Well, how was that for a finale? The final episode of The X-Files revival certainly amped up the tension and addressed all of the major questions that we haven’t really been bothered with much since the first episode when we saw someone insert a ciggie into Cigarette Smoking Man’s trache tube. Now we know what he’s been up to, and who exactly has been keeping him smoking. More on that in a minute.
The last few episodes have touched on the possibility of alien DNA within Scully’s genome, and we now have proof that it’s there and it was put there during her “abduction” many years ago. But for what purpose? Well, Tad O’Malley resurfaced after his show mysteriously went dark with startling new information of a nationwide, possibly global, extinction event.
Of course, some people like Agent Einstein just see this as the ravings of a madman on the lunatic fringe, but Scully seems to put a little more faith in his claims based on the results of her DNA sequencing. Agent Miller has a little more faith in Scully and O’Malley, but as people being getting ill around them — soldiers exposed to the anthrax virus — Scully realizes that this is just the catalyst for something much bigger. Einstein refuses to jump to conclusions but for Scully there is no time to use scientific methods to determine what is causing the illnesses.
There’s also one other roadblock to this whole thing — Mulder is missing. While at his office, Scully answers the phone and O’Malley is on the other end, telling her she needs to get to Mulder’s house. There, the place has been ransacked, there’s no sign of Mulder, and he’s not answering his cell phone.
As things get worse and more people are getting ill, Scully gets a call from someone asking to meet. It’s an old friends from the past, Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish), who left the department ten years ago under mysterious circumstances. Well, does she have a story for Scully. Before she left the agency, she was summoned to the hospital by … CSM, who wanted to make a deal with her. At the beginning of the episode, Scully narrated an opening similar to the first episode with photographs and talk of a cabal of men with dark intentions (and the shot of her morphing into an alien at the end was quite startling). Reyes explains to Scully that CSM and his group were tampering with human DNA, inserting something through smallpox vaccines that would break down the immune system when activated, wiping the earth free of all but the chosen few … including Scully. It seems the alien DNA within her was actually a sort of vaccination against the diseases beginning to wipe out humanity. Reyes was also chosen by CSM and she was the one servicing his smoking habit.
With this information, Scully knows she has to work with Einstein to produce an antidote using the alien DNA in her genes, but can she do it before Einstein also falls ill. And where is Mulder?
Seems the ransacking came at the hands off one of CSM’s henchmen, and Mulder found his way to his home where he learned of the plan, and was also given an offer of a cure since CSM didn’t want to consider a world without Mulder and Scully. But stubborn Mulder refused as he became more and more ill. Miller was able to track Mulder’s cell phone, got to CSM’s home, took a very ill Mulder out and headed back to DC from South Carolina. He called Scully, who was somehow able to synthesize enough antidote to help Einstein (so she could make more) and hopefully save Mulder and Miller.
Scully then stole an SUV and drove on sidewalks and through as much stopped traffic as she could to find Mulder and Miller, who were now stranded on a bridge outside of DC. Reaching them and finding Mulder in much worse shape than anticipated, a bright light suddenly beams down on them from a dark triangular object in the sky, presumably the same one that blew up Sveta at the end of the first episode. From above, the camera zoomed slowly in on Scully’s eye before going to black … and end of season.
What?! Man, that’s one way to try and guarantee yourself another season. I’m sure fans are going to be setting their hair on fire as a result of this cliffhanger because we don’t know what’s going to happen to Mulder, or Scully, and there was one more little tidbit of information dropped that I had assumed would come into play — William. He is the key to saving Mulder since he would have their shared DNA and the alien DNA, so she needs his stem cells. But Scully doesn’t know where he is.
This episode, “My Struggle II,” was certainly the most action-packed of the season, carried mainly by Gillian Anderson who had to be basically Scully and Mulder throughout the episode. Lauren Ambrose was a much more toned-down Agent Einstein this week, but poor Robbie Amell really didn’t have much to do. If the series were to continue — and don’t think Fox is eager to do so — I’m not sure if I’d want to see Einstein and Miller every week. It was great to have William B. Davis return as “Old Smokey,” as Mulder called him, and kind of put a cap on what that character has been up to since the original series started. That reveal of his face was pretty horrifying too!
While answering many questions that have been a long thread throughout the series’ history, there was actually another dangling plot point posed in this season from the second episode: what exactly does the experimentation on the children have to do with what we know now about the virus? One little detail in a sea of many, but overall this “tenth season” of The X-Files just hit the ground running and it felt like we’d never even skipped a beat since it went off the air.
I hope Fox, Duchovny, Anderson, Pileggi, Chris Carter and his team will be able to come to terms to produce another mini season. Duchovny has another season of Aquarius for NBC presumably this summer, and Anderson is busy in England with her series The Fall, with Jamie Dornan. That show is ending after its third season (which began filming in January), so she could be free to shoot another season of The X-Files for next year. Once everyone is on board, then it comes down to how many episodes will Fox want? Six seems like too few to really tell a story, but that may be all they can squeeze in. Prison Break is getting a 10-episode revival, and that seems to be a good number for The X-Files too. As the ratings for this season have proven, they don’t even have to rush into another season for next year. I’d prefer they put together a great storyline, one that answers questions posed this season, and one that doesn’t just gloss over the cliffhanger. A new season will have to pick up right there or the fans will be even more upset than they are now.
For me, this was a terrific but too short run, and even with the cliffhanger I enjoyed it very much and will gladly welcome Mulder and Scully back for more in the near or (not too) distant future. Just please don’t make us wait fourteen years again!
What did you think of this episode and the season as a whole? Tell us in the comments below!