It’s no secret that season nine is our least favorite season (and the least favorite of most X-Files fans). It wasn’t just because Mulder was gone or Scully was sidelined — the stories genuinely felt tired after a somewhat creatively boosted season eight. Our snark and boredom were pretty obvious in most of our rewatch posts for this season. But there were at least a few episodes we enjoyed, even if they wouldn’t make any “classic of all time” lists. And there were naturally episodes we disliked even more than others.
So here we go, time for our last look at the best and worst episodes of The X-Files’ original run. As always multi-part mythology episodes count as one installment for our purposes:
TOP 5 EPISODES OF SEASON 9
John Doe – This Doggett-centric amnesia-filled episode is the first one where we really enjoyed watching the show again during season nine. Some solid directing and acting choices remind the viewers why they care about the show, something that rarely happens during this season.
Audrey Pauley – It’s not perfect, but this episode where Reyes ends up hanging somewhere between life and death at least offers us some spookiness and attempts to poke around an interesting concept. Despite a few plot holes here and there, the episode held our attention.
Improbable – Not a lot happens in one of the rare comedic outings of the show’s later seasons. But the episode, starring Burt Reynolds as God (?), is at least a fun one with some enjoyable moments that don’t include Scully howling about her child. We’ll take it.
Release – Though at least one of us forgot about this episode and got annoyed by a guest star’s “acting,” we mostly enjoyed this episode thanks to Robert Patrick’s acting, a pretty decent score and a chance to watch Doggett get some closure. It’s another imperfect one, but it stood out to us during our rewatch and that counts for something.
Sunshine Days – Perhaps this shouldn’t have been the last Monster of the Week episode of the show. Perhaps it’s not quite as funny as some of the lighter episodes. But something about it suits the series’ end and we’ll take an opportunity to watch both Scully and Skinner laugh. There’s something sweet about the so-called “Brady Bunch” episode and we’re ok with admitting that.
WORST 5 EPISODES OF SEASON 9
Nothing Important Happened Today / Nothing Important Happened Today II – Nothing has described an episode as well as the title of this ultimately lackluster two-part season premiere. There were a few bright spots, such as guest star Lucy Lawless. While the first part held our attention somewhat, the second part fizzled out completely even with the presence of conspiracies and explosions, leaving us unimpressed.
Daemonicus – The first Monster of the Week of the season ended up being somewhat dark, with some interesting imagery. But beyond that, it was something of a mess as well. Frankly, The X-Files has done many of the themes presented in this episode in a better way before. So aside from the scene with never-ending vomiting, there isn’t much to see here.
Jump the Shark – Beloved trio of misfits The Lone Gunmen were seemingly killed off in a move that drew the ire of fans. The episode isn’t entirely bad, but this attempt to wrap up the trio’s story (and a canceled spinoff) doesn’t sit well with us to this day.
William – This is the episode that made us wonder why Scully can’t ever catch a break. Watching her give up her child (even if no one really wanted a baby on The X-Files) is a rough one for us and possibly the most depressing part of season nine.