The X Files' Shocking Twist Angers Fans

Crédit photo: Fox The X Files' Shocking Twist Angers Fans

Season 11 of The X Files kicked off last night on Fox, with beloved characters Mulder and Scully returning to our small screens to discover that the truth is, indeed, still out there. But was the season premiere's twist too out there for even the show's most fervent fans?

The first episode back, written by series creator Chris Carter, was the usual mix of confusing flashbacks, surprising cameos (oh hi, Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose!), and the slow untangling of the show's complex mythology. Like most Carter-penned episodes, it was an entertaining yet bewildering mix of familiar faces, muddled plot, dreary dialogue and fast-paced action. In other words, it felt like business as usual for long time fans -- until the episode's closing minutes. That's when the Cigarette Smoking Man revealed that he, not Mulder, is the father of Scully's son, William.

In a series of flashbacks, we get scenes from season seven's "En Ami" episode, in which Scully and the CSM take a road trip and she wakes up with no memory of going to bed. At the time, he insisted he didn't drug her. However, last night's retcon has CSM telling Skinner that he used that opportunity to impregnate her. When Skinner presses him about who William's true father is, CSM responds, "I am. William is my son." 

Viewers (myself included) immediately took to Twitter to decry the plot twist, which is being criticised for once again victimizing the show's beloved female lead, an especially galling move in the midst of the #MeToo movement. Carter then made it worse by refusing to categorize the situation as rape, saying in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that CMS is "the figurative father if he's not the actual father. He didn't rape Scully. He impregnated her with science." When asked what led him to this move, Carter said "It adds to the characters in an interesting emotional way."

Fans were quick to point out the problematic implications of Carter's response and wonder if the thorny issues of consent would be addressed in future episodes. 

What do you think? Did the show go too far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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