8×04: Roadrunners

“Him? That thing in my spine is a him?” — Dana Scully

Agent Scully has a pretty terrifying encounter with a slug that’s being worshipped as the second coming of Jesus. Yup.

Roadrunners

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: The premise of “Roadrunners” is pretty absurd on the surface, but it actually does a nice job instilling fear in the heart of viewers. It relies a bit on some familiar formulas: An isolated group in the middle of nowhere, a parasitic creature, and one of our heroes in peril, but it still manages to feel like it can stand on its own two legs.

Scully goes to investigate the murder of a hitchhiker found stoned to death, who displays signs of body decay typically affiliated with old age. She asks Doggett, back in D.C., to consult the X-Files for her and then she winds up following a bus to a gas station in the middle of the desert. She gets gas for her car, but the attendant there actually gives her diluted gas when he learns she’s a medical doctor. Scully therefore gets stranded because the group of people the attendant hangs around with wants her to help the hitchhiker we all assumed was dead. Upon further examination, Scully realizes the man is hosting a parasitic worm/slug-like creature that was put inside him. Continue reading

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8×03: Patience

“I have to admit, Agent Scully, I’m at a loss.” — John Doggett
“Well, that’s a good place to start.” — Dana Scully

Something wicked this way comes as Scully and Doggett work their first X-File together as partners.

Patience

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: The lack of a David Duchovny credit in the usual place means only one thing, we are in for the long haul for a relatively Mulder-less season. “Patience” is a landmark in two ways: it is the first MOTW without Mulder and it is Doggett’s inaugural experience with the things that go bump in the night. Chris Carter wanted to make this a throwback, back-to-basics episode whose purpose was to ease the new partnership and dynamic into place. And for those Batman: The Animated Series fans, this week’s freak is a loving homage to Man-Bat, a somewhat obscure adversary from the comics brought to prominence in several episodes of that classic television program.

When an undertaker and his wife are found dead in Idaho, victims of a vicious attack, Scully and Doggett are called in to lend their expertise into the strange circumstances surrounding the crime scene. The local detective and his officers are stumped, as the evidence points to a human or animal attack, with no clear match to either. Continue reading

8×02: Without

“We live in a darkness of our own making, blind to a habitant world all but unseen by us. A world of beings traveling through time and space imaginable to us only as flights of fancy. Who are these beings we dare to imagine but fear to accept? What dark goes on inside their impossible machines, cloaked from us by invisible forces? If they know our secrets, why can’t we know theirs?” — Dana Scully

The search for Mulder continues as an alien bounty hunter causes trouble, only for Doggett and Scully to end up becoming partners on the X-Files.

Without

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: And so continues the story of Scully’s search for Mulder in part two of a very sad, angry and paranoid set of episodes. This is the episode where Scully, Skinner and the audience need to accept that things really have changed in X-Files land and that things might not be terribly great for some time. And it’s something I still watch with a twinge of sadness, even though I lived through this trauma more than a decade ago.

Where we last left off, it looked like Doggett had cornered Mulder — but in this episode, we learn that it’s not actually Mulder, just an Alien Bounty Hunter trying to track down wunderkind Gibson Praise, who has been hiding out at a school for the deaf. The Bounty Hunter eventually takes on the guise of Scully as well, causing some real havoc when he attacks another FBI agent. Continue reading

8×01: Within

“Look… I saw what I saw. I have to make a statement in there. I’m not going to tell them it didn’t happen.” — Walter Skinner
“Well, you heard Kersh. They don’t want the truth. You give them the truth, and they’ll hang you with it.” — Dana Scully
“They can hang me with a lie, too.” — Walter Skinner

The hunt for Mulder is on, but Scully has to contend with Special Agent John Doggett, the man heading up a task force to locate her partner…

Within

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: And here we are. Did you our faithful readers survive the jump? You did? Splendid. Welcome to our coverage of season eight of the television program that brought us all together. I joked around with Radhika that the next two months or so of coverage will be my thesis on why this season is underrated and deserves to be talked about in the company of the Vancouver heyday. It does gladden my heart that as the years have gone by, this season has undergone a bit of a critical reevaluation amongst fellow Philes, so this will be more of a celebration rather than an evangelizing mission.

We pick up nearly right where we left off last season, now with the understanding that Scully is dealing with the massive fallout from both her partner’s abduction as well as the shocking news of her pregnancy. Continue reading

Shippers vs. Noromos: Mulder, Scully, X-Philes and Love

Arcadia

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Aliens, creatures that go bump in the night, and government conspiracies: That’s what The X-Files was generally about. But legions of fans cared about something else even more than the show’s paranormal themes: The relationship between Mulder and Scully.

We’ve long talked about how Mulder and Scully’s bond is one of the most charming aspects of The X-Files — even some of the show’s most lackluster episodes during the first seven seasons have some redeeming moments, thanks to the characters’ interactions. Mulder and Scully’s banter was noticeable from the first episode itself — partly witty and sarcastic, while at other times genuine and emotional. And as the two characters took a journey together over the years, their actions and dialogue evolved, adding quite a bit of depth to a show that was just supposed to be about aliens and monsters.

Not surprisingly, fans grew attached to Mulder and Scully, and it wasn’t long before many become emotionally invested in the characters’ lives. There was something highly relatable and lovable about the duo — the truth-seeking, rash and sometimes gullible Fox Mulder and his partner, the cool, scientific and rational Dana Scully. It was also highly obvious that the two characters were pretty attractive, even under the dowdy business suits, gigantic reading glasses and early nineties hairstyles of the first couple of seasons. And thus, as time went on, fans grew deeply obsessed with the love lives of Mulder and Scully, with many fans rooting for the two characters to fall in love. Continue reading

The Best and Worst of Season 7

Best & Worst of Season 7

Screencaps: 20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

As we suspected, season seven was a tough one for us to revisit. While some episodes contained promising elements and still dared to continue the experimentation of season six, something about The X-Files still feels off in its seventh year. The actors seemed a bit tired, the plots seemed poorly fleshed out and it seemed like the show ought to have wrapped up instead of continuing for two more years.

That said, we still had a few episodes we really enjoyed, along with those episodes we disliked. So in true Apt. 42 Revisited fashion, we’re looking back at our favorite and least favorite episodes of season seven before we plow ahead with looking back at season eight. As usual, two-part mythology episodes count as one for these purposes. Read on and let us know what you think. Continue reading

7×22: Requiem

“There’s so much more you need to do with your life. There’s so much more than this. There has to be an end, Scully.” — Fox Mulder

The end is the beginning is the end as Mulder and Scully revisit the place where they encountered their first case as partners.

Requiem

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: “Requiem” is a standout mythology episode in an otherwise lackluster season — it is the season finale that can and should have probably been a series finale, and it is frankly one of the best season finales the show has produced. After much of the mythology’s original threads were wrapped up in previous episodes, this episode manages to revisit and revitalize that aspect of the show, providing us with both an end of an era and the start of something new.

After receiving a call from Billy Miles, an abductee our heroes encountered in the Pilot, Mulder and Scully head to Oregon to investigate the possibility that alien abductions have started up again. Seven years after their first case, Billy Miles is now a police officer and another abductee, Theresa Nemman is now a new mother married to Billy’s deputy sheriff, Ray Hoese, who has disappeared. Both Billy and Theresa end up disappearing again, thanks to some havoc wreaked by none other than the Alien Bounty Hunter, taking on the guise of loved ones. Continue reading