The X Files: My Struggle and Founder’s Mutation – A Slow Burn Start (Review)

Mulder and Scully are back, treating The X Files fans to a slow burn start versus rocket ride back into the world of the weird, wonderful and conspiratorial.


Mulder and Scully are back, treating The X Files fans to a slow burn start versus rocket ride back into the world of the weird, wonderful and conspiratorial. Episode one of the two part pilot for season 10; My Struggle, reminds us that it is Fox’ obsession with UFOs, governmental coverups and that burning need to know. Founder’s Mutation steps forward at a snail’s pace and takes us back into “Toomy” land.

Granted, the second half of the two part open is not as disturbing, or downright creepy, as Toomy’s tale, it reaches back into the yesteryear propensity of Chris Carter, and now James Wong as well, to lead the viewer by the nose to whatever odd thing comes up next.

The latter episode also puts Dana and Fox into the world where they belong.  Sure Scully turned her back on much more than just her old partner, and father of her child, heading on a path where she did a lot of good. Regardless of her samaritan standing in the medical community, the ties between her and Fox had not been completely severed.

After all, only she knows how to get in touch with Mulder, something she points out when Skinner tried unsuccessfully to call Fox regarding “scare monger” newsman Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale).  Tad, who Mulder feels is an alternative Bill O’Reilly (surely the name similarity is no coincidence…) promises to have information that will change everything and O’Malley swears that he will reveal all.

Tad’s rant about the secret agenda of the American government, militarizing local police, fattening and dumbing down the denizens of the country and erecting prison camps.

Fox and Skinner

Like the previous seasons, before the show’s long hiatus, the message in episode one, My Struggle, is this:

Do not trust the government. They do not have your best interest at heart and they lie.

Mulder believes this with all his essence and Scully continues to be in a form of denial.  The counterbalance of the two is back in place, her pragmatic and agnostic attitude about the unexplained still tempers her behavior and belief system. Fox, who suffers from depression, is in full “survivalist” costume in the first opening segment.

Unshaven, wearing jeans and a combat fatigue jacket, Mulder looks similar to every other Area 51 conspiracy junkie out there. Scully is the very picture of respectability and has trouble getting back, as does Fox, into the swing of things.

My Struggle starts as a history lesson; Roswell, an injured alien (murder of same), questionable DNA and those decades old conspiracies.  It also entails a young woman with scoop scars on her abdomen, a string of abductions and stolen fetuses, She is convinced her DNA has been added to and after the “men in black” learn of what O’Mallory, Mulder and Scully have been up to, they clean house…

With extreme prejudice.

The first episode ends with the Smoking Man (William B. Davis), face covered with scar tissue and looking like death personified, smoking his cigarette via the hole in his neck and stating that the X Files have been reopened. 

William B Davis returns as the Smoking Man…

Founder’s Mutation shoves a badge back into the duo’s hands and starts going into a true X File non-UFO-type case. Although the entire episode is focussed on another conspiracy; one that ties in to episode one, to huge degree, with a storyline dealing with experiments on children and a brother and sister with special abilities.

By the second episode, Mulder has cleaned up and lost the scruff. Scully learns that like the doomed Sveta she too has alien DNA. Dana also steps back into the role of medical expert, performing the autopsy on the show’s suicide victim.

The mind control aspect is disturbing, as is the manner of the first man’s death. It also features a “mad scientist” type (Damon) who meets a fitting end…

Death by letter opener.

As the two part premiere ended, each of the duo were back in their old shoes and leading us back into the world of The X Files.  

A number of familiar faces joined the premiere as guest stars (and it was brilliant to see Mitch Pileggi back as Skinner). Joel McHale from Community, Christine Willes from Dead Like Me (As Dolores Herbig with the “big  brown eyes.”), Doug Savant from Desperate Housewives and Vik Sahay

There were a number of other notable appearances by names well known in the industry, for example, Rance Howard (father of Ron and Clint) also shows up in the credit list.  The appearance of so many known performers signals an acceptance of Carter’s world back into the fold of television.

The X Files, with its slow re-emergence, has not pleased all the television critics but fans are excited, and so they should be. Sure the dynamic between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson may feel a little clunky but the chemistry is still there. Fox and Scully still have the bond that made them work so well together.

Mulder and Scully…

The series airs Mondays on FOX.  Tune in for some nostalgic vibes as well as superb television and watch the new tales of The X Files unfold.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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