TV - The X-Files Season 4, The Top 5

The X-Files

Steve Taylor-Bryant continues his viewings of The X-Files and gets into Season 4...

I still love Season 4 a lot. Many fans of The X-Files point to Season 4 as the start of the story decline, but I disagree. It is not as strong as the previous years’ showings but it is certainly better than many of the years to come. I still struggled to come down to five choices, which shows the season's strength, but finally managed.

The X-Files

5 - Paper Hearts.

Scully: [speaking to Mulder] "You said it yourself, once: 'A dream is an answer to a question we haven't learned how to ask'."

A particularly vivid dream leads Mulder to the burial site of a young girl who had been kidnapped and murdered years before. Mulder knows exactly who the murderer is, John Lee Roche whom Mulder and another FBI agent had arrested based, in part, on the psychological profile Mulder had prepared on him. Roche was convicted of 13 murders in all and Mulder always wondered if there might be more. The girl found as a result of his dream is number 14 and, when they locate Roche's 'trophies' - hearts cuts out of the victims' clothing - they realise there are still two victims unaccounted for. The case takes an unexpected turn when Mulder's dreams suggest that Roche may have been involved in his sister Samantha's disappearance.

The X-Files

4 - Terma.

Fox Mulder: [questioning a home-grown terrorist] "You want to know about anarchy? You don't tell me where that other bomb is, and I'll make sure you spend your prison time on your bigoted hands and knees putting a big smile on some convict's face."

Mulder and Krycek are taken prisoner in Russia and subjected to bizarre experiments that include the black oil and vaccinations. They manage to escape but are separated and find different ways out. Back in the U.S., Scully is subpoenaed to appear before a Senate sub-committee and is threatened with jail for contempt when she refuses to tell them where Mulder is. Meanwhile, some of the conspirators, including the Cigarette Smoking Man and the Well-Manicured Man are worried their secret is getting out.

The X-Files

3 - Tunguska.

Fox Mulder: [shoving Krycek's face away roughly] "Stupid ass haircut!"

Scully and Mulder participate in a raid on a group of right-wing extremists who are obviously planning an attack of some kind. Mulder has been receiving anonymous notes from someone who knows of the plan. When they stop the terrorists, one of the men turns out to be Mulder's old nemesis Alex Krycek, who claims to be the person who was feeding him information. Meanwhile, a diplomatic courier is caught smuggling a mineral-like object into the United States. Mulder contacts Marita Covarrubias of the UN to learn more about its origin. He and Krycek are soon on their way to Russia.

The X-Files

2 - Small Potatoes.

Mulder: "Should we be picking out china patterns or what?"

Scully and Mulder travel to a small town when there are reports that five babies were recently born with vestigial tails. Four of the five women were artificially inseminated at the same clinic but the fifth claims to have had sex with Luke Skywalker. Scully thinks it's all nonsense but their focus soon falls on Eddie Van Blundht, a janitor at the fertility clinic. His father had been a circus performer but Eddie seems to have another power: to take the appearance of anyone around him. Things get interesting when he decides to pretend he's Mulder.

The X-Files

1 - Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man.

The Cigarette Smoking Man: "Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So you're stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast and the taste is... fleeting. So, you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. And if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers."

While the Cigarette Smoking Man listens in on a conversation Scully and Mulder are having with Froehike, he recalls his own past and how he got to be where he is today. As a young army officer, working alongside Mulder's father, he was recruited by a General and an intelligence operative. His past was effectively erased and from that point, he was working only in the shadow world. He was implicated in the assassination of presidents and civil rights leaders. He was also a frustrated mystery writer but his bizarre tales of assassinations and alien conspiracies are seen as too outlandish by the publishers he's approached.

Synopsis and quotes - IMDb.

Image - XFiles Wiki.