Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Creator As Destroyer

REVIEW: The X-Files - The Event Series (Season 10)

George Lucas was criticized by some for wrecking Star Wars when he made the prequel trilogy.  Everything he had built up in the first trilogy collapsed.

Chris Carter, meet George Lucas.  

Chris tried to continue his X-Files TV series as a theatrical movies series.  The last one was disappointing: X-Files - I Want A Refund.

So back to the small screen.

The first season of the X-Files started off with a relatively simple premise: evil aliens are working with the US government.  Then as the series continued Chris kept adding to his "mythology," adding more details until it was too convulated to explain even to some fans.  He was like a crazed house builder, adding on new extensions and wings that sometimes connected back to each other, creating not a home but a maze.

Thirteen years later Chris brings back his creation as a six episode mini-series.  As with each season of the original series he bookends the latest run, the first episode introducing a new revelation and the last one ending up with a cliffhanger.

Even Chris has said the X-F mythology grew spontaneously, no master plan, resulting in an entangled mess.  Black oil, alien bounty hunters, alien rebels, disease-carrying bees -- the list goes on ad nauseam.  If the series had started more recently it would somehow throw in the ice bucket challenge.

It seems Chris wanted to go back to a simpler set-up with the first episode of Season 10.  Fox Mulder learns that everything he thought he knew about the alien invasion is wrong; the whole thing is a governmental hoax.

Sound familiar?  This same plotline was used in Season 5's first two episodes, Redux 1 and 2.

Chris has stated that with the latest season he wasn't bound to everything that went on before.  Apparently he wanted a simpler set up. Ergo black oil, alien bounty hunters, etc. were flushed down a black hole.

So the conspiracy is now more earthbound, humans not aliens are the villains.

Ho hum.

Somehow Mulder and his partner -- former redhead Dana Scully -- are re-instated in the FBI, the X-Files reopened.  Sorry, that's too convenient and implausible considering Mulder's previous shenanigans.  It would be more believable if he continued with his own X-Files, sometimes being an consultant to the FBI.

Somehow the lead villain, the Cigarette Smoking Man, is back.  Huh?  The last time we saw him was enveloped in flames.  There would nothing left but a carbon smudge.  Maybe he went to hell but Satan kicked him out for violating the no smoking policy.

The mini-series reintroduces the concept of alien DNA present in humans but the concept is tweaked again.  Also there's the return of the global plot to wipe out most of mankind with disease while the elite survive.  Last episode in Season 10, the cliffhanger: disease is rampant, the world is in chaos, Mulder is infected and dying.  His partner Scully is trying to save him but she's startled to see an alien space craft hovering overhead, apparently showing up to abduct her.  Again.


I think Chris should have followed DC Comics' example and hit the reboot button, destroying the entire universe to start anew.

Not all is lost with Season 10.  If you enjoyed the comedic episodes of the X-Files then "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" is recommended.  Not as great as "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" but fairly close.

(Originally published in Ray X X-Rayer #126.)

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