Welcome Back!

Well, the dust has settled, and after watching the premier of Season 10, I decided to watch episode two and then go back to the first episode again, to give it another chance. Nah. It’s still pretty lame. But with enough embers of the fire that the show once was to get me to stick with it.

First off, it’s never a good sign when a reboot starts with voice over. I’ll say it again. NEVER a good sign. Yeah, I know there are those who think it sets the tone and it’s better to get the back story served easy and early, especially for newbies.

But then we sink deeper into no-no land with a flashback. At least there’s a spaceship (or is it?) But Roswell? Again? I guess it’s UFO base camp so…

Then the last straw: we go to Scully, and she turns to the camera with the worst hair on TV. Who thought that dye job was a good idea? Who? It makes her look awful, not just older. And Gillian looks a bit skeletal. Is she on a hunger strike until they give her better lines?

I’ll take a moment here to officially jump on the who-has-aged best bandwagon, and say that Duchovny (55 years old) either has a little Black in him, or got abducted and went on a trip faster than the speed of light. He seems to have aged pretty damn well (only his plastic surgeon really knows). But let’s be honest. We allow men to age. The exact same lines and wrinkles on a woman’s face do not register as attractive to many people. Even so, Gillian Anderson (47 years old), who is the stronger of the two actors with an accomplished, award winning TV and film career beyond X-Files (see her in “The Fall”), seems drawn, and listless. While the fact that the producers tried to pay the actress half of what they offered Duchovny, it’s important for someone to take a stand to get the poor woman some bangs for that forehead and bad dye hairline.

Back to the story, we are introduced to Tad O’Malley a conservative TV pundit/UFO believer. He seems to be a silly vehicle, because there is nothing about his assertions that are either believable as delivered by the actor (who seems to be trying to channel Rod Serling) or as a plot line. He introduces Scully and Mulder to abductee Sveta who sports bad torso make-up. Have the producers never watched “Face Off?”

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Back to Roswell, the poor, injured Alien crawls away from his crashed ship before getting shot by the military, as if they knew exactly what it was (not alien) and needed to get rid of it before it said “Yo Doc, these idiots created me to fly that thing.”

Forward march and the Alien Replica Vehicle (ARV) is revealed . Nice moment with it firing up, lifting, then disappearing. Not like we haven’t seen cloaking devices before, but this is something different: gravity warp drive. Element 115. Right.

Flip back to the dead Alien at Roswell, and the question hangs unanswered from the Doc who carries its body away “Why even bring me out here?” As a witness, Doc. To spread the lie they want the world to know!

We get to the oddest moments in the show with Scully in the OR, with blood splattered on her neck. Did she hit an aorta on a patient? Not wear a protective smock? The strange thing is that it shows up again in another scene. I can’t imagine she’s that clumsy and unhygienic. What doctor casually wears human blood splatter on their skin after an operation?

Mulder questions the young girl, Sveta, about her pregnancies. Humans took the babies that aliens impregnated her with. (Conspiracy!) We’ve raked over this territory before and I was hoping for something fresh. No, we get the ol’ flip flop of “I have alien DNA for sure” vs. “What if there was no alien conspiracy?”

Meanwhile, Mitch Pileggi as Skinner still rocks the muscles as he sports a new, close beard. Does anyone on the show look better in a crisp white shirt?

Mulder goes down to his old office with Skinner and you gotta love when Mulder says he’s pissed that he’s “being led by his nose down a dark alley to a dead end.” I know how he feels. And hold on. Why am I sensing bromance between Mulder and Skinner? Standing close, Skinner pauses and says “I was looking out for you the way I’ve always looked out for you.” Then: “There hasn’t been a day since you left that I haven’t reached for my phone to call you, wishing you were still down here.” Capped off by: “Do something about it, Mulder.” Then Mulder calls Skinner’s cell phone. “Now you’ve got my number.” Just sayin’.

Mulder meets with his mentor,  the Doc from the 1947 flashback, who’s now an old man. The conspiracy theories and the manipulation of X-Files fans continues. (”A venal conspiracy of men!”) The Doc tells Mulder “You’re nearly there. “You’re close. Roswell? That was a smoke screen.” And we all scramble to figure that out. Here’s my latest theory: global warming is predicted as early as 1947 and they decide we may need to leave the planet one day, and live elsewhere, so they hybridize us so we can survive on our new home! Or maybe we need to create hybrids to survive right here in a new atmosphere. That one’s been floated out there already, right?

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But no, Mulder’s explanation that H-Bombs were noticed by aliens who then visited is much…better. At least he mentions the Tuskegee experiments on Black men. But then Tad has to jump in with ideas about a government and corporate takeover of us…with simulated alien invasions. Scully’s take: “Fear mongering, clap trap, isolationist, techno-paranoia…and stupid.” Go, girl.

Then all hell breaks loose. Sveta goes missing. The ARV and the scientists working on it get blown to bits. And then Scully emerges from another operation…with blood all over her neck again!

Mulder drops the Venus theory which basically makes my silly explanation a plausible answer. Go figure.

Scully drops that she has alien DNA. And then a spaceship blows Sveta up.

Coda? Cancer man, smoking through a tracheotomy. Oh come on. Y’all knew he wasn’t dead.

MY FAVS

  • Finder Spyder as mock Google on Scully’s laptop
  • Skinner showing some love for Mulder
  • All these theories

MY PET PEEVES

  • The voice-over
  • The O’Malley Factor
  • That damn blood on Scully’s neck (WTF?)
  • All these theories

They were smart to show the second episode the next night. They would have lost us without it.

melody cooperA Native New Yorker, Melody is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, as well as a film and web series producer. Her play SWEET MERCY, about the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, was developed by NY Stage & Film (starring Danai Gurira). In Film and TV her wheelhouse is Sci Fi and Horror: Her horror screenplay MONSTROUS was a Top 3 Finalist at 2014 Slamdance. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW was Finalist for a Creative World Award. Her sci fi script  BREAKING THE FOURTH won the Woodshole Film Festival. Melody is writing and co-producing THE NEXT ITERATION, a web series about the effects of biotechnology on a future Black community. In Spring 2016, she is directing her first film, THE SOUND OF DARKNESS based on her supernatural script about the legacy of racism in the U.S.