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

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

July 18, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 2 Part 5

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.)

[Two quick housekeeping notes: With the actors and writers on strike, THE X-FILES team reunited to lend their support—here’s what David Duchovny and director Rob Bowman said at the event. Also, I talked to my dear friend Chris Hayner about the show/franchise for his “Big Kid Podcast.”]


If there was eventually a better resolution to the Samantha of it all, I think this myth arc would rank higher, overall, for me. It’s a stronger two-parter than I remembered, even outside of the more iconic moments.

To dive more deeply into the faux-Samantha of it all, while I will always wish I had been watching XF from the first day, their approach with regard to the mystery of what happened to Mulder’s sister would have driven me absolutely batty. As it was, when I started watching in ’97, the back and forth in real-time was so much, especially given so much of it didn’t essentially pay off.

But here, we get to see Mulder’s family. We get the tiniest glimpse of the fractures. We get to see Mulder have a childlike hope. For as much as he wants to believe, he’s also extremely tentative in it. David Duchovny is great when Mulder takes a breath after admitting to his mom he doesn’t know who else it could be if it isn’t Samantha. 

And with the introduction of a major shapeshifter (outside of the monster/case of the week people we got in the past), we also got one of the most bonkers cliffhangers of the series: Scully opening the door to let Mulder into her motel room, only to get interrupted by Mulder on the phone. 

  • Someone shot at the White House and it was just..a throwaway line???
  • “I changed it to ‘Trust everyone.’ I didn’t tell you?” Fox Mulder, sarcastic king.
  • Mulder talking to Scully about the risks of being an FBI agent, as if she wasn’t kidnapped MULTIPLE TIMES in the very recent past?! Sir… 
  • Okay, for as much as Mulder (correctly) gets my side-eye for his solo missions, SCULLY, GIRL, BAD IDEA TO DIVE INTO THIS SOLO.

“End Game”:

Look, I don’t want Scully and Mulder to actually seriously fight. But this was a cool way to have them face off in a new way, without it actually being them. (It gets escalated later in the season, but that’s a thing we’ll get to very soon.) But also, Scully was this close to fake Mulder and wasn’t able to jump on the “okay, you’re right about this insanity” bandwagon??

This is one of the biggest character-centric episodes of the mythology, though. We saw Scully stepping up, as always, to save Mulder’s life. Mulder sacrificing his possible sister to save Scully from her kidnapping. Skinner fighting X (?!?!) to get intel on where Mulder was. People stepped up. 

“Fearful Symmetry”:

A dying animal is basically the worst cold open possible for me; this entire episode is basically my torture.

Really, I’m sure it’s fine. It felt like it dragged at points, but fine enough. But multiple dead animals? No.

“Død Kalm”:

The episode feels big in many ways (they’re out at sea!!!), but it feels very claustrophobic, in the best way. It’s similar to the “Ice” or “Darkness Falls” of the world, where the core of the episode is “Mulder and Scully Are Isolated, Trapped, and Need Help.” And when it’s done well—which I’d argue this one is—it’s effective. In this case, the water was killing them (via rapid aging), but they also need water to survive. There’s natural tension, amplified by the fact Mulder and Scully also got weaker as they got older. A really good episode.

  • As someone who irrationally loved DARK ANGEL, hello to John Savage.
  • It’s crazy to see Scully and Mulder like that knowing we’ve now seen Duchovny and Gillian Anderson 29 years in the future…and they look nothing like that.
  • As someone who takes an insane amount of notes, love that Scully’s notes saved their lives post-rescue. (You know, just in case I ever end in the middle of an unexplained phenomenon.) 


For as many creepy cold opens as we’ve had, I love the bait-and-switch that the “monster” stalking the boys was just their dad. 

And it’s a nice switch, of sorts, that Scully was the only believing in the absurd: a twin detaching himself and committing crimes. Does it make sense? Absolutely not! But somehow Scully bought it. (Plus, she was correct.) And it allowed for the absolutely hilarious crack from Mulder, after the local law enforcement was exasperated with her theory: “Now you know how I feel.”

It’s a good episode, and in some ways, it feels like it gets underappreciated because so many Darin Morgan episodes are undeniable classics. This is just damn good, bittersweet, touching on finding your own community and otherness—and the expectation around it all.

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


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