Warning: major spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of The X-Files Season 11, "Ghouli."
The X-Files has never shied away from killing characters off, although major characters do have the tendency to come back from the dead. Still, fans of the show know that it's best to expect bad things to happen to good people on The X-Files. In "Ghouli," two characters were killed off who certainly didn't deserve to die. Mr. and Mrs. Van De Kamp -- last seen alive in a Season 9 episode -- were shot to death in their own home while their adoptive son was just upstairs. In a truly X-Files-ish twist, however, their murders may have opened the door for Mulder and Scully to get a happily-ever-after at the end of Season 11.
Mr. and Mrs. Van De Kamp were the adoptive parents of Jackson Van De Kamp, who X-Files fans will know better by the name of William. They adopted Scully and (hopefully) Mulder's son back in Season 9, and they seemed like positively delightful people. By the look of their house in "Ghouli," they loved Jackson/William very much and did everything they could to give him a good life, even if they couldn't quite comprehend his crazy powers. They were his parents in every way except for blood.
Jackson/William had to fake his own death in order to escape the same fate as the Van De Kamps. Despite multiple opportunities in "Ghouli" to turn to Mulder and Scully for assistance, the teen decided to keep to himself. Using his powers to make everybody think that he's somebody else, he took off on a road trip all by his lonesome. His powers are clearly strong, as even Scully didn't realize that she was speaking to her son rather than a random man (played by Francois Chau of Lost) at a gas station until she and Mulder checked surveillance tapes. However his powers work, they don't change surveillance footage, and the dynamic duo saw enough to know that their biological son is still alive.
Judging by his interaction with Scully at the gas station, Jackson/William is at the very least aware that he shares a connection with her. It wasn't clear if he 100% knew beyond a reasonable doubt that she's his biological mother, but he seemed to go out of his way to speak with her twice, and he clearly believes that she's a good person. When his road trip inevitably ends in disaster due to the Cigarette-Smoking Man or Project Crossroads or some other malevolent force, he could very well reach out to Scully, and that could open the door for Scully and Mulder to get a happy ending.
Jackson/William is still a teenager, and he can't stay on his own forever. If he decides that he wants to live a normal life, he can't do so by himself due to the deaths of the Van De Kamps. This could open the door for Scully and Mulder to take him in and give him a home and family, even if not the one he had before. Scully and Mulder are at least equipped to deal with any weirdness that arises due to his powers. The Van De Kamps, for all their love of their son, just weren't prepared for raising a kid like William. Surely Mulder and Scully could pull it off!
That said, this is The X-Files we're talking about, and Mulder and Scully don't frequently get happy endings. In fact, the closest they came to a happy ending was the Season 8 finale shortly after William's birth. Then Mulder had to go on the run, Scully had to be a single mom to a kid with mysterious abilities who was being hunted by various groups of people, and everything was terrible. Sure, Season 11 might be the final time we see Mulder and Scully, but that doesn't necessarily mean that creator Chris Carter will deliver them a happy conclusion. The trailer for the second half of Season 11 is heavy on action and light on lightheartedness.
Chris Carter spoke with CinemaBlend about why Season 11 was the right time to bring William back, so be sure to check out what he had to say. We'll have to wait and see what happens. New episodes of The X-Files air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. For other viewing options, don't forget to take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).