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

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

August 1, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 4 (Part 2)

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 4!

(These were viewed on the original season 4 DVD set—released back in 2001. The episodes are also streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)

“The Field Where I Died”:

The biggest issue I have with this episode is that it skirts multiple interesting ideas (possible past lives and/or a mental illness; the impact of living with a cult), but it never really lands.

Does it make sense Mulder would buy into a possible past life? Absolutely. Do I buy this particular thing? Well, no. Part of it is that so much of…everything…feels cheesy. (And not fun cheesy, but the “…well, okay” cheesy.)

Again, it feels like too much of the episode is superficial and that squanders any ability to move it to have real consequence. And if we’re supposed to think that Melissa even has a passing chance of being Mulder’s soul mate/reincarnated love, it should have had more depth. Alas.

(Melissa casually smoking while Mulder and Scully question her=something you’d never see in a modern show.)


A perfectly fine case of the week. But oh my God, I’m just going to put thesuc full note I took while watching the episode here: “NIGHTMARE SCENARIO WITH THE SURGERY.” I’ve said this before, but some of the most creepy episodes of this show are the ones that are bumping up against the real things we can encounter.

A strange thing to acknowledge, but YOLO, I guess: A person popping out of a bath full of blood is one of the more terrifying shots the show has done. Underrated, frankly.

It was also a good running bit to have Mulder clearly thinking about his image as they were investigating plastic surgeons. (And thank you to the writers for not having it be Scully, because it wouldn’t have been in character and it would have felt…not great.)

“Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man”:

This is definitely an episode that works less for me than it did during the original run of the series. Perhaps it’s a bit unfair, but I’m viewing these episodes specifically through the lens of knowing what’s to come and how it fits into the larger picture.

Part of the issue is that CSM was a mystery up to that point. His attempts to become a writer are “new,” but we didn’t need to see he was involved with JFK or MLK’s death to know he’s baaaad. (Frankly, they could have just shown one of those. Yes, the circumstances are different, but…) Sometimes just thinking/knowing someone is an all-powerful evil is enough; seeing their actions doesn’t help with the terror.

There’s also the issue that it was a stunning visual to see CSM be so powerful and then go back to a small, lonely apartment. But we learn later in the series he wasn’t always alone. Obviously that isn’t something the writers plotted here, but it would have been wildly more interesting to learn about his family here and give that context/juxtaposition.

  • How do the Lone Gunmen have a SIGN OUTSIDE THEIR DOOR? They have a CSM25 filter (LOL), but their name is just…there??
  • My trepidation about the episode has nothing to do with Chris Owens and William B. Davis’ performances. They were great. And it remains very funny and fitting that Owens plays the young CSM given, well, the spoiler that’s coming.


Realized during this rewatch that when I say I love season 4, it’s really a post-”Tunguska” thing. (With the exception of one other episode.) This myth arc is a lot better than the end of season 3/start of season 4, which absolutely is a relief. 

Mulder/Scully/Skinner having to work with Krycek remains so funny. I mean, to be fair, also deeply, deeply, deeply messed up. But Skinner being the one to sucker-punch Krycek and then handcuff him to a balcony is just deeply funny to me, too. 

  • Not a complaint, but I remain shocked they didn’t try to pursue (or actively tease) a Mulder/Marita romance.
  • The end shot with Mulder trapped and infected with the black oil…so damn good. (I mean, also scary. But such great framing, well done to everyone.)


If someone had told you Mulder or Scully would be held in contempt of Ctongress and you had to bet your life savings on one of them, how fast would you have lost everything picking Mulder? (Congrats to Scully for that notable distinction. And, honestly, we know she would die for Mulder at this point, but it’s extra weighted after seeing the clip in “Musings” where she’s assigned to the X-Files and has no allegiance at all to Mulder. How far she’s come!)

  • Krycek is a POS, but the scene of him losing his arm never fails to make me absolutely cringe. (In the way it’s supposed to, because OUCH. Absolute torture.) And then the reveal later of his fake arm is chilling.
  • Maybe Scully should have refused to answer questions until they called her “agent” or “doctor” instead of “miss.”
  • No, seriously, Mulder would have been insufferable with the recent UFO hearings.

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


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