This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Did a sense of nostalgia fill you as soon as that opening music hit? It did for me! Being a long-time fan of X-files, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant in diving into the new season again, afraid to be disappointed, because much like the previous reboots we’ve experienced in the last year so far (Yes, I’m looking at you Star Wars), I was afraid that nostalgia would not be enough to force me to see the series with rose-tinted lenses and enjoy it purely because we like the familiar.
The intro was very accessible both to long-term fans and newcomers. We hear the drawling, calm voice of Duchovny narrating the condensed, concise version of the past ten years which brings out the nostalgia in fans, and at the same time, excites newcomers by giving them a feel of the world. From the get go, the show does make one thing un-debatable: aliens do exist – something that is clearly different from the old series. Perhaps given the time the show was aired, all we were really treated to were blurry depictions of rubber things that could be aliens if we imagined it hard enough. In this episode, though, we are treated to a CGI version of an alien, struggling to get away, invoking our sympathies, in the Roswell flashback of the episode.
It is also interesting to note how much the myth-arc in the story changed in order to integrate some more relevant pieces of technology, such as smartphones and YouTube videos as a platform of showing what the work of the X-Files have become in our generation – in Mulder’s words: “a punchline”. What differentiates this series from the rest of the 9 seasons, however, is that while there is no doubt that aliens have landed, Mulder now believes, along with talk-show host, Todd O’Malley brilliantly played by Joel McHale, that the government is manipulating alien technology in order to subjugate and colonize America. And here lies the brilliant integration of the present to the X-Files myth-arc. Everything from the corporatization of agriculture, the elimination of our privacy because of the NSA to the building of consumer culture in order to manufacture and sell wars is presented as the government’s way of subjugating and colonizing the population. From the moment we are given the scene in which the alien struggles to peacefully get away, only to be shot down mercilessly by men, it is clear that the aliens have stopped becoming the villain. The new villain in X-Files are Men. (I use the term MEN as both O’Malley and Mulder emphasizes this during the big reveal. It also further strengthens the plot arc of human harvesting – women being abducted in order to produce, this procedure that has victimized both Scully and Sveta).
All in all, it was a great season opener. With the same opening credits to boot, Episode 1 of Season 10 felt a lot like coming back home.
Written by: Ellise Ramos