Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The X-Files Reopened - My Struggle II - This is the End




Is it?

It seems not.  I'm not calling Chris Carter and the rest of the X-Files team  disingenuous but you don't end a miniseries with a cliffhanger like that unless you have future plans. 

Recently, we've heard from Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and even the president of Fox TV, all saying they'd be amiable to another season of The X-Files.  

I think they know something we don't.  

Of course, the main impediment to renewing the series for next year is getting everyone together.  Apparently scheduling is a big problem.  I don't think we have anything to worry about.  There is no way Fox TV is going to walk away from ratings like the ones they just compiled for the X-Files.  I'm sure they'll bend over backwards to accommodate everyone.  Maybe they'll even offer Anderson an equitable wage.  (They tried to low ball her for this effort.)

So, back to that opening title card, "This is the End."

I'm sure Carter was referring to the apocalyptic turn the series closed out on, not the question whether the series would be back or not.  We usually get, "The truth is out there" to close the opening credits.  It seems Carter wanted to convey how dire things are.



 
Judging by the look on Mulder's face things are pretty dire indeed!

"Ol' Smokey" has unleashed an epidemic upon the world and it looks to be a cleansing of sorts.  Not that the Cigarette Smoking Man is being unkind.  We did bring it upon ourselves.  What with war, melting ice caps, bird die offs etc.  He just hastening the process!

Through Small Pox vaccines, Anthrax inhibitors and other of childhood or adult medicines we've received, we've all been "infected".  

The herd is about to be culled.

Well, almost all of us.




Dana Scully you are a lucky lady.

She is one of the chosen few to survive Smokey's final solution.  I can see his point.  An ardent scientist, a faithful Christian and a dogged investigator.  All invaluable traits for the new world order.  Then again, this new order is pretty cynical.  Ol' Smokey and his cabal don't have much faith in humanity in righting it's own wrongs.

He also must have underestimated that doggedness because it wasn't long before Scully  managed to divine a cure (with a little help from Einstein) and set the anti-apocalypse in motion.

So what of that "anti-apocalypse?"  Let's get to that final scene, the big cliffhanger.


The 14th Street Bridge



This is actually where I wanted to start this blog off with.

The thrilling climax pitting man versus machine.  Hero versus Cabal.  Scully versus traffic.  Oh and by the way, was Agent Miller driving the wrong way if Scully had to catch up with him from behind?  He must have been really sick.  ;)

This was one of the most mythologically laden parts of the episode.  A desperate Scully races against time to save her lover/partner.  Mulder is close to death and it doesn't seem even the IV drip will save him.  Only an infusion of stem cells will rescue our hero and they can only come from his son William!



William better be piloting that mysterious craft above Scully or I would say Mulder would have no chance of surviving that traffic snarl in his condition.

I'm kidding.  Still, how is William going to save Mulder if even Scully doesn't know where he is?

In earlier posts I had invoked the "Chekov's Gun" rule wherein if a gun is introduced early in the story it better go off by the end. 

The William gun did not go off.

Ol' Smokey doesn't have him.  Agent Reyes didn't provide any insight.  Scully doesn't have a clue.  WTF???

He better be aboard that space craft.  (Please don't tell me he is also stuck in the 14th street traffic jam too.)

God, I bet you a quarter no one saw this ending coming.





And what of Scully?





The craft seems to have her directly in it's sites.  Why her?

She does have the cure and if the craft is at the beck and call of the Cabal then she's 2 seconds away from being vaporized.

But where is the green laser that appeared just before Sveta was vaporized? (Episode one.)  They showed us that scene again in the "previously on" segment, deliberately so I'm saying, but no green laser here.

Could it be the real Aliens this time?  God I hope so.  Wouldn't that be a delightful twist.  Especially since their presence seems to have been rewritten in episode one of this season.  Maybe they really are trying to save us from our selves.

What of the intense close up of Scully's eye?




It's oddly reminiscent of the eye we see at the end of every title sequence to open an episode.






See?

I wonder if this was always Scully's eye or did Carter just find a clever way to tie it all in?


Odds and ends

Didn't you love the way the episode opened?



 
A voice over provided by Scully.  We get to see their old I.D.'s.



The Well Manicured Man



A young CSM!




Krycek!  (Remember when his arm got cut off?  Ah, the good ol' days.)

Then there was this.




Yikes!  Scully looked like a cross between ET and Norman Bates' mother at the end.

Okay, here is something I didn't like. 



They separated Mulder from Scully again!

Come on, they are the whole show!  Why keep separating them?





Yes, it gave Scully and Einstein some quality time together.  Without Einstein's insight, Scully never would have found the cure.


Miller got an awesome hero moment too.  Some nice detective work figuring out where Mulder was via the desktop app.  (You'd think someone as paranoid as Mulder would lock down their computer before they left it.  Everyone does in this day and age.)

I've actually warmed up to these two.  They're not so bad.  Ambrose's Einstein can be a little breathless and churlish to boot.  But, she proved to be quick on her feet and good under pressure.  Without her help, one word, apocalypse.

Miller proved he had a spine.  The Smoking Man had a gun on him and he didn't even flinch.  "We're leaving" and they did!

BTW, didn't you think the Smoking Man was going to kill himself once he got back into the cabin?  He sounded pretty morose as Mulder and Miller departed.  "Say goodbye to Scully for me" or something like that.  Goodbye?  I was willing to bet another quarter there was going to be a bang and a flash in the window.  

There's not much left of him anyway.

Exhibit A   

 

Yuck.  How was that for a moment?

On top of Ol' Smokey, all covered with cheese, they blew his whole face off, now he can't even sneeze.

But he can smoke!

  



Thanks for the death stick Agent Reyes.  I have to admit her whole involvement in the conspiracy was a little dense to me.  She had to become the house girl to Smokey so she could learn all the secrets and then pass them along.  What?


And then there was all the exposition between her and Scully.





My God woman, get to the point!  Can you be any more circuitous?  She even teased Scully over the phone.  Tell her what's going on already!  The whole fate of the world thing.  Right?

Therein lies another problem with this episode.  The dialog and exposition.

Too much and a little too wooden.  One could say stilted.  I wanted to hold a gun to somebody just to move things along.

 

Carter wrote and directed this episode as he did the critically maligned first episode.  Draw your own conclusions.  (Still no X-Files without him though!)


So how does the final scene get resolved?


 

Here's my guess.

Days later Mulder wakes up in a hospital bed with Scully by his side.

"Mulder, you're awake!"  "How do you feel?"

"Scully, how did I get here, what happened?" 

"We found that stem cell sample in your pocket and it worked!"

Then of course, cue the opening credits, go to commercial.

Not, "How did you get that sample, where's William???" 

We wouldn't get those answers until 5 minutes to go in the episode.

Next year.  

(I bet you a quarter.)
 



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