The X-Files Season 11, Episode 1
“My Struggle III”
Posted by Kim
I can’t believe that in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eighteen that “Who’s the father?” is ACTUALLY the title of this recap. But this is the hell that Chris Carter has wrought.
Welcome to Season 11 of The X-Files, where history is made up and character development doesn’t matter. Buckle up.
Look, I was going to do a standard recap and talk about the plot, but I think we can ALL agree that the “Struggles” (and there are going to be FOUR of them @ God WHY) are a clusterfuck of utter nonsense. I mean, hell, Chris Carter didn’t even know how to write his way out of “My Struggle II” and all he could come up with after two years is “IT WAS ALL A FEVER DREAM OR A VISION.” Hate “My Struggle II”? Don’t worry! IT NEVER HAPPENED.
Or, rather, it COULD or WILL happen because much like Cassandra (Spender OR the Trojan Prophetess, take your pick) before her, Scully has visions now, visions that leave all the men in her life questioning her sanity whilst she basically screams into the void for ANYONE to listen to her. Visions that may or not be caused by her psychic connection to her son William who is trying to find her. I know. My head hurts too. Any reason to incapacitate Dana Scully and keep her in a hospital bed while Mulder runs around trying to stop the end of the world, amirite?
Side note: I am glad I am not the only one who thought they were essentially replaying the events of the season 6 finale “Biogenesis” but reversing Mulder and Scully’s roles.
Much like Chris Carter did with the plot of this episode, I’m just going to throw a bunch of bullet points against the wall and see what sticks. Let’s do this.
- Keeping in line with the other “Struggles” (SO MANY STRUGGLES, WHY DID I NEVER REALIZE THIS SHOW WAS JUST ABOUT STRUGGLE), “My Struggle III” opened with a voiceover that framed the events of the series through the eyes of one of the characters. This time, we’re seeing the show from CSM…excuse me…Carl Gerhard Bush’s perspective. THAT’S RIGHT. After 25 years, we’ve FINALLY gotten CSM’s name. Though I DO think they should have gone with the spelling of Busch rather than Bush, just cause I like the idea of him being the bitter and disgraced heir to a beer fortune rather than a likely distant cousin of Dubya’s.
- Look, I get the need to try to explain the madness is our current climate, but when there actually WAS a conspiracy to get Donald Trump into the White House and we’re assaulted on the daily with him trumpeting the concept of “fake news,” I really hate it invading the world of The X-Files. There are enough shadowy government conspiracies on that show to start taking on real ones. My skin LITERALLY crawled when Trump and Putin came up in CSM’s voiceover. YOU AREN’T THAT CLEVER CHRIS CARTER.
- Scully’s brain speaks in Morse Code, so good thing she’s in a polygamous relationship with former Marine Walter Skinner.
- I DID dig her lady neurologist, even if she does seem shady.
- Sadly, not all of “My Struggle II” was fake because sadly, in a blatant character assassination, Monica Reyes still appears to be in cahoots with CSM. Never mind that Monica literally put her life on the line to protect Scully when she went into labor. Never mind that she literally helped deliver William. Monica and her new age kookiness and her whale sound loving self was a plant the whole time. It’s so utterly ridiculous and the ONLY explanation for this behavior is that CSM has John Doggett tied up in a basement somewhere and she’s only doing this to save his life.
- I think it’s the most ridiculous leap in the world to think that Mulder and Scully would trust William’s whereabouts to KNOWN WEASEL Jeffrey Spender. I don’t care that he’s Mulder’s half-brother or that it seems that he’s turned over a new leaf. That’s right up there with James and Lily Potter making Peter Pettigrew their secret keeper. IT MAKES NO SENSE. NONE.
- I don’t know, Chris, wouldn’t it have made more narrative sense to reverse Monica and Jeffrey’s roles in this episode? That’s a silly thought.
- I’m also very amused that Mulder has Spender saved in his contacts as “Jeffrey Spender” if this whole thing is supposed to be hush hush.
- Since when did Mulder’s G-Man salary afford him a fancy Mustang to race around in?
- Me during this entire episode:
- *Dean Pelton Voice* “Oh Agents Miller and Einstein are in this?”
- WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK WAS CHRIS CARTER THINKING WITH THE “I THINK YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH HER” NONSENSE. GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. William B. Davis himself said that he approached season 7’s “En Ami” and the CSM/Scully relationship in general as a father/daughter type of relationship. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall the moment they all got this script and read the MASSIVE retcon that went down. (I AM GETTING TO IT.)
- Apparently not ALL of the Syndicate was destroyed in “Two Fathers/One Son” and CSM has gone rogue on the remaining members. Which should surprise no one, since this man is literally capable of surviving a missile to the face. (Carter’s explanation: He has access to the best science in the world.) (IT WAS A MISSILE TO THE FACE YOU JAG. WE SAW ALL HIS SKIN MELT AWAY AND THE MISSILE BLOW UP.)
- Between Phoebe Green, Diana Fowley, and Barbara Hershey’s new shady lady, I think we know Chris Carter’s fetishized villainess type.
- What the fuck is Nicholas Lea up to and why isn’t he in this? Because if CSM managed to survive a missile to the the face, Alex Krychek CERTAINLY should have and he CERTAINLY should have been the one who tried to smother Scully in her hospital bed.
- Listen, Mulder’s voiceovers are PAINFUL and that’s all in the writing, not in David’s performance of them. SO MUCH STRUGGLE.
- Skinner’s reaction to Monica pulling a gun on him is all of us.
- Every time Skinner says “Son of a Bitch” or “Ass,” an angel gets its wings.
- Update: Scully still doesn’t have a desk, and according to Chris Carter’s dumpster fire of an AMA, it’s because she never asked for one, claiming “She would ask for her own office.” (Never mind that when Fowley and Spender temporarily inhabited Mulder’s office they both had desks.)
- A totally platonic relationship:
- I am amused that when Scully says that their work is still in the X-Files and they will find answers there that literally Chris Carter has stated that other than the finale (MY STRUGGLE IV: THE VOYAGE HOME) none of the episodes have ANYTHING to do with the mythology. So sure. The answers are in the X-Files. I forever appreciate their commitment though. I just wish Chris Carter did.
- I begrudgingly admit that “Mind if I smoke?” was a brilliant callback.
- HOW MANY TIMES DOES SKINNER HAVE TO PROVE HIS LOYALTY TO MULDER AND SCULLY? Honestly, Mulder flying off the handle at him at the smallest inkling of wrong doing is TIRED, guys. I am TIRED. Just trust your brother-husband, Mulder. I THINK he’s earned it over the past 25 years.
- Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about the whole CSM is the father of William “cliffhanger,” you guys. In the days after the episode aired, I had many people, usually men, being like “Do you really think he’s telling the truth? Didn’t you see how ‘I want to believe’ turned into ‘I want to lie’?” To that I say: DOES IT EVEN FUCKING MATTER IF HE’S TELLING THE TRUTH OR NOT? Either way it’s creating a situation where Dana Scully’s body was once again violated against her will. Either way, Chris Carter is using medical rape as a plot point. Oh, excuse me, CSM didn’t rape her. “He impregnated her with science.” MY MIND IS BLOWN AT HOW HE IS TRYING TO JUSTIFY THIS. It doesn’t fucking matter that CSM didn’t have literal sex with Scully. That’s not what we’re screaming about. We’re screaming about the fact that it was done while she was unconscious. We are screaming about the fact that it was done without her knowledge. I don’t know why we have to explain this to people?
- It’s just one more insult to this woman who ALREADY had her eggs harvested against her will. This woman who had a chip implanted in her neck that gave her cancer when it was removed. This woman who had said chip re-implanted to save her life. This woman whose eggs were used to create experimental children that she had to watch die. (Who else scream laughed when Scully was all “I’ve never been a part of experiments? Just me?) This woman who has had been violated over and over again and had her agency and her independence ripped away from her in every sense of the word. No WONDER Gillian Anderson is like “YO I AM DONE.”
- It just feels SO MUCH like Chris Carter is pissing all over his sandbox, you know? For years and years and years he has fought tooth and nail against the evolution of Mulder and Scully’s relationship and the organic way it evolved beyond his original vision. He’s already inexplicably destroyed their romantic relationship, why not take away the child they miraculously created together too? AND THE THING THAT REALLY BURNS ME UP is that when this whole thing is inevitably revealed, it’s not going to be about Scully and what was done to her. It’s going to be about Mulder’s pain. About Mulder’s loss.
- I love that he claims that this has been the plan from the very beginning. MY ASS IT HAS. Show me the receipts, bitch. The whole thing reeks of “HOW CAN I SHOCK THEM THE MOST?” and “Oh, yeah, I remember that episode from season seven where CSM and Scully went on a road trip, let’s go with that.” It’s bad storytelling and I hate hate hate that Chris Carter is making me hate the very show and very characters that got me into fandom in the first place. SOMEONE STOP HIM.
- In conclusion:
What did you think of “My Struggle III”? Are you angry or just disappointed? Let us know in the comments.