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.
TOP 5 EPISODES OF SEASON 7
The Goldberg Variation – Quirky, funny and filled with heart, even though The Goldberg Variation doesn’t fit into the usual realm of “classic” X-Files episodes, it’s still pretty delightful to watch the case of the luckiest man in the world, which ends up being one of the more interesting stories this season.
En Ami – The Cigarette Smoking Man himself, Mr. William B. Davis, decided to write an episode and it turned out fairly decent, some weird sexual politics aside. With an old foe back in the spotlight in this episode, which features a paranoid tone throughout, it feels like a slightly fresh spin on the old days of The X-Files.
Hollywood A.D. – Even though this is far more self-indulgent and frankly, a bit sloppy in comparison to David Duchovny’s last writing/directing venture on the show, this episode is just a whole lot of fun. There are plenty of inside jokes for longtime viewers and Mulder plays something of the straight man in this wacky caper where everyone — even Skinner — seems willing to let their hair down and have some fun.
Je Souhaite – It’s another “fun” Monster of the Week on our best-of list and there’s something terribly irresistible about it. Mulder and Scully seem to be having a blast, there’s some dark humor blended in with straight-up humor and it focuses on a genie. What’s not to love? There’s a touch of poignancy too, because it’s pretty much the last time we’ll see Mulder and Scully enjoying their time together so much.
Requiem – This was the episode that could have worked beautifully as a finale for the show, with plenty of callbacks to the Pilot episode and earlier mythology. But there’s also enough to relaunch the mythology a bit, just as fans of the show bid Mulder adieu as a regular character in the series. It’s an emotional, beautiful episode — possibly one of the best of the series overall, a bright spot in a season that felt tired to many.
WORST 5 EPISODES OF SEASON 7
The Sixth Extinction / The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati – Some interesting ideas from the season six finale really go to hell in these episodes, where random plotlines seem to go nowhere while Mulder struggles against some bizarre brain activity. While part two is somewhat better than the first part, we think these episodes could have been way better.
Millennium – This isn’t an awful episode per se, but it’s a pretty lame crossover event with the show Millennium. Yeah, Mulder and Scully kiss, but couldn’t an episode with zombies and the end of the world been a little better than this?
First Person Shooter – Where to begin with this disappointing outing from William Gibson, who wrote an episode we much preferred in season five? There should be a point about sexual discrimination in here, except it just ends up being sexist and everyone involved — men and women alike — ends up looking like idiots. Hot mess, all around.
all things – We wanted to like this episode written and directed by Gillian Anderson, but it’s really hard: Some interesting ideas pop up, but the writing, as well as parts of the directing, don’t really fit the show very well at all. It’s self indulgent, but also completely lacking humor, which makes it hard to enjoy. But hey — at least Mulder and Scully probably “did it” in this episode?
Fight Club – Ugh. This episode is the epitome of the worst. And now that we’ve both rewatched this for the purposes of this blog, we will never watch it again.