‘The X-Files’ Finale Review: ‘My Struggle II’ Caps an Inexplicably Sloppy Season

the x files finale
Courtesy of Fox

The short return season of “The X-Files” ended as it began — as if someone had put an array of story elements from the show’s original run into a blender and served up the resulting slurry in big, ungainly piles of exposition. The episode ended on a cliffhanger, but left little appetite to see what happens next — not without a serious attempt to address the ham-fisted, messy state of the series at the moment. 

This is no jeremiad against reboots and the idea of revisiting shows from television’s past. Even if it was, that train long ago left the station. Nostalgic return visits from long-ago programs are here to stay, and there’s no reason that just about any property can’t be freshened up for the modern age — as long as that project is undertaken with care, consideration and vision.

Sadly, aside from the episode written and directed by Darin Morgan, the scattered version of “The X-Files” viewers got this year had little vision, less grasp of subtlety and only small scraps of coherence. Almost everything that could go wrong with this reboot did go wrong, and the clearest evidence of that was the Feb. 15 episode, which is one of the most bafflingly awful and tin-eared hours of television of this year or any other.

Just as that hour in no way earned its bewildering and downright alarming tonal shifts, the season finale did little to actually establish the sense of tension it continually kept trying to create. Why did a pandemic break out at this particular point in the show’s timeline? No real reason was offered, despite the excessive amounts of dialogue various characters were forced to recite.

Why would Dana Scully — having seen one man in a hallway with a lesion on his arm — instantly decide that an epidemic was about to arrive? Well, because. This season of the show hasn’t really done much in the way of deepening the central characters, but to see Scully abandon her core skepticism for the flimsiest of reasons was the most shocking moment of the hour. It was quite frustrating too. 

Between the ungainly flashbacks and the conspiracy talking points that littered the episode, much of the narrative in “My Struggle II” was simply gibberish. At one point, internet conspiracy maven Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale) pointed to a picture of squiggly graffiti and said it was a warning about the coming pandemic. Actually, it looked like a someone attempted to map out this season and just gave up.

Gillian Anderson emerged as the MVP of the six-episode return: She was able, against all odds, to ground some moments in emotional truth, but the scripts were usually of little help to her in that regard. Most of the episodes were themselves like “X-Files” experiments gone awry— disparate elements were awkwardly spliced together, grafts of old mythology to new security concerns didn’t quite take, and the attempt to introduce a hybrid into the mix, in the form of Mulder and Scully’s son William, was the most undercooked element of a cluster of frequently forced and contrived storylines.

It’s hard not to arrive at the conclusion that in these six episodes “The X-Files” simply tried to do too much — an episode about Scully’s mother passing away could have been a lovely meditation on grief and connection, but the show was determined to jam in another plot that made little sense and had no impact. “The X-Files” helped birth a whole wave of programs that meld reasonably meaty character development to supernatural phenomena, and it’s disappointing that the show that originated the formula seems to have forgotten how to effectively and efficiently join the two.

Few longtime “X-Files” fans wear rose-colored glasses: The show was always capable of creating a few dud episodes — or a number of dud episodes — in a given season. Unfortunately, this return was mostly duds, and for all its frantic energy, couldn’t hide the fact that it had very little to say. There weren’t any themes, emotional or cultural, that had much lasting resonance, and trying to skate by on the chemistry of Anderson and David Duchovny only got the show so far. 

It didn’t help that the fifth and sixth episodes spent a lot of time trying to set up a new team via the characters of Einstein and Miller. Both Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell are appealing performers, but they weren’t showcased well here, nor do they have the kind of chemistry that could anchor another iteration of the show.

Few season finales are all that concerned with nuance, which is fine, in principle. There’s often too much to get done and too much to set up for the next round of episodes, if more are coming, and based on the commercial success of this “X-Files” reboot, further installments are a real possibility. But the lost opportunities that preceded the clanging, hollow finale — which separated Mulder and Scully for most of the hour — hung over the episode like a ghostly UFO. 

Cliffhangers are only exciting if what proceeds them makes a modicum of sense, but the ending of “My Struggle II” felt as slapdash as everything else that transpired. Given that the 2016 version of “The X-Files” couldn’t create much in the way of momentum, thematic resonance or emotional connection (again, the Darin Morgan episode excepted), there are two ways to read the four words that appeared at the end of the opening credits of the season finale: “This is the end.”

It sounds like a threat. But at this point, it’s hard not to hope it’s a promise.

What did you think of “The X-Files” finale and the season as a whole?

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  1. Eric Rajotte says:

    Dear god !!! I love the x files but what were they thinking with episodes 3,4 and especially 5. The new red head could not act her way out of a paper bag. How did she get this role ? Was she just the only one who showed up with red hair ? Such a let down…

  2. Jay welsh says:

    It did too much too quickly.
    Id be relieved to find out this is all a dream and scully will wake up, we will zoom out from her eye and she will be relieved.

    The show had nowhere to go. Too much too quick with a watered down plot we have seen in earlier series with far more impact.

    I hoped. We were going to rediscover a couple of old foes (like a Rockys Return – in Jose Cheung or flesh eating bugs invade a small town etc) rediscovered a from early unsolved x file. More importantly i wanted it to reamerge with more intimate double act focus.

  3. James says:

    I liked it cant wait for more!

  4. Eva says:

    I liked it, I watched this serie every evening this weekend and I feel like it was written for me. I am just a bit sad about the end, but on the other hand I love open endings. And I also wriite stories, many of them sci-fi and many of them have got special endings even some people do not like it. And this is the same, it is a bit sad ending, but there is still a chance fot another season, because there is a question on my mind “WAS THIS REALLY THE END ?”

  5. Mick says:

    I think it started well with the first few episodes then episode 3 went down like a life draining mess, followed by Ep4 which only just got a bit better. Ep5 & Ep6 was just starting to take us back into the old x files but with new and controversial info and conspiracies. But then that was it! It’s over! A little be strange if you ask me! Even the 3Ep was so far fetched they were almost begging for us to ask what it was al about. Like the intention made it bad to draw attention to it all. It is all just a little to me the way it all paned out! I have many questions that I don’t believe I will ever get the answers to.

  6. ron Christopher says:

    The episodes gave me the feeling that there must be an incredible shortage of good writers.. There is so much to work with including well built story lines and characters.. But as in the original and once again, the writers try so hard to make the characters into unpredictable contradictions of themselves that they never let a convincing character or story develop. Must be hard on the actors to have lazy short sighted writers leaning so heavily on them….

  7. DrRocker says:

    You and your magazine are sure trying to get a lot of attention of a show you hate so much. I like the show myself and you don’t see me saying how much I detest your spiteful writing and pithy remarks.

  8. Lisa says:

    I have always loved the X Files since it first came out, and really like the new reboot for its weirdness. The series should pick up on where the movie left off, I think due to a really short season it was difficult for them and it felt like they tried to cram in too much at once with the new story line.Six episodes were just not enough to get it going, not fair to the actors to cut it down like that. I just hope the last episode is not be the last of the series as it could be really awesome.

  9. Jim perry says:

    I had to google a review of this new 6 episode run to check I hadn’t gone completely mad ! – incoherent,BORING,drivel.a mish mash of previous glories.For me the show lacked any real depth or gravitas from the main leads and the appalling scripts.SO DISSAPOINTING !!!!

  10. Sia says:

    Big dissappointment but I was just happy to see Scully and Mulder togeather. They will remain my heros forever.

  11. Margaret Ball says:

    I have never seen such a load of tosh in my life!! PLEASE do NOT make another 5 minutes of this dead in the water rubbish!! Every review in all publications has been bad…..enough is enough!!

  12. ajit says:

    I have to agree–so MANY missed opportunities! The re-boot felt like they were running in slow motion with bright colors. Strange but it lacked texture–like a glossy cardboard cutout of the show. The only episode that that was truly enjoyable was the “Were-monster”–the others I kept pulling for but sadly fell flat. Rather than tease about William why not base that & investigate it as a main storyline? This was the definition of “rehashed”-put (old ideas or material) into a new form without significant change or improvement. Why bring smoking man back? Why ruin one of the best deaths in season 9? Not to mention Mulder & Scully living apart, sad and middle-aged, that was a bummer-would rather it stayed with season 9 & if did re-boot then they should have been in hiding in search of William not fat, tired & working at Toys-R-Us which was how season 10 felt.

  13. rockerrick says:

    Suck review!

  14. Jono says:

    I liked the reboot thoroughly probably because I’m not a 50yo man-boy who lives his whole life stuck in the emotional mindset of a 14yo.

    Just as a general observation, these 14yo viewpoints represent a lot of repressed anger management issues. Wail wail wail it’s like babies catastrophizing everything and wanting mummy to calm them down and make everything alright again.

    My one criticism of the finale were the extreme close-ups of Anderson and Ambrose with framing and lighting that did them no favours. In fact quite a few times throughout the 6 Ep run the DOP sold the women down the drain IMO. Be a little nicer to the gals!

    Other than that, I look forward to more X Files.

    • Marquise says:

      You’re extremely immature and your remarks are infantile. You also write like a 14 year old. Grow up and get a job.

      • hiro_kila says:

        Nah, ugh uuh, @ROCKERRIC you ARE an adult. The thing is that you want to stand out. New people wouldn’t flock to this series in droves, ones who useD to watch, would. Again you are an adult who just want to go against the grain. For shame (shaking head in disgust). Btw, (LOL) A job at 14… Its not impossible but a working 14 year old don’t have time between school, chores, growing up and a JOB. There are 9 seasons of this show. LOL

      • rockerrick says:

        I got a job: but I am 14

  15. Sid says:

    The season was horrible and the plots were mostly nonsensical.

  16. Dave2 says:

    The mini-series had many problems. I don’t know if I agree with the review’s choice of words. The mini-series didn’t try to do ‘too much’. Part of what was wrong, was that it wasted time on the wrong subjects and should have focused mainly on the conspiracy elements, and built that aspect up again. Secondly, over the course of the episodes, Skinner and The Smoking Man’s appearances were too brief, as well. But, the worst thing, in my mind, is that Ducovney has seemingly aged much better than his female partner. Jillian Anderson’s voice is annoyingly rough, like she’s constantly getting over a cold and, I hate to say it, but, she almost looks too old for Mulder now.
    Time past can be one harsh mistress.

  17. Walter says:

    pblue should be congratulated for the clear and concise review of how 99% of all loyal X File fans.
    The Directors and producers owe us a clear n honest explanation on how they could put their names to this incredible oversell of the rubbish that was dealt out to us all.

  18. PBlue says:

    I watched every single X Files episode religiously and have re-watched them throughout the years. I was over the moon when I heard they were making this re-boot and got chills when the intro music came on…and then I was served 5 hours of the worst garbage I have watched in recent memory (only the lizard man episode was spot on). It came to a point where I was convinced it was a 5 hour long parody skit and that at the very end Scully would suddenly look at the camera and shout: live from New York, it’s Saturday Night! That would be the only explanation for this lazy, incoherent, caricaturesque, dumbed-down excuse of a reboot. The ”science” was utterly laughable (did Carter want to save money and failed to hire science consultants, I wonder?), the leaps in logic and the refusal to use of basic deduction principles was disconcerting, and the dialogues seemed to have been written by someone who was trying to see how far he could stretch the limits of hyperbolic discourse and baseless extrapolation and STILL make it sound as if it were more than a bunch of words strung together (not succeeding to for the most part).

    And as if it wasn’t painfully bad already, we were further subjected to probably the worse casting in the history of casting with those godawful kids playing Miller and Einstein, and the cheesiest actor playing the conspiracy journalist. Not to mention Carter’s heavy-handed, bludgeon-you-over-the-head-with-it attempts at pointing out the parallels between tween team and Mulder & Scully. Other than the gimmicky hair similarities, seeing them struggle with dialogue (it was like watching those cute commercial where the toddlers have a hard time pronouncing the big words) was cringe-worthy. They were sad, parody-like clones. Nothing original and no acting chops to make it bearable. Please never, ever force us to watch that again!

    If the choice is to never have the X Files again or that, I’d rather they go quietly into the night for good.

    • Dynnik says:

      @PBlue: Exactly my thoughts and, as someone else pointed out, also the thoughts of any true fan of the original run.

      I would go as far as to say that the lizard-man episode was also garbage. Einstein? What?! What a stupid and loaded choice of a surname! I cringed in that episode, not to even mention the finale: took me two attempts to have it done. For what? It was so clumsily made, so rushed and dumb I can only hope there’s no 11th season. In my memories, The X-Files is a perfect show that moulded my perception of the world… Until the 7th season it was all fine. I should cherish that (and re-watch it until that point) and forget any other episode ever happened.

  19. Hector1234 says:

    It becomes apparent the decision to run this miniseries was commercial and nothing else. How to suck in the biggest audience and advertising market for the least expenditure both financially and artistically. The last episode feels like ti should have had the entire 6 part series as a precursor and then closes in a dead end street with no where to go unless Carter and his money spinners decide they made enough out of this spin off to justify further episodes. Why do makers of television art continue to disparage the AUDIENCE for whom passive participation in such escapism is thrilling, experiential and part of the enjoyment of life. We may be just consumers but we like to think we are more than that. TV like this is a lifetime adventure in many ways. Shows that capture and captivate audiences should think themselves lucky to find collective expression of joy in cinematic art not see us as just and end for them to buy their next million dollar holiday home in the Bahamas.

  20. Walter says:

    As an X file devote I have to say that this was a classic case of over promising and under delivering. A complete waste of 6 hours and the end of any respect I had for the series. I am still reeling from the shock of such a low level end to the series.
    Was this some sort of joke, they surely could not have been serious in expecting people to accept the poor scripts and lack of cohesion. I feel sorry for the actors who made this series , they must feel let down.

  21. Simon says:

    There is lot on disappointment in the comments below and the review. I have to agree the first two episodes were difficult to watch, though once Rhys Darby turned up the series picked up. The only thing missing was a loan gunmen episode – yes I know they had cameo but that really wasn’t enough. As for the two linked episodes it was clear Anderson wasn’t well, her voice the dead give away to her state of health and the shooting order of the show. I however seem to be the only viewer who liked the new agents and was excited about them carrying the touch into future series. Einstein’s bossier more skeptical character was nice to see as a counterpoint to Dana who never really took control in the past series. She seemed more modern and skeptical to my eyes and a nice foil to Miller’s doe eyed belief. What I did miss from this series was the internal piss-taking that existed in the original. When I first watched the x-files I completely bought into “the truth is out there”premise. Now however watching the show through with my teenage son I have become aware that the show was having a lot of fun poking fun at these conspiracies while presenting them as legit. I think the only show that did this in the reboot was Rhys Darby’s post modern monster looking back at humanity and asking WTF. Please do more of this in the next series. I do agree with the wanting less talk about William. Too much was made of this with absolutely no payoff. I think we needed to see an episode with him as a kid the x-files get involved with because of what is going on around him and for it to become apparent latter that he may or may not have been the prodigal mutant son. There have been some great episodes with kids in the past. Let’s hope this occurs in what clearly is a rebooted and ongoing return to our screens.

  22. What does Variety know about what the X-Files viewing audience think about the season 10. Not a damn thing. To rely on these critics to give a non-bias assessment of the episodes is an exercise in futility . These critics are more likely 20 something and we’re not even born or were too young to remember the original show. Why bother reading the reviews. It is no wonder publications such as these are losing money. Keep it up Variety and you will go the way of Look magazine .

    • PBlue says:

      I want to laugh heartily at this. The person writing this article is one of the industry’s most seasoned and best known tv critics around, Maureen Ryan. She’s one of the most articulate, thorough voices in the bizz. Just because you don’t agree with her review, doesn’t mean you need to dismiss the person behind it. Counter argue the points made, instead of lashing out. Makes for more interesting and adult conversation.

  23. It’s people like you writing reviews about shows you clearly know nothing about in regards to the history of the evolution of a show, that falsely makes TV networks think that something is a disappointment.

    Nowhere in that review did you even demonstrate the faintest glimmer of understanding in the concepts from previous seasons that explained many of the “unanswered and disjointed” plot holes that you seem to have brought up.

    It drives me insane reading total rubbish and uneducated reviews from people like you that have no other intention other to try and sound intelligent about something you obviously know very little about..

    Stick to reviewing something more to your tastes.. like Keeping up with the Kardashians or something.. the plotline might flow a little more to your liking.

  24. Steve P says:

    As this series evolved Gillian Anderson appeared less and less interested, as though she knew what was going to happen in the forthcoming episodes. To the point, in the closing moments of the last episode on the bridge she mumbles something being able to cure Muldur through their son’s DNA. But her speech drifts off to something incomprehensible as though she knew the script was rubbish and she had grown tired of the whole experience and wanted to go home.

  25. Emily says:

    This was terrible. Just terrible.

  26. Anne says:

    I’m so disappointed by this reboot. The first episode was very exciting to me, but then wtf happened? Everything just went downhill from there. The episodes in the middle made zero sense from the original plotline of ep 1 and now this season finale!? What is happening! Also, the jank ass “new” versions of Scully and Mulder? Ugh. Just stop!

  27. Muster rhynes says:

    I read a boot half a paragraph of this review, the entire contents of which could most accurately summed up as Wordy Tripe. Nothing more.

  28. TopTARDIS says:

    I was so excited when I heard x-files was coming back. I counted down the days til the return. I enjoyed most of what I saw. I loved the random episode with the lizard man. It reminded me of some of my favorite episodes like the “cops” style episode and the loch Ness monster episode. Just completely random and perfect. I fell asleep (literally ) during the scully episode as I call them (about her mother) but I never liked those emotional episodes from the past either. The hardest episode to watch for me was the finale. Murder had only a few lines. The super alien duo wasn’t even together most of the episode. It didn’t seem to tie things up from the series. It felt cheap. Kinda felt like the last movie. ….disappointing. I love the x-files I just wish it didn’t end like that. What’s up with the ending anyway? Were they blown up? Did they get abducted? Do aliens save the day? My head hurt for quite awhile until I just gave up trying to figure it out. I would love to watch more but not with the two new young agents. Oh well it is what it is. God knows I would watch anything that was called x-files I just hope they can capture some of the life of the earlier series.

  29. rockerrick says:

    OH please! You certainly get your panties in a wad over a fun little show that is loved by many. Why be such a hater. It was a great “event” and Carter accomplished the near impossible. He brought back an ancient show, kept fantastic ratings, and left us wanting more. What other show has cause such a range of emotions from vitriol to ecstasy? The X Files rocked and their is nothing you can do about it! So pretend you are one of the real people in the know when you obviously are just jumping on an old band wagon. I seriously doubt whether you saw any episodes from the last few seasons. They were quite good. We know the Truth is out there. We also know you are related to the Cancer Man – hater of the truth!

  30. Anthony says:

    Sounds like Maureen has never seen an episode from the previous 9 seasons. Season 10 had it all, from new stories like the “Trashman” which ranks up there to the likes of Tooms and the Sucker Russian monster. It also kept true to the government alien conspiracy. The chemistry between Scully and Mulder is still there and still leaves many unanswered questions. True real old Xfiles fans know this. The new generation of fans need to get on Netflix and watch the first 9 seasons then repost their views. “THE TRUTH IS STILL OUT THERE”

  31. Finley says:

    Have to go along with Maureen. As a long time fan all I can say is Yuk, what disappointing season. The finale looked like Chris Carter, in an effort to find material, googled “conspiracy theories” and proceeded to write the script based on the mishmash of search results. The only thing missing from the convoluted plot was the imminent arrival of planet x!

  32. Mark S says:

    For me the X-Files went stale after the One Father Two Sons story arc. I had hoped that the writers could breath new life into the long running conspiracy relating to the impending alien colonization. The alien bounty hunter, black oil, faceless rebels, ect.. were all great mysteries that challenged the audience to come up with their own predictions of who was who and where things might be heading.

    I think it is a shame that after having so many years to really think about some new ways to deepen the mythology, the writers instead chose to give us some very cheap plot points, all of which seemed totally implausible and rushed.

    I think what this also tells us, is that shortened seasons of revived shows just do not have the amount of time they need to give us good story telling. The last 24 revival, which I believe was only 12 episodes, also suffered from what I believe to be poor writing and very rushed plot points.

    I have long hoped that HBO would bring back Carnivale and finish what I believe was supposed to have been a 5 or 6 year story arc. But now I am beginning to believe that once these types of great shows are canceled, you can never bring back the magic.

  33. Mike says:

    This reboot felt like it was written by so many different people that had no connection with each other. I was left more frustrated at what I had just watched then anything.

    Why keep talking about Scully’s son, making him such a big potential player.. then never see anything about his current situation for the entire series?

    Why introduce two superpower alien kids that can throw you across the room and use telepathic powers, only to never see them again?

    half of the series were complete filler episodes ( granted 3 was kind of funny ) … Still a giant waste of time if you ask me.

    • KH says:

      I totally agree with every thing here. I was surprised the writing seemed so disjointed, even with the talent Morgan and Wong. I think having each of them direct their writing was a mistake, because I think a director would iron out any issues if need be, whereas the writer wouldn’t see it.

  34. Tiffany G. says:

    For real fans…it just made us want to know what happens next.

  35. Brett says:

    I have never seen the X Files before. I was aware of the TV show during the 90’s, but I didn’t see a single episode, so when this new series started up, I was pesuaded by a friend to view it. I have a big interest in the paranormal and UFO’s and as a writer and reader I was expecting great things. The first episode seemed okay, though how 2 convertable jeeps could enter a secure compound and blow up the UFO without alerting security prior to this event, or giving them time to engage the invisibility cloak, was the greatest mystery. They had no CCTV or armed guards? lol Not even anyone on the gate to warn them? The doors were made of wood? Presumably lol So … that the jeeps could break it down easily? Overlooking that, it was engaging, but I hoped the story would continue into the next episode. They are single events? Is that how the format worked originally? No attempt was previously made to try to write a script with a good storyline througout, its just a 1 hour show? Episode 2 kind of carried on the investigation into it being terrestrial UFO’s not ‘alien’, that the craft have been retro engineered from crashed alien discs, and that the abductions and cattle mutilations around the world are actually being carried out by our own kind. A frightening idea and original thought. And then episode 3 sees a reptilehuman running about the woods with a pair of white underpants on?!! Is it trying to send itself up? A parody of itself? Was the writer of the first two dismissed? It was like a child’s camp 1970’s show! I almost expected to see Adam West as Batman turn up and say ‘By jingo there’s a monster Robin!’ haha Were they onto something the government wants suppressed, leant on them and told them to drop it? That’s the mystery, to me.

  36. Dave says:

    Halfway thru the 2nd episode I realized this new run was nothing more than hour-long commercials for the Ford Explorer. At least be honest about it, don’t put in meaningless moments like almost running into a group of young people just so you can show off the clever front view camera on the dashboard, thanks but I’ll continue using my windshield for seeing out the front. Or focus so obviously on the ‘Platinum’ stitching of the headrest and the Ford emblem on the grille. I miss the times when Mulder and Scully drove ridiculous looking Crown Victorias with made up rental car company stickers, today they would probably wear Hertz t-shirts if they got paid enough.

    • KH says:

      Thanks for saying this. My husband noticed this and was so distracted by it, it was his main complaint through-out the second ep. Maybe FOX didn’t give them much money and so relied on sponsors like this! It was hella-nasty and makes this series stink of pay-cheque-grabbing rather than them all wanting to tell more stories for the audience.

  37. Bill Walsh says:

    The producers of the show do not respect their audience. People invest their time watching their shows and to get the payoff of eps 6 just tells me that producers don’t care about our time.

  38. Chris says:

    Unfortunately, I agree with all of review. These 6 episodes reminded me of the reason I stopped watching the show after a couple of episodes in season 8. Prior to the reboot I re-watched all 9 seasons + the two motion pictures and fan that I was truly hoped that Carter wanted to make up for past transgressions, nope, it was’nt to be. Such a let down this was, during the first two episodes of th ‘re-boot I switched over to another channel to check something out and realized I had forgotten to return to the The X-Files (had to watch it On Demand). That should have been a clue.

    • Dynnik says:

      I also suffered after the 7th season so much… Stopped watching at the time. Perhaps they should’ve left it there; until that point it was plain perfection. This exercise of a revamp was pointless, and I saw it exclusively thru nostalgia of my youth. Honestly, there are so many good shows ATM that they should be ashamed of having aired such dreadful 6 episodes.

      • rockerrick says:

        Could not disagree anymore! Are u sure yer not just full of shite? I mean it is possible that you r a troll who just lives to suck the joy out of the room is it not? X Files rules and Carter did an amazing job with a very difficult task – six episodes! Of course there will always be nay saying douche bags now want they?

  39. KH says:

    I don’t know why anyone is surprised at how the ending didn’t resolve enough and left you with more uninteresting questions and dissatisfaction because Carter is renowned for that and ruined the whole show with that stupid kind of writing and was at its worse in the original series’ finale The Truth. That episode made you wonder why you watched the show for 9 years with that kind of awful ending with no meaningful resolution. Carter is a bad writer, pure and simple, and I am so glad that a new generation of internet users can say this freely to the public now. You could never had written into a magazine back in the day and got that printed!

  40. m.n. greenfield says:

    What’s so sad here is that most people, even professional critics, don’t understand the ending! It’s very simple. The reason it happened at the end of the show and said this is the end, because it was the end, the of civilization. When the aliens realized that Scully and her female cohort had the only antidote to stop them, they got rid of them in that beam of light, and they did it out in the open because it was all over, the aliens didn’t care . So Mulder was right all along.

  41. Melina says:

    I’m a long-time X-files fan and really looked forward to the new episodes, but was thoroughly disappointed by them. I cringed at the first episode, Babylon was awful – throwing the worst of Muslim stereotypes at us in a poorly written script, and the final episode made no sense. I’m afraid I have to agree with this review.

  42. Carissa says:

    I have been a die hard fan since the beginning and was overly excited about the thought of a new season. Now, I have been left with even more questions than I had to begin with. Nothing was resolved and it ended in the middle of nowhere with the promise that we would never get the answers that we wanted from the people we wanted to hear them from. All in all, a complete waste of time and money that will forever leave us asking, “what the hell happened?”

  43. Carl says:

    This review is meh…I did enjoy the majority of comments below though telling the reviewer how wrong they are, better critique and writing below than above :)

  44. Travis says:

    i never watched x-files and loved all 6 episodes.

  45. Tinkgrrrbell says:

    “Even if it *were*” NOT “even if it *was*.” Come on. Has society come to the point that even “writers” and their editors have no clue what subjunctive mood is? Gross.

  46. Shawna waldron says:

    It’s amazing how awful Variety is in gauging the audiences of today. Trashing viciously so much with no real insight on how tv shows or films are put together. It’s like they took the most retarded person and offered them a job

  47. Albert says:

    Great show and I enjoyed the episodes, particularly episode 5 Babylon. i didn’t expect the episodes to be serialized or long running . I treated each episode as an individual story. They were well executed and entertaining. This was my first opportunity to see the X-Files.

  48. Matt Consola says:

    It is clear that the Variety author has little grasp on the X-Files concept or what fans expect from this show. As a fan, I could not have enjoyed this season more except to have more episodes. This season revisited the humor of the original first few seasons, but most of all, it stayed true to the path and vision of the preceding seadons.

    I’m so tired of these hack reviews and what passes for journalism these days. Rather than do your homework, today’s writers and reviewers choose to slash and burn in reviews, anything that is popular or not to their taste. This is 2016 Internet Journalism at its … Finest? What a missed opportunity to spread the word about a truly entertaining season. I hope this kind of kicking puppies and slapping babies journalism makes you happy.

  49. Ken says:

    Completely unprofessional and trite ending. Whoever decided to close this series in this way should lose their job and be flogged in public.

    • Matt says:

      Apparently you are not an X-Files fan? Have you ever watched a full season? Every season ends with a cliffhanger. Plus, Do you really think they just want to do 6 new episodes? Even if every season didn’t end on a cliffhanger, what better way to ensure more episodes or another movie.

      • KH says:

        It’s so funny how if you criticize the show or express disappointment and demand quality entertainment you are automatically labelled as a non-fan. Logical.

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