The X-Files (2016) S01E01 - My Struggle I
The X-Files are back in their own world glory. This is a spoiler heavy essay on the return of the beloved tv series and its new format. It has been 14 years since the world has seen the end of the X-Files as a television series and 8 years since the last movie.
As the new series opens, Fox Mulder starts to recount his life from the beginning — a life connected with mysterious cryptozoology, unexplained phenomena and of course, aliens. I loved the part of the ancient astronaut (aliens) theory, something that was not explored on the series, mostly because in business terms it would not sell and secondly the movement of ancient astronauts has the spotlight more on the recent years (it was mostly a less common theory in Europe, nevertheless of Erich Von Daniken’s books) due to the eponymous show.
Speaking of shows, the premise of the first episode is that an internet show host Tad O’ Malley (Joel mcHale, also known as Jeff), seeks Mulder via his “known” contacts because he has proofs that Mulder desperately seek all these years in the X-Files. Meanwhile, we see a different story, of the Roswell crash. As the episode continues its run, we find out more about the eight year gap. Scully is no longer tied to Mulder; Mulder has fallen into depression and has lost his definition of faith, kind of a giving-up situation. Then his beliefs are turned upside down again. With the assistance and the proofs that Tad O’Malley provided he now believes that he was a pawn to a larger conspiracy created by the shady government that involved the experiments and making everyone think it was the aliens. In the progression, undoubtedly Mulder reunites with Scully, but with the emotional elephant in the room (something that is more elaborately explained in the second episode) and of course the X Files are reopened, with one more familiar face popping up in the last scene of the episode.
But wait! There are things that obviously do not match up. If you are an avid X-Files fan, you would notice that the motif has changed. Where is the alien black oil that was tormenting most of the seasons our beloved investigators? We do know that it was destroyed during the season before the supersoldier, resulting into the death of most of the conspirators of the shadow government. We do know that it was ancient, since the events of “Fight the future” movie which showed that the hominids encountered it in the caves along with their alien bearers. What happened to it? And how come, that the aliens are now also the victims of the human shady government. Were not they in collaboration / trying to colonize Earth? Was not that the idea of 2012? In the episode a new question rose from the doctor who was on the Roswell accident.
There is also a plethora of things that I liked and remembered from the old series. The opening credits are back, just as they were away during the end of the 8th season, though with the newer movie logo. Then there was the revamping. Yes, Mulder and Scully had smartphones (even though there were not real screens), could utilize the internet more (remember when Scully was writing reports in the old text editors before jumping to windows-like operating systems?) but the core is the same. Two agents using what they are given, sometimes in favor otherwise against them. Even for a 6 episode run, the X-Files are back and hopefully they could stay for another season, or in the small series format (after all Sherlock does it perfectly).
One quirky remark that I had during the premiere from a friend though, “How comes Skinner is still Assistant Director after all these years?”. Probably because he must have had so much red ink in his file that he was lucky enough to keep that position.