5 Days from now, what once was fantasy shall become reality when a new (however brief) season of the X-Files airs.
To celebrate, I’m sharing my TOP 5 Favorite X-Files Episodes.
Before I begin, a caveat or two: while I am a long time fan of the series, I never could get into the myth-building storyline that involved government cover-ups , alien virus/goo, and Scully being abducted and implanted with something, etc. I know these episodes are the backbone of the series and serve as its canon, but I much preferred the “one-offs,” often referred to as “monster-of-the-week” episodes. Also – this list is simply my opinion, based on nothing more than what episodes affected me the most – whether they made me laugh or freaked me out, or simply intrigued me – these episodes really stuck with me, and are ones I’ll probably never say no to pulling up on the Netflix queue.
#5: Eve (Season 1, Episode 11): Aside from the fun fact that is possibly urban legend (but I really hope isn’t), about how 90’s band Eve 6 got their name, this episode is chillingly creepy and packed with suspense. The twins in Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining have nothing on the little girl clones who outwit and almost kill Mulder and Scully.
#4: Humbug (Season 2, Episode 20): This is a freak-of-the-week extravaganza, featuring an entire circus full of oddities. The episode is gloriously bizarre, with plenty of humor to balance the relatively high death toll. Also, if you’ve never had the misfortune to see the cheesy 80’s horror flick Basket Case, watch it before or after this episode for a double-dose of strange.
#3: Small Potatoes (Season 4, Episode 20): Super-fun and super-weird, the power of this episode lies in the hilarious performance of Darin Morgan, who plays Eddie Van Blundht (the ‘h’ is silent), an average dude with a not so average ability. Cool bit of trivia, Darin Morgan and his brother, Glen Morgan, both wrote and directed many episodes of The X-Files. In fact, Glen and Darin are part of the series’ return: each brother is taking on one of the six new episodes.
#2: Bad Blood (Season 5, Episode 12): No, this is not a Taylor Swift song (this episode first aired in 1998, when little Tay-tay would have only been 8 or 9 years old), but it does feature a young, as yet mostly unknown, Luke Wilson, who plays a hunky deputy (well, he’s hunky when Scully tells the story, anyway). Told and re-told from alternating viewpoints, this episode is campy and canny and has some of the best Scully/Mulder moments ever.
#1: Elegy (Season 4, Episode 22): Ok, I’m kind of going against my own caveat here, because at the end of this episode there is a reference to the whole Scully implant thing, but it’s subtle. Anyway, this is my number one favorite episode because it really intrigued me – to the point that one particular scene inspired an idea for a book. I call it the “She is Me” episode, and if you watch it, you’ll understand why. Also, one of my all time favorite lines is in this episode, delivered by an elderly man who has a habit of being naughty and making up stories. He excuses his behavior with a heartfelt, “I’m just a human being, after all!”
So there you have it, my top 5 favorites. Could I add a few more to this list? Easily. In fact, I’m going to add one more – consider it my holiday bonus episode: How the Ghosts Stole Christmas (Season 6, Episode 6). Yes, more ghosts – I like the ghost ones, ok? This episode is delightfully kooky and spooky, with stellar guest performances by Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner. It’s a fun one to re-play during the Christmas season.
Plenty of other sites have made their list of top episodes too, like this one from the Hollywood Reporter. What about you? Are you an X-Files fan? What’s your favorite episode? Were you able to identify which episode from my list had the vampires and which had Luke Skywalker’s baby?
ETA: My husband shares my love of X-Files, it’s one of the few shows we both enjoy. So he also made a Top 5 list, including his predictions for what episodes would be on my list – check it out, he came pretty close!