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X-Files Season 11, Episodes 1 – 2 Recap and Review

The X-Files was a staple of my life for nine years. I was overly attached and more than a little obsessed. At the time, cell-phones weren’t a thing, but I did take the phone off the hook for that hour every week because I did not want to be disturbed. That was X-Files time, that was my Fox and Scully time and, for the first few seasons, it was a family affair.

Running from 1993-2002, The X-Files surrounded a particular department in the FBI assigned to investigate the crazy, spooky, unexplainable events that no other agency wanted to deal with. It starred David Duchovny as Special Agent Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully with Mitch Pileggi as their Supervisory Agent Walter Skinner.

When it ended again at the end of season 9, a lot of people, myself included, weren’t so thrilled with how they wrapped it up and I was super thrilled when they brought it back for a limited season 10 (see my recaps from season 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) but still, at the end of it, I wasn’t really satisfied. Even knowing full well that it would be impossible to wrap up every loose thread in a show like The X-Files, they left too many threads.

If you haven’t watched the earlier seasons of The X-Files, or at least a good handful of the best episodes, this season isn’t going to make a lot of sense to you as it really depends on the viewer to know who these people are, where they come from, and how they are tied to Mulder and Scully. Season 11 started off in a slightly confusing manner that seemed to negate at least the last episode of season 10 which for me is not a bad thing. From here on out, there will be spoilers for the first half of Season 11 – please go watch the show first and tell me what you think of it all!

Image: Fox

Episode 1: My Struggle

The first episode of this season had it’s merits. I’m glad the plague hasn’t started yet and apparently that last little bit was all part of Dana Scully’s new and powerful visions. It does have one huge flaw for me. I’m really glad they’re bringing William back into this. I loved the idea of this child, a combination of two of my favorite TV people. I wish they’d left him that way. Instead, Cigarette Smoking Man (played by William B. Davis) is back again and being the horrible person he is and again flanked by my least favorite X-Files agent ever, Reyes (played by Annabeth Gish).

Scully and Fox Mulder are drawn into the middle of opposing factions, new faces, and old faces. Wisely, they trust no one, but each other.

Skinner is again being threatened to comply with the Cigarette Smoking Man’s desires and we learn a bit of information that I refuse to believe. I find the idea abhorrent that William could be anyone, but who we’ve always believed him to be though I’m sure that Cigarette Smoking Man could be that terrible a person.

It upsets me but doesn’t surprise me that Skinner is, again, so easy to manipulate. I have to wonder if Mitch Pileggi isn’t a little tired of being everyone’s least favorite turncoat (looking at you granddaddy Campbell!).

Episode 2: This

Mulder and Scully catching up with an old friend. (Image: Shane Harvey/Fox)

There’s a part of me that has always hoped that, somehow, somewhere, the Lone Gunmen are still out there. This episode had a real X-Files feel, like when the X-Files was at it’s best, had found its stride and was making solid episodes with great points and long-reaching ideas (like the season where the guest writers included Gibson…).

It’s my personal headcanon that they aren’t really dead just officially dead. And that officially dead status started up poor Richard Langly’s (played by Dean Haglund) trip into the Matrix. The idea of copying a person into the bits and bytes and loading them onto a shared server to be what amounts to an eternal think tank is a wonderful idea in theory. However, humans are not designed for a utopia. I think it makes sense that A. the powers that be would want Langly’s brain to contribute and that B. He would take issue with that and somehow, from beyond the plug, be able to find and communicate with Mulder.

The scavenger hunt portion was really just an effective means to introduce a great love of Langly’s that I don’t remember hearing about before, not that we get to know her long. I found it interesting that the people doing the chasing during the scavenger hunt all seemed to wear the same stringy, long, blonde hair that Langly wore. At first, it was a little hope that they weren’t really dead and we’d get to see the man himself but, alas, that does not seem to be the case.

I do love The X-Files and, while I’m not thrilled with all the choices here, I am glad to see Chris Carter back in the driver’s seat and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this season will be a satisfying end to one of my favorite TV shows ever.

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