Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 1 (Part 5) and Season 2 (Part 1) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 1 (Part 5) and Season 2 (Part 1)

July 12, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 1 (Part 5) and Season 2 (Part 1)

Credit: Fox

On Friday, September 10, 1993, Fox debuted THE X-FILES. Now, ahead of the show’s 30th anniversary, Give Me My Remote is looking back at all 11 seasons (and the two feature films) in a new daily series Take Two.

If you’ve read About Last Night, this will be formatted in a similar way: Each episode will get its own subsection/reaction, though in this case there may be slight spoilers or alluding to what comes ahead in the series. In the event a major spoiler is discussed, there will be a warning to be extra safe. Each Take Two will cover approximately 5 episodes and will wrap up the Friday before the show’s 30th birthday.

(I’ll also note how I’m watching the episodes, because some of the streaming platforms have utilized syndicated cuts of this show.)

Today, we’re finishing up season 1 and starting season 2!

(These were viewed on the original season 1 DVD set and season 2 DVD set—released back in 2000. The episodes are streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)


The show revisits a few of its monsters of the week, and this is arguably the best sequel of the series.

Given how important Skinner is to the series, it’s bonkers to be reminded he was only introduced at the end of season 1. (As it stands, Mitch Pileggi’s the only person outside of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson to be in every single season, plus both movies.) And CSM is just casually standing in his office. It’s great foreshadowing for how deeply complex and twisted that dynamic becomes.

Look, I know this is TV, but it’s wild that Tooms attacked an FBI agent in her home, there was zero doubt, and he was still eligible to be free in under a year. Justice for Scully. 

But it’s also scary how efficient and effective Tooms was at setting up Mulder to discredit his claims. It makes sense Tooms has to be smart to survive as long as he did, but if Mulder was a tiny less smart (or if this had happened in the pre-Scully days), he could have very easily been totally framed.

  • I get the joke is that they aren’t going for a romance with the iced tea/root beer stakeout convo, but I do not know how anyone watches that scene—“I wouldn’t put myself on the line for anybody but you”??—and isn’t shipping that. (Sorry, NoRomos.) It’s also brain-breaking to remember these humans don’t kiss for MANY, MANY, MANY more episodes. I’d say this could never happen in 2023, but, well.
  • Death via escalator remains one of the most screwed up ways to kill someone possible. Thanks for the enduring nightmare fuel, show.

“Born Again”:

I feel like I may be quasi-alone in liking this episode. Yeah, it’s a fairly standard possession episode, but I think we’ve established I’m drawn to creepy kids causing mayhem on this show. (I didn’t realize that until now, don’t ask me.) 

But there was also soap-y mess! Tony married Charlie’s wife, knowing he played a role in his death. (And a bonus of Maggie Wheeler playing a detective.)

The end, though, is odd, and I’m curious if it was a network note or an experiment they quickly did away with: Mulder doing a VO sum of the case and then ending with “status unexplained” felt like a weird exposition dump/attempt to tie the episode together. They do voice-overs on the show throughout the series, but I don’t know any other stands out quite like this.


On the flip side, “Roland” doesn’t work for me at all. It’s lovely to see Zeljko Ivanek and Micole Mercurio, but the “someone dead inhabits another person” was just done a literal episode earlier. (And I’d hope someone on the spectrum would be cast in the role in modern times, but I’m definitely less certain about that.)

“The Erlenmeyer Flask”:

This has never been my favorite finale, and I think some of that comes from being so spoiled about it the first time I watched it. If I had watched it live? I think Deep Throat’s assassination would have floored me. With the knowledge it was coming, it still hits hard (and hits hard all these years later), but it doesn’t quite pack the OMGWTF punch it should have.

But the loss of Deep Throat is significant. It comes right on the heels of Mulder and Scully realizing he had intentionally betrayed/manipulated them (something he copped to), and Scully being faced with hard proof of something inexplicable. And at this point, Jerry Hardin was the third-most familiar/frequent face to viewers; it was a gamble. It’s certainly a turning point for the series. 

Of course, it’s also the first time the X-Files are shut down. Spoiler alert: It will not be the last.

“Little Green Men”:

I will acknowledge this is not the point of the episode, but it’s wild to realize how much of this episode hinges on Mulder and Scully being able to travel without being tracked, and it’s just simply not feasible in 2023.

Also, again, for as paranoid as Mulder was, he wasn’t wrong. There were agents outside his apartment, ready to interrogate Scully. And even Skinner didn’t know how closely he was being tracked.

I think this is probably my least favorite go-round of them dealing with the X-Files being shut down, but maybe I’ll feel different as we dig into tomorrow’s episodes.

(Okay, but seriously, who was that random woman on Mulder’s answering machine?)

What did you think of these THE X-FILES episodes?


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