The X-Files (2001) – Existence, and Nothing Important Happened Today

Series creator Chris Carter closed out the eighth season with Existence, which debuted on 20 May, 2001. Picking up where the previous episode left off, we see the metallic skeletal frame of the alien replicant/super soldier version of Billy Miles (Zachary Ansley) reforming itself so it can continue its pursuit of the pregnant Scully (Gillian Anderson).

Reyes (Annabeth Gish) and Scully head out of D.C., looking for a safe and quiet place for Scully to give birth while Mulder (David Duchovny), Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) work to keep her safe from their end, and find out who knows what, who can be trusted, and discovering that Krycek (Nicholas Lea) is in league with Doggett’s contact (and apparent super-soldier) Knowle Rohrer (Adam Baldwin)! And that will finally cost the bastard!

Are they super soldiers? aliens? alien replicants? All three? Those answers may not be had by episode’s end, but things escalate throughout the story, especially when Billy somehow tracks down Scully and Reyes and he, and countless other beings are present for the birth of Scully’s baby.

And in some Christian mythology overtones, Mulder is guided to the location by a star, and The Lone Gunmen (who are about to go off on their own mission which ends in a cliffhanger for their series) show up like three kings bearing gifts at the end of the episode.

The episode closes with Reyes and Doggett taking over the X-files, AD Kersh (James Pickens jr.) under investigation, and most importantly, a very loving kiss between Mulder and Scully.

And while the aliens and super-soldiers and government conspiracies may still be out there, for one brief moment, as the season closes, everything seems right with the world, or at least the trio of souls that is Mulder, Scully and baby William.

Nothing Important Happened Today opened season nine on 11 November, 2001 and featured a script penned by Carter and Frank Spotnitz. The episode features Lucy Lawless as Shannon McMahon, who has an unusual ability. Is she a murderous mermaid?

The season also introduces an updated and sleek looking opening titles with Duchovny blatantly absent, and Gith and Pileggi both getting credentials during the sequence. And Cary Elwes begins a recurring character role as Brad Follmer, an Assistant Director who has a romantic past with Reyes.

Doggett’s investigation into Kersh continues, and then the McMahon thing happens. And despite his connection with Reyes is Brad to be trusted completely? Is he working for Kersh? Or is he just trying to protect Reyes?

Shannon not actually a mermaid, and in fact has some sort of connection to the super-soldier program, and is doing her best to track down Scully.

Meanwhile, Mulder’s apartment has been cleaned out, he’s gone. He’s just gone. And Scully knows but hasn’t really told us or Doggett why he’s left. And right after William came along? It must be important, but what is it? Sure, he’s not with the bureau anymore, and has no job obligations there, but what about William and Scully?

And what’s with William? Are there some abilities there?

The Gunmen show up (Langly (Dean Haglund) still has a blue face) and help with some background investigation on a drowning victim who worked for the EPA, and the viewer knows was actually drowned by Shannon. What’s the connection?

Carter is putting a lot of pieces on the board to keep the story moving with out the driving combo of Mulder and Scully behind it. It’s involved, developed, and I’m ready for more.

And that’s a good thing, because we end on a cliffhanger, Doggett is being pursued by Brad and Skinner in an attempt to catch him before he digs deeper into the McMahon thing (his investigation into Kersh hasn’t won him any friends, and Skinner is hoping to keep him from making what he thinks is a mistake). He hides in a huge water tank, and is pulled down into the darkness by Shannon, leaving us with a To Be Continued tag… because the truth is out there.

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