Is the Truth Out There at Last?

The Sunday Telegraph TV Guide, March 14, 1999

Is the Truth Out There at Last? by Michael Liedtke and George Avalos
Transcript courtesy of Medellia's Realm
Typed by Katrina

The X-Files is so confounding that even as the series' brain trust promises to illuminate six years of murky intrigue during this year, we can't help but wonder: are we being toyed with yet again?

If you have watched this show for any length of time, you will know that The X-Files rarely provides and answer without five or six new questions. We have also learned that what initially seems to be "the truth" in the series' mythology sometimes turns out to be a lie. But we are also very sceptical about all the tantalising television advertisements promising "full disclosure" about the well-guarded secrets and shadowy characters that lie at the core of the conspiracy to turn over our planet to imperialistic space aliens.

History tells us that revelations doesn't necessarily mean resolution on The X-Files.

Taken at face value, all the hype leading up to the next two episodes indicates that The X-Files creator Chris Carter is about to wrap up all Byzantine conspiracies, murders and mayhem.

Carter has suggested as much in the several interviews that he has granted during the past month. But we have heard his promises before and discerning listeners learn to take what Carter says with a grain of salt.

Consider this observation that he made to us at last June, just before the Fight the Future movie hit the big screen.

"My philosophy always is, don't hold back," Carter said about his willingness to reveal the show's secrets. "There will always be more stories to tell. You can't really exhaust these things completely, because you can always turn them, flip them, you know, take a truth and make it a lie. There are a lot of ways to play with The X-Files."

These words may well be worth keeping in mind during the next two episodes, particularly if The X-Files rumour-mill proves true and the standard The Truth is Out There catchphrase in the opening credits is replaced with Trust No Truth.

Like so much of The X-Files, trusting no one - including the puppet masters behind the TV show - might be the best policy during February. (Actually April, in Australia)

We suspect there are plenty of reasons to believe that we're a long way from the conclusion of the nefarious manipulations that have been at the heart of cold-blooded cover-up of alien visitations to our planet.

One reason is simple numbers. There are still 35 episodes left between now and the possible curtain call for The X-Files during the first May of the new millennium. (In the USA)

That leaves a great deal of time, the equivalent of 12 or more feature films, during which Carter can conjure up plot twists to confound fans.

He has already planned a four-part episode that will begin with the final three shows of this season and culminate in the next season's premiere.

Our bet is that Carter, who's a major showman, will leave the final act for, will, the final act.

The anxiety gripping many serious fans of the show raises even more questions:

Do X-Philes really want to know the precise nature of the conspiracy? Do they want to know Cigarette-Smoking Man's real name, let alone his true agenda? Do they really want to know all about the black oil, the faceless aliens, Gibson and the Bounty Hunters? Do they want to know all about what happened to agent Fox Mulder's long-lost sister, Samantha?

Or would fans actually prefer to relentlessly chew over a maddening morsel of evidence and speculate about its place in the conspiracy?

The near panic that the "full disclosure" promises provoked in various Internet discussion groups among X-Philes suggests many hard-core fans prefer the endless spinning of a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Some viewers even fretted that the series would actually come to an end after the promised revelations in the double episode - more than a year before the anticipated series finale.

Rest assured, this epic story is far from done.

Still, it may be time for Carter to give us a little more guidance as we navigate our way through the complex maze that he has constructed.

No matter how good a mystery may be, it's human nature for most people to want to get to the bottom of the whodunit at some point. After all, the game Clue wouldn't be much chop if you didn't eventually learn that it was Colonel Mustard who did it with the knife in the study.

Or was it Professor Plum with the lead pipe in the conservatory?

Tales from the clone zone

Who is Samantha Mulder? She's the sister of FBI agent Fox Mulder, taken by aliens. He's haunted by childhood memories of seeing her body floating toward a bright light. At least three times, Mulder has found Samantha look-alikes. One, an adult clone, said she had been raised by what people would call aliens. In the season that just ended, an adult Samantha appeared and explained she'd been raised by her father, the infamous Cigarette-Smoking Man. Then she split. She might have been a fraud, too.

X-Files stars tease to please

Will love find a way? In the season ending TV cliff-hanger, the office of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) burned down and Scully (Gillian Anderson) gave him a consoling hug. A prelude to passion? Many fans hope so. In the film, they shared a smooch, and once, Scully got passionate with a genetic freak who transformed himself to look like Mulder. And don't forget the time she professed her love when their plan was crashing. Or was that Elaine on Seinfeld?

The aliens are coming

We know the US government and the Syndicate have been involved in murder, abductions, ghastly experiments and destruction of evidence. And plenty of sources have said an alien takeover looms.

Krycek told Mulder: "I'm talking planned invasion. The colonisation of this planet by an extraterrestrial race…There is one rule: resist or serve!" "Serve who?" Mulder yelled. "Not who - what!" Krycek replied. "There is a war raging, and unless you pull your head out of the sand, you and I and about five billion other people will go the way of the dinosaur."

It's time to start naming names

Will they ever find out some names? There's wrinkle-faced Cigarette-Smoking Man (played by William B. Davis), who supposedly assassinated JFK and fixed Super Bowls. And yet the dynamic duo can't figure out his name.

Ditto for the members of the Syndicate. They seem to have dastardly dealing with the aliens. One leader, a white-haired gent, is known by fans as Well-Manicured Man (John Neville). His big buddy could be called Jowly Froggy-Voiced Man.

There's also and unnamed murderer known as the Bounty Hunter.

Good bad guys

Are we sure who the bad guys are? No.

Sure, Cigarette-Smoking Man has killed people and burned Mulder's office - but he let Mulder live, saved Mulder's mother, and probably saved Scully, too.

We thought assistant director Skinner was a bad guy in the early years, but he turned out to be one of the good guys.

Another good bad guy is Krycek, an ex-FBI agent who may have killed Mulder's supposed father. But Krycek also obtained a vaccine against the aliens from the Russians.

The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox
The Sunday Telegraph is © Nationwide News Pty Ltd and is published by © News Limited 1999

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