I’m going to start this review with a caveat, and I want to be really, really clear here. Just because you’re coming across a mostly positive review about a pretty decent episode of a show that changed my life, introduced me to fandom and ultimately, has helped shaped who I am, doesn’t mean I have in any way, shape or form forgotten the shit-show that was “My Struggle III” or the first two struggles, for that matter.
And it doesn’t mean I’m not dreading the last struggle, aka episode 10.
It just means that, sometimes, even Chris Carter can’t write against David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s chemistry, despite his unhealthy obsession with the world platonic, A WORD THAT CLEARLY DOES NOT MEAN WHAT HE THINK IT MEANS, and that yes, even the man I hold single-handedly responsible for absolutely everything that has gone wrong with this show, can sometimes deliver a decent episode if he stays away from the mythology.
Not that he does that all that often, which is how we’ve ended up here, actually happy that he’s writing a run-of-the-mill MOW.
Thank the Lord for doppelgangers.
We still have to contend with Chris Carter’s other ‘problem’ in this episode, his insistence that Mulder and Scully make more sense as platonic whatever-it-is-they-are than as two people who’ve had sex, want to keep having sex and look at each other as if they want to stop what they’re doing and have sex, right then and there, even if right then and there happens to be in the middle of a crime scene.
But no, in Chris Carter’s world – which somehow is still the same world as The X-Files: I Want to Believe – Mulder and Scully can have a bed-time conversation while holding onto each other for dear life, a conversation that basically amounts to you’re not gonna leave me, right? and still, somehow, consider carrying on with their platonic relationship that is only platonic in his head and that in no universe with common sense would they actually be having at this point.
And yet – all things considered, this is still a far superior episode than the first one or any mythology related episode he’s written since, like Season 3. And not just because Mulder and Scully had sex twice (that we know of), but because …yeah, because Mulder and Scully had sex twice, even if Chris Carter can’t show us that, because presumably we’ll turn into goo or something.
So, let’s discuss “Plus One,” Scully’s mid-life crisis of sorts and how it’s been twenty five fucking years and we still have to beg for even an on-screen kiss.
For a moment there, as Mulder and Scully were cuddling and having a serious conversation about the future, I had to open a tab on my phone and google this episode again to make sure I wasn’t wrong and Chris Carter had actually written it. Of course, when we only got oblique references to the sex instead of, you know, actual sex, I felt like the world had righted itself. And yet, the only thing that comes to mind right now is this:
No, really Chris, I promise, it’s not what I wanted, it’s not what David and Gillian wanted, it’s certainly not what Mulder and Scully wanted, and I can promise it’s not what any fan wanted. Sure, we wanted the sex, but we wanted to SEE the sex.
We also wanted Mulder and Scully to acknowledge that no one’s going to meet anyone else, have kids with anyone else, heck, no one’s even going to take three steps away from the other because that is not how their relationship works after all this time. What happens when you’re old, Scully? You retire and GO BANG 24/7. That’s what happens in any world where common sense exists, aka the world without your creator.
“Shippers were heard” my ass, Chris. I’ve been a shipper for twenty five years, and I can tell you this is not what I wanted. This is not what how relationships work. In fact, your mythology hasn’t made sense for about twenty years and it still makes more sense than this.
If only I had any hope that you’re actually taking this where I want it to go, where it should go, after all these years. If only I thought these two people who I’ve loved for so many years are ever going to have a chance at a happy, hell, not ending, but beginning. If only I didn’t know the last episode of this season was going to be another struggle.
YOU KEEP USING THAT WORD
Am I ranting in circles about the same thing? It’s just …how are we here? And I don’t mean here in the world where Scully is telling Mulder to come back to bed and he’s asking her to put a dimmer on that afterglow, but here, where one of the most iconic couples in television history has never, in the year of our Lord 2018, had anything remotely resembling an actual sex scene.
But dude, they’ve been intimate. They invented intimacy without sex, just like Chris Carter invented ambiguity. And all of that might have been cute back in the 90s and all, but at this point, it’s not just absurd …it’s unbelievable. More unbelievable than freaking aliens.
And to be real honest, it makes me about as angry as that shit that we won’t mention and still somehow hope is fake at the end of the first episode of this season.
We’re not idiots, Chris. We’ve been following this show for eleven seasons. We’ve been writing fanfic for 25 years. We’ve had time to watch and re-watch all these episodes to the point of obsession. We know Mulder and Scully, and we possess common sense and a working brain and we know that the shit you’re trying to sell is just …not working.
Heck, it wasn’t working back in the 90s, but now, now it’s just a slap in the face.
Mulder and Scully were never platonic, not really, but once they definitely stopped being that, we should have gotten more than an oblique hint, and by God, once they became an actual, real couple, they should have stayed together because why in the world did they break up did you ever give me a reason I’m not even asking for a good one, just a reason, any reason?
Yes, I thought so. You don’t care. If the mythology doesn’t make sense, why should this?
Someone bring me a bottle of hard liquor and some fanfic. That’s how I got through the last few years, anyway.
Other things to note:
- THE THRUTH IS OUT THERE X 2.
- Does that mean you’re lying to use about something, Chris? DOES IT?
- By get back to our bread and butter you mean the crazy, right?
- “I’m just saying I think the kid’s too stupid to make it up.” See, this argument Scully can get behind. This should be your go-to.
- “Correct me if I’m wrong, Scully, and I know that you will.”
- I ship it. How can you not, CC? HOW CAN YOU NOT?
- Karin Konoval, who plays Little Judy AND Chucky, played Ma Peacock in “Home” and Madame Zelma in “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.”
- Yes, he’s tapping that tasty redhead. Nothing you say will convince me otherwise.
- Is “evil is a concept” Dana Scully the same Dana Scully from the second The X-Files movie that YOU YOURSELF WROTE, Chris?
- “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Quoting Conan Doyle, are we?
- “You’ve still got it going on.” Clearly she thinks the same about you, Mulder.
- People who’ve just had sex always, always cover themselves up to their necks with the blanket as they lie next to their sort-of-platonic partner.
- Imagine the eye-roll. Imagine.
- Scully, investigate the woman. Who else can understand the complex female mind other than a woman? I’ll take the man! Because gender stereotypes are not a problem, nah.
- I love me some Robert Patrick in Scorpion, but I would have really liked to see Agent Doggett back, and this is the episode where he was slated to appear.
- But hey, I can’t say I blame him from wanting to stay away from the shit-show, either. Smart man.
- Chris Carter right now, probably: They were just cuddling naked for warmth, it was a totally platonic situation. IT’S SCIENCE, TOTALLY NOT MADE UP.
- When your leads have a kid together, have sex, kiss on occasion and basically live together, you don’t get to use the word platonic. Forget the word exists. The word is banned. Bye Felicia.
The X-Files airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.