Seven questions the X-Files revival leaves fans to ponder

The Truth might still be out there, but are more X-Files episodes? Following a successful six-episode run (ratings-wise, at least), there could be more to come.

With more loose ends hanging out there than at the end of the original series, continuing the revival would be a good thing and maybe that was the intention all along. If and when we get more X-Files, there are some questions desperate for an answer.

7. Seriously, how did The Cigarette Smoking Man (C.G.B. Spender) live?

Spender, as we came to know him by his real name, has provided himself with more than nine lives over the course of 10 seasons with threats and innuendo of more to offer to every meaningful character from the show. He’s somehow managed to survive a cancer diagnosis and a missile plowing through his home, returning as a mostly normal, functioning human being still hellbent on carrying out disaster. At some point, it becomes unbelievable, even for The X-Files. Since he was instrumental in curing Scully’s cancer earlier in the series, maybe his survival could have been due to some sort of alien DNA. No explanation makes it all feel ridiculous.

6. Agents Miller and Einstein aren’t viewed as legitimate possible replacements for Mulder and Scully, right?

One of the intriguing subplots to this six-episode series coming in was whether or not there would an attempt to keep the series going by eventually phasing out Mulder and Scully for easily attachable replacements. “Babylon,” which was episode five, introduced painfully obvious doppelgangers in Einstein, a red-headed uber skeptic, and Miller, a frat boy Mulder clone. It was comical until they re-appeared in the finale with more serious roles, making you wonder if there was an idea of them being replacements. But the character development was terrible, basically making them Mulder and Scully on steroids, minus 20 years, forgetting that part of the hook of Mulder and Scully was their unique personalities and stories.

5. What the hell happened to John Doggett?

Most of the main characters at the end of season nine were explained away in some way, either living (Cigarette Smoking Man), turncoat (Agent Monica Reyes), back to running the FBI (Skinner), or still dead (Lone Gunmen). Doggett, who was Mulder’s replacement in season eight and actually did a pretty good job in that impossible role, wasn’t even mentioned. The last we saw him, he was screaming off into the desert with Reyes, away from where the Smoking Man was about to meet his assumed demise.

Doggett was a significantly more important character to the show than Agent Reyes and if Robert Patrick, who played him, simply didn’t want anything to do with the show, why not at least kill him off and give closure on that end? Doggett was a much more likeable fill-in for Mulder than Agent Miller would be.

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4. Why were Mulder and Scully forced into a break-up and rift to start the series, which clearly didn’t carry on, nor work to begin with?

One of the main takeaways from “My Struggle” was Mulder and Scully no longer attached at the hip, metaphorically speaking. There was no real explanation for the split, past Mulder’s “depression” and almost immediately, the warm chemistry between the two was evident and welcoming in “Founder’s Mutation,” the second episode. Scully morphs from an apparent cold-hearted floozie suddenly incapable of putting up with Mulder back to the character viewers knew and loved. That worked through the end of the series, where she was bolting through traffic to get a potential cure to Mulder.

3. If the X-Files were to continue, is Monica Reyes the heir apparent to the Cigarette Smoking Man’s ultimate antagonist?

Probably the most interesting thing from the finale was reintroducing Reyes as a character who quit the FBI to be the Cigarette Smoking Man’s gopher in exchange for saving her life when the Spartan Virus comes forth and kills off humanity. Her mea culpa is to give Scully the information about the whole evil plan and let Scully know she’s immune as well. But the juxtaposition of her decision is shown in Mulder’s willingness to die rather than take his enemy’s offer of extended life.

Probably the one thing more crucial than finding immediate potential replacements for Mulder and Scully was finding a new main antagonist. Reyes, who has an attachment to the old guard of fans, would work well as some self-insulated mastermind worried about herself and then everyone else afterwards. Eventually, one of the attempts to kill the Smoking Man has to actually work.


2. Why reintroduce the idea of William connecting with Mulder and Scully so late?

The elephant in the room for all six shows was Mulder and Scully’s son, William, particularly the emotional pain of giving him up for adoption and yearning to be able to connect with him. The last scene in “My Struggle II” seems to reach some sort of epiphany about William possibly being the key to curing this immuno-deficiency plague that threatens the world (or … Washington D.C. and Europe, at least). At that very moment, a presumed alien spacecraft hovers over Scully and the series exits stage left. “William,” whoever he is, isn’t, or ends up being, is a tie to the old series that could breathe life into a future X-Files. Aside from sheer aggravation for the viewer, Carter and team surely had an ulterior motive in bringing back the idea of connection among the two main characters and their son, last seen in a crib with foster parents. Otherwise, what was the point?

1. Will we get more X-Files?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, David Duchovny said “certainly, we didn’t bring it back with the idea of ending it,” while noting that doing a full 20-episode slate was too much. More recently, he said “I’d love to” when asked about a season 11. Fox has already stated that it’s on board, and Chris Carter has said he’s waiting on reviews, but had plans for more episodes.

Ratings suggest the juice is worth the squeeze and the market for this sort of show is still here, 15 years later. The show won every week in male viewers and posted a staggering 6.1 rating against the coveted 18-49 age range share for the season premiere. The ratings did dip each week until the finale, despite the strength of the shows increasing. But one episode was against the Grammys and the show butted up against popular reality show, The Bachelor.

Carter set this up to have a longer lifespan, even if he’s going to have to work hard to undo the clandestine mythology revealed by the entire world getting sick and an alien craft appearing over a major metropolitan area at the end.