Major spoilers for The X-Files Season 11.
After ten thrilling weeks, the eleventh season of The X-Files reached its conclusion with "My Struggle IV", revealing big shocks and bigger deaths, making the show's future very interesting indeed. We're going to break down everything that happened in that crazy hour.
There's a chance that "My Struggle IV" is the final episode of The X-Files, ever. Gillian Anderson has stated that this is her last performance as Agent Dana Scully. Series creator Chris Carter initially stated that The X-Files is dependent on the presence of both Mulder and Scully, but has since insisted that the show will go on, with or without Anderson, although the Fox network has their own opinions on the matter. One way or another, Carter intends for The X-Files to continue.
For its part, "My Struggle IV" feels very much like a season finale, and not a grand ending to the entire X-Files saga. Carter took a big risk by setting up so many cliffhangers without knowing whether or not he'll ever get the chance to resolve them, but one has to admire his sheer audacity in throwing caution to the wind and writing with an admirably reckless abandon. So, what exactly went down in the season finale of The X-Files? Read on to find out.
This Page: The X-Files Season 11 Finale Explained
David Duchovny is a unique actor. His understated performance as FBI agent Fox Mulder is sometimes criticized for seeming lackadaisical or disinterested, but that's not really the case. Mulder is a fiercely driven introvert dedicated to uncovering the truth, no matter the cost. A telling moment for the character came in the episode, "Ghouli." Believing that the son he never knew may have committed suicide moments before a potential reunion, and confronted by a pair of shady Department of Defense agents taunting him, Mulder coldly warns them off, saying, "You have no idea of my state of mind."
That ruthless, but stoic, determination and deep love for his son (who's not really his son, but don't worry too much about it) reaches a fever pitch when Mulder, acting on a tip from Agent Reyes, shoots his way through an airplane hanger manned by operatives Purlieu Services, the private military led by Mr. Y, a shadowy member of cabal secretly preparing for alien colonization. Although most (but not all) of the carnage occurs off-screen, Mulder's brief foray into violent action hero territory is entirely believable; any father will eagerly gun down a room full of armed thugs to save his son from harm.
Unfortunately for Mulder, William is not present at the hanger, and Mulder's search for his son continues.
William is More Powerful Than Previously Thought
To call William (or Jackson Van De Kamp, his adopted name) a gifted child would be a massive understatement. Initially believed to be Mulder and Scully's miracle child, he was later revealed (in "My Struggle III") to be the product of alien science. He's not Mulder's son; he's the son of Carl Gerhard Bush, AKA the Cigarette Smoking Man. As a baby, he manifested powers, but they were nullified due to a magnetite serum injected by Jeffrey Spender, an attempt to make the boy "normal" and thus useless to the nefarious machinations of the Smoking Man and other syndicate members.
However, the effects of the serum were only temporary, since "My Struggle III" revealed that William was receiving visions of a possible future and relaying them to his mother. The entirety of "My Struggle II," the tenth season finale, were all one of William's visions. When William finally made a proper appearance in "Ghouli," he had the ability to project an image of himself, disguising his identity and adopting the visage of his choosing; either a kindly stranger or a vicious monster.
Finally, "My Struggle IV" shows off two brand new powers in William's growing repertoire of abilities: first, he saves Mulder's life by focusing his mental energy and causing his pursuers to explode in a shower of blood and gore (so long, Erika Price!), and second, he manages to shrug off a point-blank headshot from the Smoking Man. Indeed, after the heartbreaking twist of William essentially committing "suicide-by-cop" to save his father's life, his seemingly lifeless body falls from the dock and into the water below. The final shot of the season is William, rising from the water, no worse for wear, despite the gaping bullet hole in his head.
Scully Is Pregnant
One of the most controversial moments in the episode came in its final scene. After the presumed death of William and Mulder's swift and brutal retribution upon the Smoking Man, Scully arrives and Mulder tells her everything that happened. She reveals to him the truth of William's origin. Despite her grief, Scully comforts herself, and a heartbroken Mulder, by acknowledging that the boy was a science experiment, an unnatural combination of alien science and the unsavory intentions of evil men.
Scully then drops an even bigger bomb on Mulder; she's pregnant. Her first pregnancy was believed to be a miracle, but it was actually an abomination of forbidden science. This one, as she puts it, "is more than impossible," due to her previously-established infertility, to say nothing of her age (Gillian Anderson is 49. At that age, pregnancy is not impossible, but it's not likely, either). Of course, Scully's physiology was altered by the introduction of alien DNA to her system, so it's impossible to know if her baby will be a normal human, a hybrid, or a super-powered entity like William.