When Fox Mulder (portrayed by actor David Duchovny) left “X-Files,” I lost interest, but for about five seasons it was just about the only TV show I watched with any regularity. There are many, many great espisodes, most of them of the fright variety, but I particularly liked the episodes tinged with humor. Here are my three favorites…I got help with the show summaries and the dialogue quotes from Red Wolf’s X-Files Episode Guide, which you can check out here.
1. Post-Modern Prometheus. A letter from a single mother brings Mulder and Scully to a small mid-Western town where they pick up the trail of a modern-day Frankenstein…and try to find out how the town’s women are becoming pregnant. John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld”) plays a mad scientist and Jerry Springer makes a great cameo…the black-and-white episode has a horror/comic-book feel and one of the most endearing, touching endings of any episode in the show’s long run (see the video below).
Scully: [reading] “I got your name off the TV. Some… lady on the Jerry Springer show who had a werewolf baby said you came to her house. Well I got her story beat by a mile, so maybe you’ll want to come see me too. Sincerely, Shaineh Berkowitz.”
Mulder: “Scully, do you think it’s too soon to get my own 1-900 number?”
2. Bad Blood. Mulder and Scully are at odds over how to explain their part in a bizarre death that occurred while investigating an X-File case in Texas, which begins with Mulder chasing through the woods and killing (by driving a wooden stake through the heart) a teen-aged boy he thinks is a vampire. When his “fangs” are revealed to be fake teeth, the fun begins. Truly one of the most smartly-written and hilarious X-Files episodes. Luke Wilson is great as the small Texas community’s sheriff, with whom Scully becomes smitten.
Scully: “First of all, if the family of Ronnie Strickland does indeed decide to sue the FBI for, I think the figure is $446 million, then you and I both will most certainly be co-defendants. And second of all… I don’t even have a second of all, Mulder! $446 million! I’m in this as deep as you are, and I’m not even the one that overreacted! I didn’t do the [stabbing motion] with the thing!”
Mulder: “I did not overreact, Ronnie Strickland was a vampire!”
Scully: “Where’s your proof?”
Mulder: “You’re my proof! You were there!” [Scully sighs] “Okay, now you’re scaring me. I want to hear exactly what you’re going to tell Skinner.”
Scully: “Oh, you want our stories straight.”
Mulder: “No, no, I didn’t say that! I just want to hear it the way you saw it.”
Scully: “I don’t feel comfortable with that…”
Mulder: “Prison, Scully! Your cell mate’s nickname is going to be Large Marge. She going to read a lot of Gertrude Stein.”
3. Humbug. Mulder and Scully must find the paranormal among the abnormal when they are sent to investigate a long standing series of ritualistic killings which match no known patterns. The latest of which was the death of the “Alligator Man,” just one of many sideshow acts around which the town of Gibsontown, Florida, is built.
Mulder: “Tell me, have you done much circus work in your life?”
Mr. Nut: “And what makes you think I’ve ever spectated a circus? Much less been enslaved by one?”
Mulder: “I know that many of the citizens here are former circus hands, and I just thought that…”
Mr. Nut: “You thought that because I am a person of short stature, that the only career I could procure for myself would be one confined to the so-called ‘Big Top’. You took one quick look at me, and decided that you could deduce my entire life. Never would it have occurred to you that a person of my height could have possibly obtained a degree in Hotel Management.”
Mulder: “I’m sorry. I meant no offence.”
Mr. Nut: “Well then why should I take offence? Just because it’s human nature to make instantaneous judgements of others based solely upon their physical appearances? Why I’ve done the same thing to you, for example. I’ve taken in your all-American features, your dour demeanour, your unimaginative necktie design, and concluded that you work for the government; an FBI agent… but do you see the tragedy here? I have mistakenly deduced you to a stereotype. A caricature, instead of regarding you as a specific, unique individual.”
Mulder: But I am an FBI agent.”
Here’s the last scene from “Post-Modern Prometheus,” which features Cher (actually an actress portraying Cher…she was a fan of the show but couldn’t make the shooting schedule) singing “Walking in Memphis” for the “monster,” who’s a big Cher fan…