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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Old faces, new places in “The X-Files” return to the small screen

    Still from the premier trailer for season 10 of “The X-Files,” a six-episode reboot of the 1993 show. “The X-Files” returns to the small screen after a 15-year “commercial break.”

    After a 13-year “commercial break,” as director Chris Carter puts it, “The X-Files” returned to the airwaves.

    Even without Vince Gilligan, the keystone writer, director and producer for the original and the man behind “Breaking Bad,” the new season of “The X-Files” attracted 20.3 million viewers just three days after its premiere.

    Right off the bat, the series appears to take itself less seriously than prior seasons. Fox Mulder, as opposed to being a charming young man obsessed with truth, is a crusty, recovering alcoholic eager to debunk even the smallest conspiracy.

    Throughout the first few episodes, Mulder stumbles back into his familiar character, while slowly realizing that the Internet’s explanation of reality isn’t always correct. 

    In a way, Mulder serves as an anchor to the real world, often pointing out the absurdity of the cases to which he’s assigned. This mild, comical surrealism allowed the series to get back on it’s feet by letting the audience know that the show is not taking itself too seriously, or at least not right out of the gate.

    Unfortunately for “X-Files” veterans, the season started off slow. In the first episode, “My Struggle,” Dana Scully and Mulder’s relationship was depicted as rocky, to say the least. The first half of the season is largely based on the resurrection of their romantic relationship, with the focus being on their estranged lovechild. This forces the monster mysteries, government conspiracies and aliens abductions to take a backseat.

    That’s not to say that the season didn’t have the typical mashup of stand-alone monster episodes. 

    In episode three, “Scully and Mulder Meet the Were-Monsters,” our beloved FBI agents face the familiar challenge of stopping a reptilian forest monster. 

    An impressive guest cast of mid-range comedians, including Kumail Nanjiani and “Flight of the Concords’” Rhys Darby, surprised the audience.

    Halfway through the season, the show begins to resemble its former self. 

    “Founder’s Mutation” follows the story of a street artist with a style reminiscent of the infamous Banksy, who, oddly enough, recently posted “X-Files” inspired fan art on a wall up the street from the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters. 

    The episode’s street artist struggles with his identity and the supernatural powers that emerge from his artwork. Longtime viewers have come to expect this sort of surrealism from the show and were relieved to find that it hadn’t been abandoned.

    By the sixth and final episode, “My Struggle II,” the storyline had been fully resurrected. The episode picked up where the first episode, “My Struggle,” left off: a Noah’s arc-style apocalyptic virus outbreak that leaves our heroes in an intense life-and-death struggle. The season ended in an epic cliff-hanger, with Scully standing under the beam of a UFO on the brink of abduction. With an ending like this, it’s expected that the series will continue.

    Whether you’re a longtime “X-Files” fan, season 10 will leave you entertained and wanting more. The series’ resurrection contains all of the aspects that made it so successful in the first place: comedy, surrealism, modern conspiracies and the always-elusive alien encounters. All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope that Fox gives the green light for another go with Mulder and Scully.

    Follow Jonathan Terry on Twitter

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