X-Files Season Ten : My Struggle/Founder’s Mutation

I’m not going to recap as there are people online right now recapping like a muh-fuh, and doing a much better job of it than I would. Actually I have to confess, I didn’t pay that close attention to the plot of My Struggle.

Its my understanding that other people were not greatly impressed by the first episode, either. I didn’t care for the plot but I love that Mulder and Scully are back on TV, in brand new episodes. That the show would be revived, after such a long absence, just makes me hopeful for the future of Hannibal.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the mythology episodes. I’m not into alien conspiracy theories. I probably know more than I rightfully should about the mythology, considering how little I cared for that aspect. Most of my favorite episodes were one-off,  Monster of the week episodes. As soon as any of the characters start mentioning abductions and aliens, I just tune-out and watch the pretty people. So that’s what happened with the first episode. I am aware that stuff happened and plots were advanced, I just have no memory of any of it.

 

I did enjoy the second episode much better, about two superpowered teens searching for each other. It had a certain amount of pathos in it. I’d forgotten over the years that Scully and Mulder had a child together and that they can never be together because the gub’ment, won’t let them. So, I had some feels about all that.

I noticed their boss, Walter Skinner was back and still being kind of an asshole, without actually coming right out and actually being an asshole. The Cigarette Smoking Man is still smoking, despite the cancer that’s torn out his throat, which is frankly, kind of disgusting. That man’s got some serious fucking addiction, right there. Wow!

Abigail Hobbes, from Hannibal, cameo-ed in this episode. My mind keeps rejecting this actress’ name. I just watched her chewing the scenery in The Magicians and for some reason my brain has taken a disliking to her, and I can’t pinpoint exactly why, as she’s not a bad actress. She’s not actually doing anything bad onscreen. I’m just tired of looking at her, maybe.

Oh! I do have a memory about the first episode with Mulder declaring that everything he thought he knew about the alien conspiracy was all lies and there’s no actual aliens involved in the conspiracy. Its just regular people being dicks. It almost always is. I could’ve told him that. And how many times per season did he make such declarations.

Mulder is looking a bit care-worn but Scully looks as fine as she ever did. Possibly even better, and Hell, I didn’t even know Skinner was still among the living.  Surely, I thought he might have shuffled off the bureaucratic coil a  long time ago.

As far as I can tell from the three episodes that have aired, its the same formula as before. There is a mystery. Mulder and Scully investigate, find out the truth, some  heads are exploded and they wrap it up and move on to the next strange event.

Hey, don’t mess with a formula that works.

 

Supernatural: Season 10 Overview

I loved this season and I felt really positive about the finale. I know that sounds really weird but I’ll explain. The brothers chose each other once again, neither of them are dead and because of their bone-headed stubbornness, they have an all new, even bigger problem to solve next season.

(At least a part of this optimism, has to do with not being immersed in the fandom, the way I used to be. Not having to navigate my way through other people’s opinions about how they feel or about how I should feel has been very freeing. I no longer have this insane need to argue with people about their  interpretations of the show..and how they are all exceptionally and indubitably WRONG. I can just tell people what I think, and they have no choice but to accept my opinion or start their own blog. 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆!!! (BWHA HA HA HA HA!!!)

But really, all gloating aside, this was a very good season and here’s why: my bar is pretty low when it comes to most TV shows. All I require is that they be entertaining, and  mentally and visually stimulating. When I get more than that, I get giddy.

Like now:

Black/Reichenbach/Soul Survivor:

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I consider the first three episodes of the season to be a three-parter. For my views on these three episodes see: On Deanmon and Demonic Performance at:    https://wordpress.com/post/76570149/192/  where I address some of the issues that came up while watching them.

These are really some of my favorite episodes of the season. I know there were some fans who wanted to see more Demon!Dean, but I feel like a little bit of that went a long way and, apparently, there were some other points the writers were trying to make this season, that precluded much focus on Dean behaving badly. I also found Soul Survivor to be very suspenseful, with the hunt through the Bunker and the red herring of fratricide as one of the sub themes this season. See the above link to understand why I feel this was a ruse on the part of the writers.

You’re back! Great!

I think the writers wanted to get back to the first five season arc and the emotional focus on family issues and I think they succeeded. The focus is not just on the brothers, but all the families they came into contact with. For the rest of the season, the brothers meet various dysfunctional people and attempt to fix them, while working to strengthen their own relationship.

As a result, we get some fairly light-hearted, touching, and snarky moments with the brothers, throughout the season, and I enjoyed that. I don’t particularly care for those seasons where they seem to hate each other and there’s little humor between them but I will tolerate that for the purposes of storytelling.

All the families had some commentary on the brothers current relationship, especially the fourth episode of the season titled, Paper Moon. I did not like this episode but it is an acceptable story. The idea of Dean killing Sam is reinforced  and the entire episode is a direct commentary on where the brothers are in their relationship.

Fan Fiction:

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If the previous episodes are a commentary on where the brothers are and where they might be headed then this episode is a chronicle of the brother’s past. I was not really on board with the idea of it being a musical but the writers managed to pull this off very well, without insulting the fans. This is now one of my favorites for the season. The theme song, as sung in the play, is one of the stand out moments of the entire season.

I feel this episode was also a love letter to the fans, as well.

Hibbing 911:

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One of the things the writers got right this season was the depiction of women. In Paper Moon, Fan Fiction, Ask Jeeves, Girls,Girls, Girls,The Things We Left Behind, The Hunter Games, Halt and Catch Fire, Paint It Black and Angel Heart, there are decent depictions of women, who have agency, make choices that affect the plot, usually have more than one woman in them and  these women make efforts to reach out to each other and interact with each other intelligently.

Mostly.

The women depicted in these episodes are all characters in their own right, with motivations and backstories beyond being just girlfriends, wives and mothers. Yes, they are supporting characters (when it comes to the Winchesters, everyone is a supporting character) but their support “just happens” to be in line with what the brothers are trying to accomplish in each episode. Supporting the Winchesters isn’t their only reason for existing. And what often happened, was that the brothers would show up in the middle of a story, where the women were already involved.

And this brings us to Hibbing 911. I love the writers for introducing me to the show I didn’t  know I wanted, called the Donna and Jodi Power Hour. These two are an awesome team and I hope we get to see them again next season. Everything about the relationship between these two older, professional women was just lovely. From Jodi’s initial reluctance to get close to Donna, to her full (and physical) support when Donna gets bullied by her ex-boyfriend, to their conversations about their families, this is an example of what women talk about when men are (or sometimes aren’t) around, guys.

About a Boy:

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I found the idea of Dean reduced to his childhood again very ticklish. I also enjoyed the mythology of Hansel and Gretel, most of which is in line with what I learned in mythology books, but given a modern twist. It also answers the idea of the witch being able to procure lots of children. She’s a lot less likely to get caught, and its a much more elegant solution. It’s a lot easier to  transform adults into kids rather than stealing  lots of actual kids.

Executioner’s Song:

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The return of Cain was much anticipated. Yeah, sure theres every kind of plot hole but I don’t care because its always fun to watch Tim Omundson go to work.

All season long, the writers have been setting up the idea that Dean will kill Sam but I was only half buying it because every time there’s some set up or prophecy for what the brothers MUST do, they mostly seem to break it, defy it, or do some kind of end run around it. They almost always choose each other and I mostly expected that here. I prepared for Dean to kill Sam but I never really believed one of them would die.

Inside Man:

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Is largely notable for the return of Bobby Singer. It was nice to see him again and he was not ill used. I also enjoyed seeing Metatron turned  human. I totally didn’t see that coming. The following episode was notable for watching Castiel get his groove back. That was pretty awesome, but somewhat mitigated by Boogertron’s escape.

The Prisoner/Brother’s Keeper:

I mostly viewed these two as one long episode. They were notable for the introduction of the Frankenstein Family, their destruction at the hands of BAMF!Dean, now fully in thrall to the MoC, and for finally getting to see Crowley’s red-eyed demon face. We often forget Crowley is a demon because he’s so likable but yeah!  demon!

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Sam’s tearful pleading with Dean, that he was a good man and that he should choose him, really got to me. Hell, it still does. I haven’t been so emotionally affected since Crowley’s plea to be loved. Sam so desperately needed to save his Dean, (and himself) that it was truly heartbreaking to watch. It was not elegant or eloquent or articulate at all. He had only pure, raw anguish at his disposal and he used it to powerful effect.

He was cast in the role Dean occupied during season nine, only his role was much, more difficult than Dean’s. Sam couldn’t rely on trickery, demons or Angels to save either of them. He had to rely entirely on his own emotions, words and actions to convince Dean to choose life for them both. I thought, last season, he might have to eat the words he said to Dean, about not doing the same for Dean. I remember saying, “No, he won’t  do the same thing. He is going to do brand  NEW, shitty things instead”, and I was right.

While Dean’s condemnation of Sam’s words, from that time,  was entirely appropriate, his condemnation of Sam’s actions felt a little false. I didn’t get the feeling he was very upset about the things Sam did to try to save him, until they argued about The Book of The Damned and its destruction. That felt more genuine.

I mentioned before that this season was very enjoyable for me. The writers kept their shit on point, this season, with every episode hammering home the idea of family, duty, and sacrifice. Sometimes a little too heavy but that’s to be expected. This is really their first try at this sort of deeply focused storytelling.  The writers were on their game with the subplots and sub themes as well. There were many layers this season. A lot of depth. I have to give the writers the ” Golden Shizznickle” for effort.

We were introduced to several new characters and will be seeing more of them next season, although we lost Charlie. Dont get me wrong, I  loved Charlie. I loved her from the  moment she started dancing in that elevator, to what is now, one of my favorite songs,  “Walkin’ on Sunshine”, (when I’m having an especially good day, this is often the song floating through my head),  but I knew she’d die eventually and I knew when it happened it would not be pretty.

None of the Winchesters family or friends ever dies pretty. Hunters, as a general law, do not die in bed. The moment Charlie decided to become a Hunter, that was her death sentence.

I knew Charlie would have a brutal death, so I was not shocked by that. It was inevitable and just like Bobby, Rufus, Meg, Kevin and numerous others, it would be largely unexpected, meaningless and in service to the Winchester’s story.

Every guest on Supernatural gets “fridged”. One day it will be Jodi’s turn or Donna’s. One day Cas will stay dead.

If you think about it, for the brothers, it must be like living in a little slice of Hell. Everybody dies but them. Everyone who gets close to them goes away and they are only ever left with each other. They can’t ever be released from the torment of watching all they love, get carried away from them, and their only companions are pain, suffering and the demons and Angels who cause it.

This show has been a ten-year long paean to loss and mourning.

I can’t say I liked any of the Angel themes this season. I was mostly bored with Castiel’s story line but Hanna’s defection back to Heaven was a surprise. Really! It was a complete surprise. It came out of nowhere. I really could have used a little more foreshadowing on that.

Crowley’s story..well, that deserves its own post, so stay tuned. Crowley and Rowena was a very rich story line and we are going to examine that one in more detail, at a later date, in order to do it justice..

Still, over all, a very likable season. I don’t normally like to assign numbers but I’d give it four out of five stars.

Favorite episode was really, really hard to choose, but I’m going to go with a tie of Executioner’s Song and Fan Fiction.

What did you think about the season? Let me know in the comments?

Yeah, okay! You can argue with me, too.

See:

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/supernatural-the-road-so-far/

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/supernatural-on-deanmon-and-demonic-performance/#comments