The Horror Honeys: THE X-FILES Recap: Season 10, Ep. 1 ~ “My Struggle”

THE X-FILES Recap: Season 10, Ep. 1 ~ “My Struggle”

A Horror TV Honey Recap with Jennica

Fourteen years ago, we thought that the search for the truth had ceased. When the x-files were cleaned out and special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully went into hiding in the final episode of the ninth season of The X-Files, it was the end of an era for those of us who grew up whistling to the tune of that hair-raising theme late at night. According to the presumed series finale, it was predicted that the Earth would be ultimately taken over by extraterrestrials on December 22, 2012. And this alien colonization would mean no more humanity, no more Mulder and Scully, and no hope for a return of The X-Files on TV.

Then came the less-than-stellar feature film The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008. Although this installment gave sci-fi fanatics everywhere a silver screen visual to go along with their longstanding Mulder-Scully erotic fan fiction, it still didn’t provide any sort of promise or hint at a possible TV series revival. Mulder and Scully returned to assist the FBI only to escape civilization again. Plus, at this point, there were still four more years until the predicted alien colonization was expected to take place. So, if we were going to get our beloved exiled investigators back on the air, time was running out, right?

Wrong. On January 24th, The X-Files writer and director Chris Carter in line with the Fox network graced us with the premiere of Season 10, Episode 1. We wanted to believe that the truth was still out there and, as it turns out, it is. Agents Mulder and Scully (or “Mully and Sculder,” as Gillian Anderson jokingly referred to the duo on Facebook recently) have reunited to continue their investigations and give us the answers we seek. And this first episode titled “My Struggle” proves that over a decade later, we can still trust no one.
"Where have you been!?"
Maintaining a low profile, the episode begins with a voiceover narration by former agent Fox Mulder who takes us for a pictorial stroll down memory lane. From a first person POV shot, we see Mulder flip through dozens of photos from classic X-Files cases such as the deranged Peacock family and Mulder’s missing sister, the very reason that he initially joined the X-Files FBI unit. As Mulder brings us back up to speed on the past series of events, we also witness the crash of a UFO and armed forces securing the area. Within this brief opening scene, not only do we get a sense of Mulder’s undying desperation for answers regarding the paranormal but we are also faced with the unsettling situation of continued paranormal activity on Earth.

Perhaps the hardest pill to swallow in this comeback episode is the distance between former partners and former lovers Mulder and Scully. Post-exile, Mulder clung to his desire to believe that evidence of alien conspiracies was still waiting to be found. Meanwhile, Scully became eager to wash her hands of the X-Files unit and the possibility of life on other planets. Scully had God and that was enough for her, as she grew concerned for Mulder’s psychological state. Putting her past career behind her, Scully has reinvented herself as a surgical assistant in a specialized hospital unit for children born without ears… because they don’t look anything like aliens. Of course, with a major life change also comes a major hair change.

"Relax, Mulder. I'm blonde now. The aliens won't find me."
The real intrigue of this episode comes from the radical conservative and “true believer” talk show sensation Tad O’Malley. Having knowledge of the X-Files unit, Tad reaches out to the former head of the unit Walter Skinner and boasts about a news story he has in his lap that could reveal the truth about the proposed 2012 alien colonization and alien conspiracies altogether. Naturally, when presented with a paranormal predicament, Skinner immediately contacts Scully, the only person with a direct line to Mulder.

Upon meeting Tad, Mulder remains skeptical of his genuine knowledge and belief in paranormal activity, at first engaging in a battle of wits. But as Tad earns merit, Mulder begins to sense that Tad might be just like him and that Tad may in fact lead him to the truth. Tad reintroduces Mulder and Scully to Sveta who they had not seen since she was a young girl believed to have been abducted multiple times by alien life forms. Sveta concocts yet another story of being abducted by aliens and this time claims that she was impregnated and that the aliens removed her unborn child from her body.

The details of Sveta’s story hitting too close to home, Scully takes advantage of her new work environment by running a couple blood tests on Sveta’s blood and her own. Both samples revealing traces of alien DNA, Sveta’s story seems plausible. However, when Sveta retracts her story, telling Mulder that it was actually human men who stole her from her home and experimented on her, we are left to yet again question who to trust.
"You want to know how I got these scars?"
Further encouraging us to question our fellow man—mainly the government—the story cuts away to continue the events of the half destroyed UFO. As an alien being crawls through the grass to safety, dragging its legs behind it, military officials are quick to set their guns blazing before the creature shows any signs of a threat. Because in most of America, it is a knee-jerk reaction to shoot first and talk later when in contact with the unknown. Sigh.

Say what??
Cutting back to the mysterious Tad and our former special agents, the truth—or what we were led to believe to be the truth—gets turned on its head when Tad suggests that aliens are not exactly responsible for the thousands of abductions. He goes on to explain that the government has been collecting chemical agents such as DNA from aliens ever since Roswell in 1947 and the government—not aliens—have been injecting their own kind with such chemical agents. So, the man might be responsible for the ongoing alien colonization that started in 2012. You might need to give your brain a minute to recover from that information before moving forward.

Just when we are ready to point our blasters at the government, however, we see Sveta in her car, presumably on the run. Her car battery conveniently dies as a space craft hovers overhead with a neon green light beaming down on her. Seconds away from an escape, Sveta manages to wriggle out of her car but not soon enough as the car explodes in flames. Before the credits roll, we enter a cozy room of a house inhabited by a very familiar dark-eyed chain-smoking elderly face, a face that seems to be plotting something.

An event that many never dreamed would ever occur, the Season 10 premiere of The X-Files picked up in overall ton, performance, and twists and turns as if the series never left our television sets. The reunion of characters that we have followed for nine years of our lives is bittersweet. After all of the trials—literally and figuratively—and tribulations undergone throughout Mulder and Scully’s professional and personal relationship, it should have come to no surprise that their previous closeness is now somewhat tarnished. But aliens brought them together in the first place, so perhaps this will be their last fighting chance to rekindle their love.

Love her already!
In addition to the resurfacing of familiar faces, there were also many references to the last film and the last season. After hearing the news of a new season of The X-Files, some likely broke free from Cloud Nine to question the possibility of a tenth season in 2016 after the supposed alien colonization in 2012. However, this first new episode patches up that potential plot hole so intelligently that it might be accused of being the work of aliens. All technicalities aside, the icing on this delicious cake of X-Files references is the split-second shot of Mulder kicking an I Want to Believe poster on the floor of his old office. We concur, Mulder. We concur.

If you are a longtime fan of the series, Season 10 of The X-Files looks to be a promising wild goose chase in which, just like before, we are just as anxious to find out the truth behind Earth’s paranormal activity as our admired protagonists. Until next time, trust no one…

Can Mulder and Scully really trust a Tad? Did aliens really probe Sveta or is there a different kind of green men at work? And what is up Old Smokey’s sleeve? 
Let’s discuss conspiracy theories on Twitter: @PrmQueenFrmMars