20 Year Anniversary: Revisiting X-Files – Season 1, Episode 4: “The Jersey Devil”

To commemorate the 20 years since the X-Files saw the light of day I decided to rewatch all the episodes and share my opinions and thoughts the episodes provoke.

Mowgli

Season 1, Episode 4: “The Jersey Devil”

Director: Joe Napolitano

Writers: Chris Carter

Well, no vampires this time either, but it’s another episode penned by Chris Carter! However, this time it’s not about conspiracies or mysteries from outer space. Carter surprisingly tackles with an actual urban legend, the Jersey Devil!

The make-up effects are not that convincing in the first season.

The make-up effects are not that convincing in the first season.

When a homeless man is found dead at the woods (a lot of them are in this show, actually) with his arm chewed off by a human, Mulder quickly jumps to the conclusion that this is the work of the fabled “Jersey Devil”. Scully is less enthusiastic about running after a myth, so she stays home and meets with a guy, who’s interested about Scully romantically.

Mulder’s investigations in Atlantic City brings him closer to the truth, but again he manages to piss off the chief of the local police. Mulder later sees the naked scruffy looking thing that is scavenging garbage behind an alley. Mulder chases this beast man -neigh- a person, who moves like an animal.

Mulder contemplates his encounter with the beast, when he has an epiphany while looking at a drawing of the Sasquatch with man boobs. The Jersey Devil might actually be a she!

They had to hunt down a new Alanis Morrisette to make the new album!

They had to hunt down a new Alanis Morrisette to make the new album!

In the meanwhile, Scully’s date with the divorced dad is cut thankfully short, when Mulder asks Scully’s help on the case. It doesn’t take a whole lot of convincing for Scully to dump the dude and rush to her true love of her life, namely work (and maybe Mulder). The duo tracks the female Jersey Devil down (I’ll call her Snooki from now on) and gets her trapped inside a building, where I’m pretty sure they shot probably 90% of all music videos made in 1991. Mulder gets near to get some from Snooki, but Scully comes in and spooks Snooki away.

And in the end the dickhead chief shoots her dead. End of story.

What’s interesting in this episode, that it doesn’t get involved in any supernatural elements at all. It’s about this girl living on her own in the woods and basically her being a human animal. It’s refreshing to have this kind of an episode, but it isn’t that engaging in the end. Chris Carter has a really good grip on the dialogue and the characters, so he makes the time spent with Mulder and Scully enjoyable. He writes comedy rather well, and as I remember, he did full on comedy episodes for the show as well. I actually preferred the side story with Scully getting into the dating game. When her friend asks about Scully if she thinks Mulder as a potential boyfriend contender, she reacts by snapping: “He’s a jerk!” before giving more tempered answer stating Mulder is too tied to his work. But the fact that Scully is actually frustrated by Mulder not noticing her interest in him is precious. I don’t think many viewers caught up on that. Or maybe I’m reading too much in it. Scully’s given a chance to have a social life outside of Mulder and the X Files, but in the end she makes the choice to abandon regular social life for Mulder. That’s fucking love right there, baby!

Great dialogue, average episode.

Now is it Vampires next?

Best scene: Scully’s date.

Most memorable bit: Snooki strapping helpless Mulder lying on the floor.

Rating: +++

Ellen: What about that guy you work with?

Scully: Mulder?

Ellen: I thought you said he was cute.

Scully: He’s a jerk. He’s not a jerk. He’s, um… he’s obsessed with his work.

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