Okay — I just finished up my review of season 4. It’s stronger than I remembered it, which is really good. Not only that, but the production value and quality of the dialogue is still on the way up. While I like the stories from season 2 a lot better, I must say that season 4 __looks__ and __sounds__ a heck of a lot better.
4×01: Herrenvolk (II)
A continuation of the previous season’s cliffhanger, here Mulder tries to bring Jeremiah Smith to his ailing mother in order to heal her. Mr. Smith, however, has different plans, wanting to take Mulder to see his sister. Another good conspiracy episode that stays on track with the alien bounty hunter story and raises more questions than it answers.
A supremely creepy episode that features a man whose fantasies are projected on to film. After slipping through Mulder and Scully’s fingers, he becomes obsessed with Scully. Schizophrenia, lobotomy, psychic photography, and heapin’ helpin’ of creepy — that’s a good episode.
4×05: The Field Where I Died
Without explanation, Mulder is able to locate a bunker behind a cult’s compound in which the cult leader and his wives are about to commit suicide. When Mulder and Scully discover that one of these wives, Melissa, has multiple personalities, Mulder begins to suspect that they once new each other in a past life.
4×07: Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man
This is a strange episode in the X-Files canon. First of all, Mulder and Scully only show up as voices in the Smoking Man’s headset. No Mulder and Scully? Harumph. The episode is supposed to be Frohike’s account of what he has found out about the Cigarette Smoking Man. If that’s true, can it be trusted? Perhaps not, as the timeline is all screwed up when compared to previous X-Files episodes (esp. “Apocrypha” from season 3). What to believe?
4×08: Paper Hearts
A dream leads Mulder to discover a previously unknown victim of a serial killer he put behind bars. Now, he and Agent Scully must determine how many more victims exist. The X-Files is best when things get personal — this case affects Mulder in some extremely personal ways, even causing him to rethink the events of his sister’s abduction.
4×09: Tunguska (I)
When Mulder and Scully, led by Krycek, intercept a diplomatic pouch carrying a deadly biotoxin, Mulder travels to Russia with Krycek to check out its source. Meanwhile, Scully is called before a congressional hearing to testify about Mulder’s whereabouts.
4×10: Terma (II)
While Mulder is trapped in a Russian medical test facility, Scully continues to try and understand the extraterrestrial toxin contained in the rock that they intercepted. Unfortunately, she is imprisoned for refusing to answer questions before congress. Meanwhile, the Well-Manicured Man is shocked as his personal physician, a doctor working on “the project”, is killed.
4×14: Leonard Betts
Mulder and Scully investigate the case of a decapitated body that seems to have walked out of the morgue on its own power. The reality is crazier than even Mulder can imagine, and the end is more tragic than we care to admit! Poor Scully…
4×15: Memento Mori
Another strong conspiracy episode that really plays the Scully cancer angle (which you would know about if you saw “Leonard Betts”). This episode confirms for us that Scully not only has cancer, but that she is also probably unable to have children.
4×17: Tempus Fugit (I)
The return of Max Fenig! Max is aboard an airplane that mysteriously crashes in upstate New York. Mulder and Scully join the investigation team after being approached by Max’s sister. Mulder makes his trademark leap to alien involvement in this tragedy, and we discover that the military may be involved.
4×18: Max (II)
As usual, we are teased and the evidence disappears. But, some important character stuff happens here, plus a nice little eulogy for Max Fenig.
4×21: Zero Sum
In previous episodes we had grown to love Assistant Director Skinner as his support of Mulder and Scully continued to grow and grow. Now we get the rug swept out from under our feet, as we see Skinner covering up for the Smoking Man. Walter has his reasons…
Look. Here’s the deal. If you’ve got an episode where Scully decides she needs to see a therapist, then something good is probably going on. When a man sees the apparition of a woman who has been murdered only moments earlier, Mulder and Scully get involved. What Scully sees will lead her to question herself, causing her to withhold evidence from Mulder.
Mulder awakes in a Rhode Island motel room with no idea how he got there. More puzzling would be the blood all over his shirt and the missing rounds from his pistol. Scully, convinced that Mulder is innocent of any crime, works to exonerate him.
4×24: Gethsemane (I)
Another big cliffhanger season finale. This episode has actually been maligned by many, but I love it. There’s not only some good action and a lot of “huh?” moments — but also some good emotional weight courtesy of the Scully family. The final cliffhanger (which left us confused for a whole summer) is quite a whopper.