I started watching The X-Files when I was eleven or twelve years old. Fox Mulder was my very first “crush”, so to speak; I’d even go as far as to say he caused my sexual awakening (no judgements, please). That apart, over a decade and many, many TV shows later, The X-Files remains my favourite show to this day. The show is on its eleventh season right now, having been revived in 2016, after its cancellation in 2001. Eleven seasons, two movies and twenty five years later, the question remains, will the show ever give its fan any semblance of closure? Now, I’m no stranger to cancelled shows (I’m looking at you, Firefly), but even for hardcore fans like me, the meandering main story-arc has been rather tedious, and at times, incoherent to follow.
The eighth and ninth seasons of the show saw its steady decline, one that can quite easily be attributed to the main story arc that started making lesser and lesser sense. I would also argue that David Duchovny’s exit from the show caused the aforementioned decline. However, despite these issues, I do commend the showrunners for having tried to give the show some semblance of an ending. Mulder and Scully escape, well, everyone, and run away to a motel, where they discuss their uncertain future. At the same time, the Smoking Man who appeared to be biding his time before a predicted alien colonisation, is killed. The ending is uncertain, bleak, and definitely asks more questions than answers. However, our heroes are safe, and the villain is dead, so not all is bad, I guess. It was, however, very weak and diluted in comparison to the show’s excellent pilot and first few seasons; almost as if those who worked on the show did not believe in it anymore.
The storyline took yet another steep turn in 2008, with the release of the movie I Want to Believe, which was, quite ridiculous. It read like any other thriller, rather than a typical X-Files story. In fact, but for the presence of Mulder and Scully (who have a full-fledged relationship now), I would be inclined to believe that it wasn’t related to The X-Files at all. The movie, yet again, tried to culminate the story, with Mulder and Scully running away to possibly an exotic island, to escape all the darkness. It was, in short, a bad movie with an even worse ending. Now, because of this disastrous movie, I was rather sceptical when it was announced that the show was to be revived for a tenth season. Excited, yes. But also sceptical. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the show.
The main story-arc was still a little wonky, but the Monster-of-the-week episodes were an absolute delight to watch, per usual. Duchovny and co-star Gillian Anderson retained their incredible on-screen chemistry, and the episodes were well-written and fast-paced. Oh, and Skinner was back. Just like old times! But alas, as all good things must come to an end, so did this season. Its finale was not only strange and nonsensical, it also felt very out-of-place. And of course, it was supposed to be a miniseries, to conclude the show with. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. However, the show was renewed for yet another season. Now, the eleventh season is six episodes down, and it has been doing spectacularly well. Well, at least the individual episodes are. The main arc just keeps getting wilder and weirder at every instance. As we near the dreaded finale, my question remains, will we get the closure we deserve?