The X-Files—Season 5

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

One of the best seasons of the X-Files

Some dull episodes


Mulder and Scully get animated!

Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) finds his work is crumbling and believes that the government has used him in a wild goose chase for the truth as Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) battles a cancer that is killing her.  As both fight their personal battles, the investigation into the supernatural and unknown continues with both Mulder and Scully having their faith and beliefs tested.

Airing from November 2, 1997 to May 17, 1998, The X-Files—Season 5 continued the series rise to popularity and cult status.  Both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny were nominated for Golden Globes and the show won Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Art Direction for a Series (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”) and Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series (“Kill Switch”) with nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”), Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Veronica Cartwright for “Patient X and “The Red and The Black”), Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Lili Taylor “Mind’s Eye”), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Duchovny), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Anderson), Outstanding Makeup for a Series (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”, Outsanding Music Composition for a Series (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”), Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series (“Mind’s Eye” and “The Post-Modern Prometheus”, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (“The Red and The Black”), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series (“The Red and The Black”), and Oustanding Writing for a Drama Series (“The Post-Modern Prometheus”).


Travelling TV detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) makes an X-Files appearance

The middle part of The X-Files could possibly be the best run.  With the last few seasons of the series, The X-Files was reaching its peak and finding its true stride.  The series has a great combination of comedy and drama and finds a good mix for the season.

Despite having a good central story, I think the “Creature of the Week” stand alone stories often soar in The X-Files.  This season has the great (and polarizing) black-and-white episode “The Post-Modern Prometheus”…which was originally supposed to have show fans Rosanne Barr and Cher actually appearing but who couldn’t due to scheduling conflicts.  It also has the Stephen King penned evil doll story “Chinga” which also was a love-hate episode for fans.  I know episodes like “Patient X” and “The Red and The Black” are supposed to be favorites, but I’d much rather watch “Detour”.


Sorry, but Vince Vaughn and Owen couldn’t show!

Duchovny and Anderson continue to be some of the flattest actors in this season…but it works.  Their no nonsense approach to the role and extremely dry performances somehow make them real.  By this season, viewers have a pretty good feel for the characters.  I love how the writer mixes little nuances into the script that help build the story (and even episodes).  Mulder’s porn obsession leads to stripper style nurses in his created world in “Kill Switch” and an accusation of a “a dirty mind” by Gibson Praise in “The End”, and Scully’s faith prove to be a central theme in episodes like “Emily” and “All Souls”.


Is this the end of the X-Files?!?!

The X-Files—Season 5 ends on a weird note.  Often at the end of The X-Files seasons the future of the X-Files seem in jeopardy…here it is no different.  The difference is the end of this fun season (and the inevitable closing of the X-Files) is a lead in for something bigger.  The X-Files is one of the rare shows to have a major motion picture surface during the show’s run.  Following “The End”, The X-Files’ first film The X-Files:  Fight the Future was released on June 19, 1998 before the X-Files returned in The X-Files—Season 6 on November 8, 1998.

The X-Files—Season 5 Complete Episode Guide:



5.1       Redux Airdate:  11/02/97

Twenty-four hours before the meeting with the board, Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) found he was being spied on.  Mulder and Scully learned the danger was tied to the FBI and questioned if it was all a lie.  Mulder and Scully realized they needed to cover their tracks and Scully agreed to identify Mulder as the body in his apartment.  Mulder and Scully were forced to go undercover to learn the truth of what happened.  Mulder meets with Michael Kritschgau (John Finn) about the why he was misled and to learn the government’s ties to UFO phenomena.  The Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) learns Mulder has been spied on and that he wasn’t included.  Scully learns that cells found in the ice appears to be a new lifeform.  Mulder and Scully set out to find answers before they are forced to meet with the FBI panel.


“Redux II”

5.2       Redux II Airdate:  11/09/97

Scully has been hospitalized due to her cancer, and Mulder has resurfaced with accusations of Murder against him.  Mulder finds he must testify, but is warned by Skully that Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) might be the man behind the conspiracy.  Skully lies near death, and Mulder finds himself at odds with her brother (Pat Skipper) over her treatment.  When the Cigarette Smoking Man comes to Mulder with a chance to cure Skully, Mulder must decide if he can trust him and question why he is helping.  As Mulder prepares to testify, his testimony could change the investigation’s course and his future.


“Unusual Suspects”

5.3       Unusual Suspects Airdate:  11/16/97

In 1989, Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Byers (Bruce Harwood), and Langly (Dean Haglund) are brought in by the Baltimore police and questioned by Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) about why they were involved in a break-in and why Agent Mulder was found in a delirious state.  Byres tells the tale of a woman (Signy Coleman) searching for her lost daughter and on the run from her boyfriend…who happens to be Fox Mulder.  As the mystery deepens, a new group of conspiracy theorists are born…The Lone Gunmen!



5.4       Detour Airdate:  11/23/97

A Florida trip to a conference for Scully and Mulder is interrupted when they come across a police investigation into a missing father and the deaths of a surveying team.  Teamed with Officer Fazekas (Colleen Flynn) and a tracker named Jeff Glaser (Anthony Rapp), Mulder and Scully find themselves venturing into the woods to hunt the unseen creature when seems to be able to camouflage itself.  As the creature seeks to divide the group and take them, Mulder realizes links to legendary Mothman.


“The Post-Modern Prometheus”

5.5       The Post-Modern Prometheus Airdate:  11/30/97

A woman named Shaineh Berkowitz (Pattie Tierce) claims she has been raped by a monster…and her son Izzy (Stewart Gale) is the byproduct.  Calling in Scully and Mulder, Mulder and Scully find a town haunted, a mad scientist (John O’Hurley), and a creation called Mutato (Chris Owen) too horrible to see.


“Christmas Carol”

5.6       Christmas Carol Airdate:  12/07/97

Scully’s going home for Christmas as her sister-in-law is expecting her first child.  Dealing with her inability to get pregnant, Scully finds herself receiving mysterious calls of warning which seem to be coming from her deceased sister Melissa and the home of a mother who committed suicide.  As her she investigates the occurrence, Scully discovers a possible secret about her sister as she remembers her past.



5.7       Emily Airdate:  12/14/97

Scully deals with the idea that Emily Sim (Mecca Menard) is her daughter and attempts to adopt her.  When Emily shows signs of a strange sickness, Mulder and Scully finds that she can emit the toxin that brought down Mulder.  The race to save Emily is on and Mulder finds himself facing the shape changing bounty hunter again.



5.8       Kitsunegari Airdate:  01/04/98

Robert Modell (Robert Wisden) escapes his hospital and Scully worries that Modell is going to go after Mulder again.  When Mulder escapes an encounter with Modell, Mulder questions if Modell has changed while Scully worries Modell has reached Mulder.  When Mulder suspects the wife of a prosecutor named Linda Bowman (Diana Scarwid), Mulder is ordered off the case until Bowman is caught.



5.9       Schizogeny Airdate:  01/11/98

Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate a death in Coats Grove, Michigan and learn that Bobby (Chad Lindberg) claims that his stepfather was pulled into the ground.



5.10     Chinga Airdate:  02/08/98

Scully’s trip to a coastal town leads to an investigation when the people at the grocery begin clawing at their eyes and a man kills himself.  As Scully investigates her search leads her to Melissa Turner (Susannah Hoffman) and her daughter Polly (Jenny-Lynn Hutcheson) who happens to own a strange doll…named Chinga.


“Kill Switch”

5.11     Kill Switch Airdate:  02/15/98

A computer programmer and hacker named Don Gelman (Patrick Keating) is gunned down in a diner when a gang fight breaks out with the U.S. Marshalls.  Mulder and Scully’s investigation lead them to a hacker named Esther “Invisigoth” Nairn (Kristin Lehman) who reveals that a sentient computer is controlling defense system satellites.  With the Lone Gunmen and Invisigoth, Mulder and Scully must locate the central computer and upload the kill switch “Twilight Time” into the system to stop the threat forever.


“Bad Blood”

5.12     Bad Blood Airdate:  02/22/98

Mulder and Scully review a case that ended in the murder of a young man (Patrick Renna).  With Scully’s version of the small Texas town encounter which includes a young sheriff (Luke Wilson), pizza delivery, sunflower seeds, and a Magic Fingers bed differing from Mulder’s version, the real events of the investigation are debated.


“Patient X”

5.13     Patient X Airdate:  03/01/98

A crash in Kazakhstan leads to two boys encountering the alien bounty hunter (Brian Thompson).  When Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea) captures one of the boys and infects him with the black oil, he works to smuggle him into the United States.  Meanwhile, Mulder is struggling with his loss of faith in the reality of aliens when faced by a true believer named Cassandra Spender (Veronica Cartwight).  When a group of former abducted patients are killed at Skyland Mountain, Scully questions if the deaths could be tied to her abduction when the dead are found with metal implants.  When Marita Covarrubias (Laurie Holden) manages to capture Krycek’s patient, she attempts to get Mulder the proof of the Russian encounter.


“The Red and the Black”

5.14     The Red and the Black Airdate:  03/08/98

Mulder learns Scully has survived the second group killing at Skyland Mountain, and that Cassandra Spender is missing.  Krycek is held prisoner by the Syndicate in the hopes of a vaccine for the black oil, and a test is made on the infected Marita Covarrubias.  Another crash in West Virginia reveals that a war is occurring in space and Earth could be a battleground.  Using past regression, Scully tries to reclaim her missing memories against the wishes of Cassandra’s son Jeffrey (Chris Owens).  Mulder is given information on the war by Krycek, and Krycek warns Mulder that the rebel from the West Virginia crash must be saved.  When Mulder breaches the base, Mulder’s new beliefs are thrown in question.  Agent Spender receives a letter, and a secret of his past is revealed.



5.15     Travelers Airdate:  03/29/98

It is 1990, and Mulder is investigating the death of a man named Edward Skur who spoke his name In a police shooting.  Researching Skur’s past, Mulder discovers he was supposed to have died in 1952 and goes to see Arthur Dales (Darren McGavin) who tells how he arrested Skur (Garret Dillahunt) while working for the FBI and the House of Un-American Activities…and an early adventure of the X-Files involving Mulder’s father.


“Mind’s Eye”

5.16     Mind’s Eye Airdate:  04/19/98

A blind woman named Marty Glenn (Lili Taylor) is found with the body of a murdered man and arrested.  Mulder and Scully are called in to prove Marty is responsible for the murder but realize that Marty could be seeing the real murderer (Richard Fitzpatrick) as he plots his next attack.


“All Souls”

5.17     All Souls Airdate:  04/26/98

Scully finds herself questioning her actions after the death of a girl and tells the story to her priest about four identical sisters (Emily Perkins) who might be the children of an angel and how it tied to Emily.


“The Pine Bluff Variant”

5.18     The Pine Bluff Variant Airdate:  05/03/98

Mulder is going undercover to infiltrate a terrorist group who appears to be using an advanced biological weapon.  Led by Jacob Haley (Daniel von Bargen) and August Bremer (Michael MacRae), Mulder has to part of the group but finds an unlikely ally.  Meanwhile, Scully hunts down the source of the weapon.


“Folie à Deux”

5.19     Folie à Deux Airdate:  05/10/98

An employee (Brian Markinson) at a telemarketing company believes his boss Greg Pincus (John Apicella) is a monster.  When Mulder is sent to investigate reports, he finds himself a hostage.  Mulder believes he “sees” Pincus for what he is but is unable to convince anyone of the truth…and now could be the target of the monster himself.


“The End”

5.20     The End Airdate:  05/17/98

A chess prodigy named Gibson Praise (Jeff Gulka) is targeted by an assassin, and Mulder finds himself reunited with a woman from his past named Diana Fowley (Mimi Rogers).  Butting heads with Jeffrey Spender, Mulder and Scully uncover evidence that Gibson Praise could be the next evolutionary step.  Meanwhile, Krycek is hired to bring back the Smoking Man (William B. Davis) to deal with Gibson for the Syndicate and has a big reveal for Spencer.  Mulder’s attempt to find the truth about Gibson could lead to an end to the X-Files.

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 4 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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