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The Be(x)t-Files

in honour of a great show coming to its third or fourth Extremely Final End. until the next ending, folks, a top 25
1Have a Nice Life

CLYDE BRUCKMAN'S FINAL REPOSE, 3x3. Existentialism, loneliness, razor-sharp humour and pathos. One of the greatest episodes of any show to ever air.
2The Antlers

ONE BREATH, 2x8. The finest character show you could ever hope for. Restrained, beautiful and heartfelt.
3Kanye West
808s and Heartbreak

PAPER HEARTS, 4x10. One of the greatest serial killer portrayals in any medium in Vince Gilligan's finest script. Tense, underplayed and deeply powerful.

THE UNNATURAL, 6x19. The show reveals its deeply human heart despite the KKK, baseball and alien conspiracies. One of the last times the show remembered it could be about love.
5Mount Eerie
Ocean Roar

BEYOND THE SEA, 1x13. The show discovers its heart for the first time, with the help of Wormtongue and Major Briggs. A masterclass in acting which made our main characters real people for the first time.
Upon the Throne...of Eternal Blasphemous Death

DIE HAND DIE VERLETZT, 2x14. The decision is finally made to combine the black comedy and horror of the show together. It gave us one of the scariest, funniest hours of the entire show, with an ending for the ages.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

JOSE CHUNG'S FROM OUTER SPACE, 3x20. I can never tell whether Darin loved the show or was actively trying to destroy it. Most probably both.
8The Wonder Years
Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing

ARCADIA, 6x15. The best straight humour episode, with a married couple premise so inherently fantastic that any other flaws are negligible. Duchovny in particular at his absolute peak.
9The Velvet Underground

SQUEEZE, 1x3. Glen Morgan and James Wong single-handedly transform a Chris Carter show about aliens into a show that can be about almost anything by anyone. They do it all in forty-five minutes with a really creepy fucking mutant guy and some killer dialogue.
10The Cure

JE SOUHAITE, 7x21. A late highlight combines cautionary tale, black comedy and some very thorough character work by Gilligan, the only writer still even trying to show more sides to Mulder's character at this point. Perhaps the most emotionally diverse hour of the show.

VIA NEGATIVA, 8x7. The best of the post-Mulder era takes the somewhat dry Doggett and puts him through a Lynchian nightmare wringer. Surreal imagery the show never really approached coupled with one of the finest deliveries in the entire show - "I'm not sure I'm awake" - effortlessly revives horror X-Files long after it should have been dead.
El Cielo

TRIANGLE, 6x3. Carter shows off his fancy directorial prowess but fuck it's a lot of fun. Plus Nazis.
13Ennio Morricone
The Thing

ICE, 1x8. Maybe the best pure horror episode, and absolutely the tensest. Morgan and Wong continue to do all the work, defining Mulder and Scully's future personalities with every entry they make.
Like Drawing Blood

BAD BLOOD, 5x12. Someone should have given Gilligan a full comedy series. The combination of terrific jokes and character scrutiny is impeccable here, and it might be Anderson's finest episode overall.

THE POST-MODERN PROMETHEUS, 5x5. Perennially known in my house as the "Frankenstein one", but it's so much more.
Jane Doe

JOHN DOE, 9x7. Gilligan's last great entry essentially creates his entire Breaking Bad aesthetic, down to Michelle MacLaren debuting as a director with oversaturated, harshly lit Mexico streets. A deeply sad, filthy, utterly nihilistic episode unlike anything else in the show, which makes a strong case for Robert Patrick as the perfect lead had he been given more material on this level.
17The Butterfly Effect
Begins Here

PILOT, 1x1. Just one of TV's finest and most confident pilots - speaks for itself, really.
18Danny Brown
Atrocity Exhibition

GROTESQUE, 3x14. Literally the darkest X-Files episode in terms of lighting and colour; possibly the darkest metaphorically too. Our dashing leads go through the absolute wringer on this one.
MM.. Food

HUNGRY, 7x3. Having tried basically every variation of the tense hero vs. villain confrontation over the years, Gilligan finally gives over to the antagonist's point of view completely. It's deeply moving, and fucking hilarious.
20Glass Animals
How To Be A Human Being

MULDER AND SCULLY MEET THE WERE-MONSTER, 10x3. Darin holds up a big ol' mirror.
21MF Grimm
American Hunger

PAPER CLIP, 3x2. The best mythology episode drowns every frame in paranoia, uncertainty and complete tension. There's a bunch of revelations but it never loses sight of the characters. Skinman becomes the greatest character of all time in any show.
22Matchbox Twenty
Yourself or Someone Like You

PUSHER, 3x17. Gilligan comes in in style with one of the show's finest monsters. You won't ever forget the Russian Roulette scene of this one.
23Earl Sweatshirt
I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

NEVER AGAIN, 4x13. Morgan and Wong kiss-off to the show they helped define and its best character (Scully) with one of the grimiest episodes. Anderson is amazing as she internalises her trauma and projects it as impulsive, out-of-character decisions.
The Assassination of Julius Caesar

MUSINGS OF A CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN, 4x7. Pure fan service but written to a T and directed absolutely gorgeously. CSM becomes a near-legendary evil and a pathetic, frail human failure in forty-five minutes of TV, and William B. Davis was never better.
Actual Fantasy

FOLLOWERS/Rm9sbG93ZXJz, 11x7. Beautiful, clever and justifies the entire revival's existence. Writer diversity paying off in the most extreme way.
26George Harrison
All Things Must Pass

HONOURABLES: The Field Where I Died (4x5), Folie a Deux (5x19), Monday (6x14), Release (9x17), Wetwired (3x23), Milagro (6x18), Field Trip (6x21), Improbable (9x13), Drive (6x2), all things (7x17)
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