The X-Files is about two prickly FBI agents who solve mysterious cases and stand alone against a whole government who hides the truth. What more could you expect?
WARNING: Spoilers are marked.
- "Deep Throat" has Scully use an undercover Ellens Air Base worker as a hostage in order to free the imprisoned Mulder, without a reprimand in the world.
- During "Squeeze", Scully tolerates most of Tom Colton's disbelief at Mulder's theories and investigations, up to the point where he cancels a stakeout at the supposed place where Tooms has been hiding. This leads to this exchange that firmly shows Scully's dedication to see this case out to the very end, not wanting to end it prematurely for a promotion.Scully: Is this what it takes to climb the ladder, Colton?
Colton: All the way to the top.
Scully: Then I can't wait `til you fall off and land on your ass.
- Mulder's insubordination is questioned by FBI officials at a hearing in "Fallen Angel". They believe that he disobeyed orders in infiltrating the extraterrestrial ship's debris, claiming that he could have contaminated himself. But he takes none of their bullshit and repeatedly defends himself as someone who wants the truth, and makes it very clear to them that this is how it's going to stay.Mulder: You can deny all the things I've seen. All the things I've discovered. But not for much longer. Because too many others know what's happening out there. And no one. No government agency has jurisdiction over the truth.
- Scully in "Beyond the Sea" to "psychic" Luther Lee Boggs:Scully: You set us up. You're in on this with Lucas Henry. This was a trap for Mulder because he helped put you away. Well, I came here to tell you that if he dies because of what you've done, FOUR DAYS FROM NOW, NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO STOP ME FROM BEING THE ONE THAT WILL THROW THE SWITCH AND GAS YOU OUT OF THIS LIFE FOR GOOD, YOU SON OF A BITCH!
- Note that she's actually incorrect in this accusation.
- Earlier, Mulder presents Boggs with several pieces of evidence to test his claims of mental powers. After Boggs goes through a whole routine on a piece of a shirt, Mulder reveals that it has nothing to do with the case, and he just cut it off one of his own shirts.
- "Young at Heart" has Mulder spend the whole episode being completely tormented about not shooting John Barnett quicker in the past, costing the lives of the hostage and a fellow FBI agent. Then, the ending has the resurrected bank robber holds an innocent woman at gunpoint, taunting Mulder over history repeating itself like old times. In response, Mulder pulls a Kubrick Stare as he raises his pistol, not hesitating to shoot Barnett in the chest and save the hostage in the process. After this criminal had killed Mulder's friend Purdue, stalked Scully in her own home and made threatening phone calls and haikus, this episode teaches us one important thing. Mulder may be known by the FBI as "Spooky Mulder", but he can be so much more if you fuck with the people he cares about.
- "The Erlenmeyer Flask" has the third act culminate with Deep Throat's Heroic Sacrifice. He knew that if he was the one to trade the parcel with the alien fetus for Mulder, the Men in Black would kill him as he would be exposed as a traitor. Beforehand, his talk with Scully shows how he wants to do this.Deep Throat: You and Mulder are the only ones who can bring it to light. [reaches out his hand] Now, give me the parcel. Give me the parcel, Scully.
- CSM's cool, collected response to Mulder waving a gun in his face in "One Breath":CSM: Don't threaten me, Mulder. I've watched presidents die.
- This is later revealed to be true because he assassinated JFK. Or not.
- "End Game" had Skinner and X kicking each other's asses in an elevator to find Mulder.
- In "Anasazi", an unarmed Mulder manages to take down an armed Krycek by sneaking up on him and wrestling him. It was only Scully's intervention that saved Krycek.
- Then he does it to Krycek again in "Piper Maru".
- "Paper Clip" and Skinner's setting of a new world record in badass. After a whole season of being the Cigarette Smoking Man's Chew Toy and helplessly watching the attempted murders of both Mulder and Scully, he finally gains the upper hand:[Skinner summons an elderly Native American man into the room where CSM is confronting him]
CSM: What is this?
Skinner: This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass.
CSM: Now, listen, you—
Skinner: Now you listen to me, you son of a bitch! This man's name is Albert Hosteen. You should remember that. Because if Agents Mulder and Scully come down with so much as a case of the flu, Albert is prepared to recite, chapter and verse, file for file, everything on your precious tape.
CSM: It's a nice try, Skinner.
Skinner: I'm sure you're thinking Albert is an old man and there are plenty of ways you might kill him too. Which is why, in the ancient oral tradition of his people, he's told twenty other men the information on those files. So unless you kill every Navajo living in four states... that information is available with a simple phone call. [smirks] Welcome to the wonderful world of high technology.
CSM: ''[stares in disbelief] You're bluffing.
Skinner: Am I?
- We later learn that not only was he bluffing, but Mr. Hosteen had no clue why Skinner invited him into the office until the speech.
- Similarly, Skinner got one CMOA for reopening the X-Files in "Ascension", specifically because "It's what they fear the most."
- Watching the Cigarette Smoking Man get called by Skinner in "Paper Clip" and him panicking about the tape is Awesome in it's own right.
- To recap that episode Krycek had been exposed as a mole who murdered Duane Barry and the skylift operator and had sold Scully leading to this exchange.Skinner: Let it go, Mulder, there's nothing you can do.Mulder: What can YOU do about it?Skinner: There's only one thing I CAN do, Agent Mulder. As of right now, I'm reopening the X-Files. That's what they fear the most.
- That whole episode is a case of From Bad to Worse for CSM in general, since most of his assurances to his fellow Syndicate members are proven to be lies. He first failed to kill Mulder, then failed to catch Mulder and Scully, and lost the DAT tape — to Krycek who he also failed to kill. His expression when he hears Krycek on the phone is priceless, especially since he's trying not to let the other members know what he's actually hearing. Since he's normally such a mysterious and calm fellow, watching him screw up is a CMOA on its own.
- To recap that episode Krycek had been exposed as a mole who murdered Duane Barry and the skylift operator and had sold Scully leading to this exchange.
- From "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose":Scully: All right. How do I die?
Clyde Bruckman: You don't.
- And in a later episode, Scully actually does appear to become immortal.
- In "2Shy", Scully kicking the Monster of the Week in the face when he tries to attack her.
- Also from this episode: Scully lets the sexist detective blather on about how he dislikes women being part of his investigation. She proves him wrong by her top-notch professional performance.
- In "731", Mr. X arriving just in the nick of time to gun down the Syndicate assassin who nearly murdered Mulder, then carry the injured agent to safety just before the train explodes. The kicker? Mulder never finds out that it was Mr X who saved him.
- "Piper Maru": Scully identifying an airplane's model from wreckage at the bottom of the ocean. Mulder replies "I just got very turned on."
- Basketball fans will like this one. In "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man," CSM mentions he drugged the Russian goalie in the Olympic hockey finals against USA, in response to the infamous basketball game where the final three seconds were replayed three times so the Soviets would win.CSM: Payback's a bitch, Ivan.
- In "Terma", Mulder and Scully are apart, and in precarious situations. Scully is trying her best to protect Mulder's location while the Senate are repeatedly prodding at her for the truth. Mulder, on the other hand, has escaped the Krasnoyarsk gulag and is being threatened with arm amputation by Russian peasants, who don't want him to return back to that gulag. What happens next brings this example to an awesome level:Senator Sorenson: Answer the question, Miss Scully.
Mulder: What is the question?
[Scully turns around. Mulder triumphantly walks into the room with both arms, while everyone has hushed whispers over this new arrival. She can only smile at this new revelation.]
- "Paper Hearts": Mulder is dared to sink a half-court shot. He proceeds to casually do it in one shot. Doubles as a behind-the-scenes Moment of Awesome, as David Duchovny sunk the basket in one take, with no special effects.
- Later on, Mulder releases child murderer John Lee Roche, hoping that he can be led to his sister if the two visit the house Samantha was abducted. We think that Mulder is believing more of John Lee Roche's lies... until Mulder reveals that he chose a similar house, and not the real one. He proceeds to tear John a new one over this sheer failure.John: You're just resisting me.
Mulder: And you're in the wrong house, you stupid son of a bitch! You were never here, you liar!
- Later on, Mulder releases child murderer John Lee Roche, hoping that he can be led to his sister if the two visit the house Samantha was abducted. We think that Mulder is believing more of John Lee Roche's lies... until Mulder reveals that he chose a similar house, and not the real one. He proceeds to tear John a new one over this sheer failure.
- At one point during the airport car chase in "Tempus Fugit", the gang's car is heading towards a landing plane. What does Mulder do? Hit the gas and never let go, barely making it under the plane, while the other cars have to swerve away.
- The ending in "Zero Sum" has Skinner confront the CSM over their deal. While CSM deflects Skinner's arguments, even showing his Nerves of Steel at gunpoint again, Skinner ends up firing three warning shots right next to his face. Let's just say that the CSM should reconsider his approach...
- The episode "Unusual Suspects" looks at the formation of the Lone Gunmen, Mulder's geeky online allies. Throughout the episode, the "subversive" Frohike and Langley look down on Byers, a government employee, frequently dismissing him with the sneer that he's a "Narc". Yet at the end, when they're surrounded by conspiracy agents who could kill them at any moment and have had the truth of the plot revealed to them, it's the "Narc" who gets up on his feet and angrily demands who the hell gave these guys the right to act like they can do whatever the hell they want, facing the fact that these guys could shoot him instantly without even flinching, whilst Langly and Frohike are desperately trying to get him to shut up.
- Mulder breaking the fourth wall in "The Post-Modern Prometheus", all to petition the writers for a happier ending. However, all depends on your interpretation of this post-modernistic piece of a story. You might think that he wasn't petitioning the writers of the show, but the writer of the comic book, the boy whose mother was the one to phone in the case to the FBI. Your view may vary on the fact whether the concert and the dance did really happen - in the comics it did certainly, but did it happen in-universe in Mulder and Scully's reality?
- In "Emily," Mulder lays the smack-down on Dr. Calderon after he refuses to transfer the titular character's medical records.Calderon: I'm afraid I can't release any information that relates to our company's experimental drug trials.
Mulder: What can I say to convince you?
Calderon: [chuckles] It's really not about convincing me. This is something that I— Well, we... simply cannot do. It's purely a business reality. It has to do with Transgen's exposure to litigation and, of course, our need to protect our research which, frankly, represents a significant dollar investment.
Mulder: So I'm wasting your time. This isn't worth the life of a three-year-old girl.
Calderon: I wouldn't frame it like that. That's not it at all. Look, I'm truly sorry but there's really nothing I can do. [stands up] However, I do wish you the very best.
[They shake hands]
Mulder: Okay, then.
[He holds onto Calderon's hand and turns it, flop him down on a table. Then he picks him up and starts slapping him.]
Mulder: How do you feel now?
[He slams him on the floor. Calderon yells for help. Mulder kicks him in the side, picks him up, and thrusts him against the wall.]
Mulder: Why don't you tell me what your company's really in the business of? Huh? Abducting women and stealing their unborn children? Medical rapists! That's all you are! You don't care if that little girl dies! She's just a lab rat to you! [pulls out his gun and points it in Calderon's face] Tell me, whose life is worth saving, yours or hers? I want everything to help that little girl!
[A door opens; it's security. The whole office is looking through the door, wondering what the hell's going on. Mulder pockets his gun and walks out.]
Mulder: [to Calderon] I'll be back.
- In "Chinga", the cursed doll is making a mother bash herself to death with a hammer. Scully stops this by nonchalantly snatching the doll, going downstairs and shoving it into an active microwave.
- Scully kung fu fighting the nurses in "Kill Switch".
- "Mind's Eye":
- Mulder, Scully, and a detective are interrogating a murder suspect, Marty, who keeps dodging their questions while taunting and mocking them. Mulder decides to play her game, and with just a few choices words cuts through her like a knife, leaving her speechless and making her lose her cool.
- Marty using her ability of seeing through Gotts' POV to find where the murderer is stalking her. When he starts to reach her, she can aim her pistol exactly where he is looking, and put a bullet in his face. By doing this, she avenges her mother's murder, if at a heavy price.
- The episode "Triangle". The first three acts are entirely The Oner, and the last one builds to a stunning climax with a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Sing Sing Sing." Plus, the incredible split screen shot where the two Scullys switch places.
- "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati":
- You can't deny that the shot of the Cigarette-Smoking Man looking out the window after Mulder dies and watching the aliens invade is simply beautiful.
- Scully returning from Côté d'Ivoire and kicking every ass in sight until she got Mulder back. And apart from everything Scully does to save Mulder, she also bitches him out in his drugged state because he had given up the fight. Read: Even in his subconscious, Scully is his constant, his touchstone.
- In "Orison," serial killer Donnie Pfaster lets a call girl into his apartment and, in accordance with his MO, asks her to take a bath and wash her hair. The viewer is set up to expect an example of Disposable Sex Worker but when Pfaster tries to get violent, she throws hot wax in his face, punches his lights out and leaves. It's especially pleasurable to watch because Pfaster hates women and has tended to kill sex workers, so this is a kind of vicarious revenge.
- In the season finale, Skinner finally kills Krycek with a well-placed and well-deserved headshot.
- Reyes calling out the prosecutor in "The Truth".Kallenbrunner: She gave up the miracle child? The proof of everything that she and Mulder claim they have risked their lives for over the last nine years? She just sent it off to some strangers?
Reyes: Yes, to protect him!
Kallenbrunner: Thank you, Agent Reyes. That is all.
Reyes: You don't care about that child or what Scully had to sacrifice. You are only too happy she had to give it up so there's no proof.
Kersh: Agent Reyes.
Reyes: You don't care what these people have sacrificed over the last nine years—what's been lost to their cause. You make a mockery of it, gladdened that it proves your point.
Kersh: Agent Reyes, that's enough!
Reyes: What's the point of all of this? To destroy a man who seeks the truth or destroy the truth so no man can seek it? Either way, you lose.
- Skinner and Doggett breaking Mulder out of prison.
- In "Founder's Mutation," when Kyle and Molly use their Twin Telepathy to kill Goldman and escape from the hospital Molly had been kept prisoner in.
- Scully's incredibly nonchalant takedown of a suspect in "Home Again": She puts down an armed suspect in about three seconds flat while wearing stiletto heels, then casually hands the suspect's gun to a shocked Mulder.