Andrew Blaker continues the ultimate X-Files countdown of all 209 episodes, as voted by you, with Season 1 Episode 22, ‘Born Again’…
Born Again aired as the 22nd episode of the show’s premiere season. Season 1 is very much a mixed bag of stand-out episodes, several of which will rank high on fans’ episode rankings, and forgettable episodes, of which this is evidently the most forgettable.
The premise, however, is strong and is the first occasion the series would tackle the idea of reincarnation. Overall, the episode does echo the feel and themes of another Season 1 episode, Shadows which received similar feedback from fans and critics alike. I don’t feel Born Again is a bad episode; it’s a weaker episode, but one which manages to tell an engaging story with a strong guest cast.
Michelle Bishop, the little girl whom Mulder comes to believe is, in fact, the reincarnated soul of a murdered police detective, is suitably creepy for the episode. She’s plagued by behavioral problems and a social outcast from kids her own age.
There are some nice effects here. The agents uncover a mysterious image found in the static of a video recording, which Mulder believes may be the final image the murdered detective saw. Windows shatter and an aquarium shatters, flooding a living room. The usage of origami is particularly haunting as well when the little girl sends one down to Mulder from an upstairs window, which could be deciphered almost as a cry for help.
So I don’t agree with this episode ranking so low. The story is cohesive, and the episode benefits from a strong guest cast. It’s more that the episode is not particularly engaging, but all-in-all the episode is not the misstep its ranking suggests.
Mulder: Why is it still so hard for you to believe, even when all the evidence suggests extraordinary phenomena?
Scully: Because sometimes looking for extreme possibilities makes you blind to the probable explanation right in front of you.
Our blog team also decided to rank the show based on their own lists, so here’s what they picked in 204th place:
Tony: “204: ALPHA. Melinda Culea is among the worst ever TXF guest stars and not even the brilliant Andrew Robinson (aka Garak) can save this. Dog shit.
Carl: “204: SALVAGE. One of only a few Season 8 duds. Dull as ditchwater, and I forget about it every time I do a rewatch.”
Paige: “My 204 is SALVAGE too! I don’t know if it suffers even more from going back-to-back with Surekill, but it sure feels like it when you’re doing a rewatch.”
Andrew: “204. JUMP THE SHARK. The only reason the episode ranks so low is that it seems to be breaking a deeply rooted rule, killing off The Lone Gunmen in an episode without Mulder. And Scully appears in the last five minutes.”
Michael: “That’s my big issue with it too Andrew, no Mulder and barely any Scully. That being said, it was a nice way to wrap up their spin-off series!”
Do you agree with this episode ranking? Let us know what you would put in this spot on Facebook, Twitter or via comments below!