Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 5 (Part 3) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 5 (Part 3)

August 14, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 5 (Part 3)

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 5!

(These were viewed on the original season 5 DVD set—released back in 2002. The episodes are also streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)


A perfectly fine episode. As someone who loves the Vancouver rain, I was honestly wildly distracted by the weather in the background at various points in the episode. (Including a scene where it was clearly pouring—both in the background and on the car in between Mulder and Scully, and you could hear the rain—but David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were entirely dry.) 

But a completely middle-of-the-road episode. Though it feels like when someone comes toward you with a sharp weapon, at night, by trees…that’s more than a little alarming!


As someone who discovered Stephen King’s writing around the same time I discovered THE X-FILES, this has always been a hit-miss episode for me. Because it’s King, I always wanted to LOVE it; in the past, I’ve just enjoyed it.

I appreciated it more this go-round, though. The way the episode plays with tension is fantastic…the moments leading up to the ponytail in the ice cream machine? Stressful as hell! There are a lot of horror tropes at play in the episode, but they handle it better than I remembered.

  • Starting with a Maine license plate? Of course.
  • I’m sorry, finding a doll in the water and wanting to give it to your kid is GROSS AND WEIRD. Those things can’t be easily cleaned!! I’m not saying he deserved to die, but he deserved to at least get a bit sick.
  • Mulder’s encyclopedic knowledge of the bizarre is impressive, especially in an era pre-smartphone.
  • I know I’ve said this before, but Mulder watching porn at work is really uncomfortable. I know it’s supposed to be one of his quirks, but they treat it as casually as him eating sunflower seeds at his desk. Yeah, it’s a weekend, yeah, he has an office, but it’s a work space. He specifically can go home and watch what he wants there.
  • At least we got the start of Mulder’s ceiling full of pencils from his boredom. 

“Kill Switch”:

This is a good concept that is half-executed well and half-a cheesy mess.

On one hand, it’s timely as hell, with AI being a very hot-button issue everywhere. And, yes, the technology is more than two decades old, but it doesn’t frequently feel that dated. There’s also a number of heavy action sequences that are shot in a really gorgeous manner.

Mulder’s nightmare simulation is supposed to be ridiculous, but it also just didn’t fit with the rest of the episode. It almost needed to be more extreme, more grounded, or significantly shorter. It doesn’t kill the episode, but it takes you out of the drama of it all.

  • Scully’s entire mindset in this episode is a bit weird. On paper, this might be a thing she could understand more since at least the computer element is more grounded in facts and science. But she’s also very blasé about them being targeted? It’s odd.
  • (Mulder was also equally as unconcerned about Scully and Esther’s field trip, but…)

“Bad Blood”:

Honestly, half of my notes about this episode were just the lines that made me laugh. 

This episode is brilliant, and I don’t say that lightly. There are so many ways this could go wrong, but the writing, acting, and directing manage to be just the right amount of ridiculous and engaging.

Seeing Mulder and Scully through each other’s eyes? Incredible. Duchovny and Anderson have to walk a really delicate line of playing up the worst elements of their characters (as seen through the eyes of the other), without making them feel entirely out of character or implausible.

It was also a brilliant twist to have it be vampires, but not exactly in the way that they’re portrayed in the modern world. It allowed for some of Scully’s skepticism to play out and Mulder to worry he had killed an innocent kid.

But, my God, it’s also funny as hell. Please enjoy some of my favorite moments from the episode. (And also be glad you weren’t getting the photos and videos I kept sending friends while I rewatched this episode.)

  • The cut off when Mulder says, “Oh sh—”? Incredible use of the format/opening credits.
  • Mulder beating the hell out of the trash can? Relatable.
  • “I didn’t do the…with the thing!”
  • “Dana? He never even knew your first name!”
  • “Who is arguably having a worse time in Texas than I am. Though not by much.”
  • Mulder singing SHAFT in Scully’s version, followed by present-day Mulder’s indignant “I DID NOT” is absolutely perfect, 10/10, no notes.
  • “Shooting out the tires on a runaway RV is a lot harder than it looks.” (Also fascinating that Mulder looks ridiculous even in his own story with him holding on to the RV.)
  • “It was sort of gnawed.”
  • “That is essentially exactly the way it happened.” “Essentially.” “Except for the part about the buck teeth.” (Luke Wilson is also GREAT in this episode.)

“Patient X”:

This is interesting for two very specific reasons: 1) It’s the first real conspiracy/myth episode we’ve gotten since Mulder has embraced more of his skeptical side, and 2) It’s the first time we get to see the Syndicate and the leaders working amongst themselves with CSM dead. 

Mulder trying to convince others that aliens aren’t real, and it’s all just a larger conspiracy by men who were trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes is a fascinating journey to witness and one I wish the show had been able to dig into more. This was Mulder’s foundation for decades, and it was demolished. He still had his work, still had Scully, but it would have fundamentally shaken him.

In this episode, we see Mulder and Scully’s belief system quasi-swapped. It’s not as rigid as it tends to be when matters of religion come up, but Scully is more open to everything, including Cassandra, than Mulder is. It makes sense; it’s personal to Scully. But these two can never get on the same page. (Well…rarely.)

  • Marita and Krycek remain the most bizarre pairing, and yet also work?
  • Hello to Agent Spender! (RUN, sir!)

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


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