Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 3 (Part 1) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 3 (Part 1)

July 20, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 3 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 starting season 3!

(These were viewed on the original season 3 DVD set—released back in 2001. The episodes are streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)

“The Blessing Way”:

There’s a real argument to be made that this arc is the most we ever see CSM unhinged and entirely out of control, which leads to a lot of mess. It’s also when we learn there’s a whole official gaggle of men plotting to keep the biggest conspiracies underwrap. Of course, the Syndicate has its own issues, and that’s clear almost instantly by the Well-Manicured Man trying to go around the group to save Scully’s life.

If we push aside the notion that Mulder really should have given Scully and his mother a call after he woke up—because, sir, I know you almost died, but what were you thinking?—the episode is really great. So often Scully has had to lean on Mulder for various things, but we see where she goes and how she reacts sans that option. (Love she went to her mother, hate that Melissa got caught up in it all.)

And, of course, the cliffhanger is one of the best of the show: Scully, convinced Skinner is trying to kill her, has a gun drawn on her boss in Mulder’s apartment. When they’re distracted by a person outside the door, Skinner draws his gun on Scully.

  • Scully yelling for Mulder as he’s missing…oh, that’s gonna happen again.
  • Love the parallel between Mulder and Scully’s near-death experiences/pep talks. She had her dad; he had his dad and Deep Throat. 
  • Mulder asking for sunflower seeds while having a fever? LOL.
  • CSM is so important, and he’s babysitting Skinner? I get he needs Mulder/the tape, but you’d think he’d have an underling helping at least part of the time.
  • God, poor Teena Mulder. Yeah, her relationship with Bill was messy, but to think she lost him and then her son in a very quick period? She needs a break from the mess of everything.
  • I know cell phones were still rare then, but how was Scully going to spot her sister while driving in opposite directions (in theory?) in the dark?!?
  • “You’ve got the rest of your life to give me answers” is such a badass, terrifying thing to say.
  • Poor Melissa. Can’t imagine what you would have thought of the insanity to come.

“Paper Clip”:

FOX MULDER, Drama King! I mean, informing your partner and boss you’re alive by joining a standoff? Chef’s kiss. Ultimate way to cause waves. No notes. 

I underappreciated this arc, I think. I can always point to my favorite myth arc (the end of 4/start of 5), but haven’t really given a lot of thought about what comes next. I think it has to be this one. It’s deeply personal (and tragic) for Mulder and Scully, while massively expanding the world of the show/conspiracy. A great balance.

And there’s also some deeply important foreshadowing with finding the files on Scully. Sigh. Scully….poor Scully.

  • Gillian Anderson is so good, and the micro facial expressions she makes when telling Mulder that she told his mom he would be okay is such a great example of what she pulls off in this role.
  • Also, how proud did Mulder look when Scully says, “I just knew” about him being OK? 
  • Justice for Maggie. She and Teena deserve better and really should have become, like, pen pals.
  • This shouldn’t need to be repeated, but, uh, stop sacrificing Jews.
  • Poor Skinner getting his ass kicked is basically as frequent as Mulder having a crazy theory at this point.
  • God, the scene of Mulder asking his mom if she made a choice and her acknowledging it was Bill’s choice is absolutely brutal. I don’t know how any of them live with that.
  • “This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass.” – ICONIC LINE READ, MITCH PILEGGI.
  • “We both lost so much,” Mulder, with the understatement of the century, to Scully.


This is a perfectly ridiculous episode. It’s fun, it has great guest stars, and it’s the right level of “really?!” It’s similar to “Fire” in the sense that it’s another villain who is having too much fun causing chaos, and it really works. 

“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”:

This is a classic that I will fully acknowledge I didn’t appreciate as a kid; I grew to love it later in my teen years. I’m not sure why it took so long to click, but my God, it’s great.

Peter Boyle has to shoulder so much, as Clyde who is hyper-aware of the burden he’s carrying. Having abilities and only being able to use them to know how someone is going to die? Miserable.

I also love how rather than Mulder and Scully being a dynamic duo, they had a third wheel along with them for a large part of the investigation. It changed everything, even how the show was shot, and it was a really underrated element of this episode.

  • Mulder’s negative energy being a blocker for the “psychic” will always be funny to me. I love how this episode constantly zigs when the show normally zags. (Case in point, when the law enforcement officers are talking about a kook who you expect to be Mulder, but then they’re baffled when he shows up.)
  • Let’s, uh, hope Mulder doesn’t die the way Clyde predicted. 
  • I feel like this may be an unpopular opinion, but I like to think Clyde’s notion that Scully doesn’t die is more figurative: She continues to live, post-literal death, through a very real contribution to the world. If she’s truly immortal, honestly, it’s tragic. Why should she have to outlive every single person she cares about?
  • I spoke with Darin Morgan about the episode timed to its 20th anniversary, and it remains one of my favorite TXF-related interviews to date.

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


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