Top 10 Episodes: The X-Files Season 6
Season 6 was a definite departure from what we had seen during the first five years of the show. By this time many of the original major story arcs had been addressed and essentially closed off and the series moved production from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Also, for much of the season Mulder and Scully weren’t even assigned to the X-Files. As a result, there were a LOT more episodes with a lighter tone, sometimes for the better…many times for the worse. There were still some heavy hitting installments however, and many of them made this list. Here are The Top 10 Episodes from The X-Files: Season 6.
10. How the Ghosts Stole Christmas – December 13th, 1998
Yes, that is the actual name of this episode. We go outside the norm with Mulder convincing (tricking) Scully into exploring an old haunted house on Christmas Eve. They end up meeting a pair of ghosts, and confusion and misdirection ensues.
Not exactly the most paranormal episode they ever did, but there are some interesting character analyses and visual tricks going on. The payoff of seeing our heroes who seem to need each other more than they realize (or are willing to admit) exchanging gifts is pretty satisfying.
Scully smile alert!
9. Triangle – November 22nd, 1998
A ship from 1939 shows up in the Bermuda Triangle, so naturally Mulder has to go check it out. What he finds aboard are Nazi’s…and a lot of people who somehow bear a striking resemblance to their counterparts in the present day, “Scully” included.
This is yet another episode that shows just how outside the box this series can go, and is a fun watch. One element that sets it apart from the others is that the majority of the scenes in “Triangle” were shot as if it was all in one take, with hidden cuts throughout (if you know where to look for them.) Also, after years of waiting we finally get to see some true growth in the relationship between Mulder and Scully.
8. Agua Mala – February 21st, 1999
With a hurricane bearing down in Florida, Mulder and Scully are turned onto a case involving a “sea monster” and are tasked with trying to put an end to the havoc it is causing. “Agua Mala” has a good mix of creepiness and humour, which makes for a fun watch. The creature accounts for the creepiness (a shot of Scully pulling out a tentacle from inside a wound on the deputy’s neck is kinda nasty), and the group of misfit residents M&S are shacked up with brings the humour. The constant rain and high winds makes for an unpredictable yet exciting setting for the story to take place, and Mulder keeps up his knack for solid one-liners.
7. Two Fathers – February 7th, 1999
You might want to have a pen and pencil when you watch this episode, because The Smoking Man basically lays out what’s been happening with some of the major story arcs that have taken place since the series started. Agent Spender’s mom makes a return from her “abduction” we witnessed in season 5, the train cars we saw in season 3 are back, and once again we have ourselves another two part episode. The reappearance of the “faceless” rebel aliens is always a welcome sight, as they are always a threat and bring some pretty good action to the show. Things ramp up in the final scene and once again we’re left with someone having to make a decision that is going to have MAJOR implications…
6. S.R. 819 – January 17th, 1999
I hope you like parking garages, because there are several scenes in this episode that take place in one. Despite that however, “S.R. 819” is an interesting watch as an unknown assailant is remotely controlling Skinner’s vitals, putting him on course for a fatal heart attack. There is some good old fashioned detective work on the part of Mulder and Scully being done to find out who’s responsible for Skinner’s condition and a touching exchange between the assistant director and Scully when it looks like the end is near. Try and tell me Skinner’s boxing coach isn’t supposed to be a tip of the hat to Mickey from the “Rocky” movies…or are we supposed to believe all coaches are old crusty men with raspy voices?
5. Tithonus – January 24th, 1999
A man who can’t seem to die no matter how many times he tries can “see” when others are going to die and takes pictures of these poor people during that moment in hopes of getting a picture of “death”. It’s an interesting idea, and the character of Alfred Fellig, someone who is tired of life after living for more than 100 years, is played perfectly. Scully is on the case, and watching her trying to grasp the truth of what Fenig is telling her without any science to back it up shows how much she wants to believe…but still isn’t able to abandon her scientific background. One fun element from “Tithonus”? A pair of running shoes a victim is wearing that light up at the back every time you take a step. Ah, the 90’s!
4. Monday – February 28th, 1999
This one opens up with a stick-up in a bank and Mulder suffering from a gunshot wound lying in Scully’s arms. The robber has a bomb strapped to his chest which he activates when the police arrive and blows up the entire building, killing everyone inside.
And then it happens again. And again…
The only person who seems to notice that the same day is repeating itself is a young woman who is involved with the bomber, and it seems like she has been living out this day over and over long before the audience becomes involved. She wants desperately out of this loop, and tries to use Mulder and Scully to end the cycle. As Mulder slowly catches on to what is happening, ideas about fate and déjà vu are brought up which our heroes naturally discuss at length. It’s an interesting episode, and will definitely have you pondering whether some things truly are inevitable. Like you reading this post at this exact moment…
3. Biogenesis – May 16th, 1999
The season comes to a close on a strong note. Several artifacts are discovered that contain symbols which have some rather large ideas regarding our human history on planet Earth. The rub? The artifacts appear to be originating from outer space.
This is a strong episode to go out on, which will naturally be continued to start season 7. Some old “friends” are back and we get to see some of the ramifications of what was started in “S.R. 819”. The effect these artifacts have on Mulder is devastating, which leaves Scully by herself to try and unravel this mystery with very few people around her she can trust. Couldn’t help but smile when during a rather intense exchange a good old fashioned video tape is held up, representing a collection of highly sensitive material. Yeah VHS!
2. Trevor – April 11th, 1999
An episode with a story that felt like a throwback to some of the earlier seasons, Mulder and Scully are trying to track down an escaped convict, Wilson Pinker Rawls, who has the ability to pass through solid matter. You can’t help but empathize with Rawls though, as all he wants to do is meet his son for the first time. Seeing a man’s head hollowed out where his face should have been is quite the visual, and the young actor who played Rawls’ son is pretty convincing – he looks terrified of the guy.
1. Drive – November 11th, 1998
This episode is basically the movie “Speed” (of which there was direct reference to) except instead of needing to keep a bus above 50 miles an hour or it explodes, Mulder needs to keep taking Mr. Krump west and the faster the better or Krump’s head explodes. Simple enough, right?
In a gem of an episode Mr. Krump is played by none other than Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston, in an episode “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan wrote. (Gilligan was also the co-executive producer of the X-Files at the time as well.) Some of the back and forth between Krump and Mulder is great dialogue, and having Scully in hazmat gear definitely ramps up the stakes.
(What are the odds of Cranston guest starring in an episode called “Drive”, and then 13 years later appearing in a feature film of the same name?)