The X-Files – My Struggle III
By: Kelly Kearney
“The X-Files” is back and the truth may be something we never saw coming. After last season’s cliffhanger which left Mulder (David Duchovny) and the rest of the humanity dying from the Spartan virus while Scully (Gillian Anderson) got up close and personal with a UFO, “My Struggle III” picks up where we left off only to realize nothing is what it seems.
Carl Gehardt Bush’s God Complex
We open on the diabolical Cigarette Smoking Man (A/K/A CSM. A/K/A Carl Gerhardt Bush. Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) is recounting his life’s story alongside the decline of the planet and humanity itself. He waxes history like a true egotist, fluffing and preening over his role in everything from space exploration, to the assassination of presidents. It seems CSM was behind every decision in the United States since that fateful day in Roswell where an alien invasion first became a reality. No part of the country’s history is free from his maniacal fingerprints. He brags about making and breaking presidents and duping the world into believing a moon landing hoax. He is the spin master, spinning human life to suit his own sick jokes and for a while he did so with the approval of our government…that is until he went rogue. Now, he’s an old man, watching the planet destroy itself as humans argue over fake news all the while trading facts and science for emotion and religion. Carl thinks humanity is at its peak and it’s rotten to the core, but there is still hope. The key to the planet’s destruction and subsequent rebirth might just be in the hands of special boy and his red headed mother.
Brains on Fire
At the FBI, a seemingly healthy Mulder finds Scully bleeding and lying on the floor with what EMT’s think might have been a seizure. Scully, the picture of perfect health, would’ve told Mulder if she was suffering from some unseen illness and he assures her doctor (Anjali Jay) that she’s in good health. After a few tests reveal her brain is firing on more cylinders than is humanly possible and the doctors start to worry that her brain is literally on fire which could lead to her eventual demise. Desperate for his partner to recover, Mulder sits at her bedside recounting his own involvement in Scully’s pain. Blaming himself for the enemies he’s made during his relentless mission and hoping once again, Scully isn’t their target. While he’s beating himself up, Scully is unconscious yet remembering the virus, Mulder’s impending death and an extraordinary encounter on a bridge.
Frightened, Scully shoots up from her hospital bed in shock to see Mulder alive and well and the world still intact. She tries telling him about the virus and what’s to come, but Mulder chocks it up to her overactive brain and feverish delusions. Scully, frustrated with the only man in the world she trusts not taking her seriously, tells him to go find CSM. He’s alive and about to release a virus in West Virginia. Mulder’s not sure what to believe, but after a chat with Scully’s doctor, whose had her own experience with government testing conspiracies, he thinks someone planted these thoughts in her mind. Not wanting to leave her side, Scully becomes exasperated by her partners disbelief and hops out of her bed to take matters into her own hands. Eventually, Mulder agrees to check out Spartan, West Virginia, ground zero for the end of the world.
We Want the boy
Cut to an alley where a fresh but slightly scarred faced Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens) is run down by a car but somehow manages to escape on foot until he’s tackled by an unknown assailant who’s ready to kill for “the boy.” Of course, the boy is William and when Spender gets away from the attacker he calls Mulder to let him know they’re all in danger, William included. Unfortunately, CSM is listening in on his son’s phone calls and turns to Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) with news that Mulder is coming to kill him and they can’t be found. Later, Monica questions CSM’s plans now that word of it has gotten out. Smugly, he laughs off her concerns and claims the fake news fanatics will make his end of the world plot seem like blip on people’s radar. Monica reminds him that the bond between Scully and William is strong and the boy is still his weakness. CSM assures her William won’t be a problem.
On the road to West Virginia, Mulder recounts his past and the possibility that once again Scully is paying the price for his quest to find answers to life beyond this planet. Is it possible that some secret government agency scrambled Scully’s brains to torture her into insanity and keep them both from uncovering the truth? Mulder is racked with guilt until he notices he’s being followed and has been for quite some time. FBI Agent Bad Ass hits the gas and takes his tail on a high-speed car chase with Mulder eventually losing the car.
At the hospital, Scully gets a visit from Spender or did she? Jeffrey tells her that William is in trouble and even though she made him promise to keep his location a secret now she needs to know because the boy is the key. Spender tells her his name is William Vandekamp and then in the blink of an eye Spender is gone and Scully’s doctor enters never having seen the scarred faced visitor. Was this visit all in her head? Possibly, but that’s not stopping Scully from finding her son. She leaps out of bed against doctor’s orders and heads to the FBI ready to find William and, hopefully, save his father from the virus she knows is coming.
In the basement of the FBI, Mulder calls Scully and he’s not thrilled his hot-headed partner left the hospital in her condition. This time, Mulder was right because Scully grabs her head and hits the floor in a kind of seizure that finds mother communicating with son. An auburn-haired teen flashes through her mind in agony. The link between the two is overwhelming and, eventually, Scully passes out under Mulder’s desk.
The Secret Syndicate
With Mulder on his way to West Virginia, CSM is adamant he won’t be found. Monica questions why a father wouldn’t care if his own son died from this virus, but he will go above and beyond to protect Scully? She wonders if CSM loves Scully and, in a way, he does. She has always been the key to his plans. Her fate, like all humanity’s, was set before they were even born. Now that the wheels are in motion, even he can’t stop it. The only person with that power seems to be William.
When Mulder reaches CSM’s location he is shocked to find his father gone, but in his place is a man named Mr. Y (A.C. Peterson) and a group of unknown conspirators led by Erika Price (Barbara Hershey). This secret syndicate is also looking to stop CSM’s plans to kill humanity and they had hoped Mulder would lead them to him. Erika tells Mulder that the aliens are not coming to a warming planet that depleted its resources, but the end is still coming and they too have a plan. They try convincing the agent of a colony in space they’ve built and offer Mulder a spot in their new world. Having been offered a similar deal last season by his father, Mulder realizes this syndicate wants the CMS dead for their own selfish reasons and, once again, he’s just a pawn in their conspiracy. He declines their offer and realizes the only person that can stop all of this is Scully. Too bad Scully is back in the hospital after she crashed her car on the way to finding William. When Mulder hears this, he races to be by her side, but the CSM seems to be one step ahead of them all.
On his way to check on Scully, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) is confronted by Monica and CSM with a deal to save his life. At first, Skinner is livid that they would have the nerve to even approach him, but when they tell him of their plans he’s in shock. Skinner is convinced Scully would never willingly allow Mulder and humanity to die, but CSM has tied up all the loose ends of his plan. If it’s a choice between her son or Mulder, CSM knows Scully will choose her William. The world, as we know it, is coming to an end and Skinner can either get on board or die with the rest of the planet.
The Truth Is in The X-Files
As Scully lies battered and bruised from her accident, a man (Mike Dopud) sent from the syndicate places a pillow over her head and attempts to suffocate the defenseless woman. She’s able to get free and falls to the floor where he climbs on top of Scully and begins to strangle her. Thankfully, Mulder swoops in to save the day by grabbing a scalpel and slitting the assassin’s throat. When Scully comes to Mulder admits he’s seen that man before as he’s a part of Erika Price’s group that wants CSM dead.
After Scully recovers from her near-death experience she tells Mulder that her visions are William’s and he is leading her to the truth. There is no rush to find the boy as Scully knows he won’t be found, but when the time comes William will find them. The connection between mother and son is constant and she believes William is leading them both to the truth, a truth she thinks lies within the X-Files. If the truth is in those files than there is no other option but for Mulder and Scully to continue their work and wait for their son to guide them. The two have some meaningful hand holding and typical Mulder and Scully gazing until Skinner shows up worried about Scully’ accident. Mulder immediately thinks something is off with Skinner and after he smells smoke on the man, he puts all the pieces together. Mulder demands to know what Skinner was doing with CSM, but he insists the agent drop it. Why won’t Skinner tell Mulder what he knows about his father?
In shocking twist, we find out that CSM’s God complex goes a lot farther than destroying humanity, but extends to literally creating life. He tells Skinner that the reason he’s always protected Scully is because he is William’s father! Seventeen years ago, in an episode called “En Ami,” CSM convinced Scully to take a trip with him to find an alien cure for all human disease. The trip ended in CSM drugging the red head and impregnating her with what he calls “Science.” With Mulder and Scully in the dark, CSM plotting to destroy the world and a group of unknown men searching for William, the cards are stacked against our favorite agents. Could CSM be telling the truth or is this just another chapter in a long book of conspiracies by a man whose only pleasure is controlling the world? Time will tell but for now, the truth might be in a 17-year-old boy who’s holding the weight of the word on his shoulders.