The X-Files Season 1

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The X-Files

SPOILERS TOTAL.  You've been warned.

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101: Pilot 1993 September 10

Watching now, in 2011, this seems... a lot hokier than it did back in the day.  Part, I think, 18 years of TV production values.  Part, my greater knowledge on things like abduction and UFO phenomena make Fox Mulder sound like a kid trying to show off.  Part, so much other fiction since mixing in paranormal mythology, and knowing this show itself has 200 episodes in front of it, it seems such a crazy thing that they get lost time, abduction scars, implants, magnetic fluctuations, strange mutated corpses, mysterious lights affecting people right in front of Mulder all in one episode.  Part, it seems pretty shameless the way they have Scully seem worried about scars of her own as an excuse to get her in her underwear, and makes her look weak to be hugging on this guy she barely knows since she's so frightened about it.

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102: Deep Throat 1993 September 17

I can believe that the government or portions of the government can keep huge secrets... but I'm not so sure about the one on this show.  A top secret military base with a hole in the fence that stoners regularly use to enter?  With surveillance so poor they don't notice a guy going through and walking to their big hangar until he's literally on the runway?  Incredibly regular and visible testing of ET-derived craft within bike distance of a small town, rather than out in the middle of nowhere?

Continuing the talk of hokiness from the previous episode--this episode itself wasn't quite as hokey.  BUT the title sequence sure is.  Big floating "PARANORMAL ACTIVITY" text plus vague imagery like a screaming face and twisting body?  Early 90s hip!

Non-content note: I _think_ I saw this episode when it first aired.  The first time I'd seen the show, and boy was it up my alley.

Also, Seth Green.

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103: Squeeze 1993 September 24

Now that's how you make a memorable "monster of the week" episode.

Also, Donal Logue.

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104: Conduit 1993 October 1

Not much to say about this one, but following Seth Green and Donal Logue this episode features a small appearance by... the guy who played Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds II!

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105: The Jersey Devil 1993 October 8

What a waste.  Not that there's anything wrong with stories of sasquatch or wild men, but those are a dime a dozen and could be set anywhere in the world.  Why conflate that with the much more fantastical creature known as the Jersey Devil, blowing their chance to do an episode about the real one?

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106: Shadows 1993 October 22

We got the ultimate X-Files cliché twice in this episode.  Mulder witnesses insane ghostly phenomena, it stops, Scully immediately bursts into the room.  Though to be fair, the second time it was the insane ghostly phenomena keeping the door shut so she couldn't have done much about it.

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107: Ghost in the Machine 1993 October 29

Some similarities with Stretch.  In that an old friend of one of the lead pair comes along with a strange case asking for help, acts like a douche, and the mystery is weird enough to be on this show.

Scully, did you just use marker on a monitor?  I wondered if she'd watched too much Stargate, but this show predates the movie.

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108: Ice 1993 November 5

It's like The Thing without nearly as impressive a thing.

I like how Hodge assumes Mulder and Scully have extra knowledge because they're with the FBI.  It's like Mulder's conspiracies dialed back one level.

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109: Space 1993 November 12

Michelle seemed to want to be an anomymous tipster, and even at NASA Mulder and Scully would just say that the images they got "arrived", but I kiiinda think the three of them seeming to be tethered to each other while they were around gave it away.

The ghosty alien thing effects were pretty bad.  Also, stock footage, but that rarely matches up well in anything.

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110: Fallen Angel 1993 November 19

The premise of this show gets a bit troubled as it goes on.  The idea of pairing up someone who wants to believe with a skeptic is a good one.  But in the reality of this show we see that they DO run into really weird shit all the time, so it makes Scully seem not just skeptic but thickheaded to keep crying "Swamp gas!" when weird things are afoot.

On the other hand, she doesn't seem to have a problem with her job as Mulder's partner.  Which, if she were truly so unbelieving, she probably should.  Because Mulder not only claims to believe in this stuff, but keeps experiencing it firsthand while she's just outside the room.  This should leave her with two possibilities: 1) Her partner is crazy insane.  2) Her partner is a big liar.

So Deep Throat is playing both sides... but when he says "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" which is which?

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111: Eve 1993 December 10

Thank goodness Mulder and Scully were able to outwit those eight-year-olds.

20:50 in, door opening very familiar sound effect.  JUST A NOTE

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112: Fire 1993 December 17

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113: Beyond the Sea 1994 January 7

General Hammond!  For about two minutes.

This one is a real twister.  What with Scully being more open to believing this guy's psychic abilities due to Mulder's past with the man and her recent loss of her father.  And though it being X-Files we should probably take his abilities as genuine, there were enough possibilities that Boggs could've been faking most of the details.  Interesting, though, that beyond these reasons it's that Scully says she's afraid to believe.

I notice Fox has Max's NICAP hat from a few episodes back on his office.

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114: Gender Bender 1994 January 21

This episode is all the hell over the place.  So there are some sexshifting non-Amish with amazing powers of attraction, who have magic clay and some connection to crop circles and otherwordly beings, and one of them decides to leave and screw people to death?

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115: Lazarus 1994 February 4

Two simultaneous NDEs leading to a consciousness swap, OK... but things like having the tattoo appear and disappear were too goofy.

I kind of liked the bit where Mulder and some technician were using a sound machine to ferret out a clue.  I don't think they could get an airplane sound as clear as they ended up with, but as far as magic technology it seemed a lot more believable than computers that can just enhance any image with amazing detail.  I guess Mulder got to use regular type FBI skills this episode.

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116: Young at Heart 1994 February 11

Back in 106 they were talking about how hard it was to have a death faked, but here a doctor who lost his license seems to have been pulling it off easily enough with prisoners.

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117: E.B.E. 1994 February 18

Aaaand the first appearance of the lone gunmen.

How do Mulder and Scully get away with investigations like this?  Simply from the standpoint of paying for their trips and vehicles presumably with Bureau funds?  I mean, giving Mulder wide latitude to investigate strange cases, OK, but just plain checking out a UFO report and following up on it aggressively goes beyond investigating a strange FBI case.

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118: Miracle Man 1994 March 18

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119: Shapes 1994 April 1

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120: Darkness Falls 1994 April 15

Heeey, the Man in Black is looking a bit Tom Selleck in his young age.

So I am left with questions.  They believe the loggers who disappeared decades ago met the same fate as these recent ones.  However, they also believe these recent loggers were their own doom by chopping down an old tree.  So what happened to the first set of bugs?  Did they just die off?  Or not care to migrate at all?  In which case being so worried about them doing so now seems overblown?

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121: Tooms 1994 April 22

Our man Eugene from the first monster-of-the-week episode is back!

Also the first appearance of Mitch Pileggi as Skinner.

I note they say Scully and Mulder have a 75% success rate of solving cases.  That... seems like a lot.  Usually I watch these episodes and get the impression that while the viewer knows what happened, it's not the sort of thing that some FBI higher-up is going to look at and say "Case closed!"  Usually things are left vague, or people end up dead before things can go to court, or they disappear.  Buuut I guess they must be doing pretty well off-screen.

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122: Born Again 1994 April 29

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123: Roland 1994 May 6

They sure didn't make Arthur very sympathetic.  I mean, sure, he's a killer, but usually unless they're just crazy they have some good reason behind it.  But this guy... just seemed pissed that his coworkers were going to finish a project they'd all been cooperatively working on, and he wasn't going to get any of the glory because he's dead.  Now for a bit they made it seem like they were going to say Arthur had been killed by them, but they never did.  They said there wasn't an apparent reason for his car crash, and showed one of the survivors to be a douche, but that's not nearly enough.

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124: The Erlenmeyer Flask 1994 May 13

Crazy microscope lady says something like "This isn't found in nature.  That means by definition it's extra-terrestrial!"  Whoa whoa whoa, hold your horses.  Does that make Twinkies and Wiis extraterrestrial?

DVD note: The reveal of the frozen body just isn't such a big reveal when it's the DVD menu image for the episode.  And the season.  And the main image on the case for the season.

So Deep Throat is shot and killed here.  This leaves me with a few procedural questions.  One, how do Mulder and Scully report this?  Anonymously, and ditch him there?  Say that their super secret source was shot during a trade-off of stolen goods?  And though I don't think this is mentioned until early next season, Mulder says he looked at the guy's funeral.  So at least THEY now know the guy's real name and official position, but they're not bothering to tell the viewer?

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The X-Files Season 2