Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
THE X-FILES continued to throw up some interesting stand-alone
episodes during the middle-period of its nine-season run, sustaining
it through some pretty ordinary episodes.
Indeed, given the convoluted nature of the alien conspiracy story
arc, and the fact that it never seemed to deliver satisfactory
answers, it was the stand-alone efforts that made for the most
Season 4, in particular, tackled some difficult issues and pushed
Principal among them was the second episode in the series, Home,
during which a baby is found buried alive in shallow ground, with
plenty of birth defects resulting from generations of inbreeding.
The ensuing investigation leads Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully
(Gillian Anderson) to a reclusive family who have a history of
The episode rates among the most difficult to watch in X-Files
history, yet tackled its subject matter in an intelligent way.
Sure, the dark humour that marked the series was apparent, but
there were also a couple of genuinely tender moments between the
two FBI agents, to offset some of the more horrific sequences.
Another series highlight, for markedly different reasons, was
Small Potatoes, during which an investigation
into babies in a small town who are all born with tails leads
the agents to a simple man with a genetic deformity, who may have
the ability to alter his appearance.
The comic episode that results sees the suspect in question taking
over the appearance of Mulder, only to emerge at the other side
with the conclusion that the agent leads a boring life.
The episode served up a further opportunity to explore the will
they/won't they nature of the Mulder and Scully relationship,
as the alternative Mulder sought to spice up his existence by
Of the alien conspiracy story arc, season 4 began with yet more
chases involving the bounty hunter and concluded with the apparent
suicide of Mulder, while taking in the two-parters Tempus
Fugit and Max, as well as Tunguska
Another highlight, meanwhile, was the story of Leonard
Betts (featuring former ER star, Paul McCrane), which
threw in a genuinely startling surprise ending for Scully and
the state of her health, post alien abduction.
Season five, meanwhile, contained
more of the same, deftly blending alien conspiracy story arcs,
the Lone Gunmen's back-story, and the ongoing search for Mulder's
sister with other, more interesting stand-alone stories.
In truth, these were becoming fewer and further inbetween, given
that there were only so many strange phenomena waiting to be re-discovered.
Hence, there were variations on vampire stories and serial killers,
as well as the return of another series favourite, in the form
Kitsunegari was one of the season highlights,
given that it took a very surprising turn midway through, while
another stand-alone episode, Bad Blood, provided
yet another excellent demonstration of how the show could take
the mickey out of itself, while still providing credible entertainment.
The episode in question took a look at what happened after Mulder
mistakenly shoots a man he believes to be a vampire, and is told
from the different perspectives of the people involved.
Other highlights included the surreal computer-based thriller,
Kill Switch, written by William Gibson, and Stephen
King's X-Files bow, Chinga, which finds Mulder
on vacation in Maine, but getting a lot more than he bargained
The alien conspiracy saga focused on Scully's health and her
baby, producing some memorable moments between Mulder and Scully
without necessarily reaching the highs of earlier alien episodes.
Perhaps that was because fans were beginning to tire of being
Still, the show's ability to produce memorable season finale's
continued, as The End culminated in a fire which
destroyed The X-Files.
Season six, meanwhile, marked the point at which the official
X-Files movie ended, and the rest of the series began.
It also marked the point at which Mulder and Scully were taken
off the X-Files and forced to find any excuse to further their
Classic episodes included the bizarre Triangle,
which found Mulder and Scully forced to evade some very familiar-looking
Nazis aboard a World War Two ocean liner (!), as well as the race
against time episode, S.R. 819, in which Skinner
is infected with a biogically-engineered disease.
Humour also abounded, with Arcadia another top
example of the X-Files at its finest, featuring Mulder and Scully
as a married couple.
But as season six drew to a close, it was beginning to become
more and more apparent that the show needed an injection of life.
Duchovny was becoming increasingly disatisfied with his character
and the first steps were taken to reduce his input.
Ironically, the show only got back on track with the arrival
of Robert Patrick's Agent Doggett.
Of the seasons being released at this moment in time, Season
four offers fans the most satisfaction - if they haven't already
got the DVDs in their collection, of course!