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11X10: My Struggle IV

My Struggle IV marks the end of a journey.

It is of course the end of this season, and as a cliffhanger it is calling for more to come; it is also the end of the 4-episode My Struggles arc of the revival (plus Ghouli, given its importance); it is highly likely, given Gillian Anderson’s declarations, that it is the end of Scully’s part in The X-Files; with such an uncertain future it could prove to be the end of the series. It is an unsatisfactory end to all of these possibilities.

There’s not much to say here really…

The end of the Struggles

Chris Carter announced several times that My Struggle IV comes to close the saga started with My Struggle I:

Reddit AMA: “The four struggle episodes were all pieces of a whole and Episode 10 completes the whole.”
TV Insider: “They really are four quarters of a whole. And I think that maybe threw some people at the beginning of last season, and even at the end of last season. But I think that you see, as you have seen, that they were puzzle pieces—four puzzle pieces to form a circle.”
E!Online: “I think that it will be satisfying for everyone, once they finish the finale, to go back and watch the four parts, the four puzzle pieces together. I think it will be a very satisfying miniseries within the series.”

From this perspective of an end of a four-episode saga, MSIV is completely random!

All the times reactions and reviews closed with “answers might come later”, MSIV was the one to have them, or not at all. The story of MSIV is extremely simple compared to its predecessors, it is just a manhunt.

Mr. Y and Erika Price are the two most definitive deaths in this episode, and this is very surprising given that the casting of these characters by two very interesting actors made me expect they would become the new recurring villains in any future season 12. Instead, they were given no character development; their plans were not expanded upon (we do see in MSIV some spacecraft and Purlieu services, confirming the information of MSIII and This); they are offed in a very expeditive manner. (Interestingly, Carter said he had initially seen Strughold for the role of Mr. Y, but I suppose the 90-year-old German Armin-Mueller Stahl was unavailable!)

MSII and MSIII, within their dialogue, set up the activation of CSM’s plans of a viral apocalypse in a future seen in visions by both Scully and William, and one would expect the finale to do something about it; MSIV just mentions the threat but delivers nothing on the visions. MSIII and This, within their dialogue, set up a confrontation of CSM and Mulder, where CSM was afraid that Mulder would kill him (the same CSM that survived a missile strike…); while Mulder did shoot CSM, the confrontation itself was just a shootout. MSIII, within its dialogue, also set up a Sophie’s Choice type of situation where Scully would have to choose between Mulder’s life or William’s life and joining the CSM’s side; nothing came out of that set up.

Furthermore, absolutely no answers are given to the issues raised by the Struggle episodes themselves, not just questions pending from seasons 1-9. For instance: why didn’t Scully directly start working on a vaccine with the knowledge she got from her visions (only her DNA was necessary)? what is the virus within a virus in the Spartan virus? how is the Spartan virus an alien pathogen when My Struggle II explained in detail how it works with CRISPR-Cas9? how did the CSM survive? why did the CSM’s appearance change from episode to episode (including between My Struggle I, which happened outside of Scully’s visions, and My Struggle III)? why were William’s stem cells important for saving Mulder, if after all he is not the father? why did the CSM consider the secret around William’s paternity a weakness?

(There is another This Man appearance here, on a billboard next to the sugar factory, making him present in nearly all of season 11. This is nothing more than an Easter Egg it turns out.)

Long story short, MSIV is more of another independent episode that doesn’t need much information on what came before, than a continuation of an arc — in the same way that MSI was essentially unnecessary to MSII, that MSIII erased MSII.

The end of a 25-year mythology: the old mythology and William

It is obvious that the original mythology of seasons 1-9 has been done away with, and it is illusory to expect any continuation or closure or answers to a number of lingering questions — the Black Oil, the Rebels, the Supersoldiers — nor any clarification further than the MSIII flashbacks, which can be read in both ways, as to how well this revival articulates with what came before — was the colonization threat a sham? has CSM’s Spartan virus plan existed since before the colonization threat went away? why doesn’t the Black Oil behave as before? All of this is dead and buried.

At least, we are given more background to William/Jackson in the traditional Struggle teaser. He lived a normal first five years (so Scully was right to give him up for adoption?) but then his powers kept developing and he became a criminal, a masterful liar and somewhat of an emotionless manipulator (and so Scully was not right to give him up?), who can also blow people up with psi powers, Scanners-like. All this builds him into this troubled teenager with supernatural powers that could be the focus of a monster-of-the-week episode (and indeed his trick with the lights that cause a traffic accident is reminiscent of 3X03: DPO!). William/Jackson is his own man, no longer wants anything to do with Scully or Mulder or the CSM, and although it would be interesting to see him again, it is just as well possible that Carter is done with him.

But the single and most important, essential, basic item we could have expected to have an answer about, something that has been an open issue since the year 2000, something teased at with that teenage boy in the credits of season 9, something that must be spelled out in order to make this whole story engaging and understandable, is the why of the importance of William. Apart from stating the fact that he is “the key”, or Mr. Y’s last words “Your son has what everybody wants, what people would kill to have“, there is nothing here apart from the same tease since season 8: why is he important to, well, everyone? The posts at ghouli.net suggest that he could be a weapon, and that “the cure is in the blood” (see analysis here). Does that mean that he can prevent or be used to prevent CSM’s plans somehow and save the world (tagline change: “Salvator Mundi“)? (however MSII suggested that any abductee like Scully, and at least CSM, Scully and Reyes should have the materials necessary to build a vaccine/cure against the Spartan virus) Does that mean he could be used as a weapon to any resistance to CSM’s plans? We don’t know.

William did help out, unwillingly, in having the CSM’s back turned so that Mulder could shoot him, and that’s it, but that’s far from the miraculous alien-supernatural importance conferred to him with the weight of four seasons’ mythology. At the end of the episode, William emerges from the water (in a scene echoing all the way back to Dr. Secare, a hybrid that could breathe underwater, in 1X23: The Erlenmeyer Flask!). William has been “downgraded” from being the center of the universe to another monster of the week that Mulder and Scully encounter and forget in the next episode.

The end of a character: Scully, William’s father and the new pregnancy

The CSM declares himself William’s “creator“, and indeed William’s visions with the CSM confirm that he is the father: “the truth can only come from my father, a man I’ve only seen in my visions, but who I know I already hate“. (Why then didn’t he blow him up when he had the chance the way he did with Erika Price?) Presumably the CSM is also the biological father and not just the abstract father-creator then, along with some alien DNA thrown in the mix (no double DNA as hinted at in ghouli.net, which let open the possibility that the father was Mulder and that the additional DNA was alien). Scully was an incubator, and we spend the whole of one minute on that as Skinner tells numb Scully all about it, and when later Mulder accepts that information when Scully shares it with him.

There is no reversal of the reveal in My Struggle III: Scully was indeed, again and again and again, the victim of experiments involving medical rape and her reproductive system. And so because of that, all of a sudden, one year of miraculous pregnancy, one year of stressful upbringing, and seventeen years of remorse at having given up William for adoption, including in the revival (Founder’s Mutation, Ghouli), are all swept away: Scully no longer cares about William. Apart from this being an insult at anyone that has adopted a child and has been able to genuinely love it independently of biology, it is also shoehorned in the story in a way that messes enormously with the way Scully’s character is represented. Scully cared more about Emily, clearly the result of an experiment, than for William, whom she carried and thought about for so long. Carter gives Mulder a hug and chat with William but denies any real meeting between Scully and William — something unimaginable in the emotional context of anything up to this episode, particularly since this is most likely Anderson’s last episode (another indication that Carter is done with William as a character?).

All because Scully has a new child coming. The weird dialogue and never-seen-before sex in Plus One was indeed foreshadowing: Scully is pregnant again! She is pregnant at 54 (not that this is unheard of, but she has not been shown actively trying to get the necessary medical assistance to conceive at that age) and very fertile given that her being barren was such a big part of her character story; there are no explanations given other than the prayers in Nothing Lasts Forever and, well, her alien DNA. The future Benjamin (Rachel’s second son) or Wilhelmina or Samantha is supposed to be consolation for the loss of William, both figuratively (Scully learns from Skinner that he was an experiment, and thus no longer her true son) and literally (Scully & Mulder think William is dead), which given how much emotional and mythological capital this series has spent on making William important, is crazy.

What is the point of doing that? If the series ends now, Carter has given Scully and Mulder a happy end similar to the end of season 8, with a child together, complete with Mark Snow’s reprise of the lovely “Surgery” track from I Want To Believe — at the cost of scrapping 18 years of William’s storyline, just because too many years have passed in the real world, with the third film or the revival taking so long to materialize, and Carter can no longer write them rejoining with William and raising him as a family. If the series continues, the new baby’s conception will again be a mystery to focus on, repeating the tired tropes of seasons 8 and 9. (Or, continuing the parallel with Rachel, Scully could die at childbirth of her second child!) Some placed Scully’s pregnancy as a “jump the shark” moment; this is that to the power of eleven.

The end of a show

On top of all things, MSIV includes the age-old season-ending intrigue of “they are closing the X-Files”, this time coming from Kersh, for reasons of FBI image, as Mulder and Scully’s theories and Mulder himself appear on Tad O’Malley’s conspiratorial show. Incidentally, the show has still to give any subtelty and shades of grey to Tad, a shame really given how much unsubtle credence and echo the show gave to his far-right-pleasing extreme theories during season 10. It’s unclear why it is so important that the X-Files would close, given how few actual FBI cases Mulder & Scully have investigated in this revival.

MSIV also features the death of Skinner and Reyes. Skinner’s death is the only new variation of the dubious ally/enemy trope this character has been trapped in since his conception, but his sacrifice comes at not such a big surprise. We were expecting more background on Reyes’s apparent deep change of character as presented in Scully’s visions in MSII; instead of that, we got a short and at the nick of time phonecall from Reyes to Scully that gets the story rolling, and that is all the redemption Reyes could get for herself in the ten-plus years she has apparently been working for the CSM. Even so, that redemption is ambiguous, as that phonecall gets Mulder in a situation where he could easily have been killed, and does not lead to William, it’s Scully’s search “on the web” and William’s ex from Ghouli (and her sister Maddie aka Duchovny’s daughter West!) that lead Mulder on his trail!

Some nice things can be said about MSIV, such as its very XF-like cinematography (dark and wet), its XF-like settings (the motel, the sugar factory, the pier), and its through-and-through better management of tension than MSIII. However, with the Struggle episodes, especially this season, Carter has turned The X-Files mythology into an action flick completely different from its atmospheric roots. Mulder is a Jack Bauer-like action hero who can take down trained professional soldiers, unfazed by the consequences of his unlawful actions; the “confrontation” with the CSM is a “shoot first ask questions later” type of situation. It is loud, fast, unsubtle, incoherent.

With no less than five deaths, unprecedented in the show, MSIV does away with nearly all the show’s side characters. MSIV blows up the show’s mythology, something Carter was in retrospect obviously fed up with, and clears the scene for something new and yet unknown to emerge in the future. It provides some sort of end point for the leads. There is actually a lot of closure in this episode, despite it being described as a cliffhanger.

But then Carter was quick to undo this closure in interviews, by pointing out how everything can be impermanent: none of the CSM, Reyes and Skinner’s deaths are confirmed; others could emerge from the depths of the neoSyndicate to replace Mr. Y and Erika Price; the Spartan virus and the aliens are still out there; Scully’s new baby’s conception is something to be explored…rince and repeat.

Given what he has done to the mythology of the show, to its central characters (particularly Scully), and to its visual/cinematic/editorial identity, I’m not sure I’m much interested in anything The X-Files that might come in the future any more.

No animals were blown up in the making of this review.


142 Responses to “11X10: My Struggle IV”

  1. Andrew says:

    CC said in an interview that William is immortal and this is what everyone wants and that’s what makes him the “key”. Reading CC’s interviews I’m feeling there was a different episode hidden there, somewhere. Some of his answers put things into place, unfortunately his episodes were a mess.

    • orodromeus says:

      William’s importance, Scully already doubting who William’s father was and so letting go more easily, Reyes immune, so many things in his interviews that are hardly in the episodes… His is not like old mythology where you have to dig for answers, it really feels like he failed to translate his ideas into the script.

      • Andrew says:

        Exactly. If you have to relay on interviews to understand an episode then it’s bad writing. I don’t know what happened and he failed to put all these in the miniseries. And don’t let me start about Scully’s give up of William cause that’s not Scully. He said that the connection between them still exist and she may have sensed he is alive etc but again that is not in the episode! It’s one thing to have to connect the dots to see the bigger picture like in the old mythology and an entrely different thing what we got in the revival

  2. Jason says:

    I think William was still the key to surviving the apocalypse CSM intended to initiate. As seen in MS2, Scully’s vaccine was only useful if given near the onset of symptoms. I think it’s also likely CSM and Mr.Y/Price wanted William to guarantee their own immunity, nothing more.

    I also recall Anne Simon recommending Carter use atmospheric CO2 levels as the catalyst for the spartan virus. He rejected that and chose chem trails. This seemed silly at the time but does now clearly serve a plot purpose as CSM would be able to directly unleash the virus this way. If it were CO2 levels, there would be no stopping it without Scully’s vaccine.

    William’s motivations here are to stop having to run. He mentions at least once ending his own life as a way out. The encounter with CSM gave him an alternative. You can see him glancing behind him during their conversation on the dock. With Y/Prince cabal dead he has only CSM to worry about. He could have killed CSM as you suggest but faking his death gives him more freedom to leave.

    I did find Scully’s acceptance of this decision believeable. She was more honest with herself about the decision from the start. She raised William alone for almost a near and she made the decision to put him up for adoption. Mulder was absent during that time and Mulder, here, still harbors disillusions of being a father. Scully realizes she was never a mother to William and, as she mentioned at the end of “Nothing Lasts Forever” she is not resentful over the past; she’s ready to move on. Mulder was much less of a father than Scully was a mother but he needs some way to identify who he is. In “Familiar” he refers to himself as a father.

    In terms of plotting, the episode was similar to Essence/Existence, which turned into a prolonged chase story involving a terminator-type person. Here it’s William being chased instead of Billy Miles giving chase. Interestingly, Carter chooses to “reset” his ending to the ending of Existence in a way. Leading up to the finale, you listed all the season finales that could have been a series finale. I think here, Carter is expressing his preference for Existence.

    This surely wasn’t the greatest episode but it wasn’t bad. But I do appreciate what Carter refers to about the Struggles being 4 parts. But they aren’t traditional “…to be continued” parts where the plot for one folds neatly into the next. I can see now how MS1 was Mulder clinging to conspiracy theories from 20 years ago. MS2 was Scully trying to make some sense of her role in all this (and suffers the most from the decision in MS3), MS3 gave CSM the most exposition of the three to give us his motives. MS4 shows William trying to break free from this family.

    I also appreciate that there is a sense in season 11 that the x-files does not want to keep coming back if it has to revisit decades old stories. “This” has Scully literally turning the dial to shut down agents of the past. The central theme of “Forehead” is to not mess too much with the past and our memories of it. It’s there too in “Familiar” and “Nothing Lasts Forever.” “Kitten” is the one that makes the last sense in the whole. However, MS4 makes this explicit by literally blowing everyone up. I think there is a clear message that if the show does ever come back, it does not intend to ever revisit these plots again. It does make me appreciate MS1, which I still think is the weakest of the 4, a little more. In hindsight, it depicts Mulder as a pathetic desperate conspiracy theorist dealing with mental illness. This is fair. Here, the action scenes might be physically unbelievable, but psychologically, he’s come unhinged. And I agree that the episode is shoving all the mythology about William off a cliff. I would argue there was a good deal of regret, from the writers, about the choices made in Season 9, much of which was out of their hands. Overall, this was much more closure than I was expecting.

    One last note, my take on This Man, is the writer’s wink to the audience that, in the end, we’re all going to choose the episodes (and finales) that satisfy us. I always thought Redux II would have been an interesting place to end the show. (This is even hinted Carter considered this in Nisei and Herrenvolk). I also like the ending in Existence, which is, to some extent, reset here.

    • orodromeus says:

      But the CSM was already immune it looked like, and could award that immunity to others (Reyes), so William was not necessary. Also, a vaccine developed by Scully would be effective at any moment one got vaccinated, no need to wait for the last moment.

      Yes William was looking for a way out, it might have been a surprise for him as well that he survived! But given that he said he hated his father, I’m surprised we didn’t see more of a confrontation rather than resignation.

      About Scully accepting to let go of William, I agree with the concept, yet s10 and s11 underlined again and again his importance to Scully’s psychology, so the MS4 ending came a bit out of nowhere. We’re that the end point all along, they should have prepared it better and not do episodes like Founder’s Mutation…

      Yes, the general message of the season is to let go of the past – ironic that it could be read like a meta commentary on better not do a revival to begin with! (as I talked about in my TLAOFS review) If writers felt like that then why spend 2 seasons of mythology on the past and not *directly* try something new? Carter didn’t *need* to bring CSM back. MS1/2 could have been William’s story and justifying why colonisation is not happening (or not yet), and s11 could have taken an entirely new direction: I think this would have been nearly universally appreciated by everyone, and would have been better received. And sorry, I do see the connections in each Struggle showcasing each character, but that doesn’t make them this four-part story as Carter describes.

      • Jason says:

        I like your idea of beginning season 10 with essentially William’s backstory given here and throw in some of CSM’s dialogue from MS3 (have someone else say it) about colonization not happening.

        I think the biggest problem is the disconnect between seasons 10 and 11. You point to Founder’s Mutation, which is fair. Home Again also leans heavily into this. MS2 then makes it explicit that the search for William is central to the mythology. The problem is that season 11 turns that search on its head – the journey is about Mulder and Scully letting him go and forgiving themselves for their choices. I think it’s a good creative decision (as you point out this would have been nearly universally appreciated), but it’s inconsistent with season 10.

        Plus One is the first episode to hint this is the new direction. Ghouli might be my favorite of the season. But then there was a Skinner episode and an experimental episode. Familiar was good but missed an opportunity at further exploring this in ways Nothing Lasts Forever would do the next week.

        One of the criticisms of MS4 is that Scully doesn’t do much. But I do think that’s fair given their mental states at that point. Mulder still thinks of himself as a father in Familiar. In Nothing Lasts Forever, Scully is ready to move on with her life. So I think it’s fair for MS4 to start with Mulder still searching for William and Scully telling him to just come home.

        • orodromeus says:

          It is all a bit puzzling, especially given how Carter says he had all 4 Struggles in his mind. He also said he was surprised Morgan & Wong chose to docus on the emotional impact of William’s absence in their episodes in s10, so perhaps Carter was not thinking to involve William much more than what we got in his Struggle episodes; Ghouli too was more Wong than Carter (and Wong was unaware of the CSM rape twist of MS3 when he wrote Mulder as a father in Ghouli!).

          As for the rest of the episodes, they really felt disjointed and I wouldn’t read much in the characterization of M&S there. MS4’s conclusion came as a surprise to DD & GA, let alone to the writers of the other episodes. So Sculy is ready to move on in NLF but in the sense of moving back with Mulder; I think that’s unrelated to her feelings about William. If Carter wanted us to know that Scully knew about William not being Mulder’s for some time, he should have made that explicit from MS3 – that’s a huge plot point that should not be thrown in one lineat the end of MS4.

  3. Demijan Omeragic says:

    Fabulous review. I agree with pretty much all of it. Thank you for not sugar-coating things.

  4. nevermore says:

    In an interview with EW, CC denied a biological connection between CSM and William, saying CSM was “the figurative father”. If it was meant that way, the episode failed to make that clear.

    I understood the one thing William had and everyone wanted and would kill for is immortality.

    I was a bit disappointed with the lack of closure concerning the Supersoldiers and Purity. I get that it’s difficult to familiarize new fans with the whole convoluted mess, but they could have put in a little more effort there. Same goes for explaining away the abandoned colonization with a line about climate change and the state of the planet. I felt it was unimaginative and lazy writing.

    What I liked was that it wasn’t Super-William with his alien-DNA-enhanced superpowers who saved the day and prevented the pandemic, but the entirely human and mortal Mulder (“Man saves Man” – the Gorilla lady Sophie in Fearful Symmetry. To me, it’s clearly Mulder who was the Salvatore Mundi). And that no hybrids or other superpowers or super-weapons played a part in it. Because rarely has there come anything good from kids having superpowers in this show. I also liked that William wasn’t some kind of the X-Files Luke Skywalker, but a clearly troubled kid.

    And I have no problem with Scully’s pregnancy, as Scully has longed to have a normal baby from the beginning. I think it’s an appropriate closure to her character arc.

    All in all, I found the episode ok-ish, nothing earth-shattering, but by no means awful either.

    • orodromeus says:

      Did you get that William’s immortality was what people were looking for by watching the episode or reading Carter’s interviews? It was not obvious to me, so many other hybrids in the past could have survived.

      Figurative father, yet the CSM was who William saw in flashes in his visions. Not clear either way.

      The issue with William was that since s8 he’s this prophecised important child, but the resolution here is that his role was essentially to have CSM distracted so Mulder can shoot him. I can get an imperfect troubled William, makes for an important character, but watch Provenance/Providence then this and there’s something wrong.

      • nevermore says:

        I’d agree that the episode did a poor job making clear the relationship between William and the CSM, and William’s immortality. We shouldn’t need CC to explain that in interviews.

        I don’t agree on the role of William and the prophecy. Unless William knew that he was immortal, he essentially sacrificed his life for Mulder, making the CSM believe that he was Mulder. That’s by far a bigger role than having the CSM distracted.

        The prophecy said that if Mulder dies, William will lead the colonists (who were in league with the CSM). If Mulder lives, William will follow his father and join the resistance. In any case, the important part is to stop the forces of evil, Mulder has to live. So while the colonists are gone, the CSM is still there and with William sacrificing himself for Mulder to live, the prophecy is fullfilled.

        • nevermore says:

          “William will follow his father” – scratch that. I meant will follow Mulder, of course.

        • orodromeus says:

          William sacrificed himself because he wanted to die, given that he had very little self-esteem.

          I’m not quite sure how that works with the prophecy. The prophecy seemed to imply something different for William’s and Mulder’s fate, I imagined it would have involved more conscious choices of killing somebody, or of pledging allegiance.

          You could say that William and Mulder both contributed to having CSM killed — and so William can follow Mulder in his path and join the resistance, indeed. But if the CSM had killed Mulder, who is to say that William would have sided with the CSM, who he said he hated?

          So it’s as if the prophecy resulted true but inadvertently, without stopping to let us think about William’s fate with or without Mulder. At some level it works: prophecies don’t have to be spelled out and the gods work in mysterious ways. I’m not even sure whether Carter remembers about it, really!

          • nevermore says:

            Don’t prophecies in literature and art often come true inadvertently, or at least in a very different way than expected? Often they come true despite the protagonists actively working against them, and characters misinterpret them all the time.

            And this is one of the more cryptic ones I’ve seen.

            “Josepho believes your son will follow in his father’s paths and try and stop the aliens’ return. Unless his father was to be killed. That is the prophesy.” (Providence).

            It doesn’t actually say that William will side with the colonists/CSM. It could mean that unless Mulder lives, he’ll end up a tool for them.

            I don’t think William wanted to die because he had low self esteem, but because he thought he was a danger to others. Actually I think the dialogue reflects the train of thought in the prophecy quite well.

            W: “I’m a danger to people….. I’ve seen the future, all right? I have visions. I-I know what happens if they catch me. All the people who are gonna die… Look, I don’t want to live in that world.”

            He clearly says he doesn’t want to live in a world like the one he sees after CSM’s people catch him.

            M: “And, I don’t know, maybe I can stop it.”
            W: “If I didn’t exist -”
            M: “It’s not your fault, William.”
            W: “Yes, it is.”
            M: “Then let me help you stop it.”
            W: “You can’t. All right? ‘Cause you die, too.”

            He says Mulder can’t stop it – not because he’s incapable of stopping it for lack of abilities, but because he’ll die, too. Or in other words, if he doesn’t die, he could stop it. It’s at least implied, IMO, that he knows of Mulder’s significance. Either way, there we are again, if there is to be a chance of stopping it, Mulder must not die.

            William could have disguised himself as anyone getting in the way of the CSM, or he could have tried to get himself killed in dozens of other ways. But he chose to let the CSM shoot him, believing he was Mulder. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

            Of course I’ve no way of knowing whether CC remembers the prophecy or whether he did that intentionally. But in the end it doesn’t matter. The result works out; wouldn’t be the first time in art that things come together inadvertently.

          • orodromeus says:

            You make some good points here! There is indeed layered material in here if you look at the dialogue in detail – something the episode didn’t attract me to do overall. Too bad these Stuggle episodes were so busy with fast action to have any time for some philosophical/spiritual themes that distinguish the X-Files from other shows – I miss Albert Hosteen telling us a tale or M&S reflecting on the meaning of their actions (the penultimate episode came close to that).

            I agree with your conclusion: it can be fitted to the prophecy, but it’s impossible to know whether Carter was thinking of that when he wrote it. William’s characterization is one strong point I will concede to the episode, although I still have some trouble with his more sociopathic aspects (the prank with the girls in Ghouli). That he was afraid of his own role in the future and tried to prevent it does echo the theme of a prophecy, and an accidentally self-fulfilling prophecy is a recurring trick in classic art.

          • G says:

            Wouldn’t it be funny if Scully’s new child is the actual child mentioned in the prophecies, and William was just a dry run who everybody had wrongly assumed was The Holy One?

          • orodromeus says:

            Considering how many “dry runs” there were before – Gibson Praise, Mulder himself, Cassandra Spender – at this stage heck why not? Carter did hint that Scully’s alien DNA is significant for this second pregnancy too!…

  5. Lami says:

    Great reviews. I agree with this evaluation. Personally, I am very disappointed with the mythology S10 and S11. I don’t like many things there. For example, a sudden twist (never explained) in the character of Monica, who was always loyal to Scully and Mulder. But most of all, I’m angry at the destruction of Scully’s character, whos had been my beloved heroine since the beginning of the show. Carter completely degraded her at the end. This is definitely not the happy ending that Mulder and Scully have would deserve. It is very cruel what Carter did them. I’m really sad that it was like that.
    I do not consider revival as a dignified continuation of the original run 1993-2002.

    • Cobra says:

      I agree. I believe, that Seasons “10” and “11” are not considered to be part of the canon.

    • orodromeus says:

      I’m OK with a semi-tragic ending a la Requiem, happy endings are not necessary in XF. But I fully agree with you about Scully! Consolation baby all right…

  6. Anna says:

    Excellent review.

    What I understood: 1) It’s pointless to search for continuity with the original mythology because CC saw s10 and s11 as a soft reboot mytharc-wise.
    2)He envisioned this new mythology as a four part mini series, the problem is that there is no continuity between these episodes either. From what I gathered: The alien colonization is no longer a threat (because humans are destroying earth and themselves -global warming etc) and former conspirators and syndicate members are on their own with the alien technology they posses. Former allies are now enemies with different goals but they all want William because he is the key to survive a future catastrophe due to his immortality. CSM believing the world is doomed he wants to release an alien virus to wipe out most of humanity except few chosen ones who will become immortal along with him and that’s why he wants William. (Is CSM already immortal or the alien technology he has gives him only regeneration powers?)
    Mr. Y and Erica Price on the other hand plan to colonize the space and with a few chosen to escape there and leave behind a dying earth and they also want William because he is the key to immortality.

    • orodromeus says:

      “The key to immortality” : had Carter not mentioned that in interviews, would that have been what the average viewer got out of this? It was not obvious for me, so many other hybrids in the past have been very hard to kill.

      • Anna says:

        No, unfortunately it wasn’t obvious among with many other things. Are CSM and Monica immortals as Scully’s visions suggest? Why Monica was working for CSM? What purpose did Tad ‘O Malley, Sveta and the old informant serve? Were there to “wake up” Mulder after nothing happen in 2012 and bring him back to The X-Files? If yes, there were better ways to do that: he could have Monica inform M&S about CSM and William from the beginning (he could even have Spender play that role),he could start s10 with a mystery that was connected with an older case of M&S (something that would warp up the super soldiers or the black oil) or he could use the connection between Scully and William as a way to bring them back to the FBI. I think we lost so much time in MSI for characters and plots that were not important (even if I loved the doctor in MSI and his flashbacks) and that was at the expense of the key characters. Skinner, Monica, Kersh, Erica, Mr.Y are underused. The story could flow better if it was better planned from the beginning but even if CC conceived these episodes as a miniseries (and I believe the visions were planned at least from MSII) I still feel he was making them as he went along.

        • orodromeus says:

          To be honest, this fragmented “chaotic” narration has always been part of XF. Even in its best period, the XF mythology was nothing but a series of self-contained but slightly inter-linked stories (Anasazi trilogy, Nisei, Piper Maru…). Carter might have tried to mimic that here. But the problem was that there was so little time to do that, that he ended up doing disservice to his own episodes individually with that frantic pace, and disservice to the overall quality of the revival.

          I do believe he had pre-planned quite a bit of these Struggle episodes, but only in very general terms. “Details”, such as Mr. Y/Erika Price, Jackson’s character, or even the way he wrapped up the characters’ journeys in MSIV, came as he went along.

  7. Cobra says:

    Something I do not understand. In the ninth season, Jeffrey Spender switched off William’s alien biology (injected magnetite), thus preventing him from becoming an (organic)”super-soldier”.This is demonstrated, that William could no longer move the game with the will over the crib.
    In My Struggle 4 however, William showed alien abilities (shapeshifting ability, breathe underwater, superhuman power), but his blood is not green (as aliens and most hybrids), but red as humans and alien replicants.It would make sense that later they were only found him and transformed him an inorganic way into “super-soldier”. But he has no alien consciussness. I do not understand.

    • Cobra says:

      Is CSM somehow immortal as Alfred Fellig (“Tithonus”)?

      • martydarknut says:

        I personally think that the magnetite never destroyed William’s powers, but was actually just a way to protect William form any supersoldiers, as any who went near him would die.

        • Cobra says:

          You maybe right.For some reason, William was very important for alien colonists/Super-soldiers.
          Jeffrey said: “They’ll always know what he was. They’ll never accept what he is”.It’s more important than other chloramine babies,who have similar alien abilities.(see: 9×08: “Trust No 1”) It may have some supernatural power, independent of alien biology.

        • orodromeus says:

          That could be as well – a repellant, and a way for alien technology not to “catch” on William!

          William seemed to be a mix of many experiments. What could have happened is that what we see in MSIV is the result of CSM’s experiments. In s9 William was being converted into a Supersoldier *also*, but Jeffrey’s injection stopped that.

          • martydarknut says:

            As regards the prophecy, maybe we should reconsider it in light of the fact that Mulder isn’t actually William’s father. Maybe that’s why the supersoldiers stopped hunting Mulder. Maybe that’s why others wanted CSM dead in Season 11. Certainly he didn’t seem on their side in Season 9 when they tried to blow him up in the finale. Haven’t had time yet to see if I can make sense of it but definitely going to try when I get the chance, as there miggt be something in CSM working against the aliens. Destroy most humans to prevent aliens from gestating amd protect those he can by making them immune.

            There is also reference in season 9, I think, to humans trying to thwart the aliens’ plan to colonise by destroying earth with the H Bomb. And there is a reference on the Ghouli website, in code, to William being the new H Bomb, or something like that. So maybe William was a weapon, created by CSM, to stop the aliens somehow. Anyone else like to take these thoughts further?

          • orodromeus says:

            Interesting thought – at first! This might work in retrospect for seasons 8 & 9 (during which CSM was dead for all intents and purposes), but not earlier. You can’t watch him turn down the Rebels in Two Fathers and say that he is secretly working against the aliens, or watch how he is intimidated by the rest of the Syndicate in Paper Clip and say he is sitting on the Spartan virus that would completely change the balance of power. Within s10-11 the revival makes sense, but not looking at the series as a whole.

            There was a reference on nuclear warfare in the script of The Truth, it’s what would have forced the aliens to collaborate with the Syndicate. How would CSM or anyone used William as a weapon? You first have to convince William to work with you willingly! I found plenty of material in ghouli.net interesting, more interesting than many things we saw in the episodes themselves! It turns out ghouli.net was written not by Carter or Wong but by Julie Ng, who is a fan and does the behind the scenes documentaries for the revival.

      • orodromeus says:

        I wouldn’t want to assign anything supernatural to why the CSM is alive – Carter has cheapened his character enough as it is. CSM’s access to advanced medical care and alien regenerative technology (similar to the implants as seen in En Ami?) should be enough to justify this, although the missile strike did seem pretty final.

    • Ivan says:

      You’re absolutely right. It is a complete flow, I don’t understand it either. Maybe there some side effects or it was an uneffective injection… but we never get even a sight of an explanation.

    • G says:

      Maybe CSM’s technology to create William during En Ami pre-dated the super soldier stuff? Meaning William was never part of that experiment, meaning Jeffrey had the wrong information.

      • Cobra says:

        Thanks for the answers!
        It is possible that Jeffrey was wrong, but it certainly had some effect of the injection. William could no longer move the game with the will over the crib.

        • martydarknut says:

          I was never certain that he couldn’t still move the mobile, just that the episode ended before we found out either way. It was possibly implied, but never definite, perhaps left open-ended. I’m definitely starting to think now that it was more for protection from supersoldiers who would die if they went near him. And we don’t know if Jeffery was lying, or maybe just mistaken about what he thought it would do.

      • Cobra says:

        Knowlie Rohrer said something similar John Doggett in 8×20: Essence. He said that Scully’s alien abduction was just a scam.

      • Ivan says:

        The thing is, Super Soldiers existed in early 90s during The Guld War, as was mentioned in s9, probably at the first episodes and it was human-based project, so Secret Government was aware of it. This arc is similar with previous: alien-creted hybrids and human-created hybrids (like in 1×24 and so on). So, here human-created and alien-created Super-Soldiers. William was clearly human-based (apparantly) and as Spender went through the experiments, probably he knew what he was talking about. So, still, everything is possible, but it have to make sense.

        • Cobra says:

          I thought the green-blooded alien-human hybrids were just man-made. Only the Gregor clones can be maybe alien-created hybrids, who created the alien colonists in the 1940 years according to the Samantha clone (2×17: End game).
          There were served some individuals, as “super-soldiers” in the Gulf War. It is probable that these also have also been abducted and replaced by the alien colonists using a modified strain of the black oil virus. I think, that the human-based super-soldiers are only from the beginning of the 2000s, in the form of the “chloramine babies” or “organic” super-soldiers. Obviously, its main initiators were alien replicants, who infiltrated into human society and who used human conspirators (for example doctors) to implement their plan.( see: 9×09: Nothing happened important Today II.).
          The only know case was Jeffrey Spender,who were trying to transform into an inorganic “super-soldier”, but failed. Probably here too the alien replicants were the initiators. (or CSM?)
          Regardless of alien replicants,nevertheless there was a “true” super-soldier program,of which the Syndicate can knew.(see:2×04: “Sleepless”).

          • Cobra says:

            Would the government / Syndicat have established (before 1999) “super-soldiers”, who have “Purity” consciussness (they are loyal only to the alien colonists) and practically unstoppable? I think, that this does not make sense.

          • Ivan says:

            Yeah, alien-made hybrids were not so well observed, but they were out there! As initial plan was, Syndicate send members as a guarantee for a cooperation as well as a biological material for experiments. Both sides tried to succeed in a hybridization, as it would allow to create a hybrid gene for the syndicate and to start the colonization (when the Syndicate has succeded, they were just about to pull the colonization in 6×12 “Two Fathers”, but failed due to rebels). Also, there are some suggetions (even here, probably) that Bounty Hunters are hybrids of colonist’s race and rebel’s race, as colonists have invaded rebel’s planet and created loyal hybrids for their own warfare. But still, a clear evidance of this are not found.

            Yet again, there was one super-soldier which, I suppose, wasn’t alien-born – Shannon McMahon (portrayded by Lucy Lawless) in 9×01-9×02. Her past is not-so-clear, but she was talking about a government programm and acted against it, as well as was behaiving naturally, not like sometimes zombi-styled alien supersoldiers. Anyway, here some references can be found, but for how William got his powers back – they can’t be.

          • Ivan says:

            6×12 “One Son”, anyway it was two-episode arc.

          • orodromeus says:

            Seasons 8 and 9 were not conclusive on what the Supersoldiers were – man-made, alien, or man-made by orders of aliens. There was also some purposeful misdirection (Rohrer/McMahon lying to Doggett to manipulate him). It is also more complicated since the term was used in the past for similar things (Sleepless, Nisei/731, all definitely man-made) and also there seem to be several “generations” of the s8-9 Supersoldiers: the Gulf War ones (Rohrer & McMahon), the infiltrated (Toothpick Man), the abductees (Billy Miles), the chloramine babies…

            It could be all of them were created by aliens, or by human scientists who were working unknowingly for aliens – that’s the interpretation I went with in my “Primer”, that the Supersoldiers were the aliens’ original “Plan A”. The Supersoldiers we saw did seem to be completely alien (“Terminator-like” Billy Miles), maybe not (Rohrer seemed to remember his past with Doggett).

            But it could be after all that some were man-made, and the aliens continued with that program when they took over power from the Syndicate in s8-9. Who knows if the CSM’s experiments on Spender and William were similar to the Supersoldier program. They were certainly a different “strain” of hybrids compared to the green-blooded ones, the last of which was Cassandra Spender.

        • Cobra says:

          “Bounty Hunters are hybrids of colonist’s race and rebel’s race”, this is an interesting idea. I did not think so yet. You may be right! I always thought that the black oil based Colonists and Bounty hunters / Rebels are very similar in appearance (gray-like appearance, green blood, weak spot on the base of the neck etc.), but not the same species. The bounty hunters were infected with the black oil, while the rebels defended themselves.Infection with black oil also guarantees “loyalty” in itself. (see: “Piper Maru”, “Apocrypha”, “Vienen”).
          According “The Unnatural” colonist aliens also possess the shapeshifting ability,but the bounty hunters/rebels more readily take shape of the human or more disguise themselves.The colonists therefore need bounty hunters.

          Shannon Mcmahon is really not a zombie-styled super-soldier unlike Billy Miles, but she also has alien vertebra.According by the 8×16:”Three Words” alien vertebra is a distinguishing feature of the alien replicants.(See: when Absalom examine at John Doggett’s neck).

          • Cobra says:

            “They were certainly a different “strain” of hybrids compared to the green-blooded ones, the last of which was Cassandra Spender” – .If I understand, the Super-soldiers may be considered literally or purely Black-Oil/Human hybrids in contrast to conventional green-blooded alien / human hybrids. The latter were famous for their “disobedience” (Gregors, Samanthas, Jeremiah Smith etc.), which may be partially explained with their human DNA, partly by the fact that with the “Purity” was not so “overwhelmed”, unlike the Super-soldiers,who have “Purity” consciousness mixed with a certain human mentality.

            But if super-soldiers were by human-made and alien-made, they might have been among the green-blooded alien-human hybrids are alien-made and human-made. May be alien-made hybrids were the Gregor clones, who cloned after two hybrids originally created by the colonists. According by the Samantha clone “these original visitors” had come to Earth in the 1940’s in order to have a part in colonization. However, Gregory’s plans and actions were not sanctioned.(2×16: “Colony”, 2×17: “End game”).
            This can be confirmed by the fact that in the 1940s the alien presence on Earth was particularly active (see: UFO-crash in Roswell, Josh Exley, alien bounty hunter’ mission in 1947, “Foo Fighters” in World War II.).

          • orodromeus says:

            Out of all the green-blooded hybrids, it’s the Gregors that stand out – because they are talked about as aliens not hybrids, Mulder mentions a colony implying them coming from elsewhere, the ABH in that episode could be understood as coming from the same race. All the others are described as hybrids created on Earth. I think here it’s also a matter of early mythology development, when they wrote these episodes they hadn’t yet thought hard on how to link them with the rest.

            It could be that the Gregors were from the same race as the ABHs and the Rebels, Shapeshifter aliens who came to Earth to escape Purity and attempted to mix with the local population. But the fact that they have access to Samantha’s genetic material links them directly to the Syndicate, so they must be hybrid clones created on Earth.

          • Cobra says:

            Sorry if I’m annoying, but I think Billy Miles, Crane agent or the Game Warden also showed a little human behavior.

            Mulder told Scully that “what would have happened if Billy was angry with him”. (after rolling Mulder on a glass door). Perhaps he remembered Mulder and Scully liking him.

            Or Agent Crane was annoyed that “he had to miss his son’s baseball match”.Was Agent Crane as super-soldier really loves his son or just pretending?
            Agent Crane’s case is also interesting, because it seemed that he did not help the alien bounty hunter (8×02: “Within”). If he was already a “super soldier”, Gibson would probably have recognized it like the Toothpick Man in The Truth II. It was probably subsequently replaced by a alien replicant.He was probably a “very good” genetic profile, so he could easily became a “super-soldier” in a few weeks or months. “There going to learn that they’ve been targeted because of their genetic profiles for abduction and replacement by alien facsimiles.” says Mulder in 8×18: “Three Words”.
            These people may be have been “replaced” by a bounty hunter (who took the shape of the abducted person,as Mulder’s shape in “8×01: Without, 8×02: “Within”) until they return to as “super-soldiers”. So they do not realize that these people (who occupy important positions) have abducted.

            The third example is the “Game Warden” who seemed completely human (before being Monica Reyes dropped she with hot water) ,and who is most likely to have been abducted by aliens (like Billy and other abducted). (8×21: “Existence”).
            The other way around: In “Nothing Happened Important Today” II or in “The Truth 1-2”, Rohrer was also “Terminator-like,when he attacked Doggett and Mulder.

          • orodromeus says:

            Right, most of the Supersoldiers we saw showed human traits. Good point about Agent Crane. It’s Billy Miles and the Toothpick Man that seem more alien. Billy Miles seemed to be acting human just when he woke up in DeadAlive, afterwards he was silent; and the Toothpick Man might have been just as cold and distant as an important FBI official when he was human too.

            So, Supersoldiers seemed to draw from the human memories to act convincingly like humans, but their consciousness was alien.

          • Ivan says:

            Interestingly, that Mulder was almost turned into a supersoldier himself, but the process was a bit contradictory. He was abducted and released at the same period as Billy and others, but by the time Billy has become a supersoldier, Mulder was still in a “transformation condition”, for more than three months by the way! But I have an idea – remember Mulder’s re-born stuff in the S8 episode “The Gift” with a Soul Eater? When a person is reborn, he is cleaned of all diseases, so Mulder presumably got cleaned of the Black Oil and therefore become unuseful for succesful experiment (or it just would take more time to transform). This way, he was a complete new human and that’s why his transformation in “Deadalive” took so long and he eventually was cured by Scully. … is that make sense?

          • nevermore says:

            Mulder didn’t use the soul-eater’s ability; he intended to, but then changed his mind when he saw how the soul-eater suffered.

          • Ivan says:

            Well, yeah, he didn’t – I’ve just checked. Apparantely I had watched this particular episode a long ago, so always thought he has done that. Thanks for the tip, however, what an explonation it could be!

  8. G says:

    Carter is mad, but who knows? Maybe he has an internal logic which we can’t see. All of us are on the ‘outside’ of his own personal mythology.

    I think the En Ami flashback in MS3 is telling. That episode happened way before supersoldiers etc etc.

    If MS1 is saying all the aliens are fake, then that means supersoldiers were entirely government created.

    What if CSM was using the alien idea as a decoy to distract post-resurrection Mulder, Doggett etc to hide the fact that his very human action in En Ami were what made Scully pregnant? He gave her a fetus with no connection to any supersoldier plots whatsoever.


    • Cobra says:

      “If MS1 is saying all the aliens are fake, then that means supersoldiers were entirely government created.” How do you explain that black oil and long-clawed aliens were already 35,000 years ago? (X-Files Movie: “Fight to Future”).In the prehistoric time there was no shadow government,no CSM. If super-soldiers were created by the government, why did the CSM escape from them?

      • G says:

        For me, the soldiers were a different race to the greys, Bounty Hunters. Those guys were purely alien, but the SS were a government project utilising the alien DNA.

        CSM was ultimately his own man, hence the government fighting him. They wanted to keep with the SS, and CSM just wanted to…I dunno, make babies. Don’t really care anymore!

        • Cobra says:

          I understand you! Otherwise, a good analogy: Super-soldiers like SS. They same ruthless and fanatics, as SS-soldiers.The X_files Mythology often draws comparisons between the Nazis and the colonists. These human replacaments only serve “Purity”, or they themselves are “Purity”.
          Relationship between the grays and bounty hunters: interesting question. I used to always think, that the bounty hunters a distinct group of the grey aliens (“The Unnatural”),who have been colonized in the past (“Two Father”, “One Son”, “The Truth”).I now uncertain. I do now not even care about mythology.In the 10th and 11th season I was very disappointed.

    • orodromeus says:

      Conceptually, the same ideas repeat themselves: the young Samantha / Kurt Crawford hybrids, the Emily project, the retcon of En Ami in MS3/4, the Zeus Genetics babies, the Valor Victor embryos (Nothing Important Happened Today). They are all attempts to do a perfect hybrid. It’s just that the show assigned different purposes to each one of these, at times conflicting purposes. William is apparently the result of the En Ami manipulation, some Zeus Genetics tampering (or at least monitoring and vitamin supplements!) and the Valor Victor baby Supersoldier program – and Ghouli added Project Crossroads on top of all that!

      But to follow on your idea – governmental Supersoldiers – that could mean that the Supersoldiers were directed by a neoSyndicate faction opposed to the CSM, hence the attack on him in The Truth. That could make sense (although certainly not written as such in s8-9!). But NIHT and Trust No 1 and the William episode do hint that William was part of the Supersoldier program, so he is not entirely CSM’s project. So much of s8-9 was ignored in this revival.

      • G says:

        Someone posted this idea online, which i like:

        ‘I believe that there’s still a possibility that William is Scully’s AND Mulder’s son. Here’s why: they had Scully’s eggs from when she was abducted and could have Mulder’s sperm from when Scully asked for it. So CSM put them together using IVF and “created” William. And by his logic he could say the boy is his, and even claim to be the father (of the creation of William).
        As for why Mulder doesn’t share visions with William and Scully does, well, she has alien DNA, Mulder doesn’t. I don’t know if CSM shared any vision with William, but if he did, well, he is his grandfather and also has alien DNA.’

        • orodromeus says:

          What I consider most definitive proof is that William himself thinks the CSM is his father, as he has visions of him (teaser) and points out to Mulder that he doesn’t have visions of him. You could say that William is psychically connected to anyone that has alien DNA, but then he would be connected to the CSM and Reyes and many others – but he specifically singles out the CSM as his father.

          I will concede that it could still be argued both ways and can be changed either way if Carter decides to go there again. This ambiguity is typical XF – although frustrating given that this is the end.

          • G says:

            Good point, unless CSM’s got heightened alien DNA in his bloodstream, while Mulder’s got switched off completely when he was saved in DeadAlive.

            Geez, what a mess.

  9. Ganxta says:

    This whole William-story is beginning to be ridiculous. Carter promised to simplify mythology, but made it even more complicated. Hope it will not be Season 12.

    • orodromeus says:

      Actually I thought William’s characterization was one of the interesting parts of this episode – a flawed teenager full of anger and fear, it was a bit clumsily handled because of the pace and I still dislike the whole two girlfriends Ghouli prank, but there was potential here. Also some interesting Christ parallels – “Salvator Mundi”, renouncing his mother (Mary/Scully) before sacrificing himself.

      What killed it was the paternity revelation and what Scully did with that information. So in that I agree with you about season 12!

  10. Ivan says:

    Gentle and thoughtful analysis. You’re The Man. I’m trying to say the same on many X-communities, but everywhere get banned because Carter/William are saints and untouchable as well as well “Pregnant Scully” is all they need. Exactly said: “Given what he has done to the mythology of the show … I’m not sure I’m much interested in anything The X-Files that might come in the future any more” – First three “Struggles” were intriguing “teasers”, but overall there was nothing to tease, and if there were some, it was foolish.

  11. Frank Black says:

    I think what hurt the most CC’s episodes is the pace. Watching them it feels like we are watching an episode on fast forward or the highlights of the mythology but not a real episode. There are no quiet character moments, there is no room for the characters to showcase their feelings and motivation and act like real human beings. Some ideas and endgames are fine on paper but we end up there too fast and too easy. That’s not The X-Files. The X-Files was all about the journey and the characters. I wonder what it would be like if Morgan and Wong did a second draft on Carter’s scripts and Bowman, Nutter, Goodwin, Thomas Wright from the Millennium or even Wong did the direction.

    • Cobra says:

      I totally agree with you.You got to the point. Old-good X-Files had some interesting characters, such as alien bounty hunters, Jeremiah Smith, who decorated the Mythology. Furthermore, there is no conjecture, mysticism, as in the old series. Mulder as an Liam Neeson-like action hero in My Struggle 4: this is ridiculous.

      • orodromeus says:

        Pace is one of the main problems. No sense of mystery, not inviting to spend too much thought on it. Some of the ideas and endgames do not sit well with me at all either, starting with the handling of Scully’s character arc, so it’s not only pacing. Keep in mind Carter was completely free to do anything, and this is the story he chose to tell.

        In s10 I thought the directing and pacing were missteps, but s11 confirmed that this was a conscious decision for the “feel” of the Stuggle episodes. Ghouli ended up being quite important, so it’s not as if they couldn’t do more MotW/myth mixes to de-clutter the Struggle episodes. Wong directing would have been interesting, but there’s only so much you can do with such a script. Essence/Existence were action-heavy as well, but not like this. Maybe he thought that moody and mysterious was what IWTB was, and the Struggle episodes should be more like FTF, blockbuster type, or like the XF3 that never was.

  12. SamSimon says:

    Excellent review (and I did laugh here and there), thank you! It only confirms my lack of interest in this last season… I had enough already with the nonsensical season 10.

  13. SC says:

    Why in all the recent interviews are none of the interviewers asking Carter, ‘Do you think ‘global warming’ was a satisfying end to the colonization plot?’.

    Either they don’t really care about the mythology or they think it would be too awkward to ask him to his face. I am surprised the X Files News interviewer didn’t ask him.

    • orodromeus says:

      I really do think Carter was making genuine effort to produce a good revival – there’s nothing malicious here, he just didn’t jive with our expectations. With global warming, he was trying to bring modern issues to the table, in the same way Tad was the 2000s-2010s Alex Jones type of persona. With aliens out of the picture, he wanted to bring the focus on man creating problems for mankind and his environment, also more topical than the alien craze of the 1990s. He truly thought he was being intelligent, I believe. Fans have a different relationship with the object than the creator, and kept the memory alive where for Carter colonization might have been very old news and nothing more than a MacGuffin.

      • Cobra says:

        Otherwise, you have great review about My Struggle 4!Furthermore, I agree with you that the alien paranoia (unfortunately) is not present in the 2010s. Carter recognized this.

        When there was a real possibility for a third film, I have always imagined that the final alien invasion (2012) would be partially like in the “Signs” (film), which ultimately did not happen.
        Or like the Christian apocalypse,it may be only possible to infer from “certain” signs the ultimate invasion, as at the end of the world (“the Sun becomes cloudy, the Moon is not lit” etc.). The line between spirituality and science-fiction/ alien mythology sometimes getting blurry in the X-Files since the 7th Season. Do not I know if Carter was any plan or idea for the final invasion?

        • orodromeus says:

          Thanks! I too imagined something calm and underground for the resolution film/episode about the invasion, closer to “Memento Mori” than “Independence Day”!

          The apocalypse is one of Carter’s obsessions, you can see it in every series in one form or another: alien invasion in XF, Christian Apocalypse in Millennium, nuclear warfare post-apocalyptic virtual world in Harsh Realm, all-in-one apocalypse in The After…

          What I would like to know now is to what extent what we saw in the Struggle episodes corresponds to the script for a 3rd movie Carter apparently wrote before the revival materialized, and whether colonization was also a non-issue in that script as well. That script is now my most-wanted item!

          • Cobra says:

            I’m also very curious about this script! It’s a pity Carter did not make it public.

    • Cobra says:

      I agree. This “global warming” stuff contradicts the earlier statements of the series: The colonists have left the Earth in the last ice age because of the cold. In addition, for the development of colonist gray aliens is beneficial warmth. (The X-Files Movie: Fight to Future, 6×01: “The Beginning”.

      • nevermore says:

        The main problem with global warming isn’t the temperature rise per se but the side effects, like increased frequency of hurricanes, melting glaciers, destruction of entire ecosystems, generally inhabitable planet, even if the warmer temperature might suit the Greys.

        I’m not totally opposed to the idea of Purity coming to the conclusion that it’s better to postpone colonization at this point. Earth surely isn’t the only option Purity has. My dislike, as with most of my criticism of MSIV, is more the way it was handled, more or less with a passing statement – “oh, btw., colonization was postponed because of the climate change” – than the idea per se.

        • orodromeus says:

          The science of not colonizing because of anthropogenic climate change is ridiculous – a civilization capable of interstellar travel than appears to have had a presence on Earth for millions if not billions of years would not be deterred by a 2 degrees Celsius change in temperatures. There are also science fiction films where this is beneficial to colonist aliens (Quatermass, The Arrival)!

          Yes, it was handwaved very casually, proof that Carter did not particularly care about continuing that storyline. It would have been more credible if the Rebels or even the neoSyndicate had said that the colonist aliens had been defeated or been kept at bay, leaving to the imagination all kinds of things about interstellar wars on Earth’s orbit.

          • nevermore says:

            As I said, the temperature increase per se isn’t the problem. The side effects are what makes the environment hostile. Even if Purity had the means to stop or reverse it – of which I’m not convinced, because if it was so easy, why not colonize Earth much earlier and instead wait for a human race to evolve to a state where it can pose resistance? Even if the environmental state wasn’t a problem, why bother to remedy a hostile environment? It would take a huge effort. That would only make sense if Earth was the only option or the best option by a large margin. But they’ve colonized the shapeshifter planet before, and I see no reason to assume they don’t have other options.

            IMO CC could have pulled that idea off convincingly, but not by explaining it in a passing statement.

          • Cobra says:

            I agree.It may be that the rebels have managed to produce a large amount of special magnetite, perhaps with the help of the neo Syndicat. (It’s a crazy idea!) The Arrival(1996) is one of my favorite film.

          • orodromeus says:

            Actually, reversing these effects should be very easy for a civilization that is capable of interstellar travel. The neoSyndicate talks of Dyson spheres, an engineering project that dwarfs any effort to mitigate climate change — not that mitigating climate change is not a challenge for us, but Carter hints at technological capabilities way beyond “ours”.

            I appreciate what you say, but I think we are touching the limits of what script writers typically think about (or not) in terms of science and the scales in play. He wanted the aliens to pose a threat in the 1990s and there they were, of course it would have been much easier for them to colonize in 1900 or in 0 CE or 10,000 BCE. He wanted the aliens off the picture, and combined that with a topical key word: global warming.

        • Cobra says:

          Thank you for your answer! You’re right!
          An interesting question is the motivation of Purity. A concept often brought up in science-fiction is that aliens have run out of resources on their own planet and need a new one to survive, but this doesn’t seem to be the colonists’ motivation in the X-Files. It was as if they were being driven by some “sacred mission consciousness” to return to Earth, a kind of a “Reconquista”. Perhaps I am wrong.

          According to CSM, the alien colonists is a higher intelligence (“God-like”) and much more advanced than we (“Requiem”),therefore,maybe they can stand to stop the global warming.

          • orodromeus says:

            All we know of the alien colonists is not from themselves but from others – we hear about them from people who might have had contact with them. This subjectivity is interesting, any information could be biased! Cassandra Spender at one point has a very positive view on them, and then talks of them like they are invading everything (“reconquista” as you say!). So we don’t really know.

            I find the idea interesting of the aliens having limited resources, and relying a lot more on the Syndicate. The ship in Antarctica could have been of major importance for them, for example. This could also have been a way to bypass the colonization threat in the revival, by revealing that the Syndicate managed to eradicate their threat somehow.

    • Anna says:

      I’m not in Carter’s mind but what I understand is that his intention is the series to be in touch with our world and not to be setting in an independent /parallel world. When he created the X-Files he was fascinated with the Watergate scandal and he was inspired by movies like “All the president’s men” and “JFK” and he used the aliens because at the 90s a significant amount of the population in US believed they were abducted and the government knew about it. But the world we live now is very different. There is no an impending doomsday date rn like there was in the 90s and 00s. There is no mass fear for the enemy without, the greatest problems of humanity nowadays come from within (war in middle east, global warming, economical crisis in Europe etc). Carter in an interview about the finale said that he is told that the three major threats of humanity right now is 1) nuclear war, 2) global warming and 3) a man-made virus. So with the shift in the mythology Imo he tries to stay current (I don’t agree with this, I just try to reason it). Of course that doesn’t excuse the bad writing of why he didn’t do a better job explaining the shift in the storyline. For example, he could start the revival with the super soldiers disappearing mysteriously or the murder of people who had a connection with the conspiracy and M&S are called to investigate or the departure of purity from earth and then explain the reason why and then move on to CSM/MR. Y/Erica’s new projects. (Or he could simply fit the colonization with the current political climate but Idk). I have no doubt that the stories about the colonization of earth by aliens will have mass appeal again in the future and if The X-Files exist then in some way we will go back to the aliens. The problem with that logic, though, is that we are not getting a coherent story.
      P.S. I’m sorry for my English and I hope I make sense.

      • Anna says:

        To add something: Personally, I don’t see any reason, other than: an alien threat is not in people’s consciousness today and The X-Files played with people’s fear and paranoia, why CC couldn’t fit the colonization scenario with our world. We could very well be at the final stages of the colonization. He could use the nuclear threat and the global warming to explain the coming colonization. The aliens want a world damaged from nuclear war, hunger etc and they needed a warm environment, IIRC, in order to reproduce.

      • orodromeus says:

        Right, there is no reason to do away with alien colonization other than that aliens are no longer as part of popular culture as in the 1990s. Even in UFO discussion circles, it looks like the discussion has shifted away from nefarious aliens in the 1970s-1980s to aliens that were attracted to Earth via nuclear tests (theory mentioned in My Struggle I) and the human secret space program (mentioned in MSI too, developed in MSIII). I agree that in Carter’s mind the XF world should not have very obvious differences with the real world, that is a rule he did not want to break with any colonization out in the open. But as a result we got something completely incoherent, which diminishes the “worth” of the series as a work of art as a whole — I can’t imagine what people will think in the future when they will discover XF binge-watching it in streaming, going from 9 years of setup of colonization to this revival where it was inconsequential…

        • Cobra says:

          I agree with you completely! Carter does not think about the aspects described (the incoherence, CSM’s surreal return), that they can make ridiculous the main-story and diminishe the worth of the series? In retrospect, how good it was to make the first feature film (1998). Real “trump card” in defense of the old Mythology.

  14. Ivan says:

    For many years I was thinking, how I would continiue X-Files if could. And one of main plot details, which I wanted to introduce, was a ghost-style CSM, like Krycek in “The Truth”. I think that would perfectly fit: Mulder’s abilities are stil “out there”, it also would allow to make much more scenes with awesome William B. Davis and it would help screenwriters to avoid killing him again, what is becoming ridiculous. What do you think, worth it?

    • orodromeus says:

      I think it would have been better to leave CSM dead and gone. I like continuity (e.g. alien colonization), but clinging to the past at all costs and nostalgia is not what I expected from the revival – it would have been more interesting if what happened in s8-9 had real consequences and we had heard about the Supersoldiers invasion in the revival, continue with the Toothpick Man (who was being set up as a main villain in s9), or have the revival set up some new interesting villain.

      That being said, I liked the idea of the ghostly apparitions in The Truth, and it could somehow have been linked to the Walk-ins in Closure as well. A revival where Mulder and/or Scully receive some help from past allies would have been interesting. But a CSM still manipulating things from beyond the grave? No thanks!

      • nevermore says:

        There’s always the possibility of uploading him Langly-style 😀

      • Cobra says:

        I agree. I also was expecting the continuation of the “super-soldier” story. I imagined this “revival” could have shown the generation of chloramine babies and the underground resistance centers against the super-soldiers. For example: in Mexico, in Tunisia (Conrad Strughold). Mulder and Scully could also have been lived and investigated in New-Mexico, where there was probably not a strong “super-soldier” influence. This “revival” might have ended up with a third film or a two-part episode about final alien invasion.

        • orodromeus says:

          That would have been my preferred storyline as well! Generations of spooky Supersoldier children. Pockets of resistance by humans and hybrids. An underground biological war. The six-episode season 10 would have been enough to deal with this as a single story arc. Then season 11 would have been free tp do anything.

          • Cobra says:

            Let me have some more ideas about the final alien invasion. Maybe some things (UFOs, crop circles, perhaps a few grey alien) would be visible now to whole humanity,while other things (Black Oil, Supersoldiers, Hybrids) are still underground. (The apocalyptic parallel to the UFO-s are: “He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him”: Luke 21:27).
            However I also think, that the war between humans and aliens would be primarily biological, with the main focus on underground resistance against Black Oil and Supersoldiers.
            I would imagine a combination of Memento Mori / Three Words / Vienen + Signs (2002) as a third hypothetical film or two-part episode, in which ultimately the colonialization lags behind.. But that’s just an idea.

  15. Cobra says:

    According to Knowlie Rohrer, Scully’s pregnancy is the result of a chip implanted in her neck by the government/army.(8×21:Existence. It is based on truth?

  16. nevermore says:

    There are some interesting thoughts in this podcast:

    Thought it’s worth listening to.

  17. Cobra says:

    That would be my question, that for the colonists is the “Purity” (as “life force”) roughly same, as for the human body is the soul?
    (The “Purity” apparently also contains the colonist aliens’ genetic blueprints). What could be the essence of this symbiotic relationship?

    • Cobra says:

      I would still like to ask you, that why was Diego Garza curious about it that Doggett’s blood have red? (“Vienen”) I think, that the blood of the infected (Black Oil) humans also red, as uninfected humans. Perhaps Garza first thought Doggett’s blood was green, that he thinks Doggett is a disguised ABH or alien colonist? In 8×20: Essence, Doggett says Mulder that the blood “of his your aliens” is green. Mulder confirms this.

      • Lami says:

        It’s right. IMO here are the inconsistencies, because the captured, tested alien at the beginning of the My Struggle III episode (in flashback) has black (?) blood. I haven’t noticed anything like that in previous seasons. I always thought aliens had blood green poisonous. I am confused.

        • Cobra says:

          I think these episodes (Struggle I-IV) were created for the destruction of Mythology.
          But,based on the old Mythology (S1-S9) it is also possible that it was a very weak black oil in My Struggle III. (flashback).It was weakened by magnetite. Other episodes really suggest that the blood of aliens is green. (“The Erlenmayer Flashk”, “Nisei”, “The Unnatural”).

        • orodromeus says:

          It’s quite ambiguous about what “blood” the greys are supposed to have. “Nisei” and “Musings of a CSM” would point to a green blood, but given what we see in “Fight the Future” and “The Beginning” you could think they have Black Oil. The Black Oil-like blood in MSI and MSIII was really confusing, in that it was shown like normal inoffensive blood, while during most of the previous 9 seasons it was this absolute dangerous alien power of invasion. As if Carter wanted to say that the Black Oil was inoffensive, and that the CSM and his tests made it into a dangerous virus. Which doesn’t make sense given what we saw in the past.

          • Cobra says:

            Besides “Nisei”, “The Unnatural” (if the story told by Arthur Dales is accurate?), “Musings of a CSM”, i believe it is important to mention “The Erlenmayer Flashk”, where himself Deep Throat says, that “the chemical composition of the blood of Dr. Secare is the same as that of aliens, which is probably very toxic”.
            It should be noted that the colonist race’s fetus is mostly used for hybridization experiments.

      • orodromeus says:

        I suppose Garza expected that if a person infected with Black Oil bled, he would bleed black. Infected humans have normal red blood of course, but the way the Black Oil is shown entering/exiting the human body makes you think of blood.

        • Cobra says:

          Thanks for answer! It is likely that Garza thought this way.According to Doggett Garza was mentally unstable, whose actions were not always reasonable. Maybe not even now.
          However, the writter of the episode thought something important to show the wounded face of the infected Bo Taylor,who Mulder hacked with a tube of iron a not long time ago.(It’s worth seeing in the 39th minute and ten seconds).Interestingly, the next episode after “Vienen” is “Essence,” where Doggett mentions the blood of aliens, referring to Billy Miles. It may not be important, but who knows.

  18. SC says:

    I think the most coherent explanation for CSM is that between season 7 and 9 he became a hybrid but is only able to regenerate very slowly. By 2006 his skin has regenerated but he is still badly burned. By 2016 he has regenerated further but is still scarred and later in 2016 he is virtually fully healed. He may now be dead if he drowned before being able to regenerate.

    • orodromeus says:

      You have to concede that it’s really far-fetched to have him recover so slowly over 2002-2016 and then in the six weeks from MSI to MSIII he has face surgery and he removes his tracheotomy, looking normal as ever. Also far-fetched is that he has his “face mask” in MSI and MSII and Carter now explains that this was in Scully’s vision, but MSI was not her vision.

      • Cobra says:

        I often have the impression that these “Struggle” episodes contradict also each other. I think their canonicity is highly dubious? (Maybe I am wrong!) Perhaps they could be seen as “experimental” episodes or should be treated equally as the comic 10th season. Who knows maybe Carter will make a statement about it.

  19. Cobra says:

    This alien regenerative technology is can be affected by magnetite? For example: with the alien technology made implants?

    • Cobra says:

      I withdraw the question.The implant in Scully’s neck was not damaged either when he was in the CSM’s cave at the end of “The Truth II.”

  20. Ivan says:

    I suppose there is one importaint theme, that hasn’t been discussed yet – Chris Carter’s skills. No doubt, that he has created a deep and rich universe and always will be praised for this. But still, Carter is not a sole success-maker and the best seasons were made with Carter’s cooperation with Spotniz, Gilligan, Shiban, Manners, Bowman, R.W Goodwin and others, who directed many episodes and wrote or co-wrote scripts. Some of them have left the show prior to S8 and I think it’s obviously, that as we went deeper in the mythology of S8 – S9, the plot has become not so undisputed and elaborate. But it was good anyway. However, what we see in S10-S11 is a complete mess. I mean, the ideas are good, but the complete story is cheesy and full of confusions starting from directing and editing. Well, the thing is that new “Monster of the week” episodes were better than “mythological” – possibly, that if they would be the only episodes of the seasons 10-11, overvall result will be better. So, the question is, whether Carter is just “aged” and has no former skills or in abscense of his old gang he can’t create a coherent story? I mean, many others went big on TV – created “24”, Homeland, Breaking Bad, but not Carter.

    • Cobra says:

      I agree. It is instructive writing.
      Otherwise it is an interesting situation because the mythological episodes between S1-S9 were all strong, while the between the “Monster of Week” episodes were sometimes also weak (primarily towards the end of the series). In the 10th and 11th season, it’s just the other way around.

      Many fans do not like Season 8 and 9 because they were Mulder-less episodes. I think John Doggett’s character was good. I really liked the discussions between Doggett and Kersh.
      Season 8 was a bit better than the 7th. There was more human drama in it. I do not like so season 9 (Mythology in Season 9 was a bit more independent, but I think it was interesting), but overall it was better than the so-called Season 10. and Season 11.

      • Ivan says:

        Indeed – most of the “Monster of the week” episodes in S8-9 were unmemorable. Probably, due to arrival of new writers to the crew. But still, seasons were satisfactory (especialy S8) – the main storyline was decent as well as some stand-alone episodes. As for me, I liked S7 more for it’s more classical approach, but, anyway, S8’s also really good in many aspects. However, it feels like Carter’s contribution to the whole plot has become “too personal” – he started doing whatever he whanted, even if it hurted the narration. For example, there was some assumptions, that Carter whanted to use Dogget as a solely main character in the first half of the season and Anderson was not happy about it. Dogget is a great character and I have nothing with this, but it shows how Carter may become bias. The main problem, I think, that the story has become one-sided – we did not see the new enemy, the new Syndicate, only it’s informants and pawns. Portraiting the Syndicate in S1-S6 was a real achivment, as it has created not a “fictional, unknown enemy somewhere out there”, but a real people with reasonable agendas. However, in S8-9 Carter concentrated on character’s personal dramas and that was a bit boring – like a superhero without a supervillian. Well, in S10-S11 the situation just got worse. So, probably, Carter is not so good in “personal dramas”, because while we move further in the last four seasons, despite being a challenge for the characters, the whole personal agendas were becoming more and more primitive. Frankly and poetic, Charatcer created and buried X-Files by himself.

        • Cobra says:

          Scully’s lament (because absence Mulder) was really a little tedious. For me,it was more touching when Jeremiah Smith healed the abducted woman. I agree that there was a better representation of the Syndicate during the S1-S6., but a creepy twist was the infiltration of alien “super-soldiers” into power.
          I believe that the Supersoldier-arc “organically” even further develops the government conspiracy and alien colonization story.The Wiliam-arc it seems a bit independent from the former, but was interesting.
          The Seasons 10 and 11 are terrible. I might be exaggerating a bit. May be would have been better to only been Monster of Week episodes in Seasons 10 and 11, as you says. I believe, that the “Struggle (I-IV.)” and other “mythological” episodes are considered “experimental” episodes.

  21. Cobra says:

    I know that the 2×18: “Fearfull symmetry” does not belong to “harcore” mythological episodes, but the abduction of animals can be something to do with alien colonists?

    • Ivan says:

      Probably – yes, as they were studying the human kind. Although, maybe it was a different kind of aliens or something. But still, the colonists is the most obvious explanation. Due to the fact, that aliens created life on Earth, it’s reasonable for them to learn how it has changed.

  22. Brendan says:

    This has been a great season if you just didn’t watch My Struggle 2,3 or 4. I decided I’d pretend Carter’s ep’s weren’t happening after ‘Babylon’, and feedback around the web has made it one of the most validated decisions I’ve ever made.
    Even Ghouli works alright following on from ‘Founders Mutation’ aside from a reference to Scully’s visons.

    • orodromeus says:

      Headcanons are nice. But history and culture at large, I’m talking about how XF will be remembered in a couple of decades from now, will judge the revival as a whole, and I don’t think it will be very kind.

  23. SC says:

    The problem is this new mythology – conspiracy of men using alien tech, depopulation through a virus – would be interesting but ONLY if the colonization story had been properly resolved. Season 10 should have resolved the colonization plot with a satisfying conclusion and season 11 could have then focused on this new story.

    • orodromeus says:

      Yes, there are some interesting ideas in there. But apart from incoherence with the previous mythology, these ideas are also hidden beneath some cheap action movie pacing and a cardboard villain and so many other issues. I would have loved it if “Redux” had proven true at the time and the series had developed more the “conspiracy of men using alien tech” angle, but so many things happened since then.

      • Ivan says:

        Yeah, Redux had had some well-played twists, but what we have learnt later made this twist incoherent for now – aliens created life on Earth with the black oil and as far as I remember it was made with the one purpose only – to colonise the planet later. They were planning this for millions of years, so it’s hard to imagine that they’ll just leave due to some human opposition. But, well, they probably have failed in other way. Which we’ll never know.

        • orodromeus says:

          Yes, the series definitely made it look that way with the Biogenesis trilogy and Mulder described as a human/alien hybrid immune to the Black Oil (and so connecting the Biogenesis ship with the Black Oil). Although there was always the possibility in my mind that the show would explore more this storyline and make a distinction between two races: the Black Oil colonists, and the more God-like benevolent life creators. That would have been interesting too.

          • Ivan says:

            Indeed, it would be awesome to know more about “Universe Origins”, to learn how to distinguish faceless rebels, colonist aliens and Black Oil itself… which probably is just an individual god-like liquid with its own agendas? Who knows. Maybe, it would be not really in X-Files style to uncover the whole truth in just 1 or 2 mini-seasons, but it will be very respectful for the fans and characters. And a hell of a story! I was quite optimistic after season 10, but, honestly, at the end Carter has just f@cked up everything and has made a cliched story about hunting a super-boy, what fits more for a standalone episode. Do not know, whether it were producers or Carter himself, who decided to move the plot at this direction, but he/they were wrong. And, it’s really confusing, when it’s being said, that “X-Files classical story” does not match the modern society. With Trump at the White House what fits more, then the story about “Aliens in the Government”?

          • Cobra says:

            For a long time I think that Black Oil and colonists/greys maybe not exactly the same. However they are undoubtedly very close to each other in a complicated symbiosis. It is possible that partially the relationship between the colonist greys and the Black Oil is like the relationship between body and soul in man. The Black Oil is the “liquid soul” of grays, if you like,which is probably in the brain of the gray. But it may also be that colonists and Black Oil have not always been symbiotic. Perhaps, through Purity, they have become evil creatures, just as a human may change as a result of an ideology (see: fascismus, communism), who knows.

  24. Cobra says:

    You mentioned that the CSM’s experiments on Spender and William may have been similar to the Supersoldier program. I had thought about this before.

    The CSM’experiments on Jeffrey may have been sometime between 2000 and 2002 (between “Requiem” and “William” episodes). After the events of the 7×22: Requiem the CSM perhaps wanted to make one last desperate attempt to regain the confidence of the colonists, by transforming his son into a super-soldier.(already at this point, CSM probably only wanted to save your own life, like Krycek in Essence/Existence.
    However, as we know Jeffrey’s transformation was unsuccessful, probable because CSM and his doctors did not have the technology or expertise. The alien colonists (and their representatives) would probably with greater “expertise” would have transformed Jeffry into super-soldier. Perhaps I am wrong.

    Also in case of William, perhaps CSM was attempt to regain the confidence of the colonists or perhaps knew the prophecy about him, who knows. According to Jeffrey’s claim, with the injection of magnetite he was avenged on his father (9×17: “William”), suggesting that CSM had some role.

    • orodromeus says:

      In my own mind (there is nothing in the series that supports this), the CSM removed himself from all his conspiratorial dealings after the attempt on his life in “Requiem”. He had already lost all faith in humanity in “En Ami”, and after being heavily wounded in “Requiem” I think that was it for him. Whatever he did to Jeffrey, he must have done between “One Son” and “Requiem”, or even “Biogenesis”. I think the experiments on Jeffrey were unrelated to Supersoldiers: the CSM might have been trying to recreate a perfect hybrid so that he could save himself – and unexpectedly, Mulder in “Biogenesis” happened and gave him that. And at that point in time, he probably didn’t have access to the alien technology the aliens used for the conversion into Supersoldiers (unless he did, by studying Knowle Rohrer and others of his generation? unknown.) But you could be right, with these experiments he might have also been trying to contact the colonists again, telling them that he is continuing the Project – again, he seems to have been motivated by that only pre-“Requiem”.

      I figure that the experiments with William *not* conducted by the CSM were indeed related to Supersoldiers (the Valor Victor), an attempt for the aliens to turn William into one of their own. CSM’s experiments on William before his birth might have been derived from whatever he did with Jeffrey and maybe what he learnt when he tried to transfer Mulder’s immunity on himself (“Amor Fati”), on top of all the 50 years of hybridization. But “Ghouli” and “My Struggle IV” are so vague about William that it’s hard to tell more.

      • Cobra says:

        You’re probably right about it that the CSM removed himself from all his conspiratorial dealings after the attempt on his life in “Requiem”. He was already sick in “Requiem” and it seemed as though he wanted transferred his power and influence to Krycek in order to rebuild the Project.He made a generous gesture by ordering his release of formerly enemy (in Tunisia). So he had plans with Krycek.

        I agree, that CSM probably didn’t have access to the alien technology the aliens used for the conversion into Supersoldiers and i think, that would not have used it (unless, he was so disappointed in the humans that he wanted to destroy mankind, but I doubt it).
        I think if Jeffrey’s (or William) hybridization had would succeeded (in any form), he not would have been able to recover the colonists’ confidence. They already have finally resigned from the Syndicate. The existence of a vaccine means betrayal for them.

        I also think that William was part of the “Supersoldier” program (Valor Victory) basically, but that does not rule out that others manipulate or at least only attempted it. It is unclear what the role of Zeus Genetics was, which was human-based program with financing of the Syndicat. (It’s a good question whether the medicines given by Lizzy Gill were really harmless and if not harmless then what effect they have had). Successful hybridization of William (by CSM or by Zeus Genetics) might would have a especially nice gesture for the colonists, though who knows. But, the colonists were more trusted in the Valor Victory program.

  25. Cobra says:

    “already at this point, CSM probably only wanted to save your own life, like Krycek in Essence/Existence”. Repair: “already at this point, CSM probably wanted to save his own life, like Krycek in Essence/Existence.”

  26. Cobra says:

    It would be my question that the in 3×15: Piper Maru visible Black Oil flowed from the body of that grey alien, who autopsied in the 3×09: “Nisei”?
    (In 1945 from crashed UFO into the P-51 Mustang flowed the Black Oil, if I know).

    • Cobra says:

      In 1995 the UFO was recovered by an American salvage ship named the Talapus.(“Nisei”) The UFO was secretly taken to San Diego and secured within a guarded warehouse there. I think, that from this UFO comes the dead colonist alien, who can be seen in the alien autopsy video (“Nisei”), while the Black Oil remained in the P-51 Mustang (up to the Piper Maru incident). Do not I know I’m right?

      • orodromeus says:

        That’s a good question! The being autopsied in the beginning of “Nisei” could be a hybrid created by the Japanese scientists, or the surviving grey alien from the same UFO discussed in “Piper Maru”, and as you say the Black Oil made its way to the P-51 Mustang. I invite you to read the relevant paragraphs “The Talapus and the being on the ‘alien autopsy video’” here: http://www.eatthecorn.com/3×09-3×10/
        The UFO we see at the end of “Apocrypha” looks rather small to be “manned” by a grey alien, it could have been commanded only by the Black Oil, or there could have been more than one UFO. Many interpretations make sense.

        • Cobra says:

          You maybe right! I read the relevant part and I now think it was a hybrid being. if doctors really said in Japanese that “his heart stopped”. If it had been a alien, it should have been dead a long time ago because of the lack of black oil. Black oil is the “life force” of the alien colonists, without which they can not live. However, i think, that this hybrid is genetically very close to gray aliens and has a very similar biochemistry.

  27. Cobra says:

    There are also problems with Tad O’Malley’s UFO in “My Struggle I”. Tad’s UFO was actually able to cloaking itself, but he was not able to self-repair itself.A military detachment has simply exploded it.

    Some of the spaceships seen in the X-Files (1993-2002) were also able to self-repair.
    One of these was the ABH’s “private” UFO, which falling into the icy Beaufort Sea (exploding),but he was able to make inoperable a submarine. Then ABH probably left the planet with it. (“Colony”/”End game”).
    The spacecraft in “Requiem” was also capable of doing so. And probably the spacecraft which crashed in Roswell would have been able to self-repair, but magnetite prevented it.
    It seems that the spacecraft in 3×16: Apocrypha was not able to self-repair, but despite this more than likely, that a alien spacecraft. The spacecrafts in “Fallen angel” and “E.B.E”. were also not capable of self-repair.

    I believe, that Tad’s UFO only point to development of human-based (military) UFO technology since the nineties.

  28. Cobra says:

    My question would be that Anthony Tippet (“Via Negativa”) like Augustus Cole (“Sleepless”) can be linked to the human-originated super-soldier program. For me was suspicious that Kersh too soon wanted to close the case and because MK Ultra’s mention by the Lone Gunmen. Anyway, I think, that the “Via Negativa” is one of the best stand-alone episodes in X-Files.

  29. benex says:

    Considerations and overview of the 4 MY STRUGGLES
    put yourself comfortable and good reading because this post is really very long ….(sorry if there are mistakes but I’m not english native)

    We discover that the alien colonization as presented to us during the previous 9 seasons has never been but has been replaced by a human conspiracy of high super secret summits that uses alien technology to not know what exact reason if not destabilize the current world order. For the first time appears a Sveta woman who says she was kidnapped, used as a guinea pig, giving birth to children who were then taken away and given alien DNA. They are made of scully tests directly that confirm it but to our surprise, scully herself on the basis of her past experiences tests her blood and she also has alien DNA in her body. The X-files are reopened Mulder and scully return to work together to shed light on this conspiracy and why they have a child together (Sveta herself in a confrontation with Scully senses the boy). Last revelation CSM is not dead.

    A pandemic of alien origin is decimating the world’s population; Mulder is in danger only William and his stem cells can save him. Scully creates a vaccine that can cure Spartan Virus based on its alien DNA. Mulder, ill, meets Spartanburg CSM (also working with Reyes) who offers him salvation in exchange for his alliance, Mulder obviously refuses and is rescued by Miller. On the Washington bridge as Scully reaches Mulder and Miller, a UFO arrives and stops above them

    We discover that Scully had a huge vision of a probable future. Behind the pandemic is CSM who wants to destroy humanity with the Spartan virus and leave only the chosen few alive with alien DNA or immunity from the vaccine. Scully continues to have visions and comes to the conclusion that these come from William. Scully then wants to find William to help him and save Mulder. Mulder starts looking and finds Mr Y and Erika Price wanting the boy because he is special. On the other side, Csm also wants William because he considers it his own. the reyes also tells him that the boy is his weakness as well as a scully. Csm finally tries to bribe Skinner and tells him about En Ami when through the alien technology he had come in contact in the 50s he would have allowed Scully to have William. The purpose? Create the first super man. In the prologue he talks about old age and his children and their children in the plural. Jeffrey Spender reveals to Scully the name of William’s adoptive family: Van de Kamp. Scully in the hospital tells mulder that William knows they are looking for him and that he will be hiding. Last note: for Csm it is important that Mulder dies otherwise mulder will kill him.

    William is a problematic guy with great powers who unfortunately uses badly. Not only does it have the ability to alter the sight of others, but also to see the future, to make life bloom and to do evil with thought. From the events of Ghoulie he is on the run. He has visions of a horrible future that he shares with his mother, he believes that CSM is the father (from the speeches that william sees in his visions of CSM with Skinner) and he feels disgust. william sees everything csm, mulder, scully, the future in general and in fact to make cash he plays the lottery. As in My struggle 3 everyone is looking for the boy but Mudler and Scully have to find him first, it all depends on this he says scully. While scully stays home in the back streets, Mulder manages to find William at a Norfolk motel. When the two meet, Mulder tells him to be his father and hugs him. The boy does not contradict him and indeed protects him in danger but tells him that it was better that he never existed that they will never let him stay and that he does not want to be part of their project. When he later meets metraw in the form of mulder he tells her that he has to let him go, that he knows he loves her otherwise they too risk dying. The last member of his family of origin that William must meet is Csm and the boy has once again presented himself in the role of mulder the man who csm in the last 25 years has tried in every way to destroy, his eldest son . Csm tells mulder / william to be the creator of the boy, who built him. why lie to mulder right now? it would not make sense? csm never uses the word father x william. at this point mulder / william replies that they have nothing in common and that the boy would rather die than be part of his plans and in fact we will be shot by csm and his body falls into the waters of the port. Mulder who witnesses the whole scene shoots in turn csm killing him and thus stopping the pandemic (Mr Y and Erika Preyes have meanwhile died at the hands of Mulder and William). in the final part after various deaths Scully who probably continues to perceive the presence of William in an attempt to console and support a mulder destroyed by the events just experienced reveals to him what he learned from skinner or that William was not that son who believed, who was not born from that act of love that they suspected but that it was an experiment, an idea born in the laboratory (a probable evolution of the eugenics crossroad project as mulder had revealed in Ghoulie), tells him that they have to let him go as he asked her and that now there is a new reason to live: she is pregnant. Final detail: William is not in fact dead but emerges from the water with a gunshot wound on his head. William is therefore immortal and his immortality is probably the element that everyone wants.
    But who is the salvador mundi? Mulder killing csm or evil preventing the destruction of humanity? William who sacrifices himself and gets killed for not being used in the csm plans? But then he resurfaced by actually revealing himself for what he really is or the first super man with an alien and human DNA. Or the new child as a true miracle?
    It is very likely that the Spartan virus was synthesized on the DNA of william (in laboratories where the boy was created 18 years earlier), scully is immune to the virus because it has an alien DNA in itself but mulder no … why? Perhaps he was removed in biogenesis when csm works it, maybe mulder is more sensitive to the virus than the others because it comes partly from his DNA through william. In fact, to save the beloved, scully believes that mulder needs the stem cels of their boy who go to completely heal the injured parts.
    My struggle 1, 2 and 3 are in fact valuable only if we consider the relationship between father and son of Mulder and William regardless of how the boy was created. Mulder dying, scully pushing mulder to look for william, william talking with scully through the visions of the future to prevent the pandemic and mulder’s death. William foresees the future in general and shares part of his visions only with scully thanks to his alien DNA and mother-child relationship (which then becomes decisive even in x-files). None of his possible fathers … Neither mulder nor csm have visions. The father son relationship is not as strong for carter.
    Csm has a self-healing technology since between My struggle 1 and 4 is healthier in appearance. Moreover…I think that maybebe having alien dna in their bodies had help csm and scully to heal in the long time. So csm’s face is less damaged and scully can conceive.
    William has always shown a special nature since the early days but is at the age of 11 that his powers increase (from the Truth we know that in 2012 the alien colonization was planned). In Providence Josepho says there are elements of good and evil in william. which part will be most preponderant in William depends on the father. If mulder dies, William will be bad. Is that why csm wants mulder dead?
    When William meets mulder he trusts him, he understands that he is a good person and protects him. A csm instead says as before mentioned that he would rather die than be part of his plans now that he knows the truth. But which? That he was created in the laboratory for evil purposes but that there are people from whom he comes that they love him? Who want to use it to hurt others? Who want to analyze it because of what he is or has?
    Does William come out of the water with an expression of happiness / release because csm (creator) was killed by mulder (father)? Why do not you have more visions of that terrible future? Why do not you perceive more threats? Why does he know that he finally supports him and that he will let him have a life?
    in the episode “Willam” a DNA test is done on Jeffrey Spender to know if he is or not mulder … so I wonder … you really want a doctor like a scully never did a test on william to compare his DNA with that of mulder and confirm the paternity? When Jeffrey injects the magnetite to the child he says he does it to destroy the csm plans and save william .. so what exactly does jeffrey know? What william is the son of mulder and scully but that was created in the laboratory by his father using technology and alien DNA mixed with them? But why does not he say it to scully, then neither in my struggle3? Is this why in a paragraph on ghoulie.net Rever aka William says that in his body there are 3 distinct DNA? The eugenics experiments also return to Fouder’s mutation. Kyle has super powers very similar to those of William: he explodes the heads and scully wonders if she was just an incubator for william.
    The two children of mulder and scully are complementary to each other, they are the yin (black) and the yang (white): one is the son of science, the other of love. One male, the other almost certainly female with both grandparent names … William and Margareth? The adam and eva of the new human / alien generation

  30. SC says:

    I used to love watching the old mythology episodes, piecing it together and discovering new information. Now that has been taken away from me, knowing how nothing that happened regarding the black oil or rebels or colonization really mattered there is no real point going back and watching these old episodes.

  31. Vladimir Knezevic says:

    So currently we are in a real life pandemic in a lockdown and I took my time to watch all the episodes of the X files back to back. I read the comments here of people trying to piece everything together and explain what happened over the 11 seasons and 2 movies. Here is my conclusion and sorry if I am too honest or blunt in this review.

    Conclusion: The show started off great with some good ideas, and huge mysteries. The premise of the show was amazing. An agent who works for FBI who’s sister got abducted, 100% convinced that it was done by aliens. He starts by searching for her and on the path to find her, he discovers there are more secrets, there is a bigger picture to her disappearance. Then a story of we against them gets complicated, new elements are added rebels and a war between the aliens. Humans might have a chance to survive, then we get a new treat Black oil, which mixes things up even further. Later is reviewed that the black oil and the colonist aliens are the same. After that however we are introduced to the Ancient aliens (I assume this is a different race of aliens than the one who want to colonise earth) then we get yet another plot point a child of Scully who is a modern version of Jesus. Then another plot point there are the super-soldier alien replacements who appear out of nowhere and don’t really fit in. (where they created by the same aliens who want to do the colonisation). Later on we find out that these Supersoldiers are already in the government and the plot is already so entangled that it is hard to grasps who fights who. CSM gets killed by a missile and we know that the aliens are pretty much taking over the control of the world. The show end with a hug of Mulder and Scully and basically saying we are all screwed enjoy the time you have left.

    Then we get to the revival of the show. Season 10 and 11
    The whole old mythology is thrown away. The aliens don’t exist anymore int he same sense as before. So anyone trying to bind the old and new mythology together is wasting time. It would be really nice if they explained how the things unraveled what happened in 2012 and where are the aliens, but that did not happen. They decided to start from scratch. Giving a big middle finger to Mulder and to anyone who watched the previous show. It is like Carter is laughing at our faces, knowing that we would watch the show anyway because we missed Mulder and Scully. Same as the Movie they made some years ago.
    New mythology starts with aliens being good and wanting to help the humans but the evil humans kill them and use recreate their technology for our personal gain. That is, a group of people does that. The things heat up quite fast with everyone getting sick and Scully is the big savour of the world with the vaccine developed within few minutes. Can you imagine that these guys had 70 years to create a virus yet the vaccine is developed instantly and the best part is, it works without any issues.

    Moving to season 11, the new mythology get’s a huge backlash from the fans, no one likes it, no one approves it and Carter says lets start again. People wanted more William so let’s put him in the show.
    So a story about William is formed but not as a Saviour of humanity, rather as just a monster of the week character who is connected to Scully and Mulder. If I didn’t know he was their son, I would just think he is nothing more than a monster of the week mutant. The whole show revolves then about his Mom (Scully) wanting to find him and undue her mistakes from before. Then we get a 20 min conclusion of the series which was so disappointing, any fan of the TV show could have done better. Scully came to realisation it is not her son anymore. Scully-William connection gone. CSM gets shot, even though it is said countless times that killing him won’t stop anything, yet somehow now it does stop everything. It is like they didn’t know how to tie in the plot and just said let’s throw him away. And lastly the great prophet William, the saviour of humanity, is basically thrown out of the show as a not needed character. The show ends with Scully and Mulder getting a new baby.
    It is as Carter himself throw away X files out of his life and said to everyone Screw You I am not doing this ever again. Could have killed Mulder and Scully too at the end just to finish off the show, since the replacement agents Miller and Einstein were received worst than Reyes and Dogget.

  32. Trish_Guim says:

    After so long I managed to rewatch the whole show too. it was nice to binge the whole 11 seasons and 2 movies. I think it gives you a better view of the whole thing.
    I do agree with most comments, but I understand that CC wanted to bring a new approach to the whole story. What frustrates me is that, there were sooo many lose ends and most of them could’ve been resolved with one sentence. For example if they wanna follow the new mythology that the aliens gave up the colonization because earth was too damaged, they could’ve said super soldiers were discontinued after the alien cancel the 2012 attack and they had all been destroyed. It was one sentence that would’ve closed all that arc and they could’ve continues from there whuman plans were set in motion .. blah blah blah…
    I could see they set season 11 to be Mulder and scully letting go of William, but it was done poorly. My biggest frustration and something I cannot wrap my head around is how they never gave Scully a chance to say goodbye. This is unacceptable for the whole storyine and an aggression to the character, Scully deserved better. Imagine in that scene that he grabs her by the arm (when looks like mulder) in the end instead of him running she sees him and they hug, ending with her holding him by the arm and he asking her to let him go.. and she finally does. that would be been amazing, a much better closure and understanding end forthe character and why she would accept and says what she says in the end.

    About CSM being William’s father that is ridiculous.. I do think he was lying or just meant he was the one that gave him life, as a creator, implying that he is some sort of GOD and William is the new Jesus like the whole mythology can be seem also, from the religious point of view.
    I do think he is Mulder and scully’s baby that was implanted by CSM mixing the alien DNA. Mulder had been infected by the virus before and that is why it could’ve maybe him so special. And for this same reason William sees CSM and not Mulder because the brain surgery they had in with the alien part of Mulder was transfered to CSM.(the sith extinction 701/702).

    So that is the storyline I’m going for in my mind. I just wished for a bit more closure even though I don’t think there is gonna be anymore x-files and to be honest I’m afraid what they gonna create mainly if Scully is not there. X files is all about Mulder/scully’s characters interaction and how it is uniquely portrait by Anderson and Duchovny. So I’m glad I had the chance to watch them together for a couple more seasons that is the best part in all of this.

    • orodromeus says:

      They sort of did deal with the “old” mythology in a single sentence, saying that human-caused climate change had cancelled their plans, in My Struggle 3. They could have mentioned that the rest of their plans, like the Supersoldiers, were cancelled as well, but this follows logically. Now, is it believable that a vastly technologically superior alien race that we have feared for 9 seasons and that has travelled who knows how many light years to get to Earth and is in existence for what may even be billions of years, would cancel its plans because of a couple of degrees of global warming? As much as global warming is a fact and I get that Carter wanted to comment it, it was very, very clumsily done.

      I like your idea on William’s paternity very much. The surgery in The Sixth Extinction/Amor Fati could indeed explain why William is “connected” or “feels” the CSM as his father instead of Mulder (although we are later said that the surgery was a failure and the CSM was dying from it). I do think we are meant to understand that the CSM sees himself as the grand creator of William, because he allowed the natural pregnancy to happen by giving Scully back her fertility in some way, however, again, the execution was very clumsily done in My Struggle 3 and, even more so, in 4.

      Some good stand-alones, some good ideas but a clumsy and awkward execution, a not very memorable revival overall, that’s how I still see it so many years afterwards. Thanks for commenting!

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