The X-Files: My Struggle III
January 3, 2018 10:12 PM - Season 11, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Picking up after the last event series’ cliffhanger, Mulder and Scully learn that they aren’t the only ones desperately searching for their long-lost son, William. The very fate of the world may depend on it.

AV Club recap: The X-Files re-returns, and it's not as bad as it might've been

Please tell me I am not the only person on MetaFilter still watching this ridiculous show
posted by potrzebie (47 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
OK, I agree with the headline of the AV Club recap. This could have been a lot worse. I feel like in 2016 X-Files seemed like a sort of silly, nostalgic indulgence, but now it's emotionally resonant in almost too many ways. The XF trope of a wealthy elite coming up with an exit strategy to get off a dying planet and/or destroy it themselves so nobody else gets there first and they can destroy it in a way that lets them survive has never felt closer to reality. The idea that of COURSE the CSM felt it was his right to impregnate Scully with his superbaby, because powerful men feel absolutely 100% entitled to the use and abuse of women's bodies? So hot right now! And of course, X-Files has always been about how malleable the truth can be, and how simple it is to nudge people to believe the crazy things they wanted to believe anyway. Waaay ahead of its time there.

LBR this was a completely typical Chris Carter episode complete with the most silly VO's maybe in the show's history. Scully spent most of her time in the hospital while Mulder executed the least exciting car chase I've ever watched. I think Mitch Pileggi got the most interesting stuff to do this episode. Honestly I felt more like I was watching "real X-Files" than any time I can remember in the previous mini-season. I never even watched "My Struggle II" because I was so pissed about how the rest of the season had gone and I guess joke's on everyone who did cause it was all a dream! Or something!

Still processing so I might have more to say later and GOD I hope someone else posts in this thread besides me! I used to have legions of friends who loved XF like a religion, but CC and pals burned whatever nostalgic good will they had with season 10. I'm the only person I know who isn't paid to watch TV who has any interest in watching this show, and I'm frankly pretty embarrassed to even admit it. But I just felt in my gut that XF would have more to say to me now than it did two years ago.

Or mayyybe my spooky psychic chilllldren were telling me thatttt.
posted by potrzebie at 10:27 PM on January 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I joked about the car chase during the episode. "Just when I thought they forgot my nostalgia for extended car commercials." I'm not a fan of the excessive Mulder monolog voice over through the episode. Usually when an episode had a lot of voice over there was a clear point in the story where they show the narrator documenting the case in some way (Scully making her reports, Mulder chasing aliens at the observatory, etc). There was a noticeable lack of interaction between the characters in the episode. Scully was ill/having her vision, Mulder was mute through most of his scenes, and CSM spent most his time monologing to Monica.

Let's talk about William. I have feelings about CSM being the father. Outrage might be a top contender?? I thought En Ami was a weird episode but it never really resonated with me as much as others. I hate that the show is rewriting itself with this disgusting idea and taking away the choice Scully made in having a child with Mulder.
posted by toomanycurls at 11:30 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

By contrast, I always thought the "miracle" of William's conception was out of character with the rest of the show which rested way way way too many plot points on Scully's constantly being denied bodily and specifically reproductive autonomy. The twist wasn't something I predicted (although now that I think back, I think during the shows original run I may have) but it didn't surprise me even a little bit.
posted by potrzebie at 12:07 AM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

LBR this was a completely typical Chris Carter episode complete with the most silly VO's maybe in the show's history.

My reaction as well. I think my words to my husband, as soon as CSM started monologuing was, "Ah, now I can tell this is a Chris Carter joint." And then he and Mulder just kept monologuing, endlessly. Did Blade Runner teach us nothing?

I thought it was super dumb, but not super dumb in any extraordinary way that other Chris Carter X-Files episodes have not also been super dumb. And stylistically? Man, they are really committed to partying like it is 1999, aren't they? I have to respect that.

The decades have not changed my utter inability to care about the mythos.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:33 AM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

OK, I agree with the headline of the AV Club recap. This could have been a lot worse.

Counterpoint: "Science, Mr. Skinner, ALIEN SCIENCE"

I guess it could have been worse, but UGH I am so sick of the conspiracy and the mythology. First run I fell for it for a while, but now it's so clear that it's going nowhere comprehensible that I just can't stand it. Give me eight solid monster episodes over this any day. Mulder's voiceovers were TERRIBLE, the characters got little to do with each other, the "Mulder yells at Skinner" scene felt like it was just lifted verbatim from one of the first dozen times they did that, and mostly it was just kind of boring?

Are there plans for more monster of the week episodes this season? I might be off the train if not.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:39 AM on January 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

I am having a really hard time coming up with an explanation for why this was so incompetently directed. Certainly Carter isn't a great visual stylist, but his episodes and the movie he directed were competently blocked. Rustiness isn't an excuse--several years elapsed between his directing episodes and the second movie. I have to come to the conclusion that he was trying to ape a visual style that was popular about 10 years ago (Bourne-style shit) and is just... really bad at it.

The writing was standard vague Carter bullshit, the breaking of the story was worse than the original run, but he never wrote the mythology episodes by himself after like the first season, so that would explain that. What's inexcusable to me is the really awful, just straight-up anger-inducing reveal that the Cigarette Smoking Man raped Scully.

William in general was always a bad idea, and this is just making a bad idea even worse. I fundamentally am aghast at the lukewarm praise this episode is getting.

At least the cinematography was better than season 10?
posted by Automocar at 6:32 AM on January 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Also, why the fuck is he continuing to name episodes after Mein Kampf? Like, is that intentional? Did no one tell him?
posted by Automocar at 6:36 AM on January 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Ugh. So Scully/Bobby steps out of the shower and it was all a vision/dream. Fuck me. Now, was the entire last season a vision or just part of it? Carter couldn't even bother making that clear. And yes, the CSM impregnating Scully is just shitty.

I somewhat enjoyed the Mustang commercial - XF has always been good at showcasing Ford products and this was a culmination of sorts.

I'll stick around for a few more episodes - hoping against hope that there might be a decent monster episode somewhere in this pile of manure.
posted by Ber at 7:00 AM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

The X-Files always had a problem with how it handled sexual violence but it's been 20 years and I would like them to do better now. Chris Carter doesn't seem to understand that impregnating a woman without her consent is sexual assault, regardless of the means used.

"He didn’t rape Scully. He impregnated her with science."

Infuriating. Absolutely rage inducing.
posted by MaritaCov at 7:00 AM on January 4, 2018 [9 favorites]

Oh my god he went back to the "forceable impregnation but it's charming or at least not that bad" well AGAIN? See also "The Post Modern Prometheus" and "Small Potatoes," both of which featured multiple violations of women but are both considered light hearted classics with affable perpetrators.

I wasn't watching this anyway but that blows my mind.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:20 AM on January 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

I don't think we're supposed to believe CSM is charming. I mean, what?

If you're inclined to be charitable (which you don't have to be), I think Carter's response in the EW interview is a clumsy way of answering a question about whether CSM is William's "biological" father or if William is a human/alien hybrid:

When CSM says he’s William’s father, is he literally his father, to some biological extent? Along with alien DNA?

No. He’s the figurative father if he’s not the actual father. He didn’t rape Scully. He impregnated her with science.

posted by AndrewInDC at 7:39 AM on January 4, 2018

Jesus, I didn't think Carter was going to triple down on the fucking awful Mein Kampf episode titling.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:47 AM on January 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I mean I don't think anything CSM does is played for "charming or not that bad" points, the dude is straight evil. In this episode he admitted to both this shit and conspiring to start a pandemic to wipe it humanity. If I didn't kinda know better by now I'd almost think this was self aware on CC's part (to have the worst guy on the show admitting he did this thing that the show has been criticized for minimizing) but I have never known CC to be self aware whatsoever.

It's annoying but not surprising that CC doesn't understand that medical rape and forced impregnation are rape, but this is a distinction lots of people still draw.
posted by potrzebie at 7:50 AM on January 4, 2018

So - according to canon, it was not confirmed that Cancer Man was Mulder's father. And it also was not canon that Cancer Man got up to any hijinks during En Ami, and it also was canon that William was Mulder's son.

So basically Chris Carter chucked the canon over his shoulder like Luke did his lightsaber.

....According to accounts, Gillian Anderson has said this is her last time around with this stuff. Mine too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 AM on January 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Oy, this was bad. I was so mad about the last episode of last season I almost didn't tune in, but, something something sunk cost fallacy something something.

And then right out of the gate, we're now suggesting the moon landing was staged...I'm pretty sure that directly contradicts previous X-Files episodes, but even if it doesn't, it definitely contradicts the spirit of previous X-Files episodes - conspiracies in the X-Files were always about hiding knowledge that we did have, never about pretending to have knowledge that we didn't have. Mankind's drive to explore and learn was always a good thing even if it often had unintended consequences; the search for truth was always noble and worth respecting, even by the enemies of the truth. "Fake news", fine, but "fake science" was never a thing here. In short: like 30 seconds in and I was already feeling like Chris Carter has become a cantankerous old crank who has lost touch with the essential optimism of the X-Files I grew up with.

There was too much voice over, but I can forgive them that. There were some really badly edited action sequences and a frankly dull car chase, but I can forgive them for that, too. These are the kinds of warts that showed up in the original show and weren't enough to weigh it down.

But man, there was some atrocious dialogue. Scully having to scream "What is happening?" made me feel nothing but a deep swell of pity for Gillian Anderson.

There were also some truly atrocious plot points. Brain activity producing Morse code when viewed in an MRI? That's not how MRIs or brain activity works. (They slightly redeemed that nonsense, for me, when Skinner later tried to defend himself by pointing out that Mulder has believed crazier hunches for less reason. He's got you there, Fox!) I'm not even gonna get into the whole William's-actual-father twist; that was just one of the last in a long line of indignities heaped on Scully in this episode, which robbed her of all her ability to act as a person and just turned her into a plot device, or rather, a series of plot devices, most of them terrible overused cliches that weren't done especially well here. "Ominous prophet of doom" for one, "It was all a dream" for another, and let's not forget "helpless damsel in distress"...ugh.

The pacing felt off, too. This episode felt (mostly due to the editing) like it was moving at a breakneck speed, yet not enough actually happened to justify that pace. It felt like Chris Carter again being old and out of touch and thinking "these damn whippersnapper kids, they love their fast cuts and fast dialogue." If you're going to try to build a sense of dread, a sense of impending doom, you've gotta leave some breathing space for it, some empty, quiet parts for your viewers' brains to catch up to what's happening and start to think past what's happening and freak out. I could probably write a long long treatise about some of the older X-Files episodes and their fantastic and still largely unsurpassed use of very quiet, slow moments to build atmosphere, but I won't, I will just say that this episode had almost no atmosphere except in two scenes (the best two scenes of the episode, IMO) CSM confronting Skinner in the car and Mulder confronting the Syndicate people in that house. I don't think it's a coincidence that both of those scenes moved much slower, their pace largely dictated by the actors portraying powerful men who refuse to be rushed. (For all my problems with this episode, William B. Davis was fantastic. As always, really.)

Anyways, fully-conspiracy-centered episodes have often been the weakest ones. I'll still end up tuning in for the rest of the episodes and I hope that the mysteries of the week are a bit more solid. But I'm sad about how much this was just not a good hour of television.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:59 AM on January 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Yeah, no. I got bored minutes into the thing. I stuck around 'til the end, though, but I didn't come away pining for the next episode. Neither Duchovny or Anderson looked like they were enjoying any of it. Duchovny, especially, seemed to look as if he were being forced to do the show at the barrel of a gun. Honestly, the whole thing seemed to play out as a sort of parody of an X-Files episode.

I doubt I'll tune-in again. I just over it. Let the show die.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:34 AM on January 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

When CSM said that he was the father, I said "that's just gross". I just don't like how incestuous and small-worldy the conspiracy has gotten. It's starting to feel like a soap opera. CSM is William's father? And Mulder's father? Is Scully Skinner's secret daughter? Is Einstein Scully's secret niece? Is Skinner CSM's secret twin brother? Is Queequeg Krycek's secret dog?

Actually, if they're bringing people back from the dead, where's my Krycek? I'd love to see him get beat up one more time.

But anyway, I think that the whole retcon-this-is-what-was-REALLY-going-on thing is out of hand and unnecessary and, to be honest, kind of ruining the whole thing for me. I'll stick around for the MOW episodes and I'll watch the other conspiracy episodes with a bit of a scowl.

On another note: Herr Vortex and I are doing an X-Files rewatch. We just finished up the 4th season Tunguska two-parter. We seriously debated whether or not to watch the new one last night because we knew it couldn't stand up next to the 4th season (which wasn't even the best season, IMHO). We watched it, it didn't hold a candle to it. Kind of a bummer. Back to the DVDs.
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:39 AM on January 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Really? REALLY? Continuing to call episodes My Struggle and giving the two major female characters the amazing opportunity to be either (basically) caretaking or raped by science? Is Chris Carter literally unaware of the year he’s in and the climate he’s vomiting these episodes into? I was a diehard fan back in the day, and I even got through the last season, but I am nope-ing right out now.
posted by olinerd at 11:45 AM on January 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

When CSM said that he was the father, I said "that's just gross".

I just turned to my husband and said, "Gross."

It's gross. It's like, television writing and idk like our whole culture has advanced in the past 15 years but Chris Carter has not noticed at all. It's kind of amazing in an icky way.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Seriously? Do we really need in the year 2017 to point out that rape and forced pregnancy stories are misogynistic crap? Can't Hollywood conceive of anything else to do with a woman character?

Fuck. I'm never going to watch anything else by Chris Carter. He's retroactively made everything that came before suck.
posted by happyroach at 2:44 PM on January 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Basically what everyone has already said.

This episode felt like it took itself way too seriously, everything was overwrought.

Mulder/Duchovny looking really rough, as the character should be. CSM's got some damned fine burn surgeons/ magic medtech.

potrzebie - agreed, Pileggi/Skinner seemed the most engaged actor in the entire episode. Looked almost like a "contract year" for an athlete.

In an alternate timeline, I think I'd be super interested in an X-Files reboot where there was no actual conspiracy, and it turned out it was just a bunch of really rich oligarchs playing at "secret society" and the con artists that facilitated their delusion. It was supposed to be a stupid prank/ grab a few bucks from some people who were too rich for their own good. One thing led to another and it kind of snowballed. Scully and Mulder took down the cons and the rich folk were too embarrassed and shut down coverage with money. A bunch of them went to jail. FBI was embarrassed too and purged/ incarcerated a few of the bad apples of the security apparatus.

The reboot would be like Community because it was so high quality for so long, even way after the show morphed into an "intentional community" thing where the gang start a cooperative. Mulder's still at the FBI mellowing out into a old fart and has the kid in the office when he's not in school, dropping atrocious dad jokes. Scully teaches profiling and medical science at the FBI and has fun squishing profiler trainees who are way too full of themselves. Skinner is retired in Key West with a community of eccentrics but still has phone calls with the gang a la 'Holywood A.D.' Reyes is a pretty high up director. T-1000 is a deputy director and hands on with his field agents.

They all snark heavily about the field agents behind their backs.
posted by porpoise at 6:53 PM on January 4, 2018 [6 favorites]

This was pretty terrible. I feel like I need to go watch something else now, something good, to get the horrible taste of it out of my mouth. Bringing back CSM is incredibly, unforgivably stupid. Come on, we saw his flaming skull! They should have come up with a whole new mythology conspiracy, one that made sense as the old ones never did, or just done some new monster of the week episodes.

I did read in a review that the season gets quite a bit better after the first episode. It better. If it doesn't, I hope that Gillian Anderson sticks to her decision not to do any more X-Files. They can't do it without her.
posted by orange swan at 7:02 PM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

... and while I'm still daydreaming, Mulder comes out as a non-op transsexual woman who only has romantic intentions towards other women.

And everyone, including at the FBI, is cool with it.
posted by porpoise at 7:23 PM on January 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I suspected this would be almost unwatchable and somehow it was worse than I thought it was going to be. I watched the first few seasons again last summer and man, I can not believe what this show turned into. It could have went down as one of the greatest shows of all time.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:16 PM on January 4, 2018

TBH I knew this would be bad as soon as they said they were starting with the mytharc. They really need to let someone else take over the mythology, it's getting ridiculous.

Now on to the MOTW episodes which I think are the reason people are still watching.
posted by Query at 8:17 PM on January 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

This episode was just so bizarre and hypermasculine. During the Mulder/Skinner fight I really expected one of them to say "come at me, bro."

Did anyone else notice that the doctor treating Scully called her "Ms. Scully" rather than Dr. or Agent at one point? The show lost me there before we even got to the impregnation nonsense.
posted by TheLateGreatAbrahamLincoln at 8:21 PM on January 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

I liked this storyline a lot better when it was the second season of Millennium.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:37 PM on January 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

omg that was so dumb and the whole thing was weirdly paced like a recap

posted by speicus at 12:58 AM on January 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

I was immediately pissed off by the I WANT TO LIE tagline.

CC making it so Scully is making zero choices and having no say. Fuck you, Chris Carter.

After last season exactly zero percent of people said: "man, I hope we get some more ret conning AND myth arc stuff."

The extended mustang commercial was the only piece of this that reminded me of coming home to a thing I used to love.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:14 AM on January 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

And yeah, if we're gonna bring back people...GIVE ME RATBOY.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:26 AM on January 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

He blinded impregnated her with science!

This was godawful. I felt shame watching it, hoping my husband was asleep on the other sofa instead of quietly judging my terrible taste in shows. The endless, ENDLESS voiceovers, that were a terrible noir-y parody of the voiceovers from earlier seasons. The stupid car commercial chase. The repulsive retconning of En Ami. Mein Kampf 3. The absurdly welltimed reappearance of Mini-Me Mulder & Scully.

William killed the show. Mulder leaving did too, but even if he had never left, the awful William crap would have killed it, anyway. I'm sure I'll keep watching out of a sad compulsion but this felt far worse than even the last season.
posted by gatorae at 6:49 PM on January 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yeah. Somehow Chris Carter took the cliffhanger from last year that I fucking hated and came out with a thing I hated even more.

I hope to all the gods that they go with Scully's thought on just doing the work of the x files and that we don't have nine more fucking retconning myth arc eps coming at us. Because I know I'm gonna watch this shit and I'm gonna hate parts of myself for it.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:10 PM on January 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Here's a weird little positive note about this episode, since no one has mentioned it yet: The single best decision that Chris Carter has made as a writer for The X-Files in a long time is landing on "Carl Gerhardt Bush" as the Cigarette Smoking Man's real name. Like the old Syndicate boss from the first X-Files movie, Conrad Strughold of the Strughold Mining Company — whose name is pretty explicitly a reference to one of the Nazi scientists imported by Operation Paperclip — Carter is really leaning into the whole (IRL) Bush family history supporting the Nazis before World War II, as well as George H. W. Bush's complicated history as a former CIA-director turned vice president and then president. It's brilliant and creepy. I hope some of you caught that CSM also name-dropped The Fourth Turning, one of Steve Bannon's favorite books. "Conspiracy and Shadow Governance as Fascism's Operative Mode" has been a large, underlined theme of this show for seasons to anyone who bothers to take the show's politics seriously. The "My Struggle" episode titles are just driving that home in the final stretch (or so I'm hoping, anyway).

Generally, I have the same complaints everyone else has about this episode, however.

Lastly: There was a real lost opportunity to tie in the real-world Russia situation to the still dangling Russian Syndicate vs. Western Syndicate plot line from the Tunguska/Terma episodes in Season 4. It's probably the only cool thing they could have done with the mythology: With the alien rebels having killed off the Western Syndicate in Season 6, the Russians have continued their rival version of these operations, with ramifications in other facets of geopolitics, and society, and whatever, etc., etc. (I would seriously write this as a spec script, I care about it that much.)
posted by ProfLinusPauling at 9:56 PM on January 5, 2018 [9 favorites]

I'm waiting for a fluke man. I'm waiting for a deranged narcoleptic serial killer. Gimme a vampire, dammit! (And the vampire episode was truly disappointing, back when Anderson was on maternity leave).
Mulder's sister is dead. Move on.
posted by TrishaU at 1:50 AM on January 6, 2018

They're bringing back The Lone Gunmen, right? Right?
posted by TrishaU at 1:59 AM on January 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Well...Their deaths were retconned to have been faked, so...
posted by Thorzdad at 7:44 AM on January 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

And the vampire episode was truly disappointing, back when Anderson was on maternity leave

Okay, yes, 3 was pretty mediocre, but Bad Blood is Gillian Anderson's favorite episode, with good reason.

Well...Their deaths were retconned to have been faked, so...

Oh, don't toy with my hopes like that!
posted by mstokes650 at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

They're bringing back The Lone Gunmen, right? Right?

Only if their kickass theme music comes with them.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:16 AM on January 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Brave choice letting Neil Breen write and direct.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:15 PM on January 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Elly Vortex: It's starting to feel like a soap opera.

Exactly my thoughts! It's an apocalyptic soap opera, particularly this episode -- loaded with expositions and dramatic voice overs, spiced with car commercial action scenes.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on January 8, 2018

I liked it. I thought it accomplished what it was trying to accomplish.

I loved the show back in the day. I loved the mythology episodes. After five or six seasons, it was apparent that the mythology didn't really make sense and that they were just throwing tantalizing things out there every once in a while and hope that we would embrace the mystery and ignore the problems/inconsistencies. Ultimately, it harmed my enjoyment of the show to realize that the mythology stuff was nonsense. Interestingly, when I re-watched the show a few years ago, I enjoyed the later seasons much more more than I had the first time. On my second viewing I was freed from any sort of hope or expectation about the mythology episodes, and I was able to enjoy the other episodes for what they were.

Lost did the exact same thing. They just kept upping the interesting details, hoping that we would not notice that nothing made sense and there was no plan. The show was off the rails. But then there was some sort of strike or something and production halted for a bit. At that time, the show's writers got together and hammered out something consistent that would make sense going forward. I really appreciated that. While the show did not recapture its magic for me, it was able to re-calibrate and make sense on these new terms in its own way.

You would think that would have been what Carter did before last season, but he did not. I am thinking that he thought "Hey, we have six episodes. Let's do what we did before!" And the mythology went on and made even less sense. It got too big. After that finale where there is a space ship over their car and half the world is dying, there is really nowhere left to go. You have to follow that. You can't investigate mysterious bite marks on 12 year-olds in Wyoming when the world has a plague, space ships are landing in the open, and the world is about to end. I think Carter thought it would make for an exciting six episodes.

When they decided to do this season, they had to get the mythology under control. They did. It didn't make sense. It wasn't well done. But it re-set the whole mythology arc. It simplified it. It made it smaller. It kept it manageable. It made it possible for them to go to Wyoming to investigate bite marks again because there is not an immediate threat to all of humanity and their own lives. They can revisit this new William/unleashed plague stuff whenever they want to. They hit the reset button, and I am glad they did. Now they can pursue monsters again.

At least, that's what I hope the whole intent of the episode was.
posted by flarbuse at 7:18 AM on January 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

That was my hope as well, even to the point where I was hoping that Scully's seizures would mean that it was all a dream or something. I am willing to put up with ham-handedness if it means things can get back on track faster. It was surprised that I was happy to see Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell walk past and hope this miniseries ends in them getting a soft reboot.

I was happy to hear the Secret Space Program get a mention by the alternate Syndicate folks. That's been the New Hotness in fringe UFO circles for a few years now, so we'll see if they continue to pull at that thread.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:59 AM on January 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

potrzebie: I mean I don't think anything CSM does is played for "charming or not that bad" points, the dude is straight evil. In this episode he admitted to both this shit and conspiring to start a pandemic to wipe it humanity.

A bit of pedantry: he plans to save a small portion of humanity (just like the alternate Syndicate folks). Most humans will die, but to save the planet.

If you want to watch a more engaging show about an impending man-made doom with layers of conspiracies, Utopia (FanFare show page, beware of light spoilers in episode descriptions) is so frickin' good, in darkly quirky British sort of way. It's so much better if you want to get into people's heads about why they might want to decimate the human population, and what price they're willing to pay. The "villains" get their chances to justify their actions. It also includes political manipulation, but that is also dealt with better than this ham-fisted "I Made This!" video collage/montage for the CSM, which sounded like Chris Carter shouting "hey look at us, X-Files is still so edgy and relevant!"
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 AM on January 8, 2018

I guess I liked this one more than a lot of folks here. I was perfectly happy to see the wingnut stuff revealed as a coma fever dream. (The wingnut stuff was just that bad.) I think people who are outraged at Carter for CSM claiming to have impregnated Scully are missing the point. It's SUPPOSED to be a shocking, truly hideous thing. This is miles away from the "charming" rape stuff of Postmodern Prometheus. This is supposed to be a "Luke, I am your (baby's) father" moment.

That shot of the Moon landing being faked was wacky as hell. (Was that supposed to be Kubrick in the director's chair?) I'm gonna chalk it up to CSM as a super-unreliable narrator. They already established way back in season one that space missions were a real thing.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:55 PM on January 11, 2018

ugh, unwatchable! nearly put us iff the whole season. Carter needs a boss, and to cut it out with the exposition. This felt like a very successfully-funded fanfilm with almost. otcine,atic or script discipline at all. I am glad some here found it worthy, I was just mad.
posted by mwhybark at 12:06 AM on March 27, 2018

"almost no cinematic or script discipline".

posted by mwhybark at 1:32 AM on March 27, 2018

There is so much to hate about this episode. CSM's mere presence. The previous season's finale being a dream Scully had, and her reckless behaviour -- Scully would surely never have tried to drive when she knew she could have a seizure any moment. Mulder accusing Skinner of wrongdoing and pushing him against a wall -- hasn't he progressed past the point of doing such stupid, sophomoric shit at his age? Mulde slashing Scully's attacker's throat -- that wasn't reasonable force, and we have never seen him be so ruthless. Reyes holding a gun to Skinner's head... what the hell? I just don't know how such garbage even got made.
posted by orange swan at 6:13 PM on October 14, 2020

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