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The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 20

Small Potatoes

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 20, 1997 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

9.1
out of 10
Average
371 votes
  • New insight

    9.0
    So I guess that means he didn't drug Scully's wine; she was still coherent after a whole bottle. This episode gave insight into each of the three major players. Also it was super fun and kept me guessing.
  • Small Potatoes a Suprise Sensation!

    10
    Small Potatoes was a perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character development along with a fantastic story which was very well constructed. It was crazy how multiple women gave birth to babies with tails. It was interesting to hear Eddie hypothetically defend his actions. I couldn't believe Scully didn't pick up on all the differences sooner when Eddie pretended to be Mulder. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • a witty and sardonic look at Fox Mulder, as Eddie explores Mulder's apartment, his life, and his relationship with Scully.

    9.0

    "You're a damn good-lookin' man," acknowledges Eddie, right before he cold-cocks Mulder and locks him in a basement, stealing his identity. In every case, we see Fox Mulder in a new light, through Faux Mulder's eyes, as it were. His office is a waste of taxpayers' money, his friends are geeks, and his relationship with Scully unfulfilled--or so Eddie sees it. All the wish fulfillment fantasies he projects onto Mulder--the romantic G-man image, the tough guy, the man about town--tell us more and more about the humble, unpretentious, and plain Eddie. Who is, not too surprisingly, more romantic than Mulder.


    Scully, who somehow has not noticed that her witty and intelligent partner is suddenly neither as glib nor as literate as he was yesterday, is surprised to find "Mulder" at her door with a bottle of wine. In a few hours, she is poring out her heart as he pours out the last of the wine, and sits mesmerized as this Faux Mulder moves in on her. It's not hard to imagine why--unlike Mulder, Eddie Van Blundht takes the time to actually listen to Scully, as his conversation illustrates. Half the time Fox Mulder hardly listens to Scully, but Faux Mulder hangs on her every word. Being the focus of that level of attention is in itself erotic.


    Eddie's can't-blame-a-guy-for-trying look at Scully after his attempt at seduction is revealed is a classic. He is completely convincing as a nebbish on the order of Wallace Shawn or Woody Allen, and his timing is flawless. At the end of "Small Potatoes", he even lets us see a bit of the envy that drives Eddie, as he tells Mulder mockingly, "You should live a little...I would, if I were you." Deep irony, coming from a man who lives his entire life as other people.


    Once Fox became Faux the comedy bar was raised several notches, and Duchovny topped it with ease. Not every actor can parody his own character so thoroughly, and yet retain the audience's goodwill.


    This is one of the best scripts from this season. From the subtle tease of Eddie's leaf-blowing neighbor, who bears a very strong resemblance to Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill, to Eddie himself, we are constantly reminded that "we are not who we are", and that things are not always as they appear on the surface. This is also one of the gentlest X-Files—no one is killed in this story.


  • Mulder and Scully nearly hook up.. nearly being the operative word.

    9.4
    About four seasons into the show and my favorite episode up until this point is an episode that has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracies or government agents trying to kill the main characters. This was just an all-around fun episode penned by Vince Gilligan, who not only finds creative ways to make episodes interesting but also gives life to the characters in ways the other writers can't.

    The episode began in a bizarre way: Mulder and Scully learn that five babies have been born with tails. Scully actually seems inclined to believe Mulder when he claims something supernatural is going on, and as they investigate, they learn that the man responsible is a strange person named Van Blundt (with an H of course!) They claim he has been impregnating women somehow, but it seems mysterious how he does so without them knowing.

    From here, the episode turns much less eerie and much more funny. It reminds me of the Darin Morgan episodes from the past, particularly the one with the freaks, but this episode actually HAS Darin Morgan playing the role of the villain (I believe.. I could be getting this completely wrong). Either way, the quirkiness grows to an all time high after Mulder and Scully learn that Van Blundt is able to switch bodies and change his appearance to that of anybody else. It's never explained how this happens, but the fun level of the episode makes it too easy to overlook. Van Blundt soon takes on the appearance of Mulder, and we get a series of hilarious scenes where Van Blundt tests out Mulder's body in front of a mirror. If your idea of funny is seeing David Duchovny standing in front of a mirror, telling himself he looks sexy while brandishing a gun, this is an episode for you.

    We also get the closest we'll probably get to a Mulder and Scully hook-up after the fake Mulder goes over to Scully's house with a bottle of wine and tries to get her drunk enough to fool around. Just as they're about to kiss, the real Mulder bursts in, and I was immediately convinced that this was one of the best episodes the show has made to date.

    Sure, it's nice to see the show exploring the mythology of extraterrestrials and the conspiracies and search for the truth, but episodes like these, with their quirky humor and great writing, makes it easy to forget about the other types of episodes. Just an awesome episode all around.
  • Did anyone else notice this?

    9.5
    I absolutely loved this episode and was laughing my bum off the entire time! :) Watching Eddie/Mulder in the lab with the tail was hilarious. I honestly can't even remember what Scully and Eddie/Mulder said because I was too busy laughing at him trying to fix the tail.

    Christine Cavanaugh was brilliant as the first mother we meet. She was hilarious and I always loved the scenes she was in. DD did an awesome job portraying an entirely different persona. Watching him as Eddie in both his office ("Fox? Oh, brother!") and his home ("F......B.....I....") were my favorite parts of the episode.

    Of course, there was the almost-kiss on the couch, but to be honest it wasn't my favorite part. The entire time I'm squirming because I know it's Eddie and it worried me that Scully didn't notice that it wasn't him. Come on, you've worked with him for 4 years now! He doesn't act like this!!)But the real Mulder bursting in was pretty hilarious. Which brings me to my only problem with this episode. How did the real Mulder escape from the basement? I was completely lost by that point. Did I miss something? Did aliens help him? Did he somehow manage to fit through the little squares on the grate of the door therefore making him an X-File in himself? I may never know........
  • One of the funniest episodes ever!

    10
    Absolutley LOVED this episode! Everything about it was just hillarious, right from the start with the "birds and the bees and the monkey babies" bit to the scenes where Eddie was pretending to be Mulder. The scene where "Mulder" broke off the tail of the dead body had me in hysterics! Also loved how "Mulder" seduced Scully, and their reactions as the real Mulder barged into the room. I really loved David Duchovny's acting as being Eddie. I thought it was very believable and of course hillarious! For me this was definatley the funniest episode in season 4 and DEFINATLEY one of my favs of all time!
  • LMAO!!!

    10
    The funniest episode ever! Hilarious!!!
    Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny's acting are awesome! My score: 100.
    Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious Hilarious a hundred times and hundred words!!!!!!!
  • Funny episode

    10
    Ok Small Potatoes rules! 10/10

    I watched the ep a few weeks ago but i love it that much i'm watching it again for the discussion. I'm half way through re-watching it. Plus when it originally aired i missed it (the only one out of the whole of season 4) typical since its shippery. Anywhoo i only got to watch it for the first time just after christmas (that's a long time to wait!! Like 9 years i think)

    Right on with the discussion, this episode is genius! I love just about everything about it. DD is so funny at acting as eddie acting as mulder. Scully is also pretty funny in this episode, "the birds and the bees and the monkey babies" and the "on behalf of all women.." bits are some of the best.
    Of course i like the almost kiss at the end, although its a good job it didn't get that far cos it wasn't really mulder, but the conversation leading up to it sounded pretty funny
    The your not a loser bit at the end is also pretty clever, maybe mulder was digging with the i'm no eddie van blundht thing(the h is silent) hmmm.
    All the acting is great and the actors all play off each other really well i think this is my favourite ep out of all the discussion eps so far
  • The one where Scully nearly kisses Mulder but then doesn't. And it's not really Mulder anyway, so does it even count?

    9.1
    Tubby janitor Eddie Van Blundht wreaks havoc by impregnating a bunch of local women disguised as their infertile husbands. The havoc gets personal when Van Blundht slips into Mulder-mode and locks Our Hero in a basement while he goes off to have his way with Scully.

    This ep is a real laugh and contains some great acting both by GA as she's being seduced by Mulder (she thinks) and by DD as he plays an imposter playing Mulder. Never for a moment could you imagine he really IS Mulder, and that's some feat.

    For the guys: Scully getting drunk and giggly and TOTALLY willing on the couch with the man she thinks is Mulder.

    For the girls: DD endearingly crap at being Van Blundht/Mulder and the look on his face when he realizes Eddie's got further in one night than he has in four years is priceless.

    Worst moment: Mulder tugging down Eddie's pants to reveal his excised tail - and his fat white butt.

    Best moment: Mulder snapping the tail off a mummified body on Scully's autopsy table and then hiding it from her.
  • Darin Morgan we love you!

    10
    Ok so this episode may not have been written by DM himself but his portrayl as the human morphing Eddie Blundt (sorry I missed the 'H' I meant Blundht) was fantastic! I specifically liked the end scene between him and Mulder as it wrapped this comedic and yet poignant classic as Eddie wallows in his self pity (I even emphasised with him) and wonders why exactly Mulder 'chooses' to be a loser.

    That of course is a matter of perception as Scully certainly doesn't think Mulder's a loser as she voices and almost shows in the episode. Which brings me to one of my favourite scenes of the episode which made my little shippy heart oh so happy. Of course I'm talking about the almost kiss. GAs acting in the scene was perfect as faux Mulder starts to draw in ever closer to Scully. The range of expressions GA portrays that go from "what is he doing?" to "...oh wait...OH...oh alright then" all in a matter of seconds is fabulous and of course the beauty of the writing by having Mulder walk in that moment is ingenious. Makes me wonder if Mulder is not at all intrigued by what he has witnessed as Scully was just about ready to jump him on the couch!

    The episode though was just packed with all these brilliant moments, as our two favourite FBI agents investigate why the babies of a small community are being born with tails, which in turn diverts the investigation to who's the father and eventually the real X file of the story.

    The banter between M/S was as good as ever the humour was as funny as ever - one of my favourites lines was Scully's deadpan question to Amanda (the star wars obcessed victim) "did he have a lightsabre?" it had me in stitches! All in all it was undoubtedly one of the best episodes of series 4 and maybe the show as a whole, perfect 10!
  • A "Tail" Of Two Mulders

    9.3
    A terrific comedic episode that doesn't quite match up with the classic comedies written by Darin Morgan but it actually stars Darin Morgan (!), who is surprisingly good in the role of Eddie.

    Best comedic acting by Duchovny in the entire series, period. You can literally see Eddie inside Mulder as he drops his eyelids, raises his eyebrows and gnashes his teeth to emulate Eddie's mannerisms. 100% comedy gold. He must have had a lot of fun with this episode.

    Anderson is good too, even though she has to play the straight woman for most of the episode. She's very convincing in the drunken scene with Eddie-Mulder, which was a bit of a departure from her usual role as the cynical, hardbitten agent. Her look of horror when the real Mulder bursts into the room with Eddie-Mulder's lips a scant centimeters from her own was priceless!
  • Hilaaaaarious !

    9.7
    What a pleasant surprise this episode was, I totally was not expecting this to be... to be this damn good.

    Is this a "comic" episode? I'm not really sure, as the underlying theme to the show is about rape. But regardless this is just a laugh out loud, good fun episode that I did NOT want to end.

    Where to even begin, Eddie later in the ep assumes Mulder's life for a short time, which though it is absolutely hilarious is only a small part of the show, the writing is so good here, and sooo many fantastic moments.

    Eddie playing Mulder's answering machine only to hear a phone sex operator leaving a message for "Marty" made me burst out laughing. Eddie looking around Mulder's office, seeing all the posters on alien life and exclaiming "Good night! This is where my tax dollars are going?", Eddie as Mulder looking in the mirror and playing with his badge and gun... oh man, pure gold. Just a few moments from an episode jam packed with hilarity.

    So many great guest characters as well, Eddies "dad", the mother giving birth to Luke Skywalker's child (curious yet?), And Eddie himself, they really out did themselves on this one, special doesn't even come close to describing it.

    With so many heavy episodes this season, this one comes as a most welcome breather, you just can't miss it.
  • shape shifting

    9.0
    This is a really good x-file episode. Its funny and serious at the same time. After a bunch of babys are born with tails, Mulder and Skully investigate the cause of it only to find a shapeshifter that it is to blame. Later on in the episode the shapeshifter locks Mulder away, and tries to live like him. There is a great Taxi driver spoof at this point. We see Mulder and Skully talk to each other as friends rather than colleagues. Theres a hint of romance which is stopped right at the last second, but meah!
    Overall a great episode, both funny and serious.
  • I loved it!!

    10
    This was an interesting episode, very good and funny. I think that just the idea of babbies with tails was briliant. Although they said that it is possible it was still a great episode. This is one of those episodes that is the reason X-Files stayed on so long, they deal with such weird things you can't help but watch it. I think that when the guy was Mulder and looking at himself in the miror was really funny, he kept saying something like I'm a good looking guy. But of course I figured Mulder was locked away somewhere as he and Scully were leaving, even before they showed us that. Then he goes and tries to get "closer" to Scully. Sort of makes you wonder, don't it?
  • Babies with tails!

    9.7
    This is a funny episode of the X-Files! A girl has a baby with a tail and claims that it is Luke Skywalker's. Now even Mulder is skeptical of this, but they stay in town long enough to find out that there is a man who can change his appearance, and has a tail. Now because this is the X-Files, no one finds this a bit out of the ordinary, because we all know we've seen at lot weirder... Anyway, after Mulder figures this all out, the man, Eddie, locks him in the hospital and changes himself to look like Mulder. Later on, he goes to Scully's apartment and they start drinking and they almost kiss, when the real Mulder comes! Scully makes the funniest noise at that moment. I love this episode because it is humorous and not a bit serious. It makes me laugh everytime!
  • The one with another Mulder

    9.4
    ‘Small Potatoes’ is definitely the funniest season 4 episode even though it’s far from being one of the best. The episode begins rather silly but somewhere mid when the guy changes into Mulder, that’s where the greatness begins.

    The episode begins with a girl getting a baby with a tail, she claims that she had sex with Luke Skywalker from ‘Star Wars’. There are also four other babies with a tail and all the babies come from the same DNA.

    Mulder soon meets the guy responsible, but they don’t know how he could have impregnated the women. Turns out that the guy can change into others, he eventually changes in Mulder which leads to hilarious moments. First he goes to the crazy chick to ask about himself (turns out he had a crush on her but she wasn’t interested). Then he’s followed by Mulder but then he locks up Mulder.

    Eddie soon figures out how much a loser Mulder is, he goes to Scully and becomes a whole different person and when he’s about to kiss her, Mulder breaks in and catches them.

    What I liked so much about this episode is how much someone can be like another when he’s treated like someone else.
    And there were tons of hilarious moments, like Mulder breaking off someone’s tail and being clumsy and a loser using his body becoming a lot more interesting than Mulder himself.

    This episode shows how much of a loser Mulder really is, and it does it in a great way.
  • Just plain great.

    9.9
    Small Potatoes is about a man born with a tail that can transform himself into looking like anyone. The man, Eddie Van Blundht is a certifiable loser who's only thrill is imitating the townspeople and getting a bunch of women pregnant by pretending to be their husbands. In comes Mulder and Scully who, as always investigate the strange happenings.

    It so happens that Eddie wants Mulder's life and so he takes it. Locking Mulder in a basement while Eddie, looking just like Mulder, lives the agent's life. It's a great episode with many slapstick moments. Duchovny is terrific in this episode as the loser Van Blundht. (No wonder he said it's one of his favorite episodes!) Darin Morgan plays Van Bludht with great comedic talent (he did write the classic Humbug). It's a great look at Mulder's life through someone else's eyes and goes to show the perhaps our favorite agent is as much as a loser as Eddie and that he is a "loser by choice." Poor Mulder can't catch a break! A wonderfully well written, funny episode.
  • A classic, lighthearted X-Files episode.

    9.3
    Writer of four of the more popular episodes (Humbug,Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose,War of the Coprophages,Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space') and the actor playing the flukeman in seasons two Host, returns to the X-Files after leaving the writing staff after season three to play the ultimate loser, Eddie Van Blundht.

    Eddie has a classic X-Files ability, to change his physical appearance to anyone he desires. He uses this to seduce women and impregnate them, but he ends up using his abilities to morph into Mulder in his attempts to seduce Scully.

    This episode is very lighthearted and very, very funny. The scheming by Eddie Van Blundht is very clever and fun to watch. A good episode to introduce the X-Files to a person. It fulfills all the potential of Sci-Fi, humor, suspense, and drama that is expected.
  • One of the best...

    9.3
    This episode brought a lot out of both characters, giving you a bit of insight into how Scully perceives Mulder, and how Mulder views himself. The scene where Eddie as Mulder is about to get it on with Scully gives us the impression that although no advances have been made yet, she really does want something to happen between her and Mulder, even though the real Mulder interrupts the near-clinch.

    The parts where Eddie is impersonating Mulder were simply hilarious, like a kid playing Cops and Robbers. It also shows how a "normal" person views Mulder's solitary, self-centered life: the way his apartment has no creature-comforts, his office is devoted to his quest, and his answer phone message.

    All in all, this is one of my favourite episodes. It's always good to see that a serious show like The X-Files can sometimes sit back and poke fun at itself and its characters.
  • Overrated comedy

    7.6
    When I see "Small Potatoes" on an X Files Top Ten List (which happens frequently), I frown. When I hear TV Guide named it one of the greatest episodes in TV history, I lose my faith in entertainment critics. Don't know the definition of "overrated"? Look it up in a dictionary, there's a photo from "Small Potatoes" illustrating the entry.

    Sounds like I don't like the episode? Oh no, I do. I just don't like (i.e. don't get) the raves it inspires. Let's see: Is it the X Files most deserving entry into a list of "Greatest Episodes in TV History"? "Paper Clip", "Duane Barry", "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", "Beyond the Sea" etc etc etc is my answer to that. Is it Vince Gilligan's finest work? No, that would be "Paper Hearts". As a matter of fact, it's neither the funniest or most inspired X-Comedy there is. It's just, well... good.

    But despite all that beating, I have to go on the record saying it IS enjoyable, even though Gilligan never matches X-Comedy master Darin Morgan's intelligence and/or wit, much less the genius of his plotting.

    I'd say you could do a lot worse than watching "Small Potatoes", but in the final analysis it's lightweight, solid, if obvious fun with shapeshifters, doppelgängers and a nice little scene where Scully gets drunk with the wrong Mulder, a moment that sheds some light on the more personal (and therefore more obscure) sides of our characters.
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