David DuchovnyChris CarterMitch PileggiWilliam B. Davis
The X-Files Season 10 ep.6: My Struggle II
Medium: TV
Year: 2016
Director: Chris Carter
Writer: Chris Carter, Anne Simon, Margaret Fearon
Keywords: The X-Files, SF
Actor: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, Joel McHale, Lauren Ambrose, Robbie Amell, Julian Christopher, Annabeth Gish, William B. Davis, Aliza Vellani, Sandy Da Costa, Mik Byskov, Darren Dolynski
Format: 44 minutes
Url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Struggle_II
Website category: SF
Review date: 20 June 2020
Yup, as predicted. I enjoyed it.
It's dumber than most X-Files X episodes and it runs on momentum, not coherence. Nonetheless, I was entertained. Personally, I think it's cheating and pretending not to be a season finale. Nothing's resolved or explained. It's a monkey throwing cool stuff at the screen for as long as it can keep improvising, right up to the cliffhanger ending.
In New Who terms, I'd call it a penultimate episode.
Bad Wolf and Army of Ghosts = punch-the-air cool
The Parting of the Ways and Doomsday = "ah well, it was good while it lasted."
It's aiming for the Bad Wolf and Army of Ghosts slot, basically. Mind you, bollocks piled on bollocks to avoid having to explain the last lot of bollocks had been his trademark for nine years on the original X-Files.
I was surprised in one big way. I'm in a coronavirus world, watching The X-Files in lockdown. What do I find in its 2016 season finale? Global pandemic. Vaccines turned against the human race. That was far more startling than it would have been on original broadcast, although I wish Carter had seized the opportunity to discuss anti-vaxxers.
There's the Cigarette Smoking Man. He'd already had a couple of cameos, but here he's important. Annabeth Gish returns as Monica Reyes. (I don't know her from Adam, but I have google. She was in Seasons 8-9.) Robert Patrick declined to return as John Doggett, though. We even have Miller and Einstein from last week, although unfortunately the latter's scepticism turns her into an idiot. When you're facing a catastrophe like a global pandemic, you assume the worst. Anything else is unforgivable gambling. She soon admits that she was wrong, though.
EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS IN SCIENCE: you can update your DNA by drinking a liquid made from someone else's DNA. So if I drank some bat's blood, for instance, I'd turn into a bat?
EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS IN CONTINUITY: the end of Season 9 did a number on the Cigarette Smoking Man. (I've been googling again.) He's in a bad way, yes, but we'd previously seen him burned down to a skeleton after helicopters shot him with a missile.
Let's ask the Mythology Episode questions!
DENIABILITY: absolutely none. It's happening in front of us. At last, the X-Files is giving us clear, unambiguous... well, they're not explanations, but we can see what's in front of our eyes.
FOLLOWED UP: it was all a dream. No, I'm not joking. (Well, a vision of a possible future, but one that's ruled out by My Struggle IV.) So much for zero deniability.
Leaving aside later developments, though, I enjoyed this episode. It's fun. Yes, I know Carter's throwing his faeces at me. "Don't worry, I'll sort it all out the following week, heh heh!" It's completely ignoring the big revelation in My Struggle, but no one expected anything else. As in that episode, though, I like the energy. Carter can do momentum. Don't trust him to manage the landing, but this episode is basically the equivalent of a small, idiotic boy going full speed on a bicycle without holding the handlebars. And managing not to crash for 43 minutes.
Is this a well-written episode of TV? In its unsophisticated way, yes.