The X-Files. Definite spoilers. I'm *asking* for them.

Long years ago, when I was a wee one in India, I watched a few episodes of the X-Files on cable TV. One had a soldier who’d never slept a wink his whole life because of government experimentation in 'Nam, and now he’d developed psychic powers due to insomnia, and so went around killing the people who’d done this to him. Another one I remember had a fellow who periodically popped out of a puke-encrusted sewer, munched on a few human livers, and then popped back into the sewer to hibernate awhile. Umm…oookaaay.

Well, it was interesting and all, but rather dark and dingy. I quit watching pretty soon after that, not because I disliked the show, but because it just wan’t a priority. Then one day, years later, a friend of mine revealed to me that she was a rabid, passionate X-phile, and that she wrote tonnes of Mulder-Scully mush fanfic. I was asked to become “literary” editor and grammar-checker. Wokay. Can do. So, through the world of angsty teenage fanfic, I learned that aliens were involved in the process, that there was some black oil somewhere, that some people got cloned, and other such exciting things happened.

Well, it got me curious. I’ve no idea when the show became about aliens and government conspiracies, and all the bad fanfic only served to confuse me about the actual plot of the series. So, my question is, could someone please summarise the X-files plot over all the seasons please? Just a very short summary would do! Thank you in advance!

I realise that the entire OP can be condensed to “Summarise the X-Files for me” but it’s my OP and I’ll do what I want with it, so nyah.

The X-Files has always been about the aliens and government conspiracies. It looks like the episodes you’ve seen are the “filler” episodes.

I’d do a brief summary for you, but I’m pretty rusty on X-Files and would probably get some important stuff wrong or miss it altogether. So, I’ll instead point you to this episode guide / timeline that I googled.

The X-Files shows are about evenly divided into two groups: The so-called “conspiracy arc” shows, which involve alian abductions, black oil, evil government types, etc, and the “Monster of the Week” episodes. There was surprisingly little overlap between the two.

Fans are also about evenly divided between the conspiracy fans and the MOTW fans. Most MOTW fans disdain the conspiracy episodes and vice versa.

Me, I’m firmly in the Monster of the Week camp, and I dislike (to the point of not watching) the conspiracy episodes, with the exception of “Reflections of a Cigarette-Smoking Man”, which is pretty damned funny.

I stopped watching the show at some point after the movie was released because it started getting really weird. Like Brother Cadfael, I was much more fond of the Monster-of-the-Week shows than the government conspiracy stuff.

However, I can tell you that X-Files was definitely all about government conspiracy and aliens from the very beginning. In the first ep, Scully (who is an MD) was basically assigned by the Powers That Be to spy on the conspiracy-investigating Mulder. They go out to Oregon to investigate a teen’s death, which of course ties into the whole extra-terrestrial bit.

There are some show recaps here: also has very excellent episode guides, with goofs, nitpicks, etc. but unfortunately the site seems to be down at the moment so I can’t do a direct link.

I’m a conspiracy arc fan, or I was until the season following the movie. They really mussed it up that season and I switched teams to the MOTW fandom. Before that I preferred the conspiracy storyline but I also enjoyed the MOTW episodes, particularly Home.

I think both were important to the show. The MOTW gave the whole reason for existence to the X-Files. It was through investigating those that Mulder discovered the conspiracy.

I was definitely a MOTW fan, to the point where I stopped watching it after the movie came out. I really hated the alien conspiracy arc; I just never thought it was believable or even remotely interesting.

Homebrew, Home is my absolute, #1 favorite episode. Which probably doesn’t say anything positive about my mental health. And now I’m going to have that Johnny Mathis song stuck in my head all day.

I had planned to post a link to TVTome, but booklover is right, the site seems to be down for the moment. You can also try Fox TV’s site, which has the official home page, though that page is also disliking me or my connection at the moment.

It’s also important to note (as has been done in a couple of other threads), that the show ended when Duchovny left. There have been rumors over the years that the producers wanted to keep the show going with some other actor playing the lead X-Files investigator, but fortunately, this never happened.

Thank you for all the episode guide link, people, but actually I already googled those. They don’t quite offer the more holistic summary I seek.

I’m looking for something that prunes out all the unnecessary bits (such as my liver-eater seems to have been), and gives me only the meat. Something like:

There were these aliens, and they did XYZ with the government, and the plan was to PQR with the help of MNO and DEF, but Mulder and Scully did ABC, and so humanity won the day. If indeed humanity did win the day.

That’s because you can’t. Even from the beginning, Chris Carter and the other writers were making up the alien myth-arc storyline as they went along, revealing bits of it at a time. Somewhere around seasons 4-5, there was a three-parter where Mulder met a DOD employee named Kritschgau who convinced him that everything he’d believed about aliens was all government black projects. Then, a season or two later, a second set of aliens is introduced and kill many of the CSM’s co-conspirators. Then they start the whole Super Soldier story-arc, and all continuity basically goes out the window. So what are the “unnecessary bits” and the “meat”? No one can really say.

Dang. That does put a damper on my question. ::deflated::

Mike is right, unfortunately. Even in Monster of the Week episodes, there can be a clue to the conspiracy. And episodes that seem to be completely unrelated suddenly have something important buried in them. Half the people in the very first episode show up again in the seventh season, and even I got pretty confused after that. X-Files is an all-or-nothing commitment, I’m afraid.

I say start renting with Season One, and hope you can stick with it. :slight_smile: Good luck!

I’m looking for something that prunes out all the unnecessary bits (such as my liver-eater seems to have been), and gives me only the meat. QUOTE]

The movie soundtrack contains an unlisted track that features roughly 8 minutes of silence followed byusome dude narrating a conspiracy summary. I’ve seen transcripts of this on-line, but don’t have a link. However, keep in mind that this only covers the first 4 seasons (the movie was released between seasons 5 & 6, but was filmed between seasons 4 & 5, so certain season 5 developments, such as the rebel aliens out to foil the conspiracy, go unmentioned). But this at least covers the core of the conspiracy, as the season 6 two-parter “Two Fathers/One Son” pretty much kills off most of the conspirators, and then the show floundered around for a season and a half not knowing where to go, dropping new hints and never revisiting them again (what was the deal with the spaceship in Africa?) before settling on Season 8’s abduction of and search for Mulder storyline.

There was a retcon attempt to bring everything together in the show’s final episode. Mulder is on trial for murder, and the defense was the “victim” was a super soldier (a goofy concept introduced at the end of Season 8) and not really dead, therefore Mulder didn’t commit murder. The next 90 minutes or so is a clip-show style summary of the “evidence”, with various witnesses testifying what they know of the conspiracy, ordered chronologically. Maybe an episode guide desciption of this episode would provide what you’re looking for.

I used to like both the MOTW eps and the mytharc eps. I even preferred the mytharc eps, because I was so curious to find out what was going on. It was so cool how when one question got answered, more popped up in its place. Unfortunately, we never did find out what was going on. It all seemed to be building up to a big reveal–but it never happened. There was no payoff.

Like av8rmike said, looking back at it, you can’t tell what was meat and what was unneccessary. I guess all the mytharc stuff was unneccesary bits. The fact that there was no payoff was a great disappointment and I actually feel resentful about it. I watched less and less in the season after the movie, wasn’t watching at all by the time Doggett came along, and didn’t watch any reruns for several years.

I just started watching it again occasionally, and I am firmly in the MOTW camp now. The mytharc episodes just seem silly.

I like Home, too. :slight_smile: I do tend to enjoy the funnier episodes, though. Humbug is probably my favorite episode overall, and if I had to show someone just one X-files ep, that would be it.

Easy, right? I never understood why people had trouble following the conspiracy arc. It all made pretty good sense to me. I also hated Monster of the Week episodes for the most part. I felt cheated every time. There were some standouts, but for the most part those episodes were what you had to put up with waiting for them to move the story forward. I also really dug the T-1000 as an agent, but that semi-psychic bitch sucked.

Anyway, the way it was left in the final episode, the aliens (black oil - not the rebels) are supposed to attack/invade in 2012, which is the supposed predicted date for the end of the world on the Mayan calendar. I feel confident that I can field any specific questions not addressed in Carter’s (somewhat verbose) reveal, should anyone want to ask . . .

Dalovin’ Dj

Good god almighty. Reading that last post makes me remember why I stopped watching the show.

Home was awesome, but I have a personal soft spot for Eve. Nothing better than creepy, murderous schoolkids, IMO.

I lost interest in the mytharc episodes pretty early on, preferring the containment of the Freak of the Week. My only hope is that if they do another movie that it be a Freak of the Week. As far as Carter making up the alien myth stuff, wasn’t Scully’s abduction written in to explain Gillian Anderson’s absence from the show due to her pregnancy? Who knew it would have mushroomed from there.

I usually show Clyde Bruckman’s Repose as my favorite X-Files episode.

That, of course, would be Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. Stupid library computer.

That was a great one, but there are many that are just as good.

My favorite, just for its uniqueness (not to mention its Geek appeal), is the season two MOTW Humbug, also known as “Gillian Anderson Eats a Cricket.”

I definitely far and away prefer the MOTW episodes to the mytharc; they’re far less messy. People on the XF boards looooove “Memento Mori” and the “Redux” episodes, but I’m bored at best by them. All five of my favorite episodes are MOTW:

  1. How The Ghosts Stole Christmas (ghosts)
  2. Detour (um…eternal tree people?)
  3. Darkness Falls (killer glow bugs)
  4. Invocation (Ghost, kinda- if you never watch any other season 8 or 9 episodes, watch this one)
  5. Jose Chung’s From Outer Space (aliens not connected to the mytharc)