Fans of The X-Files eagerly awaited the Season 11 premiere. But after the Jan. 3 episode, “My Struggle 3,” aired, many wished they hadn’t tuned in.
Spoiler alert: The premiere revealed that Season 10’s terrifying alien invasion cliffhanger was nothing more than one of Dana Scully’s visions. But that wasn’t the only revelation that disappointed and angered fans.
The most shocking revelation from the premiere was all about Scully’s son, William. It’s shaken fans to their core — and made some want to give up on The X-Files for good.
1. Scully’s son has always been a bit of a mystery
In The X-Files’ eighth season episode, “Existence,” Scully gave birth to a son and named him William. It was a huge moment for the FBI agent. And it’s had long-reaching implications for her relationship with Mulder, and with the supernatural events she so often investigates.
Early on, William exhibited some spooky abilities — he was able to telekinetically move his crib mobile, for example, when he was just a baby. But we never got to see what his powers would amount to. Scully gave William up for adoption when she realized that she couldn’t keep him safe.
William’s removal from the bigger X-Files narrative didn’t stop fans from speculating about him, though.
2. Fans thought that Mulder was the father of Scully’s son
Scully’s romantic relationship with Fox Mulder was one of the slowest burns in television history. Fans were thrilled when The X-Files finally started hinting that the pair were more than friends and partners in its later seasons.
So, when Scully became pregnant, fans assumed that Mulder was the father. After all, she hadn’t had any other suitors. Those feelings seemed to be confirmed when Scully introduced Mulder to the baby.
3. The details of Scully’s pregnancy were always pretty vague
Even though their time with William was brief, his loss was something that brought Mulder and Scully closer together. And fans liked the idea that Mulder and Scully had a child out in the world somewhere.
But The X-Files only implied that William was Mulder’s son. We never saw the pair officially consummate their relationship — though we did see Scully leaving Mulder’s bed in Season 7. And another story, involving Scully’s abduction, ended on similarly vague terms — which left the door open for a shocking twist.
4. Fans knew William would play a big role in Season 11
In The X-Files’ tenth season, both Mulder and Scully had visions of their son — who would now be about 15 years old. And his fate weighed heavily on both of them. This led fans to speculate that William would play a significant role in Season 11.
What fans didn’t expect was the shocking revelation about his parentage that came from the season premiere.
5. We learned a shocking secret about William in the Season 11 premiere
In the Season 7 episode “En Ami,” the Cigarette Smoking Man abducted Scully — and we never really learned why. In “My Struggle III,” Scully learned that the CSM used alien technology to impregnate her on their little road trip. His goal was to create the first “superhuman” child.
We also learned, for sure, that the CSM is Mulder’s real father. So, though Mulder has spent the last decade and a half thinking he fathered Scully’s child — it was actually his own father who orchestrated it (yuck).
This reveal is easily the most shocking in X-Files history. And it’s already controversial among fans.
6. Fans were shocked and outraged by the horrific twist
No one likes to see their favorite characters go through hardship. But X-Files fans were particularly miffed at the revelation surrounding Scully and the CSM. The outrage was far-reaching.
Many fans were disappointed that Mulder is not William’s father. Others found William’s origins, and CSM’s role, to be overly complicated and seemingly out of left field.
And many others were outraged, on Scully’s behalf, that she was impregnated against her will. The series’ creator’s answer to the backlash didn’t help, either.
7. Chris Carter says he always knew Mulder wasn’t William’s father
The X-Files’ executive producer, Chris Carter, defended the shocking revelation following the Season 11 premiere. When asked about the plot twist, he told Entertainment Weekly he always planned to reveal William’s true origins.
Throughout its 11 seasons, The X-Files has made a name for itself based on its twists and turns. Time will tell as to whether this latest shocker will finally be what turns fans off for good.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!