My Struggle 4: Sure. Fine. Whatever.

I should be devastated. I was promised answers to questions new and old, resolution to mysteries introduced as recently as last week, and a satisfying conclusion that brings together the four My Struggle episodes into a standalone series-within-a-series.

And yet I’m okay. Why? Because I had seen My Struggle(s) 1 through 3. That changes everything. A metaphor comes to mind:

I’m in the passenger seat of Mulder’s 2018 Ford Product Placement as he careens down the highway. I’m not sure what he’s chasing, but he’s being really dramatic about it. Eventually I realize even he doesn’t know what he’s after and that we’re definitely going to crash and erupt into a ball of flames. May as well enjoy the ride, I think to myself.

It was with this Scully in Syzygy attitude that I watched the episode, for better or for worse. It’s not a great way to go through life, but I’m pleased to report that it made certain elements of the episode less unwatchable than they would have been otherwise.

Event: Various murders

How I should have felt:

WHAT. Why did I spend any time at all trying to figure out how the new space colonization conspiracy fit in with the old conspiracy?? And why was Barbara Hershey shoehorned into other episodes as though she mattered? Are these people who are being mind-exploded by a teenager related to the Russians from This, or are they part of CSM’s efforts to cover up the experiments that created William in the first place, or did they even have an origin or purpose at all aside from being the X-Files equivalent of Red Shirts?

And did you just SHOOT MONICA REYES IN THE HEAD FOR NO REASON?? Does no one remember that Monica Reyes used to sing whale songs and scorched a super soldier with a pot of boiling water to protect Scully while she was giving birth? Did Skinner even know that Monica was collaborating with CSM in Scully’s future-vision a.k.a. season 10 in its entirety, or alternately did Scully never have the opportunity for a sit-down chat about her premonitions of the global apocalypse because she and Mulder spent season 11 distrusting Skinner, which means he hasn’t seen Monica Reyes in like 15 years and thought to himself, “Oh hey, it’s Monica. Long time, no see. BLAM BLAM BLAM!”

How I felt:

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No spin-off for you…

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No spin-off for you…

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Oh hell! Skinner just gave you a Krycek. In any case, no spin-off for you…

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I’m not convinced Skinner is dead.

 

Event: William switcheroos

How I should have felt:

Wait — holy crap. That conversation was really with William the whole time?? But… but… HE LOOKS JUST LIKE MULDER. Whoa, my mind is blown.

How I felt:

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It’s William.

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It’s William.

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Also, DPO called, it wants its hobby for delinquents back.

 

Event: William gets shot in the head

How I should have felt:

What a heroic and shocking sacrifice. Because William has seen the horrors of the future, he’s stepped into his father’s place and gotten himself shot to stop that from happening. … though I guess if his future-visions included Mulder dying in a car on a bridge, he must know that either CSM won’t shoot Mulder, or that his visions are collectively BS.

And thank goodness that he’s pulling his Ghouli trick again and only making usĀ think he’s died from a gunshot wound to the head. … though he must have had to use some of his powers to make CSM’s bullet go astray to keep himself from actually getting shot. Unless CSM knew it was him and shot to miss? Or unless CSM decided to be true to his character and have the aim of a decrepit old man who was barely cobbled back together after taking a helicopter missile to the face?

How I felt:

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Event: Scully as Ms Moneypenny

How I should have felt:

So if I cut all the Mulder out of this episode, I just watched 42 minutes of Scully sitting at home and then taking a break from all the sitting to call a cable news show. And thanks for the awkward cuts that keep me from seeing her find out William’s true parentage; until the end of the episode, I just assumed Skinner got distracted and forgot to tell her.

But it’s okay — she’s pregnant, which is the only good thing that can ever happen to a 54-year-old woman and is enough to wipe out any of those pesky William issues she’s been having since season 8. It’s a good thing we spent a significant portion of seasons 10 and 11 setting up mega-conspiracy arcs that never happened instead of learning more about what motivates these characters to stay in the FBI, giving Scully a real meeting with her son, having any clue what they agreed to in the church conversation from Nothing Lasts Forever, letting Mulder and Scully kiss now that they’ve conceived two children together…

To Chris Carter — I know you’ve been getting beat up a lot this season. We are all eternally grateful for the vision you had when you created Scully, Mulder, and the X-Files, and there have been some truly genius moments of television that you brought to life. Thank you so much for everything you’ve made; you can kind of tell the quality of a show by how many people are willing to careen into the wild depths of obsessed (“focused,” we used to call it) fandom for it. X-Files would be nothing without you.

That said… what the hell was this.

How I felt:

See above.

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