Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 6 (Part 1) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 6 (Part 1)

August 21, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 6 (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 6!

(These were viewed on the original season 6 DVD set—released back in 2002. The episodes are also streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)

“The Beginning”:

Guys!! We’re in LA!!! Did the bright sun tip you off?

The premiere has a deceptively hard task to accomplish, because not only is it kicking off the new season/tying up some loose ends from season 5, but it also has to have a few quasi-exposition dumps to fill in people who didn’t see FIGHT THE FUTURE. All things considered, they juggle it well.

The X-Files being opened, and yet Mulder and Scully being banished from working on them, is a fun twist. (I mean, not fun for Mulder and Scully.) It’s honestly an even crueler punishment than just keeping them closed, and extra salt in the wound to put Spender and Fowley on them.

And, man, Mulder so wants to believe Fowley is on his side. Scully’s skepticism is probably half-reasonable and half-more complex, but Mulder just cannot see her way. “It comes down to a matter of trust. I guess it always has,” is such a great line, and it really speaks to Mulder and Scully’s disconnect for much of this season, at least where Fowley is concerned.

  • Not being able to escape from an attack because your blood made the door handle too slippery to actually grasp it…well, that is a new, terrible way to die.
  • (They replicate some of FTF’s alien gore in this episode. It doesn’t look as great as the film, but it’s still impressive.)
  • “Not to mention some very questionable travel expenses.” I have been laughing at and about this line for more than two decades, long before I ever had to fill out an expense report. Perfect line, perfect line read.
  • Diana and Dana…diversity in names is maybe not a strong suit for this show. (I know, what am I expecting when there are like four different, notable, Williams?)
  • Scully repeating back Mulder’s beautiful hallway speech…and he’s like BUT ALIENS!!!! Men can be so dumb.


As good as this episode is—and it is—I think it’s fair to say its biggest legacy is that it first put Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston together.

Honestly, it’s kind of surprising Mulder and Scully didn’t quit when they were essentially demoted. Or, at least, it’s surprising Mulder didn’t quit; he could have easily gone vigilante.

Structurally, the episode is fantastic as Mulder and (Mr.) Crump are stuck together for large bits of time as they try to save Crump’s life…even if he’s an absolute terror to Mulder. It probably goes without saying that Cranston is fantastic, and elevates a character who really could have been a caricature. 

(Of course, Crump has some gross anti-Jewish sentiments that have always been odd and uncomfortable. I’ve never really known what to make of that, frankly, beyond him just being a Not Good Man.)

  • As always: RIP THE PUPPY.
  • Kersh is a fun foe, in that right now there is zero question about his loyalties. He does not give AF about Mulder, Scully, or the X-Files. He’s not a villain, per se, but he’s fundamentally against what “our” characters want. And it’s funny he makes it clear it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, no means no re: working on any cases in the X-Files realm.


Gorgeous, ambitious episode. The directing is spectacular, and it’s honestly incredible what they were able to do in such a confined space. (HYPOTHETICALLY, Tiny!Marisa may have gone to the Queen Mary post-”Triangle” to see what it looked like in person. This is, of course, hypothetical.)

It’s a fun episode, as Mulder is in the past, Scully is making enemies left and right in the present trying to save him, and, oh, yeah, they’re in the Bermuda Triangle. It’s a good excuse to see much of the cast playing other people in the ‘30s. 

Outside of the episode itself—and, look, this is gonna get nerdy; hold your shock—it will always remain fascinating to me how Fox promoted it. They spoiled the kiss in the TV promos. The radio ads spoiled the “I love you.” Lord knows we’ve seen networks continue to promote things in odd (and/or misleading) ways in present day, but that stuck with me so completely 25 years later. And I still think they should have held the “I love you” as a surprise.)

But of course I love the Mulder/Scully of the episode, even if it’s 90% a cheat. Yeah, Mulder kisses a Scully lookalike, but they didn’t really have to deal with the ramifications because the actual Scully didn’t know it. And, yeah, Mulder tells Scully he loved her, but he just went through an extreme life-or-death crisis and was likely wildly out of it, so it’s easy for her to dismiss. (There’s also a true hilarious level of petty in play that they finally had Mulder and Scully-lite lock lips, but before that happened, the real Scully kisses Skinner. In what world………….)

But if you’re going to play with the will they/won’t they, if you’re not willing to take that step, you should have fun with it. A show like this can do doubles, alt-universes, time travel, and other tropes. (I still can’t believe there were people who didn’t want Mulder and Scully together.)

  • CSM just standing there silently while Scully comes bursting in?! Not even a fake pleasant hello from either of them? 
  • Scully threatening Spender is so freaking funny. Sorry to that man.
  • The Scullys passing each other is such a cool shot.
  • “I was expecting the left.” It’s kind of bittersweet that Mulder thought 1939!Scully was going to punch him and still took the shot, anyway. He saw the real Scully almost allow Eddie VanBlundt-as-Mulder to kiss her. Heck, he almost kissed Scully in the hallway. Surely he had to realize the lack of movement in their relationship was fear-based rather than a lack of interest?  
  • “I love you.” “Oh, brother.” For what it’s worth, “Oh, brother” is worse than “Thank you” as a reply to a love declaration.

“Dreamland (Part 1)”:

Watching this episode made a few things weirdly clear: 1) “Triangle” into the “Dreamland” arc may be the most bonkers trio of episodes in the whole series (time travel/alt-universe into body-swapping?!), 2) the first three standalone stories (“Drive” through the “Dreamland” two-parter) of season 6 are really format busting (the Crump/Mulder car sequence in “Drive,” the time travel and one-shot directing in “Triangle,” and the two-part body-swap COTW in the “Dreamland”s), 3) we really don’t see a lot of Mulder and Scully together for the first four episodes of season 6. 

All of those things are interesting in a post-Vancouver and post-FTF world. All of the episodes are good, so it’s a risk that pays off. Mulder and Scully’s separation doesn’t feel as jarring as it could, given Mulder is with a version of Scully (played by Gillian Anderson) in “Triangle” and Scully is with what she assumes is Mulder (albeit played by the great Michael McKean) in the “Dreamland”s. And some of it works because they’re not working X-Files cases, officially. But it’s an interesting thing to note when you’re marathoning a bunch of episodes in a row.

  • Okay, but seriously, how did Scully not realize Mulder is not Mulder very fast? Sucking up to Kersh? Slapping her ass? This is not Mulder. And she lived through the aforementioned Eddie! She should have been suspicious, especially when the real Mulder called her. (And HOW would someone know about the bee pollen thing in her yogurt? Oh, Scully.)
  • Mulder and Morris’ mirror dance as Mulder played with the reflection is still laugh-out-loud funny and ridiculous.

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


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