Weekly Review: The X-Files (season 11)

Picking up immediately where the last season left off, the 11th season of The X-Files follows Agents Mulder and Scully in their search for William. Will they be able to find him before other evil forces get to him first?

This review will discuss the 11th season of FOX’s The X-Files.

If you happen to remember my review of The X-Files (season 10), you may remember that I wasn’t entirely pleased with it. It was only six episodes, and this didn’t leave a lot of room for error. I was less than impressed with a lot of the plot lines, especially that finale.

Those six episodes were only meant to be a limited series event, but creators deemed the series worthy for more. This 11th season was scheduled, this time with 10 episodes. I was very hopeful that it would be a bit better of an experience.

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Despite having 10 episodes this time around, it still doesn’t feel like the season has any story merit overall. The finale of the previous season ended in such a way that I felt it was rushed and out of sync with the show. This season “fixes” that by going back on everything they did. I didn’t find that in good taste.

Within the episodes of this season, only three of them have anything to do with the overall theme of the season. The rest of them are Monster of the Week (MotW) episodes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I will fully admit that I thought this season felt really hollow.

The episodes ranged from original series throwbacks, to modern day concepts like “The Mandela Effect” and an episode that was highly reminiscent of Black Mirror. I thought there were a few stand outs, and there are definitely some duds. It’s pretty much the same ratio of good to bad as there was last season. No surprises there.

The difference I saw with this season had to do with the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. They’ve always had a great chemistry together as Mulder and Scully. This chemistry was the driving force behind the previous season, and I was hoping it would continue into this season as well. Unfortunately though, I didn’t feel the chemistry as much here.

This isn’t to say that the chemistry isn’t there. There are still some really great moments between the two beloved characters. You can tell they’re trying their best. It would appear, to me at least, that the chemistry is becoming more strained.

I noticed this most with Gillian Anderson. I found her portrayal of Scully, particularly in the last few episodes to be very devoid of energy. Anderson has some really great moments in this season, and when she’s given those moments to work with, she shines wonderfully. As the season drew to a close though, it felt like neither she or her character really wanted to be there anymore.

This could have to do with the fact that Anderson was very vocal about this being her final season with The X-Files. After portraying Agent Scully since 1993 and the series being over for nearly 15 years, Anderson struggled to reconnect with the character. She was then surprised to hear that what was only supposed to be a special event was getting a second season. She wanted out. She put her foot down. Now here we are.

I fully understand her decision to leave. As a fan, I could only take the mishandling of her character for so long. There were so many situations that should have, could have, played out differently. The end of this season is another one of those instances. As sad as I am to say goodbye to Scully. It’s probably for the best.

On that note, after this most recent season finale, I’m really hoping that the creators just let this series end. The mixture of fan service and destruction of established plots in this season was a bit too much for me. When mixed with the different chemistry of the main characters, I wasn’t fully sure why I was still watching the show. That was a painful realization for me to come to.

While I feel that it would be best if they just stop the series now, it would seem that the creators have different plans. The creators, specifically Chris Carter, seem to think that this show can go on indefinitely. I’ve seen talk about even more seasons of The X-Files, as well as other assorted experiences. I’m just not seeing it.

I can’t see the show going on without Gillian Anderson. She’s been such a trooper from the beginning. Scully has always been a massive selling point for The X-Files. It won’t be the same without her.

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