Written By: Dan Geer
Let’s just get this out of the way before I proceed with this article, because I do not want to come off as being overly critical…
I loved the latest 6-episode season of The X-Files. I really enjoyed both the mythology as well as the standalone “monster of the week” episodes. It both reintroduced the mystery back into the mythology that we all thought we understood for over a decade since the original series ended back in 2002, and the standalone episodes gave us great stories we never had in previous seasons. Of course, Darin Morgan’s “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” episode was probably the highlight of the season. Simply fantastic!
However, as tradition has it, Season 10 concluded on a cliffhanger like all previous seasons of The X-Files did. It left us with a ton of unanswered questions. The season was too short to really flesh it all out. It only makes sense that Season 11 now has a big responsibility to fulfill in answering, or at least clarifying how the “new” conspiracy ties in with the old.
Season 9, which was presumed as the final season of The X-Files back in 2002, ended with an episode titled “The Truth.” We were finally going to have the mythology all laid out in front of us, with everything from alien colonization to the Syndicate finally explained. It literally had the characters sitting down on trial in a court of law, telling us how it all fits together. It all made sense. It all worked.
But after 14 years of understanding the mythology, all of a sudden we do not fully understand it all. We are now being told that it is simply a “conspiracy of men” hellbent on killing off the human race with the “Spartan virus,” and that this was the plan of the Syndicate all along. “Warring aliens lighting each other on fire and other such nonsense” supposedly never happened, and alien colonization was never the intent of the aliens to begin with. Mulder and Scully have been lied to all these years.
Okay fine. We can easily accept that Mulder and Scully, as well as Mulder’s “Old Man” contact who was at the Roswell crash in 1947 could all fall into this line of thinking. Whatever events they witnessed could be interpreted either as alien colonization, or a ruse by the Syndicate to cover their real plans to “colonize” the earth themselves.
But what about what Mulder and Scully have not witnessed? After all, we as an audience have seen much more than they ever did. We’ve witnessed the Black Oil infect a human, take control, and eventually gestate into another alien life form. We’ve seen these warring aliens lighting each other on fire. We have sat in on Syndicate meetings, with them discussing alien colonization as well as their means to resist it with a vaccine. Surely, if Mulder and Scully witnessed any of these things we as an audience witnessed, there would be no doubt about alien colonization, right?
This is the missing piece that series creator Chris Carter and his team of writers really need to clarify in Season 11. We’ve borne witness to secrets and undeniable events that Mulder and Scully have not seen. There needs to be some sort of exposition, either by voice-over or dialogue within episodes that explains, or at least strongly hints at how everything we’ve seen previously fits with what we know now from Season 10.
The following is simply natural speculation for those who are familiar with the overall mythology, and it all needs clarity:
- Was it all just a ruse by Cancer Man, and aliens really are taking over just as we all thought back in 2002? Or is he telling the truth?
- Is the Spartan virus really a form of the Black Oil, with everyone who was getting sick at the end of Season 10 gestating into new alien life forms? If not, then what ever happened to the Black Oil? What was its purpose?
- We know that the Black Oil was previously stated as a virus that is taking over the universe, and that the grays and shape-shifter races were being controlled by it. Perhaps aliens are taking over, but unintentionally? If the Spartan virus “gestates” as did the Black Oil, Earth would indeed be colonized by aliens.
- Was the vaccine developed by the Syndicate in previous seasons to combat the Black Oil virus similar to the one developed by Scully and Einstein in Season 10?
- What was the purpose of the Syndicate creating alien/human hybrids? If it was not to buy time from the alien colonists, then why were they doing it?
- What was the purpose of the abductions if not to create clones that are immune to the virus? The Well-Manicured Man already laid this out for Mulder in the first X-Files film, so we have to be provided with a different explanation for the abductions that hasn’t already been given, if it is indeed just a cabal planned by the Syndicate to kill off mankind and take over the world themselves.
- Were the disfigured aliens that lit people on fire in Seasons 5 and 6 really not the “resistance,” and perhaps it was the “evil” grays and shape-shifters that were the rebels, trying to take over the world? This would explain how aliens are not actually trying to colonize as Season 10 leads us to believe. Maybe there was a small faction of aliens, in league with the Syndicate, that were going against the harmless peaceful plans of the alien majority, and the true resistance had to be eliminated.
- Another purpose for the abductions was introduced in Seasons 8 and 9 as sort of a “Plan B” for colonization, turning abductees into alien replicants/super soldiers. Did this not happen? Of course it did. So what was their true purpose, if not to step in as an alternate plan for alien colonization?
There is much speculation to be had on all of the above plot points that were introduced in previous seasons but seemingly retconned for Season 10. I believe it is possible, using some of the speculation illustrated above, to help make sense of it all. We’ll just need more episodes next time, at least eight, with perhaps at least half the season devoted directly to the mythology. There is just too much left hanging that we cannot possibly make sense of it right now without the next season elaborating in detail.
It is easy for Mulder and Scully to be lead astray, but not the audience. We’ve seen so much more than those characters ever did. Over the years since the original series ended we have become very familiar with the mythology and how it worked, up until this new thread in Season 10 was introduced last year. Now, on the surface it seems like the writers are asking us to ignore what we as an audience witnessed.
I do not believe that is the case, although we’ll have to wait until Season 11 to find out. As fans of the series, what we should be doing now is giving Chris Carter and the writers the benefit of the doubt, understanding that the audience does not know where this is all headed fully. They have earned so much good will over the years that we as fans at least owe them that much.