The X-Files References a Famous Fan Theory: Is Scully Immortal?

Tuesday, 02 February 2016 - 10:31AM
X-Files
Secret Wars
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 - 10:31AM
The X-Files References a Famous Fan Theory: Is Scully Immortal?
The X-Files' first two episodes were somewhat disappointing (particularly the pilot); the dialogue was clunky, the dynamic between Mulder and Scully was stiff, and there was far too much melodrama. Last night's "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" changed all of that, as it was well-written, sometimes hilarious, and full of classic Mulder and Scully exchanges (Mulder behaves like a child, Scully responds with maturity, Mulder thinks he's saving the day, Scully actually saves the day, etc.). It was also chock-full of fan service and Easter eggs; in addition to the return of the two stoners from previous Darin Morgan episodes "Quagmire" and "War of the Coprophages," references to Scully's dog, Queequeg, and Mulder having the X-Files theme song as his ringtone, Scully winked at a famous fan theory that Morgan himself unintentionally started: that Scully is immortal.

In last night's episode, after Scully confronts Kumail Nanjiani's serial killer on her own, she tells Mulder not to worry about her because "I'm immortal, remember?" This is a reference to the fan theory started by Morgan's classic episode, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," in which the titular guest star has the ability to see exactly how people are going to die. When Scully asks him how she will die, he cryptically answers, "You don't." This being the X-Files, fans immediately began speculating that this is a literal prediction, and that Scully is actually immortal. 

Morgan himself said that he never intended for that line to be taken seriously; on the 20th anniversary of the episode, he told THR that he "didn't mean for it to be taken so literal" and called the theory "silly." However, after Darin Morgan left the show, Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan penned an episode that seemed to provide support for this theory. In the season six episode, "Tithonus," Scully meets a crime scene photographer who takes pictures of people right before their deaths. He tells her that she can cheat Death if she looks away from it, and it will take someone else. He then takes a bullet and dies in her stead, apparently sealing her fate. There was also a hint in the seventh season episode, "En Ami" that the chip implanted in Scully's neck may be the cure for all human disease, and allowed a woman named Marjorie Butters to live a healthy life at the age of 118, but it came from the Cigarette Smoking Man, so the reliability of this information was never confirmed.

So, is it true? Does Scully really have the gift of eternal life? She's narrowly escaped death enough times, and Gillian Anderson certainly looks immortal. And although Darin Morgan says he never intended for fans to run with the theory, Chris Carter previously said in an AMA that it's true, because "it said so right in the show." Now that there's a revival, however, that theory may be called into question (or further confirmed). When asked if the new series would address this fan theory, Carter told EW:

Opening quote
"It's certainly been suggested, but I can tell you this: Stay tuned for episode 6."
Closing quote

Will we find out if Scully is immortal in the tenth season finale? Let's find out, fellow X-Files fans!

The X-Files miniseries airs on Mondays at 8pm on Fox.
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