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Season Two

24 LITTLE GREEN MEN      2-1

WRITERS: MORGAN/WONG

DIR.: NUTTER

The mothballing of the X-Files banishes Scully to a teaching assignment at Quantico and Mulder to a dreary wiretapping detail. He soon goes AWOL after learning of a satellite-monitoring station in Puerto Rico that has just made contact. Historic moment: First depiction of the abduction of Mulder's sister, recalled in a flashback; Skinner grudgingly starts to concede that Mulder has some credibility. (Personal aside: a noticeably pregnant Anderson was the real reason for Scully's banishment to FBI headquarters.) Critique: Powerfully depicts both Mulder's gnawing sense of defeat and his bond with Scully, strangely growing stronger with separation. Otherwise, fairly standard. B

25 THE HOST 2-2

WRITER: CARTER

DIR.: SACKHEIM

A Russian freighter carrying radioactive debris from the Chernobyl meltdown jettisons a arasitic worm man (Fluke Boy, to you) who seeks human victims/ hosts in American sewers. Creative casting: Series writer Glen Morgan's brother Darin (who will go on to write some of the series' best episodes) as the creature. Critique: A refreshing instance of a fully and satisfactorily resolved episode--like a perfect meal, although you definitely don't want to eat during this one. A

26 BLOOD 2-3

WRITERS: MORGAN/WONG STORY: DARIN MORGAN

DIR.: NUTTER

The government is at it again, this time sanctioning experimental insecticide spraying in a sleepy Pennsylvania community. When the chemical, called LSDM, is combined with fear-triggered adrenaline, it compels extreme homicidal behavior via electronic digital displays (ATMs, cell phones,etc.). Creative casting: Porn star (Kimberly) Ashlyn Gere plays an afflicted housewife; William Sanderson (Newhart's Larry) as a really disgruntled postal worker. Critique: Convoluted premise pays off in white-knuckle tension. B-

27 SLEEPLESS 2-4

WRITER: GORDON

DIR.: BOWMAN

With Scully still at Quantico, Mulder is saddled with new partner Alex ("Ratboy") Krycek. The two investigate Vietnam vets who were part of a government "sleep eradication" experiment, which succeeded in turning them into killing machines. Twenty-four years later, one of them has acquiredthe power to kill through his waking dreams. Creative casting: 21 Jump Street grad Steven Williams as recurring character X, Deep Throat's much less patient successor. Critique: Tony Todd's performance as Augustus Cole--the wrathful insomniac--elevates a just-good story into a great one. B-xeg2lil2.JPG (19978 bytes)

 28 DUANE BARRY 2-5

WRITER: CARTER

DIR.: CARTER

Centered on a gripping hostage siege in a travel agency, this is the first of a two-part story leading to Scully's abduction. Duane Barry, the culprit, is a former FBI agent, alleged psychotic, and multiple abductee (with the implant scars to prove it). Historic moment: The most fleshed-out depiction of an abduction so far as Barry relates his experiences to Mulder. More important: Mulder in a Speedo! Creative casting: Steve Railsback (Helter Skelter's Charles Manson) gives another mangily manic performance. Critique: A rough ride for Scully, about to get rougher. A

29 ASCENSION 2-6

WRITER: PAUL BROWN

DIR.: LANGE

Barry has kidnapped Scully in the hopes the aliens will take her instead of him. In a chase through the mountains, Mulder pursues the pair, reluctantly allowing Krycek to tag along.Historic moment: Krycek's duplicity, via Cancer Man, becomes clear; after being convinced by Mulder of the web of deceit surrounding them, Skinner reopens the X-Files.Critique: An expertly paced race against time as Mulder tries-- unsuccessfully--to prevent Scully's "ascension." Extra credit for creative use of a pregnant Anderson. A

30     3     2-7

WRITERS: RUPPENTHAL/MORGAN/WONG

DIR.: NUTTER

With Scully gone (Anderson was giving birth at the time), a solo Mulder investigates a series of apparent vampire killings in L.A., where he meets Kristen, a kinky chick into blood sports. Historic moment: Mulder gets lucky. Creative casting: Former Duchovny girlfriend Perrey Reeves plays Kristen. Critique: Scully's absence didn't hurt. The fact that they didn't exploit this promising premise did. Besides, L.A. scenesters as bloodsuckers? Tell us something we don't know. C

31 ONE BREATH 2-8

WRITERS: MORGAN/WONG

DIR.: GOODWIN

Scully--inexplicably returned, and free of any evidence of where she has been--has a reconciling encounter with her dead father as she hovers between life and death. Meanwhile, Mulder, beside himself with grief and stymied at every turn in his attempts to find out who is responsible for her disappearance, hands in his resignation to Skinner. Historic moments: An emotional field day for Mulder, featuring head butting (with Cancer Man) and hand holding (from Skinner); first use of the masking tape signal to summon X. Critique: richly layered installment; arguably Duchovny's best performance to date. A

 32 FIREWALKER 2-9

WRITER: GORDON

DIR.: NUTTER

Mulder and Scully investigate another psychosis-inducing parasite, this time a silicon-based spore residing in a volcano. Critique: Strictly melted "Ice" (episode 7). Insultingly bad, ripping off not only themselves but Alien. D-

33 RED MUSEUM 2-10

WRITER: CARTER

DIR.: WIN PHELPS

A Wisconsin dairy region is the site of kids turning up in the woods again, their apparent affliction a kind of mad-human disease. A Peeping Tom, a devious country doctor, and an extremist, red-turbaned vegetarian sect all figure in the resultant drama. Historic moment: A rare instance of Scully and Mulder eating a meal together--pointedly, a big, greasy platter of ribs. Creative casting: '70s sitcom perennial Paul Sand plays the Tom with his usual sad-sack aplomb.Critique: Creative if convoluted. And FYI, this is one of Carter's favorite episodes of the season, but not ours. B-

34 EXCELSIUS DEI 2-11

WRITER: BROWN

DIR.: STEPHEN SURJIK

Entity rape gets this episode off with a bang, as Mulder and Scully investigate psychokinetic and hallucinatory goings-on among the Matlock set at a Massachusetts nursing home Creative casting: Veteran character actors Eric Christmas and David Fresco as the malevolent Sunshine Boys. Critique: Offbeat and cute, largely because of its focus on a quirky band of seniors. B-

35 AUBREY 2-12

WRITER: SARA B. CHARNO

DIR.: BOWMAN

A pregnant detective's nightmares evoke 50-year-old serial killings while also instigating a modern-day imitator in the Missouri heartland. Creative casting: Deborah Strang givesa razor's-edge performance as B.J. Morrow, the haunted detective; and Morgan Woodward, as the original killer, is one chilling geriatric. Critique: A well-paced murder mystery with an inventive wrap-up. B

36 IRRESISTIBLE 2-13

WRITER: CARTER

DIR.: NUTTER

While investigating a series of grave desecrations in which the hair and fingernails are being removed from young female corpses, Mulder and Scully find themselves pursuing an"escalating fetishist," now on the hunt for live victims. Creative casting: Also in attendance: Bruce Weitz as a local FBI agent. Critique: An unsettling concept to begin with, but Chinlund's skin-crawling one-man show puts this one over the top. (And for those who have wondered if Pfaster's twice-glimpsed monstrous form implies he's an alien, he's not. "Just your basic symbolic representation of evil," says Carter.) B+

37 DIE HAND DIE VERLETZT 2-14

WRITERS: MORGAN/WONG

DIR.: KIM MANNERS

The opening scene--in which a PTA-like committee votes to put the kibosh on a high school production of Jesus Christ Superstar, then proceeds to offer a satanic prayer--sets the tone for this tale of devil worship and murder in a New Hampshire town. Creative casting: Susan Blommaert's juicily diabolical take on Mrs. Paddock will confirm schoolkids' most horrific imaginings about their substituteteachers. Plus Dan Butler (Frasier's Bulldog) as one of the very concerned parents. Critique: Mulder and Scully largely step aside in this wacky, wicked effort chockful of stunning imagery and wry comment. A-

38 FRESH BONES 2-15

WRITER: GORDON

DIR.: BOWMAN

Premiering in early '95, this then-timely plot depicts human rights abuses and voodoo-driven revenge at a North Carolina "processing center" for Haitian refugees. Creative casting:Daniel Benzali (late of Murder One) as center commander Colonel Wharton. Critique: Not one for the ages, despite some jarring moments (car meets tree, Scully's hoodoo hallucinations, and that final shot--whoa). C

39 COLONY 2-16

WRITER: CARTER STORY: DUCHOVNY/CARTER

DIR.: NICK MARCK

A succession of murdered doctors--identical abortionists, no less--leads Scully and Mulder back into the conspiratorial groove. Turns out the victims are alien clones sent to colonize Earth, one of whom is claiming to be Mulder's abducted sister, Samantha. Historic moments: We meet Mulder's divorced parents (Peter Donat and Rebecca Toolan) and shape-shifting alien Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson), with his trusty metallic spike. Critique: Untangling this web of shifting allegiances and identities requires intense concentration. B

 40 END GAME 2-17

WRITER: FRANK SPOTNITZ

DIR.: BOWMAN

All is explained (sorta) in this head-spinning conclusion to "Colony." Scully is held captive by the nameless alien Bounty Hunter but is soon returned in a trade for Mulder's "sister." Going full circle, we then follow Mulder to the Arctic in search of the alien Bounty Hunter, who ultimately escapes--for now.Historic moment: Skinner and X have it out. Critique: An exhausting, confusing, essential chapter, with an unbeleivable, almost silly,finale. B

41 FEARFUL SYMMETRY 2-18

WRITER: STEVE DE JARNATT

DIR.: JAMES WHITMORE JR.

An Idaho zoo is the setting for this rather heavy-handed episode concerning man's estruction of the planet. Seems aliens are creating a kind of extraterrestrial Noah's Ark--abducting and impregnating mammals and harvesting their embryos in order to ensure the survival of the animals' species. Critique: Aside from a well-executed invisible-elephant rampage, this one's pretty much on automatic pilot. C+

42 DěD KALM 2-19

WRITERS: GORDON/GANSA STORY: GORDON

DIR.: BOWMAN

The crew of a Navy destroyer escort is decimated by a strange malady that super-accelerates the aging process. Mulder and Scully speculatively invoke meteors, free radicals, "wrinkles in time," the Philadelphia Experiment, the Manhattan Project, and Roswell as they investigate and nearly perish. Creative casting: John Savage, as the freelance seaman who taxis them to the afflicted vessel. Critique: Despite clumsy makeup, isolation pays off again, and Mulder and Scully get to try a little tenderness. A-

43 HUMBUG 2-20

WRITER: DARIN MORGAN

DIR.: MANNERS

Man's intolerance of abnormality is the subtext for this comic murder mystery set at a trailer park populated by gaffes, geeks, a Conundrum (wrapped in an Enigma), and other sideshow habituÚs. Creative casting: Everybody. Critique: Snarkily showcases the series' increasing confidence with dark humor, much of it directed at Mulder. The first of four peerless,halarious Darin Morgan scripts. A+

 44 THE CALUSARI 2-21

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DIR.: MICHAEL VEJAR

After "the howling heart of evil" takes residence in a young boy, his old-country Romanian grandmother takes a stab at soul saving. Critique: An Exorcist/Omen rip-off, but a classy one. And that opener: You'll never look at kiddie railroad rides the same way again. B-

45 F. EMASCULATA 2-22

WRITERS: CARTER/GORDON

DIR.: BOWMAN

A deadly tropical parasite is introduced into a Virginia prison population. When two infected cons make a break, Mulder and Scully must beat the clock to prevent an outbreak. Critique: A good idea is tainted by plot holes as gaping and disturbing as the pustular boils you'll be treated to in this hour. C

 46 SOFT LIGHT 2-23

WRITER: VINCE GILLIGAN

DIR.: JAMES CONTNER

A physicist's botched experiments into dark matter leave him with a lethal shadow that attracts the interest of Mulder, Scully--and a curiously malevolent X. Creative casting: Tony Shalhoub (Wings, Big Night) as the frazzled, hunted researcher. Critique: Gains points for the obscure subject matter; loses them for the strained conspiratorial element. B-

47 OUR TOWN 2-24

WRITER: FRANK SPOTNITZ

DIR.: BOWMAN

An Arkansas town with a thriving poultry business must account for the disappearance of an FDA inspector. Let's just say there's a reason why the chicken factory's slogan is "Good People, Good Food." Critique: Scary--but mostly because of what transpires in a chicken processing plant. Talk about your mystery meat. C+

48 ANASAZI 2-25

WRITER: CARTER STORY: DUCHOVNY/CARTER

DIR.: GOODWIN

In the first installment of a three-episode arc, an anarrchist hacker breaks into the MJ documents ("the holy grail"), detailing the government's knowledge of UFOs for the past 50 years. Mulder's acceptance of the documents on a digital tape creates far-reaching--even worldwide--consequences and gets him trapped in a burning boxcar in New Mexico, presumably about to die. Creative casting: Chris Carter as an FBI agent. Historic moments: Mulder hits Skinner, Scully shoots Mulder, Mulder's father is assassinated--and that's not even the important stuff. Critique: This mind-blowing if frustrating season ender made fans want to fast-forward through summer. A+ (in combination with 49 & 50)

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Episode Guide: Season 5

Season 1

Season 6

Season 2

Season 7

Season 3

Season 8

Season 4

Season 9