Now That The New X-FILES Is Over…

Let’s talk about what effect the series really has had. Or, better still, let’s see what, John Kenneth Muir, one of the web’s most knowledgeable and entertaining TV critics has to say:

The X-Files: “My Struggle” (January 24, 2016)
by John Kenneth Muir

xfileslogoAfter far too long an absence from television, Chris Carter’s The X-Files (1993-2002) returned to television on Monday night with an episode titled, cannily, “My Struggle.”

That title — not coincidentally, I presume — is also the translated-to-English title of Adolf Hitler’s 1925 literary autobiography, Mein Kampf.

That historical fact may prove the key to understanding better this new starting point for the series.

When we consider Hitler and his particular “struggle,” we think immediately of genocide, totalitarianism, and fascism.

We think of a man who destroyed both individual freedom, and the lives of millions of innocent people. That autobiography, written in a jail cell, laid out one man’s mad dream essentially, for Germany and the world.

Unfortunately, Hitler made much of that mad dream a reality before his death.

And if viewers and critics believe that this new X-Files series doesn’t address those very same issues, they aren’t paying close enough attention.

The title should cue them in.

Specifically, our old friends Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dr. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) — now estranged — are informed of a terrifying conspiracy by an Internet celebrity and fear peddler: Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale).

Think Alex Jones meets Glenn Beck, only better dressed.

O’Malley’s story of an “evil” conspiracy in “My Struggle” involves the invasion of America, illicit scientific experiments on American citizens, and the vast expansion of a totalitarian state.

In other words, the tale concerns a 21st century threat to our freedom not entirely unlike the threat to Germany (and later the Allies) in the 1930s and 1940s.

I have often written of Carter’s powerful sense of anticipatory anxiety in relation to The X-Files, Millennium (1993-1996) and Harsh Realm (1999-2000). In the nineties, he feared that the Clinton Era of Peace and Prosperity couldn’t last. We were so distracted by the Economic Boom created by the Internet that many of us weren’t paying attention to the larger world.

And Carter was right, of course. The Age of Peace and Prosperity — the Roaring Nineties,if you will — came to a crashing end on 9/11/2001.

I’m afraid that what Carter anticipates here, in 2016, is something even more frightening: a further abrogation of our American freedoms in the name of safety and security. That abrogation will lead to, if not fascism, then certainly to totalitarianism.

Strange, isn’t it, that no matter which party happens to be in power in Washington D.C., the Security State just seems to grow larger?

The same conspiracy also, we are told, in The X-Files “My Struggle,” involves the pacification of the American people by Big Pharma, the Fast Food Industry, and conspicuous consumerism. This aspect of the “plan” is brilliant and droll social commentary, since Carter imagines American distracted once more, but this time by prescription drugs, by a world of perpetual shopping and by unhealthy foods….

Read it all at Reflections on Film and TV