Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 6) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 6)

July 19, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 2 (Part 6)

THE X-FILES: Mulder (David Duchovny) receives a computer disk with top secret files on extraterrestrial life in THE X-FILES episode “Anasazi” which originally aired Sunday, May 19, 1995. (Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

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 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.)

“The Calusari”:

Not to make this an X-FILES joke, but: If you told me this episode had been wiped from my brain by some sort of alien technology, I would believe you. Clearly, it’s not one I regularly rewatch, but when I put it on, the cold open felt brand new. (And it’s probably conservative to guess I’ve rewatched the show in full 5 times straight through. That’s not even counting syndication, etc.) 

But holy [your choice of expletive], that opening is dark. The episode itself veers more into camp very quickly, but when you start off your episode with a toddler BEING MURDERED BY A TRAIN…good lord. 

The best part, for me, was Joel Palmer, who had to balance being terrifying and terrified. It’s not easy for a kid actor to do.

“F. Emasculata”:

Well, this episode made me sick to my stomach. I remembered this one, but hadn’t watched it since the pandemic hit, so…we’re just gonna bullet point it.

  • Hello to a young Dean Norris!
  • Did anyone else cringe when Scully took off her surgical mask around the possibly-contagious person? 
  • “Control the disease by controlling the information.” 
  • It is interesting to see Mulder and Scully floundering, though. Normally Mulder has a theory, and Scully has a counterpoint—or Mulder has a theory and it evolves. This was just them pulled into a mess and trying to make the best of it on the fly.
  • (Yeah, but I’m not going to watch this again until my next rewatch, because….too soon.)

“Soft Light”:

A perfectly fine case of the week (with cheesy effects, admittedly), but majorly elevated by the work of Tony Shalhoub. It’s remarkable what he does with this role—and with quasi-limited screen time—because he is absolutely captivating.

  • Had to pause to laugh out loud at X saying he won’t help because he bloodied his fists and revealed his ID to associates of Mulder the last time he was called. He just sounded so indignant over getting into a fight.
  • “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you, Scully.”

“Our Town”:

This is another one I do not rewatch outside of a full-series rewatch, because, yes, the animal stuff. But the perk of that meant that I forgot Gary Grubbs—who was in FIGHT THE FUTURE—was in this. That was a lovely surprise.

But, yeah, outside of that: Nope. Lots of nope.


It’s astonishing how much they actually fit into the finale. It’s the first of a multi-part arc, but they set up Mulder being sick, Bill Mulder being tied to the conspiracy, Bill getting assassinated by Krycek, Scully shooting Mulder, Scully and Mulder’s jobs at risk, and, oh, yeah, maybe Mulder is dead. (That last thing comes into play like 9028013 times during the show.)

It’s a breakneck speed, but none of it actually feels forced. There’s so much to get through, but outside of Mulder not really having time to process his father’s death—at least part of which can be blamed on how sick we learn he is—this at least all feels earned.

Well, except for Mulder maybe being dead. The show plays that card a lot, and while this is the first significant time, it’s also, maybe, my least favorite. 

  • This really was the season of people beating each other up. Mulder, buddy, don’t attack your superior officer. Especially at work. In front of a billion people.
  • Here’s the thing: There is absolutely no doubt Scully would kill for Mulder (and arguably even die for him at this point), but it’s also wildly insane she’s still doing daily reports about his work. She’s not a double agent, but it’s…close. Again, she’s not betraying him; she’s telling the truth. And he acknowledged as much in their first meeting. But that’s such a tricky line to walk. 
  • It’s a shame Bill and CSM in the present day was such a short-lived thing. The potential for mining their tension—about Mulder, about their, uh, shared interests, about the conspiracy…there was so much they could have played with. “I’ve protected him this long, haven’t I?” was chilling, though.
  • The shot of Krycek in the shower was gorgeously staged.
  • Scully shooting Mulder in the shoulder honestly should give Mulder grounds to win, like, a million fights. Yeah, she was protecting him, but SHE SHOT HIM.
  • Scully’s name in the files. Sigh. 
  • Every time I see this episode, I think about how they painted the rocks red with the wrong kind of paint, and how they’re still miscolored all these years later. 
  • LOL, hello to Chris Carter as an FBI agent.

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


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