Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 4) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 4)

July 17, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 2 Part 4

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 continuing season 2!

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


A pretty typical MOTW episode, which gets extra bonus points purely because Terry O’Quinn is in it. (Not his most memorable role within the franchise, but always lovely to see him.)

I’m sure no one thought about it, but this would have been an episode prime for a sequel in the revival seasons. Presumably Aubrey gave birth…what happened to that kid? In the revival seasons, he would have been in his early 20s…how does nature versus nurture come into play? Especially when his familial lineage would have certainly been known.

  • “Interoffice relationships can be complicated.” Oh, Scully. But if you know the show, there’s a certain level of amusement to be had with her talking about her past (and maybe current) romantic relationships with a person of interest in the bathroom. 


Despite Donnie Pfaster not being a traditional monster, he remains one of the scariest villains the series ever introduced. (I don’t love the sequel episode, but that’s a whole other thing.)

For as much as Scully has been through this season, part of why the episode works so well is because it does serve as a breaking point for both Mulder and Scully. The case by itself is terrifying, specifically brutal toward women.

But this comes after Scully nearly died, with no real explanation for what happened. Mulder lived without her, fearing the worst. Both went through real, serious trauma, and then, for the most part, moved on as if nothing had happened. (Yes, Mulder tried to caretake a bit, but Scully was Scully and was in “everything’s fine” mode.)

It wasn’t. It couldn’t be. People are not robots—of course the trauma was weighing on her, as much as she tried to ignore it. And then you add on the extra pressure (which she acknowledged) of worrying Mulder would feel he had to protect her. Scully is a woman in a male-centric field, in a deeply sexist era. (I mean, it’s hard to be anything but a straight white man most years, but…that’s a whole other problem.) Of course she’s going to pretend she can push through it, as much as possible.

And then when Donnie targets her, it serves as a breaking point. Mulder is once again trying to find a completely MIA Scully. And Scully is abducted by an unwell man, after spending days witnessing the terrible things he does to his victims. All she can do, at least initially, is sit there, vulnerable again.

But she fights back. While Mulder and the calvary come in, they also come in after Scully has already gotten the better of Donnie. She shouldn’t have had to, but Scully saved herself. And while she tries to pretend she’s fine again, she finally breaks, and allows herself to cry—and accept comfort from Mulder.

There’s an inherent sexism in a lot of stories, with the implication the only way women can be strong is by turning the other cheek and suffering through whatever they’re going through. Sorry, there’s strength in feeling your emotions. Bottling things up isn’t healthy, and if the non-stop trauma didn’t impact Scully, not only would it have been miserable to watch, but it would have made her wildly unrelatable. Let. Your. Characters. Have. Emotional. Moments. Let them grieve and mourn and feel all the wildly reckless feelings. Part of what feeds into this being so unnerving is seeing how Scully is reacting to it. I’m thankful the writers let her have that emotional release.

  • “She was Scully. Like that baseball announcer.”
  • The most supernatural episode element is when Scully sees Pfaster’s shifting face. I prefer to view it as her interpretation of Pfaster versus a reality, but…well, the sequel gets into that.
  • The ending voice-over where Mulder notes how normal Donnie is and it could happen to you remains one of the most chilling.
  • Sorry to Nick Chinlund, who is terrifying in basically every role I’ve seen him in.

“Die Hand die Verletzt”:

Oh, look, an episode that would fit in today with all the ridiculous parental overreach/book banning. But also this episode would have people in such an uproar…I truly can’t imagine how controversial it would become.

This is one that I found to be cheesier than I remembered. It was more than mid-tier for me back then, but I found it a lot more ridiculous this rewatch.

  • Scully’s face when the toads fall from the sky will always be perfect, though.
  • “Did you really think you could call up the devil and ask him to behave?”

“Fresh Bones”:

Not an episode I regularly rewatch, so I always forget they reused Katya Gardner (who was originally seen in the pilot as a different character). A perfectly fine episode.

As a kid, my enduring memory of this episode was the bloody ham. Truly, how did anyone eat ham after that for a bit? The horror that’s grounded in the real always freaks me out more.

  • I’m with Chester: My fries always disappear, too. (I mean, I’m more…alive. But you know. That being said, if ghosts exist, I’ll be eating fries in the afterlife, too.)
  • A weird episode for X to be in, but…I guess the marine element makes it likely.
  • In case you had any delusions I was semi-sane about this show, yes, of course, I had (and think have?!) the novelization of this episode.

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


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