X-Files Turns 20: “The Jersey Devil”

The Jersey Devil

Season 1, Episode 1×04

Written By: Chris Carter | Directed By: Joe Napolitano

Original Air Date: 10/08/1993 | Re-Watch Review Date: 12/26/2013

PersephoneKs ReWatch Grade: B- to B

JerseyDevil_MandSI’ve been off my game, but have a goal to get back on track with Project Watch X-Files Episodes in Sequence. Last night I watched season one’s “Jersey Devil.” Here are my general, unrefined thoughts:

This episode had previously been one of my favorites from season one. Upon re-watch last night… I’m sad to report its lost its luster a bit. It doesn’t hold up well after 20 years. It feels a little cheesy, despite wanting to be scary. And the Jersey Devil itself doesn’t live up to the hype the episode sets the audience up for. In short, the payoff is underwhelming. But there were some great character and Scully/Mulder relationship building moments despite the overall plot’s weakness. This is a rare episode where we get a glimpse of Scully in her non-working hours. In a sad way, it foretells of the way her life will be from that point forward. We learn she’s great with kids, but she’s caught between wanting a normal life with a good guy, and the career she’s building with Mulder (who’s not a jerk, just obsessed with his work). She tries to convince Mulder to relax, but it’s somewhat half-hearted. By the end, after her date with the dull Scott’s dad, Scully is following Mulder out to chase who knows what again. This will be the pattern for the rest of the show. Neither of them will get, nor do they really want, a simple life, despite occasionally thinking they do.

Not Scary.












Odds and Ends:

  • Scully actually tells Mulder about this case.
  • Whenever I see the scene with Mulder asking to “requisition a car”, I get nostalgic for my time at HQ.
  • Ah… the classic FBI vs local cops theme!
  • CHArc:
    • Losers: Scully’s brown vest.
    • Winners: Scully looks pretty on her date, despite the top being dated. It’s nice to see her glamming it up a bit. But I’m glad her style improves in future seasons. Ai yai yai!
  • Favorite Quotes:
    • Scully to Mulder after bailing him out of the drunk tank: “Am I buying (breakfast) or did you manage to panhandle some change?”
    • At the end, Mulder asks Scully if she has interest in Scott’s Dad after he called her at work to ask her out. Scully responds “Not at this time” as she follows him on the next X-Files goose chase. It’s a cute interchange.
    • Scully calls Mulder back, he answers “Scully” and she answers “Mulder.” It’s funny.
  • Mulder uses a pay phone! Pre-cell phone season!
  • The scene where they chase the “devil” through the warehouses… way too long.
  • Dr. Scully!
  • I like the way the scene with Mulder in the ambulance comes together. It has an E.R. or West Wing style use of steadycam and overlapping dialogue before those were shows.
  • Why would Mulder rec a car to drive to the Smithsonian across the Mall from the Hoover building?
  • Overall, solid B- to B (and only such a good grade because you can’t blame them for the technology they had at the time).



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What is this post about anyway? XFTurns20: Project Watch Episodes in Sequence


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