The X-Files, “My Struggle”, January 24, 2016

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Don’t call it a reboot. An X-Files comeback? Sure, it’s a comeback. Mulder and Scully have returned and—well, like a lot of fans, we’re happy to see them.

Scully and Mulder Return in The X-Files

Real-life pals Gillian Anderson and
David Duchovny return as Scully and
Mulder in The X-Files

But how was the first episode? It felt just as I expected.

Spoilers ahead.

A returning show is never going to seem as good as it did in its first incarnation. This is why the new Star Wars movie, while a quality effort, is never going to seem as awesome as the originals (if you’re old enough to have seen them in a theater).

With that in mind: this is standard Chris Carter fare we’re watching. Carter, the creator, main writer, and executive producer, was originally inspired by things like ’70s TV show Kolchak: The Night Stalker (which scared the hell out of me as a kid, too). That’s what Carter’s after—he’s on record saying his goal is to scare the hell out of people—and he’s doing a fair job with this revival of The X-Files. The dialogue is sometimes stiff, the plot convoluted and sometimes odd, and I don’t think anyone’s a huge fan of the tangent with babies and DNA.

Even so, as I’ve said: the band is back together. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny still have chemistry. Skinner still really does come off like he runs the place. And the ominous Cigarette Smoking Man is just as, well, ominous as ever—especially as he inhales cigarette smoke through a perforation in his neck. Ew.

Carter knew he had to do something big—the show’s been off the air for years, and a big comeback needs a big, game-changing plot. So, we’ve got the biggest conspiracy of all: that the aliens and UFOs were really just a ruse by the government so the Global Elite can rule in oligarchic tyranny. Given that a handful of gargantuan multi-national corporations do all but completely control world governments, the plot twist seems on point. I keep scratching my head—all of the UFOs, all of the aliens were really just government-created illusions? Maybe not. Maybe it was just most of them.

I haven’t finished watching episode two yet. More after I’ve had a chance—but I like what I’ve seen so far. Carter has succeeded in recreating The X-Files. Here’s hoping it just keeps getting better.

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