The X-Files—Season 4

x-files season 4 dvd cover episode guide
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Another great season, tons of variety

Some forgettable episodes


Scully, we’re at it again!

Diving deeper into the black oil mystery and learning that bees are being used to transmit alien matter, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) continue to probe into the unknown.  Mulder and Scully learn more keys to the abduction of Mulder’s sister and the possible origin of the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis).  All is not well however when Scully learns that her abduction has led to a possible terminal case of cancer, and a discovery that they both have been misled for years might push Mulder to the edge.

Season 4 of The X-Files continues to develop on Season 3’s positive upswing and puts the viewers in the thick of what made The X-Files good.  There were a number of stand-alone episodes but Scully’s cancer and Mulder’s family revelations help tie these episodes together.  The episodes are also all over the place.  From horror like “Home” to more comedic like “Small Potatoes” which once again put Mulder and Scully in a compromising position…sort of, season 4 had a lot of variety.


The truth is a lie

That doesn’t mean season 4 was all good.  The season 3 cliffhanger was pretty weak in comparison to other season cliffhangers and “Herrenvolk” does pick up the pace but there wasn’t as much of an urge to watch at the start as in other seasons.  Episodes like “The Field Where I Died” tried to tie in more current event type styles but that didn’t really work and the episode is quite dull.  “Chupacabre” and “Kaddish” both tried to explore different cultural mythos but both fell flat.  Another episode that tried to have a message “Unrequited”, didn’t live up to the idea of an assassin who can hide in a person’s blind spot.  “Never Again” was Scully’s equivalent to Mulder’s “3” in season 2.  Both were bad and both show that separating the characters for extended periods of time don’t always work.


Hey Scully, let me in!

The cancer episodes and the episodes involving the bigger mythos of the aliens are all excellent.  It sometimes seemed a bit odd that Scully wouldn’t show symptoms in some episodes, but usually, the ties back to the story were created in a way that really propelled the story like in “Elegy”, a ghost episode, that has Scully seeing a ghost to the revelation that those who are dying can see the dead.  Another couple of stand-out episodes are the return of Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea) and his teaming with Mulder in “Tunguska” and “Terma” and has Mulder exposed to the black oil.  “The Musing of a Cigarette Smoking Man” may or may not be the origin of the Cigarette Smoking Man but shows how he has been involved in the covering of many of the nation’s biggest conspiracies for years…while longing to just be a writer.

The X-Files—Season 4 continues to show why The X-Files was one of the best shows of the ‘90s.  It was fun and different from a lot of the other series that were on.  By this time copycat series were popping up, but none of them were really capturing the imagination of viewers and most have come to be forgotten.  If you never were on The X-Files boat, jump on…but a word of warning, you might not be able to stop once you’ve reached this point (especially after the season cliffhanger).

The X-Files—Season 4 Complete Episode Guide:



4.1       Herrenvolk Airdate:  10/04/96

Mulder (David Duchovny) tries to protect Jeremiah Smith (Roy Thinnes) from the alien bounty hunter (Brian Thompson) in the hopes that he can save his mother.  When Jeremiah reveals he can take Mulder to his sister, Mulder and Jeremiah head to Canada to a farm colonizing bees.  Scully (Gillian Anderson) meanwhile finds a link between the smallpox vaccine and genetic coding.  Plus, Mister X (Steven Williams) meets his fate for his involvement in the investigation.



4.2       Home Airdate:  10/11/96

The body of a baby is found in the town of Home, Pennsylvania, and Mulder and Scully are called in.  They meet Sheriff Andy Taylor (Tucker Smallwood) and his deputy Barney (Sebastian Spence) and learn that the baby might come from a family of inbred people called the Peacocks.



4.3       Teliko Airdate:  10/18/96

Scully is called in to do the autopsy of an African-American man with no skin pigment.  When Mulder suspects there is something else at play, he learns that there are multiple disappearances with similar ties.  Mulder and Scully track a link to an immigrant named Samuel Aboah (Willie Amakye), and Mulder hears of the legend of the teliko.



4.4       Unruhe Airdate:  10/27/96

The murder of a girl and other disappearances lead Mulder and Scully to a man named Gerry Schnauz (Pruitt Taylor Vince) who is able to create images with his mind.  When Gerry escapes the police, Scully could become another victim.


“The Field Where I Died”

4.5       The Field Where I Died Airdate:  11/03/96

Mulder and Scully are part of a raid on a cult, but no weapons are found.  Skinner orders the agents to find weapons before Vernon Ephesian (Michael Massee) is released, but Mulder discovers evidence of reincarnation in a follower named Melissa (Kristen Cloke).



4.6       Sanguinarium Airdate:  11/10/96

A doctor at a cosmetic surgery center finds himself going crazy and kills a patient.  Mulder and Scully investigate the death and find evidence of witchcraft at the clinic.  When another murder occurs, Mulder and Scully learn that there might be more to the case then they originally believed.


“Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man”

4.7       Musings of a Cigarette Smoking-Man Airdate:  11/17/96

The Lone Gunmen tell Mulder what they’ve learned about the origin of the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) and track his past without realizing the Cigarette Smoking Man is tracking them.  The Cigarette Smoking Man’s involvement in Kennedy’s assassination, Martin Luthor King, Jr.’s assassination, and the cover-up of an alien crash in 1991 with Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) are revealed.



4.8       Tunguska Airdate:  11/24/96

Agent Scully is called before a Congressional committee to turn over the location of Mulder and learns that she will be held in contempt if she doesn’t speak.  Scully recalls how she and Mulder were part of a raid of possible terrorists and found their leak were Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea).  Forced to form an uneasy alliance with Krycek, Mulder and Scully set out to bring down the men behind the conspiracy.  When Mulder and Scully capture a rock with extraterrestrial origins, Mulder is teams with Krycek to track where the rocks originated.



4.9       Terma Airdate:  12/01/96

Mulder is held prisoner in Russia after being exposed to the black oil and must find a way to escape with Krycek working against him.  As Scully faces charges of contempt, the black oil’s threat and a possible anti-virus serum is tracked by the Russians in an attempt to silence stop it.


“Paper Hearts”

4.10     Paper Hearts Airdate:  12/15/96

Mulder dreams of the death of a girl and finds that the dream was prophetic when the skeletal remains are found from the dream.  Mulder realizes the killing is tied to a convicted serial killer named John Lee Roche (Tom Noonan) who took cloth hearts of the victims’ clothes.  When evidence reveals there were more victims, Mulder and Scully search for more murders, and Mulder questions if Roche can be tied to his sister’s kidnapping.


“El Mundo Gira”

4.11     El Mundo Gira Airdate:  01/12/97

A flash of light and yellow rain falls over a small village of migrant workers and illegal immigrants.  The immigrants find a girl dead, and Mulder and Scully find the immigrants are blaming the el chupacabra.  When Mulder and Scully learn that a worker has been branded el chupacabra, they must find his tie to the death and other deaths involving a fungus.


“Leonard Betts”

4.12     Leonard Betts Airdate:  01/96/97

An EMT named Leonard Betts (Paul McCrane) in killed in an accident with his ambulance, but his decapitated body appears to return to life.  As Leonard’s head is examined, there is evidence that Leonard Betts has the ability to regenerate his body.


“Never Again”

4.13     Never Again Airdate:  02/02/97

Scully finds herself silently dealing with her cancer as Mulder goes on vacation.  When she meets a man named Edward Jerse (Rodney Rowland), Edward hides that the tattoo he recently received is speaking to him and driving him to murder.  When Scully is convinced to get a tattoo, Scully finds that she might be going crazy also.  Jodie Foster guest stars as the voice of Betty.


“Memento Mori”

4.14     Memento Mori Airdate:  02/09/97

Scully confirms she has cancer and Mulder sets out to find answers to help her.  As Scully starts her treatments, she begins to have flashbacks of her abduction and what occurred during it.



4.15     Kaddish Airdate:  02/16/97

The death of a Jewish man in a robbery leads and hate crime leads to the death of one of his attackers.  As Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate the the revenge killing, they learn that the golem of Jewish folklore might be responsible.



4.16     Unrequited Airdate:  02/23/97

An assassin (Peter LaCroix) targets military leaders and seems to be able to disappear.  Mulder and Scully investigate radical groups to try to stop the assassin before another general is killed.  Mulder and Scully learn that the assassin is targeting the people who stopped the search for POWs in Vietnam.


“Tempus Fugit”

4.17     Tempus Fugit Airdate:  03/16/97

A passenger plane crashes and Mulder and Scully are asked to investigate the crash when they learn Max Fenig (Scott Bellis) was aboard the plane.  Mulder and Scully learn Fenig possessed information for them and that the plane might have been brought down by an unidentified flying object.  Mulder and Scully search for clues at the crash site and find others might be staging a cover-up.



4.18     Max Airdate:  03/23/97

Mulder finds a second crash site but learns that the government is trying to cover it since it was an alien ship and shot down by the military.  Mulder and Scully work to find what Max knew before the truth is lost forever.



4.19     Synchrony Airdate:  04/06/97

A strange old man (Michael Fairman) tries to warn Dr. Jason Nichols (Joseph Fugua) of the death of a competing student, but Nichols is arrested when the old man can’t be found.  When bodies begin to show up frozen, Nichols is blamed since he is involved in cryobiology.


“Small Potatoes”

4.20     Small Potatoes Airdate:  04/20/97

A town suffers from babies being born with genetic defects and Mulder is interested in claims that one of the mothers slept with an alien.  Mulder and Scully track down a man named Eddie Van Blundht (Darin Morgan) who responsible for impregnating the women.  When Mulder and Scully investigate Eddie, they learn Eddie might be able to change forms, and Mulder becomes a victim of identity theft.


“Zero Sum”

4.21     Zero Sum Airdate:  04/27/97

A swarm of bees kill a postal worker and at the orders of the Smoking Man, Skinner covers the crime.  When Skinner learns he’s is being set-up, Skinner must convince Fox that he is being framed.



4.22     Elegy Airdate:  05/04/97

Mulder and Scully learn killings of young girls could be tied to a handicapped man named Harold Spuller (Steven M. Porter).  When Mulder realizes Harold might be seeing ghosts as a result of a dangerous medical condition, Scully questions her chances of survival when she begins to see ghosts.



4.23     Demons Airdate:  05/11/97

Mulder wakes up in a hotel room covered in blood and can’t recall how he got there.  Calling Scully for help, Mulder and Scully try to unravel what happened to Mulder.  As Mulder looks into his past, he realizes his mother’s story about Amy’s disappearance might not be true.



4.24     Gethsemane Airdate:  05/18/97

Scully is called before the board and reveals that she believes Mulder’s work on the X-Files was a fraud led through manipulation.  Scully begins to explain how the lie was developed and how Mulder was a victim of his own beliefs.  What happens to Mulder when he learns the truth?

Related Links:

The X-Files—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files:  Fight the Future (1998)

The X-Files—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files:  I Want to Believe (2008)

The X-Files—Season 10 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Lone Gunmen—The Complete Series Review and Complete Episode Guide

Millennium—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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