Observation 1

The X-Files
Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”
0:00 “Inspired by Documented Accounts”

Commented [1]: I would recommend adding
background information for the reader. Some readers
may have no idea about this show and may be
confused. Try to help them visualize the setting and
have a better understanding of what is going to
happen.

The show opens to a classic scene of a frightened girl running through the woods from
something off-screen. She soon falls and is set upon by a shadowy figure, then the screen is
filled with a blinding white light.
1:43
We cut to a police investigation, centered around the dead body of the aforementioned girl.
There is no discernible cause of death or apparent trauma. One of the officers seems to know
something, but remains suspiciously silent.
2:25
We cut to an FBI office, where we are introduced to one of the main characters Agent Dana
Scullyaf, a licensed MD who chose to pursue law enforcement rather than to practice medicine.
At her meeting she is assigned to work with the other main character Agent Fox Mulder, where
her stated job is to use her expertise to comment on the scientific validity of the cases Mulder
works on, referred to as the X-files, for which many consider him to be a conspiracy nut. During
this meeting we get the first glimpse of the Cigarette Smoking Man (hereafter CSM), one of the
primary antagonists of the series.
5:30
Scully meets Mulder in his office. His office is isolated from the others, and has a darker, more
dingy appearance. The room is filled with pictures and posters pertaining to things ranging from
flying saucers the occult to monsters and general conspiracy junk.
6:30
The dead girl from before is brought up as a potential X file, and during their conversation it’s
established that Mulder believes there is extraterrestrial intelligent life, while Scully does not,
establishing their relationship as the believer and the skeptic.
9:30
The girl is the latest of 4 dead people in the area. While driving to the area some form of
interference effects the car, and Mulder gets out and draws a chalk ‘X’ on the ground, then gets
back in the car with no explanation.
11:53
Upon attempting to exhume the dead girl, the agents are accosted by the county medical
examiner (hereafter ME).
14:24

Commented [2]: Maybe you should dedicate a section
of the assignment to the Characters. In this section you
could give their description and background
information. This information would help the reader as
they read through the assignment.

The casket contains a hideous deformed corpse which, while definitely humanoid, does not look
like a human corpse. It’s taken to the local autopsy lab where it’s revealed to be mammalian, but
does not appear human. Scully posits some kind of monkey, Mulder posits alien. A strange
metal object is found in the nasal cavity.
17:25
The agents visit a local psych ward where a patient who claimed responsibility for 2 of the
deaths is being treated. He couldn’t substantiate his claim of guilt, and is currently comatose,
and supposedly had been for 4 years (Billy). Mulder sees strange markings on a patient next to
billy that are identical to some found on the dead girl.
19:39
Mulder believes the patient to be an abductee, Scully is highly skeptical. The agents investigate
the area where the dead girl was found, but are stopped at gunpoint by the officer mentioned
earlier, who demands that they leave. Scully obtained some ashes from the area, and suggests
possible cult activity being covered up by the officer.
24:20
While driving back there’s a blinding white light. The car shit down completely, even the clock.
Mulder claims that they lost time (his watch jumped ahead 9 minutes). Mulder notices this
occurred less than 10 feet from where he’d drawn the chalk ‘X’ earlier, and cries out in triumph.
The car turns back on by itself.
26:00
There’s a power outage at the Hotel the agents are at. Scully finds similar marks on her back,
but Mulder claims they’re merely mosquito bites. Mulder then confides in Scully the story of his
sister’s abduction, where she was taken by aliens when they were young and he had been
powerless, literally paralyzed to do anything, and it drove him to where he is today. A hooded
figure is shown outside. They receive a call claiming that the girl from the psych ward is dead.
30:00
They arrive at the scene where she’d been hit by a semi-truck. Mulder then receives word that
the autopsy lab had been trashed, and they discover that their hotel had been set on fire,
destroying all their evidence. A girl approaches them from the crowd requesting their protection.
She’s revealed to be the ME’s daughter, and she claims that there is a pattern to the deaths,
that the ME and the sheriff’s department are involved, and that she’s in danger. The ME shows
up and takes her away, and the officer is revealed to be the father of Billy. Scully suspects Billy
as the murderer.
35:00
The graves of the other victims are found empty, recently dug up.
37:00
The agents visit Billy, who is still comatose. Despite the coma, Scully finds ashes on his bare
feet identical to those she found in the woods. The agents return to the woods to collect an ash
sample to confirm, where Scully is attacked by Billy’s father, who holds Mulder at gunpoint. The

camera cuts to Billy and the ME’s daughter in the woods, who’re surrounded by a vortex of dust
and leaves. Another blinding light appears, then suddenly Billy and the girl are fine. The girl has
suddenly lost the marking that were on her back.
42:00
Billy is being questioned by the FBI while the CSM watches. Billy claims alien abduction, that his
actions were performed on their orders, and that he had been experimented on.
44:30
Scully submits her report to the men she met with in the beginning of the episode, who’re
disappointed that she did not discredit Mulder, despite the fact that she lacked any hard
evidence. She then presents the metal object found in the corpse earlier, and states that their
lab couldn’t identify the metal it was made from.
47:00
The CSM is shown taking the object and storing it in a box of similar objects, all of which are
then stored in a massive cache of evidence inside the Pentagon. The episode ends here.
Observation 2
X-files
Season 2, Episode 14 “Die Hand die Verletzt”
0:00
Open to meeting of teachers discussing boring crap. Teachers all seem stuck up and
conservative, debating whether “Jesus Christ Superstar” is appropriate for the children at their
school. Teachers begin to pray, but not to any mainstream deity: they are praying to a “Prince of
Darkness.” Title Sequence
3:00
Teenagers exploring in the woods. Cliché suburbanites doing some satanic ritual trying to
impress their dates. Something is lurking in the background. Girl runs off, spontaneous fire in
the forest, some dude starts getting choked by an invisible force, cut to Scully reviewing his
corpse, his eyes and heart cut out. Local officer suspects the kid was a devil-worshipper. Scully
skeptical. Officer clearly incompetent. The officer suspects that heavy metal music had some
influence. Mulder concedes that the scene did look oddly ceremonial. Toads seem to fall from
the sky.
8:00
Cut to library, Scully claims that the animals were likely picked up by a strong storm. Cut to
classroom. The kids from the ceremony are there, they all look freaked out. When Mulder and
Scully appear, he tries to make a run for it. One of the satanic teachers was in the room. Mulder
and Scully question the kid. Kid claims that he had no idea the ritual would ‘work,’ had no
intention for the other guy (Jerry Stevens) to die. Elsewhere, the satanic teachers are discussing
that the kid was offered to ‘Azazel’ according to a ritual, and that one of them must have done it.
Scully and Mulder make no arrest due to lack of evidence. The teachers accuse the kids of

being occult worshippers. Scully refutes this with the results of FBI studies from the 80’s which
found no existence of satanic cults in America.
12:36
Devil-teacher pulls the girls from the ceremony aside, tries to convince them to confide in her.
The camera shows the dead kids heart and eyes in her desk drawer, suggesting that she is
responsible. Mulder talks to the school counselor. Scully finds Nazi paper from 1934 describing
similar dead body, accusing ‘the Jew’ of such behavior.
15:30
Students beginning pig dissection. Girl hallucinates that her pig is still alive, despite vivisection,
proceeds to freak out. Runs away from counselor and agents. While talking to the agents, she
tells them that her mom was a teacher at the school, and that her real dad ran away. Her mom
remarried one of the devil-teachers. She claim that when she was 4, the devil-teacher molested
her. She describes the teachers performing occult rituals while her mom was away, that they
would impregnate her and her sister, then kill the babies, and that they murdered her sister. She
claims she had 3 babies all of which are buried in her basement.
21:30
Agents go to the girl’s house. Father claims that someone influenced the girl to say those things,
that they’re not true. Mother claims marital problems, that the girl might be making stuff up for
attention, that Shannon had never been pregnant. She did have another child who is now dead,
but died long before the girl described as an infant. Mulder questions devil-dad, devil-dad
denies, gets outraged, accuses agents of planting those thoughts, kicks them out of the house.
24:30
Devil-teacher who killed Jerry is questioning the girl, then lets her reattempt the dissection. She
performs some weird ritual, causing the girl to slit her wrists.
25:30
Agents investigating the lab where the girl died, devil-teacher feigns ignorance. Mulder finds the
locket belonging to the girl that the teacher used in her ritual. The devil-teachers convene, devildad asks if anyone was responsible for the death of his daughter. They suspect the girl killed
Jerry and herself out of jealousy. (Note: The devil-teacher responsible is not part of this group
and was not present at their meeting in the beginning or any other, suggesting they don’t know
about her, hereafter she is murder-teacher, or MT)
28:00
Agents question MT, she continues to feign ignorance. Scully smells incense. Scully finds it odd
that she is subbing for a guy who has been sick only twice in 15 years, yet the morning of
Jerry’s murder developed necrotizing fasciitis. Both agree she is suspicious.
29:00
Mulder investigates a basement at night. It’s the house of the girl. Devil-dad catches him in the
act. Devil-dad confides in Mulder that he is not Christian, believing Christianity to be a
hypocrisy. He continues to ramble, hints at the fact that he is a satanic cult member, but is

speaking out because his group had the audacity to accuse his daughter. MT is performing a
ritual. Devil-dad admits the girl (Shannon) was involved in the rituals, but nothing sexual and no
physical harm, and that their memories had been hypnotically repressed. MT ritual continues,
she dials Mulder, imitating Scully perfectly, claiming she is in trouble at the school. Mulder cuffs
devil dad to a pipe and drives off after Scully. The basement door opens on its own, and a huge
snake slithers down the stairs. The python chokes devil-dad to death, then swallows him whole.
37:00
Mulder reaches the school, Scully is clearly okay. Agents return to the house of devil-dad, only
handcuffs and a bloody torso skeleton remain where devil-dad was. Mulder finds python skin,
Scully recalls that there was a python in MT’s lab. Devil-teachers reconvene, and are obviously
afraid. Agents arrive at the school during the meeting. Agents find MT collapsed on the floor,
she attempts to frame the other devil-teachers for everything.
41:45
Scully finds human eye in a jar. Devil-teachers ambush agents, subdue them and tie them up in
the gym. Devil-teachers begin a ritual sacrifice. MT is performing another ritual. One of the devilteachers shoots the other two off-screen, then himself. Agents recover, return to where MT was
collapsed. She’s gone, and on the chalkboard was written “Goodbye. It’s been nice working with
you.” The lights turn on. Camera pans out, cut to credits.
Artifacts
Mulder’s Office: From its isolated location to the personal items that litter the inside (such as
UFO posters, conspiracy rags, and cryptid and Alien photos) it all is a direct reflection of Mulder
and informs the viewer a great deal about his character before he ever opens his mouth.
The CSM’s cigarette(s): One of the primary antagonists of the show, the CSM’s nicotine
addiction is virtually the only unique and consistent external characteristic of this character for
roughly the first 6 of the 9 seasons (and even after, the only one that isn’t up for speculation).
No name, no clear occupation or job title, just his non-descript suit, his cigarettes, and his
conservative grey hair. Plus, despite what decades of anti-smoking rhetoric and propaganda
may want to tell us: it makes him look really, really cool.
Interview answers
1) Favorite episode?
A: The one with the mutant hillbillies (Season 4, Episode 2 “Home”)
2) Most important character?
A: Mulder. You could get rid of any other character and the show would still work. Plus
he’s hot.
3) Opinion of the ending? (of season 9)
A: (paraphrasing here, lots of rambling) It was weird. Mulder got a court-martial despite
not being in any branch of the military, and it was a show-trial for no audience (the end
of season 9 had Mulder captured by alien co-conspirators after he’d infiltrated a military
facility, where he learned the full scale alien invasion would commence in December
2012. He was given a court martial staffed by his FBI superiors, military personnel, and
known alien co-conspirators and government officials who had basically been bodysnatched. Mulder presents all his ‘evidence’ and accusations of the invasion and the

Commented [3]: This was a great observation. It
shows your ability to focus on the little things. This
focus to detail will definitely allow you to write a good
research paper.

conspiracy, summarizing the entire series to the court-martial, and ends on a cliffhangar). I feel like they had outpaced themselves in terms on long-term plot, and were
going through the motions by this point (by season 9 David Duchovny had almost no
involvement in the show due to contract disputes, and the shows writing and ratings
suffered for it.)
4) Favorite “Monster of the Week?”
A: The stretchy guy who ate livers (Eugene Victor Tooms, appears in S1E3 “Squeeze”
and S1E21 “Tooms)
5) Are you watching the current season/mini-series/revival?
A: No, I don’t have cable and it’s not on Netflix

Observation 3
X Files Season 1 Episode 3 “Tooms”

Commented [4]: This observation lacks some detail. It
seems like you were rushed and out of time. I would go
back and take your time on this observation.

0:00 Accountant is being watched by guy from gutter. Guy works late in secure room. Small
vent opens from inside. Accountant killed offscreen.
4:00 Police baffled, old friend of Scully asks for her help.
8:00 Mulder finds finger print on vent, Scully’s friend thinks he’s full of crap. Mulder matches MO
to murders committed before WWII, predicts a pattern.
15:00 Agents find Tooms, capture him. He’s working as a janitor. Agents unable to convince the
others of his involvement.
18:00 Tooms undergoes polygraph test, fails question asking if he was alive around time of
older murders. Scully’s friend gets pissed, throws him off the case.
23:00 Tooms kills again
27:00 Mulder finds guy who investigated the old murders, gets the evidence he collected.
31:00 Agents find Tooms’ lair

Analysis
The X Files can be thought of as a ‘Paranormal Procedural.” It incorporates many of the rules
and dynamics of the police procedural, such as the partner dynamic, the partner banter, etc.
Episodes fall into two categories: the “myth-arc,” which cover the impending alien invasion and
conspiracy across all 9 seasons as well as the first movie, and “Monster of the Week” (hereafter
MOTW). MOTW episodes can never have lasting impact on the whole series and must be
resolved or abandoned within two episodes. Scully, Mulder and the CSM can be injured,
captured and maimed but never killed (see: plot armor). Mulder will always propose a ridiculous
conspiracy theory which is usually accurate, which Scully will always reject with skepticism even
in the face of overwhelming evidence (such as her own alien abduction). In non-arc episodes
the agents will never end up with hard evidence. Episodes will always occur, or at least begin on
US soil or US territory in order for the agents to have jurisdiction as members of the FBI. Arc
episodes are always serious and contribute to the overall suspense and mystery, but MOTW

Commented [5]: You did very well on this analysis. It
went into a great depth of detail about the conventions
and rules of the show. This will give the reader a very
strong understanding of how the show works and
keeps progressing episode by episode.

episodes can be humorous to the point of farce, notably S3E20 “Jose Chung’s From Outer
Space.” If hard evidence is ever obtained, it will be stolen or destroyed within 2 episodes, if not
the very same. Episodes will usually draw from urban legends and conspiracy theories, but are
not limited to the US. Mulder is familiar with absolutely every conspiracy theory ever, always.
Inetersting ideas:
The conspiracy theories that feed the episodes are very interesting, particularly the foreign
ones. It’s even more interesting when they are tied into real life incidents. For example: Project
MKULTRA, the Kennedy Assassination (the show suggests that CSM was responsible), the
moon landings, etc. I don’t buy into any of them (except MKULTRA, that’s been declassified and
well documented as true. Dosing US troops with LSD without their knowledge or consent, ESP
research, fun stuff like that. See: Men Who Stare At Goats), but they are highly entertaining, and
can be a window into other cultures. I think it would be interesting to look into them further, such
as ones they haven’t covered, and ones that have developed in the shows absence.
Chart
Conspiracy Theories
American conspiracy theories
Paranormal conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theories and television
Search “conspiracy theories and television”
Source: roswell and conspiracy theories (npr.org) access at
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1039200

Search “american conspiracy theories”

Source: Suspicious? In 'United States Of Paranoia,' It's Not Just You (npr.org) access at
http://www.npr.org/2013/09/07/219718597/suspicious-in-united-states-of-paranoia-its-not-justyou
source: Conspricay Theories Find A Home on the Internet (npr.org) access at
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5629332
search “paranormal conspiracy theories”

source: Mulder And Scully On Why The World Is Ready For An 'X-Files' Reboot
(npr.org) access at
http://www.npr.org/2016/01/23/463726029/mulder-and-scully-on-why-the-world-isready-for-an-x-files-reboot
Proposal

I propose to search in detail into the underlying myths and conspiracy theories that serve as the
source material for the show. I then wish to identify prominent examples that the show has not
covered, if there are any, and to cover any which have developed since the show went off the
air (the show’s original run ended in May 2002, and had not adjusted to critical events such as
9/11, the Patriot Act, etc and predated the war in Iraq, Blackwater and other PMC’s, the Arab
Spring, the formation of Anonymous, etc). From this I intend to suggest future potential topics
for episodes, based on past treatment, source and the potential impending resurrection of the
show as more than a mini-series.