X-Files: My Struggle III – I want to believe or I want to lie?


The X-Files kicked off season 11 with an episode steeped in show mythology. Be prepared to discover that the truth may be a lie.

“Find him…” – Dana Scully

**CAUTION – Spoilers! Proceed at your own risk.

Master of Destiny

I have watched the X-Files since it first appeared on Fox 25 years ago. After the season 10 cliffhanger, I was uncertain as to how Chris Carter and his band of merry writers would get out of that mess. I might as well address the elephant in the room.

Yes, it wasn’t fully explained how Mulder escaped what seemed like certain death. However, I believe we will get to that information. Tonight, was full of delicious conspiracies and reveals. Also, we got to meet a mysterious new character, Erika Price played by Barbara Hershey.

The opening felt like a scene right out of King Lear. Carl Gearhart Bush Spender aka Cigarette Smoking Man aka CSM (William B. Davis) in a monologue akin to Shakespeare, tries to justify his actions over the decades culminating in his decision to thin the herd on Earth.

It sounds like the rantings of a power hungry mad man. We even get a quick glimpse of a younger CSM behind the scenes of a fake moon landing. This retrospective also felt like a trip through President Donald Trump’s mind.

According to CSM, he made leaders of the free world great and he was behind all of the major power players in the government. Par for the course, always lurking in the shadows in the background but nonetheless present.

The Psychic Link

The X-Files- Mulder and Skinner with attending physician – Courtesy of Fox- Robert Falconer

Chris Carter had stated that the overarching theme in the series this year would be the search for William. With this episode, the quest has begun. Scully lands in the hospital where it is discovered that her brain is exhibiting strange activity.

When looking at her CT scan with Mulder (David Duchovny) and the attending physician, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) suggests that the flashes in her hypothalamus are a code saying, “find him.”

We also learn once Scully awakens that a virus known as Spartan Fire will be unleashed and there is a cure. Mulder may fall prey to this and will need William’s stem cells to save him. Scully encourages Mulder to go to Spartanburg, South Carolina to find CSM.

Not only has Scully become a prophet but her visions are being sent to her by her son. In several scenes where she is struggling with voices and painful images in her head, we see flashes of William’s face as he is transmitting these visual images to his mother.

This intangible connection between the two reminds me very much of Danny Torrance in the Shining and Dick Halloran. In a conversation that Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish) has with CSM, she reminds him that Scully and William have a bond beyond science and the normal mother and son connection.

While all the chaos is going on outside of CSM’s little bubble, he and Reyes who has become a guardian of sorts to him, discuss the fate of the world and Mulder. Reyes also drops a bombshell that CSM might very well be in love with Dana so much so that he would choose her over his son when it comes time to save people from the pending plague.

Pursuits, Coercions and Conspiracies

The X-Files – Jeffrey Spender – Courtesy of Fox – Robert Falconer

Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens) is the man who knows where William is. He made a promise to Scully that he wouldn’t tell anyone where the boy was living. Now, he is being pursued by shadowy figures that want William for their agenda.

In fear for his life and for his nephew, he rings Mulder to tell him that his son is in danger. He visits Scully (Gillian Anderson) in the hospital and she informs him that he needs to bring William to her because Mulder is going to need him.

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Meanwhile, Mulder is on a mission to kill CSM. While en route to South Carolina, he notices that he is being tailed and a crazy car chase ensues culminating in an accident. Mulder escapes unscathed.

Skinner is definitely not having a good day. He gets hi-jacked by Reyes and CSM in his car. It is about to get worse for Walter because after this little discourse incarnate he may have to destroy civilization.

On her own, Scully discharges herself from the hospital only to get into an accident because her visions are taking over. Mulder on the other hand arrives at CSM’s place in South Carolina only to find that he has disappeared.

Instead Mulder meets Erika Price and another member from the Syndicate. They know why Mulder is there and they want him to help them find his father. Unlike Skinner, Fox is invited to save the world from its demise.

This is also where we find out that the aliens were working with us and helping with technology. Then, CSM who was the head of the project became power mad and threw everything off track.

The Bombshells

The X-Files – CSM – Courtesy of Fox – Rober Falconer

In the last few weeks of 2017, it came to light that former Senator Harry Reid commissioned a study on UFOs. The American public had no idea about this news. Once the media found out, the story was everywhere.

This X-Files episode mentions a secret space program as well. Erika Price states that the government wants to colonize space. Which is interesting because currently we have Nevada businessman, Robert Bigelow working on expandable craft for humans to use in space.

Perhaps the biggest bombshell of all is the fact that CSM is the father of William and not his son Fox! William is the result of alien DNA experiments that took place in Area 51 years ago. Let that information sink in…I have to admit, I didn’t see that one coming.

The Verdict

While I know this isn’t a popular opinion and most critics panned this episode, I have always preferred the mythology storylines over the monster of the week shows. With the exception of leaving out the explanation of how Mulder got well (when he was about to take a one way express to the Pearly Gates at the end of season 10) My Struggle III was well written and very engaging.

Yes, at times, Carter overindulges with flowery speech and ponderous monologues but unlike David Lynch, he gets the fact that television viewers need to have resolution. He tied up some loose ends while introducing some key players in this year’s saga.

How Mulder escaped death will probably be addressed in My Struggle IV which will be the final episode in the series. Until then, rest assured the truth is still in the X-Files and the best is yet to come. The X-Files airs on Fox, Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

Next: The X-Files: Chris Carter gives his take on the secret UFO program

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