Uneven ‘X-Files’ return still worth it

We have marked the end of season 10 of the revived “X-Files,” and while it swayed in consistency regarding quality from one episode to the next (there were only six episodes), I can honestly say I enjoyed the run — even when it fell short of the program’s former glory at times.

“The X-Files” aired in the 1990s to the early aughts for nine seasons, and followed two FBI agents who investigated the paranormal (or, X-Files). For nine seasons, the show played with government conspiracies, UFOs and monsters. And it was great.

But like all things, it came to an end, mostly because the one half of the show’s popularity, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) had basically left the show.

I never suspected they would bring the show back, especially after the disastrous 2008 film “The X-Files: I Want to Believe.” So I had my reservations about bringing the show back. I mean, what if it wasn’t good?

Well, good thing it didn’t, for the most part. The 10th season threw Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson) from their regular lives and back to the FBI. And back to investigating the unexplained.

The first episode was pretty rocky, but I am not going to lie: I let out a little cheer when I saw they used the original intro to the show, with that eerie music. And with Joel McHale as a conspiracy nut with a YouTube show, Tad O’Malley, and spinning the whole premise of the show (Mulder and Scully were being controlled the whole time by the forces they wanted to stop) was interesting.

THE X-FILES: L-R: Gillian Anderson, guest star Joel McHale and David Duchovny. The next mind-bending chapter of THE X-FILES debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 24 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, and continuing with its time period premiere on Monday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). The thrilling, six-episode event series, helmed by creator/executive producer Chris Carter and starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI Agents FOX MULDER and DANA SCULLY, marks the momentous return of the Emmy Award- and Golden Globe-winning pop culture phenomenon, which remains one of the longest-running sci-fi series in network television history. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
THE X-FILES: L-R: Gillian Anderson, guest star Joel McHale and David Duchovny.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

The first episode (“My Struggle”) and the last episode of the season (“My Struggle II”) bookended the return with the overarching conspiracy story, which I had enjoyed with the original run, but this time that part of the show felt rushed. It seemed like they tried to do too much in such a short amount of time.

But it was the episodes in between that brought me back to loving “The X-Files” all over again. The second episode of the run (“Founder’s Mutation”) was again a little shaky. I enjoyed it for the creepiness factor, but it didn’t do much for me.

What really sucked me in was the third episode, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” To me, this was one of those episodes that just got everything perfect. The meta humor, the twist on the old “monster-of-the-week” episodes from the show’s past and the fact it was ridiculously funny made it work. That is thanks mostly due to Rhys Darby’s performance as a swamp monster who was bitten by a rabid human being and begins to change at times from a monster into a human, with urges to get a job, get a dog and establish a line of credit.

THE X-FILES: David Duchovny and guest star Rhys Darby in the "Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-monster" episode of THE X-FILES airing Monday, Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
THE X-FILES: David Duchovny and guest star Rhys Darby in the “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-monster” episode of THE X-FILES. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

The fourth episode (“Home Again”) dealt with some of the heavier issues in Scully and Mulder’s lives, along with another monster story, this time Band-Aid Nose Man, who was created by a street artist. While entertaining, it really did nothing for me.

The fifth episode (“Babylon”) introduced us to Mulder and Scully’s modern day doppelgangers in the FBI Agents Miller and Einstein. This episode brought the all too real horror of terrorism into the show’s world, when a young Muslim blows up a building and survives. The agents want to know what the terrorist knows, but the only way to communicate with him — according to Mulder — is by means outside of modern thought of medicine and science (through psychedelic mushrooms).

THE X-FILES: L-R: Guest star Robbie Amell, guest star Lauren Ambrose and David Duchovny in the "Babylon" episode of THE X-FILES airing Monday, Feb. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
THE X-FILES: L-R: Guest star Robbie Amell, guest star Lauren Ambrose and David Duchovny in the “Babylon” episode of THE X-FILES. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

So we have Agent Mulder tripping out of his mind, hallucinating all sorts of strange stuff (including line-dancing and hanging out with the Lone Gunmen, who are dead) and reaching the end of his visions, sees the Cigarette Smoking Man whipping him on a slave ship and a mother holding the coma-stricken terrorist in her arms, where she whispers “Babil al funduq.” Turns out that is the name of a hotel where the terrorist cell the man belongs to is hiding and training.

Mulder also learns he was given a placebo, so his hallucinations are not explained.

THE X-FILES: L-R: Guest star Bruce Harwood, Guest str Mitch Pileggi, David Duchovny, guest star Tom Braidwood and guest star Dean Haglund in the "Babylon" episode of THE X-FILES airing Monday, Feb. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
THE X-FILES: L-R: Guest star Bruce Harwood, Guest str Mitch Pileggi, David Duchovny, guest star Tom Braidwood and guest star Dean Haglund in the “Babylon” episode of THE X-FILES . ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

Then we come to the very uneven, and somewhat divisive finale (“My Struggle II”) where the whole planet is getting sick, because of the shadowy men who have ruled the world for so long decided it is time to lower the population.

People are getting sick because they were poisoned their whole lives with vaccines and the illness comes out of dormancy through chemtrails in the sky (the science is, well, let’s just say it is a TV show and we shouldn’t over think that part), and the people who will survive this have alien DNA in their systems — including Scully.

You got to give it to the show’s writers, they threw just about every conspiracy theory trending right now into one episode. An episode that ends on a cliff hanger. So I guess this means we will be getting more “X-Files” at some point.

THE X-FILES: L-R: The Were-monster and David Duchovny in the "Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-monster" episode of THE X-FILES airing Monday, Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX
THE X-FILES: L-R: The Were-monster and David Duchovny in the “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-monster” episode of THE X-FILES . ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

Overall, I enjoyed the season. I enjoyed the self-aware humor in it, and the fact that at times, Scully and Mulder reversed the roles of the skeptic and believer. Even when it wasn’t great, it was still fun to watch and the characters felt right back at home with the show.

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