Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 3) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 3)

July 14, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 2 Part 3

© Fox Home Video – All Rights Reserved

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 continuing season 2!

(These were viewed on the original season 2 DVD set—released back in 2000—except for “Excelsis Dei,” which was viewed on Hulu thanks to a glitchy DVD. The episodes are streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)


When I was a kid, I disliked this episode because it didn’t have Scully and I didn’t love seeing Mulder with another woman.

As an adult? I can appreciate Mulder being adrift and grieving Scully and acting even more reckless than normal. But it’s still a very, very bad episode. The case is ridiculous. It’s just not engaging in any real, interesting way. (If I’m checking how much longer is left in an episode, it’s not a good thing.)

“One Breath”:

Just saying this to start: There’s a kindness to Scully being unconscious—though in many locations—but it remains absolutely unreal (in the very worst way) that Gillian Anderson was back to work nine days after giving birth. I do love the episode, even if there’s a discomfort in knowing how quickly Anderson needed to return to work.

For as alone as Mulder has felt, it’s lovely and bittersweet to see how thoroughly he is embraced by the women in Scully’s family. That being said, he’s lucky he wasn’t straight-up banned from the hospital after he attacked everyone and everything when Scully mysteriously returned.

Mulder’s spiral was beautifully difficult to watch, as he tries to balance his deep desire for answers/revenge with the need to be there for Scully. When Mulder inevitably cracks—because he’s only human after all—it’s visceral and painful.

Outside of that, one of the best elements of the episode winds up being Skinner proving himself. Skinner had been a quasi-foe (or, at the very least, operating as a strict, disappointed parental figure), but here he actively helps Mulder. He gives him CSM’s location. He gets him to not give up. Things aren’t going to be magically perfect, but it’s the first time we really get to see Skinner’s humanity.

  • Melissa could not look more mid-90s if she tried. That choker!!
  • Frohike showing up in a tux literally made me laugh out loud.
  • Nurse Owens giving Scully a kiss on the forehead should have been a sign she wasn’t real-real. Because holy nurse-patient boundary violation, Batman.
  • “You got him killed. You got her killed. That’s not gonna happen to me.” – Well, you got one thing right, buddy.
  • Skinner’s “thank you for not smoking” sign is so extra. I love it. (Again, how was he not killed during the series? Thankful!! But how.)
  • CSM liking Mulder and Scully has done absolutely nothing good for them at this point. Would honestly be a lot more helpful if he didn’t know they existed.
  • Superstars of the Super Bowl. It’s been decades and I still have every question about Mulder’s random as hell gift for Scully post-awakening.


This episode feels like they were like, “How do we get our ‘Ice’ or ‘Darkness Falls’?” and they came up with…this.

Given Scully had just come back, I wish things had been more close-to-home and/or things had been a bit more grounded. It’s not an episode I’ve ever loved, but I’ll acknowledge it actually has a new level of terror in a world when we’ve experienced the COVID pandemic.

  • Hello to Bradley Whitford! 
  • This is an episode where it feels like they knew they couldn’t effectively do some effects and tried to shoot around it. Sometimes, it works effortlessly. This felt more “whoops, let’s troubleshoot on the fly” and it was noticeable. Alas.

“Red Museum”:

With all due respect, the sole note I took while watching the episode expressed, uh, a lack of interest in the episode. 

I appreciate they took swings, trying to put some mythology into the case of the week. But, yeah, not for me.

“Excelsis Dei”:

Starting off by saying how they handled the rape case was WTF-worthy, including Mulder’s skepticism. Bad, bad, bad, bad. (And then add maybe 10 more.)

Outside of that, the main case of the week was, as I’ve described, perfect channel surfing TV. Would I seek it out intentionally? No. If it comes on while I’m working or caretaking around my apartment would I turn it off? Probably not.

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


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