25 best standalone episodes of The X-Files

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25. “Bad Blood”

If you want to sound smart (which I’m sure you really are), then you can reference the Akira Kurosawa classic Rashomon when talking about “Bad Blood.” In reality, though, the story was based on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, in which various characters recall a fight. Either way, “Bad Blood” is rightfully held as one of the best and funniest tales ever produced by The X-Files.

The episode starts off with an apparent murder: Mulder chases a young man named Ronnie through the woods and stakes him through the heart. When an aghast Scully catches up with him, he tells her that the victim was clearly a vampire – look at his teeth! However, Scully quickly realizes that the teeth are fake. Mulder, it seems, is in deep, deep trouble.

Back at FBI headquarters, the duo are in their offices, preparing for their report to Assistant Director Skinner. Both retell the events of the past few days, with very different results.

Essentially, the X-files team is called to the small town of Charney, Texas. Mulder believes that a series of murders there have been committed by vampires. A skeptical Scully (who, in Mulder’s retelling, is dismissive and cranky) agrees to go along. Once there, they meet up with Sheriff Hartwell (Luke Wilson), who is either devastatingly handsome or a buck-toothed hick, depending on whose version you’re listening to.

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However, their fate soon changes. It seems that, once the coroner removed the stake from Ronnie’s body, his “corpse” simply decided to get up and walk away. Mulder and Scully are obliged to return to Charney in order to complete their investigation, with surprising results.

Enjoy these episodes of The X-Files. Hopefully you’ll want to watch the rest of the series, mytharc and all!