The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 1

Herrenvolk (2)

4
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 1996 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

8.8
out of 10
Average
287 votes
  • Herrenvolk

    10
    Herrenvolk was a perfect season four premiere episode of The X-Files and picked up right where last season ended. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character and plot development, action, drama and intrigue. It was interesting yet sad to see Agent X outed and executed. The Cigarette Smoking Man really seems to have a wide reach. Mulder and Scully were both excellent. I liked how every thing played out. It was interesting to see the farm with Clones of Mulder's sister. The implications for the imagination were astounding. I certainly look forward to watching the rest of the season!!!!!!!!!
  • GEORGE COSTANZA: I broke my glasses playing basketball. JERRY SEINFELD: He was running from a bee. (Much like George Costanza, in Herrnevolk, Fox Mulder is running from the bees)

    8.5


    Picking up where last season left off, Mulder and Scully zero in on mystery man Jeremiah Smith, who has promised to reveal the Cigarette-Smoking Man's secrets to them. Naturally, once they escape from the assassin sent to kill him, Smith dummies up, and hence forward expresses himself in cryptic locutions which conceal as much as they reveal. Mulder discovers his silent sister, still eight years old, working in a bee-filled greenhouse with other equally silent children. Mulder finds out that "Samantha" is one of several clones, and when he tries to bring one of them with him, Smith protests that "She's not your sister." "Then what is she?" he angrily asks--and of course gets no answer. No self- respecting X-File character would ever come right out and say something as obvious as "They've cloned your sister and turned her into a serf. From the final clue X left scrawled in his own blood, Mulder pursues his investigation about the Canadian farm at the United Nations. Meanwhile the assassin, in a surprise twist, heals Mrs. Mulder at the behest of the Cigarette Smoking Man.


    The introduction of "the bees" was never my favorite X-files story arc. It was never fully explained. Then again, not much was explained in this episode. Its' frustrating how Jeremiah refuses to answer even the simplest of answers from Mulder. Although it did make me relate to Mulders own sense of frustration. Perhaps thats the purpose. To put us in Mulders shoes. But I think it has more to do with this story arc not being fully thought out. And why was the assasin effected by the bees? When the bees sting him he has red spots on his face and body, but isn't his blood green?


    I did like how this time around the interaction between Mulder and Scully harked back to the earlier Carter scripts like the pilot and "Deep Throat" where they function as two halves of the same brain. They are a great team even when they are split up, so much so that now Scully is accused of mouthing Mulder's theories.


    It seems to me a great turning point has come for Fox Mulder in "Herrenvolk". In the hospital scenes in Act Four, I was struck by his silence, his anguish, his hopelessness. Yet Mrs. Mulder is still alive, and Samantha may be. What has so crushed him? I believe Mulder is mourning the death of hope. He now knows that Samantha cannot be restored to him, and that there is no hope of healing his broken past. Samantha is dead or cloned or otherwise changed beyond human ken, and if anything of his sister or his past is restored to him it will not be his peace of mind.


    Scully marks a milestone of her own, as she publicly and irrevocably aligns herself with Mulder by validating his paranoid conspiracy theories to a host of government bureaucrats.


    There were some interestingly nasty moments in "Herrenvolk", not least of them the implication that the Assassin murdered the Samantha-clone left in the car when Mulder was knocked out. And how did the First Elder get his hands on X's photos of the Smoking Man and Mrs. Mulder arguing outside the summer house? We last saw them as Mulder handed them to Assistant Director Skinner.


    So Mulder's family is enlarged by a host of clonesisters, Scully comes into her own as Mulder's equal in the eyes of the Bureau , and the Cigarette Smoking Man stuns us all as a compassionate Machiavelli. Once again Chris Carter re-invents his show's format, proving that he has more facets than Jeremiah Smith has faces.



    A good opener, but this season premiere and last seasons season finale were not as strong as the story arc that ended season 2 and began season 3.

  • Mulder and Scully attempt to hide Jeremiah Smith from the assassin and Mulder learns some new information

    8.5
    The season 3 finale left a bitter taste in my mouth; not that it wasn't as exciting as previous episodes or finales, but it left us on such a cliffhanger that it felt as if it was lazily done. The second part does nothing to make me necessarily feel like this is a great installment of X-Files, but it definitely opens the doors to many different ideas.. but still, I feel just as in the dark as I ever was.

    Most of the episode is dedicated to the alien shapeshifter from Season 2 chasing after Mulder and Smith while Scully attempts to stop Mulder from a distance. Meanwhile, we also see the passing of "X," the man who has been helping Mulder since the beginning of Season 2. It's a shame to see him go, as he had most of the answers that Mulder needed, but at least he left behind a message for Mulder to follow.

    The thing that frustrated me the most about this little plot was that we were given only the bare necessities to understand what was going on. We really weren't given anything close to an answer or even a hint of an answer. Sure, it was nice to see Mulder reunite with his sister, but Jeremiah Smith tells us it's not his sister, simply a clone, which makes us wonder what in the world these clones are being invented for. Mulder keeps saying "colonization," but what does the Cigarette Smoking Man have to do with that, let alone Mulder's mother? It just doesn't make sense, and it would help if we were given some background information or something.

    Some friends of mine told me Seasons four, five and six were his favorites, so it should be interesting to see what we get out of them.
  • Eardrum Buzz

    8.7
    Nice, bright cinematography to open Season Four. It's almost liberating to see Mulder and Jeremiah Smith go traipsing across the golden countryside under a bright blue sky - quite the contrast from the usual shadowy, backlit X-File sets. Not a fabulous episode (too much chasing and running going on) but very important for the plot points it opens up (the bees, the crops, the cloned children, the healing of Mulder's mother, etc.).

    I really dislike the alien hitman - he's too much like the Terminator and it's unfair and illogical that he doesn't die like the other aliens when Mulder spikes him in the neck. I also thought it highly unlikely that Mulder could have avoided being stung by a single bee in the beehive, even after dousing himself with gasoline. The beehive set was awesome, though - very effective, and I loved the buzzing soundtrack.
  • Diminishing Returns...

    5.0
    This episode of the X Files to me demonstrates the more tiresome side of the series' efforts to create a mythology and backstory. It could be argued that even by this relatively early stage, the format was getting stale. Since series 1, soap-opera elements (Mulder's abducted sister, the loss of Dana's father, the Melissa subplot, the involvement of Mulder's parents with Cancer Man, and so forth) had been getting in the way of vastly more effective stand-alone stories. In "Herrenvolk" - the beginning of series 4, and denouement to the series 3 cliffhanger - we have Mulder mom melodrama, more appearances from Deep Throat 2 than in probably any other episode, a repetition of the cloned-Samantha idea, and a shape-shifting Roy Thinnes. The result is a demonstration of diminishing returns which left me missing the crisp, exquisitely entertaining writing of the Darin Morgan episodes, and looking forward to the hardcore "Home". Looking at X Files episodes like this, one is struck by the specious nature of many paranoid conspiracy stories. Lee Harvey Oswald firing the headshot from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository really is the most obvious and compelling solution to the JFK assassination, despite 1000 Oliver Stones trying to spin an enigma out of something palpably clear. By the same token, one listens to Cancer Man's gratuitously enigmatic schtick in this episode and is led relentlessly to the question: why would any of these Men in Black bother?
  • Not a bad season opener...

    7.5
    Although Herrenvolk is not the most exciting episode, it is quite an intriguing one. The visit to the farm, where Mulder once again sees his sister is a particularly good idea. The bees, as well, being the suject of many people's phobias are good, especially the scenes in which Mulder and co go into the hive place.
    Not the best episode, but still above average.

    Bounty Hunter: He shows you pieces, but tells you nothing of the whole... because he's inconsequential... a traitor to the project.
    Mulder: Kill me, let them go.
    Bounty Hunter: You'd trade your life for his?
    Mulder: For my mother's.
    Bounty Hunter: Everything dies.
  • Meah

    8.5

    “Herrenvolk” is the opener to season four of the X-Files and picks up right after the last episode. Mulder and Jeremiah Smith are basically chased around all through out the episode by the alien bounty hunter. Mulder wants Smith to help his dying mother but cannot. Meanwhile, Skully tries to uuencode Smiths files and understand them. This is a good episode, full of suspense. We also see Mr X get a good dose of the old lead to! YAY. Anyhow, this episode still leaves many unanswered questions which need to be answered- But they wont!- the next episode is about something completely different as usual. Meah Damn Chris Carter- Damn him to hell! LOL.
  • The one with the murders

    9.9
    The beginning of the great season 4, and boy. What an awesome episode. Even better than the end of season 3.

    It develops the mythology and Mulder. It also is the last episode where we see X alive, and we see his replacement Marita for the first time.

    It has a very effective teaser where a guy is fixing an electric thing and some boys are looking at him and they are all identical, then he’s bitten by a bee and dies.

    Meanwhile it continues where it left us, the bounty hunter wants to kill his victim but it runs. Mulder tries to save the man and stakes the bounty hunter with his weapon but it doesn’t die. When Mulder and the guy escape they leave Scully behind, the bounty hunter then uses her to know where Mulder is heading.

    The guy shows Mulder a place, with kids and the girls look exactly like his sister. They are all clones, they get chased by the man and try to escape by bees but ellas, the bounty hunter kills them except Mulder.

    Meanwhile the mother is very sick and Mulder wanted the guy to heal her but it wasn’t possible, CSM and others were in the hospital waiting and they discover about X and shoot him, before X dies he writes something with his blood on the floor.

    Meanwhile Mulder is disappointed but a woman gives him papers and pictures of the event and give him hope,

    While CSM calls upon the bounty hunter and makes him heal Mulder’s mother because it’s better when Mulder got something to lose.

    The episode was simply fantastic and interesting all around, glad that X died.
  • On the way to the X Files movie

    7.5
    "Herrenvolk", while light on drama, character, or mytharc revelations, reveals another key element in the ongoing storyarc that now slowly morphs into what the upcoming X Files Movie would explain to be the purpose of the conspiracy. Killer bees, strange crops grown in remote areas. In hindsight, the episode looks like a trailer for the film.

    This is an episode that is made more than it is by visuals and moments. Cigarette Smoking Man showing a human side by helping Tena Mulder. X dying on Mulder's doorstep. But interestingly enough, what makes "Herrenvolk" a success is the element that is most often criticized: the cinematography. John Bartley is replaced by Ron Stannett who would only last an episode and a half, but his work here is astonishing. Gorgeous landscapes, and cloned children in a pastoral setting make for eerie pictures straight out of "The Village of the Damned", it seems.

    A creepy, interesting hour. Not the strongest X File ever, but a huge improvement over the show's most disappointing season finale, "Talitha Cumi".
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