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Top 10 X-Files Episodes

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Garrett Alden They're the stories that made us want to believe. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Episodes of The X-Files. For this list, we're paying attention to the episodes that had people abuzz around the watercoolers the next day, and fans on the internet talking for years to come. Special thanks to our users VincetVega, AlkisenSuper and TwOne Firdaus for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 The X-Files Episodes

They're the stories that made us want to believe. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Episodes of The X-Files.
For this list, we’re paying attention to the episodes that had people abuzz around the watercoolers the next day, and fans on the internet talking for years to come. So before “The X-Files” returns to the small screen, let’s take a look at some of the tales that had us afraid to watch with the lights off.

#10: “Darkness Falls”

When an entire logging crew vanishes in a remote town for the second time in a century, agents Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate. Although the local officials suspect it to be a case of eco-terrorism gone too far, an activist points blame in a very odd place, insects. As it turns out, the loggers cut down older trees that were marked as off-limits, and let loose a swam of deadly locus. With our heroes trapped and light being the only thing keeping the insects at bay, we really get to see how Mulder and Scully handle a desperate situation. “Darkness Falls” is a prime example of one of “The X-Files’” recurring themes: humans tampering with things they don’t understand.

#9: “Home”

“Home” is where the horror is. When a baby with birth defects is found dead after being buried alive, Mulder and Scully stumble upon a warped, murderous and incestuous family. The only episode never rebroadcast on FOX, “Home” features some of the most graphic violence in the series, along with some of the most horrifying subject matter in the entire series, and that’s saying a lot. Reminiscent of the 1974 classic “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, “Home” puts Mulder and Scully in the middle of slasher story. It’s telling that, despite the many grotesque and supernatural creatures depicted in “The X-Files” each week, among the most disturbing of all were these, essentially human monsters.

#8: “Bad Blood”

In this comedic episode, it’s a case of “he said/she said” when Mulder kills a young man he believes to be a vampire. To make sure they have their story straight, Scully relates her version of what happened, while Mulder presents his own. The contrast between their stories and the way each exaggerates the other’s negative traits, while making themselves look more competent, is hilarious. What’s really going on in the town is stranger than either of their recollections though, but we don’t want to spoil that here…

#7: “Tooms”

This episode marked the return of “The X-Files’” first monster-of-the-week, the eponymous serial killer Eugene Victor Tooms. After Mulder’s assertions about Tooms’ unnatural longevity and ability to contort his body are dismissed in court, the mutant murderer is let free. When Mulder refuses to let it go, Tooms’ frames Mulder for assault. However, Tooms’ need to kill ultimately leads to his undoing. The story also introduces Walter Skinner who, despite his eventual role as a critical ally of the X-Files, is looking for any excuse to shut them down, albeit under the watch of the shadowy “Smoking Man.”

#6: “The Post-Modern Prometheus”

A black-and-white tribute to the classic “Frankenstein” films, this episode details a town’s own fantastical local legend, “the great Mutato.” Afflicted with a second face and other deformities, Mutato is the result of a mad scientist’s experiments. Framing his creation for murder, the scientist incites the townsfolk into an angry mob, complete with torches. However, Mutato proves to them that he is not a monster, merely a lonely man with a love of Cher and peanut butter sandwiches, leading our agents to make sure Mutato’s story gets a happy ending. With its distinctive style and exploration of themes like motherhood and human connection, “The Post-Modern Prometheus” is a must watch.

#5: “Anasazi”

A pivotal episode in the overall arc of the show, “Anasazi” has a lot happening, from the death of Mulder’s father, as well as the revelation of his role in the disappearance of Mulder’s sister, to the discovery of evidence of the alien conspiracy encrypted in Navajo. The truth-seeking agent is really put through the ringer this time, emotionally and physically; dosed with paranoia-inducing drugs and running a high fever. Scully, through it all, tries to keep him from losing his job and being framed for his father’s murder. Along with its two follow-up episodes, “Anasazi” revealed parts of the truth, while deepening the series’ central mythos.

#4: “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”

Much like “Bad Blood,” “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” features multiple points of view, all told to author Jose Chung about the events surrounding a pair of teenagers’ apparent abduction by aliens. Many of the stories are contradictory and nonsensical, featuring air force pilots masquerading as aliens and a bizarre man who starts a cult wherein enlightenment can be found at the center of the Earth, “Assuming of course, that your soul is able to avoid the lavamen”. Furthermore, we are treated to an appearance by the Men in Black, played by Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek; who insist that UFO sightings are merely an illusion of light off the planet Venus.

#3: “Pilot”

"Sorry, nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted.” Untrue, Mulder! Our most wanted federal agents are first brought together to investigate a group of murdered high schoolers and of course, Mulder believes may have been abducted by aliens. So much that defined the series is laid out here: from Mulder’s belief in the paranormal and his obsession with his sister’s disappearance, to Scully’s role as a skeptical and logical counterpoint. The ever-present “Smoking Man” even has an appearance, establishing the government’s conspiracy to keep the public in the dark. The X-Files’ first episode is still a great hour of television, and a fantastic way to kick off the series.

#2: “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”

Clyde Bruckman is a psychic able to see how people die. Instead of becoming a television psychic however, Bruckman takes the highroad and uses his knowledge to sell insurance to provide for those the deceased will leave behind. But when a psychic begins killing other fortune tellers, Bruckman is called on by Mulder and Scully to assist in apprehending the killer and must face his own heartbreaking, destined fate. Peter Boyle’s understated, funny, tragic portrayal of Bruckman earned him a well-deserved Emmy award, and made this episode a true gem.

Before we get to our number one, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man”
“Duane Barry”
“Dreamland” Parts 1 and 2
“The Host”

#1: “Ice”

In a plot reminiscent of John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” a remote station in frigid a climte is terrorized by an unknown organism. The opening scene featuring two bloody, crazed men killing each other leaves a lasting impression and things remain tense even after Mulder and Scully are called in. As they and their fellow investigators become exposed to the parasitic creatures and turn paranoid, the still-new partners must learn to trust one another to escape the desperate situation and find a cure. Although some strong and engaging stories preceded it, “Ice” is when the X-Files really began to hit its stride.

Do you agree with our list? Which episode of “The X-Files” is your favorite? For more truthful Top 10s posted “out there” daily, be sure to subscribe to

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