Fan Favorite Sci-Fi Thriller Series Had The Perfect Ending But Didn’t Stop

By Jacob VanGundy | Published


The X-Files is one of the most iconic TV shows of the 90s, an absolute monolith of nerd culture, and one of my personal favorite shows. While there’s plenty of reason to be excited for the upcoming Ryan Coogler reboot of the series, it’s hard to stay optimistic for a series that’s been disappointing its fans for over two decades.

It’s especially disappointing to see the show decline in quality, knowing they had the perfect X-Files ending already in place at the end of season seven. 

The X-Files Was A Hit On Fox

The X-Files originally aired in 1993 and became an almost instant giant in the pop culture zeitgeist of the 90s. Combining a monster-of-the-week formula with increasingly intricate mythology and a simmering romance between the iconic lead characters Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson), The X-Files was one of the hottest shows on TV.

It was a crucial show to early internet fandom, the now ubiquitous term shipping being derived from “the mothership” a nickname for Mulder and Scully as a couple. 

David Duchovny Left After X-Files Season 7

the x-files halloween

Unfortunately, while The X-Files had a perfect start, the same can’t be said for its ending. The end of season 7 saw the departure of David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder as a series regular, only appearing as a guest start for the next two seasons.

That eliminated one of the show’s greatest strengths, the relationship between Mulder and Scully. While Duchovny would return as Mulder for the revival seasons, the magic was lost, and the few episodes enjoyable episodes like “Dand and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” and “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” stood among the other episodes that felt like pale imitations of classic X-Files. 

X-Files Could Have Ended With Requiem

This is especially disappointing because The X-Files could so easily have ended with season 7, with the season finale “Requiem” working as a flawless series finale.

The season 7 finale saw Mulder’s search for alien life reaching a natural conclusion as he’s abducted by an alien bounty hunter, Scully miraculously pregnant, and the unraveling of the smoking man’s conspiracy.

It was written as a possible conclusion to the series and functions as one, wrapping up the most important character beats and plot points. 

X-Files Continued For Two More Seasons


But instead of ending on a high note, The X-Files limped along for two more seasons followed by a disappointing revival. Fox Mulder was replaced by John Doggett (played by Robert Patrick), an interesting character his dynamic with Scully wasn’t as interesting or emotionally charged as the signature Mulder and Scully relationship.

Revivial Brought Back Fox Mulder


While the revival brought Mulder and Scully back together the revival was bogged down by its own mythology, the plot significant episodes leaning heavily on long resolved plot lines and never treading new ground. 

The X-Files should have ended with “Requiem” but that doesn’t mean a continuation of the show is necessarily doomed to fail.

Reboot Series Bringing Back X-Files


The universe of The X-Files brings together science fiction, cryptids, fantasy, conspiracy theories, and romance in a unique way that could still generate compelling stories if it can move beyond its own past.

Hopefully, the upcoming Ryan Coogler reboot can find interesting ways to utilize The X-File’s characters and ideas in interesting new ways that justify the series’ continued existence.