The X-Files: My Struggle IV
March 21, 2018 8:05 PM - Season 11, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Mulder and Scully rush to find an on-the-run William while the Cigarette Smoking Man pushes forward with his ultimate plan. [Season finale; CW: exploding people]

Two hot takes:

‘The X-Files’ Review: If ‘My Struggle IV’ Is the Series Finale, That’s Okay -- Season 11, Episode 10, wraps up a lot of story and doesn't leave us furious at Chris Carter — which is, honestly, the best case scenario. (Liz Shannon Miller for Indiewire)

Mulder and Scully close an X-File no one asked for (Zack Handlen for A.V. Club)
posted by filthy light thief (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wow. That best. Probably not even that good.

And, y'know...when (who we thought was) Mulder was shot, I was pretty ok with it. Mulder (Duchovny?) had simply become a gray, lifeless, and unsympathetic character. A lot of the time, it seemed like, for most of the season, Duchovny was in "contract obligation" mode, kind-of phoning it in.

At least we are finally done with Carter's obsession with "My Struggle."
posted by Thorzdad at 5:03 AM on March 22, 2018

Most likely it is the series finale as well, since Gillian Anderson is pretty firm in her assertion that this is it for her and I cannot imagine how they would do this without Scully.

Her Tweets each week have been fun, though. Lots of goofy backstage banter and selfies. So this time it seems that she's at least having fun.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:04 AM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Season 12 titles:

"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion I-IX"
"This is my Quirky Darin Morgan title"
posted by Query at 6:22 AM on March 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

As I was saying, about Gillian Anderson having fun with Tweets.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

The nicest thing I can say about this episode — and unlike a lot of other jilted fans, it matters to me to appreciate what's good about these new episodes — is that it was telanovela melodramatic.
posted by ProfLinusPauling at 2:18 PM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

The horrible thing about this episode is, should Carter somehow chance to make more, it's gonna be more fucking William. Shoulda left the kid in the '90s.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:04 PM on March 22, 2018

I really can't stand the way the script writers jerk us around by ignoring things that happened in previous episodes. The sheer stupidity of bringing back CSM. The fact that William had Scully's colouring as a baby and now bears no resemblance to her.

I don't understand why Scully didn't do a DNA test on William as a baby. Surely as a woman of science she would have wanted to be sure of his paternity.

Wait until Mulder and Scully find out what happened to Skinner and Reyes. Or maybe they'll be able to shrug that off as easily as they did the death of their son when, oh hey, he isn't our son so oh well.
posted by orange swan at 7:20 PM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I know this episode jumped around in time, but there seemed to be a huge continuity error? Like a really huge one?
• Kersh shows Skinner the Tad O'Malley show, which includes footage of Mulder in Norfolk after William exploded those bad guys. Kersh orders Skinner to shut Mulder and Scully down.
• Skinner exits Kersh's office and is confronted by Scully. Skinner tells her that Kersh just ordered him to shut her down, so we know this is right after.
• While they're talking, Scully gets a call from Mulder. He's outside the motel in Norfolk, just after William exploded the bad guys, and we see a person with a cell phone filming him. It's the scene Kersh showed Skinner!
• Are we to believe Kersh has a MAGIC laptop, that can show cell phone footage before it's even filmed??

Seriously, I had to rewatch portions of the episode to verify for myself that that's what happened, which was annoying because I had to rewatch the commercials on Hulu. If someone has an explanation for this, please share!!

Otherwise, Jill Pantozzi at io9 has a take I fully agree with: The X-Files Finale Was So Horrible I Completely Understand Why Gillian Anderson Isn't Coming Back

I was irritated at how Scully was sidelined again in this episode, as she was in the premiere, with her main contributions being that she repeatedly tried to call men who wouldn't pick up and was pregnant, but Jill really illuminates how sorely used she was.

My expectations for this episode were low, and not exceeded. The only part I liked was William blowing people up (and the way that one guy's face stuck to the car window). Although if he could have been doing that all along I don't see why he had to run from all the guys chasing him at the beginning.

And last week's final scenes would have been a much better and sweeter capstone to the entire series than this week's.

Au revoir, X-Files. You used to be my favorite show on TV, and this season reminded me both why that was and why we had to break up. If you come back, please just trim the first and last episode off the new season.
posted by ejs at 7:57 PM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Mulder murdering a bunch of people really efficiently didn't feel X-Files-ey to me.

Sure, highest stakes and all but the (superfluous) bodycount felt off.

Mulder used to drop/ fumble his sidearm so consistently they had a gag where even he's tired of it and gets a backup in an ankle holster (naturally, from which he draws from when he's flat on his ass - again).

What? That's it? This is the end?

Oh. Ok.

I do like the penultimate shot at the docks in the end - that is iconic Vancouver, but viewed from an angle people who don't work there (almost) never see. The 'Rogers Sugar' sign is another strong nod to the filming location.
posted by porpoise at 7:59 PM on March 22, 2018

Chris Carter = George Lucas.

Stick to your strengths, guys. That doesn't include the actual writing of the stories.
posted by Justinian at 10:12 PM on March 22, 2018

He's just going to keep writing these Mein Kampf episodes until somebody forces him to stop, isn't he?
posted by tobascodagama at 2:36 PM on March 24, 2018

Finally saw this last night. I didn't think it was fantastic, but I feel like Chris Carter has become one of those people who is just going to get the geek pile-on no matter what the hell he does. (See, Damon Lindelof, Steven Moffat, et al. They've written some truly superb, widely beloved stuff but at some point fandom soured on them and there shall be no forgiveness ever.) I do feel like Carter has kind of lost his touch and last season was pretty dire at times, but this season was much better and I felt like this episode finished off a LOT of narrative loose ends in a quick, reasonably exciting manner. They even got that Joel McCale/Glenn Beck-ian horseshit out of the way in a cameo, which was about all it deserved.

I didn't like that we left Skinner just sorta kinda dead, maybe?, and the CSM's death in the original series finale was WAY more definitive than the one here. (He got hit with a missile and we saw his flaming skull, for crap's sake.) So, either of them could come back, and William certainly would... if the show ever comes back, which is far from certain. Leaving it right here, with Scully and Mulder having a baby and CSM seemingly dead yet again, is about as close to a happy ending as this show could have. But I hope it comes back. If it can stay as good as this season, I think this show still has life in it. This season was mostly MOW stuff, and I think that worked out pretty well.

I think the only one who is definitely dead is Reyes. I'm OK with that, because she was never the most dynamic character, although it is a little frustrating that we never quite found out why she was working with CSM. (For that matter, did we ever find out why Skinner was sneaking around with CSM? Did I miss a vital plot point there?) I'm also really glad the junior agents, Einsten and Whosis, were sidelined. They felt like such a transparent attempt to set up X-Files: The Next Generation, and they had no pizzaz at all. Really this season was kind of a reboot from last season's reboot, and this time they got a lot right!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:53 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I didn't hate it. And I sort of expected to, so, success?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:17 AM on March 31, 2018

If Gillian Anderson were to change her mind by returning to a show she said she was leaving, I would much rather that show be American Gods.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:27 PM on April 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I did a rewatch tonight, and didn't find the episode improved at all from what I remembered. Basically every single plot point was an eyeroller.

But at least Scully got to finish the show's run in a befitting manner... in her fourth camel-coloured overcoat of the show's oeuvre.
posted by orange swan at 7:52 PM on October 22, 2020

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