[The X-Files 101]
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[Season 7]

Sixth Extinction
Is there a Big Picture at this point? The "mytharc" was almost completely abandoned this season, and when addressed, it hasn't developed much. Back in the middle of the previous season, in Two Fathers/One Son, Cassandra Spender is captured by the alien rebels, who also recover the alien fetus and kill practically everyone in the Syndicate. What has happened with the alien invasion plans since then? Absolutely nothing. Biogenesis and The Sixth Extinction, even Requiem, go back to the alien theme, but add nothing to the colonization threat. Not only they are stalling, but they are also rewriting history, with episodes like Closure. More on this later.

Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati As with Redux I/II, the second part of the season opener was far more interesting than the first. Amor Fati is all about choosing a painful and true path over a comfortable illusion. In Mulder's dream/fantasy, Cancer Man, Deep Throat, Fowley, try to convince Mulder to give up his guilt and his "childish" quest for "domestic bliss." But Scully is there to bring him back to his "true mission" in life, nothing less than saving the world. This is a wonderful reaffirmation of their quest, like the final scene with Mulder and Scully in the X-Files movie.

Millennium Millennium was an interesting chance to see Mulder and Scully work with Frank Black, and a chance for that other show to find some kind of closure, after being canceled prematurely. This episode, though, suffers from being overshadowed by the New Year's kiss between Mulder and Scully.

Sein Und Zeit After a few average or forgettable episodes, we get Sein Und Zeit/Closure and the promise of a resolution regarding the Samantha issue. Unfortunately, we get it. With the most brutal crimes in the history of the show as the background, we are asked to believe that Samantha was simply taken away by some kind of good spirits. Oh, she was taken away and tortured, and died at 14 years of age, but Mulder only has to meet her ghost to find closure and declare "I'm free" (of his guilt). That meeting is emotionally effective for the moment, but intellectually dishonest and eventually disappointing.

Closure Frank Spotnitz openly declared this was not the original plan. "To be honest, this is not exactly the ending Chris originally had in mind. It was something we thought of this year" (video interview from the official web site). "This was a new wrinkle in the mythology that we thought was consistent with everything that came before." Obviously not. Everything until then suggested Samantha was still alive. The X-Files' nature is to be deceptive, which is one of its strengths because it keeps the audience thinking. Here, we are not merely deceived, but cheated.

There are other serious problems with Closure. We are also told Samantha and Jeffrey Spender grew up together on a military base with Cancer Man, yet Jeffrey Spender does not recognize him at all. Consistency? What's that?

X Cops X-Cops was a very strange way to follow-up on that story, but as an individual episode it is an effective experiment, and one of the few highlights of the season.

First Person Shooter is another William Gibson/Tom Maddox attempt, which should prove that not everyone can write for the X-Files.

all things is Gillian Anderson's first script, which she also directed. It is difficult to weigh its merits because the suggested sexual intimacy between Mulder and Scully overshadow everything else. What a shame.

Hollywood AD Hollywood A.D. was David Duchovny's second chance at writing and directing. The episode is amusing and clever at moments, but it fails when it tries to be too clever. Specifically, Skinner is a victim of character assassination. Not funny.

Requiem Requiem appears to be an attempt to bring the X-Files back to what it used to be. It literally goes back to the beginning, to Mulder and Scully's first case in Oregon. This episode would look promising if we didn't already know that Mulder will be missing for half of next season. Not for creative reasons, but contract disputes between Duchovny and the studio. Scully declares herself pregnant, and the show appears to have derailed and wrecked beyond repair, with the extra promise (threat) of introducing new characters to replace Mulder and, eventually, Scully.

Unless I'm proven wrong about this, season 8 won't deserve anything more than a closing note here. Taking Mulder out of the show for half a year is more damaging than simply ending the show. Mulder and Scully are not just any TV characters; they are cultural icons. The X-Files does not exist as the X-Files without both Mulder and Scully. Dragging the show on with other characters and other actors is a ridiculous and insulting proposition.

Go back to Season 6.

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X-Files 101

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