‘The X-Files’ 11×09 Review: This Shit Is Almost Over

Chris Carter, or maybe The X-Files in general, are like that one night stand you really, really enjoyed while it was happening, but have regretted every second since.

This is a terrible comparison to make for me, especially, because I grew up on this show. I started watching it when I was a kid that should have probably been watching cartoons and not scary shows that scarred her for life to the point that she now avoids scary movies like the plague. I continued through my teenage years, getting into fandom for the first time, writing fic for the first time, and, as an adult, whether via that movie or the two revivals, the show has never felt completely dead to me – it’s always been brimming with possibilities.

I really, really hope those die next week. I don’t want The X-Files to be part of my life anymore, as anything other than nostalgia.

And yes, nostalgia is a powerful thing. It can take you very, very far. It just can’t take you as far as The X-Files revival (or Chris Carter) needs you to go, and that’s why the show should have stayed as nostalgia. That’s why it needs to go back to being just that.

Because, let me be honest with you, I loved this show so much more when it wasn’t on my TV screen every week. I loved this show so much more when time had given me separation from the really, really bad moments, and mounting appreciating for the really good ones.

In twenty five years, there have, after all, been plenty of both.

The sad thing is, this episode perfectly encapsulates eleven years of The X-Files. It was strange to the point of being nonsensical at times, like the writers were soooo convinced that the brand of The X-Files precluded common sense that they weren’t even trying. It was also, at times, very touching, and when Anderson and Duchovny were allowed to, even somewhat romantic.

But that’s it. That’s all you get. That’s all we ever get.


THE X-FILES: L-R: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in the “Nothing Lasts Forever” episode of THE X-FILES airing Wednesday, March 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Shane Harvey/FOX

And forgive me, but after twenty five freaking years and eleven freaking seasons, vague just doesn’t cut it. It never really did back in the day, but hey, at least back then this was the first show actually doing it, the one that set the standard for so much of the torture that TV would inflict on shippers. And back in the day, the little that the actors could emote was enough to sustain us.

Sometimes, like in that final scene, it seems like it might still be.

But, when the episode ended, I was still left with this profound sense of emptiness. This was not the revival I wanted, and this is not the show I fell in love with. And no, I really, really don’t want any more of this, so hey, Gillian, thank you for taking a stand. Never, ever come back to a show that only loved you for all the ways they could torture you to make the men around you, including Carter, feel things.

If you stay away, maybe we’ll be spared any more of this nonsense.

“Nothing Lasts Forever,” which I hope is a prophetic title, fails in just more than what I’ve just mentioned, though, it fails in new and spectacular ways, by re-introducing the religion aspect to a show that has only used it once every three years and then pretended it was ZOMG SO IMPORTANT when they always failed to explain why.

Then again, now that I think about it, that could be said of many things. Maybe this is not new. Maybe it’s just more of the same.


THE X-FILES: L-R: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in the “Nothing Lasts Forever” episode of THE X-FILES airing Wednesday, March 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Shane Harvey/FOX

I can’t end this review, though, without mentioning that, as much as I really didn’t enjoy this episode, and as much as I don’t really want to go into the minutia of it, because I’m just so tired of trying to make sense of all the nonsense, I’m pretty sure this is going to be much better than what awaits us next week. Next week is the finale and closure, and that’s one thing Chris Carter doesn’t do well.

Add that to the long list that includes romance, mythology,  and writing women, in general.

But, just for a moment, I want to sit here and bask in what this show gave me – an appreciation for TV, an appreciation for strong, take-charge, intelligent female characters that, I’d discover many years later, can make themselves that way DESPITE the men around them.

That’s the legacy of Dana Scully, and in so many ways, of this show. The message that, despite the crap the world throws at us, we can thrive. We can move forward, we can be who we want to be and do what we want to do.

So, for that, and for the love story that this show managed to tell, despite Carter, despite the shoddy mythology, and at times, despite the constrains of a existing in a male dominated world, I thank you.

(Not you, Chris. Just the universe. Or maybe David and Gillian. You deserve nothing from me.)

Except, quite possibly, the rant that’s coming next week. I’m pretty sure you’ve earned that.

The X-Files airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.

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