The X-Files (1994) – Beyond the Sea, and Gender Bender

Beyond the Sea marks the halfway point of the first season of The X-Files, and while most of the episodes have been solid, and we’ve learned a bit about Mulder’s (David Duchovny) family history, with the abduction of his sister Samantha, Scully (Gillian Anderson) hasn’t been much more than his brilliant, sceptical partner until now.

That all changed with Beyond the Sea, written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. It first aired on 7 January, 1994, which ties in with the episode itself, as it is just after Christmas, and Dana Scully is hit with the news of her father’s (Don S. Davis) death – but she just saw him in her living room, trying to say something to her (he’s mouthing the Lord’s Prayer).

His death and her loss weighs over her as she and Mulder get pulled into a kidnapping case, and there may be a way to find them, with the help of an inmate on death row, Luther Lee Boggs (Brad Dourif) – he claims he can help the pair through his psychic abilities.

There’s a role reversal in the characters for this story, Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is the one who has the experiences. The things Boggs says to Scully, and the things she sees suggest that Boggs may have abilities.

This is a great episode for Scully, and Gillian Anderson. It shows what the show can do with its characters, their relationships, and the cases they work on and how they all tie together. In a first season, which is incredibly strong, this episode stands above.

Gender Bender was written by Larry and Paul Barber and first aired on 21 January, 1994. Mulder and Scully head to Massachusetts to investigate a series of strange deaths that occurred following intercourse.

Mulder thinks it may be caused by massive amounts of pheromones, something that earns an eye roll from Scully. As they investigate, they discover that the deaths may have ties to a religious sect, not unlike the Amish, known as The Kindred.

They accept Mulder and Scully’s investigation, but Mulder is no where near prepared for what he (because Scully is going to miss it, of course, but she is learning her own things, and succumbing to some pheromones) is going to discover, though the answer is right there in the title. But wait, there’s more by the end of the episode, there’s quite the reveal. And decades later I’m still not sure it was the right way to go with the story.

The episode also features a brief appearance by Nicholas Lea, his first before taking on the recurring role of Krycek. Beyond that, this one, despite being fairly well written, never wowed me, and I often forget about it completely until I see it mentioned.

The exploration into the dark continues Thursday when I delve deeper into The X-Files, because the truth is out there…

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