Favorite X-Files episodes (first five seasons only)

I’ve a hankering to watch some of them again. I own the first five seasons, hence the proviso, but I don’t want to go through them start to finish. I could just pick my favorite episodes, but that’s not as much fun!

So - recommendations?

Since the mythos collapsed into nothing, my favorites to rewatch tend to be the comedic ones Darrin Morgan wrote: Humbug, Jose Chung’s From Outer Space, and Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.

Bad Blood - the humorous episode about vampires, in which Mulder and Scully give slightly differing accounts of the details of the investigation. Guest starring Luke Wilson (before most people knew who he was) and the kid who played “Ham” in The Sandlot. And written by Vince “Breaking Bad” Gilligan.

“the Host” Season two

Is that the one with the guy who can look at a person and see how they will die? That’s my favorite. That was really well done.

Ooh, lots of good ones, so I’ll go beyond just saying “anything Darin Morgan wrote” (and beware spoilers… I’ll try, but no promises):

Season 1:
1x07 Ice - The Thing, retold in X-Files universe. Well done though.
1x09 Fallen Angel - first of three featuring UFO nut Max Fenig, all of which are great.
1x10 Eve - Excellent portrayal of genetically-enhanced supergenius psychopath by Harriet Harris.
1x18 Shapes - A solid werewolf story.
1x19 Darkness Falls - Creepy as hell survival horror episode with super-90s green message.

Season 2:
2x05/2x06 Duane Barry/Ascension - Mythos-related stories I usually avoid, but this two-parter is really good.
2x14 Die Hand Der Verletz - Satan panic in a small town, dark and comical.
2x20 Humbug - Darin Morgan wrote, one of the all-time best episodes.
2x24 Our Town - Kentucky Fried Cannibalism. Awesome.

Season 3:
3x04 Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose - Probably the best X-Files episode. Funny, bittersweet, Peter Boyle rightly won awards for his performance in this. Darin Morgan wrote it, of course.
3x12 War of the Coprophages - Darin Morgan again.
3x13 Syzygy - Astrology turns teens into psychos. Hilarious and bizarre, especially the sarcastic astrologer and Mulder/Scully going off the rails due to planetary alignment.
3x20 Jose Chung’s From Outer Space - C. Nelson Reilly hams it up as the show goes meta and makes fun of itself. Classic. Darin Morgan again. Hilarious cameos.
3x22 Quagmire - Loch Ness monster story. Famous for the Mulder and Scully stranded on the rock scene. Sad and beautiful.

Season 4:
4x03 Home - Only broadcast once. You’ll see why. Hillbilly inbreeding galore in a what’s-under-the-bed? mystery.
4x07 Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man - History of the Cigarette Smoking Man. Dark, full of pathos. Funny too.
4x17/4x18 - Tempus Fugit/Max - Parts 2/3 of the Max Fenig trilogy. Thrilling, classic UFO-centric X-Files.
4x19 Small Potatoes - Darin Morgan acts in this one, instead of writing. Hilarious.

Season 5:
5x01 Unusual Suspects - History of the Lone Gunmen, part 1. Awesome.
5x04 Detour - Nature’s revenge-type thriller. Silly premise, but funny and exciting.
5x06 Post-Modern Prometheus - Frankenstein retold. Ambitious episode, and hits what it is aiming for.
5x11 Kill Switch -William Gibson’s iffy AI-out-of-control episode. Fun but stupid.
5x12 Bad Blood - He said she said vampire episode with Luke Wilson. Classic.
5x15 Travellers - History of the X-Files episode. Awesome red scare 50s stuff, with aliens.

Another vote for that one. Peter Boyle was an Emmy for that performance and that episode won the writing Emmy that year, too (the only one the series ever received).

This one, IMO, is the best X-files episode (though sometimes I switch to “Clive Bruckman”). I don’t think Charles Nelson Riley hams it up as much as he plays incredibly against type, and the entire theme of multiple perspectives, layers of story, and unreliable observers (some deliberately unreliable) really drew what could have been a diffuse mess of nonsense into a riveting storyline.

Plus you get to hear the most laughably-unironic line delivered by a character in the series: “I didn’t spend all those years playing Dungeons and Dragons without learning a little something about courage.”

Lots of good ones already mentioned. I think I’ll throw in “Born Again” from the first season. Enjoy some revenge from beyond the grave.

Awesome! Looks like a fun weekend and couple of weeks ahead of me. Thanks, guys!





E.B.E. was the intro to the Lone Gunmen

D.P.O. had Giovanni Ribisi playing an awesome role.

Home was simply the most disturbing free TV show ep ever

Pusher reminded me of a cyber punk story I once read.

Don’t forget D.P.O. also features a young Jack Black!

Jose Chung’s From Outer Space has always been my favorite. I was a big fan of the show but haven’t watched it in years. Maybe I should try having an X-Files marathon. :wink:

“Although we may not be alone in the universe, in our own separate ways, on this planet we are all alone.”

(my fav too)

You gotta watch “Irresistable” with Donny Pfaster.

“Is your hair normal or dry?”

I have to go with Clyde Bruckman and Post-Modern Prometheus.

Bad Blood

This one was great, but I always go back to the first episode I ever saw, well into the run- it was set in a Chinatown, and had to do with a lottery. A huge vase held lots of different (allegedly) jade tiles which each had a different character of a body part on it. The one that was pulled out was the part they took from the unlucky “player.” IIRC, there was a good deal of money involved for the “players,” so if you were struggling, you would play and hope that you were lucky and it was only a small, underused bit of you that they took. I think the kicker was the reveal that every tile in the jar was the same character, depending on which rich person needed which transplant organ.

Damn. Watched the show pretty religiously after that.


I skipped Season 1 since I’ve seen it so many times and watched these this weekend. I confess I fell asleep during “Jose Chung’s from outer space”. It’s never actually been one of my favorite episodes; too silly.