The X-Files, Season 11, Episode 1

They’re baaaaaaa-aaaack…

Oh hey, it’s that time again! The time where I watch The X-Files and rant about how Chris Carter shouldn’t have been allowed near the writer’s room again. Here we goooooooo…

Spoilers under the cut!

We start with one of Chris Carter’s infamous monologues, and something about the CSM faking the moon landing. After a second watch, I still don’t get how that has anything to do with the rest of the episode, except to prove that he’s a dick, which we already knew.

Ahh, The X-Files is definitely back; I’m already confused.

What happened to the CSM’s prosthetics? Did the makeup department run out of face glue? Or have we agreed this is such a terrible plot direction that consistency no longer matters?

The voiceovers were painful to sit through; the only one that felt in character was the CSM’s, and only then because I expect him to sound like a pompous asshole. I don’t need to hear Mulder talk about how much he needs Scully; that should be obvious to anyone with a brain and a heart.

The dialogue seems a bit less stilted this season, but I think that’s just DD and GA’s renewed energy. They seemed more comfortable reprising their roles.

[Insert gratuitous car chase scene here.]

Jeffrey Spender is an unlikely hero, but he and the CSM seem to have the same miracle-worker for a plastic surgeon. But what’s his motivation? How does he know Scully’s son is in danger if he doesn’t know the CSM is still alive?

Scully leaving the hospital knowing she’s at risk for seizures seems out of character, even under desperate circumstances. Lady, YOU ARE A DOCTOR. You know better. We know you know better.

Scully’s in the office, Scully passes out, Scully’s in the hospital, Scully’s out of the hospital, Scully’s in the office, Scully passes out, Scully’s back in the hospital. It’s like they couldn’t think of anything better for her to do, so she fumbles around uselessly until Fox “My Hero” Mulder gets back. What a waste of a badass female lead.

Who’s this guy? Oh, right, I don’t care.

Mulder makes his way to the evil villains’ lair, except it’s not the CSM he finds, it’s some other smoking dude and his henchwoman. The last thing we need is another Syndicate faction/spin-off/whatever. We’ll get one more episode to tie up all these ends and you introduce yet another set of characters to keep track of, with their own bizarre agenda? Why? Why??

That Skinner wouldn’t just shoot the CSM between the eyes on sight is wholly unbelievable, so I don’t buy his theoretical betrayal. Speaking of betrayal, Monica Reyes, who hurt you? I’m crossing my fingers that both characters turn out to be allies.

Hospital security is obviously Not A Thing given the number of people attacked in hospitals on The X-Files. Add one to the tally, where Scully almost gets strangled.

This bizarre love triangle (square?) thing with CSM/Skinner/Mulder and Scully needs to stop. Like, put it in your fanfic and get over it, boys. She’s not your prize.

And now for the big reveal: According to this episode, Scully was impregnated (figuratively, according to Carter, but that’s never specified in the show itself) by the CSM during the season 7 episode En Ami.

Ugh. No. Just…no. In the words of Adam Savage, I reject your reality and substitute my own.

“I impregnated her with science”. FFS.

Putting aside the fact that the timeline for Scully’s pregnancy has never made sense, this is such a BS plot twist. It’s unimaginative, for one; Scully’s reproductive system has been through enough (see: Emily/Christmas Carol) and medical rape is an X-Files favorite (see: Post-Modern Prometheus, Small Potatoes). That this is what Carter chose for canon is disappointing, but not surprising.

Of course, there’s the ick factor in using rape as a ham-handed plot device. If you can’t figure out how to build drama without rape in the age of Harvey Weinstein and #metoo, please do us a favor and put down your pen.

Sigh. Moving on.

Christ, they are beautiful people.

For the ‘shippers, there were plenty of genuine moments; the episode’s only saving grace was the touching and clasping and silent professions of love, in the form of Mulder brutally slitting a man’s throat to save his partner. The drumbeat in his heart, indeed.

So post-premiere, my spirit is bent but not broken. I knew this episode would be rough, but I made the mistake of getting my hopes up. Oops! That’ll teach me.

Hopefully the next eight episodes will redeem this first hour. If not, I’ll just be over here, pretending the series ended after season 8. Until next time!


  1. I am watching right now. It’s so maddening, I got on your blog just to see what you thought. The dialogue is painful and stilted and SO affected I’m going nuts listening to it. I agree — CC should have been handcuffed to a radiator in the basement while real writers created this new season. Ok. Skinner has a gun to his head. I better go.

  2. If you’ve got the handcuffs, I have plenty of room in my basement, and plenty of structures that’ll hold…just sayin’… 😉

  3. Maine is close to California, right? I’ll be right over…

    This storyline is SO convoluted, I cannot even believe this script passed muster. I’m angriest st myself because I know I’ll watch every episode regardless of quality.

  4. Sure! And the weather is particularly lovely this time of year, too. 😬

    I have heard favorable reviews of the season as a whole, so I haven’t lost hope yet. CC didn’t write *all* of them, thank goodness, and his eps tend to be The Worst. So, it can only get better…?

    If nothing else, I can watch the new episodes with the sound off and just watch their beautiful faces while I rewrite everything to my specifications. 😀

  5. Hahahaha. Sound off = brilliant. Wait. I just heard the big reveal about Scully’s son and my head exploded. Ew. I can never unhear that.

    Speaking of Scully — remember when she was a main character in the X-Files and not just a prop? Ugh!

    Ok. I’ll check in after the next ep. Hopefully we will have experienced a better hour than this one.

  6. Yes, the strangest truth of all is that the show that basically invented the modern procedural (case/monster-of-the-week mixed with serialized background noise/mythology) has now lost its serialized mojo.

  7. Nice article and I totally agree with you about Scully’s behaviour. She behaved so irrationally for Scully and a doctor. There is a love square between Mulder, Scully, CSM and Skinner ? I thought Scully only liked Skinner as a boss.

  8. Totally agree about Scully in this episode! She behaved so irrationally and this is Dana Scully who is not just the word rational but has a medical degree. Monica was stupid this episode. Why is she working for CSM anyway ? I thought she was Mulder and Scully’s ally ?

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