The Panic Is Pandemic In The X-Files Season Finale
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Cigarette Smoking Man who turns out to be Scully and Mulder’s ultimate match in the final episode of this mini X-Files reboot. His appearance in the last seconds of the premiere strongly hinted at the return of the agents’ longtime nemesis but when he comes back, it’s in a bigger way than we’d ever expected.
It’s nothing short of genocide on a global scale that he’s been planning all these years, setting the scheme into motion back in 2012—though the real work began decades earlier with mass smallpox vaccinations that secretly contained buried DNA markers that could be triggered to cripple a person’s immune system at any time. (Side note: this was definitely Jenny McCarthy’s favourite episode of The X-Files.)
Having already blackmailed one FBI agent (Annabeth Gish’s recurring character Monica Reyes), Cigarette Smoking Man turns his attentions to Mulder, offering him the same sweet deal: trade in your integrity for unfettered access to the choicest real estate in Manhattan, Paris, and London—all at rock bottom prices now that most of the world’s population has been wiped out. Oh yeah, and staying alive means staying with Scully, too. She’s got the requisite alien DNA that will keep her from being infected by the anthrax/avian flu/black death that’s sweeping the planet.
What’s a feverish Fox to do? Mulder can’t muster much of a counter attack but he does manage to sweat all over the evil old dude’s favourite chair while tossing out the occasional insult as he waits for someone to come to his rescue (Agent Miller gets the credit for that).
Back in DC, Agents Einstein and Scully race to find a cure-all for the variety of deadly illnesses that are slowly sending the city’s entire population to the ER. Deducing that the answer is in Scully’s alien DNA, the pair work to create the antidote to what Cigarette Smoking Man calls the “Spartan Virus.”
With Einstein left in charge of administering the vaccine to the rest of DC’s near-dead, Scully leaves to see if she can get to Mulder in time to save him. As she drives over sidewalks scattering pedestrians in her wake, Mulder and Miller wait for her help on a bridge that’s been turned into a parking lot. Sprinting towards them, cure in hand, we’re lulled, just for a moment, into thinking that everything will be fine. But Scully’s a doctor and as such she determines (by a mere glance) that Mulder is too far gone to be saved by a simple sack of IV fluid. What he needs are stem cells—and not just any stem cells, but the alien-enhanced stem cells of the child the couple gave up a decade and a half ago.
Just then, a spaceship appears overhead, casting its blue beam down on Scully, Mulder, and Miller. The heavily tinted driver’s side window rolls slowly down to reveal… William Scully-Mulder, their missing son!
Okay, so we made up that last part, but COME. ON. That’s what writer Chris Carter decides to leave us with after making fans wait 14 years? A spaceship and a close up of Gillian Anderson’s eyeball? They say you shouldn’t go to bed angry but after last night’s episode, we’re betting more than a few X-Files fans did… unless, that is, all these loose ends mean another season? Hmm.
Best Line of the Whole Episode
“Look at world history, Fox. Neither you nor I can save the world from self-extermination. I just changed the timetable. Everyone still dies in the end.” — Cigarette Smoking Man
“My Struggle II” by the Numbers
60: Number of years that dark government operatives have been hiding alien technology from us all
6: Weeks since Truth Squad went off air following Sveta’s disappearance (did this new X-Files series take over the show’s Tad O’Malley’s timeslot?)
3: Popular conspiracy theories proved true in The X-Files universe (go ahead, it’s cool to be suspicious of chemtrails, vaccinations, and microwaves again)
1: Piece of Cigarette Smoking Man’s face that pops on and off like LEGO (but are there more?)
7: Days that Mulder has left to live, according to CSM’s estimate
1: Massive cliffhanger that might leave us forever wondering if Mulder is dead or alive