Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 8 (Part 1) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 8 (Part 1)

September 4, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 8 (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 8!

(These were viewed on the original season 8 DVD set—released back in 2003. The episodes are also streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)


Well. Here we are.

The show fundamentally changes with David Duchovny’s exit as a full-time cast member (and, yes, he’s back in 10/11, but those seasons are so short that things feel different for a whole other reason), and the show handles it as best as they can.

While I still fundamentally hate Doggett’s first introduction to Scully (he deserved that water in his face), the show does a better job of introducing him to the world (and the audience) than I remembered.

The fact is, his theory about Mulder faking his own disappearance to give credence to “the truth”…makes a lot of sense. We know that’s not what happened, but we’ve seen Mulder sacrifice in the past in order to help bring the truth to light.

On paper, the retcon that Mulder was dying mostly works. We saw him undergo severe brain trauma last season and it seemed like he just bounced back with no consequence. It’s entirely believable he would keep this big secret from Scully—even though that’s dumb; she’s a medical doctor, she might have insight. But, come on, he wouldn’t have asked Jenn to cure him? She was a freaking genie! 

  • There’s no way around it: The new opening credits are jarring. Necessary, but…sigh.
  • I hate Scully and Doggett’s first meeting, but the water-throwing is so dramatic and very funny.
  • I love that they brought back Gibson.
  • It’s interesting to see Skinner so absolutely rattled by Mulder’s abduction. For years, he had been a part of the conspiracy—either through deals with CSM or just through Mulder and Scully—but this is the closest he got to real, unexplainable things. He’s clearly thrown.
  • Man, the torture sequences with Mulder are hard to watch.
  • I do love that when Scully is questioned by Doggett if she’s seen an alien, she fights back and acknowledges she’s seen things she can’t explain. It wouldn’t be realistic for Scully to be a full-on believer, but she has seen a lot at this point.


Okay, the biggest issue with this episode is that smart people knew there was a doppelganger running around and…didn’t think to come up with a code word? “I don’t like pointing guns at pregnant women any more than I like them pointing guns at me”…okay, Skinner, so COME UP WITH A PHRASE TO AVOID THAT? 

  • “It’s too hot for this BS.” A WHOLE DAMN MOOD.
  • But, uh, Doggett, why would you charge a man who is walking backward?!
  • Mulder calling out for Scully and her being right next to the cloaked ship always kills me. Ugh, my heart.
  • Scully getting slammed against the wall…cruel. Like, this woman had just lost Mulder, don’t make her think she might lose her unborn kid, too.


This is…a rough episode. Surprisingly, the biggest problem is the case itself? But, yeah, it’s not good. The cemetery sequence looks so fake, and a number of moments just look, frankly, ridiculous.

What’s arguably hardest to wrap my brain around is Scully diving into work—and the X-Files even staying open. Would she eventually get back to it? Sure. But we’ve seen Mulder go missing before. And with her pregnancy…come on. She wouldn’t just throw up her hands and go, well, the aliens have Mulder now, I guess I’ll see him whenever he’s returned.

  • LOL, Doggett has friends.
  • “I am not an expert. I am a scientist who has happened to see a lot.”
  • I do love that Scully got Doggett a desk. It was deserved.


I mostly like this episode, but it’s a weird structural decision to split Scully and Doggett. I guess they figured someone needed to notice Scully was missing and save her from afar, but if you’re going to do this, why not wait until later in the season? We’re still just getting to know them as partners.

(Also, that slug is weird looking.)


A much better episode than I remembered, while also being deeply disturbing. I do wish they had gone a bit deeper with Doggett’s son, because certainly a case like this would have really impacted him, but…

It’s also interesting how very clear-cut supernatural it is. Other stuff can be explained away, but they spent this episode dealing with a long-dead child. They did medical tests, had tons of people interact with him, etc. How the heck does Doggett reconcile that? 


This is a genuinely great episode. It’s kind of crazy the format hadn’t been utilized before—we did get a possible time traveler and a Groundhog’s Day thing, but never someone moving backward in time—but it’s done so effectively. It feels very TWILIGHT ZONE-y, too.

  • Joe Morton is so good in this episode he may have actually made me reconsider one of the posts I planned to do for the show’s actual 30th anniversary.
  • You can’t really call something a reunion if it hasn’t happened yet, but I loved seeing SCANDAL’s Bellamy Young and Morton together in this episode.
  • I do love that Martin ended up in jail, anyway. Yes, he saved his wife’s life, but he was an ethical mess and put an undeserving man behind bars…he had to pay the consequences of that.

“Via Negativa”:

The episode is fine enough, but the biggest problem is Scully’s near-absence. At this point, it’s two episodes in a row where she barely existed in the storyline, and in this case, all we can glean is there’s a concern about her pregnancy. With Doggett and Scully’s partnership still in the very early stages, it’s a disservice to them to have them separated, again, for no real reason. 

And I truly don’t get what they were doing with the pregnancy of it all. Doggett doesn’t know what’s going on, so he can’t press for answers; we’re left by the end of this episode knowing nothing about what she was going through or how serious it was.

There’s a weird disconnect in how they’re handling Scully’s pregnancy in general. We know she’s pregnant, but despite many risks to her unborn child, we don’t really get confirmation things are okay. And given how deeply Scully wanted a child—for years! They laid the groundwork in season 4—we barely get to explore how she’s dealing with the joy of that mixed with the grief for and worry about Mulder.

Not to mention it would have been more interesting to see Doggett grappling with his uncertainty about the case and bouncing it off of Scully. Alas.


I actually mean this as a compliment, but this could have very easily been a mediocre season 3 or 4 episode. It feels extremely old-school; it’s perfectly fine. Not great, but not even close to the worst episode this season.


Do we think they were like, Robert Patrick played a metal man in a popular film franchise, how can we make that an X-FILES episode so we can make the meta joke, or…?

In all seriousness, it was fine, bordering on boring. The end was a bit ridiculous, because it was just so abrupt.


On the flip side, this was a terrible episode. Just no. 

The only redeeming quality was Scully having to pull her gun on a kid and not being able to pull the trigger…and the subsequent emotional breakdown.

We haven’t really seen her grieving Mulder since the start of the season and this was a beautiful—as strange as that sounds—outpouring of emotion. There’s so much she’s shouldering solo, and having to try and carry on Mulder’s work without him had to be deeply painful. Not to mention, as she alludes to, she doesn’t have Mulder’s open mind; she can’t just leap like he could. No one should want her to suddenly become him, but it makes sense why it would mean so much to her.

(The show, whether intentionally or by chance, did do a good job at the end of season 7 of having Scully experience and see things that were inexplicable, which did leave her mind a little more open than it would have been even a year earlier. So it’s not like she went from a “nope, none of this supernatural stuff is real” to “OMG, BELIEVE EVERYTHING” or anything quite that drastic.)

“The Gift”:

Well, the only notes I wrote for this episode were: “GROSS, NOPE.”

And while I stand by that, this is also, arguably, the most disappointing episode of season 8 thus far. On a basic level, I don’t understand if you have Duchovny for only a handful of episodes in a season, how Gillian Anderson isn’t in every single one. Even if it’s just a scene of him calling her from the car and they don’t actually film together if schedules can’t sync up.

But this notion that Mulder was secretly dying for all of last year really only works if you don’t dig too deep into it, like you have to with this episode. He kept this from Scully for a year? Again, he didn’t try to use the other supernatural beings we saw in season 7 to help him out? He was going to let himself get…eaten? Sigh.

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


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