I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about the return of The X-Files. It was a major part of my childhood in the 90s and I credit it for establishing most of my adult preferences and style. I was giddy when the announcement of this new season came down the Internet pipeline and I was pretty much bouncing in my chair wile watching the premier. Simple details like the return of the opening credits and that very distinct X-Files font sent me swooning.
I do have a shameful admission. I attempted and failed to watch every episode of the original series leading up to this premier. I know, I know. I’m not worthy to be writing this article. I did my best to participate in the 201 day X-Files challenge, but life got in the way. Maybe it was the aliens keeping me from it.
Luckily for me, this episode started with a quick but detailed recap of the surface level events from the original series. I’m curious if there was a hidden meaning behind the burning of the old files. Was that Mulder having a memorial service of sorts or was that someone else disposing of evidence? With mere seconds into the return of this show, I’m already second-guessing everything. Just like the good old days.
This was an amazing hour of television. It brought back all the fun and excitement of the original series, built upon the established foundation of everything that’s already happened, and added another level to the already deep conspiracy mythos. Duchovny, Anderson, and Pileggi easily stepped back into their roles, carrying all the weight of the 14 years it’s been since the series finale. It was a very smart choice to match the return of the show to the real time difference between the seasons.
When X-Files was first on the air, it made dramatic strides in defining the gene. It played upon the mood and atmosphere that existed in the real world and created a reality that mirrored what a lot of the audience was actually feeling. The show was clearly fiction, but it made everyone that watched it say, “what if?”. This episode did the same thing by capitalizing on current events but twisting them to the show’s purpose.
Speaking of which, I am very intrigued by the decision to somewhat undo everything that happened in the original series. The new information certainly makes a lot of sense within the context of the mythology. But it was so quickly accepted as fact. I cannot believe that this is what’s truly happening. The X-Files has always been about deception and misleading appearances. I like the fact that “real evidence” was presented during this episode. This mirrors the old pattern of Mulder actually finding proof but then having it taken away. This new development also reinforces the quasi-real world that X-Files exists within.
The inclusion of McHale in the cast is a smart move, in my opinion. On the surface, he’s a successful Mulder. He has all the passion and drive, but he didn’t allow himself to be overwhelmed. But he can very easily be part of the conspiracy, either willingly or unknowingly. I would be very surprised if there is not a huge development with his character before the end of these six episodes.
Mulder is clearly tired. He’s been living with the burden of his mission for decades and hasn’t ever seen success. In this episode, he said “I only want to believe”. That’s huge. He has personally seen proof time and time again of the supernatural, aliens, and conspiracy, but he stills doesn’t claim belief. It would seem that Mulder links his belief to the revelation of truth. It’s not good enough to him to have the knowledge. His mission is to make that information public. With such a lofty self-imposed goal, it’s no wonder that he is exhausted and depressed.
My only complaint for this episode was the repeated mention of Mulder and Scully having a child together. I have no problem with their relationship developing or existing. I simply don’t like the repetition of the statement. It felt like a forced detail that was included only for the sake of the viewing audience. These characters know they have a kid. People in the real world don’t talk like that. Including that dialogue took me out of the world of the show momentarily. That being said, I’m crazy interested to know what happened with this kid.
With only 5 more episodes to go, this is going to be an intense ride. The original series could let a mystery develop over multiple episodes and hand out tiny details at a maddeningly slow pace. With a run this short, X-Files has to really know what it’s doing and be very dedicated to staying on schedule. But I trust Carter. I cannot wait to see what happens next.