1×05: The Jersey Devil

“Mulder, we’ve put men into space, we’ve built computers that work faster than the human mind.” – Dana Scully
“While we overpopulate the world and create new technologies to kill each other with. Maybe we’re just beasts with big brains.” – Fox Mulder

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Our plucky agents go to New Jersey, after a body is found with appendages missing. Somewhere along the line, it’s determined that our monster is some type of feral human, and a few weak connections to the Jersey Devil are made. And Scully goes on one of the only dates we’ll see in nine seasons and two movies, before deciding that her alien-chasing workaholic partner is more fun to hang around. Poor Scully.

Radhika: After four fairly solid episodes to kick off the series, we finally hit a clunker with “The Jersey Devil.” This episode is not only bad, it’s genuinely bland, which makes it even worse than some of the truly awful episodes that pop up here and there in the series. So we’ve got a monster, and it’s a feral human, and then maybe it’s got a family, and there’s a pretty female feral human, and Mulder’s super sad when she gets killed. There’s just about zero suspense while hunting down the monster(s), and as a viewer, you just wind up spending half your time wondering why Mulder and Scully (mostly Scully) are wearing the outfits they’re wearing.

The only mild saving grace of this episode is our chance to see Scully outside the Bureau, being a normal young woman. There she is at her godson’s birthday party. There she is on a date (with this guy), wearing a lacey white nineties top that is so not Scully. There she is having the eternal, “BUT CAN WOMEN HAVE IT ALL?” argument that we’re clearly not done having well into the 2000s. There’s a few remarks concerning whether she can bother with kids or if she’ll even find a man (“What about that guy you work with?” one of the only friends we’ll ever see her with suggests. “I thought you said he was cute.” Oh, unexpected anvils!) But while I can appreciate the desire to build the character more, it’s all a tad cliche. And of course, Scully chooses to accompany Mulder on his wild investigations over going on a second date.

Max and I were all set, IMing back and forth while watching the episode at the same time, thinking we could add some sort of sage Jerseyan point of view on this “very Jersey episode” filmed in what is obviously not New Jersey, and we just kind of fizzled out halfway through:

    Max: These are the worst outskirts of Atlantic City ever.

    Max: That’s the worst composite sketch ever.

    Radhika: I think this is the first clunker of the series, and it’s not the worst clunker, but a clunker it is.
    Max: Sorry, Jersey. You deserved better than this.

    Radhika: Scully’s blazers just got worse.

So that’s it. In lieu of our lack of insight, we leave you with Scully’s date outfit:

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

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3 thoughts on “1×05: The Jersey Devil

  1. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Season 1 | Apt. 42 Revisited

  2. Aw, well… you were harsher with this episode than I would have been. Sure, the savage people were kind of ridiculous, but I enjoyed the atmosphere in this one (that’s something that this series does so well), and it was a nice change of pace after some more intense and unsolvable cases. The glimpse into Scully’s personal life was interesting too. I get the feeling we won’t see much of that.

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