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Jan 6, 2018

X-out

CSM: "I want to lie."
Right at the start of "My Struggle III" they briefly changed "I want to believe" to "I want to lie". Cute. However, the best thing about Season 11 came to X-Files fans just before episode 1 was shown: Gillian Anderson confirmed that she is done with the show: Season 11 is the last hurrah for Scully (unless Anderson agrees to let the show runners play around with a CGI Scully). The departure of Duchovny and Anderson (and Chris Carter) would be a good thing, a door opening to the possibility of starting over with an "X-files the Next Generation" spin-off.

Scully is knocked unconscious
by a powerful telepathic signal
Feb 23, 2016
Two years ago, I smelled something fishy when "My Struggle II" seemed to jump the shark and depart from the standard X-files practice of allowing us to believe that the saga of Dana and Fox takes place in the world that we viewers inhabit. At that time, I was forced to wonder if the "end of the world" as depicted in "My Struggle II" was only just a dream. However, I would have preferred a more Sci Fi alternative for how to move ahead with The X-Files rather than just X-ing out the events of "My Struggle II".


2018: Chris Carter's struggle to remain relevant.
Jan 3, 2017
Chris Carter took us into Season 11 with "My Struggle III", the third of a series of four "mythology" episodes (Season 10: MS1, MS2). The "my" of the title might just be Carter himself. His struggle? How can he possibly do yet another iteration of "the world is ending" ("but, this time for sure!")?

I Died, but I got Better
Chris Carter has long teased us with the idea of planet Earth as a world that was long ago impregnated with alien nanites. A classic Sci Fi theme is "uplift", using technology to help primitive life forms continue their evolution and progression towards a glorious future.

More lies
What if the CSM was among the first humans who could successfully interact with (and partially control) the alien nanites that are here on Earth? Easy to believe that the CSM is now driven by the idea of exterminating the old and futile homo sapiens, allowing only the new alien-DNA-uplifted-mutants like Dana and William to inherit the Earth.

The CSM experiments on aliens.
Just another lie?
And let's add one more constraint. Those alien nanites don't ever "reveal" themselves to humans. The alien nanites are part of our brains, and CSM has a brain that allows him to make use of some of the powers that are inherent in the alien technology. But even the CSM does not really understand the basis of his powers, including an ability to see into the future and an ability to defy death (is he immortal, like Dana?).

Scully's brain on telepathy.
All in the Family
Just like the CSM, Scully is having visions of the future. She awakens from a strange "seizure" and announces that the world-wide plague, as depicted in "My Struggle II, is a possible future, telepathically transmitted into her brain by her son, William. Her vision was a warning about a possible future, but she knows that she can change the future and prevent Mulder's death.

Searching for William
I suppose Chris Carter has in mind a complete family history for William. Here are my speculations about the origin of William.

All in the family.
I'm going to assume that "My Struggle I" and "My Struggle II" were the telling of the plights of Mulder and Scully. "My Struggle III" was the story of the CSM (apparently his real name is Carl Bush). "My Struggle IV" will be the story of William {but see episode 5}. I'm guessing that the reason Monica Reyes is willing to hang out with the CSM is because it was her DNA that was used along with that of the CSM to craft William using "alien technology".

Hang in there Gillian,
only 9 more episodes to go!
Mulder
We have to wonder if Mulder has some telepathic ability too (this was hinted at in Season 10), because he knows that something bad is happening to Scully and he desperately wants to stay by Scully's side while she recovers in the hospital. After a wild goose chase (he drives to South Carolina in order to cast an illegal ballot against the end of the world), he eventually returns to Scully just in time to save her from a mysterious attacker, an agent who works for one of the splinter/remnant groups of the old Syndicate.

CSM2
The mysterious CSM2.
This splinter group has its own smoker: Mr. CSM2 ("Mr. Y.", played by Alan C. Peterson). CSM2 tries to talk Mulder into helping get William off Earth and into outer space (CSM2 mutters: "we're close than you think"). Mulder isn't interested: he does not want to condemn the bulk of Humanity to destruction while allowing a just few survivors to escape into outer space. Mulder has faith that Scully can stop the CSM from using the "Spartan virus".

Is this CSM2's spaceship?
Maybe that was CSM2's spaceship shining a light on Scully at the end of Season 10 (image to the left).

Why Attack Scully?
Does someone really want Scully dead or was the episode 1 "attack on Scully" just part of an inept attempt to find William? Everyone, including the CSM (and viewers) are now interested in finding William.

Scully is attacked!
Embarrassingly, Chris Carter simply takes every available opportunity to insert testosterone into "My Struggle III". Maybe Carter has reached the age where (for him) more testosterone is the answer to everything. To give Mulder relevance, he must be depicted as the White Knight who saves Scully. So there must be an absurd pillow-smothering attack on Scully in the hospital.

Skinner deploys the gun he took from Reyes.
Similarly, viewers must be subjected to a silly 700 mile-long car chase scene. This is Hollywood, right? And if (former?) agent Reyes is dicking around with the CSM, then the manly Skinner can be made relevant by having him snatch a gun away from Reyes and turn it on the CSM. Speaking of wasteful uses of cast members, we get to "enjoy" the magical arrival of agents Einstein and Miller on the scene of Scully's car accident. Yes, this is the new millennium, so Dana gets to drive, too. Get over it: half this episode is devoted to cars and cell phones, suggesting an alternate motto for Season 11: "Going nowhere but talking about it anyhow".

The visions of Reyes
We need a scorecard to keep track of which X-Files cast members actually still work for the FBI. Maybe it does not matter anymore. I guess Reyes is no longer associated with the government, and, in hindsight, it is hard to imagine why she ever was in the FBI, unless being an enthusiast for numerology and a fan of The Brady Bunch qualifies you (it only makes sense in Chris Carter's alternate reality where swarms of satanists are monitored by the FBI). We've been told that she believes in reincarnation and at times has visions (see in particular this episode). It may be that Reyes had a particularly advantageous set of genes for creating a superhuman (William).

Is this William? (see)
Scully (endlessly) insists that she isn't crazy, that she is receiving telepathic contacts originating from her son, William and she explains to Mulder and other confused viewers that the purpose of those communications is to guide and help Mulder and Scully. At the very end of the episode, there were a few seconds of images showing some young dude who seems to be suffering from the same sort of mental spasm as did Scully earlier in the episode. Is this William, struggling to master his telepathic powers? Be sure to tune in for "My Struggle IV".

The CSM special.
Here in Arizona, The X-Files is shown one hour later than in the rest of the country, so I got to follow fan tweets for an hour before finally watching the commercials show on television. The most amusing Twitter reaction for episode 1 came from romance-minded fans of the Dana-Fox duo after the CSM claimed to be William's father. It is no surprise that the X-shippers rioted over the suggestion that CSM had used alien technology to create William as the first "superhuman" and then used Dana and Fox as surrogate parents. Maybe in "My Struggle IV" we will be told that the source of the egg cell used to create William is actually Reyes (thus her snarky comment to CSM about Dana: "I think you're in love with her.").

I'm off to work, Dana. You just rest.
Funny line
In "My Struggle III" we are teased with more CGI aliens. We are also told that the aliens have lost interest in Earth because, "they don't want a warming Earth with declining resources".

At the end of the episode, Scully tells Mulder and other dazed viewers that they have to keep doing their work: the truth is in the X-files and eventually William will contact them.

Season 11: the search for William
Whiny fans
I have to confess: as much as I like to complain about the science fiction road not taken by Chris Carter and The X-Files, he knows how to make entertaining television shows. I'm ready for the rest of Season 11. I suspect that with the name of the family that adopted William (provided by Jeffrey Spender), Scully quickly found documentation for the adoption.

Ketchup with Season 11
Then Skinner found the adoption file that Dana left behind after she had another "seizure". Then the CSM got the info about William from Skinner. At that point, William stopped trying to attract Dana's attention, because it was no longer safe for Dana and William to meet up. So we have 8 regular X-Files episodes to go through while Fox and Dana wait for their chance to meet William.
because... Aliens

Related Reading:
science fiction in The X-files
Catch up with Season 10
Season 11, Episodes 2 & 3
  episode #4 (funny)
Episode 5 - meet William
Episode 6 - conspiracy general
Episode 7 - jump the sushi
Episodes 8 and 9
The Season 11 finale: Episode 10

Next: investigating dimensional engineering 
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