I think I was around 10 when I first started watching “The X-Files,” which would have brought me into Season 2 or 3. I’m not sure why I watched or what initially piqued my interest, but I remember staying up past my bedtime to watch every Sunday, and then being scared before going to sleep.
Whether it was the monster of the week or the deep conspiracy episodes, there was something for everyone. I found myself always being more interested in the conspiracy stuff; The Smoking Man is probably one of the most mysterious characters to have ever existed in a TV show. But I also very much enjoyed the monster of the week stuff because it was fun in an otherwise very serious and sometimes depressing show. Yeah, people were being brutally killed, but these cases often brought out Mulder’s crazy theories and Scully’s rationalist ideas, and that always lead to awesome banter between the two.
There are a lot of lists floating around the internet listing out best episodes, best monster of the week, most violent, etc., but I always enjoyed any episodes involving The Syndicate (essentially Men in Black), therefore including The Smoking Man. There were a handful of episodes dedicated to the working of The Syndicate, but what was really interesting was the lore developed by the writers and how you couldn’t help but feel these types of people really existed. On top of that, we got the awesome alien bounty hunters which were part of an alien group named The Colonists. Before I get too deep into this stuff, I’ll move on.
“The X-Files” was a show that had easily some of the best characters ever put to screen, though not all of them were series regulars. My favorite and severely underutilized would have to be Krycek – an initial mole used by The Smoking Man to gain access to the X-Files and to get closer with Mulder. There is a huge amount of back story here that relates to an entirely different topic (Mulder’s father was in The Syndicate) that I won’t get into because it is just too dense. What I will mention is that the fondness, or infatuation, The Smoking Man has for Mulder is quite interesting; there is even speculation that he is in fact Mulder’s father…which isn’t exactly clear. Out of the 208 episodes, Krycek only appeared in 24, but the amazing thing is that he was in the beginning, middle, and end of the series. He always just popped up during the conspiracy/alien related episodes and it was always a nice little treat. The episodes where he and Mulder were forced to team up were some of the best that the series ever produced.
Now I can’t write this without mentioning the somewhat skewed Season 10 (the new one). While some things worked, most things failed miserably with the biggest being the revelation that The Syndicate was behind mostly everything, including the use of chemtrails to exterminate a majority of the population. When it was all said and done, the ending just didn’t make sense; there were far too many loose ends that were never fastened and the answers we did get felt rushed and just plain dumb.
I am currently picking and choosing episodes on Netflix and getting familiar with some of the gems that spanned the 9 seasons. As I said before, the monster of the week episodes are fun for a one off episode, but if you want to get involved in the conspiracies, you need to dedicate a handful of hours and get lost in the lore.