25 best standalone episodes of The X-Files

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4. “Drive”

Once upon a time, there was a little known actor known as Bryan Cranston. Before he rose to fame as Walter White on Breaking Bad or even Malcolm’s dad on Malcolm in the Middle, Cranston appeared on The X-Files. And, believe it or not, his starring episode is actually pretty good.

Mulder and Scully investigate the unusual death of a woman, who is assumed to be the victim of a kidnapping by Patrick Crump (Cranston). However, when the police finally stop the car driven by Crump through the Nevada desert and take the woman to safety, the unexpected occurs. Sitting in the back of a police car, she begins to panic and bang her head against the window. In short order, her head explodes.

Naturally, this is a case for the X-files team. While investigating on location, though, Mulder is kidnapped by Crump himself. As they drive, Mulder realizes that Crump is in severe pain. The only thing that seems to ease his agony is to move west. Moving especially fast, such as in a speeding car, helps even more.

Though Crump initially does little to endear himself – he brandishes a gun and utters anti-Semitic remarks – Mulder eventually agrees to help him. The confused police and other emergency workers following them do not help matters, however.

Scully, meanwhile, does her best scientific investigation thing and discovers a possible source for Crump’s malady. But, will her research and Mulder’s quick thinking be enough to save Crump and others?