Why Are New X-Files Episodes Airing Out of Order?

Something strange happened on the way to Fox broadcasting all-new episodes of The X-Files, which kicked off this past Sunday with the first new episode in four years. While the first episode aired as intended, subsequent episodes are airing out of the order they were originally intended. But show creator, producer and writer Chris Carter has a perfectly good explanation as to why this had to happen. Trust us, there is no conspiracy.

As The X-Files six episode event series continues, viewers will see most of the episodes airing out of order. Episode 2 has now become Episode 4. Episode 4 will air as Episode 5, and Episode 5 is now Episode 2. Episode 3 will air in its original slot. Episodes 1 and 6 will be what they were always intended to be, mythology builders.

What happened behind the scenes that caused this episode shuffle? Chris Carter claims it was all about the flow of one episode into the next, and that it’s better for the overall storyline. Here’s what the creator had to say to TVLine.

“Because we have a story arc that runs through the middle of the series…we were concerned that, coming right off a mythology episode [and] going right into a standalone episode, people would say, “What’s happened?” So, it actually worked out. It served Episode 2 better to replace it with 5. It created a better continuity…We’ve come and done what we’ve always done: we give you an amazing mix of episodes-we’ve given you thriller episodes, we’ve given you scary episodes, emotional episodes, comedy episodes.”

While Chris Carter claims this was better for the series, it still caused some continuity issues. They were, however, very minor. To help better smooth things out, Episode 4, which is titled Home Again, did get trimmed. But it didn’t result in a deleted scene, instead just deleted dialogue. Most viewers won’t notice the slight episode shake-up.

This Monday brings the third episode Mulder & Scully meet the Were-Man. When a dead body is found in the woods, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate whether it was an animal attack, a serial killer or just maybe a strange creature as described by eyewitnesses. Meanwhile, Mulder is able to confront some of his own demons about feeling disillusioned with his life’s work. The X-Files airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

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