The X-Files spends quite a bit of time toeing that line between Christianity and the paranormal, guided by the brilliant, credible Agent Scully. Rewatching these episodes now, it’s ludicrous how quickly Mulder rejects religious explanations for deaths (“All Souls,” “Orison”), miracles (“Revelations”) and… whatever (the 2nd movie), while fluke monsters and the ghosts of vengeful death row prisoners get instant credibility.
Perhaps part of this is because the writers chose to Jesus-ify whatever character decided to walk into their perimeter of tragedy. It was a sweet gig if you were an otherwise un-influential side character; just depart this mortal coil in an epic act of self-sacrifice and voila! Jesus imagery. Or if that’s a little too drastic, try something a little more literal, like performing biblical miracles or fulfilling prophesy. And if all else fails, splay your arms out on a table! The audience will get the subtle hint.
Below is a partial listing of X-Files Jesuses. This being America, you are free to select whichever you like as your Lord and Savior, though my personal suggestion would be to worship a recurring character across seasons. Anything less implies that the apocalypse has come and gone, and we’re stuck here with only X-Files blogs to comfort us in our slow march to damnation.
Jesus 1: Kevin Kryder (“Revelations”)
I start with Kevin because while his allegorical connection to Jesus is the weakest, he does demonstrate the stigmata, which gets you bonus points in this round. And for even more bonus points, he’s the first character to drag Scully’s persistent Catholic faith into the limelight in a way that’s more meaningful than the occasional glint off her cross necklace.
In the end, though, Kevin doesn’t count. His death at the hands of demons will ensure the victory of Hellspawn as opposed to preventing it. And if that’s the case with Jesus, then ever since the crucifixion, we’ve been… living in… Hell… you know, let’s not think about it.
Jesus 2: Gibson Praise (“The End”)
He is, in short, the key to everything. He could unravel the knotty mysteries of the X-Files in a way that brings “a million puzzle pieces” together, if one is a lazy blog writer who mixes metaphors. And as an added bonus, he creates awkward situations between you, your partner and your Syndicate-affiliated ex-girlfriend.
Gibson loses points for being involved in season 8 (“Within”/”Without”). Perhaps Jesus himself had the humility and generosity of spirit to affiliate with the lowest members of society, but affiliating with season 8 is a bridge too far. Line drawn.
Jesus 3: Samuel Hartley (“Miracle Man”)
It might be tempting to write off Samuel here as a first-season Jesus, but do not be dismayed, do not lose hope: first-season X-Files had its shit figured out from day 1 (…except “Space.” We do not speak of “Space.”).
In any case, our boy Samuel heals with a touch and raises the dead — even the completely burninated dead —
— thus earning him a place on our hallowed list. It helps that he goes missing from the morgue at the end of the episode, only to return again when… oh, never? Okay.
Jesus 4: Dara Kernof et al (“All Souls”)
If anything, these girls at least get Scully going to confessional again. On top of that, they have the dubious honor of living a lifetime of suffering before getting their faces burned out by the glory of God. Perhaps one might argue that the good vs. evil battle for the four Nephilim makes them more akin to a Job than a Jesus. But at the very least, they create a hallucination for Scully that bridges us to a whole category of Jesuses…
Jesus 5: Emily (Christmas Carol) — Scully’s children 1 of 2
Both of Scully’s kids are Jesus. Let’s start with Emily.
In keeping with the X-Files theme that nothing happy or wonderful can ever befall our heroes (except for… each other *swoon*), Emily is Scully’s child for exactly two episodes before kicking the bucket. It’s kind of a crapshoot when you’re a Jesus; some get 35 years, some get 4.
Emily is an innocent who is subjected to suffering beyond her years in her short time on this planet. Lest we think, however, that Emily’s death is a sacrifice that will benefit all of mankind, her little alien-evidence body disappears before the funeral.
If there’s a lesson here, it’s “Never search for the truth because all your friends and family will be taken from you and the truth will gradually become so convoluted that you’re not sure what you’re looking for anymore.” Speaking of which…
Jesus 6: William (“Existence”) — Scully’s children 2 of 2
William Mulder wins the award for most literal Jesus. Consider his street cred:
And no less than Krycek calls him a miracle. In terms of qualifications, William should be the pinnacle entry on this list. But there’s no chance of that as long as Daddy’s around.
Jesus 7: Mulder
How could they not? From Albert Hosteen’s omen of the white buffalo, to his dueling crucifixions with daddy Cigarette Smoking Man in “The Sixth Extinction II,” Mulder’s role as the tragic hero earns him the crown of manifested Jesus analogies.
I mean — the man dies and comes back to life. Maybe Jesus Christ was not known for his battle with the alien virus, but aside from that, he and Mulder certainly have a lot in common to discuss at the Bread and Wine Happy Hour.
So Mulder it is. Because why have a messiah when you can have a messianic complex?