The next conspiracy Mulder and Scully should investigate is that of producer/writer/creator Chris Carter and the Fox network exploiting their viewers for more money on a third installment to the film branch of the “X-Files” franchise. Their smoking gun evidence would be last night’s finale to the miniseries event; the resuscitation of one of Fox’s most vital shows from a time when the company was in serious need of life support. For an episode which sported the blurb “This is the end” in substitution for the typical “The truth is out there” during the opening credits, it departed viewers with more questions than they probably had at the beginning of the series back in 1993. Some fans might defend the mystery, cliff-hanger ending to the “X-Files” lore as the underlining point of the whole story: The questions overshadow the facts behind them, and we are merely micro elements in the big picture. Other, more skeptic fans will claim the ending was initially vague for one reason: More money demanded by Carter and Fox in exchange for the final chapter. Indeed, how fitting for a show about conspiracy and hidden agendas.
Let’s go back, though. In 1998 Fox released what has become commonly referred to as “The X-Files: Fight the Future.” The cinematic conclusion to the last episode of the fifth season – coincidently enough named “The end” – what many if not most fans believed to be the final resolution to Mulder and Scully’s journey into a shadow government’s cover-up of extraterrestrial life existing on our planet. Regardless of what the plan actually was, whether it was always scheduled this way or not, X-Files returned to the small screen of television in the fall of that year for a sixth season, opening a larger panorama of possible real truths to the conspiracy. After a total of nine seasons of declining popularity the show finally called it quits, serving up a lame endgame leaving virtually all their fans disappointed. Despite the “truth” being revealed, a second film installment was planned to immediately follow season 9, but ended up in development Hell for seven years before reaching theaters. The second film, subtitled “I Want to Believe,” showed Mulder and Scully assisting the FBI – something they were determined never to do again – in a strange case more fitting for a James Patterson novel than an x-file. In the end it failed to satisfy and win back any fans, and may actually have pushed away what few remained; not a way you want to go out. Eight years later, in a time when film and TV audiences are being spoon-fed rehashed plots featuring ossified characters they enjoyed fifteen and twenty years earlier, the Fox network and Chris Carter magically whip up a six part miniseries to bring Mulder and Scully back; back to an audience that was not clamming more. With it however, fans were really looking for closure, the final “final” answer to the “truth.”
Instead this event was rushed, sloppy and dull carbon copies of old stories. The plot twists were nonsensical and absurd, the acting was weak, and the experience was more depressing than anything. After six hours of watching the show limb to the finish line, it was ultimately an outrageous promotion for more to come. There could be a new movie, there could be a relaunching of the show with a new season, but something more is in the works. This exhibits how alienated Carter is from his fans, who just want the story to end. Mulder and Scully deserve their happy ending, and not a continual chase through the shadows into the darkness.