In Review: The X-Files, Episode 6 “My Struggle, II”

What a way to close out these six episodes...Or not close them out.

The X-Files, Episode 6 “My Struggle, II” Broadcast on February 22, 2016

Teleplay by Chris Carter

Story by Dr. Anne Simon & Dr. Margaret Fearon & Chris Carter

Directed by Chris Carter

“Previously on The X-Files,” a UFO crashes in Roswell, New Mexico; Tad O’Malley’s Internet broadcast proclaims that a conspiracy began there in 1947; the broadcast personality contacts Mulder and Scully because he’s been rattling some pretty big cages in the intelligence community with what he’s discovered; Fox contacts the doctor who saw the alien back in Roswell; Scully tests her blood and discovers she possesses alien DNA; the woman who claimed to have been taken by aliens is killed by a beam from an UFO; and the Cigarette Smoking Man still lives.

Agent Dana Scully narrates her history with the X-Files, accompanied by photographs presented in the same format as Mulder has done in the previous five episodes. Her focus turns to the cabal in the shadows who has been manipulating others for an unknown purpose. Dana then appears in hospital togs, walking through a medical building. She stops before the viewer with her narration stating that an anomaly in her genetic make-up can only be classified as alien. She then morphs into a classic gray alien. Cue opening title sequence, with a twist in the end: rather than end with the classic “The Truth Is Out There” superimposed on the quickly moving night sky, four words proclaim “This Is The End.” Cue first commercial break.

This is the endgame for the series, where Chris Carter was heading for the climax set in 2012. Anyone who’s a fan of the show knows that the end of the world was supposed to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar. As we all know, we’re all still here. But it did begin. We just didn’t notice. The episode goes at a feverish pitch with Fox missing and Dana working with Agent Einstein. Without spoiling things, and there’s plenty that could be spoiled, Dana suspects something and tries to convince Einstein that something has begun. It has, and it soon becomes a race against time for the two agents to stop things. Meanwhile, Fox is far away, having gotten a message from an old foe, and — it’s no spoiler — it’s the Cigarette Smoking Man. What this man in the shadows reveals will have Fox making a major decision. While the agents are involved in their own hells, Tad O’Malley has returned to the Internet, alerting any who will listen about their short, bleak futures.

Gillian Anderson and Lauren Ambrose make a good team, with the latter being Scully in the early 90s and the Scully we love realizing how Einstein is thinking too logically. David Duchovny’s first appearance is terrific, with his current state and reactions teasing so much, yet explained so much later in the episode. Mulder’s confrontation with the CSM is great and William B. Davis looks as though he’s relishing every moment. Anabel Gish has an appearance, revealing what her character’s been up to for the last decade, and it ain’t good! Joel McHale really sold his character; I really hated O’Malley in the first episode of this mini-season, but as this episode progressed O’Malley’s character was vindicated for all the lunacy he spouted earlier. He became noble. Though I do have to admit to waiting for Mankini to appear on the screen, crying and hugging him.

The good: A great end of the world story that was believable, the actors, the direction (Carter’s use of silhouettes with Scully and Einstein in the hospital was spooky cool), Mark Snow’s soundtrack, and a great reveal from the Cigarette Smoking Man.

Fun lines: “Where exactly is here?”, “This should get anyone excited,” “Mulder. Pick up, please,” “I’m the most powerful man in the world,” “It’s been in motion since 2012,” “You sent for me. I’m here,” “You don’t want to believe,” “Don’t give up on me,” and “We should all hope to have it.”

The bad: Not enough Skinner! There desperately needed to be a shot back to him after all the chaos had broken out. The ending of episode — Oh, wait — There isn’t one! It’s a cliffhanger? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The final line: I loved it and I’m screaming because there’s a cliffhanger! Chris Carter, I love you and hate you! What a way to close out these six episodes…Or not close them out. Okay, now I have something to look forward to besides Star Wars Episode VIII. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait as long. Overall grade: A-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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