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The stellar Season 2 of The X-Files upped the stakes and continued to impress right up until its major cliffhanger. Now with Season 3, the success continues and emerges as possibly the best season so far. Crammed with mystery, superb writing and a genuinely outstanding visual palette, Season 3 is a pivotal entry into The X Files canon. Be warned, spoilers will follow.

Mulder(David Duchovny) is presumed dead after he found a crate full of alien bodies and incriminating documents in New Mexico and The Smoking Man(William B. Davis) tracked him down, before setting the place on fire. The X Files Season 3 PosterMulder in fact survived and is nursed back to health by a Navajo guide. Meanwhile, Scully(Gillian Anderson) is questioned about her knowledge of the tape, but denies what she knows. With parts of the government trying to silence both agents from spilling what they know about shady alien experiments, it is a dangerous time for both. Thankfully, Skinner(Mitch Pileggi) helps them out and finally confronts the Smoking Man, ensuring a deal that could for the time being keep them safe from any attempts on their lives. Once reunited, Mulder and Scully also have to deal with personal grief due to Mulder’s fathers murder after he revealed he was at one point involved with the organisation known as The Syndicate. Scully’s sister is killed in a case of mistaken identity, which causes Scully to go on a quest for answers and justice. X Files SpaceshipBoth Mulder and Scully bury themselves in the unusual cases they investigate, but sure enough the presence of the Syndicate looms large and they grow ever closer to unearthing more shocking truths. Mulder is having to confront the fact that his father held so many secrets from him and was part of The Syndicate. While Scully battles grief and the discovery of a strange metal chip in the back of her neck, she attempts to locate her sister’s killer and an explanation for her abduction, which she can barely remember. With the traitorous Alex Krycek(Nicholas Lea) switching allegiances and being wanted by everyone, mysterious informant X(Steven Williams) returning , many more members of the nefarious syndicate introduced such as The Well-Manicured Man( John Neville), plus a lethal substance called Black Oil that jumps from host to host, it’s only a matter of time before events will become a lot more deadly and unusual than ever before.

Now the first thing I have to mention is the visuals of this season. In the past two seasons, the visual style has been on fine form. But here, the visuals are just out of this world. From shadowy lighting to the blinding sun, everything looks so cinematic and it in turn adds another dimension to Mulder and Scully’s dangerous journeys. It’s impossible to escape the evocative cinematography on display during Season 3. The writing this season is sublime, carefully managing to balance mystery, personal drama and tinges of sarcastic humour. The continuing mystery and delving into what the shady part of the government called The Syndicate is up to is given a clearer focus, yet still knows how to tease the audience and not reveal too much too soon. Scully Season 3Mystery has always been so key to The X-Files and here it is no exception as slithering conspiracies lie under the surface, waiting to be discovered, yet what they mean is kept enigmatic.

There are some major standout episodes present in Season. The intriguing ‘Paper Clip’, explores Mulder and Scully’s digging into a national experiment designed by the syndicate to create alien-human hybrids. Just from this episode, you can see them both edging closer towards the truth in typically inventive style. ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’ is The X-Files at its finest, with an intriguing blend of mystery, drama and humour. In the episode, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate the murders of fortune tellers. Clyde BruckmanThey are aided by the reluctant but gifted Clyde Bruckman, who can through psychic abilities see how people are going to die. The character of Clyde Bruckman is excellently written and the casting of Peter Boyle as him was a stroke of genius. He dominates the scenes he is in with a mixture of understatement, humour and overall sadness that is hard to forget once you’ve seen it. It is just a fantastic episode that showcases the greatness of the show and how it has grown. Mulder TrainThe tense two parts of ‘Nisei’ and ‘731’ are chock full of surprises( an excellent scene of Mulder jumping on to a moving train is a real action highlight) and more building conspiracies as Mulder investigates an alleged alien autopsy and Scully discovers more about her abduction. The intriguing Black Oil forms a very exceptional arc brimming with possibilities. I think I’ll stop waxing lyrical now about specific episodes because I know that if I continue, this post will go on forever as there are too many to discuss.

Once more, there is some really excellent work from the cast. David Duchovny delves deeper into Mulder and shows his obsessive streak and never say die attitude. There is so much determination and pain within Mulder, who is dealing with the secrets about his father and his connection to everything going on. Duchovny exudes an enthusiasm for the truth, but at the same time a deep wounded side that reveals a cauldron of hurt emotions.Mulder and Scully Season 3 Gillian Anderson is equally as good as the skeptical and cautious Scully, who is beginning to open up more and discover some not so pleasant reminders of her abduction and a resolute search for her sister’s killer. We see how Scully tries to keep a cool head when faced with everything in her path and attempts to relate everything to scientific realms, but underneath is feeling the burden of personal responsibility and sadness. As was present in the past two seasons, the chemistry between the two characters is still of a stellar quality. And it only deepens more as the season progresses. They may be complete opposites but they have grown to appreciate the other and completely have each others back as they cut through conspiracy. The main thing I’ve loved is the way that the relationship is written, it just feels so real and relatable. X files SkinnerMitch Pileggi is on hand to deliver solid work as Skinner, who regularly puts himself on the line for Mulder and Scully. I like the part of Skinner because it reveals this time a real depth and care that he has for the two agents and how dedicated he is to his job. As played by Pileggi, Skinner has become one of my favourite characters in The X-Files universe. The sinister presence of William B. Davis is once more apparent as The Smoking Man, who orchestrates many nefarious acts through his connections in government and his own agenda. Steven Williams continues to play the mysterious X, but this time he endears himself to the audience when he saves Mulder from a tight spot. John Neville is introduced as another Syndicate member known as Well Manicured Man, and he brings a certain genteel politeness to the role that belies the dark presence of the baddie. Nicholas Lea is sliminess personified as the allegiance switching Krycek, who everyone seems to be after this season.

  1. The Blessing Way – A
  2. Paper Clip – A+
  3. D.P.O – B
  4. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose – A+
  5. The List – C –
  6. 2 Shy – B+
  7. The Walk – B
  8. Oubliette – B+
  9. Nisei – A
  10. 731 – A+
  11. Revelations – B-
  12. War of the Coprophages – A
  13. Syzygy – B
  14. Grotesque – B+
  15. Piper Maru – A+
  16. Apocrypha – A+
  17. Pusher – A+
  18. Teso Dos Bichos – D-
  19. Hell Money – B
  20. Jose Chung’s From Outer Space – A
  21. Avatar – C+
  22. Quagmire – B+
  23. Wetwired – B+
  24. Talitha Cumi – A

I think it’s safe to say that Season 3 of The X-Files is addictive and inventive television at its best.