Friday, April 08, 2016

X-Files Watch List: Seasons 3 and 4

Are you still with me on the X-Files project? Good. (Don't worry, you can start any time.) If you're reading this post you should have watched Seasons 1 and 2. If you did, you already will have started Season 3 because X-Files is rife with irresistible season finales and you won't be able to wait or need me to tell you to proceed.

You're lucky Netflix will just autoplay the next episode and all you have to do is sit there, immobile, eyes glued to the TV. Back in the day we had to wait for months to see what happened to Mulder in the buried train car in the desert.

In fact, X-Files is the show that really pioneered season-spanning arcs, which are commonplace now. Stick that in your peace pipe and smoke it--which Mulder will do in Season 3!

Now, let's dive in. Remember, I've narrowed the episode list down by about 50% to include only essential "mythology" episodes (long arcs) and quintessential "stand-alone" episodes. Feel free to watch every episode if you like—at this point X-Files gets very good with few stinker episodes. But if you're pressed for time, the most important thing for you to focus on right now are the following episodes.

Season 3

The Blessing Way
Paper Clip
D.P.O. (Jack Black and Giovanni Ribisi are in this one.)
Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
War of the Coprophages
Piper Maru (Named after Gillian Anderson's daughter.)
Jose Chung's "From Outer Space" (First and best of X-Files quirky, meta-style--one of my all-time favorites.)
Quagmire (Notable for Mulder and Scully's memorable Moby Dick conversation.)
Wetwired (Mulder kicks a car in anger and we find out that he is colorblind.)
Talitha Cumi

Season 4

Home (Warning: this is a truly horrifying episode and the first TV show I ever saw that came with a viewer discretion warning. Worth it!)
Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man (Another one of my all-time favorites.)
El Mundo Gira*
Paper Hearts
Leonard Betts
Never Again (A rare Scully-centric episode with a tattoo voiced by Jodie Foster—just go with it. )
Memento Mori
Small Potatoes (This episode is loads of fun for Mulder-Scully shippers, which everyone is by now.)
Zero Sum

*Not essential, but this episode has some cultural significance because it gives us "El Chupacabra.

Let me know if you're watching and which episodes you like best. I love talking about X-Files!

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