X-Files season 10 Review By: Greg Randolph
After a 14 year absence from the small screen, The X-Files returned for a 6 episode 10th season on January 24th, 2016, with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny reprising their roles as FBI special agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. Show creator Chris Carter spearheaded the project.
Episode 1, “My Struggle”, is a reintroduction to the predominant subject matter of the previous nine seasons; do extraterrestrials exist? If so, is there a government cover-up? Who or what is behind all the human abductions? To what end is the experimentation being used for?
The episode also touches on the relationship between Mulder and Scully, specifically in regards to their child, William, who Scully gave up in an effort to keep him safe. The episode was largely an opportunity to get reacquainted, and caught up, and it didn’t take long to realize the characters were largely unchanged from all those years ago, for better or worse. Mitch Pileggi returns as Assistant Director Walter Skinner. Joel McHale (Tad O’Malley) and Annet Mahendru (Sveta) guest star, as does William B. Davis as, well, who else?
With the X-Files now officially reopened, the agents are sent to investigate a scientist’s apparent suicide at Nugenics Technology in, “Founder’s Mutation”. Messages being conveyed by a high-pitched sound (which even Mulder falls victim to), human experimentation and telepathic mutant siblings are the fare this time.
“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” is an inside-joke-laden romp through the woods of Oregon, in which a strange lizard-man (or is it man-lizard?) may be responsible for ripping a man’s throat out and through the course of the investigation, Mulder finds himself questioning his faith in the unexplained. The incorporation of all the “easter eggs” and such was pretty clever, and I’m sure longtime fans had a field day with it. I did think Mulder’s ring tone went a step too far though.
In the next episode, “Home Again”, a creature known as Band-Aid Nose Man is hunting down and murdering people in a particularly gruesome way. Further complicating matters in the midst of the case, Scully has to cope with a personal tragedy. This story had a good pace and a creepy, unsettling overtone reminiscent of some of the better episodes through the years. The golem-esque creation of the monster by the street artist, Trashman, though slightly recycled, was executed well.
In “Babylon”, a comatose suicide bomber in Texas may hold clues to preventing a future attack.
This episode introduces agents Einstein (Lauren Ambrose), and Miller (Robbie Amell); essentially younger versions of Scully (the skeptic) and Mulder (the believer). To me, the mood of this story was somewhat uneven; the serious implications of the bombing and further acts of terror looming, versus the comical handling of Mulder’s efforts to communicate with the bomber by tripping on ‘shrooms.
Season 10 concludes with, “My Struggle II”. Tad O’Malley (McHale) resurfaces, believing Americans have been injected with alien DNA which will lead to the outbreak of the contagion dubbed, the “Spartan Virus”. It is learned that only few “chosen ones” have been vaccinated against the virus; among them, Scully and former FBI agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish reprises her role). Using her own DNA as a base, Scully works on a vaccine with agent Einstein, while Mulder, having seemingly disappeared, has in fact traveled to South Carolina to confront the Cigarette Smoking Man (Davis). Amidst the chaos of the now-rampant outbreak, Scully, vaccine in hand locates Mulder, who has since been found, rescued, and returned to Washington by agent Miller (Amell). Mulder’s condition has advanced to the point that a stem cell transplant is necessary to save his life. At that moment, a beam of light shines down on the trio and what appears to be a UFO descends on them. Talk about leaving things up in the air! On the whole this was a pretty disappointing way to end things, whether for the season, or for good.
I don’t mean the ending; the episode in general was mediocre and seemed patched together like it was an afterthought.
I started watching The X-Files when it debuted in 1993, and I still have more than a few VHS tapes full of episodes somewhere in my garage. I felt it was usually good, and sometimes great TV, but my interest fizzled out during the Doggett/Reyes era. I did however make it a point to watch the (then) series finale. When I found out it was coming back, I was apprehensive, but the half-hour preview special piqued my interest to the point that I found myself enthusiastically anticipating its return. I’m glad it came back, but these six episodes often left me wanting more and slightly let down.
Do I want more new X-Files? Sure. Will I be crushed if this is it? Nope.
As I write this, the future of The X-Files is uncertain.
I wanted to believe it would be better, but the truth is right here: 3 out of 5.
Greg “Morley Man” Randolph