"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper"
That aptly describes the end of the episode itself but also the botched revival of the beloved X-Files franchise. I didn't know what to expect from the revival but I trusted in the ability of Chris Carter and the acting chops and chemistry between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Boy, was I wrong!
Nostalgia is a tricky thing - we like our past, long for it, even though while we experienced it back then things weren't so rosy. The future is usually scary for most folks, fear of the unknown and all that. As a result a lot of people live in the past, and movie and TV execs are more than willing to facilitate that desire. Reboots are all the rage, and reunions are often tried and seldom succeed. It's easy money for producers, because coming up with pesky things like new ideas or scenarios is a pain - recycle what worked in the past - that's the ticket!
This attempt at a love letter to fans of the original seemed misguided from the start. From the first episode, which attempted to say that all the proof of aliens was in fact a big hoax, it pulled the rug out from under Mulder and the entire audience who invested a decade in wanting to believe - WTF ?
Aside from the episode with the lizard guy, which hearkened back to the truly funny episodes from the past, every other episode seemed like pandering. Gillian Anderson was clearly the anchor of this iteration, and she did her best to provide the gravitas and drama that marked the best of the original. Duchovny seemed to sleepwalk through most of the run, usually with a smirk that gave the viewer the impression he was in it for the money. But even Anderson was manipulated, with the plot about her mother dying seemingly dropped in to provide Scully with a reason to get emotional. None of it rang true.
And the next to last episode that tried to merge terrorism with absurd comedy was especially jarring - to go from a deadly suicide bomb to Mulder stripping to 'Achy Breaky Heart' ?? Puhleese !
Anyhoo, let's talk about the finale. The endgame of the aliens is finally revealed - but wait, weren't we told that all this alien stuff was garbage in episode one?? Soooo, lets just forget ep 1 and move on!
Seems after Roswell, the aliens, with the help of the human cabal, inserted something in everyone's DNA that would strip our immunity to disease and wipe out the human race at a time of the alien's choosing. And when do the aliens and the cabal (led by Cancer Man - who isn't dead!) choose to wipe us out? NOW ! Why now? I have no idea, and evidently neither does Chris Carter, because no rationale is given. Oh well.
Scully, who fretted for years about the alien DNA in her body, thinks she's a goner - but get this - the cabal inserted the alien DNA in her TO SAVE HER. Holy twist, Batman! Alien DNA in Mulder? Eh, not so much. So he is summoned to the home of Cancer Man with the offer of a cure.
This is the only scene in the finale that I liked. The withering hate that Mulder has for Ol' Smoky is the only time Duchovny gives it his all. Smoky was always my favorite character in the show so I was glad to see him still smokin' (this time through a breathing hole in his neck -ewwww!) He is evil until the end!
Mulder falls ill, but refuses the cure from Smoky. Just in time Agent Miller comes to the rescue! That's another thing - the insertion of Miller and Einstein (seriously, Einstein?) as younger versions of Mulder and Scully smacks of an attempt to re-start the show with them if Anderson and Duchovny aren't available. Poor form Chris!
After a bunch of science gibberish between Scully and Einstein, Scully seems convinced that her DNA can be the basis of a vaccine to save the world (gee, that's never been done before). Said cure is synthesized, and Einstein is saved! Next step - find Mulder. Scully is on the phone with Miller and they eventually find each other on a crowded overpass. How? Don't ask - just suspend your disbelief, ok?
After examining Mulder for two seconds she is sure he needs stem cells from their son that was given away for adoption. Again, how? And that's another thing - the son she gave up was a constant theme for the entire 6 ep run. But there is NO payoff for that plotline. Nada.
At that moment a bright light from the sky shines down onto Scully - it's a spaceship! The camera zooms into a tight shot of Scully's eye and then....and then......
NOTHING. Fade black. It's ova. So this s**t sandwich of a reboot ends with a cliffhanger -