The X-Files

Season 9 Episode 16


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 28, 2002 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
231 votes
  • William

    William was a superb and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, very engaging and full of character and plot development. I enjoyed the suspense and mystery wondering if the deformed man might be Mulder. It was interesting to watch Scully work through the evidence. There were some touching moments and emotional scenes which really added to the episode. I liked the ending and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Great storyline, sad ending.

    I love the storyline of William, it's kind of the only troubles we see Scully getting into this season.

    My only complaint, wel not really a complaint, is that they make it seem so simple to give up a baby for adoption. I know that I wouldn't be able to give up a child of mine (if I ever have children) I think it's hell for a mother, espescially when you already had him/her with you for almost a year. But The story that they tell is great.

    It also show the realationschip between Scully and Mulder at some point, she knows him really well, that's why she knows it's not him. If you want to know a person that well, you have to have a great bound with him/her (friends or otherwise) It's also very obvious that she loves him.
  • It broke my heart.

    This was the most touching episode for me in the whole series. This was the only episode I acctually cried, and I didn't cry even in the last one. Scully giving up her own son is so sad and so not fair. A person must be really strong to give up her own child. I wouldn't do it, even if I had the same reasons Scully had, I definitelly wouldn't do it. This was really a well-written episode, really great. The only thing I missed was Mulder. I think he should have been there to say goodbye to his son, I mean, come on, he only saw his son the day he was born and the day after and then he left, just to never see his own child again. So no fair! Scully should have kept William!
  • Given how many episodes have been devoted to baby William, this one is surprisingly good

    The mystery guest is a bigger surprise than anyone originally thought: Jeffrey, who actually survived Smoking Man's attempts to kill him. To spite the father that tried to kill him, he decided to help his half brother and take William out of the equation by injecting him with metal – is that the same metal that can kill the super soldiers? It seems to have worked, William's telekinesis is gone. It's a huge risk to send William away but as long as he's not found, it's the right thing to do. The entire time he's been with Scully he's been under constant attack, maybe now he'll have some peace. He'll never know what he was.

    A surprisingly good episode, thankfully calling an end to the incredibly long list of 'baby William' episodes.
  • What a load of crap

    ...was exactly what I was thinking as the ending credits ran across my tv.

    What on earth possessed the writers to make that ending? Of course I grunted as soon as I saw that Duchovny was part of the writing team for this one. The episodes he has given us were all dull, uneventful and utterly no x-files (which is understandable given that he himself is all but a believer. But why does Carter let him write then?).
    This one is no exception.

    Even without watching the opening credits (where Duchovny was not credited as an actor) I did not believe for a split second that the disfigured man was Mulder. Scully simply would have known. Also he wouldn't have broken into the X-Files office, he wouldn't have beaten up Doggett, he wouldn't have lied to Scully no matter what. And he wouldn't have run from her apartment. He wouldn't have injected anything into William without discussing it with Scully because he respects her too much.

    So the 30min where the viewer is supposed to be torn between wether the man is Mulder or not were dull (at least for me.) The DNA test was a "perfect match" but Mulder and Spender are half brothers. So that can't be right (seems to me the FBI lab wouldn't make such a huge mistake.) And btw did you notice that Mulder never acknowledged that Cancer man was his father? That he made no objections whatsoever when Scully named her son WILLIAM after his father?
    Then the revelation that he is actually James Spender. ha. What has he been doing these past years when everybody believed him to be dead? (After his account the experiments burned up his skin immediately so he hasn't been tested on for that long) So after Mulder being Christ, his son being the savior and the key for the alien invasion (which version was the last again?) he is now after the injection of a supposedly extra terrestrial material (aka unidentified material) just a normal boy. Hurray! Finally Scully can live a normal life, teaching FBI rookies and coming home to a healthy baby boy. But Alas! he is still in danger!
    Spender has the awesome ability to know that the aliens would never give up as he is the ultimate and only key for their plans. (btw what would they have done if the syndicate hadn't been killed by the alien rebels? Back then the colonization was about to begin and Scully wasn't even pregnant remember?) So logically the only way out is to give up the baby to complete strangers in the middle of nowhere.

    Yeah that's right! The baby that Scully so desperately wanted, the one Mulder, Skinner, Doggett, Reyes hell even Crychek protected from the super soldiers! The one that was delivered by Reyes in a ghost town, where Mulder was led by the Bethlehem star! The baby Mulder went into hiding to protect! The baby every single mythology episode evolved around in season 9! That very baby is better protected by farmers than an FBI agent with a medical degree who knows not only what or whom to protect him from but also the one and only weakness of the attackers.

    Your head spinning yet? Let's wait and see what happens in the next 3-4 episodes and then hopefully this show will end in dignity.

    This episode is a load a balogna from the get go. Scully would have never for a second thought that was Mulder, once she started talking to him. I realize she says she never believed he was Mulder, but the definitely implied that she did several times. Also, as protective as they are with that damn baby, they would not have let an unidentified man who attacked an FBI agent walk freely around her apartment with William there. Then she gives him up for adoption to some regular people that have no idea of his history?! That doesn't make any sense. If she was worried about keeping him hidden, she would have went into hiding with him, so she could protect him. It makes me sad that David Duchovny wrote and directed this turd of an episode.

    The only reason I give this a 4 instead of a lower score, is because now that damn baby is gone and maybe they can work in a cool story line to end the series with.
  • If it hadn\'t been so close to the end anyway . . .

    I would have stopped watching with the back to back horror that was Jump The Shark and William. I realize wanting to tie up loose ends as a show comes to a close, but really, killing everyone off (The Lone Gunmen, however touching and heroic their deaths may be) or making them suddenly \"normal\" and putting them up for adoption (William, giving the baby a shot is not going to undo all the alieness that had been done to him and his parents, I don\'t care what you say. The Big Red Button that fixes all is a cheap copout.) is not necessarily the best way to go about it.

    After four dedicated years (so sue me I got a late start on the show) I was this close to jumping ship when Scully made her \"life choice\". But I had toughed it out that long, lived through the exceptionally good and into the terribly bad of Chris Carter\'s somewhat twisted mind, so I decided to stick around for the last few epi\'s and see if he\'d at least satisfy me if not completely thrill me. The episode Sunshine Days didn\'t help my mood any - or rather it\'s placement as the second to last epi. But that\'s a whole other review all together. :D

    Despite how this sounds, overall X-Files is still one of my all time favorite shows. :D

  • The deck clearing continues, as William leaves us for good.

    Duchovny directs his third episode, and the first to be a non-comedy mythology show. I don't know that they ever really sell the Mulder is a burnt-up freak trick (cause c'mon), but they come close. Spender and his matching DNA were out of sight, out of mind by now, so that switheroo works. Hitting the reset button for William, though...that's a tougher pill to swallow. An injection wipes out any importance to be had from William's abilities just a few episodes ago. So that bible-ship that finally seemed to be as important as they wanted us to believe..forget it. Doesn't matter anymore. Tons of payoff. Sad, really.
    That being said, I can't crap on this episode. The Scully conflicts, both over her suspicions about the char-Mulder and her ultimate decision concerning William's well-being, play well, and are genuinely heart-breaking. Poor Scully.
    Solid despite it's flaws.
  • ohhh william!

    oh william! this episode was emotional to watch...sure william was not a big major actor that was in the x-files like gillian anderson and david duchovny or anything but just knowing that william was going to be adopted really hurt me, i mean look at it this way some people will be like yes he is leaving finally right? well william was something that came out of scully and mulder, and scully was fighting so hard to have him, now all of a sudden he is gone? that would be really hard for any mother to go through knowing that your child's life was and is at stake here with a couple of strangers. i mean leaving him with a couple of strangers??? what was scully thinking! like william isnt better off living with a fbi agent who is surrounded by them and is being supported by them like they were not good for the job???i seriously thought that that was a stupid mistake on her part but besides that this whole ep to me is a tear jerker...

  • surprising and exciting

    I have got to admit that this episode was not one of the best but it was an X-Files episode and like the others it was fantastic! I've never understood what William really was but i knew that he wasn't a normal baby. In the end of the episode we know all the story surrounding the baby and i think Scully made the right decision and let William have a good life.
    One of the things that I liked on this episode was the question: Is that man Mulder? As far as I'm concerned I've never doubt that the man wasn't Mulder. Mulder is alive and healthy and we all know that! But it was a great episode and I thank Chris Carter because X-Files are the best show I've ever seen
  • An outstanding episode!

    This was one of the saddest episodes of the X-files I have watched. They made syre that you were in suspense the whole time that you were watching. Not only did they give us suspense, but many questions as well. What was wrong with William? Was that man Mulder? Fortunately, as we watched the answers unravelled themselves. I was really hoping to see Mulder in this one, but I was glad that he wasn't the man that had claimed to be him. I couldn't even imagine how Scully must have felt giving away William. It was the saddest thing ever! I am glad however that she did it, because I could only begin to imagine what would happen to him if he had stayed.
  • Goodbye William.

    This episode was sad because Scully had to give up her son William for adoption because she fears that too many people are after the child. Also in this episode a man attacks agent Doggett and later claims to know where Mulder is. This man is agent Spender who used to be on the X Files until CSM shot hima nd put him through awful experiments. I this episode Doggett believes that the man actually is Mulder but it turns out to be Spender. I liked this episode a lot, it was directed by David Duchovny and it was an importnat episode for the series.
  • A mysterious man who appears to be burned is caught in the X-Files office.

    This episode is focused on a man who is caught trying to steal files from the X-Files by Agent Doggett. He gets arrested by Doggett and is brought in for question. He says that his name is Daniel Miller, but that is infact not his name, proven by Agent Doggett.

    The majority of the episode is spent trying to figure out the identity of this severly burned man. But when he is proven to have injected an unknown metal substance into William, the story takes a turn.

    During the episode, the man was identified as Agent Fox Mulder, but Skully does not think it is him. Later in the episode, his identity is revealed as Agent Spender, who was believed to be dead after being shot by his father.

    This episode ended with William being adopted. In conclusion, this episode was very special. Probably the best of the series.
  • I found this episode too sad to watch twice. Contains Spoilers

    When Scully had to give up little William it was one of the saddest episodes of TV I'd ever seen. I was surprised that so many people were pretty much OK with it and felt it was the right thing to do. Right or wrong it was tragically sad especially given Mulder returned and they ran away together and could have possibly protected William together. That whole Michael Row The Boat Ashore scene was just beyoooooooond sad. I can't really forgive the show and the writers of this episode for going down that road especially given they made it clear that Scully had no back up way to find William. She cut all ties which left me with a sick feeling. Giving away your child is not a simple thing and I found it a terribly harsh thing to make Scully go through given all she had already gone through what with losing her Father, her Sister, being abducted then having Mulder be abducted AND the fact that she thought she was barren all those years and was very sad about that and then she gets pregnant and has to give up the baby. Ugh. I can't even go there. Will never watch this episode again. I really hope in a future movie they get William back. Not to say it was a poor episode, it just makes me too sad
  • Great acting, but horrible ending!

    While this episode was incredibly well acted, I'm just amazed (in a bad way) that TPTB chose to take the "William" arc along this route and end it in a way that I feel was totally out of sync with this show.

    First, the DNA match between Mulder and Spender is ridiculous. Half siblings don't share the exact same DNA. Hell, full siblings don't share the same DNA--only identical twins share identical DNA. I don't understand how the writers got something as simple as this wrong. Watching one paternity Maury episode would have cleared that up ASAP.

    Secondly, I don't understand why Scully is still allowing strangers to come into her house. And she still lets them wander around and they always end up in William's room. Moreover, I didn't appreciate how Skinner, Doggett, and Reyes were so quick to believe the tests over Scully. Scully has spent 8 years with Mulder--in both a platonic and intimate way. Surely, she'd know if this guy was Mulder or not, right??

    Lastly, I just didn't believe that Scully would give her child up for adoption. I just can't see it...this child that she wanted so badly. Incidences within the home aside, Scully and crew were the best able to protect William.
  • This episode was largely well-written but is marginalized when tied to the ill-conceived conclusion.

    This episode was largely well-written; the quest to discover the unknown assailant's true identity was excellent, and when combined with the wonderful characterization in Scully's vehement opposition to evidence the result was truly captivating. When a badly disfigured man is apprehended in an attempt to steal some X-file documents from the F.B.I. offices his identity is somewhat suspect, especially in connection with the set of files he is looking for. He states that he has been in contact with Mulder who instructed him to retrieve those files on the so-called "super soldiers". The characters then set forward attempting to unravel the mystery if this man and his connection to Mulder. It is interesting for the viewer to see what each character decides is credible evidence to believe. One character's path of investigation is particularly powerful. The show allowed for a good sampling of Scully's personality as she stands in the somewhat unfamiliar place in filling Mulder's vacancy as "the believer". Not only do viewers see her struggle with the feat of disproving scientific evidence, but they are also able to catch glimpses of the character's deep emotional burden in dealing with his absence on a personal level. This great writing and performing is paled, however, when tied to the ill-conceived conclusion. While I am able to appreciate the need to "tie things up" with episodes this close to the finale of a series I feel that the particular solution chosen in this episode was sloppy and rushed. Previous episodes show Dana Scully's strong desire to have this child and to protect him, this fact is built upon again in this episode and the viewer can witness the struggles she is facing in her attempt to protect the baby William. Unfortunately, her final decision to place the child in an adoptive home seems a fragile excuse for William's departure from the series. An attack on the infant is supposed to have revealed to Scully that she cannot properly protect her son, that he will continue to be in danger in her care, and that she must send him to an anonymous family where he will be safe. On the surface this may seem to be a plausible and rational solution for the character to follow, but it isn't difficult to see certain major flaws in the thought-process. Earlier seasons and episodes have shown countless times when determined individuals are able to access secret locations, documents, evidence, and various other seemingly secure goals. It would follow that those determined enough to get to William under her care would also be able to track him down, even through a confidential adoption to an anonymous family. In this instance would it not be far better that he is with someone with F.B.I. training and her experience in dangerous situations rather than an average couple of farmers? Scully is still much better suited to protect her son in the end. While this episode was certainly an interesting endeavor, the ending was far too difficult to accept, which is compounded by its wide diversion from the caliber of writing I've come to expect from this show. The easy exit of William's character follows too closely on the heels of the events in the episode "Jump the Shark", lending more support the rushed feeling of the actions and writing of an otherwise enjoyable episode.