With the eleventh season of The X Files returning this month lets look at the best episodes from the previous ten seasons.
1. Season One: Beyond the Sea
The first Scully-centric episode of the show is also this first classic episode. After seeing a vision of her father at the moment of his death, Scully become connected by a death row prisoner named Luther Lee Boggs. It’s up to Scully and a surprisingly sceptical Mulder to figure out if Boggs is the real deal.
Runners up: Squeeze, Tooms, Ice
2. Season Two: Irresistible
Another Scully episode, and one of the most disturbing episodes the X Files has ever done. The agents investigate the murders of death fetishist (it’s as disgusting as it sounds) Donnie Pfaster. Pfaster sets his sights on Scully, who is suffering from PTSD after her abduction earlier in the season, who must fight the killer as Mulder uses his profiling skills to find her.
Runners up: Fluke, Blood, Die Hand Die Verletzt,
3. Season Three: Pusher
The first, and best appearance of Robert Patrick Modell, a man that uses the power of suggestion to kill people. At it’s best The X Files was like a 40-minute movie, and Pusher is a classic cat and mouse game between Mulder and Modell with a little science fiction thrown in.
Runners up: Jose Chung’s From Outer Space, Grotesque, Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose
4. Season Four: Paper Hearts
The abduction of Mulder’s sister by aliens is one the cornerstones of The X Files narrative. So when Paper Hearts aired and told a different story, that Samantha was abducted and killed by Tom Noonan’s John Lee Roche, who Mulder put in jail years before.
Runners up: Small Potatoes, Leonard Betts, Home
5. Season Five: Bad Blood
An X Files episode for the fans as Mulder and Scully give their own versions of an investigation which saw Mulder kill a pizza delivery man because he thought he was a vampire. While the dive into vampire lore is fun, Bad Blood rocks because we finally get to see what agents Mulder and Scully think of each other. In conclusion, I was drugged.
Runners up: Chinga, All Souls, Detour
6. Season Six: Triangle
While many fans see season six as the beginning of the show’s downturn, it’s amazing how many great episodes it has, and none are better than Triangle. Written and directed by Chris Carter (when he could still do both competently) Triangle is a time travel story in which Mulder finds himself in the aboard a lost ship in the midst of the Second World War. The best part of Triangle is that it’s made up of four sections in which the action takes place in one continuous shot, long before Birdman won Oscars for it.
Runners Up: Monday, Drive, Tithonus
7. Season Seven: X Cops
A TV crossover with a difference as The X Files finds the coolest way to go found footage. Billed as a normal episode of the hit reality show, Cops, the LAPD stumble across Mulder and Scully investigating reports of a monster that turns into your worst fears.
Runners up: Hungry, En Ami, Hollywood A.D
8. Season Eight: Via Negativa
While no one could replace Mulder, Agent John Dogget is much better than he has any right to be. Season eight was an awkward year for the show as David Duchovny was half out the door, and Scully was side-lined due to the writers excitement of telling stories with a new character. The best of these is Via Negativa, that prominently features Dogget as he investigates a man that can kill people in through dreams.
Runners up: Redrum. Deadalive, Three Words
9. Season Nine: John Doe
Season nine is mostly garbage, with Mulder disappearing again, and Scully mostly there to help Dogget and Reyes. It does have one good episode, the Vince Gilligan-written John Doe, in which Dogget wakes up in Mexico without his memory. It’s not amazing, but it does have a raw performance from Robert Patrick which is great for anyone still watching the show at this point.
Runners up: None
10. Season Ten: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster
The revival of The X Files mostly felt like a nostalgia balloon slowly deflating as fans realised that Chris Carter had kind of lost the plot. Still, this episode for Darin Morgan is a stone cold classic and the closest the show has been to perfection in nearly 20 years.
Runners up: Founder’s Mutation, I guess.