1×13: Beyond the Sea

“Dana. After all you’ve seen, after all the evidence, why can’t you believe?” – Fox Mulder
“I’m afraid. I’m afraid to believe.” – Dana Scully

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

As Scully grapples with the death of her father, her skepticism begins to crumble when she and Mulder are called in to deal with death row inmate Luther Lee Boggs, who claims to have a psychic connection to an abduction case.

Radhika: Like many X-Files episodes, “Beyond the Sea” is creepy, combining the supernatural with a more grounded mystery — the abduction of a young couple that needs to be saved from being murdered within days. But it’s also a beautiful episode, one that deals with loss, and also allows the viewer further into Scully’s psyche, turning her into a character that is far more layered than the skeptical foil she’s played so far. Continue reading

1×12: Fire

“Sooner or later, a man’s got to face his demons.” – Fox Mulder

Our heroes, roped in by an old flame of Mulder’s, are set on the path of a man who has it in for the British upper crust. Little do they know that his obsession isn’t the only thing that’s burning….

Fire

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: An episode that competently acquits itself on all fronts, “Fire” is a transitional episode that helps to close out the initial batch of episodes, and the last to air in 1993 before the winter break. The story of a man with a vendetta against British aristocrats, he uses his powers of pyrokinesis to kill his victims and extract immense pleasure from the deed.

Introducing the character of Inspector Phoebe Green (played by Max Headroom‘s Amanda Pays), Mulder’s former classmate and lover from Oxford who now works for Scotland Yard, she travels to a certain Washington DC basement to bring him onto the case, and also to screw with his head. Continue reading

1×11: Eve

“How did you know I’d come for you?” – Eve 8
“We just knew.” – Eve 9
“We just knew.” – Eve 10

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Mulder and Scully find themselves investigating two extremely similar cases of murder in different parts of the country. Upon discovering that the victims’ daughters are identical, our heroes begin to uncover the truth behind a human cloning project.

Radhika: “Eve” is a return to the solid standalone, seen earlier in the season in episodes like “Squeeze” and “Ice.” But this time, the story has a bit of a Bad Seed-esque twist, thanks to some creepy twins.

The episode begins as many often do, with Mulder thinking that the exsanguination of a Connecticut man must be alien related, since the death seems to match the type affiliated with extraterrestrial cattle mutilations. It’s the sort of logical conclusion any of us would jump to. Continue reading

1×10: Fallen Angel

“I didn’t think anyone was really paying attention.” – Fox Mulder
“Somebody’s always paying attention Mr. Mulder.” – Max Fenig

Going rogue on reports of something extraordinary happening in the woods of Wisconsin, Mulder gets in way over his head and in very hot water. Scully must help to salvage his career while a reclamation of a different type is underway…

Fallen Angel

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: Another disparate piece of the mythology puzzle is dropped onto the playing field in an incredibly thrilling episode. Much like “Shadows” did, “Fallen Angel” uses the story of one character, Max Fenig (wonderful name by the way) as the core of an episode filled to the brim with governmental and military intrigue surrounding the downing of a UFO and the attempt to capture its occupant. Continue reading

1×09: Space

“You never wanted to be an astronaut when you were a kid, Scully?” – Fox Mulder
“Guess I missed that phase.” – Dana Scully

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu


The agents are contacted regarding a case of possible space shuttle sabotage. There’s a bit of a paranormal twist when it seems that a legendary astronaut could be possessed by something he encountered… where else? In space.

Radhika: Watching this episode again reminded me why I’ve refused to rewatch it before. Because the best word to describe it is an unfortunate one: Boring.

Here, we’re presented the story of Lieutenant Colonel Belt, a supervisor of the NASA space shuttle program, who keeps having flashbacks of an event that took place during one of his space missions. The nightmares involve a face seen in a land formation on Mars. It turns out that Belt, apparently possessed by some type of entity from space, is sabotaging the mission. Once the crisis is averted and Belt dies, Mulder theorizes that Belt was battling the entity within him, and was also responsible for bringing attention to the sabotage, making him a hero in the end.

Yawn. It’s not the most thrilling plot, and the terrible special effects used to depict the nightmare face from space don’t do a whole lot to help either. Continue reading

1×08: Ice

“Scully! For God sakes, it’s me!” – Fox Mulder
“Mulder… you may not be who you are.” – Dana Scully

In this episode, our heroes are stranded on a remote arctic scientific post and come face to face with sinister parasites, and each other.

Ice

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: It was a real pleasure getting a chance to rewatch this episode, which is one of the strongest entries of the entire series. Effectively a riff of The Thing, “Ice” sends Mulder and Scully into the wilds of Alaska to investigate what happened to a science team researching ice cores millions of years old. What they uncover is a parasitic worm (of possible extraterrestrial origin) that feeds off of violence in the host. Given that this a program whose thematic underpinnings include conspiracy and paranoia, the conceit of this episode is a perfect fit for the series, and all hands involved are on their A-game.

Essentially a bottle episode, “Ice” seals off its small cast of characters in a venue of no escape. Continue reading

1×07: Ghost in the Machine

“He loved the work Mr. Mulder. His mistake was in sharing it with an immoral government. I won’t make the same mistake.” – Brad Wilczek

The agents are summoned to help Mulder’s former partner look into a murder at a software company, and soon realize they have a case of killer artificial intelligence on their hands.

20th Century Fox via

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: This episode is a bit of a ho-hum, dull early episode for me. It’s not quite “The Jersey Devil” bad, but it’s just not particularly compellingly done. Here, we have a case of artificial intelligence — the central operating system for a software company — gone horribly wrong, killing to protect itself. The company’s founder, Brad Wilczek, is like a sloppy Steve Jobs character — a little scruffy, a fan of eastern philosophies, a guy who founded his company in his parents’ garage and once spent a year following The Grateful Dead. Continue reading