The X-Files episode 1110 - CSM and Reyes in a car

Exclusive: Annabeth Gish and William B. Davis question their X-Files fates

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Nov 13, 2018

A convention called Spooky Empire seems the perfect place for an X-Files reunion. After all, one of its lead characters was nicknamed "Spooky."

As your fearless X-Files obsessive, I journeyed out to Orlando, Florida, just a few days before Halloween to visit the horror convention gathering Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully), David Duchovny (Agent Fox "Spooky" Mulder), Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Walter Skinner), Annabeth Gish (Agent Monica Reyes), Robert Patrick (Agent John Doggett), and William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man).

While the truth is still out there, it may have been the most star-studded reunion since the series' (first) finale in 2002. (Nicholas Lea, who played Alex Krycek, was a last-minute cancellation).

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The X-Files “My Struggle III” (Courtesy of FOX)

As such, there were plenty of X-Files-related activities to keep me busy. In addition to photo ops and autograph sessions, there was a panel with just Anderson and Duchovny; one with just Patrick; and one with Gish, Pileggi, and Davis; and SYFY WIRE also scored one-on-one interviews with Davis and Gish.

When The X-Files revival began, one of the biggest surprises was that CSM would be returning. In the Season 9 finale, CSM was literally blown up by cruise missiles. "I heard there was going to be a revival and I had no idea whether they would be using me or not," explained Davis. "But I guessed they would probably want to do some flashbacks or something like that. So my first thought was that maybe there would be a little bit of activity. It took me a while to learn that coming back to life would be so painful. I had to have hours and hours and hours of makeup to make the transition back to the real world. But I was happy to be back."

We also discussed the potential ways his character could have come back to life, including the use of alien technology and cloning.

As a die-hard X-Phile, I am still recovering from Season 11. In addition to some of the best episodes of the entire series, there were lots of important character moments... and one big reveal that still has fans angered to this day: that series bad guy CSM was the father of Scully's Season 8 baby. In talking to Davis, he said he was "as surprised as the audience" to discover that he was the father, and he doesn't know how that came into being. "I don't think [series creator Chris Carter and I] talked about. I just rolled with it," Davis said.

What is interesting is that in "My Struggle III," the episode in which CSM reveals the baby's paternity to Skinner, they flash back to a Season 7 episode, "En Ami," as the point at which CSM impregnated Scully. "En Ami" was an episode that was written by Davis. He told me that that was not his original intention with that episode. He has no problem with that, but insists that this wasn't some long-simmering plan. "I'd like to say it was, but no. In fact, very little in The X-Files is a very long-simmering plan. Most of it is, 'Oh, well, look at that! Maybe we can do blah blah.'"

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The X-Files “My Struggle III” (Courtesy of FOX)

Another surprise was Monica Reyes' turn to the dark side. She was a close confidant to Scully in Seasons 8 and 9, even helping her give birth. And yet in the revival seasons, Reyes appears to have been in league with CSM. "I kept making up my own backstories, because there wasn't really any explanation as to why she switched to the dark side," Gish told me during a break in the convention craziness. "In my mind, she was always protecting Scully and the baby. I do think there are several scenes that could have represented that, but even still, I was still happy to be part of it. I think The X-Files is so expansive. Chris just didn't have enough time, perhaps, or whatever, to address this other storyline. I wish he did. No disrespect; it just didn't get talked about!"

Both Davis and Gish's characters died at the end of Season 11. Or did they? Davis insists that wasn't CSM who was shot point-blank by Mulder. "That was a morphed creature that went into the water. Mulder thinks he killed CSM, but oh no no. I explained that to Chris after the episode." Gish is similarly in denial about Reyes' fate: "I remember [Chris] sent me an email before the last script. It was a very sincere, personal email, saying it's curtains for Monica Reyes. It was heartbreaking! But I still don't think she's dead! I think they changed their minds. They have even said on the record, in print, that the bullet, at the last minute, they decided that the bullet doesn't go straight, but maybe it grazes... so there's hope!"

Of course, a Season 12 is about as unlikely as CSM being killed by a mere bullet. But the fandom lives on...


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