Less than two weeks until Ironman Florida and I am now officially tapering.  Last week was a rest week, this week is week one of a two week taper and next week is the race.  Normally I’m a pretty high volume person, so tapering gives me lots of “extra” time I never knew that I had.  Last week my total training time was 11 hours, this week I’m at 15 and next week is only 5 (and the race).  With all this extra time Shaun and I have taken to watching the X-Files from the very first episode all the way through the end (or at least until David Duchovny stopped appearing regularly in the series in season eight).

Once upon a time I lived for the X-Files.  I would plan my weeks around my Friday night at 9 p.m. dates with David Duchovny curled up in bed watching the show on my little 13 inch television.  In high school the closet door in my room was covered with X-Files magazine clippings, posters of Mr. Duchovny covered my walls and I even learned how to program the VCR in order to create my library of X-Files episodes (remember this was before Hulu and even DVD compilations of the various seasons).  I just a little bit obsessed.  I continued to be a hardcore X-Phile through college, although I did miss an episode from time to time (college life got in the way). 

Now that Shaun and I are revisiting the episodes en mass and in chronological order its interesting to see that my 14 through 20 year old self had very similar taste to my 30 year old self (its also interesting to see how well the series has held up even though it was created in a time before the google, smart phones and digital cameras).  In honor of tapering and my new “hobby” here are my all time favorite X-Files episodes (and pictures of me from 1993-2002 when the series originally aired:

10. Syzygy (Season 3 Episode 13 – January 26, 1996).  This one is for Shaun.  Apparently its the only episode he remembers from its original airing.  While I’m including it for Shaun, it also has two of the best lines in the series. 

Scully: Why do you always have to drive? Because you’re the guy? Because you’re the big, macho man?
Mulder: No, I was just never sure your little feet could reach the pedals.

Mulder (to Scully): Be my guest. I know how much you like snapping on the latex.

1995 (I believe).  Sophomore year in high school.

9. Small Potatoes (Season 4 Episode 20 – April 20, 1997).  I love funny episodes and this is one of the best.  Essentially Mulder and Scully run into a man (Eddie Van Blundht — the h is silent) who is capable of changing his exterior appearance.  The episode really gains steam when Van Blundht transforms into Mulder.  David Duchovny does a fantastic job playing Faux Fox and parodying the character who made him famous. 

8. Squeeze/Tooms (Season 1 Episodes 3 & 21 – September 24, 1993 & April 22, 1994).  Eugene Victor Tooms is one of the best monsters in The X-Files with his special ability to stretch and appetite for human liver. This was the very first Monster of the Week (MOTW) episode and it was good — it essentially set the standard for all MOTW episodes yet to come.

7.  Bad Blood (Season 5 Episode 12 – February 22, 1998).  I’m sucker for the sweet spot of the series (which in my opinion ran from the end of season 2 through season 5) and for funny episodes.  The parallel he said / she said stories Mulder and Scully tell coupled with the appearance of Luke Wilson as Sheriff Hartwell make for a truly funny episode. 

6. Arcadia (Season 6 – March 7, 1999).  I like funny episodes and the concept of Mulder and Scully as a suburban married couple is just good.  Plus I love the concept of Mulder and Scully “finally making that honeymoon video.” 

Fall of 1999.  Alex and I dressed up for “Frat Boy Meetings.”

5. War of the Coprophages (Season 3 Episode 12 – January 5, 1996).  I think Season 3 was probably the strongest overall season.  Once again this is a humorous MOTW episode — killer cockroaches couples with an entomologist name Bambi.  I know there are some mixed feelings on this episode but its one of my favorites.

Prom in 1998 with Treesha.

4. Duane Barry / Ascension / One Breath (Season 2 Episodes 5, 6 and 8 – Octboer 14 & 21, 1994 and November 11, 1994).  I know that these episodes were the result of Gillian Anderson’s pregnancy in real life, but I feel like this is were the X-Files really began.  All of the subsequent mythology episodes stem from these three as do major plot lines in the 4th, 5th and 9 th seasons.  In essence, these episodes made the X-Files what it was.  As an added bonus we get to see David Duchovny in the infamous red speedo — its worth a place on the list just for that fact.

3. Post Modern Prometheus (Season 5 Episode 5 – November 30, 1997).  Filmed in black-and-white, the episode chronicles Mulder and Scully’s investigation when a letter from a single mother leads them to a small mid-Western town where a modern-day version of Frankenstein’s monster lurks, Jerry Springer is an obsession, and Cher plays a significant part.  The episode was nominated for seven Emmy Awards and deserved every nomination (its just too bad it didn’t score a win). 

2.  Jose Chungs From Outer Space (Season 3 Episode April 12, 1996).  This is a Darrin Morgin episode, who was arguable the best writer on the X-Files team.  Poking fun at science fiction pretensions, its own complicated mythology, Mulder and Scully, the notion of an objective truth (it’s not so much that “truth is out there” as “there may be several truths, and who knows where they are”), this episode is one of the most ambitious hours of television ever and one of the best ones. Even if it wasn’t so well crafted, it would be on the list simply for Mulder’s girly scream at the bleeping dead alien body. 

1. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose (Season 3 Episode 4 – October 13, 1995).  This is another Darrin Morgin episode.  The episode is funny and the writing is crisp (I love the fact that the stupendous Yappi re-appears in Jose Chungs from Outer Space).  More importantly thought it showcases the emotional depth Gillian Anderson had playing Scully and gives Peter Boyle a chance to shine as Clyde Bruckman.  The episode also included some fantastic lines and the suggestion that Mulder dies from auto erotic asphyxiation (the look on Scully’s face after Clyde Bruckman says “there are worse ways to go, but I can’t think of more undignified one then auto-erotic asphyixiation” is priceless).

Bruckman: Do you wanna know how you’re going to die?
Mulder: Yes, I would.
Bruckman: [Pause] No, you don’t.

1999.  My 2nd 5 K ever with Matty (although my mom cut his head off in the picture).
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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / witsup.com writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

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