The X-Files Recap: My Struggle


By Amy Joy, @amyjoy331


“…We must ask ourselves…are they [UFO sightings] really a hoax? Are we truly alone? Or are we being lied to?”


Those words wrap up Fox Mulder’s (series) nutshell-ing voiceover and kicks the door to the rival wide open and sends us headlong into a new X-Files theory…one in which everything we thought we knew was a lie.


[Cue X-Files Theme!]


In a flashback, we see two men on a bus out in the New Mexico desert in 1947 at the site of a UFO crash. One is dressed in a dark suit and addresses the other—dressed in some sort of military suit—as Doc. The flying saucer isn’t empty as an alien hand presses against the glass.


Back in the present, Agent Dr. Scully is interrupted before heading into surgery by a phone call from Skinner, who is still Assistant Director of the FBI. We jump to Mulder, who is watching a YouTube MindQuad video of Jimmy Kimmel and President Obama talking about UFOs before declaring “My life has become a punchline” to Scully.  She tells him what Skinner wanted. A conspiracy theory talk show host, Tad O’Malley, has reached out to the FBI looking for him, Mulder agrees to a meeting with him—as long as Scully goes with him.


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The former agents lovers partners meet up again and share their normal banter before O’Malley interrupts. (Shoo, O’Malley!) Inside a supped-up limo, they begin their meeting. Mulder is reluctant: “That book is closed, for better or for worse” (Scully gives him a rather significant glance at that phrase.) After a bit of a pissing contest that Mulder uses to search out howserious O’Malley is, they finally get down to business.


At a place in the middle of nowhere, we meet Sveta, who claims to have been abducted multiple times over 20 years…and backs it up by lifting her shirt to reveal (urp!) deep scoop marks all around her abdomen. She claims that after all the abductions, tests, harvestings, and implantation and removal of alien babies, she now has alien DNA.


While our minds are left with that image, we flashback to 1947 and the UFO crash. It’s now night and the two men find an alien. And one of them—along with military soldiers—promptly murder that poor alien.


Back to Sveta and Scully. Now at the hospital, Scully begins to get ready to do some medical testing on the young woman. Sveta claims she has the abilities that enable her to read minds and move things with her mind. Skeptical!Scully is skeptical. Until Sveta starts throwing out darts that hit too close to home. That Scully and Mulder were involved; Mulder’s depression tore them apart, and oh! They have a child together. Scully says nothing but starts a blood draw—with a rather unnecessarily hard looking jab of the needle into her skin; seriously, Scully, you’re a doctor and better than that. Scully seems a little less skeptical now and they bond a little bit about being abductees.


Mulder and O’Malley head out to meet some secret location of some deeply paranoid men (was I the only one whose heart leapt in their chest and thought The Lone Gunmen?!) They arrived at a warehouse/hanger thing where there is an Alien Replica Vehicle. Mulder turns into a kid on Christmas as they boot it up and it begins to silently hover. The scientist breaks down the science of it and Mulder asks “Where did you get it?”


Back to 1947, Doc scoops up the dead alien and begins to carry it away filled with all sorts of compassion while Dark Suit tells him to leave it alone because it’s dead. “Then why even bring me out here?” Doc fires back. Touché.


The present: more blood work. This time, Scully is drawing her own blood. A wild O’Malley appears and asks if she’s checking her own blood for alien DNA. Scully replies just as smooth, “High cholesterol.” Ha. While attempting to make small talk O’Malley sees what Scully does—working on fixing deformities in children.


Mulder meets up with Sveta—he has been thinking about what she said about her abduction and calls her out. Sveta admits she wasn’t abducted by aliens but men (dun dun dunnn) He calls Scully and spirals “What if there was no alien conspiracy?”


A sight for sore eyes: Mulder enters the abandoned X-Files office with Skinner. There are still pencils in the ceiling. Mulder is still spiraling, lost and angry, and destroys his signature “I Want To Believe” poster (my heart!) Skinner still has Mulder’s back but Mulder is like an exposed nerve and leaves, full of fire and rage.


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Meanwhile, on the Tad O’Malley show, he’s plugging Scully. I still don’t understand the connection between them. Scully is watching but turns it off when a nurse appears with her test results. She notices something and asks the nurse to retest them.


Mulder is having a clandestine meeting with a mystery man. They talk about how the original conspiracy of warring aliens was a lie—another misdirection—and how Mulder has new clarity.  What’s really happening: “Alien tech being used against us, not by aliens, not with aliens but by a venal conspiracy of men against humanity” The mystery man turns out not to be a mystery at all but “Doc”—the man we met in the 1947 flashback. “I didn’t know how my work was going to be used…” His work was responsible for what happened to Sveta…


Before he leaves, Doc assures Mulder he’s nearly there, he’s close. And oh yeah, Roswell?  That was a smokescreen.  Scully goes to visit Mulder. She needs answers because Mulder is spiraling so hard. “You want to believe.” She says, “The truth is out there!” He replies. (They couldn’t throw in Trust no one?) Mulder is convinced that Sveta is the key to unraveling the whole conspiracy. Scully tries to leave but is drawn into Mulder’s spiral.


Scully, O’Malley, and Sveta listen as Mulder falls down the deep rabbit hole of conspiracy that eventually ends with the takeover of America. O’Malley plans on announcing it on his show.  Scully is unimpressed and then hits Mulder and O’Malley where it counts and says “…so stupid it borders on treason.” She then kicks them while they’re down and reveals Sveta’s tests results reveal no evidence of alien DNA.


Scully tunes into the Tad O’Malley show to find out Sveta retracted her words, saying Tad put words in her mouth. She’s not the only one watching. Mulder is watching too. He’s pissed. At the hospital, Scully’s test results are in while Mulder goes to Sveta’s and tries to find her. But the young woman is gone.


At the warehouse, men in military gear and armored trucks arrive blow up the ship and the scientists and are there.  Later, Scully searches for O’Malley’s site but it’s gone as well.  Very much like their very first case, all the evidence of the conspiracy are being destroyed piece by piece.


Scully heads to her car and finds a message scrawled into the dirt on the back window: DON’T GIVE UP.  Mulder pops up and they talk. Scully is adamant about finding Sveta and protecting her. She re-ran Sveta’s tests and found out that Sveta does have alien DNA. And she’s not the only one.  Scully does as well. Then their phones chime and they both get a text from Skinner.


On the road, Sveta’s car breaks down…and a UFO hovers above her. She tries to flee and just gets out of her car when the ship blows the up the car and her with it.  Oh and CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN IS ALIVE.  And still smoking…


“We have a small problem” he declares, “They’ve re-opened the X-Files.”


Considering the fact that this new conspiracy undoes 9 seasons worth of mythology and conspiracy, I was actually happy with how the whole episode was handled. With the exception of my disappointment over the perfect way to bring back TLG! Seriously, it could have been great! *crosses fingers it’ll happen somewhere within the remaining 4 episodes…


Favorite moments:

  • The opening credits are still the same—with Skinner added
  • Mulder and Scully’s in person reunion. So adorable. Such love.
  • Mulder and Skinner’s reunion in the old X-Files office. Their relationship has been so complex but they care.
  • Mulder’s running “I hitchhiked” joke.
  • Mulder’s first spiral. His passion has always been one of the things I’ve loved about his character even if he comes off as a little crazy.
  • The reappearance of CSM. At the end of the world, there will be three things left: cockroaches, twinkies, and him…


So what are your thoughts fellow X-Philes?

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