1006 - "My Struggle" the second

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Comments

  • JcoatesJcoates Wicklow, Ireland
    edited February 2016
    Oh my God. This was a new level of shite. I liked the middle four episodes of this season, but this episode...what were they thinking? It was just horrible. The science was just so painfully wrong, it was just painful. I know it's all make-believe at the end of the day, but how exactly were they suddenly going to cure everybody instantaneously? Scully was being a bit ambitious don't you think? I mean, she left poor Dr Einstein lying on a gurney with an infusion going into her arm, which might take about 30 mins to go in, then will take time to work so she can recover enough to get to work in that kitchen sink laboratory they have, and manufacture enough of that vaccine to treat everybody in the city. Not only that, but she tells EVERYBODY to go straight to the hospital, that they will be cured!! Didn't you think there was a bit of population pressure at the hospital already? So a marauding gang of delirious sick people descend on an already overrun hospital demanding this instant cure which ONE PERSON is in charge of manufacturing, get annoyed, trash the hospital, and kill all the doctors! As a doctor I have worked with some stupid people in my time but she takes the prize. Jesus Scully, you are so off Dr Einstein's Christmas card list. I was literally shouting at the TV. I thought the actors could barely contain their embarrassment with this abysmal script. Come on X-Files....get your act together.
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    edited February 2016
    I’m halfway through the podcast and realizing that this episode was even stupider than I’d thought, and I thought it was pretty damn stupid. I admire J&A for actually recapping the show scene-by-scene. That has to have been painful. Even thinking about it is painful. 

    I liked how you pointed out that Mulder says he doesn’t come running when Smoking Man calls, after he’d just done exactly that. I missed that one. 

    I’m sorry for all the hours of my life I spent on this disaster, except for the podcasts. 

    Although the mythological, conspiracy-series arc was the most interesting thing about all those years of the X-Files (at least when it comes to the stories), it’s always been handled terribly. I really think Carter is making it up as he goes along. Clearly Carter will never give his fans a satisfactory resolution to his “story.” He thinks he can keep on milking them with the same nonsense year in and out. 

    I thought the X-Files had overstayed its welcome long before the second (awful) movie. I’d hoped that in the intervening years, Carter had learned something about basic storytelling, but he’s just gotten worse. 

    If I want tease I’ll go to a burlesque show.
  • Well, to be fair the Muslim terrorist plot line was offensive, too.  Now, you can be offensive if you do it in an interesting, novel, or funny way.  I flatter myself that I pull it off from time to time.  You really get the big :-/ when you are offensive in a trite, cliched kind of way.


    Back in '91, a good friend of mine got beat up in Jr. High and called a "sand n----" because America was at war with Iraq at the time and he was Muslim.  He was cool to me, despite me being in a weird fucked up Christian cult.  Sometimes I'd hitch a ride with his family to the Muslim center and we'd play Mortal Kombat in the rec room.  They were all cool, too.  Seems like in 2016 we could show a devout Muslim without an explosion in the following scene.  When's the last time we saw one in popular media?

    You're absolutely fooling yourself if you think that 9/10ths of all devout Christians on television were depicted as abortion clinic bombers people wouldn't be marching in the streets about it.  Which is absurd, since it's hard to think of a larger, more vocal, more powerful majority that nevertheless thinks it's constantly under attack like Christians in America.  But Muslims are supposed to shrug it off and be like, "oh well, I guess our radical extemists do make for really great villains."
    What a load of PC crap.

    But you are right--Muslim terrorists do make great villains. American audiences feel helpless against the atrocities of Muslim terrorism IRL, so they enjoy seeing them as villains that lose in movies and TV. 

    If X-Files or Law & Order or NCIS or any show did an episode about Christian extremist abortion clinic bombers getting caught or killed by the good guys, Christians wouldn't be marching in the streets. But 90% of Christians on television won't be depicted as abortion clinic bombers because there is not that much appetite for those story lines. 

    Not many Americans feel threatened by abortion clinic bombings. A lot of Americans feel threatened by Muslim terrorism. 

    Sure, there can be a devout Muslim depicted on screen without an explosion in the following scene. But it's not the X-Files burden to balance these depictions. Just a couple episodes earlier, they cast a Pakistani-born actor in a non-terrorist role. I guess they missed the opportunity to have him read from the Koran in his Animal Control office.
    [Deleted User]
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA

    - Does anyone else think that Cris Carter calls other 90s showrunners trying to pitch reboots? "Hey, David Chase, how about bringing friends back? You could break up Ross and Rachel, and then end the run on a cliffhanger about whether or not they get back together." "Hey, JJ, how about bringing Felicity back, and this time she once again becomes undecided about Ben or Noel, only to end on her telling someone who is not shown she chooses them."

    Not to be  that stickler guy on the board, but David Chase did The Sopranos, not Friends.

    As for my thoughts on the episode--it actually didn't swerve too far out of their known mythology season finale-lane. Granted this was an absolute train wreck, but many of the staples are there.

    *I know people complained about Mulder & Scully not being together, but tons of the mythology episodes did the same thing. Scully would be off doing her science bit, while Mulder took the hands on investigative approach.

    *I cannot for a second buy the Cigarette Smoking Man's continued existence. If they were serious about bringing the show back (and it being good), this would have been a perfect time to just ignore that character--he "died" in the finale after all. Time for a new villain to step in if they needed someone to and wanted to continue the mythology thing. But no, that would make way too much sense.

    *Jim & A.Ron contemplated the role of William in this episode in a previous cast and how essential it was. I was in agreement. He was brought up in the most ham-fisted ways possible throughout the past 5 episodes, I figured he had to play a role. But...nope. He was brought up in the last 45 seconds to give an idea about where they will focus next season I guess. What a complete misfire

    *I wasn't completely surprised by the cliffhanger. This also is a staple of X-Files season finales. Starting with Season 2 they all ended with a bit of a "oh fuck" moment. This was no different. I actually did what I did as a kid and was looking at how much time they had left in the episode and realizing there was no human way they could wrap this up in a bow. The cliffhanger actually doesn't bother me...what bothers me is the choice to do a cliffhanger with how they've presented this season. Its been billed as an "event" not a full-on Season 10 Return of the X-Files. And there has been no confirmation of a Season 11, though I think the writing is on the wall at this point. With how this was billed, I think many were expecting a self-contained 6 episodes that would reference what happened in the past, but not be reliant on it. This is the exact opposite of all of that. It was completely reliant on viewer's knowledge of the history of The X-Files (not that it made much difference, it was all absolute gibberish that I doubt even the most die-hard fans could really make much sense of).

    *I feel bad that J&A covered this because it was just awful and there are better shows that they could have got more mileage out of. But I guess thats the way this stuff goes, who would have known that they could have covered an unknown show called Mr. Robot and gotten some bang for their buck on that one.

    *Also Scully running out to try and save Mulder's life instead of helping the doctors who could save millions more lives by extension was ridiculous. Its the whole "Give someone a fish and they will eat for a night, teach someone to fish and they will eat for a lifetime," thing. I get it...the plot requires it. This is TV. But this also isn't 90s TV anymore. Miller should have got Mulder to the hospital somehow...etc etc.

    *If the "event" had been more focused, this episode could have been something interesting to watch because they had all of the pieces on the board. Actors, writers, producers, fans, etc. But at the end of the day (and these past god-awful six weeks) it feels like an opportunity that hasn't just been squandered but thrown into an empty pool and firebombed.
  • Oops, meant to say David Crane.
  • *Jim & A.Ron contemplated the role of William in this episode in a previous cast and how essential it was. I was in agreement. He was brought up in the most ham-fisted ways possible throughout the past 5 episodes, I figured he had to play a role. But...nope.


    William had planned to appear in Episode 6, but he noped out after watching "Babylon".
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Two things that I think were very effective actually--were the music. Mark Snow has always been a beast in that department. And he really brought the epicness that they were wanting to the table, even if just about everything else fell short.

    Also, I thought the intro was pretty creepy. it was a nice bookend to Mulder's intro in the premiere. Also seeing Scully alien-ize was somewhat disturbing. Both these things may have already been shit upon or praised) in the podcast, but they stood out as highlights to me.
  • According to Chris Carter, Fox wants more episodes and both Duchovny and Anderson would be up to doing them. 
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    fidoz said:

    According to Chris Carter, Fox wants more episodes and both Duchovny and Anderson would be up to doing them. 

    Well they are alone in that...actually not entirely true. I wouldn't mind poking my head in if it sounds like singular episodes kick ass. But I just don't trust this show-runner as far as I can throw him.
  • Two things:
    One: At the very least, Theo, Hans Gruber's computer expert, was absolutely not German.
    Two, and please don't take this as me defending this "event series" for what it turned out to be: Some part of the crappiness has to be put on Fox, and I say that mostly because of what has come to light fairly recently about how AMC has restricted the budget of The Walking Dead to an absurd degree... I find it implausible that Chris Carter just steamrolled everybody and got exactly what he wanted. There is probably more to the situation than we know, so just on that slim possibility, I can hold on to a tiny bit of hope for the future of The X-Files.
    [Deleted User]
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Zinzan said:



    What a load of PC crap.


    But you are right--Muslim terrorists do make great villains. American audiences feel helpless against the atrocities of Muslim terrorism IRL, so they enjoy seeing them as villains that lose in movies and TV. 

    Look man, you can disagree with me, but dismissing anyone's arguments as "crap" is going to get you shown the door. In fact, if you had said that to any of the users except for me, I'd probably have tossed you already. Rule #1 here is literally don't be a dick.

    "PC crap" is calling a garbage man a sanitation engineer. Pointing out that old, cliched tropes that make minority Americans feel shitty about themselves is sticking up for the little guy. The opposite of that would be wallowing in ignorance at best, and bullying at worst. While it's true that television can and does appeal to the lowest common denominator ignorance, that's not usually the kind of stuff I like to watch much less cover. I realize I fucked up with the X-Files, because I didn't realize Carter would be willing to either embrace, pander to, or clumsily try and rebuke people like racists or conspiracy theorists. I'm honestly not sure what his motivations are. But make no mistake, "Babylon" was an attempt to be what you would call PC. It's just a poor, black and white, outdated attempt to do so.
  • Zinzan said:



    What a load of PC crap.


    But you are right--Muslim terrorists do make great villains. American audiences feel helpless against the atrocities of Muslim terrorism IRL, so they enjoy seeing them as villains that lose in movies and TV. 

    Look man, you can disagree with me, but dismissing anyone's arguments as "crap" is going to get you shown the door. In fact, if you had said that to any of the users except for me, I'd probably have tossed you already. Rule #1 here is literally don't be a dick.

    "PC crap" is calling a garbage man a sanitation engineer. Pointing out that old, cliched tropes that make minority Americans feel shitty about themselves is sticking up for the little guy. The opposite of that would be wallowing in ignorance at best, and bullying at worst. While it's true that television can and does appeal to the lowest common denominator ignorance, that's not usually the kind of stuff I like to watch much less cover. I realize I fucked up with the X-Files, because I didn't realize Carter would be willing to either embrace, pander to, or clumsily try and rebuke people like racists or conspiracy theorists. I'm honestly not sure what his motivations are. But make no mistake, "Babylon" was an attempt to be what you would call PC. It's just a poor, black and white, outdated attempt to do so.
    Interesting side note: It's amazing how I hear A. Ron's voice when I read his posts on this forum. Kinda neat.

    I admit that I specifically felt freer with my language because it was directed at you--I've read you say before that you let a lot go when directed at you vs. directed at another forum user.

    Let's agree to disagree. I am a minority. As such, maybe I don't suffer from white man's guilt to the extent that others do.


  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Zinzan said:

    Zinzan said:



    What a load of PC crap.


    But you are right--Muslim terrorists do make great villains. American audiences feel helpless against the atrocities of Muslim terrorism IRL, so they enjoy seeing them as villains that lose in movies and TV. 

    Look man, you can disagree with me, but dismissing anyone's arguments as "crap" is going to get you shown the door. In fact, if you had said that to any of the users except for me, I'd probably have tossed you already. Rule #1 here is literally don't be a dick.

    "PC crap" is calling a garbage man a sanitation engineer. Pointing out that old, cliched tropes that make minority Americans feel shitty about themselves is sticking up for the little guy. The opposite of that would be wallowing in ignorance at best, and bullying at worst. While it's true that television can and does appeal to the lowest common denominator ignorance, that's not usually the kind of stuff I like to watch much less cover. I realize I fucked up with the X-Files, because I didn't realize Carter would be willing to either embrace, pander to, or clumsily try and rebuke people like racists or conspiracy theorists. I'm honestly not sure what his motivations are. But make no mistake, "Babylon" was an attempt to be what you would call PC. It's just a poor, black and white, outdated attempt to do so.
    Interesting side note: It's amazing how I hear A. Ron's voice when I read his posts on this forum. Kinda neat.

    I admit that I specifically felt freer with my language because it was directed at you--I've read you say before that you let a lot go when directed at you vs. directed at another forum user.

    Let's agree to disagree. I am a minority. As such, maybe I don't suffer from white man's guilt to the extent that others do.


    Haha, possibly true, and thanks.
    Zinzan
  • SunjesterSunjester Bay Area, CA
    Lordy, lordy. I finally got to watch "My Struggle II (electric boogaloo)" last night and after that horrific ending had to immediately put on my headphones to listen to the pod. Needless to say, my wife got super-confused as I broke into fits of laughter while I made dinner. Have to agree with A. Ron... how could Duchovny and Anderson not point out how completely absurd the writing and plot were? Was it just a cash grab? Did they not read the script all the way through (perhaps only reading it scene by scene)? I'm not an X-Files purist, but these six episodes were gawd-awful (you can tell I'm not a purist because I hated the Were-monster episode the most). Please, FOX, don't bring this show back.
    brewsevelt
  • I wonder if the reason Kumail decided not to do podcasts of these new ones was to avoid being put in the Chris Hardwick situation.
  • brewseveltbrewsevelt Boston, MA
    edited February 2016
    Pretty sure it was brought up in the episode thread, but here was Kumail's tweet after that ep aired:


    Pitch: A Movie/ TV ep that starts w a Muslim guy praying & then it turns out he's a normal guy & the story has nothing to do with terrorism.
  • Speaking of Kumail, I listened to his podcasts recorded during his recent Xthon. He interviewed both Darin and Glen Morgan, so I can't recall which one of them said this, but one of them basically said if any writer wrote more than a couple X-Files episodes, they eventually wrote a complete stinker. He implied this was due to the volume (20+ episodes per season), and the fact that all monster stories sound pretty stupid at first pitch. Even after throwing it around the writer's room and storyboarding it and finalizing the first draft, by the time you know it doesn't work well, it's too late to change stories very much.

    I found that interesting. Sounds reasonable.

    You'd think that, with 10 years to think about story ideas, they could have come up with 6 really good episodes, but...


  • edited February 2016
    Zinzan said:

    You'd think that, with 10 years to think about story ideas, they could have come up with 6 really good episodes, but...
    I've heard this sentiment a lot, including on the podcast, and I think it's a little unfair.

    I don't think the scripts started until Fox green lit the project.  The "Were-Monster" was sort of an adaptation, but the conservative tone of everything else was clearly written in today's climate.  There may have even been some clause against using old ideas, including some of the unmade episodes from Wikipedia.

    So for all the problems this season had, I can't really say they should have spent those years mining ideas or that this is all they could come up with.  I think it's a piece of shit, but fresh shit.
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    Yeah I'm not going to lie I peaked in to see the reaction. I'm debating on watching it just to listen to the cast hate on it or just waiting to see if they ever continue the story. I don't really want to just end on a cliffhanger.
  • Zinzan said:

    Speaking of Kumail, I listened to his podcasts recorded during his recent Xthon. He interviewed both Darin and Glen Morgan, so I can't recall which one of them said this, but one of them basically said if any writer wrote more than a couple X-Files episodes, they eventually wrote a complete stinker. He implied this was due to the volume (20+ episodes per season), and the fact that all monster stories sound pretty stupid at first pitch. Even after throwing it around the writer's room and storyboarding it and finalizing the first draft, by the time you know it doesn't work well, it's too late to change stories very much.


    I found that interesting. Sounds reasonable.

    You'd think that, with 10 years to think about story ideas, they could have come up with 6 really good episodes, but...


    I think a lot of the problems with this new season were absolutely related to a lack of a "writer's room." Darin Morgan's script was ready and just adapted to the x files Wong, Morgan and Carter all worked by themselves on their scripts. There was no feedback mechanism this time around, no one to reign in stupid ideas, and this is what you got.
  • GredalBee said:


    Zinzan said:

    You'd think that, with 10 years to think about story ideas, they could have come up with 6 really good episodes, but...
    I've heard this sentiment a lot, including on the podcast, and I think it's a little unfair.

    I don't think the scripts started until Fox green lit the project.  The "Were-Monster" was sort of an adaptation, but the conservative tone of everything else was clearly written in today's climate.  There may have even been some clause against using old ideas, including some of the unmade episodes from Wikipedia.

    So for all the problems this season had, I can't really say they should have spent those years mining ideas or that this is all they could come up with.  I think it's a piece of shit, but fresh shit.
    What I was saying was a little tongue in cheek, but I think by nature, these monster guys think about monsters every once in a while, and have thought up ideas over the past 10 years. I bet Vince Gilligan has a few monster ideas in his notebook. I bet all of them do. 

    But, true, they may have had a mandate to write fresh stuff, or to fit into a specific theme or tone, etc.

  • aberry89aberry89 California
    I watched ep. 5 just now and I after reading some comments here, I dont know if I even care to watch this last one... god episode 5 was such a pile of dumb shit. Do I even need to watch ep 6 guys?

    At least we got one good episode this season, ironically it didn't have a whole lot to do with Mulder and Scully :C
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