From 1993 to 2018, The X-Files led the way as one of the best sci-fi shows of all time. Over the course of 25 years, and eleven seasons, the show clocked up 218 episodes, as well as two big screen adventures.

But what are the best episodes of The X-Files?

Below is a list of seven of the best episodes of The X-Files – the crème de la crème if you will – as well as some bonus suggestions. Should you want to revisit past glories then these are the episodes you’ll want to delve into.

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The seven best episodes of The X-Files

OK, let’s get started with a stone cold classic…

Squeeze

Image: ©20th Century

Arguably the most iconic episode of the entire run of The X-Files, Squeeze is the Season One story which features mutant serial killer, Eugene Victor Tooms (aka the guy who can squeeze through ventilation shafts). Squeeze is a go-to episode for X-Files fans and newbies alike and is known for its dark and creepy vibe.

In short: This is the episode EVERYONE remembers.

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Home

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Ah Home – yet another creepy episode and arguably the most gruesome story in the show’s history.

Home focuses on the Peacocks – a strange family with a dark secret. When this episode originally aired – during the show’s fourth season – it was broadcast with a viewer warning, due to its graphic content.

Home is easily one of the best episodes of The X-Files. Just remember to watch it with the lights on.

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Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose

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Although The X-Files is known for its sci-fi and horror content, the show was also pretty damn good at conveying comedy and one of the finest examples of this comes during Season Three and the episode, Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.

The episode focuses on Clyde Bruckman, a man who can foresee the deaths of those around him. Cue Mulder and Scully and a heavy dose of black comedy as the FBI agents attempt to keep up with someone who can see the future.

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Humbug

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Retaining the comical theme, Humbug is a real gem from Season Two and the first genuine example of comedy in the series. Humbug sees Mulder and Scully investigate a series of murders, supposedly committed by the Fiji Mermaid, and involves an investigation amongst a sideshow community.

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The Postmodern Prometheus

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Taking place during the show’s fifth season, The Postmodern Prometheus is a love-letter to the vintage horror movies of yesteryear. Featuring a cameo appearance by Jerry Springer – as well as various references to Cher – The Postmodern Prometheus is presented entirely in black and white, features a monster called The Great Mutato and is a real standout story.

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Beyond the Sea

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Back during the early days of The X-Files, the beauty of the Mulder and Scully relationship was always the fact that Mulder was the believer and Scully was the sceptic. This was the rule of thumb for the vast majority of the first seven seasons of the show, with only a couple of exceptions. Beyond the Sea is one of those exceptions, with Scully taking on the role of the believer in a case involving death row convict, Luther Lee Boggs.

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Drive

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Written by Breaking Bad creator, Vince Gilligan, Drive is a pulse-pounding episode featuring a guest turn from Bryan Cranston.

The episode – a real treat from Season Six – sees Mulder trapped in a car with a man claiming to be suffering from a mysterious illness. The only way to alleviate the illness is to keep driving, very fast, in the same direction.

Drive is a mix of Speed (1994) and Duel (1971), with a touch of Outbreak (1995) thrown in for good measure.

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Recap

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The seven best episodes of The X-Files are:

  • Squeeze (Season One)
  • Home (Season Four)
  • Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose (Season Three)
  • The Postmodern Prometheus (Season Five)
  • Beyond the Sea (Season One)
  • Drive (Season Six)
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And if you want to go further, then I also highly recommend:

  • Ice (Season One)
  • Darkness Falls (Season One)
  • Quagmire (Season Three)
  • Unruhe (Season Four)
  • Small Potatoes (Season Four)
  • Paper Hearts (Season Four)
  • Chinga (Season Five)
  • Triangle (Season Six)
  • Terms of Endearment (Season Six)
  • Arcadia (Season Six)
  • X-Cops (Season Seven)
  • Redrum (Season Eight)

All of the episodes featured in this post are standalone tales which require no understanding of the wider X-Files mythology. Simply seek out the episodes, watch and enjoy.

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