Warning: spoilers ahead for the ninth episode of The X-Files Season 11.
Only one episode is left in The X-Files Season 11, and there's every chance that the Season 11 finale will also be the finale of the series as we know it. Gillian Anderson has stated that she doesn't intend to return for another season, and the reintroduction of William into the plot seems to indicate that the show is tying off loose ends. The end could be nigh, which raises the question of whether the finale could actually kill off a major character. The trailer for the final episode is action-packed and intense, and it could point toward a big death. Take a look:
The trailer reveals the returns of the Cigarette-Smoking Man and Monica Reyes as well as William, who has been on the run since giving Mulder and Scully the slip earlier in Season 11. William is being hunted by some very bad and very shadowy people, and Mulder and Scully look prepared to do just about anything to protect him. This will put Mulder at least in the path of the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and the trailer footage indicates that Mulder is going to discover that Old Smokey isn't willing to protect him the way he was in the past. CSM has a gun pulled on Mulder in the final scene of the trailer. When Mulder scoffs that he doesn't think his biological father can pull the trigger, CSM says that Mulder doesn't know him very well and looks on the verge of shooting.
Now, after eleven seasons, two movies, and more than 20 years, fans know quite well that Mulder is really, really, really hard to kill. The man seems to die time and time again but always manages to come back somehow, no matter how many times he drops his gun and/or sticks his hand into mysterious goo. He's also one of the two main characters of one of the most iconic series of the 90s, and would the show really go so heavy-handed in teasing his death in a trailer? Still, the show really could be coming to an end with the Season 11 finale, and Mulder has been all about protecting Scully and William in the latest batch of episodes. Is it so far-fetched that he would find a way to sacrifice himself for them?
Of course, Mulder isn't the only major character who could die based on what we see in the trailer. The Cigarette-Smoking Man has Mulder at gunpoint, which could definitely motivate somebody else to take him out. Also, he's the biggest villain of the series who has done something truly horrifying to Scully (and a whole lot of other people), and he's escaped death enough times. If The X-Files really is ending after Season 11, maybe Chris Carter will finally deliver a definitive death for CSM that fans have been waiting for all along.
Mulder or Scully getting the honors would make sense, given how they've suffered over the years, but I'm crossing my fingers that Skinner takes him out. He proved with Krycek back in Season 8 that he's not against pulling the trigger on his enemies, and if he shoots CSM the way he shot Krycek, it would definitely settle the question of whether or not he's dead. CSM may be able to somehow survive being shot in the chest, thrown down stairs in a wheelchair, and blown up by missiles, but a bullet to the brain a la Krycek would really settle things. Sign me up for the Skinman taking out Cancer Man!
That said, Scully could be killed off. Gillian Anderson is the X-Files star who has stated that she intends to leave the series, and showrunner Chris Carter has said that the franchise could continue without Scully. If one half of the dynamic duo of Mulder and Scully is going to die, Scully might seem like the logical choice to Carter and Co., even if Season 9 proved that viewers aren't the biggest fans of The X-Files without both Mulder and Scully on board. Unlike Mulder, William, and CSM, Scully doesn't seem to be in much danger in the trailer, which could be the show's way of trying to protect a huge twist like poor Scully being killed. I'm hoping against hope that The X-Files will carry on with the running joke that Scully is immortal and she manages to live forever and take as many relaxing baths as she wants, but her death is not out of the question.
Who knows? Maybe Monica will be killed. Her death would be a big deal, given how important she was to the final two seasons of the original run of the series, but it wouldn't be such a big deal that longtime fans en masse would despair as they would for Mulder, Scully, and Skinner. Or maybe nobody will die and Mulder and Scully will drive off into the sunset with their son. We'll have to wait and see.