X-Files Recap: Fans Get Mixed Messages About The Show’s Future In My Struggle IV
At the very top of this Season Eleven finale, Skinner gets the order to put a padlock on the X-Files and strip Mulder and Scully of their badges. So: case closed, right? The ‘Will they or won’t they?’ debate over this being the really real end of The X-Files has been shut down. It makes sense—Gillian Anderson vowed that this will be her final turn as Dana Scully.
And as far as actually working for the FBI is concerned, Mulder and Scully went freelance long ago. You can’t blame their superiors for being pissed about the fact that they’ve been chasing their own leads, leaking classified information to the media, and freaking out the public about the possible end of the world.
On the other hand, just when we’ve prepared ourselves for this apparent final goodbye, show creator Chris Carter swoops in with this sound bite: “There’s still more stories to be told. It’s not the same X-Files without Mulder and Scully. In the same breath, there is a lot of life left in the show. I think you haven’t seen the end.” My heart.
But whether this finale was or was not the end for The X-Files, it was an ending of sorts: an end to Mulder and Scully chasing their son, an end to Mulder believing that William was his, an end to Skinner keeping secrets, and an end to the Smoking Man.
Nearly all of My Struggle IV centres on the search for William with Mulder criss-crossing state lines only to find him back in his hometown, hiding out in a motel and waiting for one of his two girlfriends to join him there and go on the run. The problem is that there are multiple factions of powerful people who want to catch and control him. It’s not that they’re a match for him (William’s ability to dispatch of his enemies in bloody, single-serving explosions doesn’t take a lot out of him physically, but he seems to feel bad about it), it’s that he’s tired of running and he doesn’t see and end to it.
With just 10 minutes left in the episode, Mulder and Scully are still desperately chasing William even though he’s begged both of them to let him go (Mulder back at the motel room and Scully during the final moments at the waterfront… while confusingly disguised as Mulder). William has seen the future, and he knows that his real father, the CSM, will release an alien contagion that will wipe out most of humanity if he doesn’t turn himself over to him. Still doing his Mulder impression (which is pretty spot on) he faces the Smoking Man who, believing it’s Mulder, shoots him through the head (he’s a great shot for an old guy).
For a brief second, panicky fans might think that it really was Mulder who went into the water with a bullet in his brain, but then the real Mulder comes running and puts about a half-dozen bullets in the CSM. After the action, it’s just Mulder and Scully left standing on the dock with only each other to take comfort in. Scully has already come to terms with who William was and why they had to let him go but Mulder is devastated over learning he wasn’t William’s father… he is, however, the father of the baby Scully is currently carrying. Whoa.
And like the truth, William is still out there (we should have known—he did fake his death pretty convincingly once before) only now, no one is looking for him… except maybe Charles Xavier.