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‘The X-Files’ Review: “My Struggle III”

Alejandra Zimmermann ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The wait is over: ‘The X-Files’ returned to FOX Wednesday January 3 to answer everyone’s questions about the season 10 cliffhanger. Season 11 had many long-time fans awaiting the return of their favorite characters, but was the promotion worth the hype?  

The first episode of the season opens with the ending of season 10. This essentially reminds the audience what happened. The face of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) appears asking if his FBI partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is okay. She is lying on the floor surrounded by medical staff, clearly she has been unconscious and is in serious need of medical attention. This intro gives fans some sort of answer to the last season’s cliffhanger: it wasn’t real.

Gillian Anderson as Scully in ‘The X-Files.’ Photo Courtesy of Fox.

At first, one is taken back because this means that ‘My Struggle II’ essentially did not happen. Minutes into the new season, there are more news questions than answers. This classic storytelling formula has show creator, Chris Carter, written all over the it. The episode is a series of flashbacks, fast-cuts, unnecessary voice-overs, and fast-paced dialogue that didn’t quite explain the situation well. Old characters like Mulder’s half brother Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens), Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), and Cigarette Smoking Man (aka CSM) (William B. Davis) make a return early in the series.

The episode’s plot gets lost amongst the flashbacks and apparent ‘end of the world’ dilemma that seems to be taking place. Scully sends out signals through her CT scan, which is another classic Carter move, but it still doesn’t explain if ‘My Struggle II’ was all a dream or not.

The most dreadful part of the episode: CSM revealing that the father of Scully’s child is actually….CSM. There have always been problematic storylines with ‘The X-Files,’ but Carter saying  the father of Scully’s son is actually Mulder’s father and NOT Mulder is beyond words. To remotely suggest that a character got impregnated through ‘science’ is questionable itself, but for the show creator to come out and defend the storyline is extremely disappointing.

There is no question that Carter has some sort of vendetta against Scully. From the first season, Carter forced Scully to suffer through life events that no human should ever have to go through. While Carter wants to defend his choice, actions speak louder than words. It cannot be said louder or clearer: Scully was raped. During the flashback to Season 7 Episode 15, ‘En Ami,’  Scully is shown being fed something without consent, a sign of being drugged. When Scully wakes up without her normal clothes on, something is clearly off. While yes, the reveal has definite shock value, it is the lowest shock value Carter has given the fans.

There is no excuse for Carter’s decision, especially after everything Scully and her fans have been through. In a day where issues like rape and sexual assault are critical, a man should not be writing about being “scientifically impregnated” and not call it rape. Scully is one of television’s most powerful female characters. It seems like Carter is threatened by her success over the show’s. It is unfair to write something so horrible for Anderson, who has devoted her own time to giving the fans what they deserve. 

The ending of this episode did not sit well with fans worldwide and continues to prove the fact that sometimes, old shows should not be rebooted.

Episode Grade: D

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