With a renewed focus on Mulder and Scully, the son they gave up for adoption, and no less than the future of humanity at stake, Season 11 hits the ground running, so you best be prepared.
"The X-Files" is back for Season 11 tonight, and while it hasn't been nearly as long of a wait as it was for Season 10, it's still been two years since we last saw David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, so we have a hunch you may be a little lost during the mythology-heavy premiere.
A lot has happened in the world since 2016. As people struggle to remember and agree on basic facts, it's understandable you might not remember everything that happened in the last six episodes. Never fear, though, TooFab is prepared to prepare you, and we promise no Mandela Effect misdirects. We'll save that for one of the upcoming season's more memorable episodes ... if we're remembering it right.
When last we saw our intrepid heroes, they were stuck in traffic during a wide-scale panic as the world found itself on the brink of a global disaster the scale of which we'd never seen. Mulder was dying from a mysterious plague as an alien ship ascended from the skies above them, giving Scully a rock-solid look at extraterrestrial existence.
The new season picks up right there and then subverts expectations as the overall mythology gets murkier and more convoluted than ever. To try and keep you from scratching a hole in your head as you try to make sense of Chris Carter's next chapter, we've put together a list of all the key things you simply have to know before tuning in.
No spoilers here, just reminders of what we've already seen.
Mulder and Scully Are NOT Together
Despite being a couple by the end of the 2008 film, Season 10 established that the couple had since become estranged, with Scully working as a doctor and Mulder living life as an alien-obsessed hermit. For whatever reason, their relationship didn't get much attention in the last season, with the pair just settling in to working new cases. While they thought about and talked about the son they gave up for adoption, there was little attention to the very relationship that made the show back in the 1990s. This season, all that changes, as that sexual tension is back and stronger than ever.
The Syndicate Unleashed the Spartan Virus
Or at least it certainly appeared that they did, with the increased cases of patients being admitted. To prep humanity for this extinction-level virus, the Syndicate apparently injected alien DNA into basically everyone through vaccines dating back decades that would strategically compromise their immune system's ability to combat the contagion. We've moved beyond proving that aliens exist to trying to figure out how to stop or survive the end of everything we know.
Scully Holds the Cure
It turns out that being abducted and genetically experimented on may have been to Scully's benefit, as the combination of alien genomes in her system mixed with her own have made her immune to the Spartan Virus. This means that her genetic makeup could well be the key to a possible antidote, though they'll have to move fast if they want to get it in time to actually save anyone.
William Is the Key to Saving Mulder
Unfortunately, by the time Scully makes her way to Mulder, he is too far gone. She determines that he will need a stem cell transplant, and the only possible donor is their still-missing son, William. Unfortunately, it was right about then that an alien ship decided to shine a bright light in her eyes and the credits rolled, bringing Season 10 to an end.
The search for William and his role in the ongoing crisis are absolutely essential to Season 11, so it's absolutely essential you remember what happened to him: Mulder's half-brother Jeffrey Spender (disfigured at the time due to horrible experiments conducted on him by his father, the Cigarette Smoking Man) injected the child with a syringe containing magnetite meant to normalize the child's biology since Spender knew William was "the only thing the aliens need" for colonization to succeed. Spender told Scully the Syndicate will always pursue this child, so she decided the only way to protect her son is to trust Spender to arrange an adoption so secret that even Mulder and Scully don't know what family took the boy in.
Mulder and Scully Part Deux
Agents Miller (Robbie Amell) and Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) were clearly brought in as junior versions of Mulder and Scully, and really they seemed to just exist to raise a mirror to the main leads, and the audience, as to the foibles of our favorite believer and skeptic. Is Chris Carter trying to see if he can replicate this franchise with new leads? If it helps, the answer is no. But they're harmless additions to the cast, fleshing out the Bureau, so we're not mad about them.
Cigarette Smoking Man Is Alive (Again)
Despite getting blowed up real good, the Cigarette Smoking Man is apparently immortal! William B. Davis made a delightfully devilish return in Season 10, convincing us the show just wouldn't be as good without his delicious brand of self-justified evil. He now represents one side in the battle for the fate of humanity, with his enemies thinking he just wants to scorch the Earth and kill them all. His ambitions are nothing less than to be the face of God.
Erika Pryce Is Looking to the Stars
Sitting opposite the CSM is Barbara Hershey as Erika Pryce. She's working alongside another shadowy organization with machinations of their own about the end of the world. Apparently, they're looking to the stars for humanity's future ... but not everyone is going to get an invite. While the CSM wants to invite Scully to join him, Pryce made an offer to Mulder to join her side in the things to come, to which he declined.
Dead And/Or Alive
Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) is back, revealing that she'd been working with the Cigarette Smoking Man for the past twelve years in an attempt to halt the impending extinction/invasion from within the Syndicate. Meanwhile, the Lone Gunmen remain dead after the events of Season 9 -- of course, no one is ever truly dead on "The X-Files." As for Agent Doggett, actor Robert Patrick) was unavailable for Season 10, so he was just ignored altogether. It remains to be seen if that will continue into the new season.