I want to believe. I want to believe that season nine of The X-Files never happened. I recently bought the entire series off of Amazon for a bargain! My girlfriend had never really watched the show so I’ve been using her as an excuse to blast my way through classic X-Files episodes from the very beginning. She liked what she saw, but I had this sudden pit developing in my stomach. What happens when she gets to the last season?
A Question of Errors
A lot of fans say the show lost its way before season nine. When David Duchovny left semi-permanently at the end of season 7 most fans switched off citing-samey stories and a clearly uninterested cast and crew. I was curious to see what would happen though as they had ended that season on a wonderful cliffhanger (SPOILER ALERT): Mulder had been abducted and Scully was pregnant.
Season eight opened with Scully looking for Mulder and being partnered with a new agent, John Doggett (Robert Patrick – Terminator 2’s evil T1000). The show seemed to gain a new lease of life as some truly terrifying stories were broadcast (“Roadrunners”, “Badlaa”, “Surekill”) alongside a fascinating new character dynamic between Scully and Doggett. Here there was no underlying attraction. Here there were two very emotionally damaged agents (we later learned that Doggett’s son was murdered, causing his marriage to break up) trying hard to get along and slowly developing a mutual respect. Add into the mix the shock return of Mulder toward the end of the show, questions regarding the humanity of Scully’s child, and you had a powerful story arc alongside some brilliant monster of the week stories. I loved season eight and it ended with a satisfying and, for once, happy conclusion. I argue the show could have ended there comfortably whilst still allowing for future movies to be made.
Then deason nine aired.
A Question of Necessity
It wasn’t that the season was particularly bad—in fact many episodes were quite good. It was more the fact that season nine was unnecessary. It picked up where season eight had left off but with Mulder missing again (David Duchovny had called it quits), and thus Scully was left to limp on as a working single parent occasionally dispensing sage advice to the new duo of Doggett and Monica Reyes. Hints of Mulder’s whereabouts are littered throughout the season but ultimately the show’s obsession with an alien invasion plan (that had been altered so many times since the show’s inception) failed to deliver satisfaction. The whole plot was over-bloated nonsense and the last two episodes had established characters do things they never would have done up to that point. The X-Files ended on a whimper instead of a bang.
A Question of Belief
I loved The X-Files. I just wished the producers had had the guts to end it at the right time. Instead, it was kept limping past the point of interest.
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