The X-Files

Season 8 Episode 21

Existence (2)

Aired Monday 9:00 PM May 20, 2001 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
243 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

With otherworldly factions in pursuit, Mulder and the agents race to safeguard the birth of Scully's child. Scully and Reyes take refuge in an abandoned town where Doggett grew up. Meanwhile Doggett and Skinner have the final showdown with Alex Krycek and continue to fight off the replicants but how successful will they be?moreless

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  • A sum of the last two episodes and the season.

    So here we are at the end of another season. Yes it's gone on for longer than it ought to, when you become the number 1 show and the defining reason to watch the channel its on... well yeah they're gonna keep you around for a while. Despite some of the drag with some of the plots (baby for one) and the odd treatment of Mulder (by killing him, reviving him, and then back to work) this season was pretty notable.

    Gillian Anderson easily had her most dramatic performance in this show in the episode "This is Not Happening". Krycek finally got one in the head and by Skinner's own hands! The action was on point especially in these last two episodes, my favorite being when Billy the super soldier goes flying over the building into the trash compactor. I remember this with vivid detail when it first aired and seeing it again was exciting, not just for reliving it but it was actually very well done. I cared about the action this season.

    Of course Robert Patrick debuted this season and I personally loved him. It may have been a sign to end the show when you've got an entirely different guy running the x files but he brought it man. He had friction with everyone, he was likable, interesting and many other things also.

    The season was up and down sometimes but there were many moments in which I felt confidence in the writing and even if it all sucked, these last two episodes more than made up for it.moreless
  • Existence

    Existence was a perfect episode and season eight finale of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing, engaging and full of character and plot development. It was great to watch the cat and mouse games of the agents and krycek and his men. There was a lot of suspense and tension along with emotion in many of the scenes. The father of Scully's baby is an issue brought up in an entertaining way. I liked how every thing played out and the last scene was absolutely beautiful! I look forward to watching the next and final season of The X-Files!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The true ending of the X-Files!

    It has always been my idea that this episode was the true ending of this fateful series. With Mulder standing with Scully and holding their son William,then all was right with the world! I truly wish that Chris Carter had ended the series on this note. The next(and last)season was just totally an anti-climax after this episode! I know that most will disagree with my opinion here,but I never felt the series ever again reached the zenith,it did with this episode.Perhaps it is the romantic in my soul,but I had always secretly wanted Scully and Mulder to truly get together and here it finally happend and with a child to boot! So to me,here, ended a series that will always be close to my heart!moreless
  • The End Of The Eight Year Wait

    Season Eight comes to a merciful end with a surprisingly good episode. Color me surprised.

    The opening teaser doesn't inspire much confidence, as the remains of Billy Miles are apparently sent to the laziest coroner in the state. Of course, Billy recovers so that he can continue to wreak havoc. Yeah, right...

    Krycek gets way too much screen time before Skinner gives him a much-needed third eye. How is it that Krycek is still involved in the whole alien conspiracy when the Syndicate has been wiped out? Who supports him? Why don't Skinner/Mulder/Doggett plug him sooner? It's a great death scene, at any rate, even if I'm not sure what Krycek means when he tells Skinner that killing Mulder will save a thousand lives.

    I'm not entirely sold on the need for Scully to travel to an abandoned town to give birth to Mulder Jr. but it does add to the whole Christ subtext. Speaking of which, Carter lays it on a bit thick with the star of Bethlehem, the Jesus stained-glass and the Lone Gunmen posing as three wise men bearing gifts. I'm not sure where the candles and Reyes' lesbian come-on to Scully fit into the picture, but hey, girls just wanna have fun, right?

    Doggett is actually very good in what turns out to be a supporting role. His refusal to buy the lies fed to him by Rohrer earn him brownie points. His action scenes with the super soliders are also very, very good, with great Steadicam work and a thumping soundtrack.

    Which brings us to the momentous conclusion, wherein Scully finally gives birth and Mulder finally acknowledges that he is the daddy. I'm still not sure why Billy and his robot friends gather to watch the birth without interfering. It renders the whole preceding search for Billy meaningless. Oh well, accept it and move on.

    As cynical as I am about Season Eight, I have to admit to having a lump in my throat during the entire final scene as Mulder and Scully embrace with baby William held between them. It's a classic moment, however contrived and overdue it might be. It's particularly poignant as it marks Duchovny's final appearance in the series (excepting the final two episodes of Season Nine).

    So, put down your hankeys and bring out the barf bags, Season Nine is up next....moreless
  • The best end scene

    So how long did I wait to see that? Probably 8 years. Poor Scully, giving birth to William under those circumstances was a terrible experience and not having Mulder beside her too, even when she´s strong. But it was good that she had Reyes by her side.

    So finally, Krycek is gone. I don´t know if it was the right end for him, he did so much damage that he could´ve stayed around to suffer and pay for what he did. The last scene is the best. Mulder arriving at Scully´s apartment giving us the feeling that he´s at home is perfect. Then, as soon as the Lone Gunmen see him they immediately leave. Then the best... Scully (which looked amazing by the way after the whole thing), stands up and meets Mulder. They have a beautiful conversation about the name she just gave their son and as usual, Mulder jokes. Mulder holds William and it´s the only time we will see him do that. And it´s sealed with a sweet kiss.

Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick

Special Agent John Doggett

David Duchovny

David Duchovny

Special Agent Fox Mulder

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson

Special Agent Dana Scully

Annabeth Gish

Annabeth Gish

Special Agent Monica Reyes

Guest Star

Austin Tichenor

Austin Tichenor

Dr. James Langenhahn

Guest Star

Tom Martin

Tom Martin

Pathology Assistant

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Nicholas Lea

Nicholas Lea

Alex Krycek

Recurring Role

James Pickens Jr.

James Pickens Jr.

Deputy Director Kersh

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof: Skinner shoots Krycek twice in the arm which knocks Krycek to the floor. As Krycek talks to Skinner his head position implies that he's still on the floor. However, when Skinner shoots him again (in slow motion), Krycek is on his feet.

    • Goof: When Reyes pulls back Billy's collar to show Scully he doesn't have any vitals, it's visible that a piece of the fake skin that covers the bump on his neck is folded over.

    • When Doggett first meets Rohrer at the Bureau he shows an official FBI badge, but in the scene following he has a red (visitor's) one.

    • Frohicke said to Mulder that Doggett never told Mulder where Scully was, but he did when Mulder was in the parking garage asking Doggett on the phone where she was and he heard too.

      What Frohicke said was that Doggett never reached Mulder with specific coordinates. He told him the name of the town and that it was in northern Georgia but this town was abandoned and probably would not have been on any maps, so the fact that Mulder found it was a miracle.

    • Goof: During the chase scene in the FBI corridors, Doggett is carrying his gun. When the scenes cuts to the stairwell, the gun is gone, and when the scene returns to the corridors, the gun is back on his hand.

    • At the end, Mulder asks Scully what she named their son. She says that she named him, William, after Mulder's father. William is also Mulder's middle name as well as Scully's father's and brother's first name.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Krycek: I could've killed you so many times, Mulder. You've got to know that. I'm the one that kept you alive. Praying you'd win somehow.

    • Reyes: You're looking at me like... I don't know, I probably sound like a goof.
      Scully: No, no, it's not that. Um, I was thinking that you reminded me of someone that I was close to-- my sister.
      Reyes: You're not close to her still?
      Scully: Uh, she was killed... about five years ago... in my home. It was a terrible time. Oh, it's, uh... It's okay. Oh, thank you. Thank you for, um... putting this together and... it's not what I planned but, um... it's very nice.

    • Krycek: It's going to take more bullets than you can ever fire to win this game... But one bullet, and I can give you a thousand lives.

    • Byers: (About how Mulder saved Scully) We still don't know how you did it. Speaking with Agent Doggett, he said they never reached you with specific coordinates.
      Mulder: There was a light, I followed it.

    • Knowle: Let me say there was a rumored program out of the Cold War planned to create a Super Soldier.
      Doggett: Well, this kid I'm talking about is pretty damn super. Got right up out of a gut bucket and hit the ground running.

    • Mulder: (about William) Well I don't know, he's got your coloring and your eyes, and he looks suspiciously like Assistant Director Skinner.

    • Mulder: I think what we feared were the possibilities... The truth we both know.
      Scully: Which is what?
      (Mulder leans in and kisses Scully on the lips. Scully accepts the kiss, she takes her arm and embraces Mulder; the camera pans out, leaving the Agents to a real, full-fledged, long, loving kiss.)

  • NOTES (7)

    • In 2008, The Emmys Academy chose the most memorable drama TV moments. The kiss between Mulder and Scully, was in the top 5.

    • This episode marks the time that Mulder and Scully finally become a couple.

    • This episode marks the death of recurring villain Alex Krycek, although he appears in a hallucination during the finale.

    • This episode was not supposed to end with a passionate or more-than-friendly kiss between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, however David Duchovny and the episode's director, Kim Manners, told Chris Carter that they felt this kiss was absolutely necessary, so the episode uses that. It subsequently is used to (more or less) justify that Mulder is in fact the father of William.

    • After taping the last scene of the episode, the one in Scully's apartment. David and Gillian stayed on the set crying for 5 minutes. It was their way of saying goodbye to the relationship that they built, as characters and actors.

    • While Mulder holds their son, we see the 3rd on-screen kiss between Mulder & Scully.

    • Scully's baby is played by Jerry Shiban, the son of writer/producer John Shiban.


    • The events surrounding the birth of Scully's baby are a subtle allusion to the birth of Christ--Mulder is guided to her location by a light, three wise men (the Lone Gunmen) bring gifts, etc.