The X Files Season 11 Premier

January 2018



Text Samantha Van Hoozer

The X Files season 11 premiered on FOX Jan. 3 to a total of about 5 million live viewers, down drastically from the series season 10 return to television last year, which saw about 16 million viewers tuning in. It is too early to say if this is an indication that viewers are losing interest in the show, as season 10 performed well on DVR, and there is no doubt that season 11 will too. A lot can probably be explained away by this being just the second season of the revival, rather than the first event series in which “The X Files” returned to screens after a break of 15 years. The excitement for the return of the beloved series was instrumental in bolstering its ratings.


“My Struggle III” picked up where the season 10 finale left off, but instead of seeing the outcome of “the Cigarette Smoking Man’s” plan to exterminate the majority of the human race, except for a chosen few, with an alien virus, and Mulder’s fate as one of the infected, viewers found out that almost nothing in season 10 actually happened. It was all just a vision of the future that Scully received from a telepathic connection with her son, William.


This was not the only shocking revelation from the premiere however. In the closing moments of the episode, Chris Carter dropped an absolute bombshell of a plot twist, revealing that William is not the son of Mulder and Scully like viewers have believed for years, but the result of the Cigarette Smoking Man impregnating Scully with an injection of alien DNA. This is supposed to have happened in the episode titled “En Ami” which aired in 2000. In this episode Scully took a trip alone with the Cigarette Smoking Man, enticed by his offer of a cure to her cancer. In one scene from this episode, Scully accuses the Cigarette Smoking Man of drugging her, after she wakes up out of her clothes and in pajamas that are not her own. This is when the Cigarette Smoking Man apparently impregnated her.


Many fans are understandably outraged, as this changes a major component of the relationship between Mulder and Scully, and violates Scully’s agency as a woman and beloved character. However, it is important to take anything that the Cigarette Smoking Man says with a grain of salt. His entire purpose as one of the show’s villains and most mysterious characters has been to lie and create havoc. The opening credits of the episode also briefly changed from “I Want to Believe” to “I Want to Lie” making it difficult to believe any shocking revelation delivered in the episode, especially one coming from the mouth of the Cigarette Smoking Man himself.


There are also problems with the timeline of when the Cigarette Smoking Man is supposed to have impregnated Scully and when she actually became pregnant and delivered her child, leaving open the possibility that the Cigarette Smoking Man is lying for a self-serving purpose and Mulder is still the father. Regardless, it is only the first episode of the new season, and the plot could go in any number of directions from here. The X Files has always been a show that pushes boundaries and is not afraid to make viewers uncomfortable or disturbed. Nothing in this series is ever as certain or cut and dried as it first appears.




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