I thought season 6 was perhaps a bit better than season 5, with more emphasis on “monster of the week” episodes and fewer meta-conspiracy episodes. While some episodes were derivative of the types of stories seen in previous seasons, there were many fresh concepts as well. It seemed to me that there were more guest stars this season than ever before. This season also featured more Scully-centric episodes.

These are my selections for the best episodes and guest stars for season 5:

  • Drive – Mulder is taken hostage and has to drive west at increasing speed or else his captor’s brain will explode – guest starring Bryan Cranston
  • Triangle – In the Bermuda Triangle, Mulder is transported to a WW II-era cruise ship that has been boarded by Nazis. 
  • Dreamland/Dreamland II – An experimental aircraft causes Mulder to switch bodies with a smarmy Area 51 employee. Guest starring Michael McKean and Nora Dunn.
  • How the Ghosts Stole Christmas – In a haunted house, two murderous ghosts try to make Mulder and Scully their latest Christmas Eve victims. Guest starring Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin.
  • Terms of Endearment – A demon uses several women in his attempt to father a normal child. Guest starring Bruce Campbell.
  • Two Fathers/One Son – Back-to-back meta-conspiracy episodes with a series of double-crosses and betrayals.
  • Agua Mala – Darrin McGavin reprises his role as a former FBI agent assigned to the X Files.
  • Arcadia – Mulder and Scully pose as a married couple in an upscale community to solve missing person cases.
  • The Unnatural – M Emmet Walsh guest stars as the brother of Darrin McGavin’s character in a baseball-centric episode.
  • Three of a Kind – A sequel to the season 5 episode Unusual Suspects, featuring the Lone Gunmen.
  • Biogenesis – A supposed alien artifact said to prove that Earth life originated on another planet is found off the coast of Africa and quickly proves fatal for anyone who gets in the way of those who want to possess it. An odd sonic effect linked to the artifact slowly drives Mulder insane, leaving Scully alone to carry on.

I would give X-Files, Season 6 five stars. I was surprised to see any season-to-season improvement this late in the series, but that’s exactly what I found.

photo credit: papanooms DVDs via photopin (license)