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THE X-FILES 11x01: My Struggle III

Mind if I smoke?

THE X-FILES 11x01: My Struggle III

Welcome back ya bunch of weirdos. I hope you buckled up, because we're in for another rocky season of The X-Files. Hopefully tonight's episode was not a vision of what's to come, but rather, a classic case of Chris Carter being Chris Carter. This episode was a Hot Mess™ full of The Smoking Man's grandpa ramblings about the good old days and David Duchovny's cringingly droll monologue. It was all exposition and confusion, but we're gonna dissect it like Scully with an alien carcass anyway, so let's do this.

Previously on The X-Files

Y’all I don’t know!!! It’s been two years! I had to read my own recaps to remember what happened last season, and here’s what I learned: The X-Files was reopened after a talking head conspiracy theorist named Tad O’Malley exposed Mulder and Scully to the idea that the government impregnated a woman with alien babies. From this, Mulder decided that aliens aren’t trying to end humanity…it’s the One Percent that want to kill everyone off except an elite few.

In present day, Scully discovered that humans have alien DNA, there’s a contagion spreading at a rapid pace, Mulder is SUPER sick and can only be saved with he and Scully’s baby William’s stem cells, and the season ended with everyone trying to get out of town when Scully looked up to see an alien spaceship hovering over them.

Confused? Great. Here’s the full recap if you need a refresher.

This Week’s Case File

(Ouch That's) Cold Open

The Cigarette Smoking Man. Guys. His name is actually Carl. CARL. CARL GERHARD BUSH. It’s so terrible. But anyway, as you probably know, he’s like a million years old and apparently lived through World War II and knows all these insane government secrets and has done terrible things and made sure the public doesn’t know any of it. Oh, and he’s Mulder’s dad! Of course! Anyway, he’s mumbling like someone’s half-lucid grandpa about all the sacrifices he’s had to make over the years, but he just wants to prove to his sons that he was right all along.

Also the moon landing was fake, and he was there.


The X-Files: Tokyo Drift

So, as it turns out, that entire season 10 finale was basically all in Scully’s head. YUP. We got Felicity-ed and it was all a dream. Or a prophecy. In real life, Scully collapsed on the floor of Mulder’s office, had some sort of seizure, and now her brain is blinking like crazy. The neurosurgeon’s like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but Skinner takes about zero point four seconds to realize that her hypothalamus is LITERALLY BLINKING OUT MORSE CODE on the monitors to spell out F-I-N-D H-I-M.

That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.

Eventually, Scully wakes up and immediately tells Mulder that she knows how The End begins, and he has to go find the Smoking Man before he releases some contagion and ends all of humanity. The plague has only one cure: William’s stem cells. Convenient!

Mulder sets off to hunt the Smoking Man in a racer-striped Ford Mustang, followed by one of the Smoking Man’s associates that ends in a 2 Fast 2 Furious chase scene, suddenly explaining why Mulder’s in a ‘Stang and not one of the historically more accurate rental Ford Tauruses. He makes it to the Smoking Man’s house, creeping through bushes and missing the watchful eye of a Liam Neeson-lite bodyguard, but when he gets into the house, the Smoking Man, along with his WTF assistant Monica Reyes, has disappeared and some Steve Bannon-looking monster has taken his place on the leather couch. Bannon and his associates explain that they need Mulder to kill the Smoking Man so they can continue their plan to colonize space (???!!).

A Scully Interlude

tbh this is really the only recap you need

So just, to interject here: Scully has spent this entire episode either unconscious or in some sort of medical emergency. Literally in a single episode, she has two seizures, gets T-boned by a government issued SUV, and gets smothered with a pillow and strangled in her hospital bed. Her entire plotline is to grasp her head and appear to be in a lot of pain while flashes of the future bounce around on the screen.

The Smoking (Shot)Gun

Scully has attempted to escape from her hospital bed to find William, so Skinner hops in his car to go after her. But he doesn't get far. Monica Reyes holds a gun to his head from the backseat, while the Smoking Man climbs in the front. "Mind if I smoke?" he deadpans. Carl (ugh) busts out a vial of said alien pathogen that would literally end humanity. Skinner’s like “ew don’t touch me don’t touch me what do you want?” so Smoking Man offers him a deal: fetch him William and he’ll give Skinner immunity.

While Skinner’s mulling this over, Mulder is rushing back to Scully, having realized that those space colonizing associates were probably just as evil as the Smoking Man. He makes it back just in the KNICK of time (scalpel joke!), too, because someone who appears to be Liam Neeson-lite has broken into her hospital room and is attempting to smother her with a pillow. Mulder grabs a scalpel and slits my man's throat. Ouchie!

When the hullabaloo dies down, Scully assures Mulder that 1) The Smoking Man won't try to hurt her and 2) her visions are most def being telepathically sent to her from William. She knows that The Smoking Man is looking for them, and in the meantime, they should just go about their work in the X-files, at once calming Mulder's nerves and setting us up for a season of highjinks.

But back in Skinner's car, we get a plot twist 17 years in the making. With a flashback to season 7 or 8 judging by Scully's haircut, we see the Smoking Man kidnap Scully and take her to a cabin in the woods. When she wakes up, furious that he drugged her, the Smoking Man assures her that he did nothing untoward. Well that turned out to be a big fat JAY KAY on Chris Carter's part. Because the Smoking Man impregnated Scully that day. """"WITH SCIENCE"""" (I'm doing the world's most sarcastic finger quotes, if you can't tell.) And the Smoking Man - Carl Gerhard Bush Spender - is William's father. Not Mulder.




Oh wow what a coincidence, junior agents Miller and Einstein just happened to be there to witness Scully’s car accident and brought her back to the hospital. This was possibly the worst excuse to remind us they’re still trying to make that happen, especially when AMBULANCES EXIST.


Chris Carter wrote an episode of The X-Files in THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2018 in which we find out that The Smoking Man didn’t rape Scully all those years ago, no, no, he “impregnated her with science.” CHRIS CARTER is the scariest monster that ever existed on The X-Files, y’all. How is it possible that the man who created this show is somehow also the worst part of it?


I suppose I'll award this one to Mulder, for getting to have a car chase scene AND assassinating an assassin to save his woman.


Liam Neeson-lite, assuming it was him that got his throat slit there at the end. IDK – I’ve historically had a bad case of X-Files assassin face blindness.


“The drum beats in my heart.” – Mulder (like, what? Lol)

The Smoking Man: “I think we’re done here.”
Skinner: “Get your ass back in the car, I’m not finished.”

“You smell like smoke.” – Mulder to Skinner

Skinner: “Who’s the father?”
The Smoking Man: “I am. William is my son.”


We weren’t blessed with a single Scully eye roll this week since she was literally unconscious for like 80% of the episode.


- How much of last season was all in Scully’s head? Just the finale?

- Why is Reyes working for the Smoking Man? I refuse to believe she just jumped ship…she has to be a double agent, right? I mean, she delivered William. And I’m pretty sure she and Scully were girlfriend-girlfriend or at least wanted to be there for awhile.

- I repeat: The Smoking Man…didn’t rape Scully? He…impregnated her with science? Are we really going there?

- Did anyone catch WHY The Smoking Man is hell bent on destroying humanity besides just being an evil sonofabitch?

- If that was Liam Neeson-lite that attacked Scully, why did Steve Bannon and his associate send him to do so?

- When do we get a Darin Morgan episode?



Categories: Tubin' Tags: fox
Rosemary Hallmark's photo About the Author: Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her cute husband and even cuter dog. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. (She's still got a soft spot for the swoony, contemporary stuff.) A former magazine editor, she is now a freelance writer, graphic designer, art director and photo stylist. The rest of her time is spent drinking cocktails, renovating her house and laughing at her husband's ridiculous Pretty Little Liars theories.