Here's How The X-Files Episode 2 Fits Into the Show's Mythology

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 - 12:36PM
X-Files
Secret Wars
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 - 12:36PM
Here's How The X-Files Episode 2 Fits Into the Show's Mythology
After a messy, disappointing, awkward first episode, the first "monster-of-the-week" episode was a return to form for The X-Files. This isn't too much of a surprise, since the standalone episodes have always been, on average, stronger than the mythology episodes. But it was still a remarkable improvement, as the plotting was tighter, the leads were much looser and more natural, and the dialogue was only occasionally clunky. And most importantly, it had all of the classic X-Files elements we were looking for: a brutal cold open in which a harangued doctor sticks a letter opener into his ear canal, engagement with social issues like LGBTQ rights and female bodily autonomy, the memorable body horror of a self-inflicted emergency X-section, a little romantic dialogue between Mulder and Scully, and a few unabashedly silly images, like a mental patient throwing an apple at a cat.

But although it's technically a monster-of-the-week episode, "Founder's Mutation" delved into the mythology of the original series quite a bit, especially when it comes to Mulder and Scully's son, William. In this episode, Mulder and Scully discover that a Mengele-esque doctor is using children with genetic deformities in inhumane experiments while keeping them isolated in hermetically sealed rooms. Mulder speculates that this is part of an alien hybrid project, a continuation of the Syndicate's failed attempts to create a part-human, part-alien being in order to ensure the human race's survival of alien colonization (which was supposed to happen in 2012, for the record, but I'm hoping the miniseries will explain that at some point). 

When Scully was abducted at the hands of the government alien conspiracy, her ova were taken from her and she was rendered barren. An alien hybrid child named Emily was born to a surrogate, but died soon after from complications due to her unique biology. William, however, was born to Scully herself, and his father was later confirmed to be Mulder. Although her gynecologist was involved in the hybrid experiments, it was never made clear whether William was the result of those experiments, as the initial artificial insemination procedure with that doctor failed, and she became pregnant significantly later.

It did, however, become clear that something wasn't quite human about William. He was shown to have telekinetic powers, and was pursued by a cult that worshipped aliens, specifically super-soldiers, alien replacements who looked human. The cult pursued William under the notion that he was the first "organically created" super-soldier, a part-alien child from a mutated egg. So in that case, Mulder and Scully could still be William's parents, but he could still be part-alien. 

Scully later gave William up for adoption after Jeffrey Spender told her that William was part-alien, and was meant to play a significant role in the alien colonization. It was never confirmed whether this explanation was true or not, and Spender claimed to have normalized William, but Scully sent him away for his own safety, to protect him from the alien conspiracy regardless. We saw in this episode that Mulder and Scully are still haunted by the absence of their son, and we saw in the "First Look" that William, who would be 15 now, is going to call Scully at some point:



Is William an alien hybrid? An organic super-soldier? Something else entirely? Hopefully, we'll find out over the course of the next four episodes.

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