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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THE BLAIR WATCH PROJECT #2 – ‘Requiem’

Sarah Blair continues her ‘Blair Watch Project, by starting with The X-Files S7 finale, ‘Requiem’…

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If you’ve been keeping up-to-date on the blog or my Twitter feed, or basically anywhere, you know ‘Requiem’ was an episode I was not looking forward to watching. Honestly, in my head all I could remember was Skinner screaming for Mulder in the woods. It was traumatizing. I didn’t want to live through that again.

That being said, HOLEY BUCKETS THIS EPISODE. I don’t even know where to begin, so maybe I’ll just start with the beginning? It was exciting to get back to Bellefleur, the town where The X-Files kicked off its run. So much of the ‘Pilot’ episode came flashing back. It was like having coffee with an old pal I hadn’t had a chance to hang out with in awhile. Billy was up and about, walking and talking. And Theresa got a fabulous new haircut and had a baby. The X was still on the road!

It was a reunion of sorts, and I mean that as a compliment. Everything that was great about the ‘Pilot’ was great about ‘Requiem,’ with the bonus of the best parts of the mythology tossed in for good measure; we got the toxic alien blood, the shape-shifting bounty hunter alien clone dude, and the creeptastic quintessential X-Files moment where we see the dead sheriff in the trunk and realize what’s REALLY going on.

We also got to revisit the scene where Scully came into Mulder’s hotel room. And every Shipper unabashedly REJOICED as she climbed into bed and they snuggled up together, exactly the way we’d been hoping for all those years. (Non-shippers, go grab some iced tea and relax. This is our moment, mkay?)

Then, in proper X-Files form, just as everything was coming together… it all fell apart. Lucky for all of us, X-Caster Carl who is endlessly more profound than I am pointed out that Mulder finally gets what he’s always wanted—a prolonged alien encounter. Scully gets the baby she was hoping for. But it comes at the price of them being separated.

ANGST GALORE!!!

This episode truly encapsulates all of the things that make The X-Files, THE X-FILES. It pains me to know that kids these days won’t know the agony of waiting an ENTIRE SUMMER to find out what happens next. How will they build any character?!

Ah, well, hope to see you again on Friday, 9 p.m. EST for the next installment of the Blair Watch Project: The Season 8 premiere, ‘Within.’

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahlblair.

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.

The X-Files A-Z: I is for IMMORTALITY

Kelechi Ehenulo continues our alphabetical breakdown of The X-Files as I is for IMMORTALITY…

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The rock group Queen famously once said, “Who wants to live forever?”

The notion feels tempting, right?  The ability to see the world beyond its years as it evolves.  When it comes to The X-Files, the concept of immortality is expansive.  Just like how the show finds balance in Mulder and Scully, the same can be applied to the subject.

Immortality (as designed on the show) can be viewed in two ways.

Firstly, there’s the literal sense.  The desire or ability to live longer or extending a natural life.  Whilst the show has always shone a torch into the darkness by exploring the paranormal and alien conspiracies, this concept is not unfamiliar.  In fact, it goes as far back as the first season.

In ‘Young at Heart’, criminal John Barnett defied the odds, which became one of many catalysts that defined Mulder’s behaviour in regards to FBI procedures.  Barnett’s supposed death in prison was a smokescreen.  He became a scientific experiment in which he could age backwards.  Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, his rejuvenated youth allowed him the perfect cover to re-commit the crimes he was famous for and terrorise the agent who incarcerated him.

In season two, ‘Our Town’ looked at immortality not through scientific experiments in which the government took a keen interest in.  The exploration came from food consumption.  The town of Dudley, Arkansas lived a secretive double life where everything on the surface seemed normal but in fact, lived a dark, cultural underbelly.  By resulting to cannibalism, the townspeople indulged in their own twisted version of “the fountain of youth”.  Their culinary delights slowed down their aging, allowing them to appear youthful, defying the laws of nature.  The only way to understand their truth is if you discovered their actual birth certificate, they fed on someone suffering from a disease or the town got sloppy, battling their own interests over their tight-held secrecy.  All the above happened and Special Agent Dana Scully was nearly the next victim.

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The show also looked at immortality in terms of genetics.  Leonard Betts was a human anomaly.  His body riddled with cancer to the point where not only he could diagnose it in other people but they also became his next target and victim.  Driven by compulsion and the help of an iodine solution, Betts fed off it to regrow lost body parts which included his severed head.

The episode ‘Trevor’ went a step further, combining genetics and supernatural phenomenon brought about by the weather.  Wilson Pinker Rawls gained the uncanny ability to pass through objects.  How?  By changing the composition and turning objects into carbon.  Besides an obvious weakness to glass, he was almost indestructible.

And living a longer life has gone as far as granting a person a wish.  In ‘Je Souhaite’, Jenn came across an ifrit.  Feeling intelligent, she spoke up and said “Je souhaite un grand pouvoir et une longue vie” (I wish for great power and long life).  Like a prison tattoo, she was given the mark of the Jinn and became a genie, granting wishes to those who unroll her from her rug.  In her own words, she should have been specific.

But can immortality be looked at in the spiritual sense?  That’s the second examination.

The bible has always inhabited the idea of life after death or an afterlife.  Our spiritual journey is everlasting as we take our next step into the next world.  In The X-Files and for the characters affected, the intentions are often emotional and self-serving.

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Some have gone to the lengths of using their spiritual immortality as a revenge mechanism.  In ‘Shadows’, Howard Graves haunted his secretary Lauren Kyte.  Murdered by his work colleague and refusing to let Lauren suffer a similar fate, he did what was necessary to protect her from harm, including murder.  It was a relationship built on respect and parental-like affection as highlighted in a confession to Mulder and Scully where Lauren openly viewed Howard like a father.

In ‘Born Again’, Michelle Bishop was described as being a “disturbed child”.  But the investigation brought to light that she was possessed by Charlie Morris, a police officer drowned in his tropical fish tank by his colleagues.  Isaac Luria, a Hasidic Jew came back to life on the wishes of his wife to be in ‘Kaddish’.  While it was her intention just to see her husband again after he was brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack, Isaac took on the form of a Golem, an emotionless man-made monster and murdered those involved in his death.

On the other hand, the opposite of the revenge mechanism are spirits finding newfound purposes or roles.  Some are based on the classic good vs. evil battle, transporting souls to where they will be safe and out of the hands of the devil, as displayed in ‘All Souls’.  In ‘The Field Where I Died’, it was reincarnated souls, soulmates reuniting.  And in ‘How the Ghosts Stole Christmas’, the star-crossed lovers Lyda and Maurice just wanted to have fun.  Forming a lovers’ pact, every Christmas Eve their home and their Halloween style antics tormented anyone who dared to venture on their property.  In their own words, they didn’t forget the true spirit of Christmas.

But the biggest question in regards to immortality belongs to a certain FBI agent.  Is Dana Scully immortal?  There’s evidence to suggest that.

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In the clever and hilarious episode ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’, Scully curiously asked the psychic on how she would die.  “You don’t” Clyde suggests.  Fast forward to season 6 in ‘Tithonus’, Scully is accidentally shot by Special Agent Ritter as he tried to apprehend Alfred Fellig.  While Ritter frantically rushed to get emergency help, Fellig guides Scully not to look at death, thus “transferring” his gift unto her and stealing her death.  Even in the new revival series, Scully casually remarks to Mulder that she’s immortal after surviving a precarious situation in ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’.

Do I believe Scully is immortal?  I don’t know because it can be viewed either way.

The beauty about The X-Files was never to prove or disprove a theory, if that makes sense.  We are presented with some truths but the show was always an aura of mystery and ambiguity.  It invited you into the debate and tested your beliefs.  Ultimately it came down to the show’s core theme of faith, adopting the same balance principle as you would come to expect from Mulder and Scully and their investigations.  But whatever that result is on what you believe, it doesn’t take away how awesome the character is or the impact she continues to make.

The question is, is there an overall benefit to living forever?  The answer is not that straightforward.

The show treats it as a blessing and a curse.  John Barnett saw his extended youth not as a new beginning to start a new life but as a venture into payback.  He became a figure stuck on a loop, unable to change his addictive and remorseless nature.  The townspeople in ‘Our Town’ ultimately wanted a change of leadership, losing their faith in the man who introduced the culture to them.  Other examples such as ‘Aubrey’ and ‘The Calusari’ showcase the pain inflicted onto others by an unescapable past coming home to roost.

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The Syndicate abused the idea by creating alien-human hybrids (‘Two Fathers’/’One Son’) as an alternative to survive the alien invasion.  Even cloning wasn’t beyond their reach (‘Colony’/’End Game’).  In ‘Je Souhaite’, Jenn being witnessed to 500 years of human history, became tired of watching the stupidity in humanity in asking for the same indulgent wishes.  “Give me money. Give me big boobs.  Give me a big hoo-hoo. Make me cool like the Fonz.  Or whoever’s the big name now.”  In her eyes, humanity has not changed but has led to greediness, shallowness and self-destruction.

However, the ultimate feeling belongs to Alfred Fellig.  Despite his own misdemeanors and numerous attempts to end his own life, eternal life was hell.  Unable to pass over, he spends his time capturing the death of others in his photography.  Psychologically punished and tortured, photography was his way of coming close to experience what death felt like, to stare at its face.  By explaining this to Agent Scully, he paints an ugly picture, killing all aspects of romanticism or any idealist hope.  There’s no such thing as too much life, love or things yet to experience. When your time is up, that’s it.

Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe immortality is something you shouldn’t take in the literal sense.  Given whatever time we have, maybe the true essence of immortality is achieved through actions and sincere acts of integrity.  Through interactions of others and remembrance, they transcend and become something else entirely.  They become stories.  They become examples.  They become legends.

What Mulder and Scully have done is the definition of that.

You can follow Kelechi on Twitter @geekmindUK.

Next time… J is for JOSE (CHUNG)

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: What are the funniest moments in The X-Files?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

What are the funniest moments in The X-Files?

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TONY: “This is easy. “Who’s that black private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks? SHAFT! Can you dig it?” “I DID NOT!!!””

ANDREW: “‘Theef’… Mulder mocks Scully, pursuing his lips, “Mulder, why are we here?”
‘Syzygy’… Mulder mocking Scully’s short, little legs
‘Bad Blood’… Too many to list!
‘Jose Chung’… Mulder’s girly scream
‘Hollywood A.D.’… Scully showing Tea Leoni how to run in heels”

SARAH: “It might not be the most hilarious moment of the series, but my favorite funny moment is in ‘Quagmire’ after the boat crashes and M&S end up on the rock. They hear a sound and realize it’s a duck. Mulder says, “I’m still tempted to shoot.” And Scully gives him that little nudge. It’s the nudge that gets me every time. Also in that same scene when they’re discussing cannibalism (because what else do you do when stranded in the middle of a lake?) and he asks if she’s lost weight–that classic Scully eye roll is everything.

‘Triangle’ –when past Scully punches Mulder and he says he expected the left.
When Scully kisses Skinner and the elevator door opens to reveal Spender and Kersh staring.

Scully in a bib eating BBQ.

Mulder in a tree.

‘Small Potatoes’, ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Je Souhaite’– everything

Pie.

Bleeping aliens.

Every scene including the waterbed.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

PAIGE: “Of course, Mulder’s girlie scream was the first thing coming to mind. Eddie Van Blundht practicing F-B-I in the mirror. Mulder and Morris doing their underwear dance a la I Love Lucy in ‘Dreamland’. Scully showing Tea Leoni how to run in heels in ‘Hollywood A.D.’ is righteous. Scully throwing water in Doggett’s face at the start of the eighth season, because it just had to be done at that point in time. The reveal in ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’ that they’re talking about Yappi and not Mulder, and then Mulder being tossed out of the room for his negative vibes. Scully eating the cricket in ‘Humbug’ and then the human pin cushion telling her the future looks like Mulder as he poses on the steps. Mulder eating piece after piece of pie in ‘Jose Chung’.”

JONATHAN: “Scully performing the autopsy in ‘Three of a Kind’ and the cigarette scene. All of ‘Bad Blood’, the Mulder and Scully married scenes in ‘Arcadia’. When we hear Diana Fowley has been shot in ‘The End’.”

CARL: “The moment that never fails to make me laugh is Mulder’s yelp in ‘Jose Chung’s From Outer Space’. Duchovny’s pose towards the end of ‘Humbug’, which Paige mentioned, is another good one. There’s a moment I love in ‘Mulder & Scully Meet The Were-Monster’, too. I’ve only seen the episode once, so I may be misremembering it slightly. Mulder says that he’s now a middle-aged man, and leaves a pause for Scully to disagree with him. She says nothing, but he presses on anyway: “No, no, I am!” Made me laugh a lot.”

BAZ: “Yes, far too many to mention. Mulder doing the dance in the wardrobe mirror of Morris Fletcher’s bedroom in ‘Dreamland’, fake Mulder seducing Scully in ‘Small Potatoes’, Scully’s sex scene with Guy Mann and Mulder trying to get a photo of the monster on his phone in ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster’, Clyde Bruckman telling Mulder he’s going to die from autoerotic asphyxiation ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’, all of ‘Jose Chung’s from Outer Space’ (particularly the description of Mulder and Scully, his yelp and Lord Kinbote), Scully’s infatuation with the hick version of the sheriff in ‘Bad Blood’, Mulder’s”get me a sandwich woman!” from ‘Arcadia’, Scully’s ability to dismiss all of Mulder’s theories in ‘War of the Coprophages’ and while not technically The X-Files, Mulder’s red underpants pose FBI badge from The Simpsons episode ‘The Springfield Files.

The great thing about The X-Files, is that for all the moments of horror, there are some truly wonderful comic moments. The show’s ability to take the mick out of itself is what kept it fresh and funny for years. it’s no coincidence that ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster was the most loved episode of the revival’.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!

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.

THE BLAIR WATCH PROJECT #1 – ‘Je Souhaite’

Sarah Blair begins her ‘Blair Watch Project, by starting with The X-Files S7 comedy, ‘Je Souhaite’…

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As part of my Blair Watch Project, I knew I couldn’t skip the Season 7 finale, ‘Requiem,’ because it sets up the entirety of Season 8. Since I knew it was going to be a tough episode to watch, I figured I’d kick things off with something fun. The last standalone episode of Season 7 ‘Je Souhaite’ was just the ticket.

This was an episode I never thought much about since it originally aired back in 2000. Most of my go-to X-Files come from the first 4 seasons, with a sprinkling from Seasons 5-6, plus ‘Hollywood A.D.’ and once in awhile, ‘X-Cops.’

I’m really sad that I missed out on all those years of watching ‘Je Souhaite’ because in the past year since I did my big watch leading up to the Season 10 premiere it’s definitely made my list of what I like to call Comfort Episodes—the X-File equivalent of a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, a big tasty plate of spaghetti, or a slice of apple pie fresh from the oven. Those episodes that you can turn on when you’re having a lousy day and end up with a smile on your face.

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And that’s exactly what happened this time around. Watching Mulder and Scully at their best, in one of Vince Gilligan’s best, quite simply put a big ‘ole grin on my face. It did everything I needed and expected it to do because I know what’s coming up next week. . . .

‘Requiem’ almost makes some of the best moments in ‘Je Souhaite’ a little bittersweet, if not downright painful. Seeing Mulder search the empty city, knowing the only person on the entire planet he wants to find is Scully, feels like a dagger to the heart because in the next episode she’s going to be doing the same thing for real. Seeing them together in the last scene, so happy and content with everything exactly as it should be, is like getting that dagger twisted and then having a Mack truck dropped on my head.

We recently did a Roundtable discussion about how we think Mulder and Scully’s story should end. I might have been partially glib in my answer, but really, I think ‘Je Souhaite’ would have been the perfect episode to end the series.

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As a writer, I can’t deny I enjoy putting my characters through all kinds of painful scenarios. Drama—especially the angsty kind—is what makes writing, reading, and watching so much more fun. But somewhere in there, it’s important to leave the audience with a glimmer of hope and happiness. That’s what ‘Je Souhaite’ does that Chris Carter doesn’t seem to give us in the actual finales, except for maybe the boat scene tacked on to the end of I Want to BelieveMaybe it’s just the optimist in me, maybe it’s my shipper side showing, but whatever ending Mulder and Scully get, I want it to be a happy one.

That being said, I hope you’ll join me in watching ‘Requiem’ on Friday, 9 p.m. EST because I’m really going to need all the support I can get. As much as I’ve been assured by the rest of The X-Cast crew that Season 8 is worth it. . .  there’s a solid chance come 10:13 p.m. I’ll be covered in snot and rocking in the corner.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahlblair.