After a 2 year wait, Mulder and Scully are finally returning for an eleventh season of The X-Files
FOX’s The X-Files is one of the longest-running science fiction dramas in North America. After a fourteen year hiatus, a standalone movie, and numerous rumors about a third movie to conclude the series, FOX instead decided to revive The X-Files for a limited run of six episodes. The revived show was a ratings success and it was only a matter of time before FOX brought the show back for another season. About two years later, fans of the series are finally getting their wish in early 2018 with the premiere of season 11!
FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) will once again resume their search for the truth about a sprawling government conspiracy and unexplained paranormal and supernatural cases. Season 10 left the two FBI agents and their colleagues dealing with a widespread outbreak of the Spartan Virus, a virus designed to strip humans of their immune systems. Only those with alien DNA were immune to the virus. Mulder, after being infected, confronted the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) and was offered a chance to survive the outbreak. Mulder declined his offer and was found by Agent Miller (Robbie Amell).
RELATED | Sci-Fi After Dark: A New Trailer for The X-Files, Ronald D. Moore Returns to Space, and More!
During Mulder’s absence, Scully was able to create a vaccine for the virus with the help of Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) and Agent Einstein (Lauren Ambrose). Despite Scully reaching Mulder with the vaccine, she determined that he was far too sick to be treated without a stem cell transplant from their son William. As Mulder worsened, a UFO appeared above Scully, Mulder, and Miller and shined a bright light on them.
The situation our favorite FBI Special Agents were left in is grim, to say the least. In typical fashion for The X-Files, the season 10 finale left us with more questions than answers. At the same time, the open-ended nature of the season finale should give the writers plenty of options when moving into season 11. While it’s possible to create a long list of reasons to get excited about the upcoming season of The X-Files, let’s take a look at our top 5 reasons for why you should be watching when season 11 premieres on January 3rd on FOX.
1. Scully and Mulder will continue working together
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the professional relationship between Mulder and Scully or want to see them romantically involved again, it’s difficult to deny the chemistry of the two series leads. Over the show’s long history the characters have been separated for various story and real world reasons. When David Duchovny left the show as a series regular and only returned sporadically in the final two seasons, Gillian Anderson did well to fill the void. Additional characters were also introduced to help achieve that goal with varying success. The lack of Mulder having a weekly presence eliminated an important part of the series. That believer versus the skeptic dynamic was always intended to be at the show’s heart. Along with that pairing comes a dry and often sarcastic sense of humor.
Scully: “Mulder, toads just fell from the sky!”
Mulder: “I guess their parachutes didn’t open.”
The X-Files has had its share of ups and downs over the years. Both the weaker and stronger moments have always benefited greatly by having Mulder and Scully present. Can the show work at times without the duo? Absolutely. But The X-Files is a much stronger show when Mulder and Scully are working together. Removing that dynamic hurt the series. So when the show was revived, reuniting the two characters was critical. Season 11 is set to continue that partnership, and we greatly look forward to seeing them in action again.
2. The search for Mulder and Scully’s son William
Ever since Scully was abducted back in season 2, there have been multiple mysteries surrounding the character. Despite being declared infertile, Scully mysteriously became pregnant later in the series and gave birth to a son. William began to exhibit extraordinary abilities, such as telekinesis, as an infant. This led to Scully giving up William for adoption to better protect him and keep him from being used. In the original series finale, the movie “I Want to Believe,” and season 10, Mulder and Scully began referring to William as “our son,” which added to the ambiguity surrounding his conception.
Scully: “Do you believe he was an experiment?”
Mulder: “I don’t know.”
William’s importance in the big picture has been a significant question ever since it was first revealed that Scully was pregnant. His importance going forward seems to be even more significant. According to Scully, William’s stem cells are needed to help save Mulder from the Spartan Virus. The confirmation that Scully has alien DNA also partially explains William’s abilities. Is William important to the government conspirators and the Colonists? This seems increasingly likely. With the search for William being part of the main story for season 11, we may finally start getting more concrete answers about him and how he fits into the larger conspiracy.
3. The continuation of the mytharc
The mythology of The X-Files (aka, the “mytharc” for those who might be new to the series) has been at the heart of the show since the very first episode and it’s been central to Mulder and Scully’s work at the FBI. The complexity of the mytharc has increased as the show has matured, and in some cases, the coherence of that part of the series has suffered. But that hasn’t stopped us from trying to piece together the hundreds of moving parts of the vast government conspiracy hiding the plans of a powerful alien race.
“You have precious little time. What I’ve given you, the alien colonists don’t yet know exists. The vaccine you hold is the only defense against the virus. It’s introduction into an alien environment may have the power to destroy the delicate plans we have so assiduously protected for the last 50 years.”
‒ Well-Manicured Man
The tenth season had the difficult task of reintroducing the complicated mythology of the series while also advancing it. Now that that’s out of the way, more time can hopefully be spent on answering questions and moving the story forward. Do the Colonists still have a doomsday plan to colonize Earth? If so, has it been successfully stopped or has it merely been delayed? Or were those all lies to cover up something else entirely? As we enter season 11, we have just as many questions as ever. We don’t expect all of our questions to be answered (that wouldn’t be much fun!) but we’re looking forward to some of them being addressed. At the very least, we can expect more layers of the conspiracy to be uncovered.
4. More monster of the week episodes
In addition to its increasingly complicated, conspiracy-driven mytharc, The X-Files is well known for its “monster of the week” style of episodes. The monster of the week episodes have always provided an opportunity for the writers to experiment and tell many different types of stories outside of the mytharc’s focus on alien abductions, government conspiracies, and colonization. Many of the strongest episodes of the series have been monster of the week episodes and have helped develop the main characters. Season 10’s short length meant there were fewer opportunities for the monster of the week stories, and unfortunately, the stories the season did provide were somewhat mixed.
“We [relaunched] from a standing start after not having been on the air for 12 years — there was some reacquainting that had to be achieved. It was like old friends getting back together. We had to shake some of the stiffness out. […] I think that we’re all in fighting shape now.”
‒ Chris Carter (creator and showrunner)
The upcoming eleventh season will have no less than 8 standalone/monster of the week episodes for fans to sink their teeth into. While more isn’t automatically better, it does give the writers more opportunities to try new things that aren’t directly tied to the show’s mytharc. Will there be a “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” or “Triangle” in season 11? We certainly hope so!
5. Resolution to season 10’s cliffhangers
Along with the return of monster of the week and mytharc episodes came another important part of FOX’s revival of The X-Files: cliffhangers. Season 10 didn’t hold back on that front and delivered several in the season finale. Mulder and Scully were soon in a race against time after a major nationwide outbreak of the Spartan Virus. Despite successfully creating a vaccine for the virus, Scully didn’t get to Mulder quickly enough. To raise the stakes even more, the alien ship that appeared in the season 10 premiere appeared above Scully, Mulder, and Miller and began shining a light on them.
“I didn’t set out to destroy the world, Mulder. People did.”
‒ Cigarette Smoking Man
Who is in control of the alien ship in the final moments of the episode? Why did they decide to expose the ship in front of so many people after years of attempting to hide the ships? How will Mulder get the necessary stem cell treatment for his survival if William’s stem cells are needed? Will Scully finally become a true believer now that she’s seen an alien ship with her own eyes? Has Cigarette Smoking Man’s final plan finally been put into motion or is that another misdirect? The season 11 premiere, “My Struggle III,” has a lot of pieces to pick up and make sense of. We don’t expect all of these questions to be answered immediately. Still, we can’t help but get excited by the possibilities of where the show is headed next.
The X-Files might be aging but the truth is still out there and we can’t wait to continue uncovering it along with Mulder and Scully
It’s now been twenty-four years since The X-Files first premiered on FOX. After the original series finale in 2002, fans of the series likely thought that would be it. Fourteen years later a revived version of the show appeared on FOX. While season 10 of the show wasn’t perfect and was far shorter than many fans probably would have liked, it also showed that there’s still plenty of life left in the show and the characters. It answered multiple questions but raised many new ones.
Each season of The X-Files unveils another piece of the mytharc at the center of the series while also throwing our favorite characters into unexplained, paranormal cases. Season 11 is set to push the mytharc in new and exciting directions. Mulder and Scully will be searching for their son, who has mysterious inhuman abilities. Is their son the key to stopping the conspirators’ plans? The Cigarette Smoking Man’s plan appeared to be set in motion in the season 10 finale and how the characters counteract that should provide plenty of material for fans to debate. But most importantly of all, Mulder and Scully will be working side-by-side once again to investigate the unexplainable in their tireless quest to uncover the truth, and that’s enough to get us eagerly waiting for the season premiere.