With just a few weeks before the premiere of The X-Files – Season 11, we’ve had the opportunity to preview the first five episodes of the season.
The episodes shared with us are not final; they’re still in various states of completion, with a few details of ADR, VFX, color correction, music and sound mixing still to be finessed… so we had to use our imagination in some parts. Past the details that FOX has requested that we don’t divulge, we are excited to share a few small tidbits to tide you over the holidays, and until the premiere on Wednesday - January 3rd, 2018 at 8PM – click here to find out Where to Watch The X-Files in Your Region
The following may contain mild, very mild spoilers. Proceed at your own risk after the jump.
Our more detailed reviews will come as the season premieres, but we wanted to share our first impressions of this highly anticipated continuation.
Season 11 so far feels stronger, with some wish list items from the fandom definitely addressed in one way or another. Where Season 10 felt like each episode could exist on its own for better or worse, this season feels more integrated and robust, with each episode making a conscious effort to correlate to others. David and Gillian’s chemistry is as strong as ever, and the banter… is out there. When we look at the big picture, we feel good about the season, even when there are still uneven and definitely problematic parts to it.
Some of those parts, unfortunately... are details that we can't reveal just yet.
“My Struggle III” - written and directed by Chris Carter.
The logline: "Picking up after the last event series’ cliffhanger, Mulder and Scully learn that they aren’t the only ones desperately searching for their long-lost son, William. The very fate of the world may depend on it."
Our take: Reviewing this one is… difficult, without giving anything away that explains this difficulty. While it does continue – in a way – with the cliffhanger from Season 10, and it sticks to the same style that Carter adopted for the “My Struggle” chapters, this one has some dramatic moments that felt a bit better in building the suspense. But not quite enough. There’s a clear attempt to be more organic in this one, that is - compared to the previous two in Season 10 - but what makes them similar, is that there's a difficulty to develop and stay focused on the world we already knew. And while we’re looking forward to the completed version, because there are some moments that will be “X-Phile Favorites” for a lot of reasons… this episode is not the best of the preview. With a few familiar faces coming back, a few intriguing and shocking storylines ensue. There will be moments that will be fodder of arduous online discussion that will carry us through the season, for fans old and new. One thing is clear: there’s no way to watch this episode and walk away from it with a lukewarm reaction to it.
“This” – written and directed by Glen Morgan.
The Logline: "An old friend reaches out to Mulder and Scully in a seemingly impossible way, revealing a chilling secret."
Our take: We’re having a hard time deciding if this is our favorite. This MOTW was a LOT of fun. Full of action and smart banter, Glen Morgan does what he does best: deliver an episode that addresses a lot of endearing moments, great music choices, and great writing. We can’t wait to elaborate more on this one. The twists and turns were smart, and old fans will smile at some very unexpected blasts from the past.
“Plus One” – written by Chris Carter and directed by Kevin Hooks.
The Logline: "A spate of deaths, in which the victims were plagued by their own doppelgangers, lead Mulder and Scully to a pair of twins playing a dangerous game. Guest-starring Karin Konoval (Season Four’s “Home”)."
Our take: Another MOTW, with a great teaser, great banter, and what we promise was a moment that had us catching our breath. Even with missing finishing touches, this episode was very enjoyable, very much in the vein of classic X-Files.
“The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” – written and directed by Darrin Morgan.
The logline: "Exploring the idea of The Mandela Effect, in which large groups of people remember an alternate history, Mulder and Scully find out how the X-Files themselves may really have originated. Guest-starring Brian Huskey as “Reggie Something.”"
Our Take: Now… this one is sort of… out there. This will be the one you either LOVE or HATE, or at least that was our impression. There are quite a few moments that are filled with irreverent comedy, like only Darrin Morgan can deliver, and others that you sort of gasp and say: “wow… they really went there.” Gillian and David are quite hilarious and the episode is a chock full of clever references, ranging from classic TV & Film, to the current news cycle.
“Ghouli”- written and directed by James Wong.
The logline: "When a pair of teenage girls attack one another, each believing the other to be a monster, Mulder and Scully find that their investigation could possibly lead back to their long-lost son, William."
Our take: Of the first five, this was the other contender for the strongest one. Just like “This”, “Ghouli” seems pretty tight and complete, even at this stage. But while Glen Morgan’s episode is fun, this one will grab your heart and just squeeze it in a way that you are not prepared for. Gillian Anderson deserves all the awards.
Stay tuned for our individual reviews for each episode coming up closer to broadcast. We’re sure we’re going to love coming back to discuss more X-Files!