[There are spoilers below, so if you’ve not seen it, please read at your own risk.]
Hi I’m Cindy, and I am an X-Phile. In 1993, I told everyone I knew to watch. I went to an X Files convention before it was cool. My heart went pitter pat for AD Skinner Mitch Pileggi, and I have The Smoking Man’s autograph.
But that was many, many years ago. My life has changed and so did the spirit of the show, unfortunately. Scully left, and Mulder checked out. It was never the same, despite the pop-in he made from time to time. I don’t even remember if I watched the series finale. I loved the first movie, and not the second. But, I am still, and will always be an X-Phile at heart. I was thrilled when I heard that a reboot was planned, and beyond excited to see it unfold last night.
Reading the reviews out there today, seems like some are questioning the first pitch of the X Files 6 episode arc. I also watched with great anticipation and a bit of consternation. I can see where these perspectives are coming from. But what I did following that though, is something that others may not have. I watched the pilot immediately after, which gave me a perspective of my own.
Let’s face facts… it wasn’t a pretty picture. We saw a pinched and sad Scully, filled with regret. We saw a cracked and mangy Mulder. A new addition in Joel McHale as the smarmy television host Tad O’Malley. This episode relied heavily on JFK style monologue from Mulder to remind us who he had been – and reveal to us that he is certainly not in that place any longer. He has pulled the curtain and seen the wizard… and he wasn’t even green. Or little. The truth was that he had been duped.
But, once a conspiracy theorist, always a conspiracy theorist. What Mulder saw was a plot masterminded by a bloated, Patriot Act-empowered government, hell bent on using alien technology to recreate a world in its own image — where the elite are shielded, and the masses obliterated. Is that all there is? Just tapped phones, drones, and an exclusive ploy to beat out global warming? (I’m pretty sure Mulder was describing the logline of the film Elysium, there at the end.)
But, no, that’s not all. There’s no other choice but to fight it. To keep digging for proof of the lie, even as Scully has uncovered critical evidence in herself.
After it was over, I found myself looking for some explanation. It was a confusing episode, but I realized why it had to be done. How do you reboot 9 seasons and 2 movies with one of the most complex mythologies ever written for television? You hit the red button.
You can’t ignore the story that’s been told. What do you do? You take all that history and remind us of what was good and what was bad. You tease, dismantle and turn it on its head. You drop a humdinger that decimates everything that came before it. You render it futile. You take Mulder and Scully back, and I mean way back, to the very beginning. You make it cryptic, emergent and personal. You reopen the X-Files… now viewed through a new lens.
You have to because we were there too. We saw monsters and aliens. Obscurities were unveiled, if only for a moment. The world may have changed for Mulder and Scully, but so has it for all of us. The truth is still out there to be found, however, whatever that may be.
I’m watching because I still want to believe. Chris Carter, I trust you. Please don’t let me down.