The K Files Dossier | Real Monsters of The X Files | An Episode Guide

The X Files Real Monsters

The K Files Dossier | Real Monsters of The X Files | An Episode Guide

Welcome to the first installment of The K Files Dossier! Listen to the audio intro:

The X Files has some scary monsters – those of us who started watching as kids in the 90’s will never forget the first time we spied the pink and white maw of the Flukeman, for example. But more than just antagonists, these creatures are actually agents of change for the characters, representing unspoken fears and anxieties.

Mulder’s quote from the original run of the show, “Dreams are the answers to questions that we haven’t figured out how to ask,” is actually the key to decoding what is going on with the characters in an episode, and how the monster is a manifestation of or response to the characters’ fears. The episode is the dream, and and the answer is the monster.

You can check out any of our previous monster of the week episode podcasts for a case study. This Milagro blog post is also helpful for more explanation:

Onward to the monsters! The K Files recommends these antagonists and their corresponding episode titles as most necessary viewing for the road so far. Be sure to comment and let us know below if we missed any of your favorites.

Cross Reference:


squeezeTOOMS – Squeeze and Tooms
Eugene Victor Tooms debuted very early in the show’s history and scared a lot of people. Tooms is frightening because he can get to you virtually anywhere and no one will ever suspect him…until he eats your liver without fava beans and chianti because he’s a savage. Notable also for shippy stakeout scene and one very inconvenient can of Root Beer.

x files worm
This episode owes a lot to 80’s classic The Thing – paranoia in a remote, snowy location with a bunch of freaked out white people. Awesomely Mulder and Scully face off in one of the first episodes to truly put their trust/partnership to the test.


This is a banner episode, containing psychotic clones, Mulder and Scully dualing trench coats, inspiration for 90’s band names, etc. The MSR is strong and the surface story is especially compelling – young Vancouver actors Erika and Sabrina Krievins steal the show as murderous twins, Cindy Reardon and Teena Simmons.


x files fireCECIL L’IVELY – Fire
This cheeky Englishman was a compelling force of malice, taunting his employers and their small children using his fire abilities. Mulder runs into an old squeeze and Scully gets breathy and jealous.
Review the full case file


x files boggsLUTHER LEE BOGGS – Beyond the Sea
A Scully vehicle, Beyond the Sea explores for the first time the special yet complicated relationship between Scully and her father. The speech Scully gives to Boggs after Mulder gets shot is legendary.
Review the case file


X files - darknessBUGS – Darkness Falls
Another episode from the early seasons which finds Mulder and Scully in a remote location, squaring off against forces both distinctly human and also supernatural. Chris Carter earned an environmental award for his efforts.


x files flukemanFLUKEMAN – The Host
The second season’s first monster is a doozy – a human size parasite that gets you when you’re most vulnerable. Mulder and Scully deal with the change in their work relationship and friendship in the wake of Scully being moved to work at Quantico.
Check out The K Files coverage


x files - sleeplessWILLIG – Sleepless
Let’s be honest – we all know what this episode means. I’ll give you a hint – it starts with R and rhymes with Ed Skreedo. Other fun stuff in addition to the eye candy- Mulder alone, sans Scully, is an interesting character study, and the surface story is compelling, exploring what comes of rejecting nature’s demands for sleep.


images (36)DONNIE PFASTER – Irresistible and Orison
A true agent of entropy, Donnie creeps us out not once but twice in the original run of the series. In both stories, he confronts Scully with one of the most frightening mirrors she peers into on the show.


x files - f emascFUNGUS – F. Emasculata
This episode features, simply put, one of the single grossest special effects in TV history, in the form of EXPLODING PUSTULES. Mulder and Scully investigate this case mostly separately, and show how they frequently take different routes to get to the same destination.


images (16)OSWALD – DPO
Featuring both a young Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black, this episode has a lot of cool visual sequences in the form of weaponized lightening and arcade games, and meditates on the nature of both luck and power.
Review the case file


x files war of the copKILLER ROBOT ROACHES – War of the Copraphages
Written by Darin Morgan, writer/director of Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster, this episode is similarly wacky. What a baddy – these roaches are mean metal. Meanwhile, the tension between Mulder and Scully continues, and Mulder gives one of our favorite lines in all of XF: Smart is sexy.


images (48)BAD GIRLS ANGELA AND MARGY – Syzygy
Featuring some of the most quotable dialogue in all of X Files-dom. Our personal favorite bit of dialogue is the repartee between Mulder and Scully regarding who will drive the rental car. Close second: Sure. Fine. Whatever.
Review the case file


images (51)ROBERT PATRICK MODELL – Pusher and Kitsunegari
The Pusher, Robert Modell, is one of the richest characters in XF, and one of the most frightening in the Rogues Gallery. Pusher manipulates Mulder into extremely tense circumstances, such as a forced game of Russian roulette during which he comes close to shooting Scully. You’ll never look at the color ‘cerulean blue’ the same way again, that’s certain.


images (24)The GOVERNMENT/LORD KIMBOTE – Jose Chung’s From Outer Space
One of the strangest, densest, funniest episodes in all of XF-dom, even among the Darin Morgan oeuvre. Charles Nelson Reilly and Gillian Anderson have remarkable chemistry and a few key cameos round out the show.
Check out The K Files coverage


x files big blueGATOR/BIG BLUE – Quagmire
Though writing credit is given to Kim Newton, this episode is widely attributed to Darin Morgan, the XF writer responsible for some of the most necessary MOTW episodes, such as Humbug, Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose, and most recently, Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster. The dialogue scene on the rock with Mulder and Scully is one of the best in their relationship. PLUS – Scully’s first dog, Queequeg meets a very X-Files-ian ending.
Review the K File


images (7)THE PEACOCK FAMILY – Home
This episode can best be characterized as – heavy. A primitive, in-bred family displays shockingly destructive behavior, and this ep was postponed from its original airdate as a result. It marks the return of writers Glen Morgan and James Wong and leaves a lasting impression on viewers.  Mulder and Scully have some deep conversations about motherhood, and the episode lives in your psyche for a while after you see it.
Review the case file


images (25)GERRY SCHNAUZ – Unruhe
Featuring an early design on one of the show’s most frightening set pieces: dentist chairs from hell. Schnauz is terrifying, as is his connection to Scully, who almost redeems him before he choose annihilation. Lots of rich Scully emotion.
Review the Case file


images (29)ROCHE – Paper Hearts
A Mulder dream for sure – Paper Hearts explores the idea that Samantha Mulder was perhaps taken by a child serial killer, rather than abducted by aliens. Mulder has a lot of emotions, but manages to sink a pretty sweet shot from mid-basketball court.


x files tattooED JERSE AND HIS TATTOO – Never Again
A Scully vehicle! Scully rebels against Mulder’s quest’s overwhelming her whole life and is a little bad. She gets a spectacular tattoo and has a brief affair with poor, hallucinating Ed. A terrific example of the frequent Mulder/Scully contention about Scully’s role on the quest.
Review the K File


x files - van blundtVAN BLUNDT – Small Potatoes
A fan favorite episode written by wunderkind Vince Gilligan delights in so many ways. The comedy is solid – writer Darin Morgan steps in front of the camera to play the Eddie Van Blundt, a con artist looking for love. Shippers know this episode as containing a swoon-tastic moment in early XF, when Van Blundt, impersonating Mulder, comes on to Scully, and she’s kind of into it… Also this line: Did he have a lightsaber?
Review the case file


images (14)PONCE DE LEONS – Detour
If you believe what the story offers as explanation for these humanoids with chameleon abilities, they are members of Ponce De Leon’s party who found the fountain of youth and have evolved to live in the woods over centuries. Most notable for a very sweet scene with Mulder and Scully marooned in the woods, together, and a solo, a capella styling of some classic rock.


images (9)GREAT MUTATO – Post Modern Prometheus
Chris Carter’s bid for an Emmy didn’t net him the statue, but XF viewers won big time with this heartfelt homage to both the Frankenstein story and perennial songstress, Cher. Bonus MSR fansplosion for the very romantic dance at the end. What’s not to love?
Check out The K Files coverage


images (30)EVIL DOLL – Chinga
A special episode written by Stephen King has some chilling sequences, including one that continues to haunt my dreams involving a milk shake machine. Scully’s off on a vacation that naturally goes horribly wrong. Mulder throws pencils at the ceiling – be sure to check out for the continuity at the very least. Top child acting as well, an XF hallmark.
Open the case file


images (39)THE AI – Kill Switch
Written by sci fi writer Alex Gibson, this cerebral episode is packed with action sequences, explosions, cool ideas about the nature of human life and how responsible we are for what we create, and Scully karate. Gibson returns in the seventh season to write First Person Shooter.


x files folieBIG BUGS – Folie a deux
A madness shared by two. This truly sums up the Mulder/Scully relationship, saluted in a final scene in which Scully acknowledges that madness shared by two makes it okay, so long as they stick together and fall in love and have babies. I’m extrapolating slightly but the truth is already here.
Review the file


X files - triangelBERMUDA – Triangle
This episode has more brass and action than both XF movies: Huge World War 2 set pieces, no cut camera tracking a la Hitchcock’s The Rope, time travel, stunts, a musical number. It’s like Twin Peaks meets The Shining. Naturally the best thing is that Mulder is wildly in love with Scully , smooches her, tells her he loves her, and she is [afraid] oblivious.
Check out The K Files coverage


x files ghostsGHOSTS – How the Ghosts Stole Christmas
We’re cruising into the really romantic portion of the show now. The characters are in love but in stasis while they navigate what having a relationship practically means while also managing their work partnership. Once they start having babies it all goes to hell, but for now, it’s very sweet.
Check out The K Files coverage



x files - wayneWAYNE  WEINSIDER- Terms of Endearment
Featuring The Chin, Bruce Campbell as a special guest star, this episode subverts all expectations about the motivations of its characters. If only he wielded a chainsaw arm, but alas.


x files felligFELLIG – Tithonus
This episode contains key intel about the status of Scully’s immortality and meditates on the nature of living forever. Also enjoy the moment Mulder confronts Agent Peyton Ritter about how much he would have had to murder him had Scully not pulled through.


x files - mondayTHE DO OVER – Monday
Yet another potential clue to Scully’s immortality – many believe the reason why time keeps resetting is because she cannot die. Lots of great, subtle MS moments, and a wink to Mulder’s new water bed from Morris Fletcher’s spree in the Dreamlands.


images (50)PADGETT – Milagro
A seminal episode for furthering the XF truest truths about what Scully represents on the show. The spirit is the truth and writer monster, Padgett, discovers he only possesses the power to destroy through Scully’s truth.
Check out The K Files coverage



x files milllenTHE MILLENNIUM GROUP – Millennium
Not only was this an ersatz series finale to even darker Chris Carter show, Millennium, but also this episode contains the first real, live, nobody is on drugs or hallucinating or being superimposed, kiss between Mulder and Scully. Bonus time with Millennium actor (and 80’s action icon), Lance Henricksen, too.

x files weemsHENRY WEEMS – The Goldberg Variation

A young Shia Leboeuf is a sweet little costar in this season seven ep that thoughtfully investigates the forces of cause and effect and notions of what luck is. Mulder has fun lines like, “QED” and makes a hilarious noise when narrating his theory for what happened to the goon who gets strangled via his own shoe laces and a ceiling fan. Plus, Mulder and Scully are in high flirt mode, preparing to finally have a real, adult (sort of) relationship.


images (47)JENN – Je Souhaite
A genie who grants wishes with a more realistic appearance than [I Dream of] Jeannie and a much more cynical life perspective. Mulder and Scully are sweet together as Mulder learns a valuable lesson: you can’t change the world, the world is at is, BUT that’s still pretty good. Especially when an Hibernian goddess loves you enough to drink beer with you.
Review the case file


x files watersonWATERSTON – All Things
We’re in deep with the MSR in this ep, written and directed by Gillian Anderson. Scully gets an opportunity to live another life without Mulder (a la his journey in Sixth Extinction/Amor Fati) and finds that he is the only person to continue the journey with. Not just because his hair is adorable and his pecs are frequently dazzling.
Check out The K Files coverage


x files invocBILLY UNDERWOOD – Invocation
A later episode in the series which revolved around Doggett and the past tragic death of his son. This episode shines in the surface story, a true X Files-an monster of the week that plays even sans Duchovny.


x files fpsMURDEROUS VIDEO GAME ENGINE- First Person Shooter
The second XF ep written by sci-fi novelist Alex Gibson, FPS is most notable for its action-packed finale, which finds Scully in the video game, kicking ass and taking names, while Mulder and the Lone Gunmen drool.
The blood thirst is insatiable


x files burtBURTGOD – Improbable
Burt Reynolds guest stars as the Big Cheese himself in this quirky episode which explores the cosmic forces pulling at our characters, and humanity, in the surface story for a change. Fun with numerology plus there’s a musical number. Scully is once again allotted immortal status through numerology.


empedoclesJEB DUKES – Empedocles
A sad story about the nature of evil and one man’s journey into night as he succumbs to it. Mulder and Scully are preparing for parenthood and Reyes and Mulder square off to show us once again that Mulder needed a Scully on his side, not a Diana Fowley.


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