TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Agua Mala vs Small Potatoes / My Struggle II vs Irresistible

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 20th/21st

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AGUA MALA vs SMALL POTATOES

Tony: “SMALL POTATOES – by a country mile.”

Carl: “Yeah, don’t think there’s much else to add. SMALL POTATOES is heading to round 2 (and beyond)…”

Sarah: “SMALL POTATOES is gonna coldcock every competitor for sure.”

Paige: “Small Potatoes doesn’t need the force to pull out a victory on this one.”

Baz: “SMALL POTATOES is the comedy masterpiece of season four, AGUA MALA is okay, but one of the weaker episodes of the very strong season six. It might get a few votes but not many.”

MY STRUGGLE II vs IRRESISTIBLE

Tony: “IRRESISTIBLE – no one forgets Donnie Pfaster but a lot of people are keen to forget the  S10 finale!”

Sarah: “Donnie Pfaster traumatized me for life. I can’t buy shampoo or clean out my hair brush without thinking of him. IRRESISTIBLE is truly frightening. It’s going far in this tournament.”

Carl: “IRRESISTIBLE will win, for sure. Like you say – once seen, never forgotten.”

Baz: “Donnie Pfaster will always be one of The X Files’s most memorable non-monster human serial killers. MY STRUGGLE II is a struggle for many reasons (pun intended :slightly_smiling_face: ) A great story rushed at a thousand miles per hour and a frustrating cliff-hanger, I can’t see it getting many votes. IRRESISTIBLE for the win!”

Paige: “And Donnie Pfaster is an indelible X-File baddie. It’s too Irresistible not to vote for that ep. We’ll see just how strong our revival contingent is on this vote, but I firmly believe Irresistible will prevail.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

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TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose vs Quagmire / Invocation vs The Erlenmeyer Flask

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 19th/20th

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CLYDE BRUCKMAN’S FINAL REPOSE vs QUAGMIRE

Tony: “CLYDE BRUCKMAN – probably the toughest tie this round, or one of them. Loathe as I am to lose Quagmire, Repose is my odds on favourite to win the tournament so it should conquer.”

Carl: “Well this is similar to the Jose Chung v Detour match, which ended up around 60-40 in Chung’s favour, if I recall correctly. A couple of questions come to mind:
1) Is Quagmire more popular with the fans than Detour?
2) Is Clyde Bruckman less popular with the fans than Jose Chung?

I’m not sure, but if the answer to those two questions turns out to be ‘yes’, then we could be looking at an upset here. I don’t think that’s what will happen, but I want to give Sarah a bit of hope. I expect a narrow win for CLYDE BRUCKMAN.”

Sarah: “You guys are too kind. We all know what’s going to happen here.

Paige: “I think Clyde Bruckman should pull off the win, but I’m expecting another nail-biter.”

Baz: “CLYDE BRUCKMAN’S FINAL REPOSE has so many great comic moments I can’t see it not winning (and personally I think it should). Ah poor QUAGMIRE though…it’s not quite as good (sorry @sarahlblair) and I can’t see it having as many fans as Bruckman, but it is still good enough that it deserves round two (much like Detour). It will be close though…”

INVOCATION vs THE ERLENMEYER FLASK

Tony: “FLASK – hands down the strongest finale and while Invocation is a decent one, it’s nowhere near as loved or remembered as Flask.”

Baz: “THE ERLENMEYER FLASK easily. I agree, one of the strongest finales and a great way to cap off the first season.”

Andrew: “THE ERLENMEYER FLASK is one of the best finales of the entire series. It really sets up the mythology and I think most fans find it particularly memorable for Deep Throat’s death. INVOCATION is an underrated episode, IMO, and one of the better S8 stand-alone episodes.”

Baz: “I agree. It’s not particularly memorable eighth season episode, I can’t see INVOCATION getting many votes, even though it’s a decent episode in its own right.”

Carl: “Invocation is fine, can’t see it getting anywhere near the mighty FLASK. Prediction: Flask wins by 81% to 19%.”

Paige: “FLASK in a blowout.”

Sarah: “FLASK will take the win as easily as Scully took that alien embryo.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Dreamland vs D.P.O / Excelsis Dei vs Three Words

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 18th/19th

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DREAMLAND vs D.P.O

Tony: “DREAMLAND – can’t see this not winning, especially given part 2 is gone. Part 1 is the stronger episode of the two as well.”

Carl: “Agree, win for DREAMLAND in prospect. Side note: I prefer Dreamland II because it doesn’t rely on Scully being slow on the uptake.”

Sarah: “Both of these episodes have extremely strong guest stars. As much as I’m a fan of Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black, I feel like DREAMLAND has the stronger writing and more compelling story, and Michael McKean will take home the win.”

Paige: “Dreamland 1 is far superior to the second part, D.P.O. will get struck down.”

Baz: “As for DPO and DREAMLAND, I absolutely love the latter, if nothing more than seeing Mulder dancing in the reflection of the wardrobe mirror as Morris Fletcher. DPO is a good episode, but DREAMLAND is a comedy classic and it will absolutely win.”

Andrew: “I think the fact it’s got Michael McKean and it’s a shippy, comedic episode will get DREAMLAND the win.”

EXCELSIS DEI vs THREE WORDS

Tony: “THREE WORDS – I’ll give you three words: fuck Excelsis Dei.”

Carl: “Ha! Let’s do three-word responses. Mythology episode victory.”

Sarah: “Alien colonization wins.”

Paige: “There’s no way Three Words doesn’t win. Excelsis Dei is a solid episode that fits right into the early X-Files wheelhouse.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas vs Genderbender / The Unnatural vs Max

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 17th/18th

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THE GHOSTS WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS vs GENDERBENDER

Tony: “GHOSTS – absolute slam dunk here, even though Genderbender isn’t a terrible episode.”

Sam: “I’m not even going to dignify this with an answer.”

Carl: “Yep, big win coming for the festive favourite.”

Sarah: “No brainer.”

Andrew: “I like both of these episodes, though GHOSTS comes out on top. It’s an annual X-Mas tradition for me!”

Baz: “GHOSTS for an easy win. Does anyone really like GENDERBENDER? it’s not terrible but it’s not great either.”

THE UNNATURAL vs MAX

Tony: “THE UNNATURAL – shipper moments galore and it’s probably the better episode, but Max is a cracking tale & I’ll be sad to see it vanish.”

Sarah: “(Vanish–nicely played Tony). THE UNNATURAL- A fantastic performance by Jesse L. Martin, with the addition of a compelling story and break from the standard episode format, I think this one will go far. Max certainly isn’t without merit, though!”

Carl: “I also expect THE UNNATURAL to go through – a lotta love out there for Duchovny’s baseball fable.”

Paige: “I’m not a huge Unnatural fan, but it has a really nice touch. It’s a shame Max has to go out in the first round, it’s an amazing episode that feels and looks like a feature film.”

Baz: “With the first two choices? I think THE UNNATURAL will win for its unique concept and great performances. I kind of prefer MAX, which is a good if not great conclusion to the season four two-parter, but I can’t see it winning.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man vs Memento Mori / The Calusari vs Schizogeny

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 16th/17th

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MUSINGS OF A CIGARETTE-SMOKING MAN vs MEMENTO MORI

Tony: “MEMENTO MORI – this is a good tie! I think the shipper moments in MM will carry the day but Musings is the stronger, more interesting episode. Would be sad to lose it this early.”

Carl: “Yes, exactly. I think MEMENTO MORI will win. I hope Musings gets a lot of support, but we’ll see.”

Sarah: “Gotta admit, I’m not looking forward to this match. A beautiful introspective Scully episode vs a clever and interesting insight on CSM, both are worthy in completely different ways. I’m thinking recent news of Gillian Anderson dating Peter Morgan might swing the angry Gillovny vote in favor of MUSINGS and it’ll pull through to the next round.”

Baz: “See, i think MUSINGS has a lot of fans and a story centred around the Cigarette Smoking Man is always a winner. I think it will win, but not by much. MEMENTO MORI is a great episode but as it centres around Scully’s cancer, it’s also a little grim and might put people off.”

Paige: “I think Memento Mori will take the day because of the boffo performances.”

THE CALUSARI vs SCHIZOGENY

Tony: “THE CALUSARI – snooze fests all round but the sheer meh of Schizogeny should give The Calusari a win.”

Sarah: “I haven’t been able to watch THE CALUSARI since my son was born. Utterly terrifying. But those trees in SCHIZOGENY along with the fear of being locked inside a basement are forever etched into my mind, and I think it’ll make that one memorable enough to pull ahead with the win.”

Carl: “The Calusari is the only episode to be rated ’18’ in the U.K. Whatever wins probably won’t go any further. Honestly not sure – I’ll predict a win for SCHIZOGENY.”

Paige: “Calusari is a definite creep-fest. Counting on that to edge Schizogeny, but they’re both pretty close in my book.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Milagro vs Lazarus / The Gift vs The Beginning

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 13th/14th

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MILAGRO vs LAZARUS

Tony: “MILAGRO – fans love it, plus it’s better than Lazarus, even if Lazarus isn’t half as bad as you remember.”

Carl: “Milagro has a lot of fans, whereas I imagine most people are indifferent about Lazarus. MILAGRO win.”

Andrew: “MILAGRO will win, as it should. But Lazarus is FAR from being the worst episode. It’s a pretty solid stand-alone with an intriguing story. Good S1 entry.”

Jonathan: “Love Milagro. It’s an episode I watch again and again.”

Sarah: “I think MILAGRO will go through to the next round. It has definitely grown on me. I think it’s certainly more memorable than Lazarus.”

Paige: “Mi-la-gro!!!!! So creative and putting a different spin on everything.”

Baz: “MILAGRO is the better of the two and will likely win over LAZARUS.”

THE GIFT vs THE BEGINNING

Tony: “THE BEGINNING – does anyone like The Gift? Though to be fair I think The Beginning would flounder under tougher competition.”

Carl: “I like The Gift, it’s certainly better than The Beginning, which is middling at best. I think THE BEGINNING will win though.”

Paige: “I like The Gift better as well. But prediction-wise, I expect it to be just The Beginning.”

Baz: “The GIFT is the better episode and a good story for both Mulder and Doggett, but I think THE BEGINNING will win as it rides off the movie and is a good if not great Mulder and Scully episode. I think s8 and s9 episodes have to be on top form to win over a lot of people on this tournament, which s a shame as s8 has a lot of great stuff.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: The Post-Modern Prometheus vs Redux / Fallen Angel vs Scary Monsters

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 12th/13th

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THE POST-MODERN PROMETHEUS vs REDUX

Tony: “UPMP – on any other day, Redux might win. Against PMP? No chance. It’s a steam roller few will survive.

Carl: “Yep, I fully agree – PMP will go through.”

Sarah: “Redux is a fantastic episode, but PMP is just too unique to lose. It’s going far.”

Paige: “I do agree that PMP will seize the day, tough first-round exit for Redux, but that’s how I expect it to go down unless the Ryan Reynolds’ contingent decides to get behind it.”

Baz: “I think THE POST-MODERN PROMETHEUS will win over REDUX just because of how unique and funny it is. REDUX II is the better of the two as REDUX contains one too many voice overs to be totally engaging.”

FALLEN ANGEL vs SCARY MONSTERS

Tony: “FALLEN ANGEL – first Max Fenig appearance & while not a great episode by any means, much more memorable than Scary Monsters.”

Baz: “That’s an easy one. FALLEN ANGEL is a good quasi-mythology alien story and one of the stronger episodes of season nine. It has the great Max Fenig and is a fast paced thriller with some great twists. SCARY MONSTERS is not one of the best season 9 episodes, concerned with how great the missing Mulder (and Scully are) rather than putting Doggett and Reyes forward. I can’t see this doing well.”

Carl: “There’s a couple of things I find interesting about Scary Monsters: the (playfully?) aggressive stance it takes with the fandom via the Leyla Harrison character, and the emphasis on how an X-Files investigation led by the unimaginative Doggett has to be resolved in a different way compared to one where Mulder’s intuition will crack the case. Neither of these things will make a difference here though, easy win for FALLEN ANGEL.”

Sarah: “FALLEN ANGEL. Boom. Done. Next?”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Unusual Suspects vs Terms of Endearment / Hell Money vs Unruhe

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 11th/12th

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UNUSUAL SUSPECTS vs TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

Tony: “UNUSUAL SUSPECTS – confident this Lone Gunmen-centric should beat an episode with only Bruce Campbell as it’s memorable saving grace.”

Carl: “Mulder infamously forgets he’s a psychologist in Terms of Endearment, which is a black mark against it in my book. UNUSUAL SUSPECTS for the win.”

Paige: “I don’t know, Bruce Campbell is a pretty big saving grace. Carl’s point is brilliant. I’ll go with Terms of Endearment, just because I remember the grunts during original run for a non-Mulder and Scully show. And for Bruce Campbell.”

Sarah: “UNUSUAL SUSPECTS will go through to the next round. Do I even need a reason why? It’s obvious.”

Baz: “UNUSUAL SUSPECTS is a great prequel / 100th episode and a cool Lone Gunmen story. It will be another strong win. I honestly can’t remember TERMS OF ENDEARMENT either.”

HELL MONEY vs UNRUHE

Tony: “UNRUHE – though I don’t think it’ll survive round 2 it’s underrated & should beat the limp organ swopping.”

Sarah: “UNRUHE is massively underrated. It’s a solid episode from arguably the best season of the entire series. Gerry Schnauz is a terrifying villain. It’ll take out Hell Money in a landslide.”

Carl: “I’m expecting UNRUHE to win too. I think it could do well in the tournament actually, given a kind draw.”

Andrew: “UNRUHE is a very solid episode, while Hell Money is a pretty weak episode. Scary premise, but weak in execution, and not really n X-File. UNRUHE has a terrifying villain and the icepick lobotomy angle is particularly nasty.”

Paige: “I gotta go with Unruhe as well. It’s a very good episode. Hell Money is just the ep that comes before Jose Chung.”

Baz: “UNRUHE is a great, underrated episode, with an interesting premise and great atmospheric moments. It will easily beat the lacklustre HELL MONEY.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: SR-819 vs The Jersey Devil / Closure vs Redux II

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 10th/11th

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SR-819 vs THE JERSEY DEVIL

Tony: “SR-819 – the former is not as much remembered probably fandom than the latter, but I reckon this Skinner-centric might scrape it.”

Carl: “I agree, I don’t think The Jersey Devil is well-liked at all, and the Skinner fans will turn out in force to give the win to SR-819.”

Sarah: “SR-819 is going to win. This behind the scenes glimpse into Skinner’s Unofficial Channels is worth its weight in gold compared to JD. SR-819 could be its own series.”

Andrew: “SR-819 is the stronger episode, and I like the fact it’s Skinner-centric.”

Baz: “Agree with all of the above SR-819 to win; it is a strong Skinner-centric episode with a nice Krycek twist (if a little obvious). My only doubt is that it may not be as well remembered as JERSEY DEVIL. I admit, I forgot a lot about SR-819 when I re-watched it last year. Is JERSEY DEVIL that well regarded though? It’s not bad… it’s just not very good either.”

CLOSURE vs REDUX II

Tony: “REDUX II – it’s a well-known mythology piece with lots of memorable moments, though Closure is well loved for the Samantha stuff. A close call!”

Andrew: “REDUX II is a significant milestone episode for both M & S and will pull out a win. Closure is interesting but much weaker.”

Carl: “I’m not looking forward to choosing which one to vote for here, I really appreciate them both. I think REDUX II will win though, because not everybody liked the resolution to the Samantha storyline that Closure provided.”

Sarah: “They’re both strong episodes in their own right. I’d honestly be sad if this one isn’t a close contest. I think REDUX II will pull away with the win if only because it holds one of the most tense moments in the series, if not all of television history. Seriously, the last 5 minutes of that episode steal my breath every single time I watch it.”

Baz: “Ha I hate CLOSURE, despite a wonderful performance by David Duchovny. It’s a terrible resolution to Samantha’s storyline and I think a lot of people agree. REDUX II was a great ending to the trilogy and set up a very strong fifth season. I think this will win, though not necessarily by a landslide…”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Theef vs Shapes / The Blessing Way vs Syzygy

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

January 6th/7th

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THEEF vs SHAPES

Tony: “SHAPES – hard one this as they’re both quite duff. Who remembers Theef though?”

Carl: “I agree that a lot of people won’t remember Theef, but it’s a bit undervalued in my view. I think the result here depends on the extent to which people actively dislike Shapes or not. Could be a narrow win for THEEF.”

Andrew: “THEEF is a great episode, very much underrated! The story is solid, and it’s just as creepy as some of what we see in Home. I’d include THEEF, absolutely, in a Top 20 “Creepiest Episodes” list.”

Sarah: “I value Shapes for its attempt to add a new spin to the Werewolf lore, but that’s about it. THEEF surprised me on my rewatch before season 10. It’s a strong episode and I think it’ll pull off the win.”

Baz: “I agree that a lot of people won’t remember THEEF (I barely do), but it is a stronger episode than SHAPES and if you do remember it, it has some great horror. SHAPES is known for being naff; I think it might win though purely because fans will remember watching it. Though I don’t think by a large mile.”

THE BLESSING WAY vs SYZYGY

Tony: “BLESSING WAY – much as Syzygy has loads going for it & should qualify, Blessing Way is well known & I can see it scraping a victory.”

Sarah: “There’s a lot that’s memorable about SYZYGY but I think TBW will win out by sheer pronounceability.”

Baz: “THE BLESSING WAY absolutely. It’s not as strong as Anasazi or Paper Clip, but it comes at the height of the show, opening season three and sitting within one of the best multi-episode myth arc stories the show ever did. SYZYGY is good but it won’t come close to winning.”

Carl: “I also think THE BLESSING WAY will win. It, justly, gets more criticism than the episodes either side of it, but there’s a lot to like. Mulder & Scully are at each other’s throats during Syzygy – I think some will vote against it for that reason.”

Andrew: “While Paper Clip ranks in my top 20, the majority of The Blessing Way was just brimming with the Navajo-spiritual stuff that, IMO, dragged down the episode. It got much better in the second half, but I’m not a fan of the whole Mulder-floating-on-pine-trees-in-the-sky imagery. so I’ll vote for SYZYGY, which I think deserves more praise than it gets.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.