GIGANTIC SPOILERS ahead for the Season 11 finale of The X-Files, called "My Struggle IV." If you haven't had the chance to watch yet, feel free to check out some of our spoiler-free articles until you get to tune in.
Season 11 of The X-Files was a wild ride that pitted Mulder and Scully against some classic Monsters of the Week as well as forced them to face off against new shadowy agents with dark agendas of their own. Some of the episodes felt positively plucked from the series' original run in the '90s while some felt as though they belonged to another series entirely. The season finale -- and possibly series finale -- has finally aired, and it was pretty much the most WTF episode ever. Mulder and Scully were in action, William was in the mix, the Cigarette-Smoking Man came back, the Skinman was still in the middle of everything... basically, it was a wild hour of television. Read on for a rundown of the why the finale was so incredibly WTF:
William Is Immortal?
The Season 11 finale brought back William in a big way and revealed that his powers go a lot farther than simply manipulating what people can see. He can also use his mind to literally explode the bodies of other people, which he did to take out a bunch of bad guys (including Barbara Hershey's character) who were about to kill Mulder and abduct him. Mulder, Scully, and Skinner raced to try and track William down, but the Cigarette-Smoking Man and Monica Reyes were on the chase as well. Although William used his powers to take on the guise of Mulder and fool Scully, his plan backfired when he was cornered by CSM. Believing that William was Mulder, CSM just went ahead and shot him between the eyes, knocking him off a ledge into the water, apparently deceased. William certainly seemed to be super dead... until the episode revealed him bobbing up to the surface, perfect alive. Either one of William's powers is surviving shots to the head or William inherited his mom's likely (although unconfirmed) immortality.
Scully Is Pregnant
Yes, Scully has a bun in the oven. Mulder broke the terrible news that the Cigarette-Smoking Man had killed William (or so they thought), and she wasn't quite as distraught as fans might have expected. She stated that William was created in a lab and she was never really his mother. Mulder was more upset than she was, devastated that he wasn't a father anymore! Scully broke the news that he is kind of still a father because she's pregnant, which understandably confused Mulder. Sure, the two totally hooked up at least once while on the road for one of the Monster of the Week cases of Season 11, but Scully conceiving a child is supposed to be impossible. The poor woman had all of her ova harvested, so technically there wasn't any way for her to conceive. At least Season 8 floated the possibility of IVF as how William came to be. Given that Cancer Man didn't abduct and drug Scully in Season 11, we can only assume that Baby #2 is a miracle.
It Was A Total Bloodbath
"My Struggle IV" was a total bloodbath. Mr. Y (A.C.Peterson) was shot in the face by Mulder early in the episode, and Erika Price (Barbara Hershey) was exploded by William along with some henchmen in a motel room. Monica Reyes was shot to death by Skinner, who seemed positively sick of anything and everything to do with the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Her death was so quick and unceremonious that she might as well have been another random crony rather than one of the leads of Season 9. Luckily, Old Smoky got himself killed as well when Mulder flipped out after watching CSM gun down William. The only characters who weren't glorified extras who weren't shot and/or exploded were Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Kersh, and Tad O'Malley. Skinner's fate is currently unknown after possibly being run down by CSM's out-of-control car, but I'm choosing to believe that the Skinman lives on.
Mulder Didn't Decapitate And Burn CSM's Body
The Cigarette-Smoking Man was shot multiple times in the chest by Mulder in the finale before falling into water. His body seemed to float lifelessly away, and he appeared dead for all intents and purposes. But this is the Cigarette-Smoking Man we're talking about! In the original run of the series alone, the man survived so much blood loss that he should have been half drained, was not killed by lung cancer despite or a brain disease, lived through being shoved down a flight of stairs in a wheelchair, and then was not killed after being literally blown up and his fleshless skull shown on camera. Mulder of all people should know to make sure that CSM is dead. I'm choosing to believe that after Mulder recovered from the news of Scully's pregnancy, he chased down CSM's body and made sure that he's really, truly, totally, 100% DEAD this time around.
Any fans hoping that the Season 11 finale would tie up all the loose ends were probably disappointed by the cliffhangers in "My Struggle IV." On top of William surviving a gunshot wound to the head and Scully conceiving a child despite a lack of ova, we have Kersh wanting to shut down the X-Files, Skinner going rogue to help Scully, Tad O'Malley claiming Mulder as a source for a crackpot conspiracy theory that actually came from Scully, and all the leftover questions from the previous nine episodes of Season 11. Granted, these smaller cliffhangers are less infuriating than the Season 10 cliffhanger, but still! This could have been the final episode ever. A little more closure would have made the hour much less WTF.
Mulder And Scully Were Barely Together
The dynamic duo of Mulder and Scully spent most of the season (and possibly series!) finale separate. Mulder was in the thick of the action and even got to meet his son face-to-face while Scully was mostly either on the phone or in the car. They reunited at the end before immediately heading off in different directions to try and find William. The reveal of Scully's pregnancy might have felt a lot more poignant and less WTF if we got to see them sharing more moments in the episode, especially since Gillian Anderson has said that she's not interested in reprising the role beyond Season 11. I love Scully's dynamic with Skinner as much as anybody, and Mulder's interactions with and desperation to find William were compelling, but this was possible the final episode of The X-Files, and The X-Files is Mulder and Scully.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for news of the future (or lack thereof) of The X-Files. If you're in the mood to relive some of the glory days of Mulder and Scully's adventures, you can find all eleven seasons streaming on Hulu. For what you can watch now that The X-Files has come to an end, check out our midseason TV premiere guide. If you're not up on the shows that have gotten the axe in the 2017-2018 TV season so far, be sure to swing by our rundown of TV renewals and cancellations.
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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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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