THE X-FILES Finale Review: This is the End
By Pauline Perenack
This is the End
Can you believe we’re already at the end of The X-Files mini-series? It feels like just yesterday we were eagerly anticipating the pilot episode. But just as quickly as it arrived, we now find ourselves at the mini-series finale, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride thus far. We’ve had some classic Monster of the Week episodes, we’ve had some scares, we’ve had some thrills, and we’ve had some laughs. Reactions have been mixed, but the ratings have been sky-high, once again proving the brand value of nostalgia. But, how did we get here?
Last week’s episode introduced us to a pair of special agents who could have been Mulder and Scully 20 years ago. It also took us deeper down the path of understanding the feelings of guilt Scully has endured over giving up her and Mulder’s son, William, for adoption.
Tonight’s episode, “My Struggle II” forms a bookend to the pilot of this mini-series, but with the added bonus of our characters living through various cases between the two episodes. However, tonight we were able to see the direct effects of their dealings with Internet host Tad O’Malley.
Let’s recap what happened.
Scully the Immortal
In homage to the beginning of the mini-series, tonight’s episode began with Scully recapping her involvement in the X-Files. However, as she finishes her recap, she mentions the anomalies she found in her DNA, which can only be classified as alien. At this point, we see Scully looking at herself in a mirror, and she slowly morphs into an alien.
After the title credits roll, which display (“This is the End” instead of our usual “The Truth is Out There”) Scully enters her and Mulder’s shared office, apologizing for being late. Mulder however, is nowhere to be found. She finds his computer, which has a Tad O’Malley video loaded where he discusses how every American citizen is carrying alien DNA. As she watches, Mulder’s desk phone rings, and it’s O’Malley. He’s at Mulder’s house, and thinks Scully should come meet him. Upon arrival, she finds it trashed, and learns O’Malley had found alien DNA in his blood, which is what got Mulder all excited.
Back at the office, Scully works with Skinner and Einstein, but Einstein doesn’t believe anyone has the right to tamper with DNA. As they move through the hospital, they run into a man who has a large abrasion on his skin, and is completely disorientated, kick-starting Scully’s belief that a contagion has already been released.
We finally get our first glimpse of Mulder, who is thoroughly beaten up, and is driving in a car.
At the hospital, Scully draws Einstein’s blood, and tells her about her belief of having alien DNA. Einstein doesn’t believe she has any, and questions why Scully believes she does. Scully tells of her theory that the DNA was implanted using the small pox vaccine, and so everyone has it. Miller comes in and interrupts, telling them that people are talking about O’Malley’s broadcasts, the latest of which describes a mass contagion, with military and doctors being exposed first, and everyone else after. Einstein doesn’t believe him, but Scully believes it’s already happening, pointing out that the man she and Einstein ran into earlier could have been exposed to anthrax.
Miller makes his way back to Mulder’s office to watch more of O’Malley’s videos, and notices a phone tracer on Mulder’s desktop, which he uses to trace Mulder to South Carolina.
Einstein still doesn’t believe Scully, but points out only one class of people are currently infected. Scully agrees, and the two realize that something needed to be taken away from DNA to shut down an immune system – not added as initially believed. Scully’s phone rings, and a familiar voice tells her to come meet, because she can explain what’s happening.
Scully meets up with Agent Reyes, and explains to us all that Reyes left the FBI in a hurry. Reyes explains she was summoned by the Cigarette Smoking Man, and ended up working with him. Scully is appalled that Reyes would even call her, but Reyes explains she did so because Scully is one of the chosen elite – she’s safe. Scully is only worried about Mulder, and Reyes explains CSM sent a man to give Mulder a deal.
We cut to Mulder fighting with said man, which explains the bruising we saw on him earlier. He finally gets the upper hand, finding out it was the CSM who sent the man. Wondering what’s going on, he turns up in CSM’s room, and points a gun to his head. The two discuss what is going on, and CSM denies he created the situation – he’s simply controlling the end date.
After going back and forth on theories, Scully and Einstein determine that alien DNA is what can save everyone. They can use it to create an antidote to the Spartan virus which was injected through the small pox vaccine. However, as they look at Scully’s DNA, they can’t find the alien markers. As more people get sick, Einstein realizes their sample of Scully’s DNA was too small, so they take a larger sample and find the alien markers, enabling them to make a vaccine.
Meanwhile, Mulder is getting sicker while with CSM, and is rescued by Miller. Miller calls Scully on his way back, explaining there’s no way he’ll be able to get back to them because of the gridlock, so Scully agrees to meet them wherever they make it. She rushes to find them on a crowded bridge, bringing the IV packs holding the cure. However, once she reaches Mulder, she realizes he’s too sick for the cure, and only stem cells from their son can save him. As Miller questions where their son is, a UFO appears over the bridge, and a beam of light encompasses Scully.