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in honour of a great show coming to its third or fourth Extremely Final End. until the next ending, folks, a top 25
|1||Have 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.
ONE BREATH, 2x8. The finest character show you could ever hope for. Restrained, beautiful and heartfelt.
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.
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.
|8||The 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.
|9||The 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.
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.
TRIANGLE, 6x3. Carter shows off his fancy directorial prowess but fuck it's a lot of fun. Plus Nazis.
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.
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.
|17||The Butterfly Effect|
PILOT, 1x1. Just one of TV's finest and most confident pilots - speaks for itself, really.
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.
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.
How To Be A Human Being
MULDER AND SCULLY MEET THE WERE-MONSTER, 10x3. Darin holds up a big ol' mirror.
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.
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.
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.
FOLLOWERS/Rm9sbG93ZXJz, 11x7. Beautiful, clever and justifies the entire revival's existence. Writer diversity paying off in the most extreme way.
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)
|basically s6 >|
|25 was pure shit after the opening scene sorry|
|Field Trip is probably my favorite X-Files episode ever. That or the one with the invisible people in the woods. Can't remember the name of that one|
|fantastic list, Row.. haven't watched the show in years, need to go on a marathon |
|Great list. You know how I feel about, like, all of these :)|
Jose Chung's From Outer Space or Musings of A Cigarette Smoking Man are probably my favorite but, maaaaaaaaan, there are soooooo many great episodes.
|@Source Detour! that's an underrated one I love it a a lot. and Field Trip is a piece of beauty too ofc |
|You should make a list of worst episodes too because holy crap this show had some bad ones.|
|lmao it's a lot easier than a best of list for sure|
Fight Club is the worst, easily. Teso Dos Bichos, every My Struggle ep, First Person Shooter are strong contenders
|you know i'm a sucker for S6 so this list is great! Was hoping for more mythology and that Field Trip could make the top 25 but you got all the classics for sure|
|Ah cheers lad, yeah s6 is the best season agreed |
Mythology episodes have largely aged poorly for me but there's some slappers in there
|haven't seen it in years but I remember Fire being a great episode|
|I think 6 might actually be my second least favorite after 9, although I never watched the revival seasons. To me season 5 was the peak of this show.|
|7 and 8 above 6 is insaaaane lad|
for the Unnatural and Triangle alone
|Idk 8 actually had some really good episodes. Like the one where the villain had three eyes or the one where Scully had a giant slug thing in her back. I can't remember the names of those episodes unfortunately.|
|I’m hitting the second half of S8 right now and it’s all mythos. Hoping to will bail out the rest of the season. I can count the good episodes so far on one hand... twice. |
Okay there have been 3 great episodes, I just really wanted to say that ^
|It's a masterpiece compared to season 9 |
|don't get me wrong, I like S8. it's the most horror-filled season since 1 and it has the only good mythos episodes after, like, 5. Via Negativa and Roadrunners are the two you mentioned and they're both great (VN is in my top 15 on the list)|
but yeah, it doesn't touch S6 for me, which is the show's best season. so much humour and pathos in that one, plus Mulder. 8 is underrated, whereas most of 7 and 9 are straight trash
i need to re-watch this series . i remember liking seasons 3 & 6 a lot tho