The X-Files is back for one more (last?) season and boy did the season premiere set the fans all a-Twitter with its major plot developments. Of course, the Season 10 finale also had fans setting their hair on fire because of its cliffhanger that found Dana Scully racing against time to save the world from an alien virus but getting stuck in traffic just as a very large object came into view overhead.
The new season picks up exactly from that spot … psyche! It does not. In fact, all of that was apparently a fever dream that a hospitalized Scully was experiencing after apparently suffering from a seizure that basically set her brain on fire. Looking at the CAT scan, Skinner believed her brain was sending an SOS signal saying “find him.” But who? Skinner tried to convince Mulder that she wanted him to find their son William, but Mulder wasn’t buying it (since when did he become such a skeptic?). Sitting with Scully, she finally awoke after a particularly distressing dream and told Mulder he had to fine … the Smoking Man. So, Skinner was at least half right about that SOS.
But even after Scully insisted that she had a vision of a virus unleashed by Old Smokey (who, let’s not forget, is Mulder’s father) and she needed to find William to save Mulder, he still wasn’t prepared to take a jaunt down to South Carolina to find his nemesis — mainly because he thinks the man is dead — but once he notices he’s being followed after leaving the hospital, he puts some faith into what she said and turns the tables and becomes the pursuer instead of the pursued.
So already the premiere has undone much of what we saw in the last episode, but that wasn’t what had the long-time fans in a tizzy. The previous season did spend a lot of its time during the “mythology” episodes talking about William. And now it seems he’s finally going to be a big part of this season. First, the guy who was following Mulder also paid a visit to his brother, Jeffrey Spender, wanting to know where the boy is. Spender doesn’t know, but he popped up in Scully’s hospital room to let her know what’s happening, and gave her a name of the people who adopted William. He still doesn’t know their location, but at least she has enough information to track them down.
Mulder, in South Carolina, expects to find the Smoking Man when he gets there but instead encounters two other people (one played by Barbara Hershey) who tell him they want Smokey dead before he unleashes his virus on the world, and Mulder is the only man who can do it. But what’s in it for them? They claim to want to save the human race by colonizing space but of course that colonization will only be for those deemed worthy of saving. On one side, the Smoking Man — who confirmed his real name as Carl Gerhard Busch — knows that Scully and William are immune to the virus. On the other, these new folks are offering Mulder and William a place in their new world order.
But how does CGB know Scully and William will be immune? Here’s where it gets tricky, or rather, icky. During a long conversation with Reyes (who we learned was Smokey’s associate last season), he revealed his special relationship with Dana Scully. One that took us back to a Season 7 episode, “En Ami”, in which he took Scully on a little road trip, one in which she slept through after being drugged (although he told her she’d just been asleep after being awake for 30 hours). Two episodes later, she announces her pregnancy and all the world believed Mulder was the father.
And then the bomb dropped. CGB impregnated Scully “through science”, so it’s only partly icky, with a human-alien hybrid. Technically, he is the “father” of William, and that’s why Mulder isn’t immune to the alien virus. But, are we to take the Smoking Man at his word? Fans are certainly losing their shit over this but perhaps they missed something at the very beginning of the episode during the opening credits. We all know the show’s tagline has been “I WANT TO BELIEVE” and that appeared on screen as usual. But for a brief moment before the commercial, that tagline changed to “I WANT TO LIE”. Who else but the Smoking Man would lie, especially when it comes to matters involving Mulder and Scully that he wants to totally manipulate?
To me, this plot twist makes sense and show creator Chris Carter claims this was always the plan and it would have been explored further had the show not been cancelled back in 1999. Whether any of this is true or not, at least it seems we’ll finally get to meet the grown William after being teased all last season. The question is how many of the ten episodes will deal with this story? At the end of the episode, Mulder wondered where they go from here, and Scully said they just continue working which means we’ll get a lot of stand-alone, non-mythology episodes. Let’s just hope that as this seems like it really is the end with Gillian Anderson’s decision to quit after this season, that we do get a final resolution to William’s parentage and the Smoking Man’s grand plan to wipe out the vast majority of humans on the planet.
The X-Files airs Wednesdays at 8:00 PM on FOX.
What did you think of this episode and the big twist? Tell us in the comments below!