into doing his bidding from the very beginning (1947), inventing this story of colonization.

The UFO crash we saw in My Struggle was the real crash, and from the very beginning the Men In Black kill the innocent aliens, create this story of alien colonization in order to instill fear, stage a UFO crash in Roswell (“Roswell was a smokescreen“, as the old informant told Mulder) where they plant the information on colonization (see the Mount Weather database Mulder glimpses at in 9X19/20: The Truth). The Alien Bounty Hunters and the Faceless Rebels, at whom the old informant in My Struggle specifically laughed at when Mulder called them alien, would be man-made: hybrids from the Russian program sent to exterminate the Syndicate.

The Syndicate was never in direct contact with the aliens, but such memories (such as their contact in 1973 that sealed their cooperation, 6X12: One Son) were implanted in them to manipulate them. As big a hand-wave explanation as they come.

Re: The X-Files

That does pretty much cover it.

I'm wondering if it would have been better for them to come back and just not try to make sense of the mess at all. Maybe just say it happened and move on to something new.

Re: The X-Files

I always figured that's what they'd do. I always saw Colonization going down one of two ways -- Mulder confronting an alien in human form, declaring that this is the moment they stop Colonization. Only for the alien to say that Colonization has been cancelled -- that the humans have messed up the Earth so much nobody wants any part of it and that the galaxy at large considers Earth a no-fly zone.

The other option I imagined was Mulder and Scully gathering an army of werewolves, ghosts, poltergeists, parasites, demons, witches, vampires, etc., and the supernatural creatures teaming up to fight the aliens.

Re: The X-Files

Sick at home today. Started reading the X-FILES anthology, TRUST NO ONE, from IDW. At one point, I got really confused by a story set in 2015 where Mulder and Scully are employed at the FBI, investigating X-Files and sharing a bed. What!?!?

Then I realized that this story set in the comic book version of Season 10. Somehow, I'd forgotten all about it. I wonder if this alternate continuity will be maintained; there's a relaunch of the X-FILES comics in April.

Re: The X-Files

I was rewatching "My Struggle" today, specifically the scene of Tad and Mulder laying out the Conspiracy of Men... and I still felt this buzz of present-day, ripped from the headlines relevance and the fact that it didn't really fit Seasons 1 - 9 seemed so unimportant when these descriptions of the corporate controlled military industrial complex is so barely exaggerated from real life. The stuff about chemtrails and 9-11 as an inside job is nonsense, but our world being in thrall to an elite cabal of the wealthy seeking to dull, sicken and distract the populace doesn't even qualify as a conspiracy; that's just reality.

Although it probably would have been for the best had the FOX website provided an ebook or something to link the original continuity with the new one. Like those STAR TREK comics that bridged the NEXT GENERATION with the Rebootquel.

Re: The X-Files

I guess the level to which you identify with that stuff would depend on your own beliefs. The problem with dealing with real world issues and incorporating them into a story like that is that you can't really throw a quick line in there and be done with it. You have to make that idea make sense to the audience that isn't quite there with you. Even if you're not trying to convince them, you have to make them understand where you're coming from.

Carter's method with the "My Struggle" two parter seems to have been to just throw a string of thoughts into the air and see if any of them landed on their feet. He didn't seem to have a firm grasp of what he believed, much less how it fit into a story that he wasn't really clear on the details of.

(and I leave myself open for similar criticisms, I know)

Re: The X-Files

Chris Carter, interviewed at a Smithsonian event:

https://www.facebook.com/smithsonianmag … 721118253/

Re: The X-Files

I have reached the Doggett era in my rewatch. I had always remembered liking the character, but thought that I would see weaknesses in the show after Mulder left that perhaps I didn't see before.

Oddly enough, I don't. I find Doggett to be refreshing. He is a skeptic, but with an open mind. He isn't a blind follower of his bosses, but he also isn't as quick as Mulder to throw aside his duty. It is a nice change of pace. He should get a lot more credit as a character than he does. Too bad that we haven't seen more of him. I imagine him going back to police work in his home city, after getting sick of all of this federal conspiracy crap.

Still haven't seen Reyes' episodes yet. Something to look forward to, despite the fact that I didn't like what the revival did to her.

Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

I have reached the Doggett era in my rewatch. I had always remembered liking the character, but thought that I would see weaknesses in the show after Mulder left that perhaps I didn't see before.

Oddly enough, I don't. I find Doggett to be refreshing. He is a skeptic, but with an open mind. He isn't a blind follower of his bosses, but he also isn't as quick as Mulder to throw aside his duty. It is a nice change of pace. He should get a lot more credit as a character than he does. Too bad that we haven't seen more of him. I imagine him going back to police work in his home city, after getting sick of all of this federal conspiracy crap.

Still haven't seen Reyes' episodes yet. Something to look forward to, despite the fact that I didn't like what the revival did to her.

I liked Doggett.  Too bad scorpion got in the way for his return.  Didn't like Reyes' storyline on the revival but I'm already jonesing for more x-files and really liked having new X Files to look forward to.

Re: The X-Files

I am looking forward to its return too, even though I thought the revival was very weak (at least half of it was, if not more). I like having it around, they just really need Chris Carter gone.

Re: The X-Files

Season 8 of The X-Files is a strange thing. It's strange because the show sets itself up to go on for a while, strongly, despite Mulder going missing. Doggett and Reyes are great characters, and the fact that Reyes is more of an occult person than an alien person even sets the show up with a new mythology direction, so it can continue without Mulder or Scully, and not feel like a complete rehash of a tired arc.

All of this is great, but the writers refused to lean into those possibilities. For starters, Doggett and Scully are constantly split up during investigations. This may have been because Gillian Anderson wanted more free time, but it feels like the writers don't want them to develop a real partnership, because it might threaten the Mulder/Scully dynamic. It feels like they're clinging to what worked before, even if what worked is not possible at that point, since Duchovny wanted out.

Then Mulder comes back and rather than allow all of these strong characters to live and work together, there is always this false hostility toward Doggett (and to a lesser degree, Reyes). It doesn't work though, because I find myself siding with Doggett and thinking that Mulder is being a d-bag... Scully is still largely absent from the action, so it's hard to get a feel for her at this point. Is she back to being the skeptic around Mulder? Does she remain the believer? Is she somewhere in the middle? I don't know. She just keeps telling Mulder that Doggett is a good guy and totally worth the effort of getting to know him, but it feels weird, since she has spent so little time in the same room with him.

There is a legitimately good setup for the series moving forward here, but as usual, the X-Files clings to what's safe and familiar and refuses to move on from the past.

Re: The X-Files

Season 9...

I've only watched the two-part premiere so far, but it was pretty weak. The super soldier concept is fine. But the mystery surrounding Mulder and Scully and their baby is just weirdly off. Mulder is gone because... he is. There are scenes where people are being very dramatic and mysterious about nothing in particular. Oddly, Mulder and Scully became the weakest part of the show. If they'd just been cut loose, the show would have been better off.

I'm curious to see where Doggett is today. Honestly, I don't see him staying with the FBI or putting up with the BS. I would say that he would have become part of the war on terrorism, but I don't know that he would work for the government at all after all of this. Maybe private security, or a private investigator? Unless he just went back to the NYPD. I feel bad for the guy. He genuinely wants to help, but everyone just treats him like crap and then wonders why he doesn't know as much as they do.

Re: The X-Files

I liked Season 8 a lot. Season 9 was a meandering mess best exemplified by "TrustNo1" where Doggett, Reyes and Scully spend the climax running around a quarry shouting for Mulder with Mulder played by a stunt double seen at a distant and urgently running away from everyone involved in the series. The myth-arc was a mistake that even Frank Spotnitz acknowledged in a recent interview where he said that, looking back, he focused too much on plot and too little on character.

It's a symptom of TXF being an early adopter of serialized TV. The first time you do anything, especially if you're the first to do it, it will probably suck.

TheM0vieblog.com has been doing some great retrospectives of the Season 10 - 11 comic books and the revival mini-series. The comics, M0vieBlog notes, initially tried to make a big show of being a canonical revival with approval from Chris Carter because the publishers understood that fans will judge what counts and what doesn't count and getting the series creator's name on the cover would make the comics count.

M0vieBlog then notes how, even before the first comic arc was completed, the show's live action revival made it clear the comics had started out canonical but weren't anymore and how the story and the writer act out this little drama within the pages itself; the Cigarette Smoking Man in the Season 10 comics is a clone with a patchwork series of memories from documents and a telepath, a stand-in for the real thing trying to justify his own existence and argue that he has meaning and will and purpose.

The Season 11 comics end on Mulder encountering a rip in spacetime caused by the alien's reality warping vessels and seeing visions of alternate realities, one of which is the TV revival. Writer Joe Harris carefully moves his own stories out of continuity while declaring that the comic books are canonical and it's the TV show that's set in a parallel reality in which the alien conspiracy was a hoax where in the main reality, it most certainly wasn't.

M0vieBlog has a really neat take on "My Struggle," first noting that it's Chris Carter tacitly acknowledging that the mythology can't make sense. Instead, the situation will be that some of it is true and some of it is not and some of it will be blatantly ignored. The blog also notes: the Revival episodes have a very different take on the aliens from the original series.

In the original series, the aliens were evil monsters, full stop. Chris Carter's view was that aliens are external representations of evil. But in the years that passed, Carter changed and "My Struggle" reflects this with true evil being represented entirely by self-serving human beings and aliens are now innocent parties.

The two views of aliens -- external evil seeking to corrupt the human race and beneficent observers who were kidnapped and killed -- are incompatible, which is why the alien conspiracy mythos is at odds with the Spartan virus mythos. The Chris Carter of 1993 is not the Chris Carter of 2016; he now sees evil as something within ourselves rather than something outside ourselves.

It's an interesting dilemma; what if, when returning to a series you started, you don't believe what you believed when you started the series?

It's something I found myself struggling with in that I am doing a pastiche of Tracy Torme and Dan Harmon for SLIDERS REBORN and the 2015 - 2016 version of SLIDERS is more cynical than the 1995 version of SLIDERS. The 1995 version of SLIDERS believes that our world has turned out great, that everything -- the American Revolution, the World Wars, the civil rights movement, the Clinton administration, Vietnam, Wall Street -- has ultimately put us in a decent place, albeit a place filled with injustices and failures and problems -- but that any divergences would shift us from a flawed but workable situation to a nightmarish world of fascist dystopian madness.

SLIDERS REBORN is fundamentally opposed to SLIDERS on that level -- SLIDERS REBORN declares that everything has turned out terribly, that our world is in shambles, that our world has been in a mess since 1995 and well before it, that our civilization is skateboarding straight to hell and that all of this is Quinn Mallory's fault in that his invention should have changed everything, but his incompetence has doomed us all. It is a serious philosophical distinction between the two. I don't think for one moment that Tracy Torme's version of REBORN would be anything like mine -- this is the Dan Harmon version of SLIDERS, really. But there is no way that Tracy, having come out of Season 3, didn't emerge embittered and cynical.

But I think that SLIDERS REBORN is still recognizable as SLIDERS because it shifts the positivity of the original SLIDERS onto the characters. Wade Welles is a guidance counsellor, Rembrandt Brown is an award winning sound engineer, Professor Arturo is a celebrated sci-fi author and Quinn Mallory is a one-man Salvation Army. Despite all the wrong turns and dead ends and abandoned plot threads and murders and mutilations and that business with the Chasm we'd all like to forget, the journey brought them all to who they are now and that makes it worthwhile. The positivity is still there, it's just not positivity about our world.

With THE X-FILES -- I think that the only way to reconcile the two opposing views would have been to present Mulder and Scully as two people living lives that are assailed by dark forces outside of them that turn out to be humans with a dark agenda as opposed to aliens with a dark agenda. Carter chose not to do this by having Mulder and Scully split up because of his obvious discomfort with romance, so "My Struggle" is an X-FILES relaunch that's truly detached from the show from which it began.

Re: The X-Files

The story is what the story is. Chris Carter's inability to go back to that story because of his personal changes just shows how weak he is as a writer.

If you asked me to write a Star Trek The Next Generation story, I could. I could write an X-Files episode, a Buffy episode... if I know the characters, I can do it. There are a thousand writers who could write The X-Files, and who would jump at the chance. I would love to see Mulder and Scully written by writers of today, who grew up with them and love them.

It is fine for a writer to not be able to get back into a project after so long, but if they can't, they shouldn't be in charge of that story. It becomes a mess, as we witnessed.


But I have a fix. And it works with the show's canon. smile

The one regular to not appear at all in season 10 was John Doggett, right? So, what if he isn't in the picture becuse he is either quadriplegic, or dead because Monica Reyes killed him? I am referring to the season 9 episode "4D" which deals with a parallel universe. An alternate Doggett is dragged into our reality after seeing his Monica's throat slashed. He is shot and disabled, while our Monica is left to figure out what is going on. Deciding that two Doggett's can't exist in the same universe (so her Doggett is alive in the other universe), Reyes kills the alternate Doggett, resetting time (a cheap way to keep Reyes from being a murderer) and bringing her Doggett home.

So what if that alternate Reyes got medical care and survived, and season 10 (and whatever comes next, I guess) exists in that other universe?

Bam. I fixed it.


Season 9 was confused, to say the least. The show feels totally different, as though a whole new crew took over. There is a lot more leather going on, which is fine for Reyes, but not for Scully.

The mythology revolves around Mulder and Scully, which is weird since Mulder is gone and Scully is a supporting player at best. The super soldier arc never got off the ground, because it was a desperate attempt to hold onto something that the show had no chance of keeping.

The magical baby storyline really never works, but it was popular for a long time on tv. Didn't work here either.

The stories feel more shallow and lifeless, probably because Doggett and Reyes are second class citizens on their own show. The writers never seem to care about their relationship or personalities, beyond basic outlines. Which is a shame, because they're really solid characters.

I don't think that the writers knew how to handle Reyes, who was a real woman of faith. Scully was religious at times, but was always a skeptic and that made the writers comfortable with her. With Reyes, they had to sell true belief in spiritual elements, and it lacked conviction.

I wish Reyes and Doggett were allowed to be more fun and playful at times, as Mulder and Scully were. But it's like the writers resented the characters and wanted to punish them. Even Scully's personality shift made it hard to relate to her. She is not the same character that we watched for so many years.

Season 9 wasn't a total loss. There are some interesting stories there. But overall, it feels like nobody wanted to be there anymore, with the possible exception of Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish, who did their best.

Re: The X-Files

Also, the end of the Lone Gunmen was poorly handled. Rather than give them an end that fit who they were on this highly successful, classic tv series, they chose to give them an end that fit who they were on their poorly rated spinoff that nobody watched and I haven't seen any sign of since it was cancelled after one season.

These characters started out being great supporting players, who were a fun way of getting answers. Turning them into wacky action heroes didn't work. They belonged in their lair. Their deaths should have meant something to The X-Files, but they had no interaction with any of the people that they had worked with for all those years. The episode was a back-door series finale for a show that nobody cared about. They did something similar with Millennium, but at least that episode worked as an X-Files episode.

Their deaths should have been a big emotional moment. Instead, I was kinda bored by the episode.

Re: The X-Files

i recently did a re-read of the comic books. The M0vie Blog did a great retrospective of all the episodes over several years and recently completed reviews for the original Topps comic series and the recent Season 10 - 11 comics. https://them0vieblog.com/2016/07/21/the … ster-list/

Despite Carter's original intention to let SEASON 10 act as the equivalent of those STAR TREK prequel comics to a future X-FILES film, he set it aside. Likely, the chance to revive THE X-FILES as a TV show caught him by surprise, but he saw the six new episodes not as a finale for THE X-FILES but the start of a new run of episodes. As the revival was not going to be the standalone, single-installment production he had expected, the comics could no longer act as a prequel or post-revival sequel -- the revival would be its own prequel and sequel in its episodes. "My Struggle" aired and presented a version of THE X-FILES that was impossible to reconcile with the comics, mostly because in the comics, the alien invasion was real but in the TV show, the alien invasion has been retconned as a hoax.

Ultimately, the SEASON 10 - 11 comic ends with Mulder and Scully encountering an alien spaceship that warps spacetime and creates a window into parallel dimensions where they experience a brief glimpse of their alternate universe doubles in "My Struggle." Then Harris and his artists started a new series that, despite being presented as a tie-in to the revived TV show, doesn't seem to tie in properly at all. While the artists use the hairstyles and likenesses of the Revival versions of Mulder and Scully, they make no specific reference to any of the six episodes. The first five issues so far have been monster of the week stories and there is no indication whether these stories are taking place at some point during the six episodes of the show or at some point after the Spartan virus cliffhanger has presumably been resolved. The amount of time that passes in the comic will eventually make it impossible for the stories to have taken place inside the six weeks of the 2015 season.

The great shame of losing SEASON 10 - 11 is that this run had resurrected the Lone Gunmen and the comic seemed to have real creative freedom in advancing and developing THE X-FILES characters and concepts, all of which would now sadly be discarded with the relaunched X-FILES comic.

But so far, the transition has been gentle; one could easily imagine these relaunched issues to be set in SEASON 10 - 11's continuity as Harris has avoided any direct contradictions; for example, the Lone Gunmen are presumably dead again, but Harris simply avoids mentioning them.

Harris seems to retain a certain creative freedom: issues #4 - 5 delved into Scully's family history. Issue #6 will apparently kick off a myth-arc storyline involving the Syndicate. Harris described his comic as "a sidecar experience" where he wouldn't expect to tie into the TV show's plots, but would try to tell strong X-FILES stories and maintain the atmosphere, style and characterization of his SEASON 10 - 11 comics.

One would expect Harris' X-FILES to read like what the Topps series degenerated into, but Harris has for five issues created at least the illusion that he can build and develop Mulder and Scully as he sees fit -- and apparently, he can still get into the myth-arc somehow. A part of me is wondering if these comics are still set in the SEASON 10 to 11 continuity and have simply adopted the Revival hairstyles for the time being, with the Harris-continuity to potentially return at some point. It's an interestingly low-key solution to a high-tension problem.