“My Struggle III” is episode one of season eleven of The X-Files.
This episode opens with a narration by the Smoking Man, who is sitting in a chair. He says that is name is Carl Gerhard Busch, although he has been known by many names throughout his long career in government. He has seen much in his time, events that horrify the ordinary person. He has held and manipulated the reins of power, and will leave more of a mark on history than any politician or tyrant. There are news clips throughout and final one is the first landing on the Moon – and this is being filmed in a studio with the Smoking Man watching. The Smoking Man is talking about his sons, Fox Mulder and Jeffrey Spender, and that he hopes they, and their sons, will realise that what he did had to be done. The opening ‘I Want to Believe’ morphs into ‘I Want to Lie’ in this episode.
In the previous episode, the season ten finale, “My Struggle II”, a global pandemic was starting to take root and Mulder had confronted the badly injured but not dead Smoking Man about it. The latter had told Mulder that Scully and William were immune, but that Mulder was not. Monica Reyes had also joined forces with the Smoking Man.
Despite Scully’s best efforts to synthesise a cure from her own blood for the disease, Mulder was too far gone to be saved. Only a stem cell transplant from William would help him. Finally, Scully looked up into the descending lights of a spaceship.
This episode opens with a light being shone into Scully’s eyes and Mulder is there with a medical professional of some type. Scully collapsed and was found unconscious. None of the events of the previous episode appear to have happened. AD Skinner is also present in the hospital with Mulder, and Scully is still unconscious. According to the neurologist, Scully is showing abnormal – as in never seen before – brain activity. Whilst looking at the real time scans of Scully’s brain, Skinner sees what he says is a message, part of her brain flashing ‘Find Him’ in Morse code. Mulder is less willing to believe, even after Skinner suggests that Scully means find her son.
When Scully comes to, she tells Mulder he needs to find the Smoking Man, who is not dead. She says that he has a virus that he is going to release and destroy the world with, just as happened in the previous episode. Which did never happen – it was all a vision (a bit of an unfortunate tendency in the series that; having what looks like a revelation not actually be true). The neurologist suggests that Scully might be being sent the visions, as she has seen oddities from experiments carried out by various government organisations over the years. Scully believes they are a premonition of events to come.
Jeffrey Spender is in a garage when a car drives at him. He manages to get away from the driver, who didn’t want to kill him – but wanted to know where William was, for Spender was the one who hid him. Spender eventually gets hold of Mulder, and tells him what happened, and that he and Scully may be next.
The Smoking Man is, indeed, not dead, and is in better shape than he was before. He does have a virus that he wants to wipe out most of the population with, and Reyes is working with him. That much was true from Scully’s vision. The Smoking Man also has what is essentially a diatribe about fake news and current culture – it seems he doesn’t think humanity deserves to survive. Mulder heads to where the Smoking Man was, and it seems that Scully’s visions are mostly coming true, in the broad strokes anyway. Scully herself wants to find William to help save Mulder.
Mulder and Scully are not the only group looking for William – who Reyes says is the Smoking Man’s weakness. After all, William would be his grandson. There are others, too, and not just those associated with the Smoking Man.
There are new revelations, even if old ones are undone – once again; this is what eventually annoyed people the first time around – and there is a clip from an old episode, “En Ami”.