Unraveling The Conspiracy: Everything You Need To Know To Understand The New ‘X-Files’ Series

Contributing Writer

(Spoilers for the original X-Files series, which ended in 2002.)

The X-Files is back on January 24. That’s nearly 14 years since its last episode aired on Fox, so, 2008’s I Want To Believe aside, it has been awhile since we’ve been sucked into Mulder and Scully’s endless search for what’s out there. In case you need a refresher and don’t want to re-watch the previous 202 episodes, here’s what you need to know about the conspiracy that our favorite FBI agents pieced together in nine seasons and two movies.

Fox Mulder started his quest for answers because he believed his sister was abducted by aliens when he was little. This led him and Scully to discovering the Syndicate, a breakaway faction from the U.S. government that had been operating since the ’50s. The Syndicate had been covering up and working with aliens for some time, and they served as the main obstacles for Scully and Mulder throughout the series’ run. They actually brought Scully and Mulder together in an attempt to discredit Mulder’s pursuits.

The shadowy group and their alien buddies, known as the Greys, were developing alien/human hybrids since the ’70s. The Cigarette Smoking Man, a constant figure of mystery and yummy yummy cancer, personally made contact with the Greys before their work commenced. These hybrids were meant to serve as slaves after the aliens colonized Earth and wiped out all of mankind. In exchange for the alien DNA, the Greys asked Syndicate members for a loved one to experiment on. That’s where Mulder’s sister comes in — their father was one of the group’s members and turned over his daughter to the aliens. Mulder learned that his sister died after her abduction due to the DNA research.

When the Syndicate finally had the first alien/human hybrid and were ready to present their specimen to the Greys, a rebel alien group called the Faceless that opposed Earth’s takeover, intervened and incinerated the high-ranking Syndicate members. This effectively destroyed the Syndicate and ceased colonization, but the conspiracy didn’t end there. Plans for mass destruction via aliens continued forward, leading toward the final episode of the show wherein they find out that the colonization is set to commence on December 22, 2012.

With the return of the series, we will undoubtedly dive into more of the mythology and conspiracy that has made the show loved for so long. We’ve got a lot of questions already, so we’re prepared for more alien-filled headaches.

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