As I’ve been going through these episodes, I’ve realized that I’m counting WAY too many as “essential.” So, I’ve decided that I will cut down on this. ONLY the truly great or truly important episodes make this list from now. Now, that means that I’m having to cut out some of my very favorite episodes. This is hard for me.
5×02: Redux (II)
Is Mulder dead? A much-maligned season premier, “Redux” (part two of three parts) is actually among my favorite conspiracy series episodes.
5×03: Redux II (III)
Here is the pay off for the three-parter. With Scully dying from her cancer in a hospital room, Mulder begins to deal with the Smoking Man to try and find a cure. Smoking Man dangles carrots in front of Mulder, but how far will Mulder go to save Scully’s life?
5×01: Unusual Suspects
Wonder how the Lone Gunmen got together? Here ya go!
5×06: The Post-Modern Prometheus
A truly different episode! Shot in black and white, this horror movie influenced, comic book tale weaves an intoxicating little spell. Saturated in the music of Cher and the camp of old horror flicks, Mulder and Scully run around investigating in a podunk town full of characters.
5×05: Christmas Carol (I)
Scully heads to her brother’s house in San Diego for Christmas. When she receives an impossible phone call from a woman that sounds just like her sister, Scully gets involved in a murder investigation. This nearly Mulder-less episode gives Scully a chance to deal with the fact that she can no longer have children. Good stuff…
5×07: Emily (II)
A bit of a shocker for me, this episode centers around DNA testing and the mysterious origin of a little girl named “Emily.”
5×12: Bad Blood
A truly funny episode. Mulder and Scully head to a small town in Texas to investigate some mysterious exsanguinations. They realize that their perceptions of these events were totally different, so our most special agents tell each other their side of the story. Funny, quippy. I like it.
5×13: Patient X (I)
A mass “suicide” causes Mulder to question whether everything that he’s found in the X-Files is a hoax. Meanwhile, Scully goes out of her comfort zone to contact an alien abductee. This episode is also important as it is the first appearance of Special Agent Jeffrey Spender.
5×14: The Red and The Black (II)
Scully, who has survived the “suicide” event, tries to regain her memory. Meanwhile, the Consortium deals with a new alien threat, and Krycek convinces Mulder that he’s wrong about all this “hoax” business.
5×20: The End
Agent Spender is given a high profile case (presumably the Smoking Man is calling the shots here) of an attempted assassination of an 11-year old chess master. Mulder gets involved, at Skinner’s behest and against the will of Spender, as does Mulder’s old flame: Agent Diana Fowley. So, while trying to figure out exactly why the government would want to assassinate this kid, we also get to see some awesome high school romance stuff going on between Mulder, Scully, and Fowley.