The X-Files

Season 6 Episode 16

Alpha

0
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 28, 1999 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

7.1
out of 10
Average
229 votes
  • Alpha

    10
    Alpha was a perfect, really awesome, and entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, a werewolf original and had many excellent scenes. The mythology used for a story such as this was intriguing and the characters were perfect in their roles. I liked how every thing played out and it was nice to learn what really happened. I liked all the different dogs belonging to Karin. The ending was great and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Mulder and Scully investigate a killer wolf and encounter an online friend of Mulder's.

    3.4
    This episode is one of the more repetitive I've seen. In one scene, Mulder confronts the alleged killer, recapping his/her motives. In the next, Mulder recaps THAT scene to another person, retelling the killer's motives. Then, in the next scene, Mulder tells Scully the same thing he told the other two. Short on plot much? The eppy is also hampered by some clunky dialogue (such as several lame dog jokes) and a silly plot that is supposed to illuminate jealousy between Scully and a woman Mulder met online. The final scene is ham-fisted as well... the minute Scully hands Mulder the package it's obvious what's in it and why. All in all, very poor by "X" standards.
  • Very interesting, innovative ideas.

    10
    I found this was a very intersting episode with some new types of ideas. Before this (maybe I just don't see a lot), I had never seen anything like the human/animal transformation before. So this was quite fascinating to me. I also thought the "relationship" between Mulder and his newfound lady friend was interesting. It kept me rivited, both at work, where I started to listen to the DVD while I did my work and at home, I had to finish it, because I found it so interesting. I am going through the X-files, all of them, once again (I have done this once before), but many of them, I can't remember. This one I remember only the opening scene from. Very well done and tastefully carried out. I felt the acting was also very good.
  • Mulder and Scully look for a mysterious dog who's killing people.

    7.4
    I'm not sure I would rate this episode as low as it seems to be rated here. It certainly wasn't the best episode of the show, but it was entertaining enough, almost like a quick shot of adrenaline that soon after it being administered.

    The premise of the episode is actually pretty basic. There's a vicious dog on the loose that is killing people without rhyme or reason, and it seems to be able to shift form, from dog to human. There's a guy named Debtweiler looking for him, claiming he once caught this animal (who apparently is an extinct animal, or nearly extinct animal, from China) and we also get a strange dog-loving woman who seems as interested in the unexplained as Mulder.

    Mulder and Scully get themselves involved and what we get is an entertaining albeit very slight episode of the X-Files. It's certainly not the scariest or most interesting case the show has done, but I'm certainly not complaining. It was better than "The Rain King" and some of the earlier episodes as well, and I'll take that.

    I love that Mulder got his "I Want to Believe" poster back, and was that a little Scully jealousy I saw? The show is just teasing the audience at this point it seems like.. whenever they get a chance, they pretend to hook up Mulder and Scully or pretend they have some sexual chemistry. I guess we'll see where it leads us.
  • Unfairly maligned werewolf episode.

    8.5
    I liked this episode quite a bit, and I'm puzzled at the negative reviews. I think fans love to pick episodes from seasons 5-7 apart as much as possible, and if they did the same picking to the more beloved seasons 3 and 4, they would find plenty to pick.

    Anyway, I liked Alpha for it's minimalist approach to the werewolf concept. Most werewolf shows/movies have to go for the cliche transformation scene, the stretching skin and limbs, etc, but Alpha simply suggests the transformation and the effect is very smooth and classy.

    I also like that this is a Chinese werewolf myth rather than European or American.

    People compare this to a previous episode, Shapes, but that is more of the typical curse approach to werewolves, rather than the more interesting idea that the animal/spirit catches a human to possess and kills out of a need to dominate its adversaries. Much more interesting than the typical approach of the out of control werewolf attacking purely by chance key characters in the plot.

    I also enjoy the wolf woman -- a very unique character in the X-Files, and I enjoy the tension she brings, as her connection to Fox is internal, rather than physical.

    Some people complain about Mulder's brooding attitude in season's 6 and 7, but who wouldn't be a little depressed after so many years of death and failure?

    A final comment: one of the things I really enjoy about this episode is the concentration on shadows and darkness; the stalking scenes generate a tremendous atmosphere of doom.
  • Monster-of-the-week...blah blah blah...extinct dog...bladdity blah

    6.0
    Most of the time the tried-and-true formula of the X-Files works like a charm. Occasionally...not so much. There's very little of interest here to set this episode apart from the other MOTW chapters, and compared to the better ones, it falls woefully short. Again, it's not horrible, but it's nowhere near great either.
  • Your average monster-of-the-week episode, with a fair share of psychopaths and dead bodies.

    7.8
    Mulder and Scully are on the trail of a said-to-be extinct breed of dog, which was shipped in to America but accidentally released. Well, sort-of accidentally, because the animal actually tricked some people into releasing it, before it savaged them.

    It's your average X-Files episode and, although it's enjoyable, it's also quite predictable at some points. Having said that, though, it's not so predictable that you can guess everything within the first 10 minutes, but still has a quite obvious outcome (which obviously isn't obvious to Mulder and Scully, though).

    Some of it is quite amusing though, as we see Scully becoming quite jealous of a dog-lady who has a thing for Mulder. The same dog-lady's sacrifice is also quite touching, and the dog-slash-man can also become quite scary at some points. Nothing particularly special, but enjoyable none-the-less.
  • Weredogs Of Bellflower

    6.0
    A thoroughly "meh" episode that exists in the same universe as "Tesos Dos Bichos" and ties "Agua Mala" as the worst episode of Season Six.

    It's too bad cuz I was born in Bellflower and the town deserves better than this shaggy dog story, although maybe not much better. I kept trying to figure out where I had seen the Detweiler actor before. I kept seeing an image of him pulling his eyelid back to reveal something horrible. So I googled him and, sure enough, he played the creepy dude in Hellraiser. Mental itch scratched.

    I could go on in detail about why this episode is so bad but, frankly, I can't be bothered and you probably already agree with me. Woof!
  • "Alpha" attempts at some analysis of Mulder and Scully's relationship that was mostly repetitive but still interesting. It also has one of the highest body counts of the series, which becomes extremely distracting to a decent but average episode.

    7.0
    Here, Scully is given yet another opportunity to show how jealous she can become. With Diana Fowley temporarily out of the picture due to their recent re-assignments, Scully manages to focus her jealousy on Mulder's internet friend, the dog lady. On a deeper level, this shows her waning commitment to Mulder's quest, which has been an issue for her since "The End" and came to a head in "Fight the Future" and "One Son." From that standpoint, it provides an interesting segue between "One Son" and "Milagro." Again, the deaths were ultra-violent and ultra-distracting. The plot was average and felt like it had been done before. Detweiler's personality was never fully explored and Mulder's revelation came fairly late in the story and without much explanation as to how he arrived there. Most fans remember this episode for the return of the "I Want ot Believe" poster to Mulder's office. Mulder hangs it after Scully leaves and I imagine he is thinking what many fans and viewers were - Why does this give the appearance that everything has finally returned to the pre-FTF status quo when the truth has seemingly come and gone? Where do we go from here? What does Mulder now want to believe in? Surely he now has a firm belief that his sister was abducted by alien colonists as part of a conspiracy with the syndicate. I can only attempt to answer the question by stating that maybe Karin Berquist's death led him to question his larger role in life. He has accomplished more than he could have hoped for with regards to the alien conspiracy. Yet he is still seeking an explanation for evil in the world and why sacrifices are demanded of the innocent. Yes, this is a stretch but the episode provides little else to discuss. Scary dog, lots of bloody biting and ripping of flesh are not the reasons I watch the show.
  • Animals and the X files just do not mix!

    5.0
    Urgh this episode is so annoying! It has a completely silly plotline with a human who can turn into a dog/wolf like thing and is killing a load of people, furthermore it pretty much was a rehash of season's one's clunker of an episode "Shapes".

    It certainly falls into catagory with "shapes" and the stupid animal storylines the show doles out every couple of seasons. Like "Teso dos Bichos" and my all time least favourite episode of the X files ever "Fearful Symmetry".

    Granted the episode may not be as bad as "fearful symmetry" but it comes damn close! From the off the episode is promising us 45 minutes of tripe with a teaser which didn't mysify or give intrigue and I found it rather stupid that the guards after bashing the container around a bit suddenly feared the animal was dead and so decide to open the cage.....good one guys. I mean I know this dog spposedly 'tricks' people but PUH-lease!

    As the story goes on, I maybe missed something (perhaps I had dozed off) as I didn't quite know how Mulder had made the connection that Dr Detweiler was in fact the T'ien Kou, but he did. Then again it was such a predictable outcome that maybe Mulder just figured it out like myself 10 minutes into the episode.

    Anyways it does get 5 from me because as ever there are the interactions of Mulder and Scully and their usual entertaining quips. We were even thrown a bit of character development too by seeing again a jealousy Scully which is always fun to see and despite not liking the whole dog story it did mean we got to see lots of adorable pooch's, which saves the episode from being a complete debacle.
  • This episode involves an extinct dog (almost), which is being brought from China to America.

    5.4
    I am not a dog lover so not even all the puppies in this episode could save it from a low score. The dog was pretty vicious, and seemed to murder people who had crossed it somehow. But it seemed to be able to trick those who came across it like locking the guards in its own crate at the start. Mulder also reveals that he "met" a dog expert on-line and when the duo meet her in real life, Scully raises her eyebrows in a "what is she?" kinda way. Dana though starts to have her doubts and accuses Karen Berquist of luring Mulder out there. Karen has a "I want to believe" poster in her office, and at the end, sends this to Mulder who is redoing his office up now that he is fully back on the X-files. (His last poster , and everything else in his office, were burned by cigarette smoking man).
  • The one with the dog woman that scully gets jelouse of.

    4.5
    This episode has to be one of the worst. The plot/ story line was redundant since it had basically been done in "shapes". The big reveal when mulder figures out who did it and why was completely missing. He just one sceen says this is the guy and with no big ah moment or any thing like that. Which i found strange and bothersome since i had known who it was from pretty much the begining so I felt like i had missed something when he tells and i actually played it again because i knew he didnt just read my mind so i was looking for that thing that made him figure it out. Some people might say that this episode was purely character development but i say even that was lacking. Scully got jelouse of Mulder's online friend but at parts it seemed completely valid for her to say the warnings she was giving and then at other times it felt like she had just jumped on the crazy ship and was going off on this woman for no reason. The amount of jelousy she had at some times was just to much for me to really believe that it was scully that was that jelouse. I felt like i was watching some one else and not the scully i have been watching for 6 seasons. It just wasnt believe able. On the other side of that was Mulder who i felt like slapping the who time. Here is a guy that we thought had figured out his feelings and had just said I Love You a few episodes back. Yet he was so distant from scully not trusting her and basicily calling her crazy for not trusting the Dog woman. I love mulder but this episode made him feel to frat boyish to me. Jumping from girl to girl. So over all I would take this episode out of the series if I could. with or with out the return of the "I Want to Believe" poster. It didnt have a origial plot it didnt tell it in a very coherant way and the character development was completely off in my opionion.
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