X-FEELS (or, Things I Want to See in the X-Files Revival)

Now that I’ve finally got a job (yay!), updates on this blog may be fewer and farther between compared to this summer. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped fangirling. In fact, I’m probably doing more of that than I have in ages. Why, you ask? Because The X-Files is coming back. And now that I finished the series (as of mid-October. I’m not sure if it’s sad or impressive that I watched nine seasons in such a short time), I’m not sure if my fangirl heart can take it.

In case you’re one of the few nerds out there who hasn’t heard, there will be brand-spankin’-new episodes of The X-Files on your TV screen starting January 24th. It’s airing on its original mother network, FOX, who ordered six episodes of what they’re calling “Season 10.” It’s not a reboot, which I was surprised to find, but a continuation of Mulder and Scully’s adventures since we last saw them in 2008’s I Want to Believe. (That movie warrants a separate post altogether. Yikes.)

Now that I’ve watched–and become thoroughly obsessed with–the original series, I have a few expectations and ideal scenarios. Here’s what I’d like to see out of the revival.

  1. “This is the most I’ve cared about a straight fictional couple in years.” -Me, probably two-ish months ago
    Mulder and Scully. Scully and Mulder. You can’t have one of them without the other. They’re kind of like peanut butter and jelly. A very dysfunctional version of peanut butter and jelly, I might add. I’ll be honest. When I first started watching the show, I was very appreciative of Mulder & Scully’s platonic, best-friends dynamic. I went in wary of dynamics like that of Booth and Brennan on Bones wherein, because the leads are one male and one female, the result is naturally lots and lots of copulation. And probably a baby.

    But for some reason, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully’s relationship seemed to transcend my annoyance with the male/female lead tropes in TV. They care so deeply for each other, understand each other so well, that they work as partners, friends, and lovers. The terminology doesn’t matter. The two are simply made for each other. What irks me is that allegedly, Scully leaves Mulder after diagnosing him with depression in the revival. Character-wise, this doesn’t make sense to me. Both Mulder and Scully have backgrounds in psychology; thus they have a deep understanding of what depression is, and that emotional support is key. If anything, I’m hoping it pans out that Mulder was just too stubborn to let Scully help him–or perhaps not ready to accept the help Scully may have tried to give. As someone with a personal connection to the disease, I’m interested in how this pans out–and hoping that depression is portrayed in an effective manner.

    The point is, I’d love for Mulder and Scully to at least find peace within themselves and each other at the end of this run–even if it means breaking them up romantically. A lot of MSR fans aren’t particularly thrilled about this prospect, but honestly, I’m setting the bar pretty low. I just want them to be happy. I hope they resolve their issues with communication and sharing their feelings (I mean, come on. It’s been 20 years. Get your shit together, the two of you).

  2. Needs moar Walter Skinner.
    I don’t know if it’s just me, but I adore Skinner’s character. I love his transformation from a morally gray character who we weren’t sure we could trust, to the only other person our main protagonists can rely on. Also, I’m kind of a big fan of Mitch Pileggi in general. He’s a sweetheart to his fans and seems like an all-around cool dude. Anyway, we do know he’s returned for the revival, so I’m looking for some more background on him in the last decade or so. How’s he doing? Is he spearheading the X Files still? Is he single? I want to know these things.
  3. “What the fuck is magnetite?”: A Study in William Scully
    Okay, so that’s not his last name anymore, but it should be because he’s the weird supernatural product of one Mulder and one Scully (and possibly some alien intervention thrown in there…three-way?). His storyline was written out as quickly as it was written in, but he clearly left his parents with mental/emotional scars. Also, seriously, what actually did happen to him with the magnetite injection? I’m chalking it up to lazy writing that the revival can now rectify. Also, the kid’s, what, fifteen years old now?
  4. The truth is STILL out there.
    Frankly, I was entirely underwhelmed by the supposedly big “reveal” of the government’s/Smoking Man’s secrets in the final episode, “The Truth.” I felt as though nine seasons should have led up to more of a Big Moment. But clearly, if the show is being revived, there’s a lot more underneath the surface there, and I’m really hoping the show explores it this time around. Explaining nine seasons of conspiracy with “Something Bad Will Happen in 2012” was a bit dissatisfying–and now that it’s 2015, I’m very curious as to how the show will handle the apocalypse that never happened. Give me something to chew on, Smoking Man! (Not tobacco. Please not tobacco.)
  5. “Mulder, it’s me.”
    If we don’t get some of those classic quotes in these coming episodes, I’m gonna be a little sad. Part of what makes The X-Files a cult classic is that it’s a staple of the ’90s/early 2000s. Half of the communication between Mulder and Scully is via (very large) cell phone–it was the first TV show to incorporate such technology regularly. In the preview clips we’ve seen so far, Scully finally has an updated-looking phone, which calls back to the technological journey the show has traveled over the years. But I do hope the show retains some of its classic elements. Obviously Scully won’t need to announce herself to Mulder now that Caller ID is a thing…but maybe a “Mulder, it’s me” here and there would be nice. While this is a great opportunity for the show to expand and become current again, I hope the new material references the staples we all know and love.

    My favorite overused line in X-Files, ever. Credited to the Doggett Man himself.
    My favorite overused line in X-Files, ever. Credited to the Doggett Man himself.

    On that note–upon finding out Annabeth Gish is reprising her role as Monica Reyes, I beamed at the thought of even the mention of what Agents Doggett and Reyes have been up to lately. Most people aren’t the biggest fans of the pair, but I personally love them. They bring a different element to solving cases, as well as a different type of relationship to contrast with that of Mulder & Scully. I consider Doggett & Reyes components of the “original” that I’d like to see called back to.

I want to believe this show will be a success (yeah…I went there). And I’m trying to go in with a positive outlook–especially since many Philes have waited decades for this while I’ve only had to wait a couple of months! All in all, I think this will be a great opportunity for fans, old and new, to come together.