I've already posted a spoiler-free review of the episode
, but now that it's aired I wanted to include some more specific thoughts before moving onto the full recap below, which includes quotes.
Even after seeing the premiere episode a couple times by this point, I still loved the episode, and there is a lot to love about it. The main thing is that "My Struggle" really makes you stop and think. I love how it completely twists a lot of the mythology on its ear. I'm still thinking about it. I'm not entirely sure what to even think completely yet, however. It's hard to reconcile that I have followed nine years' worth of a story that may turn out to be untrue, and that aliens were never even part of the conspiracy. Yet at the same time, that's what the plot has always done, twist and turn. We still don't even really know if the new information Mulder has found is true, but even if it is, who's to say that a lot of the characters besides just Mulder and Scully weren't also in the dark about what truly happened? They could have been lied to as well. It just adds a lot to think about, which is what this show is great at doing.
I also really loved that they brought Roswell into the mix. That crash is iconic and been done in so many ways, but it was great to see a new take on it, that maybe it didn't happen the way it's always been described. Of course the special effects are spectacular as well, especially compared to what we are used to seeing on the show from over a decade ago.
Even with the new mythology twists, it's still connected with the old, which I greatly enjoy as a fan. Scully's abduction and subsequent pregnancy is still a big part of the story.
As for the relationship between Mulder and Scully, as I have said before, I'm a shipper, and I don't like the idea of Mulder and Scully being split up. However, regardless, it does feel organic. The truth is that Mulder does have an obsession that he's unwilling to give up, even if he's hurting himself with his drive for the truth. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.
The one big thing that stood out to me was in the limo, when Mulder repeats to Scully about "for better or for worse." I believe that that is a hint that, although separated, the two have been married. I just hope that it will be clarified soon, and that it's not just something thrown in to drive fans crazy wondering.
I also enjoyed the return of Skinner, who is integral to the series, in my opinion.
It was also fantastic to see Cigarette-Smoking Man back again, though I do hope that there is an explanation of how he survived, considering we saw him die in the finale of the original series.
In conclusion, I think that "My Struggle" is a great start to the reboot and a excellent revival of the mythology.RECAP:TEASER
In a voice over, Fox Mulder recaps his life and the series, while photos are shown of previous cases.
He explains that since childhood he has been obsessed by controversial global phenomenon, since his sister disappeared when he was twelve, in what he believed was an alien abduction. His obsession took him to the FBI where he investigated paranormal science cases through The X-Files. Through there he could continue his work on the alien phenomena and search for sister.
In 1993 they thought to impugn his work by bringing in a medical doctor to debunk it, which only deepened his obsession during which time the agent, Dana Scully, had her faith tested. In 2002 the FBI closed The X-Files, and their investigations ceased, but his personal obsession did not.
There is UFO footage and such as the voice over continues.
Mulder continues that there are 10,000 UFO sitings each year in North America alone, and there been since the dawn of time into the modern age.
He goes on to talk about cover ups, including Roswell and UFO's being seen over the nation's capital. He talks about how the government at one point validated UFO phenomena in official government documents, but now people only laugh, and only Roswell is remembered.
The footage switches to show a spaceship crashing in the desert, presumably Roswell. MULDER:
But we must ask ourselves, are they really a hoax? Are we truly alone? Or are we being lied to? ACT ONE HIGH DESERT NORTHWESTERN NEW MEXICO 1947
A bus drives down the road. Riding in it is a military man, who we find out is a doctor, and a man in a suit in the back of the bus. The bus stops and they exit to the crashed ship. The man in the suit tells the doctor to step quick. They approach the wreckage. Other men are aready there. OUR LADY OF SORROWS HOSPITAL WASHINGTON, D.C.
Dana Scully is in scrubbing in for surgery when a nurse tells her she has a call from Assistant Director of the FBI, Walter Skinner.
Mulder is watching Obama on Jimmy Kimmel joking around about Area 51. Talking on the phone to Scully, he comments that his life's become a punchline. Scully tells him Skinner is looking for him. Mulder asks why he didn't call him himself, and she says it is because he doesn't know how to reach him. Skinner wants to know if he's been watching someone named Tad O'Malley on the Internet; he's reached out to them through the FBI.
He changes the laptop to O'Malley's show, Truth Squad
. The man is talking conspiracies, saying 9-11 was a warmup to World War 3, and that it all dates back to the conspiracy of Roswell.
Mulder tells Sculy to tell skinner to set it up, and not to pretend he's going alone. DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mulder gets out of a car after it pulls up alongside Scully. SCULLY:
Hitchhiked. Relax, Scully. I'm kidding.
Scully tells him that she worries about him. He tells her he's taking good care of himself. She tells him that it's good to see him out of his little house once in awhile. Mulder quips that it was certainly good for her. They are somewhat cold to each other. SCULLY:
I'm always happy to see you. MULDER:
And I'm always happy to find a reason.
Tad O'Malley pulls up in a limo. Scully comments on his entrance. MULDER:
She's shot men with less provocation.
He invites them into his limo. He's worried about low flying aircrafts recording their conversation.
Inside he offers them wine, but they decline.
Mulder goes to roll the window, but it doesn't work. He says it's getting hot, but O'Malley says that they don't roll down since he's had the car bullet proofed. MULDER:
Because you never know when a gun-toting liberal might go hinkly. SCULLY:
You'll have to excuse him.
Scully asks him how they can help him. He says he's not new to UFO phenomenon. O'MALLEY:
Like yourself, I'm a true believer. MULDER:
No, I only want to believe. Actual proof has been strangely hard to come by.
He says that Mulder ran The X-Files; he all but wrote the book. Mulder says that the book is closed, and Scully adds that The X-Files are as well. SCULLY:
For better or worse we've moved on with our lives.
MULDER turns to SCULLY MULDER:
Yes we have. For better or for worse.
Mulder wants to know what the point is. He thinks O'Malley is being disingenuous and is after ratings. O'Malley says that his interest is real, and that he needs their expertise. He's rattling some pretty big cages. He's prepared to go in and blow open maybe the most evil conspiracy the world has ever known. Scully asks what's stopping him. He says that he wants to make sure if he puts his ass out there it's not just hanging by a thread. He has something and someone to show them. LOW MOOR, VIRGINIA
The limo pulls up and they get out. They go inside the house and O'Malley introduces them to Sveta. She was the one that suggested O'Malley call Mulder. She says that he probably doesn't recognize her, but he interviewed her and her family when she was just a little girl, after her first abduction. She's been being abducted for over 20 years now. She shows them the scoop mark scars on her stomach.
She says to them that she has lost count of the number of times she's been abducted. There are also the memories that they implant over actual memories to make abductees forget. Scully says that she is familiar with the syndrome. Sveta says that they aren't always affective. Things come back to her like some of the tests and the harvestings. She starts to have flashes of what happened to her as she thinks about it.
Scully questions that the aliens made her pregnant. She says that a number of times, but they took the babies before they were born - those are the memories they can't remove. Scully seems skeptical. Sveta says they do it all through the belly button. She also at O'Malley's request tells them about the DNA - she believes she has alien DNA. She hasn't had it confirmed by a doctor. Mulder asks Scully if she can test it.
Back at Roswell, there is an E.B.E. barely alive crawling away. The man in the suit shoots him. The military doctor gets upset and asks what he's done. ACT TWO OUR LADY OF SORROWS WASHINGTON D.C.
Scully gets ready to take blood from Sveta as they talk. Sveta tells Scully that she knows she is doubtful of her. She knows, because she is a mind reader. Scully, sarcastically asks if that's a personal trait or something that happens with alien DNA.
She tells Scully that she can also move things with her mind. Scully asks her to demonstrate it, but she says that she can't do it all the time. She doesn't know how to control it.
Sveta says that Scully and Mulder were a couple before. They were together but now aren't. Scully questions she's reading her mind. Sveta continues, saying that Mulder has been depressed. She diagnosed it, and it's what killed their relationship. She also says that they have a child together. Scully tells her that that's enough. Sveta continues anyway, and asks if Scully believes her now. Scully asks her why she doesn't tell her the answer. Sveta says that Scully doesn't know like what be abducted and taken against will. After a beat, she realizes the truth and says that maybe Scully does know.
O'Malley's helicopter lands at Sveta's house, and Mulder goes out to meet him. Mulder comments that conspiracies have made O'Malley a very rich man. He responds that it's the pursuit of the truth that has done it. Mulder quips that his own pursuit hasn't been so lucrative.
O'Malley tells Mulder that he has to warn him. The people they are going to meet are very paranoid about the work they do.
Mulder and O'Malley arrive at some kind of hangar. O'Malley takes the bag off of Mulder's head and tells him that he wants to prepare him. Mulder realizes what he sees is a Faraday cage. O'Malley asks him if he knows what an ARV is. He introduces Mulder to a Mr. Garner, who will walk him through the science.
Garner shows Mulder the alien replica vehicle, i.e. a spaceship, telling him that he is showing it to him at great risk. Their other labs and work were destroyed in the past by their own government.
Garner leads him to the alien ship, which they make lift off the ground a bit. It's running on toroidal energy - zero point energy. Mulder questions that he's talking about free energy. O'Malley says that they have had it since the 40s.
Garner says that there is no fuel or flame, just a simple electromagnetic field. The technology has been kept secret for years while the world ran on petroleum.
Garner says next he is going to show him something even more unbelievable. The ship fades to invisible, almost like a cloaking device, and then is gone. Mulder questions that it has a gravity warp drive. He asks how, and Garner says that it's Element 115, ununpentium. Mulder asks where they got it.
Back in Roswell in '47, the doctor covers the dead alien body with a sheet and then carries it away. The man in the suit questions what he is doing, and says that it's dead and done now. The doctor questions then why they even brought him out there. He continues on with the body.
Scully takes a sample of her own blood. Meanwhile, O'Malley walks in and asks if she is testing her blood for alien DNA, but Scully responds she's testing her cholesterol.
O'Malley apologizes for barging in. They start talking about her work - she assists surgeons on children with microtia - they are born without ears. He mentions that they look alien, but she says that it's a coincidence. He asks if she misses The X-Files at all. She responds that as a scientest, it was probably some of the most intense and challenging work she's ever done, and she never felt so alive. O'Malley asks if she means working with Mulder. She says that they've had one of the most intense and challenging relationships she may ever have, and quite honestly, the most impossible.
Scully asks if he is there for a reason, and he tells her that he needed to know she wasn't upset with Mulder for putting her on the spot by the Sveta business. She tells him that it's fine; she's used to it. He adds that he also just wanted to see her again.
That night Mulder returns to Sveta's house. He jokes that he hitchhiked there.
Mulder sits down with Sveta and says that at one point when they were asking her questions about her pregnancies she was looking at O'Malley, and he wants to know why. She says that it wasn't exactly the right question; she doesn't believe it's aliens who have been talking her babies. Mulder questions that she did say she was abducted by aliens.
Sveta continues on that it's difficult; the memories are difficult. They are very dangerous answers. Knowing she's afraid, Mulder assures her that everything stays between them.
She continues that the things that she experienced has affected her entire life and made it impossible for a normal existence. Mulder asks what she's afraid of. She's afraid that it only gets worse.
Mulder asks who took her babies. She says that it was human men. They took her aboard their ships, and she was afraid they would kill her if she ever told anyone the truth.
Mulder questions why she didn't see a doctor. She asks who she could trust; they would call her a liar. Mulder tells her she can trust him. She knows, however, that he works for the government. He tells her that technically, yes, but not for years.
Reading his mind, she says that he always wondered if they weren't lying to him too.
Scully's cell phone buzzes when Mulder calls her. He tells her that they've been misled. He asks her what if everything they've been led to believe in is a lie - what if there is no alien conspiracy.
The camera pans to show that Scully is in O'Malley's limo drinking wine with him. She asks him to pull over, because she needs to get out.
Scully wants to talk about it later, but Mulder ignores her and keeps talking. He says that he knows why O'Malley came to them - Sveta is the key to everything. He says he can't do it over the phone and hangs up. ACT THREE FBI HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, D.C.
Skinner let's Mulder into the old X-Files office in the basement. Everything is gone. There are still pencils embedded in the ceiling from years ago. The iconic "I Want to Believe" poster is on the floor.
Mulder asks Skinner where the X-Files are. Skinner doesn't know. Mulder questions that he said nothing had been touched. He confirms no one had been down there in fourteen years since he and Scully left the bureau. Mulder tells him that he needs access to the files. Skinner wants to know what it's about. Mulder says it's about controlling the past to control the future; it's about fiction masquerading as fact. MULDER:
You owe me some answers. SKINNER:
You just calm the hell down, Mulder, before we both get pissed off.
Skinner says that he doesn't take orders from Mulder, and Mulder asks him who he takes orders from. Skinner asks him why he thinks he called him - it's because he was looking out for him like always.
Mulder gets upset and kicks the poster, ripping it. He says that he spent a decade of his life in the office and the whole time he was being led by his nose to a dead end, exactly how they planned. Skinner questions that he's blaming him, but Mulder says he's blaming only himself. Mulder says he's sure that they lied to him too. SKINNER:
There has't been a day since you left that I haven't reached for my phone to call you, Mulder. Wishing that you were still down here.
Skinner says that since 9-11 the country has taken a big turn in a strange direction. Mulder says that they police them and spy on them, saying it's to make them safer, but they've never been in more danger. Skinner tells him to do something about it. Mulder takes out his phone and rings Skinner and tells him that now he has his number.
On his show, O'Malley is talking conspiracies, saying that if you own a firearm you will be targeted as an enemy by the government in the unlikely position of martial law. He then switches to end the show on a brighter note by pointing out the work being done by a friend of his, literally putting kids back together. He talks about Scully and her work while she is watching on her laptop.
A nurse comes in with her lab results. Scully looks confused and somewhat upset when she reads them and asks the nurse to rerun them. Another doctor comes to get her for surgery. Scully tells the nurse that she's hoping for a call from Mulder. NATIONAL MALL WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mulder meets his informant. It's an old man, and he's not happy about the hour. They made an agreement about not meeting in unsecured environments. Mulder assures him that he took all the precautions. Mulder called him, because he said that if he ever put the pieces together he would confirm it for him. Mulder tells him that he's met someone and seen something.
The man tells him that before he wasn't even close - he was talking about warring aliens lighting each other on fire and other nonsense. Mulder says that he was being cleverly manipulated. He goes on to tell the man that he saw an ARV running on free energy that he then saw it disappear. The technology exists and has since Roswell; it's been in used in human testing - the taking of people that's been misreported as alien abductions.
The man tells him that he may have discovered the how, but that the why is even more complicated than he may ever know.
Mulder says that sixty years ago they were warned about the military industrial complex gathering too much power. He continues that the countdown has begun, it began in 2012, but no one knew.
Alien technology is being used against them, not by aliens, not with aliens, but by a venal conspiracy of men against humanity. Mulder wants to know what the tests are for, but the old man just says for him to tell him the answer.
Mulder says that he came to him ten years ago saying that he couldn't take his secrets to his grave, that he couldn't live with it.
The old man says that he is a man of medicine and didn't know how his work would be used.
The screen changes to show a flashback and reveal that the old man is the military doctor, who was at Roswell, who was shown earlier in the episode.
He tells Mulder that the lies are so great that the truth must be unassailable. Mulder says to tell him; tell the world, but the old man warns that they will make a mockery of them. Mulder says he will take that bullet. The man says that the men are capable of that. He then tells Mulder that he's very close. Then he adds that Roswell was a smoke screen.
Scully shows up at Sveta's house. Mulder comes out and asks her what she is doing there. She says that he hung up on her and she didn't hear from him all day.
Mulder tells her that he figured it out, and it all makes sense. For years they've been deceived. He couldn't call her because it's going to sound crazy.
Scully says that she's there because she cares about him and is worried about him. Mulder tells her that she has to trust him, but she says that she has seen this before; he's on fire, believing that he's on to some truth and that he can save the world. Mulder just responds that this will finally be the conspirators undoing. She says that it will be his undoing. Mulder says that it is his life and everything he believes in. SCULLY:
You want to believe. You so badly want to believe. MULDER:
I do believe.
Mulder goes on to say that he believes O'Malley is right - it's not an alien conspiracy; it's a conspiracy of men. Scully says O'Malley is just full of charming B.S., but Mulder says that he woke him up.
Scully asks how he knows that O'Malley hasn't been playing him, but Mulder just says that he's been a godsend.
MULDER: The truth is out there, Scully, and Tad O'Malley is going to broadcast it.
Scully tells him that as his friend and physician he's on dangerous ground. Mulder says he knows what he's doing.
Sveta interrupts them, asking if everything is okay. Mulder tells Scullly that Sveta is the key to everything. Scully is annoyed and upset and turns and goes back to her car. Mulder calls after her, but she doesn't come back. ACT FOUR
O'Malley pulls up and asks Scully where she is going, and then asks her to stay, because it's important.
Mulder walks up to the car, and O'Malley questions that she wasn't invited. Mulder says that he would have invited her, but didn't think she would come. She says that she should't have. She asks Mulder what he's up to.
Back In Sveta's house, the four discuss what's going on. Mulder says that the tentacles of the conspiracy reach far back into the last century, but that it wasn't until victories in Europe and Japan and the onset of the Cold War that the political and economical conditions became perfect for actual execution. It's a conspiracy bigger and more secret than the Manhattan project. No sooner had they defeated Germany that a new threat started appearing in skies over America.
The screen changes to show UFO footage. Mulder, in voice over, says that the aliens were drawn to earth by the latest threat to extinction: the H-bomb. Explosions acted as transducers drawing alien life forms through wormholes in spaceships through electrogravitic propulsion. They were visiting us, concerned for mankind and the threat of our self-destruction, stalling our annihilation through their own self-sacrifice.
The scene now is interspersed showing Roswell. Mulder says that it is the crashes like Roswell, places like Aztec. World leaders signed secret memos directing scientific studies of alien technology and biochemistry. Classified studies were done at military installations. They extracted alien tissue. Tests were done on unsuspecting human subjects in elaborately staged abductions, in crafts using alien technology recovered from the downed saucers, including human hybridization through gene editing and enforced implantation of alien embryos.
Sveta asks why their own government would do that and lie about it. Mulder says that the government lies as a matter of course, as a matter of policy. Sveta asks what they are trying to do, but Mulder says that that is the missing piece.
Scully is getting more annoyed the more she listens.
O'Malley says that it's not hard to imagine the government hiding and hoarding alien technology for seventy years at the expense of human life and the future of the planet, driven not only by corporate greed, but a darker objective.
Mulder jumps in, saying that the objective is the takeover of America.
O'Malley continues, saying that they would then move onto taking over the world itself, by any means necessary however violent, or cruel, or efficient.
He gives examples of how it could happen: by sever droughts brought on by weather wars conducted secretly using aerial contaminants and high-altitude electromagnetic waves. They would create a state of perpetual war to creat problem-reaction-solution scenarios to distract, enrage, and enslave the American citizens at home, with tools like the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, which abridge the Constitution in the name of national security. There would be the militarization of police forces across the US, the building of prison camps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with no stated purpose. There would be the corporate takeover of food, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. Even the military in clandestine agendas already tries to fatten, dull, sicken, and control a populace already consumed by consumerism.
He continues on that the government taps your phone, collects your data, and monitors your whereabouts with impunity - the government is preparing to use that data against you when it strikes.
He theorizes that the final takeover of America will begin by a well-armed multinational group of elites that will cull, kill, and subjugate.
Scully asks if it's happening now, and O'Malley says that it's happening all around them.
He continues that it will probably start on a Friday. The banks will announce a security action necessitating their computers to go offline all weekend.
Mulder chimes in that digital money will disappear, followed by the detonation of strategic electromagnetic pulse bombs to knock out grids.
O'Malley says that it will seem like an attack on America by terrorists or Russia.
Mulder says that it could be a simulated alien invasion using alien replica vehicles that exist and are already in use.
Scully questions that they would fake an alien invasion of the US, but Mulder tells her that the Russians tried it in '47.
Scully tells them that they can't say these things. O'Malley tells her that he's going to say them tomorrow on his show. She says that it's fear mongering claptrap, isolationist techno-paranoia, so bogus, dangerous, and stupid that it borders on treason. Saying these things would be incredibly irresponsible. Mulder counters that it would be irresponsible not to. Sveta adds especially if it's the truth.
Scully says that Sveta's tests came back negative - she has no evidence of alien DNA. Sveta looks confused and upset. ACT FIVE
Scully is back at the hospital. She opens her laptop to look at O'Malley's show again. He says that he wanted to bring them the truth but that truth has come under assault.
Sveta is shown in news clips saying that she was told what to say by O'Malley, that he paid her to make up stories and lies for the show.
O'Malley is watching the clip. He says that the truth has come under assault.
Sveta continues saying that O'Malley paid her to create stories and lies for his television show to get ratings.
Mulder is watching it too online and knows that they got to Sveta.
The nurse comes in and tells Scully the test results she had run again are back.
Mulder goes to see Sveta, but she's gone.
Jeeps break into the hangar and blow up the ship and therefore everyone inside the hangar.
Scully checks O'Malley's site again after another surgery. The site is down.
Scully walks out to the garage. On her back window, written in the dirt says "Don't give up."
Mulder walks up behind her and says that there's something called the Venus syndrome. It's a runaway global warming scenario that leads us to the brink of the Sixth Extinction. Those with means will prepare to move off the planet and into space, which has already been weaponized against the poor huddled masses of humanity that haven't been exterminated by the uber-violent fascist elites, if you believe in that kind of thing.
Scully tells him that he looks exhausted. He just replies that it was a long day at the office.
Scully mentions O'Malley pulling the plug. Mulder says that "they" are very good.
Scully asks where Sveta is; they need to find her. They need to protect her, no matter what. He asks her why if her tests came back negative. She tells him that she ran them again, sequencing her entire genome, because she didn't trust the initial results. MULDER:
Are you saying she has alien DNA? SCULLY:
And I sequenced my own genome because of my history and because we have a child together. MULDER:
Scully, what are you saying? SCULLY:
I'm saying she's not the only one. I'm saying someone has to stop these sons of bitches.
Mulder and Scully get a text from Skinner, saying that the situation is critical and that he needs to see them right away. MULDER:
Scully are you ready for this? SCULLY:
I don't know there's a choice.
Sveta is driving when the car stops. Suddenly a green light beam from above shines down on her, the camera panning to show it's a spaceship. She starts yelling and crying and tries to get out of the car, but before she can, the light gets brighter, but rather than taking her, it blows up the car with her in it.
Cigarette-Smoking Man takes a call on his cell phone. He hangs up and someone helps him smoke through his neck. CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN:
We have a small problem. They've reopened The X-Files.