The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 18

Max (2)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 23, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
269 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder is arrested for investigating the plane crash and interfering with a military operation, while Scully is caught in an attempted assassination of Corporal Frish which claims the life of Agent Pendrell. Scully bails Mulder out of prison and they go to Max Fenig's trailer to find out why he was on the plane. Mulder finds evidence of alien technology and boards a plane with it but the plane is intercepted mid-flight and it disappears. Mulder is again left with nothing.moreless

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  • Max was an entertaining episode!

    Max was a superbly entertaining episode of The X-Files and I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of action, suspense, mystery and intrigue. It was fun watching Mulder figure out what was happening, but he didn't quite find out the entire truth. I liked watching Max's tape. There were some awesome scenes and it was cool to see an alien body briefly. I liked how the story played out and the ending was touching. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • "When every day's just another day when you're gonna get kidnapped by little gray dudes from outer space, what's a few CIA spooks?" -- Max Fenig

    Too much of this story took place offscreen. The death of Agent Pendrell, Max's death, the discovery of his knapsack, the incarceration of Sharon Graffia in an asylum, all took place out of sight. What we got on camera was sometimes magnificent but leaving out these important incidents strips the story of its emotional context. I feel that this distillation of the story left out some of the warmth that it needed: we got a lot of fear but little grief. There were moments of real awe and wonder in "Tempus Fugit" and "Max", some of the best moments in the series' history, but they were diluted by the emotional distance imposed on us by the glossing over of Max's death, of Sharon's terror, of Pendrell's death. If we must lose our lovable lab rat, we should at least have learned his name. It is not enough to devote a few seconds of screen time to Scully's attempt to save his life. We must also have a moment where we see what this character's impact on Scully's life was--not a maudlin and teary scene, but also not the coldly intellectual dissection of their non-relationship represented by her offhand, "I never knew his name."

    It's not Mudlers fault he's in a script that begs the question of why Mulder is on this plane at all. Of all men, Mulder knows best what happened to Max when he got on a plane carrying a similar bag. By reproducing the circumstances of Flight 549's disaster, is he not endangering not just himself but everyone else aboard? I admired Mulder's smooth response to the threat posed by the Mustache Man; I only wish he'd thought a little harder about what he was doing.

    Mike Millar anchors the storyline in the methodical, step-by-step reality of engineering studies and failure analysis. Half-convinced not only by Mulder's tale of alien abduction but by his own sighting of a UFO hovering over the wreckage of Flight 549, Millar vacillates between his duty to seek out and expose the truth, and his reluctance to expose himself to ridicule. This is one of the few characters I have seen on the series who hid the truth and didn't lose his integrity. Like so many engineers and scientists, he has been trained both to distrust his own convictions and to trust in "observation"--and thus finds himself deeply conflicted when his observation of the floating UFO stands all his scientific conviction on its head. In this very human portrait we have yet another character who sucks us into the "reality" of the X-Files

    I'm only sorry that we had Max back for so brief a time. Max could have been a wonderful recurring character. The unofficial 4th member of the lone gunmen.moreless
  • Part 2 (Mulder finds Max's evidence)

    There may not have been any Cigarette Smoking Man plot here, like most of the myth-arc episodes do, but this two part episode concluded on a great note, completing the story that the first part introduced and leaving us wondering (once again) whether or not Mulder will actually find the truth.

    The episode truly hit its stride after Mulder learned that Max had left something he stole in an airport security place. It's unknown what the item actually is; all Mulder and Scully learn is that it's some sort of extra-terrestrial technology that the government wants. Mulder tries to hide the item on a plane but a government agent sneaks on the plane and Mulder is once again left with nothing.

  • Max's "untimely" end.. ohhh I'm punny :D

    I liked it, thats not much of a review... but I did. Almost cried when Pendrell died though.. poor Pendrell he always had a crush on Scully, then died on her birthday..

    Anyway! Sooo yea.. Max died, Pendrell died, Mulder liked a key chain, and we discovered the truth about aliens... almost. As usual the dream team of Mulder and Scully almost figured out what the government is hiding ! Wow.. Chris Carter is pretty amazing at how many times this happens. Haha. No, In no way am I saying the X-Files are repetitive, I'm merely saying that mytharc episodes always leave you saying the same thing.. "Damn Government and their cover-ups" The only thing this action-packed episode was missing was CSM, I sat there and watched an entire mytharc wondering where the hell that A hole was.. But whatever, all in all it was a good episode, it kept me entertained, and (as said before) I liked it.moreless
  • Junk Food

    More of what we saw in "Tempus Fugit," although this episode is perhaps a bit more exciting, which may be attributable to the superior skills of Kim Manners, who directed this episode. Mulder really gets around in this episode. First, he is captured while scuba-diving for aliens, then later he is chased on to a plane where, in a clever twist, he relives exactly what Max went through in the previous episode. The whole sequence from Mulder being chased to the alien encounter with his plane was well done, with lots of tension and action. It was a bit incongruous for the aliens not to return the bad guy after taking him from the plane (as was done with the previous abductees) but I suppose it was necessary because we want the bad guy to get his just desserts.

    I'm not sure why it was necessary to show Mike Millar winessing the return of Max's girlfriend by the aliens. That whole thread seems to go nowhere, as Mike does nothing after seeing the alien ship, although he does seem a bit more ambivalent during his final conversation with Mulder and Scully.

    All in all, a pretty, well-constructed episode that contains some fine action sequences but not a whole lot of substance. It's a fun ride, as far as it goes, but ultimately leaves us with no great insights or revelations. It's the X-Files equivalent of junk food.moreless
Greg Michaels

Greg Michaels

Scott Garrett

Guest Star

John Destry

John Destry

Mr Ballard

Guest Star

Rick Dobran

Rick Dobran

Sergeant Armando Gonzales

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Brendan Beiser

Brendan Beiser

Agent Pendrell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Continuity: at the beginning of the episode after the credits it shows Scully shoot twice where in the last episode she only fired once.

    • Although Agent Pendrell's first name is never revealed. In the X-Files game, it is revealed to be Sean.

    • 21:54 When Max yanked out of the plane, when the shot of him is from the window there is a visible safety landing pad on the floor of the set.

    • Why wasn't Scott Garrett returned after being abducted like Mulder said Max would have been if not for the UFO being shot down?

    • In 'Tempus Fugit' Mulder and Scully note that all the watches on the crash victims are 9 minutes ahead of the reported crash time. After Mulder's plane is intercepted in this part he sees that his watch is 9 minutes behind Skinner's watch.

      Now to decide which is correct and which is the goof.

      It makes more sense for the watches to be ahead because the aliens would have stopped time everywhere except on the plane so the watches would still be running, and then the aliens erased their memories, making those nine minutes "lost".

      If Mulder's watch was behind in time then it means that time stopped only on the plane, but if that is true then why the need to erase everyones memories? This also goes against the events of the Pilot episode where Mulder and Scully lost nine minutes in the car and Mulder's watch is shown as being fast.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Mulder: I left a bag here.
      Security Officer: Big bag, little bag?
      Mulder: Small bag, tall bag.. Small bag I think..

    • Scully: All I know is that this plane seems to be killing people as it sits there on the ground.. Mulder. Agent Pendrell is dead
      Mulder: How?
      Scully: Shot. In an attempt on Sergeant Frish in Washington he saved his life Mulder and maybe mine
      Mulder: Scully.. Scully
      Scully: Mulder what are these people dying for? Is it for the truth or is it for the lies?
      Mulder: It's gotta be for the truth, if we owe them anything it's to make sure of that

    • Scully: (To Pendrell) We've got paramedics on the way you're going to the hospital, you're going to be ok. Look, we still haven't celebrated my birthday Pendrell. I'm not going to let you off the hook like this

    • Mulder: I think I'm gonna miss the in-flight movie and it's something starring Steve Gutenberg.

    • Scully: This gift that you gave me for my birthday. You never got to tell me why you gave it to me or what it means... but I think I know. I think that you appreciate that there are extraordinary men and women and... extraordinary moments when history leaps forward on the backs of these individuals... that what can be imagined can be achieved... that you must dare to dream... but that there's no substitute for perseverance and hard work... and teamwork... because no one gets there alone... and that, while we commemorate the... the greatness of these events and the individuals who achieve them, we cannot forget the sacrifice of those who make these achievements and leaps possible.
      Mulder: I just thought it was a pretty cool keychain.

    • Mulder: Do you know where she is?
      Scully: In a mental institution.
      Mulder: I'd go with you... but I'm afraid they'd lock me up.
      Scully: Me too.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Although this episode (and Part 1 "Tempus Fugit") deals with a military cover-up of a downed UFO and elimination of evidence that Max was carrying, it curiously did not involve the Cigarette Smoking Man. This type of work would be right up his alley.

    • The song that plays when Scully turns on Max's stereo is 'Unmarked Helicopters' by Soul Coughing, featured on the X-Files album Songs in the Key of X.