The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 14

Gender Bender

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 21, 1994 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

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  • What happens in Amish country, stays in Amish country. This episode is a prime example of why major story and character revelations should NOT take place in stand alone stories, otherwise known as Monster Of The Week episodes.


    In Genderbender, Mulder not only comes across evidence of a UFO but he and Scully both come into contact, and in the case of Scully, very intimate contact, with what we are led to believe are actual "aliens".

    Yet this extraordinary event, which should drastically change both their lives, especially Mulders, seeing as how this is what he's been searching for most of his adult life, will never be mentioned again nor will it have any impact on the overall mytharc storyline that the series revolves around. Because as we'll come to learn in later seasons, major character revelations don't count unless they happen in a mytharc episode.

    You would think the discovery of a group of aliens living amongst us under the guise of an Amish family on the outskirts of small town USA would be a major turning point in the mytharc, but instead this is a throw away stand alone episode in which the contents of the investigation will never be recognized nor mentioned of again by either Mulder or Scully.

    The final scene in which it is revealed that -SPOILER ALERT!- the Amish family (if that is in fact what they were supposed to be) are actually aliens visiting Earth is, to me, a total cop out. If this had been a movie then the final scene in Genderbender would have not only been perfectly fine, but also a spooky twist ending. But since this is a television series in which we will pick up on the main characters lives next week, an ending like this is nothing but a cop out. None of the revelations uncovered in this episode will matter next week. It will be like the events of Genderbender never even took place. Here we have Mulder uncovering and coming into contact with an Alien race, and yet, because it occurs in a stand alone monster of the week episode, none of this will be acknowledged in future mytharc episodes. In other words, what happened in Amish country, will stay in Amish country.

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