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The X-Files

Gillian Anderson, left, and David Duchovny in the 11th season of "The X-Files."

I want to write about the state of the mythology on "The X-Files."

But there's one problem: I couldn't tell you the state of the mythology on "The X-Files."

And, after the premiere of the Fox drama's 11th season, I'm done with it. I'm done guessing the Cigarette Smoking Man's game. I'm done mapping the history of the U.S. government's relationship with extraterrestrial races. I'm done wondering how much alien DNA Mulder and Scully have absorbed into their bodies in the course of their search for The Truth.

I'm done because I don't have any reason to believe The Truth exists. Sure, writer and series creator Chris Carter has always seemed like he's making it up as he goes along. I said last year, after the history-rewriting premiere of "The X-Files'" 10th season, that its mythology had become untrustworthy. But one season later, it's straight-up silly.

The first bait-and-switch in "My Struggle III" sees Carter reveal that the apocalyptic climax of "My Struggle II" was a vision in Scully's head. Fine. 

Then, Carter reveals that despite the 10th season finale being a vision, former Mulder and Scully ally Reyes really has betrayed them to work with CSM for no apparent reason. OK, sure.

Then, CSM tells Skinner that William, Mulder and Scully's missing half-alien son, was actually fathered by the chain-smoking, Buffalo Bills-hating, JFK-assassinating ghoul himself.

Fuck. Off.

If I'm mad, it's because of my investment. Growing up with "The X-Files," I spent way too much of my free time watching the show, staying up late to record it on VHS and scouring Rochester-area video stores for the full set of official tapes. And as I watched, I tried to piece together Carter's mythology: Why some green-blooded aliens could be killed by gunshots but the Alien Bounty Hunter couldn't, why the alien artifact made Mulder telepathic but not Scully despite both of them having been exposed to the black oil, why Krycek did just about anything in his ratboy life.

If the plot turns of "My Struggle III" didn't make the fruitlessness of my obsession clear enough, another pair of clumsily written scenes did. The first was when Mulder and Skinner were at each other's throats on nothing more than a macho whim, and the second was when Skinner once again decided to do CSM's bidding in order to save Mulder and Scully's lives.

That's right: "The X-Files" is doing the same old Skinner beats it did 20 years ago. After all of Mulder and Scully's loyalty and CSM's treachery, Skinner's dynamic with those characters is exactly the same. The most recent episode, "Kitty," was even a retread of third-season standalone "Avatar," as Mulder and Scully went out of their way to help Skinner while learning (again) how little they know about him. And, sure enough, it also rewrites Skinner's Vietnam tour, replacing the poignant story he told Mulder in season two with magic government gas and Haley Joel Osment. 

Before the premiere of the 10th season of "The X-Files," its first in almost 20 years, I said Carter needed to retcon the series. The last couple seasons made its mythology almost impossible to piece together. But with the 10th and now 11th seasons, Carter has somehow retconned the series into something worse. Now, it's impossible to find the will to piece its mythology together.

I guess I'll just have to be happy with more Darin Morgan episodes.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.