Wednesday, March 09, 2016
The X-Files: The Mystery of William
Last week, I speculated a bit about the directions The X-Files might take in season 11 in terms of Mulder's illness, Reyes, the plague, and the Conspiracy.
This week, I want to study the figure who is, literally, the key to everything.
That figure is William, the son of Mulder and Scully.
One of the reasons I so much admire this revival series is that it has been structured in such a way that it leads us to one inescapable conclusion: William is our savior.
We see and register Dana's despair about losing William in episodes including "Founder's Mutation," and "Home Again," for example.
In the latter case, she fears that she and Mulder treated William like trash by giving him up for adoption. And it is clear from her daydream -- about an alternate life with William -- in "Founder's Mutation, that she feels his loss every single day.
She is heart sick, even soul-sick, because of his absence in her life. Scully will be whole again, these episodes inform us, only when she reunites with William. That is the only possible "cure" to what ails Dana.
Now consider Mulder. When we leave him at the end of "My Struggle II" Fox is near death, and only stem-cells from William -- his lost son (and the subject of Mulder's daydream, in "Founder's Mutation") -- can save his life.
In other words, Mulder and Scully have arrived at the same place at the same time. They are both suffering, and can't be whole, can't be complete, without William's intervention.
Scully needs her son, or she will whither away, trapped in self-recriminations and feelings of shame. Mulder is physically dying, and needs an "infusion," one might conclude, from William, to be revived.
For all the press's stupid complaints of bad or stilted writing, it's amazing, isn't it, that these six 2016 episodes bring Mulder and Scully to the same precipice so cleverly and elegantly? Both protagonists need William if they are to endure. They must find their son.
This underlying structure goes much deeper however. It is not just William's parents who need him, if they are to live.
The world needs him too. For William is a messiah, essentially, in waiting.
To back-up this statement, we must go all the way back to the first episode featuring William. "Existence" (May 20, 2001).
There, as you may recall, a bright light in the night sky leads Mulder to the location where Scully is giving birth in an abandoned dilapidated town.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the author writes of a star (The Star of Bethlehem) that signifies the birth of a new "king." It is that star which guides the Magi to Jesus. Again, it is not difficult to draw a comparison here.
Only in this case, the Lone Gunmen might be the Three Wise Men...
But all joking aside, William's birth is also witnessed by a group of strangers. They miraculously seemed to arrive at Scully's bedside, and they watched as the birth occurs. They leave without harming the child, or helping him.
Who are they, and what are they witnessing?
Well, these people are super soldiers, alien replicas of human beings. So it might be that they are witnessing the birth of a "king" who will lead their people, or -- oppositely -- destroy their people. William is by birth what they have been engineered to be: a hybrid of human biology and alien technology/biology.
Consider that Scully possesses alien DNA and that Mulder, at one point, was considered a human/alien hybrid because of his encounter with the tablet from Ivory Coast UFO.
William -- the product of their genetic union -- is a fully formed human/alien hybrid. No one need "adjust" his biology via abduction experiments (see: Scully), or by exposure to alien materials (see: Mulder). William is, by his very nature, what the Syndicate always sought: a fully biological human/alien combination.
The episodes which feature William suggest his unique nature. He is able to perform seemingly miraculous acts of telekinesis in his crib, for example.
The looming question is, however, who is with William now, in 2016, and will he act as mankind's savior, or as his destroyer?
Will he be the messiah who saves his father and the human race, or will he be an Anti-Christ figure, shepherding in a new era of slavery and subjugation for the survivors of the plague?
This, we can't know. At least not yet.
Some thoughts to ponder in this regard:
Could the Cigarette Smoking Man have had William at his side all along? Could he be William's adoptive father, the way he adopted Samantha ("Closure").
If so, then William is no doubt his servant/accomplice at that point, and would be likely to fulfill the Anti-Christ role.
Similarly, what if Mulder and Scully find William, only to learn that he harbors resentment towards them for their choice to abandon him.
What if he refuses to help his parents, and to take his role as savior in the great conflict? What if, as Scully fears, he feels like he was thrown away with the trash, and doesn't matter?
Contrarily, Mulder and Scully could meet William, and help him to understand his destiny. As the savior, he possess the powers and the genetics (the body and the blood, so-to-speak) to stop the invasion, prevent alien colonization, and restore civilization before it is too late.
Intriguingly, "My Struggle II" is structured in such a way that the series could continue without either Mulder or Scully, at this point.
Mulder could die before William is encountered, leaving a grieving Scully to approach her son with the truth.
Or, Scully could be murdered by the ARV, leaving a sick Mulder (perhaps with the help of Einstein and Miller) to find his son, and tell him the truth.
I wouldn't want to lose either character, obviously, but The X-Files seems to have arrived at a crossroads.
The end of the world is nigh, and the only person who can save Mulder's life, Scully's soul, and civilization itself is a mystery boy.
A mystery boy we haven't seen in a decade-and-a-half.
As I wrote in The X-Files FAQ, we might even be watching, in The X-Files, the first chapter of a new religion: an origin story. Mulder and Scully are the players behind the messiah, and their son is the one who can bring change to the world. This figure had a miraculous birth because Scully was not supposed to be capable of bearing a child.
And the stars themselves heralded his arrival ("Existence.")
So...I'm looking forward to meeting William in Season 11. He would be about sixteen years old at this point...