The X-Files: My Struggle
January 24, 2016 11:05 PM - Season 10, Episode 1 - Subscribe

This 2016 pilot reintroduces "The X-Files" and reunites Agent Mulder with Dana Scully after the collapse of their relationship when Mulder is engaged by a TV host. Mulder proclaims new evidence that alien abductions have been faked.
posted by town of cats (119 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's not actually clear to me whether this should be called a season 10 episode, a season 9 episode, or something else entirely.

I saw that it was airing at 10pm, went upstairs to wait, then got downstairs at 9:55 only to discover it had aired at 7pm in my time zone. Needless to say I am a bit miffed. It's been so long since I watched something that was aired on broadcast TV that it didn't even occur to me that something like a "national simultaneous broadcast" was a thing they might do. I'll watch it as soon as Fox starts streaming it online, but I wanted to get the ball rolling so I'll have some good commentary to read from my favorite X-Philes once I'm ready.
posted by town of cats at 11:09 PM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I thought it was excellent, seeing mixed reviews on other sites though. Comcast listed it as S10E1.

I loved the weaving in of modern conspiracy theories into the whole thing, the epic rundown of the unified conspiracy at the end was fantastic. Full of just enough almost believable in the real world conspiracy.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:02 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chris "Boy, I've never met a bit of exposition I didn't like, and here let me explain everything to you right now because, you know, people in the current Golden Age of Television don't want things like subtle dialogue or nuance, they want the revival of a 90s TV show to actually feel like an episode of 90s television" Carter really hasn't changed, has he?

I would watch Gillian Anderson read the telephone book; she might even be able to make us feel empathy for alphabetical order. But, to paraphrase Harrison Ford to George Lucas, "You can write this shit Chris, but you sure as hell can't say it."

I'm really glad this is only a six-part mini-series and that the next three episodes up are from my favourite X-Files writers. And, like I said, I'll watch Anderson do anything. I might even be willing to forgive this episode for all this set-up, but I'm really not looking forward to watching Carter's other two episodes this season. This was not a good start.
posted by crossoverman at 12:32 AM on January 25, 2016 [16 favorites]


Also, I LOVED that it was the classic intro. Don't fix it if it ain't broken.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:41 AM on January 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


they want the revival of a 90s TV show to actually feel like an episode of 90s television

Yes this is what I wanted, a goddamn X-Files, that is what I saw.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 1:07 AM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


So, am I understanding it right, that all the stuff about the black oil and the bounty hunters and the Syndicate colluding with aliens who were planning to invade in 2012, that was all a smokescreen for a government plot to enslave the populace? There were no evil aliens after all? I hope that's not what they're saying, because that kind of feels more like a reboot than a sequel.

It was a thrill to have the show back at all, but this kind of gave me flashbacks to the series finale. The series got really strained and convoluted by the end, and I have a feeling that the new mythology stuff won't work out much better. I hope I'm proven wrong.

So, Han and Leia didn't work out, and now we find out Scully and Mulder didn't either. It's a depressing season for the 'shippers. We keep finding out that our favorite will-they-or-won't-they couples did but they don't anymore.

Duchovny really doesn't look bad for 55 and I don't mean to knock the guy... but was anybody else kind of freaking out that Mulder suddenly looked older than Skinner?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:40 AM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


"It's not actually clear to me whether this should be called a season 10 episode, a season 9 episode, or something else entirely."

The internet is a bit confused, too, though I think it will coalesce around the season 10 position. While the IMDB is distinguishing The X-Files (1993) and The X-Files (2015), both theTVDb.com (crowd-sourced television database) and TMDb.com (crowd-sourced movie and TV database) are listing this as season ten of the series and not as a new series. Most of the torrents I'm seeing, including all of the most popular, are listing this as S10.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:19 AM on January 25, 2016


I really only enjoy the X-Files when it's in pure anthology mode -- I find the "phenomenon of the week" stories to be great pieces of storytelling and the "global conspiracy" stuff to be claptrap not worth following. Thus, I found little to enjoy here -- it played as a pastiche of all the things I enjoy least about the franchise, structured in a concentrated and incoherent way.

Maybe it gets better -- and there are some reviews out there that say so much -- but I don't find myself willing to verify.
posted by workingdankoch at 2:19 AM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


I feel like Chris Carter is the George Lucas of X-Files. Please, George, let Morgan, Morgan, and Wong write this shit for you while you collect your checks.
posted by Justinian at 2:30 AM on January 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure who Gillian Anderson was playing because that did NOT feel like that was Scully.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:54 AM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


So, am I understanding it right, that all the stuff about the black oil and the bounty hunters and the Syndicate colluding with aliens who were planning to invade in 2012, that was all a smokescreen for a government plot to enslave the populace? There were no evil aliens after all?

Or that's what Tad O'Malley wants them to think. I'm guessing (hoping) there's going to be another plot twist, since, after all, we the audience actually saw a lot of that for ourselves.

I think the biggest misstep was how quickly Mulder bit on what O'Malley was selling, since he has been burned so many times before and was a lot more jaded about this stuff toward the end of the original series and the second movie. But I guess the years of seclusion could make him more eager to believe.
posted by AndrewInDC at 4:41 AM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


That was....something. The cuts between scenes felt oddly abrupt to the point where it was at times unclear if it was a new scene/day or not. It was alright...but the whole thing felt a but like...here is a quick catch up on the last X years and a bunch of new stuff...which is fine if it wasn't just a 6 episode mini-series.

I guess we will have to wait and see what they do with it but if the whole "Aliens are a smokescreen" thing stays in place I will be a bit annoyed since it would sort of negate like the entire series to this point.

On the plus side was nice to see Cigarette Smoking Man back and glad they didn't try and update him by having him vape instead.
posted by Captain_Science at 4:42 AM on January 25, 2016


Hey skinner I'd like to formally announce your membership into HOT DADS DOT COM. Yikes.

Mulder looks like he spent the last ten years sleeping in his car, for contrast.
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 AM on January 25, 2016 [26 favorites]


I wonder if Chris Carter hates Fox as much as Joss Whedon does. The way Fox handled this premiere was bizarre and seemed like it was designed specifically to annoy geeks.

Out here in CA it was scheduled at 7 PM, which was weird, after that event with the thick and sweaty men. So we tuned in a bit before 7, just in case the game ended early. The game ended before 7 but then we were treated to like 40 minutes of boxhead lunks talking about the stupid game that was over now thank you go away. Sometime around 7:30 the show began. I started the DVR recording, just in case there was some confusing, Chris Carter-y part of the story we wanted to go back and see again later... but at 8 PM the DVR stopped, because it was convinced the show was running from 7-8! We were actually watching the show live so that was no big deal, but anybody who had set their DVR to record while they were out would have only gotten half the episode.

A while back Gillian Anderson described the premiere as slow, intense and functional, and she sure wasn't doing the Fox PR people any favors with that one but I think she pretty much pegged it. (Well, maybe not slow. But it sure was intense and functional!)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:28 AM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure who Gillian Anderson was playing because that did NOT feel like that was Scully

She was the best part of the episode, pity she had such a shoddy script to work with.
posted by crossoverman at 5:37 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the football lead in was a blessing and a curse. Should help jumpstart the ratings which is important to get more of this, but a real mess for DVRs and people who didn't care about the football coverage.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:54 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm excited for the next episode, which everyone says is better , and excited for more X-Files.

I mean I had to wait til dumb football was over before I could watch it, talk about a nostalgic rush. I should've been eating Sprite and Nilla wafers to complete the picture.
posted by The Whelk at 5:58 AM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think the biggest misstep was how quickly Mulder bit on what O'Malley was selling, since he has been burned so many times before and was a lot more jaded about this stuff toward the end of the original series and the second movie. But I guess the years of seclusion could make him more eager to believe.

My husband and I had a long discussion over this, and have settled on the conclusion that it was the ship (not the 'ship, but the "alien" craft) that pushed him over the edge into buying O'Malley's line. DD did a wonderful job of looking like a kid on Christmas as he walked around the thing. Still, I wish there had been a bit more connective material to make the point that I think they were trying to make.

The part that rang most false for me was Scully sitting in the limo sipping champagne with dear old Tad.

Otherwise, I'll give them a slow start. I hear the next one is better and the third one is a return to form. I'm willing to wait and judge it on the entire package vs. just this one ep.

(Also, did the decision to use that ancient shot of them in the credits seem odd to anyone else? I loved that they used basically the original credits but the flashlight shot sort of took me out of things for a minute.)
posted by anastasiav at 6:48 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess as an Amazing Race watcher, I'm used to recording the show I want to watch AND the show that airs after it during football season.* I thought this episode was fine, which goes along with like 85% of X-Files episodes, to be honest. The gems were the exception not the rule back in the 24-episode-season days, so I'm fine if we get one or two classics out of these six.


*DVR shenanigans tangent: I'll never forget the year the American Idol finale was between two guys named David and the episode ran long (and maybe was also delayed by football?). Just as Seacrest said "Your American Idol is Daviiiiiiiid...." the recording cut off. I laughed for 10 minutes before going online to find out who won.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:00 AM on January 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Apparently, this episode is now streaming free on Fox.com , for those interested. Wouldn't be surprised if it had unskippable commercials though.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:04 AM on January 25, 2016


I wonder how the episode title will be adjusted for Germany. A direct translation is "Mein Kampf", which seems inflammatory. On the other hand, were we supposed to make that connection?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:08 AM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Eh... it wasn't that good. It solidified a lot of my problems with the mythology arc, and I don't see us getting any fun MOTW action in this mini-season. I'll give it another episode, but then I'm probably out.
posted by codacorolla at 7:11 AM on January 25, 2016


And the second half of this episode is on tonight?
posted by tizzie at 7:22 AM on January 25, 2016


Scully/Tad were way too.. familiar/close. The limo scene was bizarre, then the way he touched her shoulder, then the way he spoke to her outside Mulder's house. I can't believe it was intended to read as romanticish, but who knows with Chris Carter. What a weird vibe.
posted by gatorae at 7:31 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also odd, how they kept awkwardly mentioning YOUR CHILD, THE ONE YOU HAVE TOGETHER, THAT EXISTS, CHILD.

I assume cause that happened in the movies and only die hard fans saw those.
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 AM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


WHY THE HELL is Scully a blonde?

Yeah, I wasn't buying the Scully & Tad thing. The guy's a cheap huckster and she'd never be interested in him or even want to bother with him.

When the Cigarette Smoking Man came on, I thought my eyes would roll right back into my head. Come on, he died! We saw his flaming head!

I wish they'd come up with a new story arc for this mini-season, and it should probably have been one that doesn't involve convoluted government alien conspiracies, because we've been there, done that. A story that involves William might have been a good direction, but maybe we will be seeing William.

I'll keep watching, though, regardless of whatever they do, because I've such a love for the show. Sigh.
posted by orange swan at 7:38 AM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll Fans will keep watching, though, regardless of whatever they do, because I've such a love for the show. Sigh.

I'm fairly certain that these exact words were uttered by television executives.
posted by Fizz at 8:02 AM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Co-signing Skinner's induction into HOT DADS DOT COM, Whelk.

I'm pretty sure I should be annoyed at several things but my sheer unadulterated glee at Classic Intro carried me right on through the hour. It was a hot mess, but then the show almost always was, and I am apparently on board this particular nostalgia train. I do look forward to seeing what are rumored to be better episodes ahead, though.
posted by Stacey at 8:08 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It was very familiar and also predicable. As soon as they met the abductee girl I knew she'd end up getting disappeared after having her story confused. When Scully ordered the second DNA scan I immediately knew it would come back different after she had been disappeared. It was like the 90's all over again.

I am glad they seemed to have caught up with the current world of conspiracy. The stuff Fox and Tad were rattling off were things straight out of Infowars and the alien parts can be found on crank websites not far disconnected. They've avoided being too political but have at least acknowledged the right-wing nature of this stuff.
posted by charred husk at 8:09 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The My Struggle/Mein Kampf problem was one of the first things we noticed when we heard the title. If this title wasn't chosen on purpose for some reason, this is an incredibly historically illiterate thing to have done.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:10 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


WHY THE HELL is Scully a blonde?

Um...She was a redhead on my tv.

It was a serviceable X-Files episode, really. Mulder's all-in leap into believing was a bit sudden and psychotic, even for Mulder. But, with only six episodes, I guess he had to get back into that character quickly.

Given the timeframe mentioned over-and-over, I'm pretty sure the My Struggle/Mein Kampf thing is intentional. Look for Nazis in the background?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:13 AM on January 25, 2016


And the second half of this episode is on tonight?
posted by tizzie on January 25th


In a manner of speaking. Monday nights are the usual timeslot. Not sure if this episode will be a continuation.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:14 AM on January 25, 2016


I assume cause that happened in the movies and only die hard fans saw those.

Nah, it happened in Season....8? I think. After most people had stopped watching, but it was not in the movies. Anyways Mulder got abducted and Scully gave the kid up for adoption for Reasons, IIRC.

I liked it...okay. It was a little more overtly political than the X-Files used to be, while at the same time trying to be cagey about where its actual political affiliations lie. Which is maybe just a factor of being on Fox and not wanting to bite the hand that feeds you too hard. (I straight up LOLed at Fox pushing the start back a half an hour for the football postgame, because that crap maybe more than anything evoked the feeling of watching a scifi show on 90s-00s Fox.)

I would be more concerned about the whole "there are no aliens, it's actually all just the government" retcon-looking thing had they not had Mulder in the old days reach that exact same conclusion a couple times before, only to be persuaded back around to believing by seeing a bunch of crazy shit. The irritating part for me was that he had apparently developed amnesia about all the other times he decided it was the government and not aliens. I am hoping they'll go that route again, rather than just invalidating everything we saw before; a vague declaration that everything involving aliens from nine prior seasons was just "government manipulation" introduces a whole helluva lot more plot holes than all that alien stuff ever did on its own.

I'm gonna be the weird outlier here and say that I actually like that Mulder and Scully didn't work out as a couple. It feels right to me, true to the relationship they actually had which was always a little rocky. I always saw their romance as an outgrowth of their partnership; they worked well together, respected each other immensely, and had seen so much crazy shit together that there was really nobody else out there that could understand their life, and so they weren't so much passionately love-at-first-sight in love with each other (no matter what Chris Carter says) as they were bound together by all their extraordinary life experiences. Outside of the UFO business there's not really that much keeping them together, and so with the X-Files closed, they might stay together for a few years while they try to process everything, but eventually Scully obviously wanted to move on with her life and Mulder...didn't/couldn't, and that would doom them as a couple. Their romance always struck me as kind of a pragmatic, mature counterpart to a lot of the TWUE WOVE star-crossed romances on TV and I appreciate that they stuck with that.

When the Cigarette Smoking Man came on, I thought my eyes would roll right back into my head. Come on, he died! We saw his flaming head!


I had already read that he would be back, so I wasn't surprised, but did anyone else think the make-up job on him made it look like he'd had a bunch of skin grafts? I've seen the actor on Continuum relatively recently and he looked much worse here. I do hope they're not gonna explain away death-by-missile-blast with "skin grafts"...though, admittedly, this would be what, the third time the Cigarette Smoking Man survived his apparent demise through vague never-really-explained circumstances?
posted by mstokes650 at 8:15 AM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Best tweet I've seen so far: My kids are too young to realize it's not "Mulder sounds like every idiot on the internet", it's "every idiot on the internet sounds like Mulder."

Anyways. Yeah. Lots of exposition, and while I appreciated the attempt to tie up all the various conspiracy pieces from the original run into something tidy...this just felt a little flat to me, and I'm left uncertain as to why the X-files would get reopened without this secret cabal killing the idea like every other loose end of the episode. Unless they think Mulder can be a useful idiot.

I'm not sure who Gillian Anderson was playing because that did NOT feel like that was Scully.

Some of it I could buy as an older, wiser Scully who has moved on and let go of a lot of things. Note she "assists" the doctors who do the reconstructions; she's positioned herself in a humbler, smaller role. This is a Scully made more cynical because she has seen and experienced weird shit, but it hasn't changed anything but her (though I did feel she was channeling too much of her character from "The Fall"). Best moment was her arch bemused look at the "you've never been abducted" comment; worst moment was her biting on Tad's charm.
posted by nubs at 8:23 AM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


hough, admittedly, this would be what, the third time the Cigarette Smoking Man survived his apparent demise through vague never-really-explained circumstances?

Time lord?
posted by Fizz at 8:23 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed the little "you left me" digs Mulder kept making, and that Scully kept registering but refusing to bite on. It felt like a natural progression from the days before they became a couple when he'd frequently make flirty little comments to her and she'd look faintly amused but otherwise not responsive.
posted by orange swan at 9:47 AM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would watch Gillian Anderson read the telephone book; she might even be able to make us feel empathy for alphabetical order.

Yessss. She is such a good actress and makes Duchovny look terrible, although I think he was objectively terrible. I'm still really upset that they wanted to pay her half of what they paid him until she confronted them. I mean, they don't even really have a show without Scully. I don't think it would have gotten half the ratings.

The thing I really didn't like is how much exposition they tried to cram in there. When Mulder and O'Malley were spouting their conspiracy theories in the living room, I was glad I had captioning or I would have missed most of it. I also didn't like the slow pace, stuff happened and people died but somehow it still felt like almost nothing happened, we are no closer to "The Truth" than we were in the beginning of the episode.

Co-signing Skinner's induction into HOT DADS DOT COM, Whelk

Double co-signed, and I ship Scully and Skinner; Mulder can DIAF for all I care.
posted by desjardins at 10:12 AM on January 25, 2016


I'm still really unclear on how the X-Files were "reopened"... they aren't even agents anymore, so what does that even mean? I need to rewatch it tonight since I feel like I missed a lot of the conspiracy stuff, but maybe it really was just that confusing. Just like old times!
posted by gatorae at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mulder's all-in leap into believing was a bit sudden and psychotic, even for Mulder.

Mulder's mental health seems to be in the shitter since 2002. We are directly told he has been diagnosed with some kind of depression, and Scully was talking about she was concerned about him as a friend and a physician, and about how he's "on fire" like she thinks he's having a manic or psychotic episode.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:41 AM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The German translation for "I Want To Believe" is "Jenseits Der Wahrheit". This was used in the title of the 2008 movie.
posted by cazoo at 11:07 AM on January 25, 2016


> When the Cigarette Smoking Man came on,

I yelled FUCK YEAH and punched my fist into the air.

My favorite part was when Mulder calls Scully and is all "I have to tell you something important!" and she's all "What now, Mulder," and he goes "I can't talk to you about this now!" CLASSIC Mulder/Scully interaction.
posted by rtha at 11:07 AM on January 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


When I see the title of this episode I can't help but think of this.
posted by speicus at 12:08 PM on January 25, 2016


It felt like an X-Files episode with all the good and bad that entails. The dialogue was cringe worthy and show canon was forgotten or recast. So, pretty much spot-on for the X-Files. After years of Great American Television, I’m ready for some retro, 90’s feel TV. My coworker never watched the show and I told him I couldn’t honestly recommend it to a new viewer. I know that without the nostalgia factor I wouldn’t be so interested but as a huge fan of the original (see: username), I’m definitely along for the ride.
posted by MaritaCov at 12:32 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


The conspiracy episodes suck, so I guess there's a perverse logic to this episode being the suckiest of the lot by a wide margin. I'll stick around for Morgan and Wong, but fuck me I had trouble getting through this, especially during Tad O'Malley's garbage monologue and M & S's awful "<show tagline>" "<other show tagline>" interchange. Fuck.
posted by invitapriore at 12:54 PM on January 25, 2016


And I love the Cigarette Smoking Man but I predict I will not love whatever awful contrivance Carter has come up with to justify his return, although I would be amused if that was a result of the season 9 finale getting retconned out of existence.
posted by invitapriore at 12:55 PM on January 25, 2016


Tad looks a bit like Krycek so I instantly disliked him. Scully riding around in his limo seemed very strange. I mean, where were they going? They weren't together in the next scene either of them was in. Maybe they went back to his studio for the surgery bit he did. It did seem like a random time for them to be together.

Mulder's epiphany that abductions are a man-made conspiracy was the plot arc from season 5 or 6. Most of the material felt like a reread of old conspiracy banter with updated political references.

I'm a bit unsure why Scully said the tests were negative with Sveta's blood when she really wasn't sure yet. It felt retaliatory which is OOC for Scully.

I liked them getting the gang back together but hope there's more to the next episode.
posted by toomanycurls at 1:01 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]




The episode could have used some subtlety, to be honest. It all seemed simply too straightforward and clear to the point of sounding as a joke, or a delirious rant of a conspiracy theorist, no matter that all of the theorist's declarations turn out to be true. The truth is not out there, it is right in front of you, rubbed and shouted straight in your face - and this has the effect of being far from threatening or sinister. (Maybe I remember the original series badly but I can't recall it being this obvious in its exposition and so full of declarative slogans.) But, on the other hand, it does sound like an extremely sinister world in which delirious conspiracy theorists are given legitimacy.
posted by sapagan at 1:33 PM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


The episode could have used some subtlety, to be honest. It all seemed simply too straightforward and clear to the point of sounding as a joke, or a delirious rant of a conspiracy theorist, no matter that all of the theorist's declarations turn out to be true.

You're right, and it was so ham-fisted and ridiculous I thought that was where it was going: Scully was right, Mulder was too eager to believe and fell for this Alex Jones guy too easily, but it was all just lunatic bullshit. It would be kind of refreshing for Mulder to be wrong about the Conspiracy for once.

And removing the aliens means the Conspiracy makes no sense. The elite who control the world have launched a conspiracy to...control the world? Why do they want to kill everybody and move into space when they already run everything? At least with the alien angle it makes sense that the global elite have cut a secret deal to save their own asses from the coming invasion.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The thing with Scully seemingly dating Tad was weird AF, totally out of character... but given that she then described him as charming but full of dangerous BS, I got the feeling she'd only gone out with him to learn more and she wasn't genuinely interested in the guy. Here's hoping anyway, because otherwise YUCK.

The more I think about it, the more I'm gonna be ticked off if they stick with the idea that the entire mythology of the original show was a cover-up for government hijinx. That just doesn't work given everything we saw.

I could be wrong, but did the Smoking Man have a prosthetic on the left side of his face? I have a feeling his condition is even worse than it looked at first. His return is so wildly improbable that I figure they'll either explain it with a shrug "("I have my ways...") or they'll come up with some sci-fi thing, like he's a clone made from whatever was left of TSM's ashes. If they try to come up with some sort of terrestrial explanation for how he survived a direct missile strike (WHERE WE SAW HIS FLAMING SKULL) it'll just sound dumb as hell.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:12 PM on January 25, 2016


Sveta's scars really needed a trypophobia trigger warning. I'm still squirming.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:15 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I believe episodes 2 through 5 are all standalone, monster-of-the-week episodes. Only episode 6 will deal with the mythology. Same as it ever was. I was hoping for some kind of emotional throughline, but they are airing the middle episodes out of the order they were originally intended. Man, FOX must have been really nostalgic for TV that can just be occasionally watched and in any order.
posted by crossoverman at 2:28 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I didn't quite catch the time period but I got the impression that these so called elite have been around for a long time. I kept thinking that now we have the Illuminati as the villains.

Because of X-Files and Lost I have a problem with these long form stories. For me the mythos is the story and the "monster" episodes are digressions. The problem with this attitude is that the mythos appears to be an ad hoc make it up as you go along thing that ultimately falls apart at the end. The authors don't know where they are going in a real narrative sense and thus never really arrive anywhere.

It was quite weird having one of the main characters keep saying that everything we thought we knew was all wrong and now there is a whole new explanation.

And unlike the original series, explicitly showing the alien and the "space ship," was actually rather disappointing. The only mystery left now just seems to be who are the conspirators?
posted by njohnson23 at 2:51 PM on January 25, 2016


And removing the aliens means the Conspiracy makes no sense.

There are a bunch of scenes of the Syndicate sitting in some smoking room in NYC making lots of Serious Faces and saying Important But Meaningless Things. I feel like those scenes would be a good rewatch at this point to see if this "new" mythology where aliens are irrelevant fits into that canon. I mean, all of those people are apparently in on it together, so presumably whatever they say to each other should be The Truth.
posted by gatorae at 3:48 PM on January 25, 2016


Another connection in the conspiracy: element 115 ("ununpentium," "eka-bismuth," or "elerium") is used to build spacecraft with alien-derived technology.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:38 PM on January 25, 2016


"The My Struggle/Mein Kampf problem was one of the first things we noticed when we heard the title. If this title wasn't chosen on purpose for some reason, this is an incredibly historically illiterate thing to have done."

That it's a reference to Knausgaard's books doesn't really help, considering that Knausgaard intended the Hitler allusion and, anyway, the awareness of Hitler's book exceeds the awareness of Knausgaard's by a factor of a bazillion.

And here's the thing -- in this episode it's revealed that Mulder's fighting a shadowy, wealthy cabal who manipulate human history to their benefit, causing misery, and ... also steal babies.

I find that I have a lot of trouble with validating the conspiracy theories they mention, because many of them have real political consequence in the way that, to take a random example, a conspiracy about alien visitation does not. I still would be okay with this if the episode was actually any good, but I wanted to throw something at the screen every time there was either dialogue or exposition, which of course was all the time. People don't talk anything like that. And while I watched The X-Files in the 90s, I was never a big fan and so for me the show doesn't get a boost from nostalgia. I like Mulder and Scully, though, and that's pretty much why I was (sort of) excited to watch the show. I'm going to watch tonight's episode because it's supposed to be better.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:41 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


My friends are pretty divided on this show.

A bunch of us were raised on the old show, watching reruns or DVDs when we were like 12. Me and a few friends watched almost the whole thing in high school because someones dad had it all on DVD.

The thing is, this is not a modern show. It isn't a "reboot", which it seems to have been sold as. This is the equivalent of them getting some of the cast of star trek TNG together and making another season. There's nothing about it other than some vague jabs at "the internet" that makes it even feel like it was made this year. And even then, it feels like a show set in the near future made then(back when internet "tv stations" seemed like they'd be a huge thing).

It's the most bald faced nostalgia wank i've ever seen, and is actually faithful to the feel of the old show. But it's completely out of touch with the current state of television. It feels like a complete anachronism.

I pretty much enjoyed it, but i also completely understand and respect why my friends didn't. It comes from the same place as pepsi re-releasing crystal pepsi because of internet memes.

This kind of thing can do right by the old material while still bringing something fresh to the table too. Look at star wars TFA. I can't think of really any examples of television/film doing what this did though to make an analogy, however. It doesn't bring anything new, but it also doesn't shit on the old. And while that's unusual, it's not necessarily interesting?

It feels like a long lost tape someone would uncover in some storage locker and upload to tons of internet fervor.
posted by emptythought at 4:48 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


I mean, all of those people are apparently in on it together, so presumably whatever they say to each other should be The Truth.

Maybe they'll pull some mega-bullshit and reveal that the entire show itself was part of the Conspiracy, so that even those scenes of events not featuring the main characters were part of the lies. The audience is the real dupe!
posted by Sangermaine at 5:22 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, by the way, because this was subtle -- part of the significance of showing the 1947 stuff in New Mexico was that it wasn't in Roswell and was on the opposite corner of the state than Roswell. Roswell is southeast, and the title card said "Northwest New Mexico". Also, Mulder's list of secret installations included "Dulce Base", which (I just learned) is supposed to be, in alien visitation conspiracy lore, a secret alien research base and the town of Dulce is NW, so it all ties together when Mulder (or the other guy) declares that Roswell was a "smokescreen". And it's hillier and more green and very close to actual mountains so they actually used a location for those scenes that is accurate.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:25 PM on January 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


I thought it was a pretty decent Carter episode! Glad I read all the shit reviews, as they gave me the low expectations to actually get a real kick out of it! It wasn't as bad as I expected! And it's the band back together! There was even a Scully wink!

But, what was up with Scully's hair? Why was it so flat? Is that just like contemporary style?

And Duchovny did seem kinda like he just stumbled off the set of Californication or whatever that thing was (I tried to watch that and just couldn't).

Still, it was fun, since I have to wait for it to be on hulu, I thought about just waiting and binging the whole thingy, but of course, I couldn't wait.

And yeah, I love even the worst x-files episodes, so, for me, this is a big win. Can't wait for the next one!
posted by valkane at 5:36 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I found it refreshingly faithful to the dreary original, and still like a Reagan's-PR-team infomercial for "Gubmint is eeevuhl," so I'll have lots of opportunities to hone my snark restraint over the next five weeks.

That said, Skinner was always hot. Whereas he was hot-Richard-Deacon hot before, he's silvery beard-hot now, which, of course, is the hottest kind of hot, even if I do say so myself. I may have to watch the stupid show just to feed my lusty fantasy coffers for bureaucratic beardy baldies, but oy vey, enough with the lame-enough-even-a-stoner-would-snicker Alex Jones-grade conspiracy theories already.

And yeah, I'll have to hone my snark restraint starting...now, while I think of places I'd like Skinner's beard to rough up.
posted by sonascope at 5:43 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Okay, a single line from the trailer for the Darin Morgan episode made me laugh out loud for real.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:14 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gillian Anderson sounded so tired as Scully in this episode. For all that Mulder was apparently the one with crippling depression, Scully was the one I felt worried about.

I felt a weird moment of symmetry with Scully in the scene in which Mulder calls her "Dana." Because once upon a time back in the day, using first names Meant Something Significant, and Scully and I were both like, "Wait, what are you saying here, Mulder? Is this code?! Are you signaling a trap?!"

Also, oh my god oh my god, Mulder/Scully forever OTP on my screen again squeeee! The nostalgia is so powerful.

It's Sunday night, I am curled up in my room
The TV light fills my heart like a balloon

posted by nicebookrack at 7:05 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was happy to see the old open. I also about pissed my pants when Mulder called Scully, Dana. Nice callback to the original run.

Skinner is still hot AF and I love that beard on him.

I took Scully being in that limo as her trying to see if she could tell what was up with the guy.

OH NOSTALGIA! Complete with total overacting on David Duchovny's part during that porch scene while Gillian Anderson keeps the scene on track. Giovanni Ribisi making an appearance as a different character was kind of nice. The retcon on the alien stuff will be annoying if that's the story they stick to. I started clapping when CSM appeared. Not because I believe he'd live through having his skull on fire but because COME ON, conspiracy=CSM.

Why did they have O'Malley point out that the kid with no ears looked rather alien and then later in the ep show that kid's picture in the background again while she was getting bloodwork results?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:15 PM on January 25, 2016


Giovanni Ribisi making an appearance as a different character was kind of nice.

Wait, what? Where was he in this?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:35 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Giovanni Ribisi=The guy in the bus, going for the alien and screaming when the alien was shot.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:45 PM on January 25, 2016


The doctor from 1947? No, that was this guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:47 PM on January 25, 2016


I was watching on my phone. LOL.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:52 PM on January 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ok, can someone tell me why the YouTube analog was called MindQuad?? Surely it can't be an American Dad shout out? Can it?
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:37 PM on January 25, 2016


Given the timeframe mentioned over-and-over, I'm pretty sure the My Struggle/Mein Kampf thing is intentional. Look for Nazis in the background?

I mean, Project Paperclip was always a huge part of the mythology, so that wouldn't be surprising.

Surprised that nobody mentioned the single most Classic X-Files thing about this episode, namely Hiro Kanagawa playing a character completely unrelated to all of the other unrelated characters Hiro Kanagawa has played on the X-Files.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:37 PM on January 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah! They did that with Robin Mossley too, and in both cases made the strange choice of recasting a pretty distinct-looking person in very similar roles.
posted by invitapriore at 10:06 PM on January 25, 2016


OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS IT'S NEW X-FILES

I loved that they ran with the old opening. They could so easily have done something new and probably not even fucked it up, but running with the classic is unfuckwithable.

I did find myself wishing for a giant cellphone to make an appearance; I'm happy at least that in their "pre-Google" fogeyness they seem incapable of texting even when that'd have been a hell of a lot more straightforward in a couple scenes. Can't even totally explain it away by saying it'd be lousy on camera; they showed Scully googling clumsily for Tad's show fucking twice, for crap's sake.

And I like that the weird contradictions that come with Scully's Catholicism have carried on, through the second movie and into this—that she's at this hospital that may itself be tied into an alien/hybrid/something genetic conspiracy by virtue of her apparently charitable drive to do Good Works for an organization whose politics she can't wholly agree with but which lines up with the tradition of faith she's struggled to keep to her whole life is a good subtle-but-unsubtle bit of framing, and that she manages to flex that to nakedly call in a favor is a decent payoff. I don't know if the show will touch on that any more or do a good job of it if it does, but it was nice to see it stick around as an aspect of her character that exists independent of Mulder's own obsessions and narrative.

So, Han and Leia didn't work out, and now we find out Scully and Mulder didn't either. It's a depressing season for the 'shippers.

Not if you're shipping Mulder and Skinner. If that wasn't an Oh Just Kiss Already face-off in the Bureau basement I don't know what it was.

The part that rang most false for me was Scully sitting in the limo sipping champagne with dear old Tad.

I can buy Scully being on the far side of a lot of Mulder-esque bullshit, older and more willing to just hang out and no-strings flirt tactically with a good looking dude who buys good champagne. She may be glad to see Mulder again but that doesn't mean she's champing at the bit about being the adult half of Sculder again; with Tad, what does she have to lose, exactly, by burning an evening or two? Plus she might not mind just fucking with Mulder a little at this late date.

WHY THE HELL is Scully a blonde?

Strawberry blonde, I'd say, but in any case that was established already in the second film. "Because that's how Gillian Anderson wanted to have her hair look" is the assumption I've been running with. See above: the character is allowed to change, and it draws a decent contrast to Mulder's intractability.

Maybe I remember the original series badly but I can't recall it being this obvious in its exposition and so full of declarative slogans.

You remember the original series badly; it was chock full of that stuff, in the more ham-handed episodes. It was a bit fresher and delivered with more youthful zeal for the most part, but boy howdy was it a recurring theme. It did feel a little more convincing coming from Jerry Hardin than from Joel McHale or Dr. Post-war McFlashback, but all in all that was some pretty pure-grade Season 1 exposition. And plenty of it in the later seasons, too.

Really, to the extent that The Force Awakens is both "some new Star Wars" and riffing a lot on the big notes of A New Hope (and bits of Empire), this felt similarly like a heavy dose of the first season injected into a new episode and aged characters. The difference being these older characters aren't the sideline filler, they're still the focus.

I didn't quite catch the time period but I got the impression that these so called elite have been around for a long time. I kept thinking that now we have the Illuminati as the villains.

I'm in the same boat; I got from Mulder's rundown that there's been a coherence of secret power sometime in the 19th C. in particular that then found its lever to start the process of rising to power after WWII, with...whatever happened there.

I felt a weird moment of symmetry with Scully in the scene in which Mulder calls her "Dana."

Yeah, I dug that. Both for the relatively subtle callback to the feels of the old seasons and their arc, and for the way it was Mulder really obviously taking a shot at Tad's familiarity in a way that would be obvious to Our Agents but off Tad's radar. They may not be an item anymore but they sure as shit have a history that's gonna be hard for someone else to crack through.

I miss blogging about this show. Not enough to start again, but goddam is it nice to see new episodes.
posted by cortex at 10:17 PM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I didn't hate this nearly as much as I expected to given the reviews. Yeah it was Chris Carter-y as hell but what do you expect, Carter wrote it, we knew what we were getting into.

As a reasonably passionate Human Being for the last few years I found it massively distracting to try to process Joel McHale as anyone other than Jeff Winger, especially because he isn't really that great an actor so he had that Winger-ish delivery where when he was monologuing about something Important (which, for those not familiar with Community, happens in basically every single episode; it's a running joke how often Winger goes off on faux-profound inspiring monologues) he paused a lot to emphasize his points. I actually ended up just telling myself, someone gave Jeff Winger a wingnut TV show and now he knows Mulder, this is weird but I guess life is weird. Stranger things have happened on Community.

I was a noromo like CRAZY back in the day so it was a vindication that canon now says I was right and they were not a good couple. I mean I already knew it deep in my soul that of course it was doomed. I can definitely get behind Scully/hot dad Skinner though.

My favorite part was when Mulder calls Scully and is all "I have to tell you something important!" and she's all "What now, Mulder," and he goes "I can't talk to you about this now!" CLASSIC Mulder/Scully interaction.

YES. This more than anything else was the "Chewie, we're home" moment for me watching this episode. WHY DID YOU EVEN CALL HER.
posted by town of cats at 10:22 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think maybe some of the Catholicism stuff comes from Ep 2 on reflection though in a non-spoilery way. I DIDN'T TOTALLY JUST WATCH BOTH.
posted by cortex at 10:22 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]



Not if you're shipping Mulder and Skinner. If that wasn't an Oh Just Kiss Already face-off in the Bureau basement I don't know what it was.


Thank you, I spent some time on Twitter explaining how Skinner was, possibly inadvertently, a perfect example of a common DC guy: The super Type A Conformist Gay company man in middle age who buttons up very tightly and hits the gym very hard and has a federalist by Restoration Hardware house.

you cannot tell me that man doesn't have a leather armband in a drawer somewhere. C'mon.
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 PM on January 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Please Fandom Jesus, let Doggett come back so he and Skinner can get married and open their House Of Pies diner as we have dreamed!

I was a noromo like CRAZY back in the day

hiss hiss! shun the nonbeliever, shun, SHUUUUUNNNN

Oh my god, you guys, we're back playing in a fandom so ancient that it had to invent lingo like "noromo" because it didn't exist yet. A fandom that predates portmanteau couple names like Sculder! (Thank goodness, it sounds like some kind of mussel.)

Pony request: can the mods please redesign all the X-Files threads to look like ancient plaintext newsgroup feeds? Then people can paste ASCII portraits of Scully's face and we will all truly be home.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:47 PM on January 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


ANCIENT DEATHLESS FANDOM

I was always NOROMO cause I never wanted to inflict Mulder's personality on someone in a romantic context. I'm so happy to know it was awful and unsustainable. (I fully believe Krycek was in angry sex eyes infatuation with Mulder who had no idea what was going on in the least, at all. Skinner totally saw it tho)
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 PM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Omg yes, how could anyone ship "Sculder", it sounds like one of those fake food brands they use on TV props. Everyone would have known the ship was doomed to sink. If all possible options over all nine years are on the table, I ship Mulder/"Mulder's own right hand" and Scully/"Byers seems nice I guess", and have since I still carried my lunch to school in a little pink lunchbox with a latch and handle.

And yeah OK can I just say how great it feels to be discussing new X-Files episodes on the internet. Makes me feel like a kid again to be joke-shunned for my loathing of MSR. Nobody has given much of a shit who I shipped from this show in at least a decade.
posted by town of cats at 11:01 PM on January 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, it freaking annoyed me that Scully was using a search engine to get to the O'Malley stuff. That is something I have seen my mother (who is 73 years old) do and just ugh, NO. It's in your effing browser history, Dana. Also, weird choice of a place to be watching that stuff.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:10 PM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Not if you're shipping Mulder and Skinner.

Which I'm very much not. I like Skinner, but the man is so gruff and Serious Business that I can't even imagine him kissing somebody. He was born with that necktie. If he took off his tie, I'd expect to see another tie beneath it. It's neckties all the way down.

For the people who are appalled by Sculder... would you prefer Mully?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:01 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Skinner being so gruff and serious business is exactly why I want to spank him.

I am noromo (and have always been noromo) but Mulder and Scully do have some nice banter.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:42 AM on January 26, 2016


Yes Ursula Hitler: MULLY
MUUUUUULLLLLY
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 3:47 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this piece from Birth.Movies.Death. does a great job of summing up how nonsensical this episode was. I really hope that, as Sangermaine suggests, Mulder simply ends up being wrong this time, but I'm not holding my breath; the 'new info' here is mostly at odds with the 'truth' from the series before, and where it isn't, it's stuff they've already gone over, over and over again. And as someone notes in the comments:

If this show was the first episode of a new series, without the weight of the first five or so very good seasons of television, I would never even consider watching another episode.

The best part by far was all the effects shots of alien crafts before the opening credits. I was hoping that was going to segue into a creepy, pretty, updated intro.
posted by heatvision at 4:15 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was a noromo like CRAZY back in the day so it was a vindication that canon now says I was right and they were not a good couple.

Right? I mean, yeah, like anybody with eyes I saw the UST, but an actual relationship needs more than smouldering looks and long Bigfoot-related stakeouts or whatever.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:04 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm glad there will be some monster of the week eps. Maybe that will perk my interest.

I found watching this disturbing, but not in the way intended. I wasn't really feeling this episode. The reveal at the end...so painfully obvious from the beginning. So much painful script writing . I mean Anderson is wonderful, but so much of it...of it was a struggle for me to even deal with.

I mean I slogged through Torchwood Miracle Day, but I would prefer for this revival to restore some of my affection for the show, not to slam the coffin lid on it permanenetly.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:55 AM on January 26, 2016


YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS

This is only related to the X Files in that it's Gillian Anderson, but she is going to be playing Blanche in Streetcar of Desire in NYC and I'm going to see it over Memorial Day weekend.

I WILL BE WITHIN SEVERAL FEET OF HER

REST IN PEACE, DESJARDINS, MAY 2016
posted by desjardins at 7:18 AM on January 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


would you prefer Mully?

Mulder and Scully get together not romantically or sexually but just sort of Voltron style and form Megan Mullally?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:22 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Mulder and Scully get together not romantically or sexually but just sort of Voltron style and form Megan Mullally?

You know... the math on that kind of checks out.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:28 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


New Mexico, represent!(?)

At first, I was worried someone effed up with the overlaid title text when they referenced Northwest New Mexico in the flashback, because Roswell is not in the northwest. Then Mulder said "... The crashes at Roswell. More importantly, places like Aztec." Which is in reference to the Aztec, NM UFO incident (Wikipedia article that calls it a hoax, UFO Evidence [dot org] says it's worth an investigation).

But where did they film those "high desert" like scenes? IMDb only lists Vancouver as filming locations for this season.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


But on the contents of this episode - something about the Crazy, Young, Lucrative Truther rang false, or like they're trying make the show more relevant, and I was really annoyed Mulder leaped on board with that and quickly retconned the original series as a Huge Government Plot. It felt like aliens were passé and The Bilderberg Group is way more current day hotness.

Part of the fun of The X-Files for me was the escapism. Aliens and spooky government plots are fun, while military humvees storming a compound and blowing up the Alien Reproduction Vehicle (ARV, I had to look it up) and all the scientists plus using an ARV to track down Sveta and blow her and her car up feel too much like Super Secret Government SWAT Plus tactics, and too close to reality for me. Did that many people get explicitly killed on-screen in the "original" series?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:40 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sveta is obviously not dead, and we'll learn that in Episode 6. She got the door open before the explosion, and the camera made a point of showing it.

Ridiculous headcanon: Alex Beck-Noury there is the son of the Cerulean Blue guy, and he built his media empire by just Kilgraving everybody into giving him money and a show. The Conspiracy are the only people other than Mulder and Scully who know that people with his capabilities exist, which is why he's trying to oppose them. This also explains why Scully was in the car with him, because otherwise that scene made absolutely no sense and didn't do anything to advance the plot or develop character.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:11 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or did Mulder not seem to be emotionally invested in these new developments at all? His monologues were always long-winded and crazy, but at least I believed that HE believed them, and he made me want to believe them too. This new incarnation of Mulder is just so flat and bland. I miss his passion and personality.

Scully's still great.

And HOT DAMN, Skinner. Yowzers!
posted by MsVader at 8:52 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


How old is Sveta supposed to be? headcanon: William is trans and is actually Sveta. Although she doesn't look anything like Mulder or Scully.
posted by desjardins at 10:17 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


From Sveta's introduction --
Sveta: Hello. Welcome to my home.
Tad: Sveta's who suggested I call you.
Mulder: And how would you know to do that?
Sveta: You probably don't recognize me.
Mulder: No, I think I'd remember.
Sveta: You interviewed me and my family when I was just a little girl. Right after my first abduction.
-- I thought her character might have been actually from a prior episode, but the Wikipedia summary of the episode doesn't (currently) link her back to any past episodes.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:46 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief, Sveta doesn't seem to recognize Scully, so perhaps Mulder interviewed Sveta's family before Scully entered the picture. Heck, maybe Mulder having contact with Sveta (AKA THE TRUTH™) was a final straw that convinced the evil Syndicate of Whatever to sic Scully on Mulder as a debunker-babysitter.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:56 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


They better bring back Krychek, that sonuvabitch... *smek!*
posted by valkane at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2016


nicebookrack, good points. This episode even reminded us/me that Mulder was doing this before working with Scully.

Speaking of origin stories and whatnot, with the reference to the Aztec UFO incident/hoax, I wondered if Scully was named for Frank Scully, the journalist who first wrote about the incident. Nope, Chris Carter named Scully after his favorite sportscaster, Vin Scully of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on January 26, 2016


desjardins: Annet Mahendru (Sveta) is 30, which is significantly older than the William is supposed to be.

That also means she was born before Scully joined the X-Files, and is just barely old enough that Mulder could have interviewed her while working solo, so nicebookrack could be on to something there.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:30 AM on January 26, 2016


I was a noromo like CRAZY back in the day so it was a vindication that canon now says I was right and they were not a good couple.

Right? I mean, yeah, like anybody with eyes I saw the UST, but an actual relationship needs more than smouldering looks and long Bigfoot-related stakeouts or whatever.


Wait, does shipping a romance necessarily mean that you want it to be a happy, well-adjusted relationship? Impossible romances are the best kind!

...which is why Mulder/Krycek is my favorite
posted by invitapriore at 11:54 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


hard evidence
posted by invitapriore at 11:56 AM on January 26, 2016


Sveta worked really well. Nice performance. Chris Carter does a thing that reminds me of old Lucasarts-style adventure games, where Mulder will circle back to a location to have a follow-up conversation with a character that reveals more details. It first struck me with Mulder and Martin Landau's character in the movie, and he does it here with Sveta. It worked for me here, though.

Honestly, I generally liked how rough it was around the edges, with a lot Carter's hallmarks. I'm glad he didn't write all 6 episodes, though.

Resisting the urge to google "scoop shaped scars". Good use of the FX budget in general. The scars, the ARV, and the crash site all had really strong impact. Dead alien was a bit rubbery.

The Tad O'Malley character didn't really land for me. McHale doesn't naturally strike me as a video-blogging, right-wing conspiracy nut, and the script didn't really support the idea beyond the clips of his show. A little more tension between him and Mulder would have shone some light on both of their characters

Mulder and Scully are just the best to watch. I'm on-board with post-breakup Mully, from Mulder's digs to Scully's heartfelt concern.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


...which is why Mulder/Krycek is my favorite

I recently rewatched the original series and there's an episode where Mulder had Krycek in custody and in cuffs and keeps randomly hitting Krycek. Just punching Krycek at various points as he's dragging him through the story, and it's clearly just because Mulder is pissed. He's not trying to intimidate him or get info or anything.

I wish I could remember the episode, but man that weirded me out. It seemed out of character for Mulder, but I think Mulder/Krycek would transcend "impossible" and become "deeply fucked up".
posted by brundlefly at 1:02 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I chalked the Mulder/Krycek violence up to "this is the asshole who helped turn Scully over to the crew that abducted her," so the violence seemed very in character.

That fact also pointed to why Mulder would never have done anything romantic with him.

(I'm so amused to see someone mention the House Of Pies in here, I am 28 again)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:10 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I couldn't believe how utterly awful this is. It was like watching bad fan fiction put to screen. Gave me a few belly laughs along the way, but it's as radioactive as an old joke.
posted by Catblack at 6:01 AM on January 27, 2016


I'm not a football fan, but it is amusing to see all of the folks on the interwebs this week utterly befuddled by the scheduling of a show after a game. They had one of the highest rated things on tv all year and scheduled this show to go after it. Sure it's weird for your Tivo, but it's still a thing, a thing decades old and pretty standard. You can make some "sportsball" jokes about it if it will help you feel better.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:15 AM on January 27, 2016


This was as good and as terrible as I've expected. Some thoughts...

- I really expected Tsoukalos to make an appearance once Mulder started going off about Egyptians and aliens.
- They could have updated the intro to look exactly the same... only with everyone 20 years older. I'm pretty sure Mulder and Scully have new issued IDs
- Mulder is a fan of the "scotch tape over the webcam". This doesn't surprise me.
- Yeah, McHale at this point is Jeff Winger.
- That CGI alien was kind of bad. Just as I've expected.
- When the scientists started talking about element 115, it really felt like one of my UFO:EU dramatizations.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:13 AM on January 27, 2016


They had one of the highest rated things on tv all year and scheduled this show to go after it.

This only makes sense if you expect there to be a significant overlap between football fans and X-Files fans. Something tells me this is not, in fact, the case.

What's more, they didn't even delay the X-Files for the game, they delayed it for the post-game show.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:25 AM on January 27, 2016


This only makes sense if you expect there to be a significant overlap between football fans and X-Files fans. Something tells me this is not, in fact, the case.

You have no idea how deep this goes. No idea.
posted by nubs at 9:00 AM on January 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


You remember the original series badly; it was chock full of that stuff, in the more ham-handed episodes. It was a bit fresher and delivered with more youthful zeal for the most part, but boy howdy was it a recurring theme.

Exactly. This episode was exactly what it needed to be, an X-Files episode. I loved it.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:01 AM on January 27, 2016


This was bad, so very bad. I understand episode 3 is supposed to be good, but maybe this whole thing was a bit of a mistake?
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on January 27, 2016


All the disdain for this episode, and for the larger mytharc, amuses and surprises me. It's pretty much my favorite part of the whole series, and I've been watching the original again on Netflix. That being said, I really enjoyed S10E1, but my threshold is pretty low. I did find a few things a bit incongruous, like Scully watching Quad Mind in post op while still blood splattered. The scene with her in Tad's limo didn't make much sense either. Duchovny delivered a cardboard performance, keeping true to the original series. And I thought they did a better job with the Mulder/O'Malley exposition through the use of all the jump cuts. In the past it would've been just Mulder delivering straight to the camera.
posted by slogger at 11:35 AM on January 27, 2016


Nothing that is surprise or that isn't thoroughly recycled happens here, and it's all executed so very badly.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on January 27, 2016





Related: Oxford researchers find extensive conspiracies involving large numbers of people tend to give themselves away quickly.


Apart from even that, it's always struck me as hypocritical that the same people who find government too incompetent to manage social services somehow think that they're able to pull together hundreds of thousands of people into vast overarching conspiracies while keeping it secret from everyone except for Alex Jones.
posted by codacorolla at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not a football fan, but it is amusing to see all of the folks on the interwebs this week utterly befuddled by the scheduling of a show after a game.

I've seen shows get dicked over by football scheduling plenty of times, but this was a particularly bad example. It's the return of the freakin' X-Files... scheduled for 7 PM(!) on a Sunday night, airing whenever the post-game show ends. DVR-ing was not even an option... in 2016! Perhaps that was the intention, but it was kind of irritating to be stuck watching these jocks wandering around the field, unable to flip away because we never knew when Fox would finally start this show we'd been anticipating for months.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:24 PM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


My assumption is that the post game show ratings were spiked by the addition of people tuning in to see the X-Files, and then choosing to wait around until the episode started. It's not like anyone would quit being a fan of the show and not watch because of scheduling.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:56 AM on January 28, 2016


DVR-ing was not even an option... in 2016!

I don't understand this. We DVR lots of "after the game" stuff, including this. In this case we just manually set the recording to record for 1 hour longer than the scheduled end time. That also meant we could fast forward through the football stuff.
posted by anastasiav at 9:02 AM on January 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I guess I've gotten out of the habit of accommodating networks and their stupid scheduling decisions.
posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Me too, which is why I just waited until the following night and streamed it.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:38 AM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


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