Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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The X-Files: “My Struggle”

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The long-awaited tenth season of “The X-Files” came to a dramatic conclusion last Monday.

The sixth and final episode, “My Struggle II,” tied back into the miniseries’ premiere episode “My Struggle.” The climax of the new adventures of Mulder and Scully further explored some of the mythos introduced there and others left unanswered with the end of the original series’ run.

However, “My Struggle II” makes some of the same mistakes “The X-Files” has always made. Namely, biting off more than it can chew in terms of plot and leaving viewers with an absolutely audacious cliffhanger.

The episode begins with a voice-over monologue delivered by Scully in a manner meant to parallel Mulder’s monologue from “My Struggle.” This is a fitting choice as much of the episode focuses on Scully being forced to come to grips with all that she has seen in her work on the X-Files. The mysterious shadow organization revealed in the season opener sets their plans into motion as the conspiracy theorist Tad O’Malley returns in this episode, warning Scully and Mulder of impending doom.
As it is revealed, this organization—unsurprisingly led by the Cigarette Smoking Man—seeks to take control of the world through the manipulation of humanities genetic code. The alien DNA found in Sveta is revealed to be an experiment to provide immunity from the ominous Spartan Virus. The Spartan Virus appears to be an alien virus which makes humanity susceptible to global contagion by shutting down immune systems.

The Cigarette Smoking Man reveals that alien DNA is used to protect the elite—people whom he has chosen to survive and take over the Earth. Scully becomes aware of this when former FBI agent and main character Monica Reyes returns to warn her of the Spartan Virus. She also reveals that Scully’s abduction, which occurred during the original series, was done to implant her with alien DNA.
As the world is plunged into chaos, Mulder is summoned by the Cigarette Smoking Man who offers him a chance to survive the coming apocalypse. Refusing and near death Mulder is later reunited with Scully. Utilizing her own DNA Scully managed to produce a possible cure for the Spartan Virus and after delivering it to a hospital, seeks to use it on Mulder.

The episode also heavily features Special Agents Einstein and Miller, younger facsimiles of Scully and Mulder respectively. Einstein and Miller saw their introduction in the previous episode “Babylon.”
These plot points come together hastily and rather haphazardly, leaving a feeling of confusion. That being said, they do address several questions raised in the premiere—who runs the shadow government, how did the Cigarette Smoking Man survive, et cetera.

The most frustrating and disappointing aspect of the finale comes with its incredibly ridiculous cliffhanger. As Scully is reunited with a nearly dead Mulder, she realizes that he requires stem cells in order for the alien DNA to cure him. Why? She does not manage to explain this. Even worse, she then states that the only stem cells that will work must come from their son William whose whereabouts are unknown.

To top things off, as this last minute expository dialogue is delivered an alien craft appears overhead shining its light upon Scully. That is the very last scene in the episode, something which many viewers likely found frustrating and unfair given the show’s 15-year hiatus.

With the show’s decline in ratings in its previous seasons and its poorly received second film, it’s not unwarranted to worry whether audiences will ever be satisfied with this conclusion. However, “The X-Files” miniseries’ ratings have been phenomenal, averaging 12.8 million viewers placing “The X-Files” second below Fox’s other hit series “Empire.”

Will there be more episodes of “The X-Files?” If ratings are any indication—and they usually are—more than likely yes. And this episode would seem to suggest that Agents Einstein and Miller will be playing significant roles alongside Scully and Mulder.

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