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10 Times The X-Files Mythology Confused Fans

Saturday, November 17


The Truth Is Out There.... and it's more confusing than you ever thought possible.

For a series devoted to finding the truth, The X-Files mythology had more than its fair share of deceptive twists and turns over the course of twelve seasons. Early episodes were open-ended, meaning viewers had to wait for a resolution. It was confusing but in a good way.

Things got muddled as the seasons went by, perhaps because creator Chris Carter refused to keep an internal bible. And that meant that the mythology folded in on itself and the confusing nature of the show changed from the good kind to the bad.


10. The Black Oil’s Inconsistent Behaviour

In the X-Files series three classic, Piper Maru, viewers were introduced to the black oil; an alien goo capable of infecting humans and controlling their actions. Alex Krycek learned this the hard way when the oil jumped into his body and used him to help locate a spacecraft.
But Wait...Fast forward to the X-Files movie and the black oil was unrecognizable. This time the goo was revealed to be alien blood and it didn’t control a host this time; it drained their life energy instead, growing an alien inside them in the process.

Making things even more confusing, the black oil flipped back to its original state in season eight.

9. Cigarette Smoking Man’s Fate In Redux

Who can forget CSM? At the height of the show’s popularity, the chain smoking villain even got a mention in a Bare Naked Ladies song. Twenty-three years after he first appeared on our screens, CSM is still trying to control the fate of the world.

Back in season five, someone shot the iconic character while he clutched a photo of Mulder and his sister, Samantha. Later, Skinner visits Mulder to give him the good news that the smoking man is dead, and a smile spreads across our hero’s face.

But Wait...CSM is the sort of man who works without an identity and goes under the radar of even the President himself. So, how could Skinner know he was dead?

The show addresses this problem by revealing that even though his body wasn’t found, there was too much blood loss for anyone to survive, but this doesn’t fix anything. How do they know it’s his blood if they know nothing about him? Maybe, the Stupendous Yappi popped in to tell them?

8. Antivirals Vs Alien Virus
With David Duchovny scheduled to only appear in half of season eight’s episodes, the writers had to find a way to get the main man out of the show. Naturally, they thought the best way to do that was an alien abduction and have him returned halfway through the season - dead.

After Mulder’s funeral another alien abductee known as Billy Miles shed his skin and became a super-soldier. Scully had a hunch the same thing would happen to Mulder, so she dug his body up and learned he was alive. (I know) All she had to do was stop this weird skin shedding, metamorphosis from taking place and Mulder would be chasing aliens in no time.

But Wait...It was easy. Too easy in fact. Scully, through the wonders of science discovers the metamorphosis is being caused by a virus. How does she save Mulder from this horrific fate? With antivirals, of course. That’s right, the out of this world virus designed to replace humans with alien facsimiles was cured with antivirals. Huh?

7. Samantha’s Fate Revealed
Perhaps, the most famous X-Files mystery is the fate of Mulder’s sister, Samantha. Over the course of the show‘s run. the writers experimented with different reasons for her disappearance but never went as far as answering the question fully.

They even planted clues she was alive and Mulder’s own Father as good as confirmed it when he spoke to him from the afterlife.

But Wait...Season 7 came along and with it, the news David Duchovny (Mulder) would not return as a full-time cast member. It meant hastily wrapping up the hero’s search for his sister and when viewers learned she was dead before his search began, they knew it flew in the face of everything the show had told them up to that point.

Making matters worse, Samantha was said to have been taken by a walk-in. Urgh.

6. Krycek’s Pointless Nano Plot

SR-819 is a fantastic entry from the show’s sixth season that deals with a plot to murder F.B.I. Assistant Director Walter Skinner.

After a boxing match, Skinner finds strange bruises on his stomach and blue veins begin spreading all over his body. The situation worsens when a computerized voice tells him he has 24 hours to live. Mulder helps put the pieces together and discovers Skinner has been infected with nanobots. By the time they wrap up their investigation, the man behind the plot is still at large and just before the credits roll, Alex Krycek appears and informs Skinner he’s controlling the nanobots and can end his life at any time. Skinner demands to know what he wants but Krycek’s cryptic “all in good time.” response had fans eager to learn what the double agent had up his sleeve.

But Wait...The plot went nowhere. Krycek’s agenda turned out to be nothing more than having Skinner tape a few conversations with Mulder and Scully. It seemed silly that a bad guy like Krycek would waste the potential of having power over an Assistant Director of the F.B.I by only using him to spy on the two agents. 

Bizarrely; they never mentioned the nanotechnology after series seven and the storyline had no resolution by the time Skinner executed Krycek in the F.B.I parking lot.

5. Mulder And Scully Hitch-Hike From The Arctic

In the X-Files, movie; Fight the Future Scully is stung by an Africanised honeybee carrying the deadly alien virus. She collapses and is whisked away to the arctic by the shadow government.

Armed only with a weak vaccine against the virus, the fearless Mulder tracks Scully down, but not before his snowcat runs out of gas. Undeterred, he saves the day anyway, escaping a bunch of killer alien babies in the process.

But Wait...The ice collapsed around him while he dragged Scully to safety and a massive underground spacecraft rose and flew away, destroying the base and any stray vehicles left around. So, if Mulder’s snowcat was out of gas, how did our heroes get home? Maybe, they hitchhiked across the icy wilderness?

4. Diana Fowley Has The Worst Employers Ever

The character of Diana Fowley really got under Dana Scully’s skin. Introduced in season five, Mulder’s former flame seemed too good to be true when she waltzed back into his life at a crucial point in his quest. Was she really on his side? Or was she working with the syndicate to tie Mulder in knots?

The question was answered at the tail end of her introductory episode; tasked with guarding a boy described as “the key to everything in the X-Files” Diana was shot through a motel window.

But Wait...The following season’s opener tells us something else entirely. It turns out Diana Fowley was not on Mulder’s side but actually in league with the cigarette smoking man and his shadow government. In other words; the same people who had her gunned down at the end of the previous season. Maybe, the shooting was designed to trick Mulder into believing she was an ally but does that theory hold up? It’s a bit of a stretch to believe anyone would agree to be shot just to prove a point. Diana was found dead later in the season, presumably killed by her employers who must be up there with the worst of all time.

3. Scully’s Barren, Nope, Scully’s Pregnant

X-Files have taken a lot of flak for the treatment dished out to the character of Dana Scully over the years. In no particular order, Scully has been kidnapped, given cancer and lost a daughter she didn’t know she had.

In season two, Scully was abducted by the unhinged Duane Barry and experimented on by persons unknown. Later, we learn Scully’s ovum has been stolen and she is unable to conceive as a result. It’s a heartbreaking loss for the beloved character to endure.

But Wait...In the final episode of season seven, Scully tells her shocked boss, Walter Skinner that she’s pregnant and as the credits rolled, viewers scratched their heads trying to work out how it happened. Was it a lie? A dream? Nope. It turned out Scully’s pregnancy was a miracle. Hmm.

2. William’s Parentage Gets A Retcon

The whole William arc is a mess. Born in a scene reminiscent of the birth of Christ and teased to be an alien/human/hybrid throughout season nine. It became something of a relief when Scully gave him up. If only to give viewers a break from the constant jumping from one explanation to the next.

Never mind, at least the show confirmed William was Mulder’s son before they wrote him out.

But Wait...In season 11, CSM claimed to be the boy’s real Father and X-Files fans turned away in disgust when he claimed to have impregnated Scully with “science.” Unsurprisingly, the silly twist and inappropriate handling of what amounts to medical rape did not go down well with viewers.

1. Scully Shrugs Off Her Son’s Death


Let's stick with William for the final entry in our list. Remember how Scully had to give her little boy up to keep him safe?

Well, in the revival series it was revealed Scully has never stopped thinking about her son; a perfectly natural state for a mother to be in. Viewers watched in the hope they would be reunited once again. What better way to end the series, right?

But Wait...In the final moments of the series 11 finale, CSM murders William and Scully tells Mulder he wasn’t William’s father. What’s weird about this scene is Scully’s cold reaction to her only child’s death. She pretty much writes the boy off as collateral damage, branding him an experiment, and tells Mulder she’s pregnant again; and this time it’s his baby. (Better check that one out, Fox.)

It felt wrong on so many levels and enraged loyal viewers who felt the storyline's resolution was poorly handled.



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