TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 6 – My Struggle II | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 6 – My Struggle II

By Jeff Ayers

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 6 - My Struggle II

The sixth episode, titled “My Struggle II”, has brought viewers to the end of the newest incarnation of The X-Files, and a lot of it fell back into the old ways of the series. The END of the series, I mean, the final few seasons that limped along as a shell of a show that it once was, and ended poorly. Season 10 of The X-Files draws strong comparisons to those last few original seasons, and never in a good way.

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 6 - My Struggle II

The episode opens up with a surprising narration from Scully, instead of Mulder, recapping the events of her “struggle” throughout her connection to The X-Files. The events of her abduction, the things she has seen in relationship to the alien conspiracy that Mulder and her have fought so valiantly to expose – all these flashbacks seem to set the stage for a huge roller-coaster of an episode. But all of that is completely and utterly thrown out the window when her narration ends with Scully looking straight ahead, as she explains how her DNA might be alien indeed, and her face morphs into a grey alien face, that blinks at the camera. That trick should surely be reserved for sillier shows and movies than The X-Files, but alas, it only proves as a barometer for the rest of “My Struggle II”.

We get to check back in with Tad O’Malley, played by Joel McHale, who is apparently back on the internet and free from those who sought to harm him and his image. No explanation of that mind you, just O’Malley basically stating “I’m back”. Now he has information that a global pandemic will be acted out and will lead to an extinction level event for humanity. This is all ramped up even further once we find out that the Cigarette Smoking Man is actually behind the whole plot, which we learn through a needlessly confusing flashback fight sequence between Mulder and and a nameless goon of the Cigarette Smoking Man. Apparently, a viral outbreak of anthrax leading to a plethora of other diseases has been turned on inside every human by markers left in everyone’s DNA, thanks to the smallpox vaccination. The trigger of this event was chemtrails seeding aluminum in the atmosphere. Take a moment and read those two sentences again.

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TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 6 - My Struggle II

One thing that The X-Files seemed to do very well in its first six or so seasons as a show, was to pose the idea of “alien conspiracy” with hints at real-world ramifications. Chris Carter and the rest of the creative staff were able to craft an interesting and intricate conspiracy all their own, that felt like it could absolutely exist in our world. Now, with this endgame enacted by the Cigarette Smoking Man and chemtrails, it feels more like a greatest hits album with a new song tacked on at the end. It is everything we have heard before, with a slight uptick in the ramifications of humanity. Mulder and Scully were always trying to figure out the true meaning behind aliens and the government, and the idea that the entire world might be at risk was always an underlying concern. But with “My Struggle II” it feels like the whole world is not only at risk, but is instantly thrust into the conspiracy game with horrifying ramifications, right up to the weak cliffhanger ending with the alien/government ship appearing above Mulder, Scully, Agent Miller and a few thousand other people.

Outside of all the misgivings about the overarching storyline posed by these new episodes, the use of the supporting cast is what really got me down throughout the season. When it was announced that The X-Files would return with not only David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their iconic roles, but also William B. Davis as the Smoking Man and Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Skinner, it only sweetened the prospect of a true return to form. This was never realized, and the two secondary characters were sorely underutilized throughout. In fact, during this final episode, when Mulder is MIA and Scully and Skinner are looking for him, it is newcomer Agent Miller who swoops in to save the day. That should have been Skinner, as he became an established supporter and collaborator of Mulder and Scully in the original series. Also, the idea to bring back The Lone Gunman in a blink and you miss it cameo last episode was rough, and this episode had the ability to not only highlight characters like that, but also fan favorite Agent Krycek, who could have moved the plot along as well. Instead, we are treated to a brief cameo by Monica Reyes, played again by Annabeth Gish in a very confusing and exposition heavy appearance. Everything spirals into futility as the series ends with Scully telling Agent Miller they need to get stem cells in Mulder, and they should find their son William, as the alien spacecraft bathes the freeway in ominous light. There are many rumors of more episodes in the future, but the title card of “My Struggle II” clearly stated “This is the End”, and I kind of hope that is the truth.

FBI Score: 7 out of 10. “My Struggle II” tried its hardest to ramp up the intensity, and in a few brief moments, there was some good television portrayed by this story and the actors within. But it was far too little and too late in a season of only six episodes to throw everything it had at the wall, and not much stuck once the credits rolled.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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