The X-Files – Season 4 (1996)

Directed By: Various
Directed By: Various
Starring: David Duchovny
  Gillian Anderson
The X-Files – Season 4

Episode Guide

  • 4.1 – Herronvolk
  • 4.2 – Home
  • 4.3 – Teliko
  • 4.4 – Unruhe
  • 4.5 – The Field Where I died
  • 4.6 – Sanguinarium
  • 4.7 – Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man
  • 4.8 – Tunguska
  • 4.9 – Terma
  • 4.10 – Peper Hearts
  • 4.11 – El Mundo Gira
  • 4.12 – Leonard Betts
  • 4.13 – Never Again
  • 4.14 – Momento Mori
  • 4.15 – Kaddish
  • 4.16 – Unrequited
  • 4.17 – Tempus Fugit
  • 4.18 – Max
  • 4.19 – Synchrony
  • 4.20 – Small Potatoes
  • 4.21 – Zero Sum
  • 4.22 – Elegy
  • 4.23 – Demons
  • 4.24 – Gethsemane

The X Files Season 4 begins to wane towards the trite, as Scully’s development of cancer makes the Season depressing and nihilistic, but it has some quality individual episodes and some interesting conspiracy arcs, although it never manages to excel.

The Good:

X Files Season 4 does well on the “monster-of-the-week” episodes, with some disturbing turns throughout.

Home

  • An inbred family become the focus of Mulder and Scully when the corpse of a baby is found in a nearby field, featuring nearly every known birth defect. Disturbing Hills Have Eyes-esque violence ensues as the police move in.

Paper Hearts

  • Tom Noonan stars as an incarcerated child murderer who claims to know all about the abduction of Mulder’s sister, and what might have happened to her.

Leonard Betts

  • When a decapitated ambulance driver walks out of a morgue, Mulder and Scully must face the possibility of a regenerating man.

Even the more comical episode Small Potatoes is slightly disturbing, when a shape-shifting pervert decides he wants to be Agent Mulder – one of the many times throughout the X Files that Scully is fooled by Mulder impersonators (the alien bounty hunters, Dreamland, How the Ghosts Stole Christmas et al).

The Bad:

There is little to complain about in Series 4. The conspiracy bumbles along in the background quite unobtrusively, a third of the Season dedicated to it as usual. It is more nihilistic than previous seasons, and the constant reminder of Scully’s cancer is simply depressing.

The horrible coincidences do continue however, when Mulder wakes up covered in blood without his memory, Scully takes a break and happens to be sucked up in her own private X File nightmare and in The Field Where I Died Mulder happens to have a past-life regression when he meets a group of cultists. It begins to feel like the Agents have some magnet to the bizarre…

Noteable Guest Appearances:

Barely any -

  • Tom Noonan (Man Hunter, The House of the Devil) – Episode Paper Hearts
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince (The Cell, Identity, Deadwood) – Episode Unruhe

Overall:

The X Files Season 4 is solid and thoroughly enjoyable. It does not have any truly outstanding episodes, but a consistent quality throughout. The conspiracy plot is not too intrusive, and although Scully’s cancer plot seems trite at times, it is not overly self-indulgent.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

One Comment on “The X-Files – Season 4”

  1. Dave P says:

    Actually, I think this is the series where for me the conspiracy storyline entered the formulaic territory as the series increasingly started to obey a pattern of two part conspiracy stories popping up at regular parts of the series – surely they could have thrown in a two part monster story?

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