The X-Files Season 10 Episode 1 Review: My Struggle

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This was not a great return for one of the most iconic television series of the 20th Century.

After 14 years off the air, it wasn't the best choice to start out with an exposition-laden, heavy-handed hour. But that's exactly what The X-Files Season 10 Episode 1 was.

It's not necessarily going to win new viewers, but the tried and true will not be deterred. The show is beloved by fans the world over, and while using this episode as a way to reunite Mulder and Scully wasn't my favorite choice, I'm only one person, and know better days lie ahead.

Not everything about the premiere was bad news. Mulder & Scully! The opening theme song! Mulder & Scully! It was just a rocky start to a highly anticipated return.

Together Again - The X-Files

There is good news, however, as the significance of this hour is short-lived. The X-Files Season 10 Episode 2 almost acts as if this hour didn't exist, at least dramatically. It's a bump in the road, so I'll just get through it. 

The reason I don't prefer the avenue  this particular installment took is because it's divisive. There isn't a left or right wing affiliation stamp that comes with being an X-Files fan, and when you start off on that foot – trying to paint one side or the other as the bad guy – you risk pushing viewers away. I like my nuts to just be nuts.

More bad news, although it was spoiled earlier if you've been paying attention: Scully and Mulder are no longer together.

We learned the details not from either of them, but when Sveta the mind-reading abductee mind melded with Scully. Proving she really could read minds, she shared Scully's history with Mulder. OK.

They were together, but they divorced after Scully diagnosed him with depression. It seems Scully has gone back into medicine, and she's doing charitable surgical work. There's not much word on what Mulder's doing, but in a voice over, he did mention his obsession continued.

Since he met ten years ago with the doctor from the 1947 UFO crash, it definitely seems Mulder has never been off the case. At least he was still on the case after the X-Files were closed. 

Despite the promotional materials showing Joel Hale's character, Tad O'Malley, to be kind of interesting, the right-wing conspiracy theorist wasn't all that great. He was brash, he was flirting with Scully (the nerve!), and his theories were meh.  

The thing is, I want aliens to be real (they are), and I want them to be flying around just for the hell of it (they were), bugging us (we killed them). Can there be a bunch of nuts, led by the Cigarette Smoking Man, who want to take over America while utilizing alien technology? Sure.

But am I crazy to want there to be pissed off aliens who are also onto said nuts who are smarter, crazier and maybe even onto what Mulder has been doing all along who want to meet up with him to clear their good name?! OK. Yes, I'm crazy.

That's probably my biggest beef. "My Struggle" was somewhat of a struggle to get through. Scully was so worried about Mulder. She wasn't initially involved for anything but to worry over his shoulder.

Discovering she had alien DNA (alien being used in the broadest sense of the word, as I'm sure she doesn't have DNA from outer space to match alongside hers and Sveta's) surely brought her on board for the longer term, but until the end, Scully wasn't really into it.

It wasn't a superbly magical episode to blow viewers out of the water, taking advantage of the spot after a playoff game. You'd think they would have wanted more action, less talking. 

And as soon as it started, it was over. Sveta was dead, O'Malley was shut down, the man-made UFO was destroyed. Somehow and for reasons unknown, Mulder and Scully were allowed live. It certainly wasn't because they were hard to find. They were using cell phones, going to work, taking no precautions (which kinda bugged me). 

Are they CSM's playthings? Does he lament the reopening of the X-Files just as he allows the beloved partners to live or does he really not have much to do with that big conspiracy? And if not, then who is at the head of it? Just America? What about those greedy multi-nationalists? Surely that's where CSM steps in, right?

There are six episodes in this run. The next two are blissfully not going to be digging too deep into this business. The X-Files Season 10 Episode 3, "Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-monster," is a delight. Will they be solving the conspiracy and putting an end to the mystery in the three remaining hours? Hardly.

I'd say if this premiere doesn't turn people off, and if the run does well, expect The X-Files to be open as long as Scully and Mulder want to work on them. And since Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny already dug in and brushed off the dust of the characters, getting to know them in their older age, there's no reason to shy away now.

So what did you think? Have your say in the comments.

My Struggle Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The X-Files Season 10 Episode 1 Quotes

Mulder: Air's gettin' a little hot in here.
O'Malley: Oh. Those don't roll down. I had the vehicle bulletproofed.
Mulder: Because you never know when a gun-toting liberal might go Hinkley.

Scully: I'm always happy to see you.
Mulder: And I'm always happy to find a reason.