It’s time to break into the roadside motel minibar, because we have reached the end of the proverbial line. Eighteen months ago, we decided to embark on a full rewatch of The X-Files, dissecting each season of the original run along the way. It’s safe to say that we’ve written tens of thousands of words about the show by this point, but I think I also speak for Kim when I say that doing so was hardly a chore. It’s a series that lives in both of us, the good and the bad, and it doesn’t take much more than queuing up an episode to get those emotions flowing again.
Sadly, Season Nine, where the show originally called it quits, is Not Great Bob, as much as we would have liked to go out on a high. Still, we’ve come this far, it does have its moments and its strengths, and it wouldn’t have felt right to leave the show’s first finale unexamined. Joining us again for our final recap of this rewatch is #TrustNoOne pal KatyBeth, and all three of us have a lot to say (shocking, I know), so let’s get to it. —Sage
- Favorite Mythology Episode?
Sage: “The Truth”? I guess??
The beginning of Season Nine is where the show’s mythology curls up and dies, its haunting death rattle reverberating through the finale. “Nothing Important Happened Today” should be a bold new beginning, following through on the promise of Monica joining the X-Files in the Season Eight, but it’s a snooze, completely wasting guest star Lucy Lawless. “Trust No 1” has its moments, but the addition it makes to the super soldier lore is silly goose central. (And it wastes Terry O’Quinn! A running theme.) “Providence” and “Provenance” are there, I will get to “William” in a later section, and that leaves our two-part series finale.
At least “The Truth” knows what we want and gives it to us right off the bat: Fox freakin’ Mulder (you punks) doing something shady in a warehouse. That face!! I missed it so much. But while the episode doesn’t overestimate how much we care about him, it does presume (falsely) that anyone gives a flying fuck about Knowle Rohrer, or the super soldier formerly known as Knowle Rohrer. That the entire series finale revolves around the death of a character played by Adam Baldwin is something I need to remind myself on a regular basis, because it is simply too ludicrous to hold in my head all the time.
I promise that I also have some nice things to say about this episode, but I can’t simply pretend that Chris Carter didn’t choose to end his series on a fake (it’s NOT REAL) and spectacularly un-Constitutional murder trial, just to force Mitch Pileggi and a revolving door of recurring characters to recap nine seasons of lore for him. All this when the full alien invasion of Earth is supposedly a decade away.
In the pro column, “The Truth” has several elements that the other mythology episodes of this season do not: Force Ghost Alex Krycek, because Mulder just can’t let go; making out, fucking finally; and an attempt to make some sense of things, even though it ultimately falls short. Where it obviously succeeds most is in bringing Mulder and Scully’s story to a pleasantly ambiguous conclusion. That it all comes down to them baring their souls in a motel room once again gloriously full-circle, and for good seven years we got to imagine them still out there on the run together, forever united in their purpose.
KatyBeth: The post-Season Eight mythology is, to put it kindly, a hot mess. Super soldiers, cults that worship Mulder and think Baby William is some kind of Christ child, Scully suddenly acting helpless, Xena Warrior Princess drowning people… it’s bleak out here once Mulder leaves. By process of elimination, the least terrible of the Season Nine options is naturally “The Truth,” which is part clip show recap series finale, part attempt to tie up loose ends, and part reunion special for much of the long-term cast. Is it actually a good finale? Maybe? Sort of? (Sarah compared it to Seinfeld’s series finale, and I cannot unsee the comparison.)
Regardless, I love it. One last hurrah with most of our friends, including Marita and Gibson and Jeffrey Spender (!) all coming to Mulder’s defense in his sham trial. Mulder’s seeing ghosts and attempting to protect Scully from the concept of a big scary future that literally never comes to pass. The Smoking Man is brought back only to be murdered graphically for the third time. The core group come together to save Mulder from execution with a plan mostly based on product placement (hello to the Ford Expedition and Excursion!). I refuse to get into super soldiers and magnetite (to quote Gillian Anderson: “What the fuck is magnetite?!”), so one last thought: this episode almost had a crossover with The West Wing. It was filmed with a George W. Bush lookalike instead of Jed Bartlet and cut from the final episode, but it lives on in my imagination. Fox Mulder and Josh Lyman were definitely friends.
Kim: I’m going with “The Truth,” not because it’s a good episode, but because the rest of the season’s mythology episodes make it look like “Anasazi” in comparison. The mythology in Season Nine is a mess, y’all. The super soldier plot is nonsensical, and I lose a brain cell every time someone utters the words “Knowle Rohrer.” The mytharc episodes involving William are equally frustrating, mainly because Scully is reduced to a weepy parody of herself where she makes one bad decision after another, forgetting every single lesson she’s learned after eight years of working on the X-Files. (Seriously! She has worms for brains in these episodes! Dana Katherine Scully!)
So that leaves us with “The Truth,” which, as I said, isn’t a good episode. As a series finale, quite frankly, it’s lazy! It’s one of the laziest series finales of all time and it’s definitely not what we deserved. It’s not what Mulder and Scully deserved! I mean, more than half of the episode is clip footage from old episodes! Pages and pages of exposition are dumped in Mitch Pileggi’s lap and he does his fucking best with it as Skinner defends Mulder in what amounts to a kangaroo court, recounting the entirety of the show’s mythology to Glenn Guilia. Doggett and Reyes are barely in it. CSM returns from the dead, yet again, only to be incinerated after naming December 2, 2012 as the date of the final colonization. (And yet…SOMEHOW he shows up in the revival, having survived a torpedo to the FACE. We literally see him burn, Chris Carter! Give me a break!)
The more I think about it, the more I think that “The Truth” is so deeply unsatisfying…and yet, I tend to give it a pass because all the Mulder and Scully stuff really LANDS. That kiss! All the eye fucking! Scully quietly visiting Mulder in his cell
for a conjugal visit to plead with him to testify in his own defense! THAT FINAL SCENE! I swear to God, I always remember “The Truth” to be much better than it actually is because of that final Mulder and Scully scene. The way it perfectly mirrors the hotel scene from the pilot! The way they fucking nail that final image, other than the fact that Mulder and Scully definitely would have mouth kissed after Mulder whispers “Maybe there’s hope.” This scene really gives the audience the sense that no matter what other obstacles or trials may come, Mulder and Scully will face them. Together. (THAT’S ALL WE EVER WANTED, CHRIS CARTER.)
- Favorite Standalone Episode?
KatyBeth: “Scary Monsters” is a rare “sequel” episode for this series – except instead of bringing back a monster, the returning character is Special Agent Leyla Harrison, who has found her way into another mess that requires Agent Doggett’s help to solve. This time, Doggett teams up with Agent Reyes and Agent Harrison, doing a welfare check on a widowed father and his overly imaginative little boy… who is trying to kill everyone with that imagination. Scully helps out from afar by wearing an apron that says “SOMETHING SMELLS GOO-OO-OOD” while autopsying a cat brought to her by Leyla’s would-be boyfriend who calls Mulder “Johnny Fabulous” and is generally the worst. Doggett surprises everyone by playing pretend to save the day (and to save his girl Monica from whatever Alien-type creature was in her stomach), and the crew comes up with maybe the funniest solution in the whole series: TV therapy.
Kim: “4-D” is so good that it actually kind of makes me mad. Why? Because it’s the fourth episode of the season, and it goes SO HARD. It sets the bar really high as far as showing what this new version of The X-Files is capable of and it’s just… really hard for the rest of the episodes to clear that bar. (A couple of them do! But not nearly enough, in my opinion.)
It’s kind of wild that it took nine seasons for The X-Files to tackle the multiverse and I actually love that they waited until Reyes and Doggett to do it. Because as much fun as this would have been with Mulder and Scully, we need THIS story to get the audience fully on board with the Doggett/Reyes dynamic. There’s an immediate sense of their comfort with each other given when John just casually shows up at Monica’s new apartment with lunch. They’re openly flirtatious as they make eyes at each other over Polish sausage. And then it all goes to shit when Monica gets a call from Skinner saying that John’s been shot. It goes even MORE to shit when it’s revealed that the bullet somehow came from Monica’s gun. It’s classic X-Files stuff, down to the villain who is a monster even without his ability to cross the multiverse like a rogue TVA agent. It’s all a bit Sliding Doors, if Sliding Doors had a woman-hating murderer in it.
Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish really deliver in this one too. He can only communicate with his face and his sassy keyboard!! She has to pull the plug on him based purely on a THEORY that his death will restore order in the multiverse. It’s powerful and it’s moving and it’s the kind of episode that sticks with you for a long time.
Sage: As far as singular episodes go, the closest Season Nine comes to perfection is “4-D.” Written by Season Two Lost scribe Steven Maeda, it’s tightly plotted and well-paced – two qualities that sadly stand out in this era of the show. But “4-D” is more than just the best of this season – it’s impeccable X-Files in general, and we need to be honest with ourselves that if it had been Mulder and Scully in Doggett and Reyes’ places, it would be widely regarded as the classic that it is. Justice for “4-D”!!
I love this script, because even though Maeda throws a lot of ingredients into the stew, everything works together and everything lands. Parallel universes? Check. A serial killer who takes women’s tongues as trophies? Check. One main character paralyzed and another being investigated for shooting him? Also check. Add a sprinkling of mommy issues and a lot of requited but also unspoken affection, and you get a certified banger.
There’s so much going on that this episode could have fallen apart if its 44 minutes of screentime weren’t allotted so thoughtfully. Because while it’s essential to follow through on Brad’s suspicions about Monica and the double life Lukesh is hiding from his needy mother, it’s those unhurried, intimate scenes between Monica and John (of both universes) that make “4-D” so special. In the hospital, neither of them are even talking to their rightful version of their partner (Monica catching herself before saying “my John,” PLEASE), but it’s clear that the same feelings exist on both sides of the metaphysical partition. Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick are equal to the weighty material, especially considering that he spends most of the episode emoting only with his eyes. And we get to have it both ways with an ending that’s equal parts bleak (RIP to that universe’s Reyes and Doggett) and hopeful.
- Least Favorite Episode?
Kim: Look. I’m SORRY that no one watched The Lone Gunmen and that it got canceled after 13 episodes. I am sorry that said thirteenth episode apparently ended in a cliffhanger! (I wouldn’t know because I didn’t watch it. It’s me. Hi! I’m the problem, it’s me.) But did you really have to use one of the final episodes of a beloved series to give “resolution” to a spinoff that only a TINY fraction of the beloved series’ original audience even bothered to watch?
The answer is no. No you did not.
I think that’s what annoys me the most about “Jump the Shark” – it’s not even a fucking episode of The X-Files. It’s the series finale of The Lone Gunmen with cameos from people in the X-Files universe shoehorned in. It doesn’t even try to mold itself to the style of The X-Files in any capacity, from the visuals to Mark Snow’s score. (As I said to Sage when we were watching, even when The X-Files played with genre, you STILL always knew it was The X-Files.) It doesn’t even try to make the story accessible to people who have never seen The Lone Gunmen. It just drops us in the middle of a story with a cast of characters WE don’t know but the script acts like we do and it expects us to know what the fuck is going on with only a “previously on” to serve as any sort of guide. It’s a fucking mess, and it’s God Himself Vince Gilligan’s one mortal moment of the series, and it’s not even entirely on him because John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz co-wrote, with Spotnitz being the main proponent of the episode being made in the first place.
AND THEN, in what has to be one of the most petty and spiteful moves after Aaron Sorkin writing The West Wing into a corner at the end of Season Four, they fucking KILL OFF the Lone Gunmen in the most unceremonious way possible, their passing only witnessed by two characters we don’t fucking care about. It’s an insult to the characters, who were such stalwart allies of Mulder and Scully for NINE SEASONS. It’s an insult to the audience who loved them in the world of The X-Files but not as main characters of their own show. (AND THAT’S OKAY!) Ultimately, it’s an insult to the legacy of The X-Files because while the show never shied away from killing off characters (beloved or not), those deaths always had significance and meaning. Frohike, Langly, and Byers deserved better and SO DID WE.
Sage: I hate to shit-talk an episode directed and with a story co-written by David Duchovny (and legend has it that he pushed back against the adoption twist), but truly, what the fuck was anyone thinking with “William”?
Before we even get to the baby stuff, we have to address the Jeffrey-Spender-shaped elephant in the room: My suspension of disbelief is very stretchy, but the man who shows up in the basement office is so clearly Chris Owens with a face full of prosthetics that the entire conceit of the plot is impossible to buy. It’s bad enough that Doggett and Reyes don’t immediately smell a
weasel rat, but Dana Scully would know Fox Mulder with any four of her five senses taken away. On top of that, why wouldn’t Spender simply tell them who he was and why he was there if he were on their side? How is it less suspicious for a disfigured Mulder to be skulking around the nursery with a syringe and acting like he barely knows the love of his life? Why does everyone have brain worms??
When I die, it will be on the hill of “Scully would never give up her child,” but it is especially implausible that she would do so on the word of Jeffrey Spender, a man she barely trusted and did not even know as well as Mulder did. To this day, I do not understand why Chris Carter gave these characters a child when he knew he ultimately didn’t want them to have one. But he did, and we all suffered for it. I assume we’re meant to feel some kind of satisfaction that William is “safe” at the end of this, but being that the threats against him were so vague and that there’s no guarantee that he won’t be found anyway and that his adoptive parents could, for all we know, disown him for being Carrie White in training, that is not the emotion this episode leaves me with. (Rage. It’s just rage.)
KatyBeth: Boy howdy do I hate the one-two punch of “Jump the Shark” and “William.” Killing off the Lone Gunmen in a terrible re-tread of “Three of a Kind” that is also meant to serve as the backdoor finale to their series is stupid. The idea that Dana Scully, who has a spine of metaphorical steel and is literally immortal, would think she can’t care for her own child because three of her six friends are dead – stupid. The idea that she would listen to (my misguided fave) Jeffrey Spender, who is clearly in need of so much therapy from his parental abandonment issues, and the dead half-sister thing, and the alleged alien abductions, and being experimented on by his jerk father after that guy shot him in the face in his own place of work – STUPID. The vibes are bad! Everything is messy! These people are so traumatized! You’ve chosen poorly, Chris Carter. DANA SCULLY WOULD NEVER GIVE UP HER BABY. Should have just opened a new word document and pretended this was all a dream sequence.
- Scariest Episode?
Sage: Gonna go with “Lord of the Flies” here, because it would be pretty horrifying to have your brain eaten by insects and perhaps equally so to be stuck working a case with a guy called Rocky who won’t stop hitting on you even though your vagina stitches haven’t healed yet.
KatyBeth: Okay, stick with me on this choice: It’s “Trust No 1.” Terry O’Quinn is back for the third time, this time as the “Shadow Man” who recounts much of Scully and Mulder’s (allegedly secret) relationship to her.
“I know your blood type, your resting heart rate, your childhood fear of clowns. I know the name of your college boyfriend, your true hair color, your ATM pin number, favorite charities, pet peeves. I know you spend too much time alone. And I know … that on one lonely night you invited Mulder to your bed.”
And sure, I know most of us have shared this information via social media in the years since this episode premiered, but the idea of a total stranger revealing this level of fluency with my own life still terrifies me.
Kim: It’s truly terrifying how, all through “William,” everyone tries to gaslight Dana Scully into believing that a man who very much isn’t Fox Mulder IS Fox Mulder. You ALL KNOW the man has a half-brother!! This man is literally SHORTER and PHYSICALLY SMALLER than Mulder and yet Doggett, Reyes, and even Walter Sergei Skinner are like “IDK Dana, maybe Mulder got shorter? Don’t you think that’s possible? I mean, that HAS to be Mulder, why can’t you accept that it’s Mulder?” I’m just gonna keep saying this as long as it remains true but everyone has WORMS FOR BRAINS.
- Underrated Episode?
Kim: “Hellbound” is the less controversial cousin of “The Field Where I Died,” one of the most underrated episodes of the entire series, so it’s no wonder I’m a big fan of it. What can I say? I’m a sucker for reincarnation storylines. The concept of Monica perpetually trying and failing to stop the same series of murders over multiple lifetimes is an appealing one, and Annabeth Gish really delivers a compelling performance here. While she DOES succeed in this lifetime, I love how the final seconds of the episode show Van Allen dying and immediately being reincarnated into a newborn baby. The game starts again. Alexa, play “Galileo” by Indigo Girls. How long till my soul gets it right indeed.
KatyBeth: The decision to put “Sunshine Days” just before the series finale reminds me of “Je Souhaite” airing right before “Requiem.” In this case, it feels entirely out of place coming between some heavy character losses and the finale. By comparison it feels almost fluffy, despite the story ending on a little bit of a bummer. It took me ages to come around on this episode, but Michael Emerson as Oliver and the cheesiness of the computer animation won me over in the end.
Sage: John Doggett wakes up in Mexico to a man trying to steal the shoes off his feet and has no memory of who he is or how he got there.
The “amnesia episode” was a pillar of a certain era of television, and “John Doe” puts a very X-Files spin on it. Somehow though, this episode is among the lowest-rated of the ones penned by GHVG, so it qualifies as underrated.
It’s impossible to watch “John Doe” in 2023 without the lens of the Gilligan-verse. Not only did he write it, but it’s also the directorial debut of Michelle MacLaren, who’d go on to helm 11 episodes of Breaking Bad and three of Better Call Saul. The visual identity of Breaking Bad in particular starts to take shape here, and minus the memory vampire stuff, it’s easy to imagine what befalls Doggett in this episode happening to Walter White. In that way, it’s a cool piece of television history and another argument that long seasons and robust writers’ rooms are the best training ground for our future showrunners. (#WGAStrong.)
As an X-File, this episode fits the grittier tone of Season Nine and has a very sort-of grown-up realism about it. (It’s definitely the least silly cartel-based episode we’ve seen, that’s for sure.) It’s a terrific showcase for Robert Patrick and much-appreciated character development for Doggett, as he handles the situation in which he finds himself completely differently than Mulder would have. Allowing the audience to solve the mystery of his disappearance alongside Doggett and his colleagues ensures that “John Doe” doesn’t ever drag, as so many cases in this season seem to. And the episode actually has something to say about how loss makes us human, as Doggett learns when he gratefully takes all of his memories back, even the most traumatic ones.
- Best Mulder Moment?
KatyBeth: RIP to the “Mulder, you’re lucky you’re so cute” prompt, but not to him acting out of pocket and getting away with it because he’s cute. The moment where he greets Scully in prison by doing his best Hannibal Lecter (“I smelled you coming, Clarice”) is so annoying and so him. What a jerk! I love him! I can’t believe he left us for almost an entire season!
Sage: We know that Skinner has always been Mulder and Scully’s third, but I didn’t realize that they knew that until Mulder tries to kiss him – allegedly as “a joke” – in “The Truth.” Wild to think that he’s probably the only person in their lives they’ve ever sucked face in front of, but also fitting, because Skinner is not blind and has been, tbh, enabling this relationship since he reopened the X-Files back in Season Two. Anyway, it’s so patently Mulder to playfully acknowledge the little threesome they’ve got going on and to diffuse the deeply serious situation they’re in with humor. It’s giving “I’m back,” it’s giving “Did you miss me?,” it’s giving “See, Fox? You shouldn’t have fucked with my compensation.”
Kim: I know I should probably go with an MSR moment here, but I can’t get the way Mulder allows himself to be guided by the force ghost of Alex Krycek out of my mind. Alex Krycek who never did anything trustworthy while he was on this mortal plane, yet he is the one who comes to Mulder in his deepest time of need. Why? Because deep down Mulder misses his annual “let’s get INTO some shit” adventure with his frenemy. Because Alex is really the only one whose (evil) brain works in the way Mulder needs at that time. BECAUSE BE GAY DO CRIMES, OKAY?
- Best Scully Moment?
Sage: I have two, if you please:
- When Scully tells Reyes, “He’s trying,” in “Hellbound.” Monica is sure that their killer is a reincarnated victim and that her soul has stayed connected to his throughout her own past lives. But John can’t get there. It frustrates her for reasons I don’t think she even fully understands, but Scully knows what it feels like to be on both sides of that conversation. She knows what it’s like to not only want your partner to hear you out but to also see what you see, and she knows what it feels like to want to believe but be held back by your own limitations. She tells Reyes that Doggett is trying, because she did too. In just two words, what she’s really saying is that it’s harder than it looks and that it doesn’t mean that John thinks Monica crazy and that Monica shouldn’t give up on him just yet.
- This is Jack’s complete lack of surprise that Scully has an answer ready when Doggett asks how she would murder someone and get away with it in “Audrey Pauley.” That tiny woman is full of rage, hungry for vengeance, and tends to her grudges like they’re little pets. And she’s so valid for that.
Scully: Why would I accept defeat? Why would I accept it, if you won’t? Mulder, you say that you’ve failed but you only fail if you give up. And I know you — you can’t give up. It’s what I saw in you when we first met. It’s what made me follow you… why I’d do it all over again.
DANA KATHERINE SCULLY WOULD NEVER LEAVE MULDER BECAUSE HE WAS DEPRESSED OR BECAUSE THE DARKNESS GOT TO BE TOO MUCH SHE LITERALLY SAYS THAT SHE WOULD DO IT ALL WITH HIM AGAIN THANK YOU GOOD NIGHT.
*throws mic at Chris Carter’s face*
Honorable mention goes to Gillian’s pitch-perfect delivery of “I’m a mother” after Rocky makes a pass at Scully.
KatyBeth: Dana Scully, when faced with that smoking jerk one last time, greets him with, “I hoped and prayed you were dead, you chain-smoking son of a bitch.” She’s my hero.
- Best Doggett Moment?
Kim: Season Nine goes a LITTLE hard on the partner in peril trope, but luckily I am a slut for hurt/comfort fics, so I’m fine with it. “Audrey Pauley” really finds John at the end of his rope as Monica hovers in that place between life and death. What I love about John in this episode is how his refusal to accept Monica’s fate drives him to open his mind to fantastic scenarios. He clings to the possibility that Audrey is offering him like a lifeline, never questioning it or pushing back against it because he wants to believe. He’s so gentle with Audrey too! He’s firm, but never forceful or intimidating. He’s all the things Monica said he was when she called him a dog person!
But my favorite, FAVORITE moment is how John allows himself to break down and be incredibly vulnerable in front of Audrey. “I need you to tell her to fight,” John pleads, tears welling in his eyes, the weight of all the things unsaid practically crushing him at this point. “I need you to tell her to show us some sign…anything…that she’s in there. I need her to understand. I don’t know what else to do.” It’s the way he hangs his head in defeat once he’s done talking for me. John is so tough ALL THE TIME, so it’s heartbreaking to see those walls come crumbling down. And it’s even more devastating to see him take a deep breath and put the walls back up, his game face back in place. He’s not giving up, even if he’s dying inside. YOU’RE A DOG PERSON, JOHN.
KatyBeth: Seeing John Doggett get answers and find closure on the death of his young son in “Release” feels groundbreaking in a show that dragged out a child’s disappearance for seven years. Doggett’s the kind of person who needs clear evidence to support any hunch or belief, and he fights almost every step of the way as the rest of his team tries to find out the truth. The final scene on the beach sees Doggett and his ex-wife Barbara spread his ashes into the water before he hugs Reyes, who is waiting by the car. There’s no dialogue and no need for it. Robert Patrick, his real-life wife Barbara Patrick, and Annabeth Gish tell the audience everything they need to know, including the most important thing for my little DRR-shipping heart: Doggett can finally let Reyes in. (That’s growth.)
Sage: In the final act of “Sunshine Days,” Scully is preoccupied with all the medical tests that can be done on a rapidly deteriorating Anthony, and Monica is focused on the paranormal nature of his condition. Only John has considered the aspect of the case that everyone else is ignoring: Anthony’s humanity, and his desire for human connection. A father who lost a son clocks a son who’s been yearning for his father and connects the dots that are right in front of their faces. A to B to C.
- Best Reyes Moment?
KatyBeth: As I was writing this answer, I realized that this is really Monica’s season to shine. Over the course of this season she’s transferring herself to a new office and department, telling off her ex, saving herself from Surgatory (™ Grey’s Anatomy), babysitting Baby William while Scully chases the Shadow Man, shouting “the hell he doesn’t!” at Tommy Conlon’s dad while suffering from the thing from Alien, helping solve Doggett’s son’s murder, and doing dozens of other admirable things.
But my favorite moment is the one at the end of “Improbable,” when she answers Scully’s phone call about her numerology number and explains it in a very flirty voice while they’re both in bed at 9:09pm (most relatable moment, honestly). I ship it, okay?
Sage: Very cool and sexy of Monica Reyes to walk straight into the office of her boss and ex-boyfriend (new boyfriend in tow), look him in the eye, and accuse him of taking bribes from the Mafia. She is totally fearless in that way, where she doesn’t worry about how such an accusation might blow back on her nor does she seem embarrassed to be talking about her personal relationship with Follmer in front of Doggett. Monica does what’s right, she doesn’t apologize for herself, and she doesn’t care how she might be perceived. That all of that is forgotten in the revival is just one of its crimes.
Kim: About 10 minutes into “John Doe” I said out loud to Sage that there was no way John could be missing for TWO WEEKS because Monica Julieta Reyes would be moving heaven and earth to find him. A couple of minutes later it became clear that I hadn’t watched this episode in at least a decade because of COURSE Monica Julieta Reyes is looking for her partner. She isn’t just looking for him, she’s doing a targeted search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in the state of Texas. Kersh disbands the task force to find John and still Monica is completely undeterred, taking matters in her own hands and questioning suspects in San Antonio. I love how she shows she is not to be trifled with, accusing Molina of working for the cartel in BOTH Spanish and English.
Lawyer: Agent, I don’t quite know what you’re implying. Mr. Molina’s an upstanding businessman and a pillar of the c…
Reyes: … Pillar of the community? Does anyone actually use that phrase except Mob lawyers? I’ll tell you what’s clear to me. You’re some kind of middleman in a smuggling operation. Hollis Rice laundered money for your cartel until something went wrong – maybe he got greedy, maybe he talked too much. Your cartel made him disappear.
Reyes: My partner has disappeared, too. He’s in Mexico, I know that much and I will find him, whatever it takes. Your only personal hope for the future is that I find him alive. Now where is he?
Lawyer: Unless my client is under arrest, this meeting is over. No? Come on, Mariano.
(MOLINA’S LAWYER stands up and leaves. REYES stands and stops MOLINA before he leaves.)
Reyes: (Whispering) Piense bien en su futuro, Sr. Pilar de la Comunidad.
In other words, if one hair is harmed on John Doggett’s head, I will end you, motherfucker. We stan a bilingual queen!!
- Best Shipper Moment?
Sage: I’m giving you one for each primary ship, because everyone is hot and in love, and I refuse to elevate one over the other.
“The Truth” packs in an entire season’s worth of MSR interaction, but the move I will never get over as long as I live is Mulder taking Scully’s hand in both of his own after he gives her a sweeping movie kiss in his cell, bringing it to his lips, and kissing her fingers, whilst holding the most intense, reverent eye contact I have ever borne witness to. Like he is a man dying of thirst and she’s the first fresh water he’s seen in a week. Like he lived in New York City this July, and she was the first day under 70% humidity.
There are strategies to come up with and battles to fight, but they’ve already wasted so much time. He needs her to know right in that moment that she is the center of the universe, even if there’s nothing else they can do about it just then. It had me on the floor the first time I saw it, when the series finale was airing live, and it still has the same impact on me now.
Giving my moment the extended director’s cut treatment: This pick also includes the ensuing minute, during which Mulder doesn’t give Scully her hand back, but instead holds it against his heart for the remainder of their conversation. It equally makes me want to die, in a good way.
As for Doggett and Reyes, for the longest time, I had the “You’re a dog person, John” conversation jotted down here. And I do adore it, but my heart kept carrying me back to the post-opening credits scene of “4-D” and a guy bringing his female partner the take-out equivalent of a Hungry Man dinner in the middle of her move.
Everything about it screams “boyfriend,” from John being barely through the door before he’s asking Monica if there’s anything heavy he can carry for her to the fact that the lunch he’s come bearing is not something light and girly but the “best Polish sausage in the city,” loaded with raw onions and mustard. Mustard, which, lest you forget, Monica dabs from the side of John’s mouth not with a napkin but with her thumb. They’re both in street clothes (Monica’s white muscle tee and low-rise jeans!), adding to the intimacy. It’s all so comfortable and warm and very sexy, which is kind of their whole thing. Kiss!!
Kim: Listen. I’ll never understand why after all the mustard wiping and MY John-ing in “4D,” they essentially slammed the brakes on the potential Doggett/Reyes romance, but slammed them they did. Until the cold open of “Audrey Pauley,” that is. Then all the sudden it’s “GAME ON” Wayne’s World style when Monica drives John home after a post-work drink on a Friday night, which is basically date night, it’s fine. This also begs the question: do these two CARPOOL to work on the regular? John is totally sober, why is Monica driving him HOME?
Anyway. Monica drives John home after the date and these two engage in the sacred “OMG ARE WE GONNA KISS GOODNIGHT?” ritual by joking about how pathetic they both are. And then Monica gives him the greenest of green lights she could possibly give.
Reyes: So, big plans for the weekend?
Doggett: Oh, huge. Microwave pizza, satellite TV.
Reyes: Wow. Thanks for making my life sound exciting. Maybe we both need pets. They say people with pets live longer.
Doggett: I was thinking about getting a cat.
Reyes: There’s dog people, and there’s cat people. You are a dog person, John.
Doggett: How do you figure?
Reyes: You’re faithful, you’re dependable, you’re without guile, you’re very comfortable to be around. So why a cat?
Doggett: Low maintenance. They don’t expect much from you, so you can’t disappoint ’em.
Reyes: I don’t see you ever disappointing anyone, John.
And THEN they gaze into each other’s eyes and Monica might as well have a neon sign over her head that says “KISS ME.” It’s not just us thinking that, by the way, the MOMENT is literally in the shooting script, as Sage rudely pointed out during our live watch. They BOTH know John has blown it after he says “See you Monday?” I mean, “You’re a dog person,” is Monica’s message to John from the beyond. John sits in the hospital agonizing over possibly losing Monica and replaying the whole thing in his head but ACTUALLY kissing her that time. Like!!! You two idiots work on the X-Files. Take advice from your predecessors and just fucking kiss already. Gather ye rosebuds and all that shit.
Speaking of Monica and John’s predecessors, I appreciate how hard “The Truth” goes on the MSR, but I have to pick Mulder and Scully exchanging lovesick emails like they are in a fucking Jane Austen novel or something. Part of me is like, “They would NEVER talk to each other this way,” but the other, louder, part of me is like, “Bitch SHUT UP they have nine years worth of REPRESSED FEELINGS and the only thing they have now is a shoddy unsecured AOL connection, leave them ALONE.”
KatyBeth: The long kiss during Scully’s second visit to Mulder’s cell in “The Truth”! Mulder won’t kiss her in front of the prison guards, but Walter Skinner gets an entire show (and has the best lighting in the scene). After the kiss, Mulder keeps her hand in both of his, kisses it, and then holds it to his chest. This man would never abandon this woman.
- Thirstiest Moment?
Kim: The moment where time temporarily stops as Monica Reyes wipes a gob of mustard from the corner of John Doggett’s mouth lives in my head rent-free. It’s the way they both look at each other’s mouths for me. My dudes, it is the FOURTH EPISODE of the season, relax!!! (Don’t relax.)
KatyBeth: We all saw how Reyes wiped the mustard off of Doggett’s face in “4-D”, right? This was no coy dabbing with a napkin like Mulder did to Scully in “Red Museum” – Monica puts her thumb directly on Doggett’s mouth. On this show, that’s practically a sex scene.
Sage: There’s just something about that split-screen phone call from Scully to Monica in “Improbable.” Is it that Scully is in some cute menswear-style pjs while Monica is rocking a silk nightie with spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline? Is it that Scully can’t fall asleep without having this conversation and that she bites her lip when Monica answers? Is it Monica explaining (to Scully’s evident satisfaction) that her number means that she’s “evolved through the experiences of all the other numbers to a spiritual realization that this life is only part of a larger whole”? Or is it that she calls her “Dana” when Scully subsequently goes quiet?
I present to you that it is all of the above, and also another example of why limiting oneself to shipping only one pairing at a time is for dork-ass losers with no imagination.
Honorable mention to Mulder’s slutty prison garb.
- Grossest Moment?
Sage: No disrespect to The Lone Gunmen the series, but the idea that X-Files fans would want to watch them go out in an episode that barely features any of the characters we know and love (and whose asses the Gunmen have saved multiple times!!) is ludicrous. Those three gentlemen are American heroes, and they deserved a better death!
The writers subsequently expressed regret over killing the Gunmen at all, and I think we can all agree that there was no good reason for them not to survive the original series – especially if they were going to bite the bullet in a Mulder-less and Scully-lite episode. But it’s even grosser that their demise was created by a bunch of wounded egos so butthurt about their spinoff being canceled that they spitefully and inelegantly crammed in one more episode of it. “Jump the Shark” is dull, tonally dissonant, and honestly disrespectful. By the time Gillian shows up for her one scene, which she has to share with some NOBODIES, I am ready to throw my remote at the screen. Those were her protectors!! They were Mulder’s best friends! Like… how fucking dare you. The forced conclusion of their arc makes me insane, and it’s absolutely the grossest moment of Season Nine.
KatyBeth: “Lord of the Flies” is so gross. So gross. The flies are gross. The Dumb Ass Show pranks are gross. Anything involving teenagers with a video camera from the turn of the millennia is generally going to be gross, and this gives me flashbacks to Jackass, an era I’d rather forget existed. Really I’m giving this grossest moment award to an entire episode, which I think it deserves.
But seriously, flies? Yuck.
Kim: I’m not a fan of all the bug stuff in “Lord of the Flies,” especially whatever it is that Dylan’s insect tongue does to leave poor Samaire Armstrong with a bloody mouth after a simple makeout.
- Funniest Moment?
KatyBeth: Listen, Walter Skinner isn’t bothered much either way about believing “in” anything other than supporting his people. So seeing him being levitated by Michael Emerson’s Oliver in “Sunshine Days” and doing flips, while the rest of the team watches in varying levels of delight and disbelief, is pure joy.
Sage: Despite a couple of attempts at humorous episodes, this is not a funny season by any means. (Who told Chris Carter that he could write comedies and did they do it as a prank?) Still, it does always make me laugh out loud when Leyla’s “boyfriend” Gabe looks at Mulder’s ID badge in “Scary Monsters” and asks Scully if he’s “Johnny Fabulous.” First of all, yes, GABE, as a matter of fact, he is. And secondly, I’m always tickled by Mulder getting roasted for being such a brooding dreamboat, even when it’s not Darin Morgan doing the honors.
Kim: I know Mulder and Scully’s big dramatic kiss in “The Truth” is a triumphant moment for us shippers, and I definitely cherish it. But I also can’t help but laugh hysterically at Walter Sergei Skinner being RIGHT THERE in frame, politely trying to look away as they have their moment, but unable to keep glancing over at them at the same time. He’s the “Really? Right in front of my salad??” meme before it was even a meme.
I also can’t help but think of the story Michelle Gomez told during a panel at Gallifrey One, where somewhere, deep in the depths of Steven Moffat’s hard drive probably, there is a version of the Missy/Twelve kiss where Missy reaches out and takes Clara’s hand too. C’mon guys. Walter has been your third this whole time. He’s just dying to jump here, okay?? JUST TAKE HIS HAND, I promise he’s into it.
- Best Monster/Villain?
Sage: The writers really said, “We are going to create the most insufferable hard-ass – an impediment to the work of every character you cherish – and then we are going to have him become a completely different person in the final minutes of the series finale with zero buildup.”
The about-face of Alvin Kersh is so appallingly unearned that you almost have to respect it. It’s like Chris Carter was warming up for assassinating every character he could find in the revival. Like yes, the Assistant Director decided to help free Mulder after orchestrating the entire underground murder trial that put him in danger in the first place only because the plot requires it, just as he was a mustache-twisting bureaucrat for 99% of his tenure because he needed to be. But couldn’t we also interpret his arc as a deconstruction of the Lawful Evil archetype? The answer… is no. It’s pure lazy nonsense. Five stars.
Kim: Apologies to Cary Elwes, but every time Brad Follmer shows up, I have the completely rational urge to punch him in the face. He’s just so fucking SMUG. He’s a sniveling brownnoser. He summons Monica to his office and kisses her WITHOUT PREAMBLE OR CONSENT like it’s nothing. And he just gets worse after the premiere somehow! Hate, hate, double hate, hate. I know his presence is like, supposed to show how sexy Monica is, that she has a dating life and has sex on the regular, but all it really does is make me go HIM, Monica? Thank GOD her taste in men improved.
KatyBeth: In a season of super soldiers, the guy who feeds human tongue to his mom, and that annoyingly resurrected old smoking guy, my number one enemy is just a regular old lawyer: Special Agent Kallenbrunner, aka Glenn Guglia from The Wedding Singer. Wow do I hate his smarmy face and cutting comments (“Agent Scully, isn’t it true that you and Agent Mulder were lovers, and you got pregnant and had his love child?” lives rent-free in my head to this day).
- Right in the Feels Moment?
Kim: Listen. As the audience, we know that Fox Mulder isn’t getting off that train in “Trust No 1.” Not unless the scene was a Deus Ex Clooney, which wouldn’t have worked ANYWAY, because I think the audience would have rioted had Mulder left Scully and William a second time. So yeah. We know that Mulder isn’t getting off that train, but Scully doesn’t and that’s why the scene on the train platform is so devastating. We already know she wants to see him “so bad” (what a choice of WORDS, truly conveying Scully’s almost feral need for her man at this point) and watching her wait for him is like, physically painful. Of course, it all goes to shit with super soldier John Locke shows up to kill our unnamed NSA guy and the train doesn’t even get the chance to stop in the station. Scully’s anguished cry of “Mulder!!!!” as the train barrels by is a real punch in the stomach. But I think the most painful part of this very mean sequence is Scully overhearing the conductor report that someone jumped off the train after it passed them by. Mulder WAS on the train. So near. Yet so far. Alexa, play “Ships in the Night” by Mat Kearney.
KatyBeth: It ends almost exactly where it began – in a tiny motel room in Roswell, with Scully on the bed and Mulder sitting on the floor, talking in the dark. The losses they have both suffered since the parallel moment in Oregon in the pilot episode are many and bitter. The joys they have shared are not nearly as many as they deserved. After everything, Mulder and Scully are still together, believing in one another and determined to fight back against the shadowy forces that threaten everyone on the planet. In the end, they hold each other, and Mulder gives the most wistful, perfect final line this show could have ever imagined: “Maybe there’s hope.”
Sage: By this point in our rewatch, everyone surely knows what a whore I am for Scully being unhinged over Mulder. So while “Trust No 1” is not a great episode by any metric, there is emotional resonance in her desperation to not only know that he’s safe but also to be with him again, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Scully may be considered “the rational one” by default, but all of that goes out the window – and always has – when it comes to the father of her child. Every reckless, foolish thing she does in this episode is fueled by the pain of their separation, and Gillian is so, so good despite all the plot fuckery.
When Doggett tries to convince Scully that it’s not safe for Mulder to get off that train, her feelings are so raw, she’s not in any place to hear him. He tells her that she can maybe reach him before it’s too late, and she shoots back, “You can’t do this to me,” like she’s Juliet, he’s her dad, and Paris is on the other side of the door. Doggett apologizes, because he knows this is killing her even though he’s only trying to do the right thing, and she has nothing scientific or practical to say in response. “I want to see him so bad,” is all the reasoning Scully has at her disposal, and that is my moment.
Throughout the Season Ten press tour, Chris Carter seemed confused that we were confused to hear that Mulder and Scully are “broken up” when the revival starts. Well, he must have been bonked on the head with a surfboard at some point in the interim years, because he WROTE THIS EPISODE, along with so many others in which Scully’s devotion to Mulder is clear as fucking day and the driving force behind her actions. It’s always been folie a deux up in these parts, with both of our protagonists willing to believe the impossible, break every rule, put themselves in danger, and eventually go on the lam just to be together. Scully would never walk out on Mulder, least of all because he was struggling with depression. She is quite literally nuts for him, and to retcon her character into being the mommy of their relationship is insulting and sexist. I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR.
- Best Guest Star?
KatyBeth: What precisely is Burt Reynolds doing here, and what did we do to deserve the utter silliness he brings with him? I love Burt in everything, but especially when he gets to be an absolute goof and play on his own image.
In 2002, this show had gotten so heavy that this episode stuck out like a sore thumb. I had a good time watching the first airing, but it left me with a weird feeling afterwards. “Did I really like that episode?,” I asked myself. The vibes were different, because the vibes were joyful. Burt as a mysterious god-like figure, with a trunk full of burned cds (remember burning cds?), setting up a game of checkers that helps Scully and Reyes crack the case. Burt Reynolds, saving Scully and Reyes from being murdered. Burt Reynolds, wearing his cute little tropical shirts and dancing around a parking garage. Burt Reynolds giving an encouraging “Go, girl!” to Reyes as she and Scully debate the case. Wonder if there really is a neighborhood shaped like Burt’s face, and if I can live there.
Sage: Michael Emerson fits so perfectly into the vibe and aesthetic of The X-Files, it feels like he was destined to make it into the original run under the wire. He’s nowhere near as menacing or calculating, but if you squint you can see the seeds of Lost’s Ben Linus in Anthony Fogelman. They even have a similar backstory: two lonely boys who were afforded extraordinary powers without their consent, adopted seriously anti-social behaviors to cope, fed irrational obsessions, and borrowed the names of fictional characters with whom they identified to hide from their own pasts. Anthony/Oliver may be the episode’s antagonist, but, as mentioned above, doing harm isn’t his express intention – it’s preserving the fantasy world he’s created for himself. At this point, Michael had just collected his Guest Actor Emmy for playing serial killer William Hinks on The Practice and was just getting into his creepy-but-somehow-lovable guy bag with this part. And he’s really perfectly cast, since he begins the episode as Oliver and ends it as Anthony; Michael (a semi-finalist in our Most Handsome Young Man of Lost tournament, I’m compelled to remind you) is the king of subtle shifts, exposing layer after layer of his characters without the performance feeling out of control or disjointed.
Kim: I can’t believe it took 200 episodes for THE Michael Emerson to show up on The X-Files, but it was definitely worth the wait. The once and future Benjamin Linus is perfectly cast as Anthony Fogelman, a actual real life telekinetic whose extreme loneliness drives him to reimagine himself as cousin Oliver Martin from The Brady Bunch. (Just go with it!) “Sunshine Days” is GHVG’s final contribution to The X-Files and he really puts Anthony/Oliver through the wringer. He goes from seemingly hapless to sinister (where you literally see Michael get HOT in a very Off-Island Ben way) to world-weary and deeply sympathetic. Michael was fresh off an Emmy win for a guest stint on The Practice and I feel like this part really cemented him as the go to guy for kinda evil but kinda lovable weirdos.
- Favorite Y2K Fashion?
Sage: Every time Monica Reyes wears leather pants, I have to yell “LEATHER PANTS” at the screen, just like someone in the car has to say “horses” every time you drive past horses.
Kim: Monica Reyes never met a piece of leather clothing that she didn’t like. She’s got multiple traditional leather blazers in multiple colors, a collarless bomber style jacket, a belted trench, and a duster…at least. But out of all her leather pieces, I am most obsessed with the LEATHER PANTS that she wore for like two scenes before changing outfits. We never got a full body shot of them, which is truly hateful, and I couldn’t tell you WHICH episode it was if I tried but they were THERE and I didn’t make them up because Sage noticed them too.
KatyBeth: Nothing says “early aughts” to me like an unnecessary scarf. At the end of “Trust No 1,” Scully falls victim to this trend as she waits for Mulder’s train to arrive while wearing a light blue scarf wrapped around a turtleneck. What is the point? Who decided to put her in this? Scully spends most of her time in shirts unbuttoned so low she’s going to get frostbite on her chest, so the idea that her neck is doubly chilly on the night she plans to pick up Mulder is almost as ridiculous as the idea he would leave in the first place. Love it, hate it. (Related: I think of this season every time I wear a turtleneck.)
Sum up your feelings about the season and the series finale.
Kim: I made my feelings about “The Truth” perfectly clear earlier in this post, but the TL;DR version is that it’s a lazy episode that is only redeemed by the Mulder and Scully scenes. I just can’t imagine this is what Chris Carter always envisioned as the END for this series, you know? Especially when finales were always something The X-Files would nail. They were KNOWN for their finales! Where was the drama of “Anasazi”? The bombast of “Gethsemane”? The devastation of “The End”? Putting Mulder on trial for his “crimes” is just so fucking dumb and it’s a rip-off of Seinfeld except it’s actually serious. Showing clips from early years of the series just makes you remember how good the show once WAS. It’s truly baffling.
Now, on to the season as a whole…
Let me get this out of the way first: whatever faults there are in Season Nine, and there are plenty, but none of them have anything to do with John Doggett and Monica Reyes. I feel like a lot of the blame for decline of The X-Files has unfairly fallen on Annabeth Gish and especially Robert Patrick’s shoulders just because they are the faces on all the promo materials, but they did their damn best with the material they were given.
It’s not their fault that most of the material they were given was bad.
Don’t get me wrong, Season Nine shows flashes of brilliance. “4-D,” “Audrey Pauley,” “John Doe,” and “Sunshine Days” are all fantastic episodes that would not necessarily be out of place with episodes from the heyday of the series. There are some perfectly acceptable MOTW episodes that would never make anyone’s best of list but they’d never make anyone’s worst of series list either. Doggett and Reyes have real chemistry and a completely different dynamic from Mulder and Scully. There is so much potential! So much potential that’s unfortunately wasted.
Because when Season Nine is bad, it’s BAD. And the bad is what people remember the most. The mythology is nonsensical. Everything is so DOUR, I don’t think anyone smiles more than once. The storyline revolving around William is unnecessarily cruel and sad. (Gillian Anderson deserved SO MUCH BETTER after deciding to stay on for one more season!!) Casually killing the Gunmen is spiteful and again, unnecessary. Even Mulder’s return is sullied by the stupidity of the storyline. In the end, The X-Files really limps over the finish line, a mere shadow of the magnificent show it once was. It’s depressing.
KatyBeth: “Why are people still watching a 30-year old TV show?” asks John Doggett in “Sunshine Days,” and right now as I write this, we’re two weeks away from the show itself turning 30. I’m planning to crumble into dust after I submit these answers.
Back in 2002, we knew this was the end. The show had been saved from cancellation twice already in the four years I’d been watching, and unlike with Mulder, there would be no escaping this execution. This final season is heavy, built on the impossible premise that Fox Mulder would ever leave Dana Scully or their newborn son. None of us bought it.
In my little corner of the world, we kept watching the series in hopes that the Mulder-less season would improve. And they did, whereas Doggett and Reyes were concerned. Adding Annabeth Gish to the regular cast gave the show a much-needed boost, and the two characters had compelling chemistry. Skinner became a more frequent presence. But it wasn’t enough. The choice to relegate Scully to a Meredith Grey position in her own series, showing up once or twice an episode to remind us she exists and maybe get stalked for murder, romance, or baby kidnapping, was a bad one. It wasn’t the best place to leave a beloved long-running series.
This brings me back to Doggett’s question. The series finale, on May 19, 2002, left me certain these characters would live on after we left them. Mulder and Scully, free of the FBI, on the run from the government, could finally be together and maybe retrieve their son. Doggett and Reyes had taken the torch and, with Skinner, would hold down the investigative fort. But this certainty wasn’t just in my own head canons – it was also belief in the world around me and my place in it.
The strengths of these beloved characters were available to me to adopt in my own life: Scully’s unwavering sense of right and ability to be calm in a crisis, Mulder’s firm beliefs, Reyes’ openness and trust in the unknown, Doggett’s sensibility and kindness, Skinner’s support of his team regardless of the wildness of their ideas. All of these things, and more, I took with me as I grew into the person I am today.
This season isn’t my favorite, and maybe it never was. But its importance during a formative time in my life cannot be understated. To paraphrase Luke Skywalker, these stories live in me now. Fox Mulder can keep the “maybe” – the legacy of this show is that it filled me with hope.
Sage: I agree with most of the rest of the world: Season Nine doesn’t work. But where a lot of accepted fan wisdom gets it wrong is that neither Doggett and Reyes nor David Duchovny’s absence are to blame for that. Season Eight did narrative wonders with Mulder’s disappearance, and Doggett and Reyes are, in point of fact, the best thing about this season of television. The problem is the writing, as it usually is whenever The X-Files falls on its face.
There’s nothing propulsive about the mythology at this point, and anything that’s supposed to be feels illogical and unearned. The super soldiers are still out there, but they conveniently have an organically occurring Achilles heel that none of our protagonists had a hand in figuring out. William is supposedly in danger, but the reasons why are hand-wavey and nigh impossible to follow. Finally, you can’t tell me that anyone behind the scenes felt passionately about the new Syndicate that rises up while CMS is in exile. That the revival seasons pretend it never existed is living proof of that.
So many choices are made that are still baffling to me 20+ years later, the worst of which is Scully giving up William when she has so many other options available to her. It’s so unnecessary and out-of-character that it hampers everything that comes afterwards, and it remains painfully evident how uncomfortable Chris Carter was writing his main characters as a family, even though that would have opened up more avenues of storytelling.
As far as our new dynamic duo goes, I do understand why some long-suffering fans were resistant to Doggett and Reyes, but being shut off to them entirely makes no sense to me. They’re so easy to like! The brightest spots of Season Nine concern their relationship and what it could be, as well as their individual friendships with Scully. Not that their careers suffered, but Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish got shafted as far as their X-Files legacies go by forces that were completely beyond their control. It makes me sad.
I wrote about the conclusion (at the time) of Mulder and Scully’s story in my mythology episode answer, so I won’t belabor that point. I think the finale was about as satisfying as it could be after the damage that had already been done (William, the Lone Gunmen, and honestly also Krycek). I don’t love that Monica and John don’t get an ending of their own, though the catharsis of “Release” and the subsequent lightness of “Sunshine Days” do communicate that they’re going to be okay (and doin’ it). I’d still rather have gotten more closure for them than a parade of mostly meaningless cameos. As anyone who was also disappointed by the Seinfeld finale will tell you, the best final bows don’t try to fit everyone into the frame.
Were you also underwhelmed by Season Nine? Did the finale satisfy you? Let us know in the comments!
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