The X-Files ended its six-episode revival with one heck of a cliffhanger, with Scully (Gillian Anderson), Miller (Robbie Amell) and a dying Mulder (David Duchovny) being targeted by a looming UFO—and the world falling apart around them.
And though there is a possibility that the series will continue on, the renewal is nowhere near being official...which means the answers to many of our burning questions are a still a while away. (We did, however, get The X-Files creator Chris Carter to answer a few things after the finale.)
While we wait for the (eventual) continuation of the series, here are 17 of our lingering revival questions.
Who was able to pull the strings to get the X-Files reopened? Was it Skinner (Mitch Pileggi)? Does Skinner even have that kind of power at this point? After all, he’s been an A.D. at the FBI for two decades without moving up, and this was clearly something people in power—AKA Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis)—didn’t want to happen. Was getting Mulder and Scully back into the mix a vital starting point for this outbreak?
Speaking of Skinner, was he immune to the plague? Maybe he was immune, thanks to his previous infection with nanotechnology. Or...is he out there dying?
Why did no one else think to check the GPS on Mulder's phone? How could Agent Miller (Robbie Amell) be the only person to think of that?
Who saved CSM after he was burned alive in the 2002 series finale? And why did they choose to save him if this was already in play? (Also, how the heck did he survive that missile blast? He should absolutely be dead.)
Why did CSM get Reyes (Annabeth Gish) to be his helper? They had no connection, outside of her time on the X-Files, and in theory, she could have blown his cover by immediately going to Skinner, Doggett (Robert Patrick), or Mulder and Scully.
When did Reyes and Doggett split up? The 2002 series ended with the agents fairly close, so at what point in the years after the finale did their paths diverge enough so that she would take CSM's deal and leave behind the entire life she had before?
How did Reyes agree to CSM’s terms? Even if she believed he could guarantee her safety, is spending the foreseeable future fetching a cigarette for an evil, power-mad man worth it? (Versus spending the rest of her life either trying to stop what was happening or living her life to the fullest.) Or, did he threaten her with something else we didn’t see?
Did CSM know that Reyes told Scully what was going on in "My Struggle II"? If he did know, what did he hope to gain from that? If he didn’t know, why didn’t Reyes ever reach out before?
Is Mulder CSM’s weakness? He claims it’s his love of cigarettes, but CSM can’t help himself when it comes to Mulder—he protects him when others want him gone; he summons him when the entire world thinks he’s dead, etc.
Why didn't CSM give Mulder the cure without his consent? Obviously, CSM wants Mulder to agree so they could be partners at “the big table." But, if CSM truly wants Mulder alive, he could have made it happen...even if it would torture Mulder to survive the outbreak, knowing how many people died. Near the end of their time together, Mulder was so weak he wouldn't have been able to object to the cure.
Also, how could Mulder, an alien abductee himself, not have alien DNA? Was his abduction different than Scully’s? Was she abducted/tested by men, whereas Mulder was actually taken by aliens? Or was Mulder specifically chosen to not get the alien DNA?
Why did CSM allow Mulder and Miller to leave? Even if CSM thought the world was doomed, wouldn't he want to stick by Mulder in case he changed his mind last-minute?
And why did this worldwide plague spread now? Sure, the Zika virus is spreading about the world, but did the X-Files outbreak need a certain amount of time post-2012 to kick in?
Does William hold the key to curing Mulder? What impact did the magnetite—which William was given as a baby to “cure” him of being half-alien—have on Scully and Mulder's son? Does William actually have the tools in his stem cells that Scully thinks he does?
How many people would the plague kill before a cure is ready? Agent Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) might be able to heal and help people in the hospital, but how many people all over the country will die before the cure reaches them? Is half the population (or, at least of those in the U.S.) going to be dead by the time the plague is over?
Can The X-Files be the same after this finale? Throughout the run of the series, Mulder and Scully often had their worldview completely changed, and viewers watched them work through issues. But what happened in “My Struggle II” was a catastrophic, world-changing event. And a UFO appeared in front of hundred of witnesses (and in an age of smart phones). If and when X-Files returns—and they survive the outbreak—will it be in a reality where people are more aware of the paranormal?
And the most important question of all: are animals safe during this outbreak? (I’m worried about Dagoo.)
What are your big lingering X-Files questions?