Top 10 Episodes: The X-Files Season 8
Season 8 was different than all the preceding seasons what with the addition of the evil T-1000 Agent John Doggett becoming a member of the X-Files team. If you thought Scully was a skeptic…
Doggett comes in from a police background, and is interested in nothing but the facts. It’s almost humorous as cases go by and he witnesses more and more phenomena and yet has a hard time accepting something out of the norm again and again. After the hit-and-miss seasons 6 & 7, a change of pace felt welcomed; even if it did mean Agent “Mul-duh” (as Doggett would say) wasn’t going to be around as often. The opening credits were changed for the first time since the show started, perhaps as a way to further freshen up the show. Here are the Top 10 Episodes of The X-Files: Season 8.
10. Via Negativa – December 17th, 2000
A religious cult leader has the ability to enter the subconscious and commit murder with the help of some hallucinogenic drugs.
As is usually the case with shows that deal with dream sequences, there is some pretty interesting imagery in this episode, including a scene with a few dozen rats. Doggett meets The Lone Gunmen for the first time, and Kersh is still an annoying hard ass.
9. Roadrunners – November 26th, 2000
Eeeeeew. The squirm-meter in this episode is high, but that’s understandable when a cult of people living in a small remote town outside of the desert worship a foot-long slug-like parasitic organism that lives along someone’s spinal column.
One of the early cases Scully and Doggett work “together” on, and we start to see a trust level slowly form between the two. The opening teaser scene will definitely have you asking “What the…?”
8. Surekill – January 7th, 2001
A man can see through walls.
Sounds pretty straightforward however it’s a little more complicated than that. Blackmail, murder and unrequited love make up this pretty good episode, along with some solid performances. Michael Bowen (Danny Pickett from “LOST”, not to mention a few Quentin Tarantino flics under his belt) is among the guest stars, and he is always fun to watch especially when playing a not so friendly character. You can’t help but sympathize with Randall, and if you think you recognize Tammi, perhaps it’s from “Seinfeld”. She found pastrami the most sensual of the cured meats.
7. Existence – May 20th, 2001
While not the best season finale the “X-Files” ever did, there is a pretty intense sequence near the end of the episode, and a final scene that may rank amongst the best between Mulder and Scully.
The premise is simple, Scully is about to have her baby and there are more than a few “people” who (seem to) want to prevent it. Having an episode with a character that seems unstoppable and hell-bent on completing one task at whatever the cost seems a little ironic, considering Robert Patrick is a part of the cast. It almost sounds like a concept from a major motion picture he had been a part of before, although this time the roles are reversed and Patrick aka Dogget is playing the protector.
Also, who knew the FBI was apparently a 9-5 job and everyone goes home at the end of the day leaving the entire building seemingly empty in the evenings? Where is security? I know it’s a government job, but you’d think considering the nature of the business there would be a few more people around…
6. Three Words – April 8th, 2001
Mulder and Doggett finally meet and to say Mulder is a little frosty would be an understatement.
After Doggett narrowly survives being taken hostage and led into a government facility, Mulder goes ahead and breaks in to that same facility with the help of the Lone Gunmen, “Mission: Impossible” style. With shout-outs to Austin Powers, Harry Potter and a reference to the Bush/Gore presidential result, “Three Words” isn’t a bad episode to ease Mulder back into the swing of things.
(The show must have really liked the title of the X-Files feature film they released a few years prior, as they are the same three words the title of this episode is referencing: Fight The Future.)
5. Within – November 5th, 2000
Season 8 is underway with everyone trying to find out the same thing: Where is Mulder?
The always “pleasant” Director Kersh is back in our lives unfortunately, and we are introduced to our brand new character: John Doggett. Doggett is heading up Kersh’s task force to locate the missing Mulder, and while he initially got a cold reception from Scully, we see that his character may not necessarily be an extension of the rigid and downright miserable Kersh. Thank goodness for that.
In Mulder’s absence we see just how much he means to Scully, and the outstanding music that accompanies her in a handful of scenes really helps to accentuate the loneliness and vulnerability she’s felling. As an audience we don’t only want Mulder back for the sake of the show, but for Scully as well.
“Within” is an excellent start to a new season. Stay tuned!
4. Medusa – February 11th, 2001
There is a mystery killer deep in the subway tunnels and Scully and Doggett are on the case. In a good move to ramp up the tension, Doggett proceeds into the tunnels with a team while Scully watches and advises remotely from the subway control centre. We see more and more the respect and chemistry forming between the newfound partnership of Scully and Doggett. The atmosphere and stakes created in the subway tunnels makes for some good drama, even if the subway controller is pretty stubborn and annoying.
This episode has a few “Star Trek” universe guest stars with Dr. Stubbs & Mr. Logan (The Next Generation) making an appearance, along with Captain Sisko’s lady friend Cassidy Yates (Deep Space Nine.) She may also be recognized as The First Lady, Mrs. Palmer from a few seasons of “24”.
3. Vienen – April 29th, 2001
Well it was only a matter of time until Mulder and Doggett had to come together and resolve their differences, and what better place to do it than on an oil rig investigating some mysterious murders.
This episode almost feels like old times, and the return of the Black Oil is a big reason. It’s cool to see it again, not to mention the rather creepy way it is spread to an unwilling crew member. How great of a setting is an oil rig to shoot on, with the steam, the grime, the lighting…it created an eerie atmosphere.
This episode also has a few familiar faces you might recognize from elsewhere; Swamp Thing from “Con Air” (or Tom Friendly for you LOSTies), Damar from “Deep Space Nine” (minus the Cardassian makeup) and Marcelino from “Seinfeld” (“Big Jerry is making a BIG mistaaake”). What wasn’t a BIG mistaaaake? This episode. Top notch.
2. This Is Not Happening – February 25th, 2001
Phew. This is a big one for Scully.
The end to the search for Mulder has never been closer, and yet things seem to be as hopeless as ever. Jeremiah Smith is back, a character we met a few seasons ago, and a new character is introduced to us; Monica Reyes. At this point we don’t know the scope of the impact her character will have on the show, only that her and Doggett had worked together once before, which gives us a little more insight into John Doggett. We hear Scully’s theme again that we first heard in the season premiere “Within”, as well as a few other times when Scully has been thinking about Mulder. It’s a powerful piece of music and gets the full treatment at the end of the episode making for a full effect. Storylines as big as this one take more than one episode to be resolved, so stay tuned.
Side notes: Nike must have been thrilled at their blatant product placement on Jeremiah’s feet, and to the kid chasing down a UFO with a disposable camera: you’re only adding to the cliché of blurred and out of focus pictures of possible alien ships. Invest in some real equipment, bud!
1. Redrum – December 10th, 2000
Hey, it’s Miles Dyson from Terminator 2!
Well he’s having a tough time, as he gets shot by his father-in-law and ever since then time starts going backwards. Whenever he falls asleep at night and wakes up the next morning, it’s the previous day and he’s living it almost as if it’s for the first time. What makes the situation even more difficult? He’s been accused of murdering his wife.
Scully and Doggett almost feel like secondary characters in this episode, as Joe Morton does a great job carrying the story on his own, and there is a guest appearance from “Machete” himself, Danny Trejo. A fantastic episode right up until the end, “Redrum” is one of the real highlights of season 8.