When The X-Files revival was announced over a year ago, I was thrilled yet worried at the same time. Up to this day, “The X-Files” is one of the few shows I frequently rewatch. The final episode “The Truth” was to me one of the best final episodes in television history.
After the 2008-movie disaster, I had concerns that a revival of my beloved show would do more harm than good. But, I wanted to believe. Did the new season of The X-Files live up to my expectations?
Now that it’s over, there’s only one question on my mind: what on Earth was that?!?
I can’t even begin to express my disappointment. From the very first episode, the show didn’t sit right with me. It felt as though the producers had discarded a lot of what happened in seasons 8 and 9 of the original show, and started anew based on mid-season 7—at least where the mythology is concerned.
So what the hell happened? The X-Files Revival
How on Earth did it go from “We found the truth” and super soldiers to “The government is behind this” and “we never had any proof”? This development might have been intriguing, but sadly, all background story for it was omitted. Something that huge and profound needed some more explanation.
Let me go through it section by section. The X-Files Revival
So he is depressed—or rather he was depressed. That’s understandable, given that, in the last episode of Season 9, he found proof that Earth would be colonized by aliens on December 23, 2012, and there was basically nothing he could do about the coming apocalypse.
A prospect like that would make a person depressed and question the sense in everything. But would he really be depressed for almost a decade? Was the original television character Fox Mulder set out as someone who only cared for finding the truth? Given that he fought the establishment for 9 years, even in cases which had little to do with the alien invasion, I don’t really buy into that. Esepcially since the final episode of season 9 “The Truth” ends on a rather hopeful note by Mulder, when he says “Maybe there’s hope”, indicating that he’ll continue to fight.
The first episode of season 10 starts with a Fox Mulder who suddenly believes that everything was a lie. That, in fact, the super soldiers and apparently also most of the witnesses in his trial in “The Truth” were lying their asses off. How on Earth did that happen?!?
Considering his conviction—hell, he was ready to die for the evidence he’d found, that’s how strong he believed in it—isn’t it a little odd that a character would do a one-eighty without even so much as an explanation?
Maybe the whole thing would have been a little less ridiculous, had not the “conspiracy” from the end of season 9 turned out to be somewhat true in the final episode of season 10. There is indeed an alien conspiracy, and an alien attempt to colonize Earth. So Mulder’s disbelief—and his blaming of the government—felt random and unfounded.
And if he didn’t believe in aliens anymore, his indifference is even more baffling? If it were indeed the government, at least he would have an easier enemy to take on. Things wouldn’t be hopeless.
I’m only mentioning this, because surprisingly, “The X-Files” is considered science-fiction nowadays. In the 1990s when the show aired, it was still classified as Mystery—which makes more sense, because, let’s face it, The X-Files has never had much to do with actual science, but more with pseudoscience and parapsychology. But all right, let’s start from the premise that it’s science-fiction—which means we actually have to look at the science in the show.
And it is bad. The X-Files Revival
First of all, Scully seems to have lost her scientific edge. That became most clear in the final episode when Agent Einstein frequently had to remind her that she was throwing wild guesses around.
Sure, she was guessing wildly…but she turned out to be right, you might say now. And that’s absolutely correct. The problem is that her opinion wasn’t founded on the scientific method or evidence. She was guessing, and got lucky. Her theories were wild—too wild to just be acted upon without even a shred of evidence.
But it gets worse. When testing her own blood for the alien DNA, she didn’t find any. So the logical conclusion was that a simple tube of blood wasn’t enough. They had to fill a blood bag with her blood to find the alien DNA.
I’m no geneticist—but scientists can reconstruct DNA from a tiny drop of spit or sperm. If there were alien DNA incorporated in a human’s DNA, there’s nothing that they can do with a bag of blood that they couldn’t do with a tube.
Every single part of us holds millions of strands of DNA. They are only a tiny bit bigger than atoms. So why on Earth would you need a blood bag filled with blood to find an alien DNA marker?
I did some research online and found the info site of a biolab concerned with DNA extraction. Here’s what they write on their website:
What is the typical DNA yield from a 10ml blood extraction?
The yield is dependent on the amount of DNA-containing cells in the sample but is typically 300-500µg of DNA from a 10ml blood extraction, 15-25µg from a 2ml blood extraction and 4-6µg from a 200µl blood extraction.
Are you able to extract DNA from small volumes of blood?
Yes, we can extract DNA from as little as 10µl of blood. A minimum of 20 samples is required for small volume (less than 2ml blood) extraction.
So what was going on there? Did the writers simply not bother to do the research I was able to do in 10 minutes? Or did they think that viewers nowadays are too dumb to notice such ridiculous misrepresentations?
Here’s the thing about mislabeling your show science-fiction: if you wanna be a sci-fi show, you have to do at least the basic research.
The “science” in The X-Files was all over the place—there were times, where I wouldn’t even call it science. For a science-fiction show, I expect that at least some effort is being made to represent the science correctly and according to our latest understanding.
Character: Agent Reyes
This may be just a minor factor for some people, but since Monica Reyes was my favorite character in season 9 of The X-Files, her portrayal in the revival left me baffled—to put it mildly.
In order to save her own life she switched over to the dark side and started working for the Cigarette Smoking Man. After risking her life saving Scully and her baby. After standing up to Assistant Director Folmer, AD Kersh and basically the entirety of the FBI in season 9. After believing in Mulder’s cause much more than Agent Doggett ever did. After risking being charged with treason for helping Mulder escape from prison in “The Truth”.
That same character suddenly got scared for her own life and switched over to the dark side? Alex Krycek 2.0, so to speak? Um…no. Just no.
The character of Reyes was set out as selfless, intelligent (even a bit of a rebel) and most importantly loyal. It’s about as reasonable to portray her as switching over to the dark side, as it would be to reveal that Mulder started working with the Cigarette Smoking Man to save his life.
If you want a character to become a traitor, choose one where it would make sense. Principled characters with backbone make poor choices for that, since they usually don’t tend to abandon a cause—especially not just to save their own lives.
To be honest, at this point, season 10 of The X-Files delivered its final stab to itself. It had kinda lost me before, but I still gave the show the benefit of the doubt. But this?
Dear Chris Carter. Please don’t follow J.J.Abrams example (Alias, LOST) and switch character motivation as frequently as the wind. It just doesn’t make sense, and while there might be many viewers who don’t even remember the old X-Files that well—or simply buy whatever is put on the metaphorical television plate—many of your viewers are intelligent, thinking people who feel like you’re mocking them when you sell something like The X-Files revival as good television.
Is The X-Files Revival worth watching?
To me, no. I watched it, and filed it away as a bad dream. Luckily, I’m good at that sort of denial to protect my favorite fiction. But I know a couple of folks who were absolutely crushed after watching season 10.
So be warned. The X-Files Revival
Will I watch it again? Definitely not. Not even after my next X-Files rewatch. The X-Files ends after season 9 for me.
So what about you? Have you watched The X-Files season 10, and if so did you like it? What did you like? What didn’t you like?