SPOILER WARNING: There will be spoilery summaries of what each season is generally about, but I tried to keep the spoilers as minimal as possible. If you’re trying to keep yourself spoiler-free and virginal from knowing anything about the show, avert your eyes. If you’re curious about the show and want to have an idea of what each season covers, then please proceed ahead. This show may also cause lots of #feels and heavy fangirling/fanboying.
Take a deep breath and relax a little! You have arrived at the third and final part of this three-parter post covering The X-Files for first-time viewers. This post covers the final two seasons of the show, Eight and Nine, which are also known as the Mulder Isn’t Here seasons. Robert Patrick, a fine character actor who’s in every movie and TV series that has been released since the late 1980’s (seriously – dude’s in just about anything you’ve ever seen recently) joined the show in the eighth season as a new partner for Dana Scully. What happened to Mulder? You’ll find out in a minute.
A second feature film was released five years after the series finale. A stand-alone feature that also acts as a Monster of the Week, it’s a decent flick that’s worth a watch. Though I have some issues with it, it’s not the worst film you’ll ever see. There are some religious elements that might turn away some viewers, but it’s not heavy-handed. While the first film was a Mulder feature, this film showcases Scully.
And lastly, the show has seen a resurgence after continuing a new lease on life with a comic book revival. In canon with the TV series, the comic series starts with a new season – Ten, in this case. It keeps with continuity with the finale of the series and offers new adventures for Mulder, Scully, and their allies and enemies. I haven’t picked it up yet because I’m waiting for all of the issues to be released in individual volumes (volumes are several comic issues put together in one book). I’ll cover a little bit about the ongoing storyline, but I suggest picking up the comics and really seeing how the show translates onto the page. There have been comics written about the show before, but this is the first series that directly aligns with the show. Many familiar characters from the TV show appear, which is very cool for fans to bring some familiarity while reading this new literary season.
If you quit watching The X-Files after David Duchovny left to pursue other acting gigs (see Californication), it’s still worth a re-visit of the final two seasons. They aren’t really that bad and I do find them mostly enjoyable. The ninth season dragged because the original magic of the first seven seasons started to disappear, and the creators and cast knew at that point that show probably wasn’t going to continue. I wish it did with Agent Doggett and Agent Reyes – I thought they were both good additions to the show.
Season Eight Promo
Now With Less Fox Mulder! This should be the official tagline for the eighth season of the show, which saw David Duchovny taking a much lesser and active role as he pursued other interests. And there might’ve been lots of tension between him, FOX, and Chris Carter after he sued the FOX network for underselling the rights of the show, which cut into residuals for the actors when the show starting to appear in syndication on the FX network. With Duchovny’s character appearing in a limited capacity, Chris Carter and the producers of the series had to bring in some fresh blood to keep the show going for a while longer. Enter Robert Patrick, a highly-regarded and well-known character actor who has been steadily working in Hollywood for decades now. He was already connected to the show before he even joined it – his younger brother Richard is the frontman for the band Filter, and they’ve contributed music to the show and a compilation release called Songs in the Key of X.
Who is Special Agent John Doggett, and why was he introduced into the series? He’s a no-nonsense guy who is trying to get to the bottom of Mulder’s so-called “abduction” at the end of Season Seven. Yes, it’s true – Mulder has found himself to be an alien abductee after a visit to Oregon to the site of his first case with Scully. One of the alien abductee’s from the original case, Billy Miles, contacted them and he was also abducted along with Mulder. But there’s something more sinister brewing here, kids – Billy is returned, deceased, but something weird happens to him. And he becomes part of the most annoying arc added to the alien mythology. What would you get if aliens decided to experiment with their own T-100’s? You get a Super Soldiers, a seemingly invincible alien/human hybrid who can reform and come back to life after even the most gruesome deaths. Billy Miles is a Super Soldier and his main purpose is to hunt down both Mulder and Scully and kill them.
Mulder later returns, but is presumed dead at first, which gives Scully ALL THE FEELS. And she’s even more emotional than usual because she’s also pregnant. Somehow. Jumping back to several seasons before, it was discovered that Scully’s eggs were taken from her after she was abducted. In a strange turn of events, there was a young girl named Emily who was discovered to be Scully’s own biological child, but she died from a rare disease. (It’ll make more sense when you start watching Season Five). But somehow Scully finds herself pregnant with this mystery spawn, and she has this growing fear throughout the season that he may of extraterrestrial origins – yes, the show went there.
So what the heck is the deal with the Super Soldiers? I’ve seen this season a few times and even after my most recent viewing it still leaves me a bit confused. And I’m backtracking a little bit, ‘cause I just threw myself off. The Super Soldiers were created by the U.S. government as part of a millionth secret experiment involving alien viruses, this time manufacturing their own virus that turns humans into indestructible alien beings that can repair themselves. Their main purpose is to make sure that the alien colonists are protected when they come to Earth to destroy us all, instead of being used to fight them off; we can’t always win.
There’s some really messy and confusing subplots that all revolve around William, Scully’s baby-to-be, and his supposed super-specialness. Is he an alien/human hybrid, a Super Soldier, or Christ? There are some people trying to kill him, some trying to kidnap him, and others trying to save him. But like so many other subplots that disappeared mostly without a trace, William will later become a lost subplot. But in the meantime Scully delivers a healthy baby boy with help from another new agent that first helped her and Doggett search for Mulder after his abduction – Special Agent Monica Reyes.
Reyes and Doggett become the new keepers of the X-Files while Scully decides to take a extended leave-of-absence from the division to raise her son. And they mystery of his conception? Solved! Who’s the father? Do I really have to say their name, or have we all guessed who the obvious choice is? Yes, Mulder and Scully ‘shippers: William is the proud product of Mulder and Scully’s shagging on one particularly lonely night for the latter. We discovered that they hooked up thanks to a creepy government operative who was spying on Scully and saw the moment on video when she invited Mulder into her bed. We learn about this in Season Nine from this shadow operative, but they still hooked up this season.
Asshole Baddie Alert! A fan-favorite anti-villain meets their demise in this season, and it’s not CSM. This baddie is one of my favorite villains from any TV show or film, and as much as I hated-liked them, I didn’t expect them to die that soon.
Select “Monsters of the Week” from the eighth season: bat-man – literally (“Patience”), mind-controlling slugs (“Roadrunners”), a man who can literally see through walls (“Surekill”), a real “iron man” (Salvage”), and super-soldiers (“Existence”). The super-soldiers make a few appearances in Season Eight, and several appearances in Season Nine.
Season Nine Promo
Mulder’s in hiding from everyone in the world. Scully is reassigned for the billionth time to Quantico. New agents take over the X-Files and try to solve the strangest of cases. Is this a repeat of Season Six? Nope – we’re onto the last season of the series. This time, though, the new agents aren’t as horrible or annoying as Jeffrey Spender and Diana Fowley. Doggett and Reyes come to reluctantly accept the fact that strange things happen in the world, and their job is to investigate them.
There’s more Super Soldier nonsense in Season Nine too, so if that storyline bugged you…there’s no reprieve either. But we do get a new addition to the Super Soldier ranks: Xena herself, Lucy Lawless! Though she appears in only one episode, it’s cool to Lucy in action on the show as this badass indestructible alien person that has some ties to Doggett. Lucy was part of the same Marines division that Doggett was once in, along with a frenemy of his named Knowle Rohrer. Knowle is one of the first Super Soldiers and he’s been pulling Doggett’s strings for a while about the secret government experiment.
Yet another new addition the mytharc is introduced as a UFO cult tries to kidnap Mulder and Scully’s child William to use for their own nefarious purposes. This cult has discovered a second alien spacecraft that has crash-landed in Canada. Or Montana. Somewhere north along the U.S.-Canadian border. According to this cult, William is going to bring the End Times courtesy of some prophecy and something they read on the outside of this alien spacecraft. Our friends the Lone Gunmen, who had helped Mulder and Scully since the beginning of the series, swear to protect him. That’s short-lived ‘cause they are later attacked by a member of the cult as they try to drive to a safe location with William. Some mysterious thing happens later on when Scully races to the site of the downed spacecraft, and she finds all of the cult members burned to death and William unharmed and very much alive.
I’m skipping to the end of the series at this point, because it’s much easier to watch the whole season to try to make sense of the remaining storyline and the detailed and complex mytharc. Mulder comes out of his self-imposed hibernation and travels to a secret government facility, holding the secrets to the Super Soldier program. He later comes into mutual combat with Knowle Rohrer and allegedly “kills” him, but we all know how hard it is to kill the Super Soldier assholes. Captured and arrested by the military, Mulder is put on trial and has to fight for his very life ‘cause the military is out for blood. The coolest thing about this military tribunal is that we get to see some familiar faces return after having disappeared for a few seasons, including alien/human hybrid Gibson Praise, Marita Covarrubias, and Mulder’s half-brother Jeffrey Spender (!). They each give personal testimonies on Mulder’s character, along with Scully, Skinner, Reyes, and Doggett. In the end it all proves to be futile and it looks like Mulder’s doomed to certain death. But not all is lost! A surprise guest helps Mulder escape from the military installation that he’s being jailed at, and this person also helps him and Scully escape as they help Doggett and Reyes deal with the rest of the Super Soldier crap.
The end of the series has Mulder and Scully running away to start a new and hidden life, the X-Files being shut down (for the time being), and Doggett and Reyes off to new adventures. I remember watching the final episode, “The Truth,” and being pissed off by it when I finished viewing it. I felt like it was a huge letdown for longtime fans and left many plotlines to be left unfinished. I think I may have yelled out “Are you kidding me?!” after it ended, and my parents (I was living at home at the time) came into the living room to ask what had happened. Re-watching that final episode a few years later a few times has lessened the blow and I understand it a bit better, but there are so many ways that the show could have ended on a higher and better-written note. It’s not the worst episode of the series; it’s also not one of its most memorable ones.
Select “Monsters of the Week” from the ninth and final season: a dimensional-hopping murderer (“4-D”), a teenage fly-master (“Lord of the Flies”), and a memory-eater (“John Doe”), a Burt Reynolds appearance! (“Improbable”), nightmares coming into reality (“Scary Monsters”), and Bud Bundy vs. the Brady Bunch house (“Sunshine Days”).
Motion Picture Trailer
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
In 2008, the second feature film based on The X-Files was released to mixed reviews from both critics and fans. As a stand-alone film, it doesn’t tie-in with the main storyline of the series, which ended six years prior. Think of the film as a motion picture-length “Monster of the Week” episode, but with lots religious overtones and examinations of faith and belief in the extraordinary.
Several years after the end of the series, Mulder and Scully have both moved on from the FBI into new careers. Well…more like Scully, since Mulder is still in hiding from our shadow government baddies, aliens, and anyone else who is out for revenge or his death. While Mulder spends his days obsessing about conspiracies and hiding from the FBI, Scully is hard at work as a physician at a Catholic hospital who treats patients with all types of disorders. A classic X-Files case drops into the lap of the FBI, and they contact Scully about seeking her expertise in the matter, and asking her to convince Mulder to help them out as well. First they make the poor guy out to be crazy, then take away his years of work and service to the Bureau, and they ultimately fire him from the division he worked so long and obsessively over, solving cases no one else wants to touch.
After lots of reluctance on Mulder’s part, he and Scully head back to Washington D.C. to help the Special Agents assigned to the case: Amanda Pet and Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner (yes, the rapper!). These two mismatched actors (though I liked them in the movie) are like a newer version of Mulder and Scully, but with role reversals. Or Doggett and Reyes. Anyway, they make contact with a pedophile priest named Father Joe Crissman, who claims to have seen each of the abductions. He also has a connection with the person or persons responsible for the kidnappings, but it’s a bit confusing when they piece together the connection.
So why are these women being kidnapped? Oh, their organs and limbs are being harvested to keep a very wealthy man alive, who’s on some quest for immortality. Or something. Pretty much the main villains in the movie are this creepy wealthy guy who’s trying to graft his head onto a kidnapped woman’s body to prolong his life, and his lover is carrying out the abductions as well as stealing organs from numerous organ banks around their location. But I had an issue with the villains and our priest in general. Why? Father Joe is a pedophile, but he only abused altar boys. Of course. And the villains were former altar boys that he had abused, and they’re also gay lovers. And the kidnapping of women only to use for our main villain’s “transformation” is just… I don’t think Chris Carter meant to imply any homophobia or transphobia in relation to the villains and the pedophilic priest, but it felt like that, so I was a bit turned off by the story.
The movie itself isn’t the worst movie out there, but fan reaction to the film is very mixed – some fans really liked it as a stand-alone film, while others wished that it concentrated on the alien/shadow government mytharc that the show had concentrated on. I was beyond excited when I first heard about another X-Files movie being made, and my ex and two of our neighbors (also fellow fans) saw it on opening day. I enjoyed it at the time, but it hasn’t held up for me as much as the first film. The religious elements in the movie felt heavy-handed at times, and it seemed to focus a lot on Mulder and Scully’s relationship and everything else felt second to it.
What would’ve been a better “sequel” to the first film than I Want to Believe? A film about the alien colonists invading Earth, as they were supposed to back in December 2012, according to the mytharc of the TV show. The interest is there from fans who are hoping to see the invasion happen, but it’s up to 20th Century FOX to listen to the fans, Chris Carter, and the stars themselves – David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson – who all would like to see a third film.
The X-Files: Season 10 (Comic Series)
I am the worst fan ever. When I first heard that they were continuing the TV series in comic’s format, I was ecstatic. You think I’ve picked up any of those issues? Nope. As someone who hasn’t read them, I can’t really add a summary to this section just yet, but I promise to update it when I do start reading them and break down what Season Ten is all about, and how it continues from the end of the TV series.
You can still look at some of the cool cover art for a few of the issues below until I get to reading them:
Thank you to all of the visitors and readers of this blog who took the time to read this latest section of my X-Files Retrospective. I hope you found it all interesting, informative, witty, funny, and somewhat understandable. I apologize if the summaries are a bit confusing, but as I first stated – it’s hard to really break down this series and explain it to non-fans who are new to it. It’s easiest to get a feel for the show by Netflixing all 202 episodes and doing your own binge-watch of it.