The X-Files: Season 10 – Chris Stuckmann

Chris Stuckmann reviews The X-Files: Season 10.

About ChrisStuckmann

Quick, funny reviews of movies and games, new and old.

12 comments

  1. I’m with you on monster of the week episodes generally being stronger than mytharc episodes, and that goes double with this brief run. Going to have to disagree with you on Miller, Einstein, and Mulder’s mushroom samba–the first two were a nice was of showing just how far Mulder and Scully have grown as characters, and the third allowed for a Lone Gunmen cameo (which earns it all the points as far as I’m concerned).

    My favorite part of the entire season was where we saw their visions of the life William could have had–both good and bad.

    My biggest complaints are that Mulder and Scully didn’t get a happily ever after (never saw the second movie so I don’t know if this is a carryover from that), and the predestined, inevitable alien colonization of Earth didn’t actually start on December 21st, 2012.

  2. I’ve never seen X-Files until I caught part of the first Season 10 episode. It wasn’t bad. However, I’m juggling so many shows that I can’t add another one.

    • Watch the first three seasons on Netflix sometime if you have it. It’s some of the best American television out there (granted it’s definitely a product of the 90s). I don’t think anything after season 5 or maybe 6 is even worth watching to be honest. Also, since so much of the X-Files best entries is made up of stand alones, you can easily google a “viewing order” guide online and only watch what you want to see. there’s no real need to see each season from start to finish unless you want too.

  3. I was excited for the X-Files return, but also very.. concerned. I strongly believed the X-Files was a perfect case study for TV shows that stayed around long after they should have ended just because they were popular. The mythology of the series was strong and compelling for the first few seasons, then rapidly became so convoluted and hokey that it just.. became a weight around the series neck.

    The standalone “Monster of the week” episodes were absolutely the best part of the series, and I’d argue the part that is most well known. Sure everyone knows the X-Files equates to conspiracies and Aliens, but I doubt many people could actually tell you much about the actual plot. On the other hand I bet many people have one or two bottle episodes they could point out as their favorites.

    As for season 10.. I really did not like episode one. It felt overstuffed with exposition, Mulder is far far to willing to buy into the idea that the entire series mythos was a hoax (seriously, wth? maybe that’d have worked if 10 directly followed 9. but it’s been 20+ years, give us a chance to reaquaint with this characters..) and the right-wing nutjob character just irritated me. Possibly more than he should have since, frankly, he’s not all that far removed from some actual prominent right-wing nutjobs.. one of which could well be our next president…

    The rest of the episodes felt meh to me, they were ok for the most part but not awful with the exception of Babylon. Dear god that thing was horrid. The ending “conversation” about “god” Mulder and Scully have is possibly the worst written television conversation I have watched in years, it didn’t even feel like the characters were talking – just felt like the script writer was monologueing at me. The mushroom trip thing made no sense at all, and the Muslim suicide bomber.. really? not even a twist on it, just flat out Muslim cliche. I thought it would turn out the Muslim was innocent, caught in an explosion caused by someone or something else.. but nope, just evil Muslims blowing up parts of Texas.. thanks that’s really something we need to see. If you are going to do that at least have something interesting to say about it, instead we get the writer going off on some bizarre tangent about god for the last five minutes. Absolutely moronic.

    My only other complaint was the episode you loved. Were-monster. I get some people like the comedic episodes, but I don’t understand why. I don’t want a goofy bad comedy in my X-Files, I want tension, paranoia, chills, I want to feel disturbed and unsettled by the story I’m seeing. Home, Tooms, Squeeze, the series is replete with episodes that send chills up your spine and that is why I love it. I’ve never found the X-Files comedy episodes especially funny, and this one in particular felt like a mediocre parody of the series. Like an SNL skit dragged out to an hour. Meh.

    I do hope we get a season 11, but I agree with you I’d rather they eschew the convoluted series myth arc in favor of either a new self contained season long arc or an anthology-esque season of mostly stand alone episodes.

    Just for the love of good story telling.. no more “Babylon’s”.

  4. I agree with you on pretty much all your major points (especially monster-of-the-week > mythology), however, I thought David Duchovny was phoning it in SO hard. I literally thought to myself, “I need to go back and rewatch the older episodes to see if he was always this bad.” Gillian Anderson is always great though!

    • Mulder was always pretty much that way. There’s a reason Duchovny was often refered to as Robotic, he’s monotone and low energy a lot of the time. There are some occasions where he breaks out of that, but it’s very much his ground state. I didn’t feel like Mulder was much different in 10, besides his oddly quick acceptance of the entire series alien conspiracy as a hoax in the first episode.

  5. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I follow Tara from radio dead air on twitter and she seemed to not really like this season but it’s nice to see a reviewer that actually likes it but I think I’ll just skip to season 4 since you said there were weird moments on the first three seasons

    • I don’t recommend that, not all the episodes of seasons 1-3 are required viewing but there’s a lot of good stuff in them. It’s honestly some of the better parts of the series.

  6. Chris Carter became really bad as writer nowadays. But, new X-Files was interesting sometimes. Actually I’m more curious about new season of Twin Peaks wright now, if it will be aired of course. Too bad we probably won’t see continuation\proper conclusion for Quantum Leap and Sliders – two of my favorite tv shows as a child.

  7. I’m a huge fan from all the way back to season 1. I’ve watched every episode in order at least four times, including one-a-day leading up to season 10. I’ve always liked the stand-alones, and the Darin Morgan episodes more than most of the mythology episodes.

    I have to say I’m very, very surprised you made no comment about the huge easter egg in M&SMTWM – the were-monster’s human outfit is an homage to the outfit worn by Darin McGavin in Kolchak: The Night Stalker – the inspiration for X-Files.

    On the flip-side, I have to disagree with some of your points on the Home Again episode. I really didn’t like it. It was a poor knock-off of the very good dark-comedy episode Arcadia – in which M&S went undercover as a married couple. Both featured creatures made from trash that were enormous in size, terrorizing local residents. Worst of all, Mulder actually debunked his own description of a Talpa from that season six episode.

    I never actually managed to see the entirety of the fifth episode. The Fox website was streaming soooooo slowly, especially during their unskippable commercials. I was excited to see it because I heard it featured the Lone Gunmen, but even from the first fifteen minutes or so that I did see – up to Mulder requesting mushrooms – I felt it would be the weakest of the season.

    I’m hoping there will be a season 11, to play off of the cliffhanger. I’m also hoping they’re actually able to bring Doggett back. I know a lot of fans never liked him, but I think some of the strongest latter-season episodes (Via Negativa, John Doe, Release) were those that focused on his character. I would also love if they managed to bring back an abbreviated season of Millennium. The one cross-over episode of X-Files to feature Frank Black wasn’t that great, and while I freely admit that season 3 of Millennium wasn’t as good as the first, I think it could easily be brought back for a new season. Lance Henriksen and Terry O’Quinn spoken out in favor of the idea.

  8. Am I the only one for whom the ending cliffhanger didn’t work at all? Seriously, this was the lamest out-of-nowhere sequel bait in a long time! After all these years, they give us six new episodes that are 80 percent shit and then end on, “Get us renewed, folks, and then maybe we’ll show you something actually interesting”? Well, fuck you very much!

    And the dialogue! Holy shit, the dialogue! Did someone summon Aaron Sorkin’s goateed evil twin from another universe?!

  9. I have found the entire season frustrating and thoroughly unenjoyable.

    I mean, if you’re gonna resurrect Mulder and Scully, you need to give them some great material. The nostalgia goes only so far, you need actually good tv to justify its existence. And if this is the best they could offer, they might have just as well not tried at all.

    I’ll do a quick run through the episodes, since there is only so few of them.

    Episode 1 – seemingly a season-worth of plot crammed in 45 minutes, done by Chris Carter at his worst – meaning that it’s just exposition, exposition, exposition. In fact, the only reason Joel McHale’s character is introduced is to be the physical embodiment of exposition. So much stuff happens so fast there’s no time to process anything, so the overall impact is almost nil.

    Episode 2 – sorta kinda ok throwback to the old X-files. Still feels rushed, but X-files was always like that so meh. Might be a solid lowpoint of the season were the other episodes better.

    Episode 3 – yeah, it was fun, and definitely the best of the bunch.. but I’ve recently watch “What we do in the shadows” which plays with similar themes (and stars Rhys Darby, too) so I didn’t find it that much of a hoot. Still, the only solid offering this season gave us.

    Episode 4 – garbage. Pun intended. Not only was the episode’s main plot pointless, we also got a horribly dull b-plot about Scully’s dying mother ending with her pining for their abandoned son. I hate when shows try these ovearching emotional plots which feel so detached and forced. It reminded me of that abomibation of a last season of Fringe, which might have possibly be the worst final season of any show ever (including LOST and Dexter).

    Episode 5 – absolute rock bottom. The very worst episode of X-files I’ve ever watched. It literally made me consider whether I really want to stick around for the finale or not. There is so much wrong with this episode it’s difficult to put in one short paragraph – the horrible horrible “new guys” (I will not even bother to comment the rumors about those two becoming main characters in Season 11 because the prospect is just too scary), the ludicrous plot, the dream sequence, the ending dialogue… oh man the ending dialogue… I’ll stop. But in any case, this was definitely one of the worst recent tv experiences I can think off. Ugh.

    Episode 6 – aaand we’re back to the beginning. I can just copy paste what I wrote about episode 1. Too many things happen in a too short time, everything is just a bunch of exposition (with mr. exposition expositioning away between scenes of other exposition), the plot is just too ludicrious as so incompetently handled you feel like you’re watching some C-movie from a fourth-grade movie studio and the cliffhanger ending – while I don’t mind it being cliffhanger – is just soooo stupid. Maybe not the cliffhanger itself, but what happens immediately before (the thing with Mulder and the thing Scully suddenly comes up with) is so dumb it actually surpassed the stupidity of what happened before.

    So final opinions – while it was nice to see Mulder and Scully again, the overall feel of the season, especially the second half, is one of thorough and deep disappointment. It’s simply bad TV. With so many great TV shows of today, we really shouldn’t be giving positive opinions on something that reaches such high levels of incompetency and stupidity.

    My grade for the season simply needs to be cut in two:
    episodes 1 – 3 6/10
    episodes 4 – 6 1/10

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