In a lot of ways, season 8 was a big departure from the previous seasons of the show. Mulder (David Duchovny) was absent for about two-thirds of the season, with Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) assigned to take Mulder’s place while also leading the search for his predecessor, who was abducted by aliens in the cliff-hanger from season 7. The brought some much-needed freshness to the show, with Scully (Gillian Anderson) becoming the ‘believer’ and suggesting unusual explanations while Doggett provided the skeptical point of view. While the two of them maintained their distance at the beginning of their partnership, it was interesting to watch them support each other and develop trust along the way.
Season 8 revisited several of the recurring themes from previous seasons. These are my selections for the best episodes and guest stars for season 8:
- Patience – A human/bat hybrid murders people and drinks their blood
- Roadrunners – A religious cult believes a spinal parasite is Christ reincarnate.
- Redrum – An accused murderer lives his life in reverse, exposing the real murdered. Guest starring Danny Trejo.
- The Gift – Tracking Mulder’s last actions prior to his abduction, Doggett encounters a creature known as a soul-eater.
- Medusa – Scully and Doggett come into conflict with Boston Mass Transit security in the Boston subway, where a mysterious contagion threatens to break free.
- Per Manum – Women are being killed after giving birth to alien/human hybrid babies. What does this portend for Scully and her yet-unborn child?
- This Is Not Happening/Dead Alive – With callbacks to characters and situations from earlier seasons, Mulder is finally found – dead. But not for long.
- Vienen – The oily, black alien contagion makes its re-appearance on a remote oil derrick. Doggett is assigned to investigate, but Mulder crashes the party. The two have to work out their differences and work together if they’re going to survive.
- Essence/Existence – As Scully’s due date approaches, someone is killing everyone involved in the secret human/alien hybrid program. Will Mulder and the FBI be able to stop the killers before they get to Scully and her baby?
I would give X-Files, Season 8 four stars. A lot of the episodes were so-so, but the last half-dozen episodes were great.