X-Files Alien Autopsy - The Cliffhanger
The X-Files is over.
It's over at least until Fox TV or their movie division can find a way to bring it back to the small screen or it's silver brethren.
By almost all accounts the X-Files revival was a success. Unless, of course, you factor in the critical reviews. That's when things get a little dicey. Most media critics thought it an uneven affair. The mythology episodes (My Struggle I & II) were met with, disdain is too strong a word, disappointment? A bit confusing, a bit uneven perhaps a little dense.
The "Monster of the week" episodes were received well. Personally, I thought "Mulder and Scully meet the Were-Monster" was a modern day classic. (Others thought it too funny. Whaat?)
In my mind, the most important barometer to the success of the X-Files or lack thereof, is the fan reaction. How was it received by the rank and file?
Sadly, there seems to be a bit of consternation about exactly how it ended. Specifically, as a cliffhanger.
I'm glad it ended as such because, to me, that means there is more story to tell.
If it left off with a firm conclusion the hue and cry for more would have been deafening. "That's it?" people would say.
Well, maybe it wasn't so much the cliffhanger as how it was executed. The buildup to the final moment on the 14th Street Bridge was rather tedious let's say. It was exposition heavy and filled with stilted dialog. Despite Scully and Einstein coming up with a cure, Mulder with a gun on Ol' Smokey, Miller's heroics and Agent Reyes' reveal we were pretty much waiting for something to happen. Anything.
And then it did.
Nothing like a Delta shaped craft appearing out of nowhere to spark up your commute.
Still, viewers were angry. Now what? What does it mean? Perhaps it was the suddenness of the end that threw people off. The Aliens were pretty much written out of the conspiracy during "My Struggle Part One" so the appearance of the Delta was nearly anti-climatic.
Zap away Delta! Clear that bridge and leave a dark spot where Scully and company once stood!
Is it that simple or is there more?
Let's begin an "alien autopsy" into that final scene and see what we can figure out, what went on and what it all means.
Alien Autopsy: The Incident at the 14th Street Bridge
To say things were in a state of mild panic on the bridge would be an understatement.
Traffic was at a dead stop as the throngs sought to escape the malignant plague the Smoking Man and his cabal had set upon the country.
So what does all mean for our major players? What is the mystery behind the Delta craft? What about the "William" angle, how does he fit in with all this? Let's take a look at all these aspects and see what we can divine.
Dana Scully is a very important player on the 14th Street Bridge. First and foremost she is the intellectual author and possessor of the cure and in that she automatically becomes a threat to the Cabal's plan.
By all rights, she should be the prime target for elimination before she upsets the Cabal's plan altogether.
But hold on, Scully is also infused with Alien DNA. In being so, Scully has been designated as one of the chosen few to survive the apocalypse and carry on once humanity has been sufficiently culled. Obviously, someone (the Smoking Man if we can trust him) finds her invaluable. So there is a quandry. Eliminate the threat of Scully or preserve a vital pillar to the future.
Things may not weigh in her favor.
Scully not only possesses the cure but she also the soul mate to one Fox Mulder. Mulder is also a direct threat to the Cabal. Scully holds the cure and Mulder holds the truth. If Scully can stop the plague then Mulder can expose it. For the Cabal, to have them both together is a win-win. One shot. End of threat.
So where is the shot?
It wasn't long before Sveta was incinerated by the Delta craft. (Seen above.) She too was set aglow by the white hot intensity of the Delta craft beam. But where is the Green laser? Just prior to Sveta's immolation she was targeted by a green laser and then, boom, she was gone.
There is no similar laser for Scully. Of course, one could say the laser would appear in the next episode and boom, no more Dana.
Please, no one thinks that would happen. Killing off Dana Scully would be something akin to killing off Daryl on "The Walking Dead." Not gonna happen. (It would mean a real apocalypse.)
So is there some sort of internal discussion going on? To vaporize or to vaporize? The answers may lie in the Delta craft itself. Let's take a look.
The Delta Craft
At face value the craft itself seems to be "unmanned" in other words, a drone. Judging by the look of the Delta craft built by the "Tadpoles" (The minions that work with Tad O'Malley in reverse engineering etc.) it doesn't seem to have the room to house passengers. See the picture below.)
It's not necessarily flat but there isn't much room for a crew unless they are housed in a near horizontal position. But, a prone position would mean less stress on the crew especially considering the high speeds and drastic maneuverability it possesses. Not to mention the rigors of seemingly "inter-dimensional" travel. I would imagine the crew (one or two beings) being encased in a gelatinous if not liquid fluid in order to absorb such extreme g-forces.
I examine these questions because, if the craft is not there to vaporize Scully, is it there to beam her up?
Where would she go?
Then again if this craft can move itself between points in space and not necessarily through space then perhaps the dimensional quality is quite different inside the craft as opposed to how it looks on the outside. (Think Alice Through the Looking Glass physics.)
What about ownership? Who does this craft belong to?
At first blush, this craft is the same one that vaporized Sveta. It is owned by the Cabal and sent hither and yon to do it's bidding. My guess is it operates out of a secret base in the Cheyenne Mountains, Groom Lake or Area 51.
But what if it isn't?
What if the Delta is operated by the Aliens and they are there to actually rescue Scully.
Wouldn't that be a twist!
If I get the new conspiracy theory right, the Aliens originally came to help us. They were afraid of our self destructive instincts and arrived to save ourselves from our darker angels.
Sadly, they were met with the same violence they sought to end. Now, years after their original arrival they are back. The threat we pose to ourselves is even greater now than it was then.
Of course, this flies in the face of the original conspiracy theory and the facts stated in the X-Files movie, "Fight the Future." But it would be a great turn of events if the Aliens turned out to be the good guys.
Additionally, I can think of another scenario in which the original Delta pictured above is there to capture Scully and seeks to "beam her up." Suddenly another Delta appears on the scene this one belonging to the Aliens. A shooting war erupts wherein Scully's capture is interrupted and she drops into the Potomac. Agent Miller, despite his illness, jumps into the river and affects a rescue. Once again the hero.
Plausible deniability goes right out the window for the Cabal if this scenario plays out. How could they possibly cover up an incident such as this? (Two weather balloons colliding during a lightening storm?) Also, Chris Carter and his writing team may think it too much. But, could you imagine the sensation the next day in the real world social media? It would blow the lid off Twitter.
I can think of one person that might want to see an Alien gun battle play itself out over the Potomac.
At this point in time it looks as though Mulder barely has the energy to play the role of "serious onlooker."
Scully described his condition to Miller as so dire that only an infusion of the cure through stem cells could save him.
Does anyone see that happening? Traffic is at a standstill, the stem cell donor, William, is nowhere to be found and there happens to be an alien craft hovering overhead. None of which is conducive in fostering the immediate care Mulder so urgently needs.
Or does it?
Here's another interesting scenario, what if the Delta craft is there for Mulder?
It's plausible. Ol' Smokey did offer Mulder his help back at the cabin. Mulder refused but maybe the Smoking Man had a change of heart and decided to dispatch the craft to deliver the help he so urgently needs. Maybe even the craft was sent to bring Mulder someplace where Mulder can get his help. I can even envision a scenario where Scully is captured too and allowed to administer the cure properly.
All in exchange for something I'm sure. The "Blacked Lunged Son-of-a-bitch" as Mulder used to call him doesn't do anything for free.
What would he want is return?
A cessation of all anti-cabal activities to be sure.
So, anything else that might be key to another season of The X-Files from our cliffhanger?
The spectre of William was invoked by Scully in the closing moments of the cliffhanger. I say "spectre" because his has been a ghostly presence that has been haunting most of this miniseries.
Scully told Agent Miller only a stem cell transfer of the cure would help Mulder at this point.
Sadly, William has been reduced to a plot device. A MacGuffin. And typically a MacGuffin has very little overall importance to the plot. Let's hope he's not reduced to that. Well, actually, there is hope. Here's what Chris Carter said to "Comingsoon.net"
CS: William. Will we get to see him in upcoming episodes?
Carter: Stay tuned!
Carter: Stay tuned!
I'm sure some of the frustration with the cliffhanger has to do with not seeing William. I thought for sure The Smoking Man would have him and use him as leverage. But Carter seems to want to keep some of his cards close to his vest. Now I'm worried the plight of William may overshadow the next installment of The X-Files.
Okay, now I sound like the typical, "I want my X-Files cake and eat it too fan." Ugh. I guess my worry stems from the possibility of Carter stretching out the William angle through he length of the next series. I think it would be awfully distracting and may cause some of the "Monster of the week" episodes to lose their dramatic punch.
If I am to eat my X-Files cake, I would like to see the William mystery resolved in the first return episode. The bonus there would be, we spend the breadth of the next series exploring how William has evolved as a half alien and whether he is a danger to society or not.
I say "half-alien" because Scully's dream represented him thus in "Founder's Mutation."
It's not necessarily true that William has to exhibit alien tendencies but he does have to be "different" and that could serve as a metaphor for many different things. More importantly, we'd get to examine the family dynamic. Whether he'd be accepted or not, inherently good or evil, a chip off the ol' block or nothing like them. Tons of room for exploration.
Resolving the Cliffhanger
I'd like to close out with all the scenarios for the next X-Files revival that have drifted in and out of my mind and see what you guys think. Plausible? Likely? Unlikely? Or just plain ridiculous.
Face Palm Scenarios
- William is also stuck in the same traffic jam and the cure is only a car space away.
- William is piloting the Delta craft and beams his Dad aboard.
Slightly More Realistic Scenarios
- Mulder has a stem cell sample already and he knows where William is. (It happened off camera.)
The Out of Left Field Scenario
- The Aliens arrive in their own Delta and rescue Scully and Mulder
The Way Out of Left Field Awesome Scenario
- The Cabal Delta craft is there to capture or kill Scully and Mulder but an Alien Delta arrives. A gun battle ensues and all hell breaks loose.
The More Likely But Still Cool Scenario
- Ol' Smokey has had a change of heart and sent the Delta to pick up Mulder and Scully and affect a cure. But not without some juicy blackmail!
Do you have any theories of your own? How would you resolve the cliffhanger? Sound off below in the comments section!