TV REVIEW: X-Files: Season 11, Ep 1 (My Struggle III) - "Gillian Anderson steps out of the Show
In the season finale of the last X-Files mini series, creator Chris Carter had definitely written himself into a corner. Don't believe me? Then let's recap, shall we? A massive plague is released by Cigarette Smoking Man. Mulder is shown dying on a bridge with a UFO shining a light on him and Scully. Oh, what to do?
Well, the answer is take a page out of the series, "Dallas," and have Gillian Anderson step out of the shower only to discover that it was all a vision in her head. PROs
Skinner is back. And this time he is given much more material to work with. He is faced with some terrible knowledge that will require him to walk a very tight rope all season. Also returning is Agent Monica Reyes, Jeffrey Spender (Mulders half brother), and, of course, Mulder's father, the Cigarette Smoking Man. So, as you see, the whole gang is back. Additionally, we also see the return of the alien Syndicate, whose presence, I feel, was sorely missed in the previous mini series.
With all these elements, you would likely think that the episode is choppy and uneven; but, on the contrary, it is surprisingly well written and well paced, effectively leading up to the shattering and controversial revelation of who is baby William's actual father (maybe). Not only that, creator Chris Carter does not back away from the fact that there is a romantic element to Mulder and Scully's relationship.
Unlike other shows that may provide brief backstories for characters (to assist new fresh viewers unfamiliar with the world or universe established), this show is not at all forgiving in that regard. Therefore if you are not familiar with the mythology of the X-Files, you may not understand the importance of some of the characters that come back. And more importantly, you may not know that Mulder and Scully had a child together. Additionally, expect to really suspend your disbelief in some instances. For example, we are asked to accept a car can make it from Washington DC to South Carolina without stopping for gas.
Still, this is definitely a solid start to a new series of episodes. Within the confines of an hour, the overarching story is set for the new season: finding William. In a turn of pace it is now Scully whose life is in danger. And she may or may not have been impregnated against her will.
The first episode is top heavy with mythology but subsequent episodes are too be more stand alone episodes that just touch on mythology without focusing on it. Mulder's father is as deceitful as ever and it is not known whether his reveal to Skinner can truly be trusted. But that is the essence of the X-Files: seeking the truth.
And when all else fails, you can step out of the shower ;)