11×04: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

“Looks like my ride is here…” — Reggie

Mulder and Scully get roped into the very real delusions of a former civil servant who believes They is out there — with the truth.

The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

20th Century Fox

Max: Right off the bat let me say this, “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” is not the best episode that Darin Morgan has penned for The X-Files. Understandably, there is a great deal of hype and expectation that gets stirred up when we are talking about Mr. Morgan, since his mind is responsible for some of the most indelible images, lines, and laughs that keeps X-Philes coming back for more, including what is considered now perhaps the sole saving grace of last season. It is with this in mind that I come away from this episode bit underwhelmed. Was I expecting the next “Clyde Bruckman” or “Jose Chung”? Perhaps, but at the very least a good Darin Morgan episode is much better than a lot of what television has to offer, and there were a good number of laughs and witty moments to make this one worth anyone’s while. [Editor’s note: Screw it, I loved it. This is some delightful, brilliant stuff.]

Do you remember Nelson Mandela died in the 1980s? Or a how a certain children’s book series about a family of bears spelled the titular family’s name? I do — I think — I mean I can clearly recall seeing Luke Skywalker hang around with his pals at Tosche Station in the original Star Wars film. Memory is a tricky thing, and when you involve a number of people, you get something like the Mandela Effect. Look it up sometime. Continue reading


10×03: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

“I haven’t done the blood analysis yet, but it’s probably residue from the prior attack on this victim. And animals don’t shoot blood out of their eyeballs.” — Dana Scully
“Oh no? Well, tell that to the horned lizard, which shoots blood out its eyeballs, Scully. Yes, it’s a defense mechanism. Scientific fact.” — Fox Mulder
“Mulder, the Internet is not good for you.” — Dana Scully

In which our heroes investigate a monster, have deep thoughts about the human condition and most importantly, have fun.

Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

20th Century Fox

Radhika: And so far, the revival keeps getting better. This was the much-anticipated Darin Morgan episode, the episode that even the less-than-pleased critics have loved after previewing the first half of this six-episode event. And I loved it too, even if I’m not quite sure it lives up to the ones Morgan wrote during his original run on the series. But this episode definitely had all the zany qualities his installments are known for, comedic elements galore, along with some genuinely insightful, poignant moments that don’t drag you away from the silliness for too long. This is also the episode that feels the most like a love letter to the fans and The X-Files crew, and as a longtime X-Phile, I can really appreciate that (though I imagine some newer viewers must be wondering what the hell they just watched). Continue reading

My First Time: When Cartoons and Creeps Collide

Welcome to “My First Time,” a recurring section on the blog where we query fellow X-Philes about how they came to the show, and then later on how their fandom developed and evolved over the years.

Case File: SG010515
Subject: Shaenon K. Garrity

For our last edition of this feature, I reached out to someone who I have had no prior interactions with. Wonderfully, she accepted my invitation to be “interrogated” about her Philedom. Tonight’s interview is with award winning cartoonist and writer Shaenon Garrity, creator of the comics Narbonic and co-creator of Smithson. Her skills with pen and paper led her to make Monster of the Week, an online strip devoted to playfully ribbing our beloved show.

Monster of the Week

comic written and drawn by Shaenon K. Garrity.

Max: We here at Apt. 42 Revisited usually have basic interview questions, things we would like to know. Naturally if there is something you want to elaborate on feel free.

Shaenon: All right!  Let me give it a go…

Max: What was your first X-Files episode?

Shaenon: I can’t remember, but back in the ’90s I started watching around the second season.  “Blood” is an early episode I remember making a big impression on me.

Max: Tell me more about your early experiences with The X-Files.

Shaenon: To be honest, I was only mildly into the show the first time around.  I liked the weird, paranoid episodes like “Blood” and “Jose Chung” (and really anything scripted by Darin Morgan), but the more typical episodes didn’t grab me.  I was more of a Babylon 5 fan at the time.  As ridiculous as it sounds, The X-Files wasn’t quite nerdy enough for my college self. Continue reading

4×20: Small Potatoes

“I don’t imagine you need to be told this, Mulder, but you’re not a loser.” — Dana Scully
“Yeah, but I’m no Eddie Van Blundht either, am I?” — Fox Mulder

When our agents investigate the case of multiple babies born with tails, they find themselves encountering a slightly hard-to-pin-down baby daddy.

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: In a season chockfull of inbreeding families, Scully’s cancer and slightly awful one-off episodes, “Small Potatoes” is one of the most delightful, welcome episodes of The X-Files ever. It’s not the deepest Monster of the Week episode, and it’s not the most surreal of the series’ comedy episodes, but it remains a pleasure to watch to this day, maintaining its reputation as a fan favorite. Written by Vince Gilligan, while starring Darin Morgan, who himself wrote some of The X-Files’ best comedic episodes, and also featuring some fantastic performances from both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, you simply can’t go wrong watching this one.

Mulder and Scully go to a West Virginia town to investigate why five babies there were born with tails. The most recent new mother, Amanda Nelligan, claims Luke Skywalker fathered her child. A little further research indicates that all five babies had the same father and the parents blame the local fertility doctor, since he used insemination to impregnate all the mothers, but Amanda. Mulder spots a janitor nearby who displays signs that he used to have a tail. It turns out that the janitor, a certain Eddie Van Blundht, really is the father of all those babies, but the question is… how? Continue reading

3×20: Jose Chung’s From Outer Space

“That was Detective Manners. He said they just found your bleeping UFO.” — Dana Scully

Novelist Jose Chung talks to Mulder, Scully and a multitude of witnesses about an alien abduction involving two teenagers. Hilarity and absurdity ensues.

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: There is something almost daunting about writing about this episode of The X-Files, long heralded as one of the show’s best episodes of all time. The final Darin Morgan script of the series, “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” is one of the most convoluted, ridiculous and outright enjoyable stories, full of in-jokes and the occasional kooky guest star. There’s no way I can be more hilarious than Darin Morgan, but I’m going to talk your ear off about it anyway.

For all the delightful nonsense in the episode, the heart of it is quite simple: A teenage couple is abducted by a couple of aliens, who are then abducted by another alien himself. (Whaaat?) And so, Mulder and Scully are drawn into the case, and we see them — well, mostly Scully — being interviewed by novelist Jose Chung, who plans on writing about … what else? Alien abduction. The rest of the episode is really like an absurdist game of Telephone, with different characters — major and minor — recounting their version of events (a method that would later turn up in season five’s “Bad Blood”), lampooning every cliché about alien abductions, authority figures, teenage romance, and… nerds like you and me. Continue reading

2×02: The Host

“You know, you had a pair of agents that could have handled a case like this. Agent Scully and I might have been able to save that man’s life, but you shut us down.” – Fox Mulder
“I know. This should have been an X-File.” – Walter Skinner

Mulder finds himself knee-deep in the sewers of Newark, New Jersey tracking down an unknown parasite, while Scully assists in attempting to figure out what the hell is actually down there….

The Host

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: “The Host” has a reputation for being one of the more disgusting entries into the series, and upon rewatching the episode that assessment still rings true. A Russian ship is docked off of Newark, New Jersey, and one of the workers is attacked while cleaning its sewage system. Later, his body is found in the sewers of Newark, and Mulder is pulled off another wiretap detail to investigate.

At first, he thinks this is just Skinner jerking him around, and is so frustrated by things he is seriously considering leaving the Bureau. However, Scully tells him that there is still a body to examine, and that it would be a mistake to leave. Continue reading

SDCC: Marking 20 Years of ‘The X-Files’

As our readers are probably aware, there was a twentieth anniversary panel for The X-Files at San Diego Comic-Con this past Thursday. We here at Apt. 42 Revisited are admittedly a bit bummed that we couldn’t be at the event, but we had a chance to watch one of the better videos seen above.

A good chunk of the panel, while a wonderful trip down memory lane, was a bit of the same-old. Fans wanted to know more about Mulder and Scully. Was a sex scene ever filmed? (Apparently, yes. It’s out there somewhere, according to Gillian Anderson). What would a real date between the two characters be like? Whatever happened to their son, William? (At this, writer John Shiban encouraged his son, who played baby William and still has Scully-esque red hair, to come out onstage.)

Regardless, the panel shows how much of a lasting impact the show wound up having on fans, the cast and crew alike. Continue reading