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The Best X-Files Season: Season Five –

Very often at family gatherings across America this issue comes up. What truly is the best season of The X- Files? Fists have been thrown, wine glasses have been broken, but I am here to clear things up and end this epic, possibly-never-ending debate.


Masked gunman hit a bank in "The Pine Bluff Variant."

It began not too long ago, when I came up with an episode ratings system where I painstakingly went down the list of each season rating episode by episode. I added the total "stars" or "points" (or "smiley faces" if you will,) and simply divided that number by the number of episodes that season (because some seasons have 24 episodes, while others have 21). This gave me an average score for each episode for that season. So the highest score wins, yes? Is this not as objective as one can get?

My method clearly took out the "which conspiracy story-arc is better," "which season had the best episode" and most importantly, the Hair Style Factor. These things cloud judgement. But after I was able to determine that season five received the highest score, I could now subjectively talk about why it scores so high.

Character Development

As much as people may cherish the good old days of Deep Throat, X, and a budding new conspiracy, these earlier seasons lack the emotional attachment not only between the characters themselves (Mulder Scully, Mulder-Skinner, Scully-Lone Gunmen, Krycek-Mulder) but also the viewers' relationship with the characters. By this time in the series, they have been through so much together, and with us, that those experiences makes us more invested in these episodes and what they mean for our beloved agents.

Mulder and Scully face a new breed of predator in "Detour."

The New Direction of The Conspiracy

For a greater part of season two onward the show's story arc focused on Scully's abduction and its aftermath. Here and there are some black oil, shapeshifters, and other miscellaneous radiations. Good, good, but season five ushered in the final chapter of Scully's illness, and opened up doors for what the future of the series held. It was an exciting time! With a motion picture to be released just after the season finale, it seemed the writers only gave us glimpses of the direction the series was headed, and kept a good focus on delivering great stories until then.

The tables are turned for the first time in the series... Mulder is the skeptic and Scully is more willing to believe in the Alien Conspiracy. This new turn of events gripped at our hearts and avoided a repetitive, mundane dialog that usually threatens series of this maturity. i.e. more character development. "The End" I found was a perfect way to usher in this new era of the show (not just a cheesy departure from Vancouver, but a bigger, broader, more meaningful start of the conclusion of this whole, grand story.

A blind woman (Lily Taylor) is suspected of murder in "Mind's Eye."

Not One Lame Story line

Season five is unique to me in the way I can run down the list and find not one bad episode. Even the ones I'm not crazy about I don't hate (I can still watch and be moderately entertained.) Very few would argue against the notion that Seasons 3-5 were the peak of the series, so I'll say season five was the Peak of the Peak. (Although if you have seen my Top Ten Lists, I was fond of all the seasons until season nine. But back on topic! I dare you to go through these episodes and find me one lame story line One 45 minute show of bad writing or poor directing. It certainly is a challenge.

More Fun Stuff About Season 5

Best episode: Tie: Redux II and Bad Blood. Duh.
Worst episode: Travelers I guess. Not bad, just weak.
Funniest Moment: Mulder singing shaft
Saddest Moment: Tie: Office burning and the death of Emily
Most Suspenseful Moment: Tie: The mass burning in Patient X. When Mulder names the traitor in Redux II

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