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TV Review: The X-Files - Season 11 Finale "My Struggle IV"

Episode: "My Struggle IV"

Synopsis: Mulder and Scully rush to find an on-the-run William while the Cigarette Smoking Man pushes forward with his ultimate plan.

The X-Files, TV Review, The X-Files TV Review, Drama, Science Fiction, FOX, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

REVIEW: There is a very high likelihood that tonight's season finale of The X-Files could be the true end to the seminal science fiction series. When Season 10 wrapped two years ago, the impending alien colonization/apocalypse finally arrived. That protracted six episode run was fueled by nostalgia and left many fans wanting more out of the return of Mulder and Scully. in January when Season 11 debuted, creator Chris Carter basically backtracked on the lofty ideas he himself set up for this season and put our fearless FBI agents on a more intimate path to save their son, William, whom they gave up for adoption to save him from the CIgarette Smoking Man. It was an odd way to reset the clock but it also paved the way for a far superior batch of episodes than we had before. It is too bad that Season 11 ends on a lackluster note after so many good outings over the last ten chapters.

Picking up inexpicably from the premiere and the midseason standalone hour that revealed a teenage William, "My Struggle IV" opens with a scattershot recap of William's life over the last seventeen years. Gifted with powers of mind control, William turns into a petty thug before the government picks up his trail and the CIgarette Smoking Man closes in. Knowing that the shadowy figure is his true father, William goes on the run while hoping that Mulder and Scully can save him. Sensing William's distress, Scully and Mulder act on a tip from Monica Reyes which puts into motion the end of an era. The next hour consists of a lot of running, a lot of shooting, and a lot of closure to storylines built up over the last two decades. The result is an underwhelming finale considering Gillian Anderson's declaration that she would not return for a twelfth season.

To put it midly, "My Struggle IV" doesn't make a lot of sense. After the second X-Files film, I WANT TO BELIEVE, showed the two agents hiding in plain sight, they were somehow reinstated to their former division in Season 10. Now, with the pair leaking news of the alien epidemic to Todd O'Malley (returning guest star Joel McHale), Director Kersh tells Skinner he is finally closing down The X-Files and taking Mulder and Scully's badges. Why now, suddenly, is he doing this? We then find out Scully is the one who leaked the info while Mulder takes Reyes' tip that leads him to a private airport owned by the mysterios Fat Man from the season premiere. There Mulder demands answers and accidentally kills the Fat Man. Again, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Eventually, Mulder and the CIgarette Smoking Man learn the location of William and the pair converge to try and end things once and for all.

But, before we get to the final events of the episode, Skinner and Reyes have a litlte showdown. While Annabeth Gish was an ally of the X-Files before, her alignment with the villain the last two seasons ends up costing her life as Skinner shoots her. This leaves Skinner in a compromising position but one we get zero resolution to. In fact, we have so little resolution to anything considering characters die left and right through this episode. It all culminates in Mulder chasing William through a pier before eventually William uses his power to pose as Mulder. Cigarette Smoking Man confronts who he believes to be Mulder and shoots him in the head. Mulder then emerges and unloads his gun into his own father. It seems that both William and CIgarette Smoking Man are dead which leaves Mulder distraught. Scully appears and Mulder reveals what has happened.

The X-Files, TV Review, The X-Files TV Review, Drama, Science Fiction, FOX, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

The final scenes of the episode are the most befuddling. Scully suddenly doesn't seem so upset about losing William, calling him an experiment and not her true son. This flies in the face of her quest to find and save him for the last several seasons of the show and undermines her emotional quest over the last nine episodes this season. Mulder then asks what he is in life if not a father to which Scully reveals she is somehow, inexplicably pregnant. The two share an embrace as they prepare to embark on true parenthood. The episode then ends showing us that William is in fact alive. As far as finales go, this one has no cliffhanger to speak of and leaves so many questions that it just feels unsatisfying. Where the Season 10 finale threw everything at audiences with a crazy ending, this season just comes to a halt. After so much build up to William's importance and Cigarette Smoking Man's master plan, the story just seems to fizzle and doesn't at all deliver.

Season 11 of The X-Files, outside of the premiere and finale, has been full of some truly great episodes. At least three episodes this season would have worked far better as a series finale than "My Struggle IV" assuming this ends up being the last outing for our favorite FBI agents. The X-Files mythology has been so vast and iconic to a dedicated fan base over the last twenty-five years that this episode lacks any true closure and undermines the far more satisfying series finale at the end of Season 9. As a die hard X-Files fan, I feel so underwhelmed and let down by Chris Carter's second attempt to revive the series. I still feel that the introduction of the next generation of agents in the form of Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell last season would be better to watch and continue the legacy of the franchise rather than wasting the incredibly talented work of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Part of me hopes this isn't the end and that everyone gets one more chance to get it right, but another part of me just wants to finally let these characters go. The truth is out there and maybe we should leave it there.

Next on The X-Files: It remains unclear whether there will be a Season 12, but stay tuned to JoBlo.com for details!
Source: JoBlo.com

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