Saturday, October 31, 2009

X-Files: Season One (1993)


Season One

Created by Chris Carter
David Duchovny--Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson--Dana Scully

For those of you who have just crawled out from under a rock...

Special Agent Dana Scully of the FBI, a medical doctor, has been assigned to work with Agent "Spooky" Fox Mulder. Fox has taken it upon himself to investigate and solve the X-Files, FBI cases involving unexplained phenomena. Scully is the logical and scientific half of the show who demands proof before belief, and Fox is the manic and conspiratorial half, who wants to believe so badly that he's able to trick himself into doing so.

1) Pilot
We meet Scully for the first time here and follow her as she is assigned to work with Mulder on the X-Files. Mulder's initial distrust is evident, believing that she has been sent to debunk his work. The pair travels to Oregon to investigate a series of unsolved murders, the victims of which all belonged to the same high school graduating class and all displaying the same strange red dots on the small of their back. Mulder, of course, speculates that they were abducted and experimented on by aliens.

This is the episode where we learn that Mulder's sister was reportedly abducted by aliens when they were children, thus fueling his belief in the paranormal. Fans of the show will recognize the Cigarette Smoking Man lurking in the background at one point in this episode. This storyline is not picked up again for seven more years, in the episode “Requiem.”

Originally broadcast on 09.10.93; written by Chris Carter; directed by Robert Mandel; guest starring Charles Cioffi (Section Chief Scott Blevins), Cliff DeYoung (Dr. Jay Nemman), Sarah Koskoff (Teresa Nemman), Leon Russom (Detective Miles)

2) Deep Throat*
Upon investigating the disappearance of a military test pilot, Scully and Mulder witness a bizarre light show in the sky above Ellens Air Force Base. Mulder believes them to be top secret aircraft created with recovered UFO technology, and Scully doesn't know what to believe. When the test pilot returns, the case seems to be over, but he is markedly changed. This only increases Mulder's interest in the case, and he winds up captured by the military. Scully must go “renegade” in order to rescue him.

This is the first appearance of Mulder's inside confidential source, the titular Deep Throat

Originally broadcast on 09.17.93; written by Chris Carter; directed by Daniel Sackheim; guest starring Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Michael Bryan French (Paul Mossinger), Seth Green (Emil), Gabrielle Rose (Anita Budahas), Monica Parker (Ladonna)

3) Squeeze*
An old friend of Scully's from the FBI academy recruits her for assistance on a homicide case for the Violent Crimes Unit. Three victims have been found, each in a room that was locked tight from the inside and each with their livers missing. Mulder finds that there were similar cases in 1903, 1933 and 1963, all now locked in the folders of the X-files. While on a stake-out, Scully and Mulder arrest Eugene Tooms--one of the X-files most intriguing villains and one of the all time fan faves. Mulder's paranormal theories are laughed at by the Violent Crimes Unit, and Tooms is released. Desperate to protect his secret and to attain one last liver, he targets Scully at her home.

Eugene Tooms returns later this season, in episode 21 entitled Tooms.

Originally broadcast on 09.24.93; written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by Harry Longstreet; guest starring Doug Hutchison (Eugene Victor Tooms), Donal Logue (Agent Tom Colton), Henry Beckman (Detective Frank Briggs)

4) Conduit*
Mulder decides to investigate a missing persons case because the disappearance is easily comparable to that of his sister Samantha's as a child. Upon investigation, Mulder and Scully come upon the missing girl's brother, who is picking up strange messages from his television set. Despite their lack of jurisdiction, the military try to step in and impede the FBI's progress on the case. Watch for the scene from the top of the staircase. It's amazing.

Originally broadcast on 10.01.93; written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon; directed by Daniel Sackheim; guest starring Carrie Snodgress (Darlene Morris), Michael Cavanaugh (Sheriff Jack Withers), Don Gibb (Kip), Joel Palmer (Kevin Morris), Charles Cioffi (Section Chief Scott Blevins)

5) The Jersey Devil
A park ranger outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey finds a dead body that seems to have been partially eaten. The teeth marks show that the attacker was human, and Mulder and Scully drive out to investigate. The local law enforcement wants no help from them and insists that they go home. Scully returns to attend her godson's birthday party (and to be picked up by another boy's father) but Mulder persists in his investigation because of its similarities to an X-File from 1947. Local legend has it that these murders were committed by the Jersey Devil, similar in nature to sasquatch (as opposed to the flying creature usually associated with the Jersey Devil name), and the idea of locating the missing link is too stimulating for Mulder to pass up.

Originally broadcast on 10.08.93; written by Chris Carter; directed by Joe Napolitano; guest starring Claire Stansfield (The Jersey Devil), Wayne Tippet (Detective Thompson), Gregory Sierra (Dr. Diamond), Michael McRae (Ranger Peter Broullet)

6) Shadows*
Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate a bizarre homicide case in which two men were found with their throats crushed, seemingly from the inside out. While searching for suspects, they come across a secretary who has been distraught over the suicide of her father-figure and boss. These men had tried to rob her but she insists they were alive when she escaped. Scully doesn't believe her story and Mulder believes that the onslaught of the woman's emotions had brought out an inherent telekinetic ability. Before long, they realize that the secretary has a partner in that even she can't see.

Originally broadcast 10.02.93, written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by Michael Katleman; guest starring Barry Primus (Robert Dorland), Lisa Waltz (Lauren Kyte)

7) Ghost in the Machine
A high-rise Fortune 500 company's mainframe security computer seems a little too intelligent for its own good. When an executive is found murdered by an apparent “electric booby trap,” Mulder's old friend Jerry brings it to the attention of Mulder and Scully. They suspect the disgruntled founder of the company, a computer whiz who designed the security system, and Jerry ends up presenting their findings as his own in order to further his career. Even with the suspect in custody, however, the murders continue and Mulder takes it upon himself to destroy the computer.

As with every movie or television show that delves into the computer world for a storyline, they pass well over the land of futuristic believability and into ridiculousness and the episode suffers because of it. Sadly, even Mulder's inside source Deep Throat makes an appearance in this abomination.

Originally broadcast on 10.29.93; written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon; directed by Jerrold Freedman; guest starring Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Wayne Duvall (Agent Jerry Lamana), Rob La Belle (Brad Wilczek), Blu Mankuma (Claude Peterson)

8) Ice*
A group of scientists sent to Alaska to drill into the ice core and recover samples send out a distressing message and are never heard from again. Fearing the worst, Mulder and Scully are sent up North where they meet another group of scientists, all of varying nature, and a charter pilot who is to fly them out to the ice core base. When they arrive, they find a heap of dead bodies and a rabid-acting dog who has a large parasite obviously moving around beneath the skin. Upon examination, Scully finds that this could mean some sort of outbreak and they're forced to quarantine themselves until it's positive that none of them are infected. The fear and paranoia breaks the group down, and one by one they turn on each other like wild animals. Certain aspects of this episode are borrowed heavily from both Howard Hawks' and John Carpenter's The Thing.

Originally broadcast 11.05.93; written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by David Nutter; guest starring Xander Berkeley (Dr. Hodge), Felicity Huffman (Dr. DaSilva), Steve Hytner (Dr. Murphy), Jeff Kober (Bear)

9) Space*
After an aborted launch, Mulder and Scully investigate a possible saboteur within the ranks of NASA's space program. They turn up no evidence of sabotage and so the next shuttle goes up as planned. Lift off goes without a hitch, but once the astronauts are in space anything that can go wrong does go wrong. It seems that Colonel Belt, a former astronaut in charge of the mission, may be behind the problems but what unseen force is behind him?

This episode is noteworthy for the fact that it would work even without the paranormal aspects. The touch-and-go scenes in mission control keep you on the edge of your seat and rival those in Apollo 13, a film based on true events that wouldn't appear in theatres for many years.

Originally broadcast 11.12.93l; written by Chris Carter; directed by William Graham; guest starring Ed Lauter (Col. Marcus Aurelius Belt), Susanna Thompson (Michelle Generoo)

10) Fallen Angel
When an unknown aircraft crashes in the woods near Townsend, Wisconsin, Mulder puts the X-Files in jeopardy by investigating against strict orders. He is arrested by Military Police and put into a cell next to Max Fenig, a UFO fanatic who leads a group called NICAP (National Investigative Committee of Aerial Phenomena.) Even Mulder thinks that Max may be a bit nutty until he notices a small crescent shaped scar behind his ear, which Mulder has seen before in alien abduction cases. When things look like they may reach an abrupt end for Mulder's investigations, Deep Throat appears to save the day.

Originally broadcast 11.19.93; written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon; directed by Larry Shaw; guest starring Frederick Coffin (Section Chief Joseph McGrath), Marshall Bell (Commander Calvin Henderson), Scott Bellis (Max Fenig), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat)

11) Eve*
Two different fathers on opposite sides of the country are found dead from exsanguination, with 75 percent of their blood missing. Mulder becomes interested in the case because of its similarities to unexplained cattle mutilations, and upon investigation he and Scully find that the daughters of the victims appear to be identical twins, although the two sets of parents had never met each other. The mothers had both been impregnated through in vitro fertilization through the same clinic, however, and it turns out that Dr. Kendrick, who was in charge of both cases, once had ties to a discontinued genetics experiment that was meant to create a race of super-soldiers. The males from this experiment were called Adam, the girls were called Eve. Suspecting that Kendrick is behind the murders, Mulder and Scully have to track her down. But have they found her or have they found one of her clones?

An excellent episode with a twist and the source of pop band Eve 6's name.

Originally broadcast 12.10.93; written by Kenneth Biller and Chris Brancato; directed by Fred Gerber; guest starring Harriet Sansom Harris (Dr. Sally Kendrick/Adult Eves); Erika Krievins (Cindy Reardon); Sabrina Krievins (Teena Simmons); Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat)

12) Fire
Mulder's ex-girlfriend pops in from Scotland Yard to ask him for help with an apparent international assassination case in which several men have been inexplicably burned alive. We're told right off the bat that it is a pyrokinetic handyman named Cecil and the rest of the episode bounces back and forth from the FBI investigation to Cecil attempting to gain the love of a British dignitary's wife. This episode introduces us to the fact that Mulder is deathly afraid of fire.

Originally broadcast 12.17.93; written by Chris Carter; directed by Larry Shaw; guest starring Amanda Pays (Inspector Phoebe Green); Mark Sheppard (Cecil L'ively/Bob); Dan Lett (Sir Malcolm Marsden); Laurie Paton (Lady Marsden)

13) Beyond the Sea*
Minutes before being alerted of the sudden and unexpected death of her father, Scully has a ghostly vision of him trying unsuccessfully to deliver a message. Against Mulder's advice, she returns to work immediately and they become involved in a serial kidnapping and murder case. College students are being kidnapped two at a time from around town and held for five days before being slaughtered. Death row inmate Luther Lee Boggs, whom Mulder helped put away, claims that he has acquired some psychic ability and can help them find the killer in exchange for life in prison. Mulder, for once, plays the man of reason but Scully finds herself believing Boggs when he claims to be able to deliver the message from her father.

Not only is this my favorite episode of the season, it's one of my all-time favorites in the series. Genre vet and character actor Brad Dourif is excellent as always and it was a shame to see him go. Luthor Lee Boggs and his partner on the outside Lucas Jackson Henry were named after real life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, who was depicted in the film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

Originally broadcast 01.07.94; written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by David Nutter; guest starring Brad Dourif (Luther Lee Boggs); Don S. Davis (Captain William Scully); Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully)

14) Genderbender
A series of sexual murders confuse local police because the killer enters with the victim as a female but walks out after the murder as a male. Mulder finds a distinct natural clay left in scratch marks on the victim's back, and he and Scully head to the hills where the clay originated. They encounter the Kindred, a religious sect that closely resembles the Amish. Scully is inexplicably attracted to one of the brethren despite the fact that physically he is nothing to look at and Mulder speculates about pheromones. Rather odd episode whose ending seems like a blatant cop out.

Originally broadcast 01.21.94; written by Larry Barber and Paul Barber; directed by Rob Bowman; guest starring Michele Goodger (Sister Abigail); Brent Hinkley (Brother Andrew); Kate Twa (Female Marty); Peter Stebbings (Male Marty);

15) Lazarus
FBI Agent Jack Willis and would-be bank robber Warren Dupre fatally shoot each other during a hold-up attempt. Dupre dies on the operating table but Willis is miraculously saved after a clinical flatline. Willis promptly begins acting strangely and becomes obsessed with finding Dupre's girlfriend. Scully thinks he's just been traumatized by the whole event and that he spent too much time “getting into Dupre's head,” but Mulder has his own theory that stems from an EKG printout that seems to show two heartbeats.

Originally broadcast 02.02.94; written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon; directed by David Nutter; guest starring Christopher Allport (Agent Jack Willis); Cec Verrell (Lula Philips); Jackson Davies (Agent Bruskin)

16) Young at Heart
Mulder is being stalked and threatened by John Barnett, a criminal who helped put away many years ago. According to prison records, however, Barnett died while on the inside. Scully believes it to be the work of a copycat or one of Barnett's criminal friends, but Mulder thinks Barnett is indeed involved, either from beyond the grave or from behind the veil of a faked death certificate.

Originally broadcast on 02.11.04; written by Scott Kaufer and Chris Carter; directed by Michael Lange; guest starring Dick Anthony Williams (Agent Reggie Purdue); Alan Boyce (young John Barnett); Christine Estabrook (Agent Henderson); Graham Jarvis (Dr. Austin); Robin Mossley (Dr. Joe Ridley); Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat)

17) E.B.E.
An unknown aircraft is shot down over Iraq and recovered by the American military. The truck driver possibly delivering the wreckage falls ill with symptoms similar to those of the Gulf War Syndrome, although he swears he was never in the Gulf. Mulder and Scully investigate although everyone seems to be against them, including Deep Throat who steers them wrong. An electronic bugging device found in their office gives Mulder reason to believe that he has never been closer to the elusive Truth and they have to find the truck before it delivers the cargo, or before someone else gets to it first.

This episode is noteworthy as the first appearance of the nutty conspiracy theorists The Lone Gunmen. Mulder also makes mention of NICAP in this episode, a UFO watchdog group that appeared in episode 10, Fallen Angel. E.B.E. stands for Extraterrestrial Biological Entity, as explained by Langly.

Originally broadcast 02.18.94; written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by William Graham; guest starring Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Bruce Harwood (Byers), Dean Haglund (Langly), Tom Braidwood (Frohike)

18) Miracle Man*
Samuel Hartley, a young man who has the apparent ability to “lay on hands”—healing the sick and even reanimating the occasional dead man—operates a tent ministry in Tennessee with his adopted father. Mulder and Scully are assigned to investigate the mysterious deaths of a number of people that Samuel was supposed to have been healing. When they arrive in town, Samuel has gone into hiding and the tent ministry refuses to cooperate with their investigation. They find Samuel in a local bar smoking, drinking and brawling—not exactly the ideal Christian ethic. He believes that his sin of pride opened up the road to the devil, who contaminated his healing touch. He is arrested on suspicion of murder. After a cryptic message about his sister and a Biblical plague striking the court room, Mulder believes that perhaps the Lord is trying to communicate something to him.

In this episode we learn that Scully had a strict Catholic upbringing, because of which The Exorcist is her favorite movie.

Originally broadcast 03.18.94; written by Howard Gordon & Chris Carter; directed by Michael Lange; guest starring R.D. Call (Sheriff Maurice Daniels), Scott Bairstow (Samuel Hartley), George Gerdes (Reverend Calvin Hartley), Dennis Lipscomb (Leonard Vance)

19) Shapes
Mulder and Scully investigate a homicide case in which the suspect, Jim Parker, claims the victim was an animal up until the point of death. The recovered body was that of a Native American boy whose family was engaged in a land dispute with the suspect. Scully believes it is an open and shut revenge-murder case, but Mulder has other ideas. A viewing of the body reveals long animal-like fangs that convince Mulder of lycanthropy, similar in place and tone of the original X-File. Promptly after the boy's funeral, Mr. Parker is maimed and killed by “a large predator” as Scully surmises. His son Lyle is found naked and unconscious in a nearby field and Mulder suspects he also carries the curse. But while Lyle is in custody, others are still dying. So who is the beast now?

In this episode we learn that the original X-File was initiated in 1946 by J. Edgar Hoover himself. Michael Horse, who plays Sheriff Tskany in this episode, and David Duchovny investigated another crime together in the television show Twin Peaks, in which Horse played Deputy Tommy Hill and Duchovny appeared as a cross-dressing officer.

Originally broadcast on 04.01.94; written by Marilyn Osborne; directed by David Nutter; guest starring Ty Miller (Lyle Parker), Michael Horse (Sheriff Charley Tskany), Donnelly Rhodes (Jim Parker), Jimmy Herman (Ish), Renae Morriseau (Gwen Goodensnake)

20) Darkness Falls
A group of 30 loggers disappear from their camp without a trace. Teaming up with a forest ranger and the owner of the logging company, Mulder and Scully head to the abandoned camp to investigate. The likeliest suspects are a couple of eco-terrorists who work the area, willing to do anything for the sake of Mother Nature. All the vehicles at the camp have been “monkey wrenched.” Mulder refuses to believe they are guilty of murder because the only body they found was in the forest, encased in some sort of insect cocoon. When they finally manage to locate one of the monkey wrenchers, he warns them that they have to stay in the light because when darkness falls, They feed—swarms of glowing insects who woke up hungry, unleashed when the loggers illegally cut down a 500 year old tree. With no automobile, they all must find a way to survive the night and get back out of the woods.

Originally broadcast 04.15.94; written by Chris Carter; directed by Joe Napolitano; guest starring Jason Beghe (Ranger Larry Moore), Tom O'Rourke (Steve Humphreys), Titus Welliver (Doug Spinney)

21) Tooms*
Everyone's favorite freak returns when Eugene Victor Tooms is declared mentally competent and ready to return to society. Despite Mulder's heartfelt testimony, Tooms is released into the care of an older couple trained in such matters and is given his old job back. It's not long before that old love of liver kicks back in, though, and Mulder is watching him every step of the way. Meanwhile, Scully and Detective Briggs—who helped with the Tooms case last time—attempt to dig up some lost evidence dating back to the string of murders in 1933. When Tooms slips away from them, Mulder and Scully find him at his old address on Exeter Street, locked up in a new nest. And it's bile, bile everywhere and not a drop to drink.

This episode is the first appearance of the moody A.D. Skinner, in whose office the Cigarette Smoking Man can also be seen lingering.

Originally broadcast 04.22.94; written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by David Nutter; guest starring Doug Hutchison (Eugene Victor Tooms), Paul Ben-Victor (Dr Aaron Monte), Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Walter Skinner), Henry Beckman (Detective Frank Briggs)

22) Born Again
When a Buffalo police detective and his former partner both die under unexplained circumstances, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate. The deaths are linked by a disturbed little girl named Michelle Bishop, who was the sole witness to both incidents. Michelle claims to have seen the killer and provides them with a description which fits another police officer who died nearly a decade ago. During their investigation, they uncover the truth about the officers connections to a Chinatown drug bust and Mulder devises a theory revolving around dirty money, reincarnation and origami.

Originally broadcast 04.29.94; written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon; directed by Jerrold Freedman; guest starring Brian Markinson (Tony Fiore), Mimi Lieber (Anita Fiore), Maggie Wheeler (Detective Sharon Lazard), Dey Young (Judy Bishop), Andrea Libman (Michelle Bishop)

23) Roland*
In this episode that at first seems similar to the previous episode, Born Again, Mulder and Scully investigate the murder of a scientist who was working on "advanced propulsion technology." When they learn that this was not the only death of someone involved in the project, they suspect industrial espionage. Their only clue is a scientific formula written out on a chalkboard where the murder took place. The handwriting matches only that of the least-logical suspect, a (very convincing) mentally retarded janitor named Roland. It seems that Roland, when lost in a fugue state, is striving to complete the unfinished work of one of the deceased and he won't let anyone get in his way.

Originally broadcast 05.06.94; written by Chris Ruppenthal; directed by David Nutter; guest starring Zeljko Ivanek (Roland Fuller), Garry Davey (Dr Keats), James Sloyan (Dr Nollette), Micole Mercurio (Miss Stodie), Kerry Sandomirsky (Tracey)

24) The Erlenmeyer Flask
A routine stop for a driving violation leads police on a violent chase with a “superman” who isn't affected by either stun guns or bullets. When news reports of his escape are broadcast on television, Deep Throat turns Mulder onto the case. With very little to work on, Mulder and Scully find that the car involved in the chase was registered to—and apparently stolen from—a doctor unwilling to cooperate with the authorities. When the doctor winds up dead, a supposed suicide, Mulder and Scully stumble upon his experiments in the Human Genome Project, the complete mapping out of human genes. They also recover a specimen of a bacteria, the likes of which have never been seen in nature and once can only speculate is extra-terrestrial. They've definitely got too close to the truth this time, because when the case is “closed,” word comes from Skinner that the X-Files have been shut down.

Originally broadcast 05.13.94; written by Chris Carter; directed by R.W. Goodwin; guest starring Lindsey Ginter (Crew-Cut Man), Anne DeSalvo (Dr Anne Carpenter), Simon Webb (Dr Secare), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat)

September 1993-May 1994
60 minutes
United States


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