Addendum: The X-Files and Closure

I know I just argued that Season 7 marks the X-Files’s incomprehensible period, but now that I am over half of the way through the season this description only applies to the season 7 two-part premier. The mid-season mythology two-parter “Sein Und Zeit” and “Closure”–where Mulder finally accepts his sister is dead–is a masterpiece. It shows The X-Files at its most narratively mature. It is the narrative pinnacle of so much of what the series was about: faith in things unseen; acceptance that answers, when they come, will only scratch the surface of understandings that we will never fully grasp.

In a way, these two episodes are almost like the finale of the series we had been watched up to this point, and it had all the right notes of where the should should have ended if Carter had decided to end it that season. If anyone here is re-watching in preparation for the new season, this two-parter is a must revisit.

“In spite of the series’ slow fade throughout its later seasons, The X-Files has never felt finished, in the same way we’ve never been able to close the book on the great mysteries of our time (the Kennedy Assassination, Roswell, Bigfoot, Donald Trump’s hair). The timelessness of the show lies in the way it prompts us to consider the mysteries of the universe and comforts us with the notion that there are answers out there we will one day find.” (from:

To which I would only add that the X-Files appeal is that some mysteries will never be solved and there are things in heaven and earth we simply will not be able to comprehend. This is a central theme of the show.

I’ve been thinking about how the show never had a proper “everybody hug goodbye” finale—like how a lot of finales try to place the characters in a position that we can imagine them in after the freeze frame/fade to black. Even “The Truth” was not a goodbye, more of an until-next-time.

“Closure” really has the feel of a good bye–at least to the mythology arc. Samantha was the last thread of that mystery yet to be resolved. If Carter had wanted to end the X-Files, he could have pushed that mid season episode to the end of season 7 and had the series end with Mulder blissfully letting go of The X-Files (and perhaps embracing a love affair with Scully). And it would have worked 100%.

But the quote above makes me think that the X-Files, whenever it ends, doesn’t need a traditional finale. There will always be X-Files to uncover, and apparently Mulder and Scully will always come out of retirement to solve them.


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