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TV REVIEW: The X-Files Season 10 is an Epic Revival that will Bring Smiles to Many Fans, but is it the End?

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson seen here after reading my review of the first three X-Files Season 10 episodes.

 

If you’ve read my review of the first three episodes of The-X-Files Season 10 mini-series revival, than you’re already well aware of the fact I’d divorce my own parents if Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny asked to adopt me. (Phone call from my mother in 3… 2… 1…)

With that pleasantry – and obvious jest (for the most part) – out of the way, I’m going to dive alien head first into the paranormal paranoia that is the back half of the X-Files mini-season run.

 

Scully-Gif Mulder-Gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ep. 4 – HOME AGAIN

Home Again Badges

“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges… but they do help on occasion.”

 

X Marks the Spot:

  • The darkest episode of the season. With the darkness comes the iconic use of FBI flashlights, the beams of which even cross for a few seconds to form a very familiar letter.
  • The saddest episode of the season. Scully’s loss is sudden, yet heart-breaking for the X-Philes who are familiar with the character’s importance to the red-headed agent.
  • The goriest episode of the season. Blood, limbs and decapitation are all on display in one of the few episodes most should probably watch before eating a meal.
  • Mulder and Scully have not only stepped into their roles as FBI agents, but their “extra-curricular” relationship is starting to thaw at this point as well.
  • Mix of popular music and monster appearances are eerily fitting and reminiscent of past episodes.
  • More hints that the agents son William may still be in the cards plot wise in the not-so-distant future.

X Misses the Mark:

  • As pointed out above, Scully’s personal loss happens almost too abruptly. As sad as it was, I couldn’t help but think within a season of normal length, the passing may have had a greater impact for all.
  • Some of the explanation to the theory of the case was lost on me the first go around and required a second viewing to clear up. (Not that the latter is so bad.)

What I Believe:

Dark sewers, gruesome murders, a disfigured killer, emotional roller coasters, and a dash of Mulderisims all make “Home Again” a top notch addition to the Monster-of-the-Week catalog of X-Files lore along the lines of classics such as Flukeman and Tombs.

 

5 Spurs

 

 

 

Ep. 5 – BABYLON

Babylon Mini Agents - Mirror

The future conspiracy chasers? Only time (and ratings) will tell.

 

X Marks the Spot:

  • Depending on who you ask, Babylon was seen by some as one of the more controversial installments of the entire series. Regardless of viewpoint, if the X-Files can at least get people talking, it means the stories are staying relevant (be it for better or worse.)
  • Islamic Terrorism is tackled head on as are faith, religion, bigotry, and hate. While last I checked I wasn’t a bigot, I applaud Carter for being brave enough to address the issue of those who are committing heinous acts of killing because they are taught to hate and kill those who not follow their way of life down to the letter. Carter attempts to balance this by showing the good and hatred on both sides of the argument; sometimes with success, sometimes without.
  • Human being’s faith in something beyond the realm of science is framed in an interesting perspective which questions the bigger picture of life itself.
  • The introduction of FBI Special Agents Miller and Einstein. Imagine Mulder and Scully straight out of high school, and you get the concept. “I think I will call them, mini-agents.” (Rumor is, the doppelgangers could take over for our beloved twosome in an X-Files spin-off series further down the road.)
  • Well placed moments of humor and levity despite the sensitive subject matter.
  • The Lone Gunman are back! Kinda… sorta… for a millisecond.
  • Mulder country line-dances in a cowboy hat. Nuff said.

~

https://youtu.be/UKWtFOr34d8
“Don’t tell his heart, his moody spooky heart…”

 

X Misses the Mark:

  • As previously noted, Carter’s attempt to balance out both perspectives on Muslims and Islamic Terrorism come across a bit clunky at times. Some blanket exaggerations are made about Texans and certain arguments are in your face preachy. It’s not to say the counterpoints are invalid, but that they aren’t delivered in the intelligent innocuous way the series is typically known for.
  • Miller and Einstein, while entertaining in their first case as the Mulder Scully twins (mostly because of their interactions with Anderson and Duchovny), will need to have their personalities fleshed out for their characters going forward should they get their own series. At this point, Einstein is like a Scully (Pre-Mulder) on steroids, and Miller is pretty much eye-candy who also wants to believe like Fox.

 

Babylon - Lone Gunman

The Lone Gunmen doing their best Geek Outlaw impersonations.

 

What I Believe:

Babylon was definitely a slow burn for me until Mulder decided to go on his little, shall we say, “trip”. As a country music lover, the Mulder montage showcasing the FBI agent going country while line-dancing to Billy Ray Cyrus’ Achey Breaky Heart ranks up there among my top memorable moments in The X-Files history. The faith themed backstory also reignited my own X-Files like spirituality in the sense there are definitely phenomenon out there we may never be able to understand or explain.

 

6 Spurs

 

 

 

Ep. 6: MY STRUGGLE II

Scully Changing Gif

Looks like someone could use a Snickers bar.

 

X Marks the Spot:

  • The cold-open photo narration with Scully. The Mulder version was one of my favorite parts of the premiere and it’s only fitting as a bookend for the finale.
  • One of the more scientifically confusing episodes of The X-Files yet. This one definitely could require a second viewing for many (again, not a terrible thing.)
  • The new mythology twist comes full circle… or not? X-Philes aren’t just left with a cliffhanger (nothing new there), but possibly the biggest in show history.
  • A cliffhanger means there is (hopefully) more X-Files to be had (Hopefully closer than two decades from now.)
  • Even though he’s been riding the pine for 15 years, Mulder is still more than capable in the fisticuffs department.
  • CSM (aka Cigarette Smoking Man) has a much more prominent role and Ex-FBI Agent Monica Reyes is back in the fold as well.
  • While not as visually ambitious as the premiere, the finale felt more like an X-Files film than a traditional episode.

 

This is the end

The four scariest words in X-Files history.

 

X Misses the Mark:

  • While not as visually ambitious as the premiere, the finale felt more like an X-Files film than a traditional episode. (And yes, I do see this as both a pro and con.)
  • “This is the End” replaced the “Truth is Out There” during the opening credits. My heart sank to levels far below Kanye West’s bank account upon reading the dreaded phrase.
  • Again, I blame the six episode limitation, however the story was forced to progress at a rapid pace beyond the slower stride at which the series excels best.
  • I like Miller and Einstein, but I only like them. Hopefully a longer run and more time on air will provide ample time to develop more unique personalities (assuming they are eventually tapped to fill the void of a world sans Mulder and Scully.)
  • A cliffhanger is one thing, but a cliffhanger of this magnitude without any publicized plans for future fare is akin to torture for X-Philes like me.

What I Believe:

Reading the words “This is the End” at the end of the opening credits (did I lose you yet?) set a psychological tone this may very well be the last new X-Files installment I ever lay eyes on. If it indeed was, then sadly it’s not the way I envisioned this show going out, cliffhanger or not. Leaving the doors open to a world of unknown for our beloved agents is one thing, leaving them in peril with the rest of civilization is quite another.

 

5 Spurs

 

What are my overall thoughts on the revival you ask? After the smoke cleared from the Smoking Man’s living room, I’m happy to report The X-Files return to prime-time from a fifteen year layaway plan was an absolutely successful one. Was it perfect? I hate that question as it insinuates there are things out there to which everyone can agree, are without any flaws. As I’ve pointed out several times over the course of my two-part review, the short length of the mini-series itself was ultimately the overriding factor in preventing the comeback from being viewed by many as epic instead of excellent.

 

Home Again Sad

No need to cry Gillian, six episodes are better than none.

 

Conversely, most die-hard fans of The-X-Files (myself included), would argue the core of what made the series tick for over 10 years were the personalities of Mulder (Duchovny), Scully (Anderson), and the chemistry formed between the two almost immediately within the pilot episode. Oh, and the paranormal anti-government conspiracy laden backdrop also proved quite popular as well. X-Philes looking for those fundamental elements should be more than satisfied with the revival series. As of only a year ago, getting new X-Files episodes seemed about as likely as Donald Trump potentially becoming the next U.S. President, each quandary deserving of an X-File investigation in and of itself. All the more reason why watching Duchovny and Anderson banter on screen again as the legendary FBI duo, as if they never missed a beat, is about as epic as it gets in my unabashedly biased opinion. For all of the reasons above, it’s why I’m ever so thankful for even getting 25% of a typical season length. Hell, I would have just taken some commercials with the actors portraying the world renowned agents they’ve become synonymous with.

 

These two could banter while watching paint dry and I’d still tune in to watch indefinitely.

 

Furthermore, show creator Chris Carter should be applauded for revamping the mythology to make it relevant for a 2016 crowd while simultaneously respecting the same canon that preceded it. Not too shabby for a series whose last mythology based story took place over a decade and a half ago.

Just as importantly, The X-Files revival proved to be a reminder of why the series still remains my favorite after all these years. Simply put, the show questions everything we hold dear within the realms of science and religion. Just because we as humans may not understand something yet, doesn’t make it any less real. Nor, for that matter, does it make it any less plausible.

Speaking of plausibility, based on strong ratings, I want to believe this is not the end, but only the beginning. If the finale is any indication, the truth is out there more than ever, and I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to discover it with than David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

 

“Mulder, I don’t care if the truth is in this toilet, I’m not touching that seat.”

 

6 Spurs

 

 

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