The Sixth Extinction
The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati
The Goldberg Variation
The Amazing Maleeni
Signs & Wonders
Sein Und Zeit
First Person Shooter
Watching the seventh season of The X-Files is a stranger experience than one is accustomed to. Its a season that’s at odds with itself, not quite sure whether to wrap things up and call it a night, or keep the show running into the near future. Seven seasons in, The X-Files is a culturally significant show that feels like its running on fumes and while the episodes are good, they also feel a lot less memorable than seasons past.
The main focus here, along with the continuing mythology of the show, is the decline in health of The Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davies). His shadowy character has always been an endearing one and with his death looming, questions are ultimately asked about the longevity of the show, of which he has been such a monumental part of, and which direction it takes should he die. The seventh season also feels like a step away from the tight-knit conspiracy that’s gripped the show for so long, with more ambitious and far-fetched episodes that don’t always hit the mark.
While the chemistry between Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) has always been one of the show’s highlights, its also ultimately the one thing here that’s stayed consistent throughout and works as an anchor during a turbulent season of entertainment. The supporting cast are good too but the script writing just isn’t at the same level it once was. As you watch the season you can feel the cracks of a show suffering from serious fatigue after 8 years of being on the air. Its still a good watch, and there are some episodes here that show just why The X-Files is so good but its also one of the weakest since the show’s inception.
In hindsight, some of this uneasiness and frenetic pacing is a result of things going on behind the scenes. With David Duchovny declaring he would not be returning for an eighth season, question marks would ultimately be asked about how this would affect the show. With no clear replacement to The X-Files sized hole the show would leave in the ratings and production for Fox, a lot of this season flits back and forth between defiantly keeping the narrative running just in case the show gets renewed, while trying to wrap things up in case it doesn’t return. It makes for a pretty uneven watch throughout and a lot of this is due to those issues.
Overall then, season 7 is one of the weakest since the show returned. The writing is still good, but a lot of the episodes feel less significant and more mediocre than before. The uneven pace and lack of a clear narrative through vast periods of this season really hurts the integrity of the show. Mulder and Scully are the anchors here in a season riddled with doubts over its own future. With the season ending on another cliffhanger, it becomes clear at this point that the show will indeed return for an eighth season but has the damage already been done?
Verdict - 7/10