THE X-FILES season 10 may be over, but we Philes aren’t finished with discussing it — not by a long shot. In part two of our roundtable discussion we took a look at the series’ new mythology.
The 2012 alien invasion never happened, and as it turns out, it was all a hoax. Our enemies are not the aliens that are coming to destroy us all; they’re just a bunch of men trying to take over the world using alien technology gained from crash sites like Roswell. How does that jive?
Shana: Remember when I said too much was being done in too little time…Yeah. This whole plan to rewrite the original series’ history was the ultimate example of that. There’s no way, in six episodes, to break down nine seasons and a movie (let’s be real: that second film had nothing to do with mythology) and build them back up. For me, it just caused way too many leaps of logic and plot holes all over the place. Furthermore, there’s enough paranoia out there, so did we really need to feed into it?
If the aliens weren’t invading, and the Syndicate didn’t need to trade their own children to be returned later, what was the whole point? Were all of those children kidnapped by their own families and experimented on just to put a few selfish people in power when the world started changing for the worst? Was that just yet another lie told to Mulder to get him to keep opening all the wrong doors and investigating all the wrong leads? When these men were turning their kids over to the aliens for some sort of future return or protection only to be double-crossed, they were big enough monsters. For them to conduct their own human experiments on their own children just to aid in their own world takeover, though? Yikes.
What about the so-called rebel aliens, who went about burning abductees? Were those just men in masks who were trying to shut down the Syndicate? I’m going with not, considering…well, everything. So, what did they have to do with it all? No answer? Great.
What about the alien virus and vaccine? Were they somehow tied into the plague that, ultimately, took over as THE X-FILES season 10 closed out? And if the aliens had no stake in the future of our world, why was that alien bounty hunter running around and taking out other supposed aliens for so long? How does Emily fit into all of this? What would the need for an alien-human hybrid have been if there were no aliens coming to take over the world, anyway? What would these mere men need with hybrids? Certainly, super soldiers were a good enough tool in a world takeover, but that whole super soldier plot-line was mucked up enough to begin with.
I mean, and what about Mulder? If, under this new mythology, Scully’s alien DNA — presumably gained from her abduction — was what protected her from the Spartan Virus, why wasn’t Mulder safe? Was he not abducted, as well? Could we please have some logic and consistency in this whole new mess? Then again, if we’re feeding the anti-vax crazies with some of the narrative we’re telling here, I guess logic is too much to hope for.
Let’s just stick to the original story here. It was much more well-developed and actually thought through. Either way, Spooky Mulder was right all along: We are not alone in the universe. Let’s just leave it at that.
Luciana: I am going to very honest here: The mythology episodes were my least favorite of the revival. They weren’t bad, per se, but I just enjoyed the monster-of-the-week episodes a lot more. The whole conspiracy thing this time around was a little too complex for me – and Tad O’Malley just really, really annoyed me (calling Scully “Dana” and offering her champagne. Psh!) – but I think, overall, it’s basically the same conspiracy with the same evil dude as the leader, plotting the end of the world. You know, same old, same old.
Although the finale was super action packed and I was barely breathing through the entire episode, I felt like the new conspiracy plot (which is basically the same old conspiracy, only with a new M.O.) was too big and complex to fit into only two episodes. The finale, in particular, felt like a movie, only they abruptly left us somewhere in the middle of act two.
I know cliffhangers are the norm when it comes to THE X-FILES, but did they really need to squeeze in something so big into a season finale of a show that, in theory, no one knew if it was going to be picked up by the network for a following season? It was an insanely big risk, but given the off-the-charts ratings, I am assuming that season 11 is all but confirmed. We just don’t know when. Will we have to wait another year to see if Mulder survives? Another eight years?
Meghan: The new mythology was, in keeping with how it’s always been, confusing. I expected no different, but I still can’t figure out exactly where the show is going with this. Are they trying to tell us that it’s actually been men the entire time, not aliens? What about those times we clearly saw aliens in the show? At this stage, the mythology has been through so many twists and turns that it’s almost pointless to try and sort it out completely. However, I do like that they left some of the more…ridiculous elements of Seasons 8 and 9 behind. Hopefully we’ll never hear the word “Super Soldier” again. Or “magnetite.”
As for the super-sciency last episode, I actually like the idea of the world’s impending doom coming in the form of a disease and not an alien invasion. In a lot of ways, that’s scarier and truer to the more realistic elements of the series. I truly can’t imagine THE X-FILES having grandiose War of the Worlds style alien attacks. The series has always prided itself on science, and this newest addition to the mythology stayed true to that.
Lizzie: I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t really mind the new conspiracy. I was fine with the old convoluted version, and I’m okay with the slightly simpler and much more cynical version we got now. I don’t watch this show for the conspiracy; I never did. So either way, I’m happy. For me, it’s more about the effect the conspiracy has on Mulder and Scully than it is about the actual plot.
If the conspiracy had ever actually made SENSE to me, maybe it would all be different. But for all that I watched most of these episodes upwards of five times, I was never quite sure where the whole thing was going. I’m still not convinced Chris Carter was, to be honest. It all felt very patchwork, and yet, somehow it worked. Or, at least, it didn’t suck enough that we were like: That’s it, I quit. It was just there, and sometimes it didn’t make sense, but that was okay – we still had Mulder and Scully.
That being said, did it really change all that much? The government is still evil. Mulder and Scully still got the short end of the stick, and the whole thing still makes me want to go: I’m sorry, what? When you’re very into the episode, Mulder and Scully can go on these monologues and you can think, “yeah, okay, I get it,” but that’s just your brain falling for the charm that these two characters exude. You don’t really get it. No one does.
(And this holds true for both the aliens as bad guys and the aliens as good guys conspiracy theories.)
That’s why, as a long time sufferer of the disease that is being a fan of THE X-FILES, I’ve decided to let it go. Not overthink it. I don’t need to get it now. After all, if (when) we get a Season 11, it will probably all change again. For all this show has always pretended to be about aliens and corrupt governments, it’s always been about people. Two people in particular. And that’s what we care about.
Avi: This is one of the aspects of the new season that I know a lot of people are not quite happy about but that I actually feel is better. Because it makes it more tangible, even when we’re still living in the realm of THE X-FILES. The threat becoming more “human” than “alien” makes it more believable for me because we are aware of what human beings can do, how complex we are, how motivations are skewed and quite indifferent when it comes to alliances.
So, while we’re always going to have the alien element be part of the conspiracy, men being behind the demise of the world grounds it in reality for me — makes it scarier.