Tad O'Malley, I think, is being misunderstood as a Glenn Beck stand-in, when he's clearly an Alex Jones stand-in. The rhetoric and topics are exactly the same (i.e. mostly guns and FEMA camps, and btw people should remember FEMA from Fight The Future). Alex Jones does rail against "liberals" in the same passing way that Tad O'Malley does. However, he also goes out of his way to argue that the conservative/liberal binary is in some ways a distracting illusion — that those with the most power are in fact mostly allied and interested in global power in the same way. Which is probably one of the less crazy things that one can safely take away from Alex Jones.
Chris Carter has explicitly drawn inspiration from Alex Jones and the like since the beginning of the show, so this feels oddly traditional. Thematically it's rock-solid. It does stretch credulity, though, that one could get obscenely rich as a conspiracy theorist. Have him constantly trying to sell gold on the air, make him slightly pathetic, and it might have rung more true.
I've seen comments that Mulder is a tea partier now. Are people stupid? His first reaction to Tad O'Malley was that he was a "jackass." Mulder made him prove his conspiracy bonafides before he would even talk to him. Then he was happy to overlook a few differences of opinion in exchange for the obvious benefits of this relationship. Which is not the first time he's done that.
In any case, I was half-expecting to be disappointed by the premier, but I kind of loved it. It's just so deliciously dense. (Contrast that with the second movie.) It's like Chris Carter made a list of everything people enjoy about The X-Files and tried to fit it all in this episode.
The scene where Scully was yelling at Mulder, "you just want to believe!" etc. was a bit cringeworthy. But that is sincerely the only thing that bothered me. I am fairly confused by the negative and mixed reviews. Is this show really that subjective?
They mention at least twice that Mulder and Scully "had a child together." This is the first time the show has explicitly acknowledged that, right?
Also, is this the first time that Scully is explicitly acknowledging that aliens exist, or at least that alien DNA does?
I loved the abduction fakeout that turned into an assassination. A really beautiful and chilling illustration of human malevolence intermixing with alien technology. It was like a scene from Syriana if those guys had spacecraft in their arsenal. Pretty terrifying.
I'm not sure the X-Files mythology has ever had more potential. Seriously. I did not expect that out of this revival, but there it is. The whole thing feels more vital and relevant than ever, for obvious reasons. And the current events references, against all odds, totally worked for me. Even (or especially) the Obama clip. That was kind of genius.
I'm curious where the mythology is going and what exactly is considered settled. The show has grappled before with this question — is it aliens, or the government using alien technology, or some unholy combination? There were at least a couple early mythology episodes that brought this up, and "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" is all about it. Mulder seems to think he knows the answer now. This is characterized a little too much as an epiphany, almost like the question has never occurred to him before, but I can forgive that as an aid for new viewers.
Do we think Mulder is a little too confident about his hypothesis? Or is this officially the new direction? Either way, I'm excited.
CSM being alive is so completely absurd. In the finale, they went to great lengths to prove that he was 100% dead — showing flames shooting out of his skull, for example. I would have been totally on board if this was a clone, or if the other guy was a clone, but it's clearly the same person, who's been patched up and still has the neck hole. Since all of his flesh was burned off and his skeleton was incinerated by a missile, I'm not sure why that continuity was technically important. Unless that last scene was Mulder's dream or something, this is a flat-out retcon.