The buzz is out there over the six-episode return of the hit TV series The X-Files. In honor of the forthcoming tenth season of the show, it’s time for me to revisit my favorite five episodes of the series. The reboot will be captained by series creator Chris Carter so any worries the show might get hijacked by a disloyal opportunist should be assuaged. (ProTip: Chris Carter also created Millennium, staring Lance Henricksen. Go watch that.)
I have limited these episodes to the “freak of the week” episodes– those episodes that aren’t part of the grand arc of the show. They are stand alone episodes for the most part and are easy to watch if you want to get into the series.
Here they are in nor particular order:
1. “Soft Light” episode twenty-three, season two
Most notable: Tony Shalhoub is the star of this episode and what’s better than Monk in an episode of The X-Files? Almost nothing.
The plot is great, Shalhoub plays physicist Chester Ray Banton. Due to an unfortunate accident his lab, Banton’s shadow acts as a black hole and vaporizes any one who it touches. The episode ends with Banton locked up in a government facility where scientists are running tests on him.
2. “Home” episode two, season five
Most notable: The creepiest, most disturbing X-Files episode ever. Possibly the most disturbing thing that has ever been on TV.
We follow Mulder and Scully to Home, Pennsylvania where they are investigating the corpse of deformed baby found in a sandlot. We meet the three Peacock brothers (irony!) who are deformed siblings that never leave their house and breed with their quadruple amputee mother who lives under the bed. Seriously.
3. “Duane Barry” episode five, season two
Most notable: The discovery of microscopic implants with bar codes in Duane Barry’s body. Gillian Anderson’s pregnancy forced a two-part episode where Scully is abducted by aliens or not if you don’t believe.
Escaped mental patient and alien abductee Duane Barry takes hostages, his psychiatrist among them, and Mulder is brought in as a hostage negotiator. Barry is tricked into being shot and Mulder finds that Barry was telling the truth about his alien implants. The actor who plays Duane Barry, Steve Railsback, is terrific. Duane Barry talks about himself in the third person.
4. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” episode four, season three
Most notable: Clyde Bruckman tells Scully how she is going to die. This episode won several Emmy Awards.
Clyde Bruckman is a psychic that can see the details surrounding the deaths of people and because of his talent, he becomes a suspect in a murder as he knows information surrounding the murder only the killer would know. Although Scully is skeptical of his psychic abilities, the two become close and he tells Scully how she will die. I won’t spoil the ending, but I teared up.
5. “Millennium” fourth episode, seventh season
Most notable: Crossover with Millennium series, a sort of closure to the show since Millennium was cancelled. (Really, go watch Millennium)
Mulder and Scully are called into examine one of four FBI agent’s graves that have been exhumed. All four FBI agents had committed suicide and their graves were surrounded by goat’s blood after exhumation. If there’s weird occultism mixed with biblical prophecy, it obviously involves the FBI spin-off Millennium Group. Assistant Director suggests Mulder and Scully talk to Frank Black (Henriksen) who was part of the now-defunct Millennium Group. Black is, where else, but in a mental hospital.
Those are five of my favorite The X-Files episodes, tell me what episodes are your favorites or why you disagree with me in the comments below.