The Struggle Might Be Real In The First Episode Of The New X-Files—But Scully And Mulder Have To Prove It
It’s been 13 years and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. But in “My Struggle”, the first episode of the new X-Files, everyone’s game. Mulder and Scully are back, reunited by a phone call from Skinner who, it seems, has spent the last decade or so in an empty file room that once housed the team’s life’s work.
It’s obvious that it’s been awhile since Mulder and Scully last saw each other. Their first meeting is a little stiff and a lot awkward, made so by Mulder’s allusions to the fact that he’s still smarting from Scully’s departure. He’s remained an unreachable, paranoid hermit. She’s remained in medicine, working to cure a birth defect that, no joke, causes babies to be born looking like earless aliens. Just a coincidence, right?
Of course, the call from their old FBI boss isn’t a social one. Skinner wants Scully and Mulder to meet someone: right-wing talk show and conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Tad O’Malley. O’Malley, in turn, wants to introduce the pair to someone else—a woman who claims she’s been abducted so many times that she’s lost count. Scully and Mulder don’t recognize her, but the woman, Sveta, says they first interviewed her as a child. Since then, she’s been impregnated multiple times but each time the baby has been taken from her. She claims to have alien DNA, to be able to move things with her mind, and to be able to read people’s thoughts. But the most startling revelation of all is that she doesn’t place blame on an unknown alien race for her mistreatment. Yes, she’s been experimented on using alien technology, but it was at the hands of men.
For Scully and Mulder, this means that they’ve spent their entire careers looking for answers in the entirely wrong place. The realization sends Mulder racing down a new path of inquiry, heedless of how dangerous it might be—oh, he’s aware of the danger (so much so that he actually gives Skinner his phone number), he just doesn’t care. Finally having the answers he’s been seeking since his sister’s disappearance means more to him.
Scully, as usual, isn’t as quick to be won over (despite Tad O’Malley lavishing her with his attention—limo rides and champagne? Yes please). She has Sveta’s DNA tested and it comes back negative. Of course, even as the words leave her mouth we know that there’s more to it. Scully has ordered further tests at the hospital, but when she gets the results of the genome sequencing (for both her and Sveta—remember, Scully’s had a so-called alien adventure of her own) it’s too late. Someone’s gotten to both Sveta and O’Malley. His plan to blow open the conspiracy on his show is thwarted by Sveta’s public declaration that he paid her to concoct the story of her abductions. No sooner has she admitted this on TV than her car stalls in the middle of a dark road and is blown to bits by an unidentified flying object.
Finally, the episode ends with the return of another familiar face—though a reunion with this guy is a far less welcome one:
Best Line of the Whole Episode
“What Bill O’Reilly knows about the truth could fill an eyedropper.” — Truth Squad host Tad O’Malley
“My Struggle” by the Number
6: Classic opening montage photos of Mulder as an alien-obsessed kid (the one of him in a Star Trek shirt? priceless)
7: Old photos of Mulder and Scully together (and we thought our hearts couldn’t swell any bigger after that Star Trek snap)
10,000: Reported alien sightings per year in North America
200,000: Height in feet reached by alien ships in flight—way higher than human technology permits
86: Conspiracy theories that can be explained by the government’s overarching plan to take over America using alien technology they found at Roswell
3: Simple steps needed to execute their plan
2: “I want to believes”
2: People with alien DNA—or are we down to one, now?
0: People who are truly alone