The X-Files (S11E01): "My Struggle III"

Yesterday, on January 3rd, the much anticipated 11th season of the hit series The X-Files finally aired. Some of us have patiently been waiting for this season since 2016’s six-episode-long season 10 aired. Many of us remember being unsure whether the actors would find back into their long-lost roles, however, we were all surprised by excellent writing and acting – both in 2016 and during this season’s pilot with the season 10 connecting name “My Struggle III”.

Last we saw Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) in the season 10 finale, the world was being threatened by a deadly virus to which Scully seemed immune, however, Mulder was daring to die. This left Scully with the only option of looking for their son to save Fox from dying. The finale was called “My Struggle II” and the pilot of the 10th season “My Struggle”, showing the relation between these episodes and last night’s pilot. It all seems to be coming full circle, still the time and circumstances in which we find Mulder and Scully in this first episode are very different from where we last saw them.
The season opens with Scully suffering from mysterious seizures that the viewer will later come to suspect the source of or, if not, learn of the source later on in the episode. Due to unconsciousness caused by said seizures Scully is bound to stay in a hospital bed while the doctors try to figure out what could be the cause of her medical condition. It doesn’t take long for Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) to assume a higher purpose behind her struggles and propose a possible code to be embedded within the seizures. He even goes further, deciphering the code to “find him” and saying she is asking for her son. Even though Mulder isn’t convinced that her condition has anything to do with their son, he does seem suspicious as to why Scully is suffering from these unexplained seizures.

Once awake, Scully lets Mulder in on what was going on in her head during the seizures, saying she was having visions. Or as we quickly come to understand: the season 10 finale that seems to have never actually happened but instead is what is going to happen eventually. Fearing that Mulder might not survive the plague, as seen in her visions, Scully urges him to help her find their son while also telling him that the CSM (William B. Davis) is still alive and well and in hiding. She also tells him that the CSM will be the one unleashing the deadly virus upon the world, which might lead to Mulder’s death.

Mulder leaves Scully behind at the hospital and goes to find the cigarette smoking man. On his rather long journey to where he is supposedly hiding he is followed by an unknown man which he then in return follows to a hidden house in which he believes he might find the CSM. Although he does not find who he was looking for, Mulder learns of CSM’s plan to destroy mankind by unleashing a virus on the entire world population that will kill everyone not immune to it.

While Mulder leaves to find the CSM, Scully attempts to leave the hospital in order to find William. During this attempt, she suffers from two more seizures, one of which leads to her crashing her SUV into another car. Even though she ends up back at the hospital quickly and without William, she seems to now know more about her seizures and where they come from: her son, William. As the seizures let the viewers assume while they happen, Scully is not the one actually having them, William is. She, however, seems to be suffering with him from them due to their strong bond the CSM claims they have. This leaves Scully to believe that her son is in great danger and that to try and find him would risk his life. She proposes that they let him find them instead while they carry on with their jobs and lives.

During the entire episode the goal of finding William and bringing him back into Scully and Mulder’s lives seems to be the main plot. As well as the fact that the plague has not actually been part of the past but is going to be part of the future. This leaves us with a lot of questions, most of which we might not get answered until the finale, if at all. However, there is one big questions we have all been now asking for almost 18 years, to which we finally have gotten our answer to: Who is William’s father? It was never truly questioned by Scully or Mulder which lead to most viewers assuming he was Mulder’s son. Others thought maybe Skinner could be his father. This episode proved both of these theories wrong. Yes, he is related to Mulder. But against common belief he is not Mulder’s son, he is his brother.

This season will be Gillian Anderson’s last season on The X-Files and most likely the last season of the series altogether since producer Chris Carter has told the press that to him, there is no X-Files without Gillian Anderson in it. I feel the same way, which is why I have high hopes for this very last season of one of my all times favorite shows and I cannot wait to see where the next episodes will take us.