The X-Files #300: My Struggle IV

"You'd shoot your firstborn son?"
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: There's a manhunt for Scully's son.

REVIEW: Though it's a Mytharc episode, the X-Files season/series(?) finale jettisons a lot of the confusing back and forth about the conspiracy to make room for an extended chase through a Canadian-accented Tennessee, and an endgame that ruthlessly kills off every character it possibly can. Is it great? No. But the camera work is exciting - it at least LOOKS good - and it doesn't jerk us around too too much like past Mytharc episodes have.

This is really William's story. He has the voice-over. He catches us up. He's the one on the run and we follow him as much as we do Mulder and Scully. In the end, he foresees his own death and Mulder's, and that prophecy comes true in a fairly clever way, with neither actually dead (next to a body of water like that, I was reminded of Doctor Who's The Impossible Astronaut). With Gillian Anderson having announced this would be her last episode, I thought for sure she was going to get in the way of Cancerman's bullet, but no, she survives to tell Mulder that she's now miraculously pregnant, and though William wasn't actually his son, he'll now be a father. If Anderson wasn't playing around, this is a finale that seems to point to it being the end of the series proper. The agents are alive and embarking on a new mysterious chapter of their lives, but she at least won't return. To me that means it's over, and it's probably better that way. Season 10 had some good moments, but 11 was more or less spinning its wheels. If they'd spent more time building up the new agents played by Ambrose and Amell, maybe the show could have taken a different direction, and may still, I guess.

As is, we're in such a rush to get things done, I'm not sure anything BUT the William story gets any real closure, and his "last scare"-type survival doesn't really even close the books on THAT. It's unnecessarily tacked on and takes away from the tragedy, especially since Scully's new pregnancy provides the end-of-episode lift (it really comes out of the blue anyway). The focus on William means you never really feel the stakes are real. It would have needed virus canisters being prepared or SOMETHING. As is, one side of the conspiracy is killed unceremoniously by Mulder and William (who just blows people up with his mind), and the other - Cancerman - is equally killed off (but it's happened before, and much more convincingly). Ryes is killed by Skinner before her ambiguity can be resolved, and he himself appears to be crushed under a car, and we never return to him, so again, it's very off-handedly done. If the series would return, he could walk away from it, I'm sure, but here, the heroes don't even know he gave his life and can't react. There's just no time for it. Or time to resolve the unnecessary subplot about Scully leaking information to the media (and it doesn't really affect the plot), nor to the X-Files being closed down for the umpteenth time. There's a lot of padding , in other words, or alternatively, it needed to be a two-parter, and its structure, going back in time to explain what seemed pretty clear is also surplus to requirements. At worst, the edit is confusing, like putting Mulder's apparent death at the end of the "Previously..." It really looks like they needed to fit too much into too little time.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Looks slick and not a terrible way to end the series, but the scorched earth policy makes the conclusion feel rushed and less than satisfying.


Ryan Blake said...

I saw this and wondered why Mulder as a trained fbi agent didn't stop it cancer man in the head? Obviously for the plot ambiguity so the can bring him back for the 1000th time. The comics continuation did a much better job of explaining his comback again and again. No more please.


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