These Are Gillian Anderson's Favorite Episodes Of The X-Files

In 1993, FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) left their basement office and entered the darkness to investigate a plethora of diverse and nightmarish creatures. Inspired by old-school shows like "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," the Fox series embraced the strange, unusual, and, at times, the downright absurd, which TV audiences devoured for 25 years.

After 11 seasons and 2 feature films, "The X-Files" officially came to an end (at least for now) in 2018. When a long-running series, like "The X-Files," offers such an expansive catalog of creeps, it can be difficult to choose a small list of favorites, but one of the show's stars managed to do just that.

Back in December of 2017, Bloody Disgusting reported that a month before the long-awaited 11th season debuted, the official X-Files Twitter live-streamed six of Anderson's favorite episodes. Let's discuss Scully's top picks and why they are among the show's best.

The Classic Creepies

"The X-Files" gained notoriety by blending unsolved mysteries and conspiracy theories with the seriousness of a hard-core detective show. Typically, a strange creature or mutated human stalked and murdered the innocent, and Mulder and Scully stopped it. Like many loyal fans, Anderson appreciates this formula and included a few of these homicidal creature episodes on her list.

Anderson chose "Ice," "Humbug," and "The Post Modern Prometheus" as three of her favorite episodes. "Ice" features a maggot-like parasite that causes extreme aggression in its host, while "Humbug" and "The Post Modern Prometheus" highlights lonely, mutated creatures who are seeking companionship.

These episodes follow the accepted monster of the week template of the series, but they also take the time to comment on larger societal issues. In "Ice," Mulder wishes to keep the parasites alive since they may prove that extraterrestrial life exists, whereas Scully prefers to kill them in order to avoid mass exposure. This discussion touches on the ongoing debate over how far science should be allowed to go in its experiments. Is it ethical to study a new species if the experiments might expose the entire population to a deadly parasite? In the end, Mulder and Scully decide to leave the aggressive, potential extraterrestrial species under the ice.

In "Humbug," the agents investigate a gang of sideshow performers, who have mutations and eccentricity of typical baddies, which leads Mulder to suspect them of murder. Despite their appearances or behaviors, the circus members are innocent, which exposes the bigotry and ignorant assumptions of Mulder and, potentially, the audience. "The Post Modern Prometheus" also touches on equating the unusual with the guilty when a Frankenstein's monster-type character is stalked by a mob (complete with pitchforks), who suspects him of murder because of his monstrous mutations.

Time travel deja vu

On top of bigotry and questions of science, "The X-Files" also explores the possibility of reincarnation and time travel. Another of Anderson's favorites, "Triangle" centers around Mulder's time in The Bermuda Triangle, where he travels back to 1939, and finds himself aboard a British ship that has been overtaken by Nazi soldiers.

While aboard The Queen Anne, Mulder encounters the familiar faces of Scully, Skinner, Spender, and The Cigarette Smoking Man, but none of them recognize him. Obviously, this episode focuses on the potential of time travel, but it also touches on reincarnation and the theory of soulmates. The "will they, won't they" relationship between Mulder and Scully kept fans interested in the duo for years, and this episode is unquestionably an episode for shippers.

The chances of a '90s Fox Mulder meeting and teaming up with a '30s version of Scully are shockingly slim, which seems to indicate that the two are always destined to be a part of each other's lives. Mulder and Scully fans' hearts were all a flutter when Mulder kisses the past version of Scully and finally gets up the guts to tell '90s Scully that he loves her. Of course, she thinks it's the meds talking, and blows it off, but that one moment kept Mulder and Scully supporters going for years. Apparently, Anderson got a kick out of it as well.

The Comical Creatures

Anderson included a lot of serious episodes on her favorites list, but she's a fan of the comical ones, too. The actress included "Bad Blood," and "Jose Chung's from Outer Space" in her favorites. Unlike the others she picked, these episodes burst with pure, unadulterated absurdity that pokes fun at the characters and the series' monsters.

During the episode "Bad Blood," Mulder tracks down a nest of vampires, but when he finally plunges a stake into one of their hearts, he discovers his fangs are fake. Of course, it's "The X-Files," so the town is actually full of vampires, but Mulder and Scully hightail it out of the place after a close encounter with the bloodthirsty townsfolk.

The episode features two different versions of the case, one from Scully's point of view and one from Mulder's. In Scully's version, Mulder is a condescending, demanding, and wacky partner who Scully struggles to understand. In Mulder's version, Scully is whiny, exhausted, and humorless with whom Mulder struggles to communicate. Both of these are exaggerated versions of the characters and plots audiences know and love, which makes the episode a refreshing and entertaining ride for viewers.

"Jose Chung's from Outer Space" is even more entertaining as it features a supposed abduction of a gray alien, who chain smokes and repeats "this is not happening" as he awaits his encounter with a King Kong-type extraterrestrial. A die-hard alien enthusiast witnesses the bizarre abduction and is threatened by two mysterious men in black, played by Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek, which is about as absurd as it can get. The episode is full of ridiculousness that pokes fun at the craziness of conspiracy theories, which is the show's bread and butter.

"The X-Files" was brave enough to take the subject of aliens, mutants, and outcasts seriously, without losing the ability to poke fun at itself. Of course, not everyone is going to agree with Anderson's picks, but the episodes she chose do a fantastic job of highlighting the many strengths of the long-running series.