The X-Files: “My Struggle IV”

In like a lion and out like a lamb… The X-Files probably series finale is a done deal ending the show’s two-year resurrection with an episode that was underwhelming, yet strangely satisfying.  Needless to say, if this is the end of the X-Files, I’m okay with it.   At least it was better than last season’s finale… or that last movie… or the series finale of the original run… or the last three years of the original run.

I’ll be honest, I gave up on The X-Files earlier this season.   When the premiere all but clumsily retconned the already terrible season finale of last season into Scully-vision, I knew I had just witnessed one of the all-time greatest boners of network television, right up there with the season of Dallas that was only a dream.  It’s so rare to have a television series come up with a convoluted season finale and then shrug their shoulders and go, “Hey, you know what?   Nevermind.”

But still, I watched a few more weeks until I realized that two weeks had gone by and I hadn’t watched.   Those two weeks became three… and then four… and then I realized I just didn’t care anymore.  It was The Simpsons all over again, but at least this beast has the good sense to put itself out of its misery.

The audience, as it turns out, is not the only ones weary of this shell of The X-Files.  You can definitely tell that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are done with it.   Gillian is more than passable, but she just seems exhausted all the way down to her core which, given her recent revelation that she won’t be back for another season, makes sense.   Duchovny, however, has checked out… delivering every line in a monotone that sounds an awful lot like someone sounds when their making fun of Fox Mulder.  It was actually kind of insulting a few times as emotionally charged scenes that should have been tearjerkers had their batteries drained the moment this bored actor opened his mouth.   I never thought I’d say it, but I miss Doggett. 

To be honest, though, despite the terrible season and the drained actors, the episode did a fine job with what it had.   Sure, it was underwhelming and lacked the emotional drama and cinematic scope we were all hoping for with an alien invasion and explosions and stuff, but actually did okay.   I was underwhelmed, given the ten seasons of teasing that we all went through, but they did a fairly decent job of tying up loose threads and leaving Mulder and Scully in a place that ends their story satisfactorily and puts the entire convoluted and overly complicated conspiracy to bed once and for all.

This episode is like asking for a Coke and the waiter asks, “Is Pepsi okay?” and you say fine.   It’s not what we wanted, but it’s good enough for a show we long since stopped caring about.

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