The Unnatural

Episode Reviews (22)

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  • 8.2

    David Duchovney writes and directs this odd episode about aliens in 1947 and baseball.

    By JaCkKbAuEr2424, May 02, 2011

    The name of the episode certainly matches the tone of the episode.. this is certainly an odd, unnatural episode of "The X-Files" that Duchovney makes work through his script. The story itself is corny, and with the pen hand of somebody else, it could've failed. But Duchovney has been with the show for long enough by this time to be able to figure out what works and doesn't.

    Most of the episode takes place in 1947, shortly before the alien conspiracy in Roswell. Arthur Dales, the man from the "Agua Mala" episode earlier, returns, although it's not the same Arthur Dales.. it's his brother, also named Arthur Dales. It turns out that this Arthur had an experience with an alien in the past that Mulder wants to look into. Apparently, an African American baseball player named Josh Exley who is rivaling Babe Ruth's home run record, even if it's in minor league play. Dales is hired to defend Exley after his life is threatened. The longer Dales looks after him, the more he realizes that Exley is not normal. In a very strange scene that is incredibly open about the appearance of aliens, Dales sees Exley in his true alien form and freaks out and soon comes to accept him.

    We also get a return visit of that shape shifting alien bounty hunter from all the way back in Season 1 or 2.. he keeps reappearing, and I don't really get why he keeps showing up so randomly, but I'll go along with it. The thing I had a problem with in this episode is the fact that we never truly learn whether or not Exley is an alien. Dales, in the future, tells Mulder about some bull involving "metaphorical aliens or men" and it just completely ruins the validity of the story. If this is something that really happened, then I feel like the show ruined its little conspiracy myth-arc by actually showing the aliens so much. In the episode "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," the alien appearances were so insane that it didn't feel real. Every other time we've seen aliens on the show, it's been fuzzy views of them, never as clear as it was in this episode. It really makes me wonder whether or not it actually happened, and we probably won't really know.

    But the episode comes to a satisfying close, with Mulder playing baseball with Scully and giving us the most intimate moment in the show since they nearly kissed in the movie. A good episode, definitely impressive considering Duchovney was responsible for it.moreless

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  • 9.0

    One for the Shippers

    By KennyRogersLove, Mar 14, 2009

    The Unnatural is a great episode about baseball, written and directed by David Duchovny. I really like this episode. The episode is about a black man who is one of the baseball legends of the 40s playing for Roswell's local team The Roswell Grays. Agent Mulder is investigating the disappearance of Josh Exeley because of a newpaper picture he finds with Exely, the alien bounty hunter, and Arthur Dales. He goes to visit Arthur Dales but instead encounters Arthur's brother, Arthur Dales. The episode turns into a baseball tall tale except Exely is an alien who just wants to play baseball. I love some of the dialog between Mulder and Arthur and the story is very lighthearted with a carefree atmosphere that encaptures what the game of baseball really represents. The ending is somewhat bittersweet as the main character dies however he dies happy because he has turned into what he always pretended to be, a carfree human. The how and why of all this is not the point of the story as Arthur tells Mulder. It is simply meant to be a good story that makes you appreciate the simple things in life that we take for granted. I love the final scene with Mulder teaching Scully how to hit a baseball although I can't imagine how she could grow up as a tomboy and never have hit a baseball. I also am interested in just how much Scully and Mulder flirt in this episode. First with the ice cream cone and then Scully calling Mulder a rebel and finally this final scene. Good fun episode. 9 out of 10.moreless

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  • 10

    This episode is just a joy to watch and a daring episode overall in terms of the subject matter that it covers.

    By Frankburnsflagg, Jan 27, 2009

    This is one of my all time favorite episodes. It never fails to make me laugh and feel for the characters everytime that I see it. David Duchovny did a very good job in terms of directing it. It was very tastefully done, and it balances both seriousness and humor well.

    This story is a more Mulder-focused one, unlike Milagro, the previous one -- which was a more Scully-focused one. In the end, both of them showed how much

    each character grew and changed and learned more about themselves.

    At the beginning of this episode - it starts out as usual... with both Mulder and Scully at the FBI... some flirting ensues (I just love this) and Mulder comes across an article about a famous baseball player and he takes an interest in it. And that's where things take a turn... he goes over to the apartment where the cop who protected the baseball player lived.

    The old man (Arthur Dales) tells Mulder the story about how he met Exley (the baseball player/alien) and made friends with him. In the end, Mulder learned how to be more patient and to go after what he wants before it is too late -- and to just enjoy life.

    The end of this episode is my favorite part of it overall... Just seeing the both of them having fun together is so worthwhile. It's just electric and enjoyable - the flirting and bantering that takes place here, shows just how close they had become by then.

    Overall, I recommend this episode to anyone who loves the sport of baseball and who likes to enjoy television.moreless

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  • 8.9

    First I thought "What a weird episode" but as it continued I began to enjoy it more and more.

    By Gilmoregirl999, Aug 21, 2008

    First I thought "What a weird episode" but as it continued I began to enjoy it more and more.

    It was a typical X-files episode with the Aliens, bountyhunter and all, but still, it was told through the eyes of another character, another believer.

    I missed one thing in this episode though, the comments of Scully on the story, I'm sure she would have had a lot of comments.

    At the end of the episode there was a special moment between Scully and Mulder, you could see that clearly thanks to the different shots and the fade out.

    David Duchovny did a great job writing and directing it.moreless

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  • 9.8

    Mulder goes to speak with an Agent Dales, about an irregularity in the record books of baseball history...

    By tvaddict1974, Dec 20, 2007

    This was a great episode which took us away from the heavy story lines of the alien bounty hunters trying to take over the human race, and was lighthearted relief shortly before a stunning series finale. Mulder goes to meet an agent he knows called Arthur Dales, but when the door is opened by someone else, Mulder asks the man where Arthur dales is? It turns out he is called Arthur Dales as well and the two men are brothers. (Explained away as their parents had little imagination). This man tells a tale which takes us to 1947 Roswell, and a baseball team called "The Grays" (Geddit?) Anyway the main batsman was in fact an alien, who fell in love with the game during a "visit" a couple of years earlier!! Dales tells Mulder all the best were aliens - Di Maggio etc...

    The alien (in human form) was played by the excellent Jesse L. Martin (Ed Green from Law & Order). I thought the racial angle was portrayed very well, and even one of the KKK members turned out to be an alien bounty hunter!moreless

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  • 10

    A lighthearted and fantastic retreat from the heaviness of the series mythology.

    By AgmLauncher, Sep 13, 2007

    This episode is my favorite episode of the series, and is a perfect example of why the X-Files is such a successful show.

    The Unnatural is an episode which focuses on character more than mythology, and which pushes the relationship between Mulder and Scully forward in a very natural and positive direction. David's writing reveals some much needed depth to the show's main characters, and explores a more relaxed and elated side of their personalities, which are often repressed by the heaviness of the show's greater mythology and tempo. In doing so, it reinforces what has been a gradual and subtle movement towards a very deep and powerful friendship between Mulder and Scully.

    The opening scene shows a very unfamiliar (but welcomingly adorable) Scully, who seems for once to not be so weighed down by her job and her usual cold shouldered, rational disposition. Mulder remains familiar, obsessed with his interest in extra-terrestrial life, but approaches it in a much more lighthearted way than his often stress inducing attempts to convince Scully that we are not alone.

    Mulder and Scully play minor roles throughout most of the episode, as it is primarily about the game of baseball and an interesting side-story involving an alien shape shifter. However, the conclusion perfectly brackets and balances the episode, making for a completely unforgettable moment between Mulder and Scully, and all of X-Files history.

    Reinforced with a very simple but powerful sound track, The Unnatural is easily one of the best episodes in the entire series, and one that you will walk away from with a smile.moreless

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  • 10

    This episode veers more off course from the series format than any other, which allows it to tell a very original and a very charming story that no one expects from the x-files.

    By Uncle_SaltyJT, Jul 31, 2007

    There is little interaction between Mulder and Scully in this episode. But what little there is, demonstrates their reactions to the in-depth exposition from "Milagro." M&S are becoming very comfortable around each other personally but some professional barriers will still present obstacles to their relationship in the coming episodes. Obviously their faiths remain separate at this point but their respect for one another has definitely evolved.

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  • 7.0

    Foul Ball

    By Anon67683, Jun 06, 2007

    I don't care for basball much, and perhaps this is the reason why I find this episode rather dull. Duchovny obviously loves the game a great deal as his script is a loving homage to the purity of the game. It's a pretty well-written script, as it turns out. His direction is a bit shakey at times but there are some clever transitions between scenes that held my interest.

    Jesse Martin does a great job playing Josh Exley. A very smooth, classy performance. I could watch him in anything. On the other hand, Arthur Dales 2.0 is terribly overacted.

    Scully's schoolgirl giddiness/flirtiness in the tofutti scene seems too far out of character for her. Sure, she will ultimately "run the bases" with Mulder by the close of Season Seven, but at this point in Season Six her relationship with Mulder was still strictly business. It's still a fun scene, though.

    The music in this episode is cheesy (in a bad way) and sounds like something lifted from Tremors 4. I suppose it fits the mood of the episode but it just seems dopey to me.

    All in all, a well-crafted episode with an interesting, memorable twist. I'm not sure that sports and the X-Files mix so well and this episode didn't do much for me, but for baseball fanatics I'm sure it is a favorite.moreless

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  • 10

    Who knew David Duchovny was so talented at writing?

    By hahawhat, Mar 18, 2007

    This episode was very well written by David Duchovny. He proved that he can do more than act. This episode was, simply put, funny! It was so funny in the beginning of the episode when Scully and Mulder are acting like a couple of teenagers. It was so funny, and it was only one scene. Now if that's not good, I don't know what is.

    Although there was a bit of a continuity error with the whole, "No, Arthut Dales lives here" thing (the Arthur Dales you know lives in Florida, you silly agent! Don't you remember?), it made for a good story.

    Ah, baseball. An alien's favorite passtime. Wait--what was that? Yes, it's an aliens favorite passtime. Especially for an alien named John Exley (or so he says). All he wants to do is play baseball, so what does he do? He disguises himself as a human and takes a little trip to earth, that's what he does!

    The music in this episode was great. I can't get it out of my head, though. Oh well.

    The end of the episode was good too. Mulder had some very funny lines. And the baseball shining like a star as it flew away was a nice effect. Anyone who hasn't watched this episode yet really needs to.moreless

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