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The best 'X-Files' episodes to watch ahead of Sunday's season premiere

"The X-Files" will make its much-anticipated return to the small screen on Sunday for a six-episode run.

In the meantime, newbies to the show can enjoy 202 episodes and two movies to get them ready for the miniseries.

amNewYork resident X-phile Ivan Pereira selected some of the best episodes of the show that showcase its tone.

Scroll through to see which episodes (and movie) you should prioritize ahead of the premiere. All are streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix and iTunes.


Start your
Photo Credit: Fox

Start your "X-Files" journey with the episode that got the ball rolling. Medical expert Agent Dana Scully is assigned to the X-Files to keep an eye on Agent Fox "Spooky" Mulder, and the pair get their first paranormal case. The episode kicks off the duo's relationship, and gives a taste of the show's overarching conspiracy storyline.

Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose (pictured)

Peter Boyle won an Emmy for his guest appearance on the show as a cynical psychic who helps Mulder and Scully hunt a serial murderer. Bruckman's dry wit and chemistry with both Mulder and Scully show a different side to the show where the scares and paranormal take a back seat for a somber, poignant story.

Home (pictured)

This episode was so scary that Fox only
Photo Credit: Fox

This episode was so scary that Fox only aired it twice, and "X-Files" fans say it's the darkest produced hour that the show ever made. The agents investigate a newborn baby that was buried alive in rural Pennsylvania and it leads them to a deformed, recluse family. Mulder and Scully realize that the clan has a dark, twisted secret, and things get real gruesome once they meet the matriarch.


One of the most early and famous "Monster of the Week" episodes puts Mulder and Scully inside an Alaskan military research facility that's infected by parasitic worms. The show has several frightening moments as the agents and scientists try and figure out who's infected before they all kill each other.

Unusual Suspects (pictured)

Mulder's tech support buddies, the Lone Gunmen, have
Photo Credit: Fox

Mulder's tech support buddies, the Lone Gunmen, have always been good for a few laughs, and their first episode is a good comical turn for the series. We flash back to 1989, where the hackers spill their guts to Det. John Munch -- yes, the same Det. Munch from "Homicide Life on the Street" and "Law & Order" -- about how they got involved with a government worker who claims to have plans about stolen weapons.

One Breath

This is a turning point for the show's conspiracy plot line that focuses on Scully after she is found alive following an alien abduction (a device used by the writers to explain Gillian Anderson's time off when she had her daughter). While fighting for her life, Scully has an out of body experience where she speaks with her deceased father and other loved ones. Meanwhile, Mulder tries to figure out what happened to his partner and discovers new layers to the conspiracy.

Bad Blood (pictured)

Photo Credit: Fox

"The X-Files" mixes the Kurosawa movie "Rashomon" and an episode of the "Dick Van Dyke Show" as Mulder and Scully recount a case involving a Texas town that allegedly had vampires. In Mulder's version, Scully scoffs at him any time he tries to bring up an important clue, such as a corpse's untied shoes, and she's too smitten with the town's hick, bucktooth sheriff, played by Luke Wilson. In Scully's version, Mulder acts too much like a jerk during the investigation, especially when he points out that a corpse's shoes are untied, and the sheriff, who doesn't have buck teeth, is a smart, helpful ally. The show explores the pair's relationship and brings in the laughs when the truth is revealed in the final act.


Chris Carter set out to make an ambitious episode where every act was a continuous take. This was no easy task as the story has Mulder trapped in the past on a boat that went missing in the Bermuda triangle in 1939, while Scully investigates his whereabouts in the present. Careful editing and acting moved both stories to its conclusion and includes the first time Mulder and Scully (or in this case her 1939 doppelgänger) kiss.

'The X-Files Movie: Fight the Future' (pictured)

The 1998 film was made to move the
Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The 1998 film was made to move the conspiracy arc to new limits as well as give non fans a good jumping-on point for the rest of the show. The powers that be close the X-Files and make their big move, but Scully and Mulder continue to expose the truth. The extra length and budget allowed the creators to go big with set pieces and special effects, including the movie's finale inside a mysterious craft in the Antarctic.


The show waned in quality in its final two seasons, as David Duchovny left the show, but he returned to direct this episode in its final season. Scully has doubts after a mysterious figure from the past warns her the conspirators are trying to kidnap her and Mulder's son William. Flashbacks to the pair deciding on having a baby and discussing their relationship add tremendous weight to Scully's ultimate decision at the end of the episode.


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