The X-Files

Season 6 Episode 21

Field Trip

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 09, 1999 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
288 votes
  • This unusual episode demonstrates Mulder and Scully's evolving relationsihp. It also provides some of the most shocking moments and surprises of the entire series.

    By the end of season six, Mulder and Scully had moved past whatever differences between them created the conflict that came to a head at the end of the fifth season. Scully is now just as dedicated to Mulder as he is to finding the truth. But Mulder is beginning to question what his quest now entails. Mulder does not question his relationship with Scully but questions her outward attitudes toward his work. He understands her devotion but is clearly beginning to wonder what purpose her strict rationalism serves. They discuss this in the beginning very matter of factly. As the episode moves on, we are given the shock of the discovery of the Schiffs, Mulder abducting an alien, Mulder's death, etc. Yet each of these moments represents a fantastic hallucination of the character having it. Mulder wonders if finding an alien and definitively proving Scully wrong would be truly fulfililng. Scully wonders what it might cost for her to be right. Scully also removes the obstacle Mulder himself presents to her rationalism in her hallucination. And this is the point when the episode truly demonstrates her evolution as a character. Scully questions the coroner, Skinner and the lone gunmen when they present the theory that she, herself, advocate to Mulder when they began the case. The ending does not disappoint and leaves the characters in a state that only they can appreciate. They understand they need each other to continue. This episode also sets the show up nicely for the finale by pushing the limits of what might be revealed. In a way, it tests what the audience craves by presenting these fantasies. But all is not lost when the fantasies fade away. Mulder and Scully are left with a better understanding of their relationship and their mission. I try to keep my scores whole numbers but I had to give this episode more than a 9 - it was so ingenious on its first viewing. Yet some of what gives it its initial edge, keeps it from being an all-time favorite.