During the season 10 episode X-Files “Home Again”, we finally heard the voice of the long-lost Charles/Charlie Scully. We also learned that he has become estranged from his mother, and the family at large. Today we’re rounding up all we know about this elusive Scully family member in hopes of pinning down some more information about this development. Read on for everything we know so far about Charlie!
Charles is the youngest of the four Scully siblings (confirmed in “Roland” and “Home Again”). The only visual appearance he has made on the show so far is in a flashback during “One Breath”. In this flashback he appears he appears to be around the same age as Dana, placing his birth year anywhere from 1964 to around 1967.
According to the original script for “Beyond the Sea”, Charles is one of the people present at Captain William Scully Sr.’s funeral. The script also claims that Charles is 23 at this point and Bill 32. Based on the dates, Dana would be 29 and about to have her 30th birthday. A seven year age gap between Dana and Charles seems very unlikely given the flashback footage in “One Breath” and so the canon-status of this information is somewhat doubtful.
In the episode “Home”, Scully tells Mulder that, she “babysat [her] nephew this weekend”. This nephew has to be Charles’ son because we know that Melissa died childless (at least as far as the family is aware) and that Bill Jr. has his first child in 1997 during “Emily”. “Home” is set in 1996, making our estimated age for Charles around 30 at this point. If we work on the assumption that children who enjoy watching Babe “fifteen times a day” will likely be aged from 2 - 6, we can guess that Charles had this child in his mid-twenties. No indication is given as to whether this is his only child, or what his relationship status with the child’s mother might be. From this episode, we can also assume two things:
1. Scully still has a good relationship with Charles and/or his son’s mother, and
2. Her nephew likely lives close by, presumably with one or both parents.
Charles was originally mentioned in “Memento Mori”, however, the scene was cut from the final episode. In the deleted clip, Bill - making his first appearance - informs Dana that “Charles is sorry he couldn’t make it" and that "he will call [her] tonight”. From this, we can infer that at this point, Charles is on reasonably good terms with Dana, and in contact with Bill. However, two things make this scene’s canon status doubtful. Firstly, the mere fact of it being cut from the final episode, and secondly, another remark from Bill. He awkwardly jokes that “mom’s getting worried that there’s gonna be no one to carry on the Scully name, guess the pressure’s on huh?” This is odd given that it has already been established earlier in the season that Scully has a nephew. If we are to accept this scene as canon, it raises a question about this nephew: could he be Charles’ stepson? It is of course also possible that the child simply took his mother’s surname, just as William would later on.
In the episode “Christmas Carol”, Charles gets another mention. He sends Dana a gift, the contents of which we never get to see. Once again, this suggests that he is on good terms with his sister, at least at this point.
It’s also interesting to note that Charles was the central protagonist for an X-Files spec script penned by screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick. The script, titled Flight 180, evolved to become the first Final Destination movie, which took on The X-Files’ Morgan and Wong as co-writers/directors and featured Charles as the character who receives a premonition of his flight crashing.
From all this, we can build up a timeline of Charle’s life, which shows him involved, seemingly closely, with his family until at least 1997. What then, caused the “estrangement” Scully refers to in ”Home Again”? At this point, we simply have no clue.
So what we do when we have no clue about something that happened on the show? We turn to our imaginations! From the tragic to the hilarious, here are some of the best explanations we have been sent about why Charlie is estranged, as suggested by Philes and the XFN team:
"He felt discriminated that all his male family members are named William and decided to leave them behind."
"Charlie ran off with Bill's ex."
"He became a male prostitute in Amsterdam."
"My personal headcanon was that he realized he's gay and left his wife and kid. When he came out, Bill had a go at him for "abandoning his family" & stuff. Maggie refused to get involved because she loved them both, but Charlie got it in his head that because she wouldn't explicitly call Bill out on his BS that she actually agreed with him, and the rift just grew and grew."
"After Mulder and Scully went on the run Jeffrey Spender went and found baby William and took him to his uncle Charlie and has been raising him as one of his own. Ma Scully found out and has been annoyed as he refused to give their location so as he could protect them."
"He saw some guy called David Duchovny in Twin Peaks and it made him decide he liked cross-dressing."
"His family nickname was Moby Dick. He didn't much care for it...."
"After Scully was returned in "One Breath", Charlie was the only Scully that noticed that something was amiss. While Mulder and the rest of the family embraced her return, Charlie knew the truth. The woman in the hospital bed wasn't his sister, and his stubbornness cost him his family."
"He was caught getting moist in the anteroom."
"He's a dragon trainer with Charlie Weasley. You don't meet Charlie [in the Harry Potter movies] either."
"He went to Candy Mountain...even after he was warned not to go!"
"He finally punched Bill in the nose for being a brat."
"He decided to rebel against his conservative family. He is a hippie living in a commune on the west coast."
"He finally punched Bill Jr. in the face for being a douchebag, causing Bill Jr. to go crying to Mama. When Charlie realized he couldn't man up, he wanted his Mom and sister to choose. Being loyal to both men they couldn't so Charlie got fed up and left without ever thanking Scully for suffering through Babe 15 times a day all those years ago while watching his son."
"He made the decision of leaving the whole Scully family because the dear old brother Billy was way too much a pain in the ass! I think that's a reasonable reason!"
"Charlie is part of the conspiracy!"
"Charlie is actually Morris Fletcher."
"He refused to be in the Navy like his father and older brother. Actually, he decided to follow the path of non-violence, lived for a long time in an Ashram, somewhere in Northern India, maybe Rishikesh, learned different style of yogas and became a meditation pro... Now, he probably lives in a tiny community somewhere in Oregon (not far away from Bellefleur?) where he teaches enlightenment and peace. The Scullys' way of life was no good for him, hence his desire to be as far away as possible from this... Does he know about William? Hell no! But wait for season 11, and you'll find out!"
"One word: Scientology."
"He fell in love with the Alien Bounty Hunter and they ran away together."
"A Monopoly game gone horribly wrong."
"Charlie is the quiet one... Charlie stays in the background, watching, and waiting, biding their time, Charlie knows what really happened when Scully disappeared, Who, and why... Charlie waits to set wheels in motion to rectify things..."
"Most likely due to the high standards of Ahab and Bill Jr. helped distant the youngest Scully sibling from the family."
"Charlie used all the hot water and Dana forced the family to cut him off."
"Charlie became estranged because he couldn't handle the pressure of not being able to attain the level of success that his siblings did. After being rejected by his father because he got into drugs and was arrested for petty crimes he just walked away from the family."
"He wasn't sure he existed until his mother was dying."
"He refused to take the Xmas tree down the day after Xmas, insisted life be all Xmas, all the time. Lives at the North Pole."
"Since Charlie is a ginger (and without a soul) he tried to eat his brother Bill as a child. They had to put him in the basement and fed him fish heads from a bucket. Later, they had him institutionalized (for being a ginger). Only later did Maggie realize, all her children were gingers... but was too late to put them all away. Amen."
"He was abducted by aliens but Scully wouldn't believe him."
"Charlie is also a dark wizard, but he denies his muggle heritage. He teaches potions at Hogwarts."
"He [and his family (the nephew who watched Babe five times as day)] are part of witness protection program because he got access to a super secret government/military project concerning some kind of Stargate device that allows travelling to other galaxies, which his father was secretly a part of (which none of the other Scully families knew)."
"He wasn´t happy with his name since he wanted to be named William."
"He saw that the life of a Scully was even more fleeting ever since his sister Dana joined the FBI."
"He called the Moby Dick novel a cheap novelette."
"Charlie Scully is actually the Smoking Man. It's been him manipulating the events of both the original X-Files and the Revival all along. He is the mastermind. He has always been the mastermind. The age difference, you ask? Remember, smoking really ages your skin. Like, an incredible amount."
"He quit the Scully family and became a spokesperson for the Ab-Roller."
"He pissed on the Dude's rug."
"Because he bit his brother's finger."