The X-Files – Season 5 (1998)

Directed By: Various
Directed By: Various
Starring: David Duchovny
  Gillian Anderson
  Mitch Pileggi
The X-Files – Season 5

Episode Guide

  •   5.1 – Redux
  •   5.2 – Redux II
  •   5.3 – Unusual Suspects
  •   5.4 – Detour
  •   5.5 – The Post-Modern Prometheus
  •   5.6 – Christmas Carol
  •   5.7 – Emily
  •   5.8 – Kitsunegari
  •   5.9 – Schizogeny
  • 5.10 – Chinga
  • 5.11 – Kill Switch
  • 5.12 – Bad Blood
  • 5.13 – Patient X
  • 5.14 – The Red and the Black
  • 5.15 – Travelers
  • 5.16 – Mind’s Eye
  • 5.17 – All Souls
  • 5.18 – The Pine Bluff Variant
  • 5.19 – Folie a Deux
  • 5.20 – The End

In Season 5, The X Files begins to become tragically self-indulgent. It features 3 alien conspiracy two-parters, one episode entirely dedicated to the creation of The Lone Gunmen and many more that reference the previous 4 series. The individual episodes on offer are enjoyable, but sadly few and far between.

The Good:

Despite its over-indulgence in the alien conspiracy, there are some prime individual episodes still on offer. With a little more studio freedom, it means two lighter, comical episodes crop up:

The Post-Modern Promethus

    A black and white homage to monster movies, which is sweet, funny and well created.

Bad Blood

    A kooky vampire tale that is told separately by Mulder and Scully as they attempt to get their stories straight, each with different twists, and featuring a cameo from Luke Wilson as the “buck-toothed” town sheriff.

The more serious episodes are also of good quality, with Detour and Kill Switch pleasing the “Monster-of-The-Week” crowd, while 3 episodes stick out as being particularly memorable:


    Features “Pusher” from Series 3, and it’s a welcome return of the man who can force his will on others.

Mind’s Eye

    Features an excellent turn from Lili Taylor as a blind woman who is falsely accused of murder, but who happens to see through the eyes of a killer.


    Perhaps the best of Series 5 – co-written by Chris Carter and Stephen King, this is pure horror in the form of an evil doll that forces people to kill themselves. Clever and haunting, this horrible little story will give you nightmares.

The Bad:

With self-indulgence rife throughout, even standalone episodes such as Unusual Suspects, All Souls and Travelers contain specific relevance to previous series, making it difficult for anyone fresh to the series to really understand their context. It is at this point in the entire series that missing an episode could cause a lot of confusion. Mulder starts to lose his beliefs and questions everything he’s known, and but this is more frustrating than interesting.

The alien conspiracy also starts to become twisted in its own intestines as rebel aliens suddenly appear, attempting to halt the alien / government agreed colonization of Earth. Even fans of the show may find it difficult to grasp all the strands of the continually evolving extra terrestrial invasion plan.

Favourites Alex Krycek and The Cancer Man (or The Cigarette-Smoking Man, as he is gutlessly billed by Season 5) return, but so briefly their characters start to become a parody of themselves, and their actions more and more baffling. The shadow group of evil old timers keep the conspiracy wagon rolling as they desperately search for a cure to the black ooze and even consider joining the rebels against their shaky alien allies.

Noteable Guest Appearances:

  • Luke Wilson (Soul Survivors, Vacancy) – Episode Bad Blood
  • Garrett Dillahunt (Deadwood, 4400, The Road, Last House on the Left) – Episode Travelers
  • Lili Taylor (The Haunting, Six Feet Under) – Episode Mind’s Eye
  • Veronica Cartwright (The Birds, Alien) – Episodes Patient X and The Red & The Black


The X Files Season 5 is a good season, but is perhaps heavily burdened by the alien mythology with episodes that feel unnecessary and confusing. The standalone episodes are decent and memorable, and Chinga is especially worth watching.

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