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E!Online: 'The X-Files' Exits

‘The X-Files’ Exits
Joal Ryan

The end is out there. But the truth? That’s another matter.

The X-Files, the show that made conspiracy buffs out of ordinary Nielsen families, exits Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT with a two-hour series finale, closing out the Fox sci-fi drama’s nine-year, Emmy Award-winning run. And while the episode is blatantly entitled “The Truth,” it will not necessarily close out the mysteries–and UFOs–that FBI agents Mulder and Scully, et al., have been chasing lo these many years.

Indeed, series creator Chris Carter has said that not every loose thread will be tied up in the finale.

As if you were expecting things to get simple now…

Although the last episode was not screened for the press, certain truths are known:

Mulder (original series star David Duchovny), who has been scarce in X-Files Land since being abducted by aliens at the end of season number seven, will return–and face a murder trial. Using Mulder’s trial as the springboard, the FBI will try to prove, in court, that E.T.s are real. Previously dead characters like Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea) and the Lone Gunmen (Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund) will live in prime-time again. Although in what form, we don’t know. Carter has alternately promised both lots of flashbacks–and character comebacks. And in Friday’s Los Angeles Times, Carter says that the Mulder-Scully “romance” (a mostly platonic thing, meaningful glances and a child of their genetically altered loins notwithstanding) will reach a conclusion that will leave die-hards “satisfied, though not absolutely satisfied.”

“The people who want there to be closure on the mystery of Mulder’s sister [another an alien-abduction victim], and the child that Mulder and Scully share [and recently put up for adoption], I think, will be satisfied,” Carter tells the newspaper.

Perhaps the first hourlong Fox series to be taken seriously by critics and audiences alike, The X-Files began its quest to go where no FBI agents had gone before on September 10, 1993. That first episode introduced viewers to special agents Fox “Spooky” Mulder and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). In this odd couple, Mulder was the paranormal true believer; Scully was the skeptic.

Duchovny and Anderson both earned Emmy nominations for their roles (Anderson won one in 1997) and parlayed their TV fame into the movies. Both also seemed to share a love-hate relationship for the series. Anderson griped that Duchovny got paid more. Duchovny griped that the show was shot too far away from his home (prompting the series to relocate from Vancouver to Los Angeles in 1998). Later, he sued 20th Century Fox, accusing the studio of cheating him out of money by low-balling the show’s reruns rights to sister cable outlet, FX. (The 1999 suit was settled out of court.)

But, in the end, the two stars stuck with the show–albeit, Duchovny a little less so over the past two seasons. They’re expected to reprise their FBI selves in a sequel to the 1998 X-Files big-screen flick, to be shot as soon as next summer. (Although Carter has said he doesn’t see the movie hitting theaters until at least 2004.)

Carter chose to pull the plug on the show in January, as slumping ratings stubbornly refused to un-slump despite the infusions of new stars, such as T2’s Robert Patrick and even Xena’s Lucy Lawless (in a two-episode, guest-star bit). An X-Files spinoff, The Lone Gunmen, lasted less than one season on Fox in 2001.

Still, with the promise of feature films to come, will The X-Files ever truly end? Is the truth really still out there?

Hey, Chris Carter promised loose threads, right?

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