Top 10 Episodes: The X-Files Season 2
Season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off. There is a little hump to get over to get Mulder and Scully back together again but it definitely picks up later in the season with a string of great installments. New characters are introduced (Krycek!), while we slowly learn about others. Here is a countdown of the top 10 episodes of season 2 of The X-Files.
10. Død Kalm – March 10th, 1995
If your survival depended on drinking the untainted water from a toilet on a boat stranded at sea, would you do it?
It’s off to Norway to find a ship captain willing to take Mulder and Scully into a mysterious area of the ocean where a lone survivor was rescued several days earlier but soon died from the effects of rapid aging. Once there, M&S, the ship’s captain and his first mate are all stranded on the abandoned trawler as an unseen adversary steals the ship they traveled in on. Naturally they also become afflicted with rapid aging, and it is a race against time to survive until rescue arrives.
Aging makeup has always been a fine line between hokey and legit and while it doesn’t quite seem to work on Mulder, it looks pretty real on Scully. It’s a good laugh when Mulder, looking like he is supposed to be in his 90’s and close to death, still finds the energy to joke about always wanting to go on a cruise in his later years and this not being exactly what he had in mind.
9. The Calusari – April 14th, 1995
This is the one. This is the only episode as a kid that I watched and it freaked me out enough that it would be almost 20 years before I watched it again. Specifically, it’s a scene where a father gets his tie stuck (from an outside influence) in a garage door opener that results in him being hung to death. All this in front of his terrified son who is locked in a car unable to help.
Later that night, I was lying on the floor trying to get to sleep at a friend’s house. I couldn’t. I had nothing but visions of that man being hung to death. Combine that scene with a young boy seemingly having the power to control a balloon and purposely leading his 2 year old brother onto a set of train tracks to meet his demise, an exorcism scene…and this one is a beauty.
Just don’t watch it as a kid.
8. Soft Light – May 5th, 1995
Tony Shaloub (the guy from Men in Black who could grow back a new head if the existing one got knocked off – or apparently also known for “Monk”, although it’s tough to find a soul who claims to have watched that show) plays a man who’s shadow can kill people, a burden he gained after a horrible accident with dark matter. The premise sounds a little weak, but it’s actually a pretty good episode. We get to see even more of the enigmatic Mr. X. Where Deep Throat was the older, and often thought benevolent and wiser “aide” to Mulder in the first season, Mr. X has much more of an edge to him. It’s harder to tell if his intentions are what’s best for Mulder and Scully or if he actually has a hidden agenda. The resulting uncertainty always adds to the tense interactions between Mulder and Mr. X whenever they meet.
7. Little Green Men – September 16th, 1994
As far as season premiers go, “Little Green Men” is a solid installment. Mulder and Scully have been reassigned after the shutdown of the X-Files. We find that Mulder has completely lost faith and is extremely frustrated. Unable to continue exploring the paranormal for the “truth”. However, after being tipped off to the re-activation of a SETI station in Peru by a supporter of his, Mulder gets back on the path he has been missing out on. Determined to get a hold of hard evidence of the existence of extraterrestrials, he takes off in search of answers.
Being left out of the loop, Scully is forced to try and trace her partner’s steps to determine his location and help in any way she can. This little hunt includes going to Mulder’s apartment and booting up his computer to see if she can figure out what he was looking for. The constant close up shots of Scully using the mouse leads one to believe that this is a new piece of technology at the time, and the director wanted to show just how “up to date” on all the new gadgets 1994 had to offer.
A shout out to the two clueless FBI agents who walk in on Scully thinking they’ve caught her red handed. Yet somehow, they miss out on some pretty brutal sleight of hand on Dana’s part. Also, how about the wardrobe on the two agents who were tasked to follow Scully at the airport? The 90’s sure was the age for fluorescent.
We finally getting a chance to see an alien (or did we?). There was great casting on a young Fox Mulder in a childhood flashback scene to his sister’s abduction. Plus a little more from the mysterious Smoking Man makes this a great start to the second season of the show. Nice touch by the props department by the way for putting a bulldog figurine on Skinner’s desk. The resemblance is uncanny.
6. Anasazi – May 19th, 1995
Helicopters and box cars and alien bodies, oh my!
The season 2 finale really ramps up the stakes as Mulder’s life is in danger after he gets access to classified department of defense documents. Having encoded files that date back to the late 1940’s, Mulder will stop at nothing to find out if the government has known all along about the existence of extra-terrestrials. And he isn’t afraid to clock anyone who gets in his way – A.D. Skinner included. Scully shows some extreme patience given her partner’s erratic behavior and a mention of her name in the most recent files only makes this case even more personal for the two of them. The final scene certainly must have left viewers craving answers during the summer months. It’s a heckuva cliffhanger. Oh and by the way, nice cameo by the show’s creator Chris Carter as one of the suits during Scully’s meeting. Smooth.
5. End Game – February 17th, 1995
Yeaaaahhh Scully! Way to take control of that ER!
Continuing the story started up in “Colony”, this episode throws even more twists at you. When it’s all said and done M&S aren’t left with much except a hospital bed for Mulder and Scully coming to see him during visiting hours.
It turns out Mulder’s sister isn’t exactly who we thought she was, and the alien bounty hunter is still on the loose. We get to see more of the mysterious Mr. X (the covert meetings between he and Mulder keep getting better and better) and for the first time we’re actually rooting for Skinner as he does the right thing and helps Scully track down Mulder when he goes M.I.A. Was that an old fashioned dial-up internet connection we hear when Scully boots up Mulder’s computer?
Mark Snow’s score is great during some of the more tense scenes in this episode. And oh yeah…a Scully smile sighting!
4. Colony – February 10th, 1995
The episode opens up with Mulder being brought into the ER in critical condition, with doctors putting his unconscious body in a tub of hot water hoping to save him by raising his body temperature. However Scully comes barging in, claiming that if they keep him in that water, it will kill him. What does she know that the doctors don’t?? Well, we don’t get answers right away because after the opening credits they ‘Tarantino‘ the episode and go back three weeks. There is a LOT going on.
There are alien clones, a shape shifting alien bounty hunter that bleeds green acidic blood, (something we saw back in the season 1 finale… He also happens to be killing these alien clones by sticking a sharp spike in the back of their necks). To top it all off Mulder’s sister returns for the first time after being abducted 11 years ago. Whaaaaaat? The fact that the bounty hunter has the ability to shape shift makes you question every new character Mulder and Scully encounter. (And he’s pretty cool to boot.)
The final scene is fantastic and you’ll have to stay tuned because we’re given television’s three most hated words: “To Be Continued…”
3. Humbug – March 31st, 1995
You wouldn’t call this episode a comedy in the traditional sense but it’s definitely as close as the series has come to it (thus far).
While the show’s comedic timing has never been in doubt (based on some of the killer lines Mulder has busted out at the most unexpected times in previous episodes) this one is loaded with great dialogue juxtaposed with some bizarre imagery for some pretty solid laughs.
Staying true to the X-Files style they still bring the creepiness. The story’s main protagonist is a *detached* conjoined twin accused of murdering several circus “freaks” in their trailer park community. Complete with an escape artist, the bearded lady and a former dog faced boy, this is a pretty fun episode to watch. It also leaves you wanting more of Mulder and Scully flexing their comedic muscles.
2. F. Emasculata – April 18th, 1995
Massive cover-up operation.
Dean Norris. (Hank from “Breaking Bad”)
…Huge boils on faces that act as an incubator for a parasitic insect. Did I mention they can rupture at any time spraying any unfortunate soul close enough and subsequently infecting them as well. Gross.
‘Nuff said. This episode was so good. After watching the first time, I could have sworn it would be continued in a part two.
1. The Host – September 23rd, 1994
This episode is so disgusting it’s fantastic.
You have a young Russian naval officer tasked with removing the blockage in an overflowing sewer system on a boat. He gets pulled in and eventually turns up dead in a sewer system in New Jersey. Disgusting.
You have a live parasitic organism that’s discovered within the organs of the dead Russian officer during the autopsy. Disgusting.
You have a sanitation worker that gets pulled underwater in the sewers of New Jersey and is bitten by some large, unknown creature resulting in another parasitic worm the victim later throws up while taking a shower. He would die as a result of the injuries the organism incurred. Disgusting.
You have the discovery of a cross between a human and a parasitic organism that lives IN sewage and its only way of reproducing is biting a victim so that their body can play host and gestate another organism. Disgusting.
You have a scene where this thing chooses to hide out in an outhouse, and we’re not talking above the seat. Disgusting.
This episode is one of the best they ever did when it came to the “monster of the week”, and with the fantastic job the makeup department did it certainly lives up to the name. Scully smile alert!