Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 6 (Part 4) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 6 (Part 4)

August 28, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 6 (Part 4)

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 finishing 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.)


I’ve mentioned this before, but you can do a ridiculous, thin (plot-wise) episode if you have character work to back it up. This is absolutely that. Does it make sense? Not really. Is the monster ridiculous? Absolutely. Is it incredibly fun to watch and inherently rewatchable? Hell yes.

On its own, the community that is basically taking HOA rules to the absolute extreme is interesting. The desire to conform—and how Scully would fit into a place like that, while Mulder absolutely would not—gives them things to work with. But, yeah, it falls apart with an issue that’s acknowledged in the episode: If you want new people to follow these rules, you should make it clear what the consequences are. Because even the most rule-abiding people might let a street lamp stay out and change it the next morning if they don’t know the consequence is literal death via trash monster.

But then you also have Mulder and Scully working their first official X-Files case of the season, thrown together as a married couple; somehow, they’re both entirely themselves in the undercover assignment, while also portraying a couple with normalcy they’d never be. The show really leans hard into their relationship this season, with this one clearly being the most obvious episode. It could feel cheap, but the show’s format is elastic, so, sure, why not do an hour where the biggest thing people will take away is Mulder/Scully as a married couple? (Of note, every single procedural show with a will they/won’t they at its core should do a full episode of the duo going UC as a married couple. Please and thanks!)

  • LOL to Mulder posing for Scully’s video diary/evidence. Not at all subtle, sir.
  • Please imagine Skinner assigning this case to Mulder and Scully. And their reactions. 
  • Structurally, it’s crazy it takes until episode 15 until Mulder and Scully are officially back working on the X-Files. Obviously, they were working cases all season, but that’s a long, long time for them to be officially off the unit and I truly wonder if the network would have allowed them to go more than 5-6 episodes in modern times.


If you’ve been even casually reading these, it’s probably not a surprise that I hate this episode. I don’t want to see hurt animals or animals as the bad guy. Let the animals be safe away from the story, please.

Scully is once again extremely jealous, which would be interesting if there was any merit. Alas.


This is definitely an episode that was better than I remembered. I never disliked it, but, frankly, when I rewatch season 6, this isn’t in my top 10 choices. But it’s a solid case, with an interesting emotional throughline, and some good twists.

Plus, we get the always-delightful: “Dear Diary, today my heart leapt when Agent Scully suggested spontaneous human combustion.”


As a writer, I’ve always enjoyed this episode. (Albeit, a different kind of writer. But writers’ block is writers’ block.) And there’s funny/tragic/fitting symbolism of a writer literally taking his heart out while he crafts a story.

What struck me on this rewatch, though, was how much worse Padgett was than I remembered. Of course the way he was enamored with Scully is wildly apparent and overt, but, right, this dude also literally stalked her and moved into Mulder’s building to get closer to her. Scully deserves to be wooed and desired, but it sucks she was briefly taken in by a guy who really is in no way acting appropriate or respectful.

But at least Scully sees through the act, eventually. It’s fun to see her defending Padgett in the sense it is the side Mulder would normally take, so it is a different side of her/them than we’re used to.

  • “Agent Scully is already in love.” We know. She knows. The dummy she’s in love with—who is also in love with her—just doesn’t seem to believe it yet.
  • “I’m horrified. I just want to know why I do it.” Not a good thing when you’re fighting with your fictional character who doesn’t even believe you.
  • (Okay, this go-round the episode also made me think of the GREY’S ANATOMY patient who ate his book.)

“The Unnatural”:

If you thought I was going to love an episode of THE X-FILES that guest-starred Jesse L. Martin and focused on baseball…well, yeah, duh, you’re absolutely right.

The story itself is fascinating and gorgeous: An alien falls in love with baseball, and decides to stay to continue playing the game he’s enamored with. But to hide in plain sight, he appears as a Black man playing in the Negro League, hoping to minimize the attention on him. It’s a beautiful story of falling in love with something unexpected, and also a grim, heartbreaking look at how twisted our recent past was. (This is not me claiming racism has gone away in this country; unfortunately, we have proof of the exact opposite daily. But this kind of segregation isn’t happening, to this degree, in sports right now.)

Martin plays the role of Josh Exley with beautiful nuance, as Ex tries to keep his secret under wraps. The scene where he explains how the aliens don’t have a word for laughter—their small mouths=no smiling, either—but baseball made him laugh? My whole damn heart, man. There’s gorgeous vulnerability and wonder as Ex recalls that life-changing moment. I think I would have been likely to like this episode no matter what, but there’s no denying the sheer humanity Martin brings to the hour.

  • Vin Scully!!! Obviously, Scully was named after the legendary Dodgers broadcaster, but I love he’s in the episode, voice-wise, too. 
  • Also, we got Martin singing in this episode. Have I mentioned how much I love this hour of TV?
  • “I have seen the life on this planet, Scully, and that is exactly why I’m looking elsewhere.” Okay, to be fair…Mulder has a point.
  • Mulder and Scully bantering and then fighting over ice cream nonfat Tofutti rice dreamsicle? Love.
  • The end scene is also perfect. There’s a bittersweet element to it in hindsight, because it might be the lightest/happiest Mulder/Scully are together for the entire duration of the franchise to come? (Excluding a certain film tag.) But in the moment, it’s just Mulder and Scully, delighted to be with each other, young at heart. He teaches her to play baseball! Sigh. It’s lovely.

“Three of a Kind”:

Yeah, Scully should absolutely kick the Lone Gunmen’s collective asses. They tricked her and then she got drugged. She’s lucky worse didn’t happen.

Not an episode I wildly love, but I do enjoy it more than “Unusual Suspects.” And there are fun callbacks to the series’ more zany moments. (Morris is gonna Morris.)

“Field Trip”:

The fascinating thing about this episode is that it’s very clear, quickly, that things are amiss, it’s also extremely unclear what the hell is going on.

The show’s own tropes actually help lull the audience into a false sense of security, as well: When Mulder and Scully are mysteriously able to save themselves from the fungus, does it make sense? No. But Mulder and Scully have escaped the unfathomable before, with little making sense there, so at first glance, you just assume maybe it is like their haunted house adventure in “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas” and they were able to snap out of it when they realized it was going on.

But, no, it’s actually another trick, and Mulder and Scully are still sharing a hallucination while underground. It’s an extremely clever tool to use. (And one I actually suspect may be even more effective in the modern age, because if you’re watching the episode for the first time on streaming, you’re not looking at the clock realizing you have X many minutes left in the episode, so it can’t be over.)

  • Oh, hello David Denman!  And Jim Beaver!
  • I really loved Mulder pointing out he’s so often right in their investigation. He’s not telling Scully to believe him blindly, but “I think I’ve earned the benefit of the doubt here” is very fair.
  • “I abducted him.” God, it would have been so funny if Mulder actually did abduct an alien. (And only fair.)
  • Mulder and Scully reaching for each other in the back of the ambulance brings me to my knees.


I’m not wild about this finale, especially because so much of it does feel like leading up to the real story—Mulder being impacted by the artifact rubbings—and it just can’t hold up to the “Two Fathers”/”One Son” combo.

I’ve discussed, frequently, the violation the show puts Scully through, but this episode also includes one of the most disturbing implications re: Mulder: he’s out of his mind in pain and confused, and Diana seemingly takes advantage of him. Yes, they had a prior physical relationship—and we don’t see what happens, we just see he’s severely impaired and then she takes off her top before going back to “take care of him”—but one-time consent doesn’t equal forever consent. And he was already out of his mind, and extremely susceptible to whatever they needed/wanted from him…there’s literally no point beyond cruelty for potentially assaulting him at that moment.

One nice thing I will say is that the final shot, with Scully and the ship in the sand, is gorgeously done. So I guess at least there’s that.

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


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