TV Recap: The X-Files, ‘My Struggle’

Written by Ryan Demarco

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The X-Files has stepped out from the shadows and is ready to experience how the world has become stranger. For the first time in 14 years agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) will reprise their small screen personas in an effort to expose the truth in alien abductions and all-around mysterious phenomenons. And we couldn’t be any happier to see them.

In light of all the television resurrections these days, The X-Files was met with a mostly positive reaction from fans and critics alike. It’s the move that makes the most sense, as it did to series creator Chris Carter. There are more stories to tell!

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FOX
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FOX

In October 2015, during New York’s Comic Con, a chosen few were granted to see the advanced first episode of the classified season 10, I was lucky enough to be in attendance. The show returned to an overwhelming standing ovation, and prepared fans for what’s to come this season.

The episode, titled “My Struggle”, provides a nice entry point in the beginning for new fans as well as a basically a quick callback of the series for longtime fans. The first half does a great job of bringing the audience up to speed with the status of The X-Files, and it’s characters. The X-Files has long been shut down by the government while Mulder and Scully are definitely in different places then they were when we last saw them (not counting the 2008 film, of course). Mulder has been off the grid, living alone and simply out of touch with everything, while Scully has become a surgeon. The two haven’t been in touch in years.

Things get underway when Tad O’Malley, played by Joel McHale, brings the two estranged partners together in order to introduce them to a young woman who claims to have been abducted for a decade. What starts out sounding like a far fetched ploy slowly turns Mulder and even Scully into believers. Evidence of aliens and their existence are cranked up to 11 in this episode.

All in all, the episode is strong all around with some nice elements still lingering from the show, Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return to form, although they’re a little shaky in a handful of scenes including a few hammy lines that might stir a chuckle, but by the end their fully captured back in their iconic roles. Mitch Pileggi has a nice return as well as slouchy near bearded Walter Skinner. He isn’t given much time this episode, but I expect that to change once the season gets into full swing. McHale brings a nice amount of energy to the role of a controversial TV conspiracy nut and Annet Mahendru (The Americans) fits perfectly into her role of the decade-long substance abuser due to alien experimentation.

In an effort to keep the spoilers down to a minimum I will say when this episode goes big, it goes big and then some. A number of revelations will feel like a punch in the mouth. It’s evident that the showed has evolved into something that has more stories to show and isn’t holding back at all.

The X-Files have reopened, and we’re only getting started.

RATING: 8/10

The second episode of the limited X-Files series AIRS MONDAY, JANUARY 25TH ON FOX