The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 5

The Jersey Devil

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 08, 1993 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (30)

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  • I heard the same story when I was a kid too, the funny thing is, I believed it

    A good episode that forces us to think about different forms of life on this planet, rather than abroad (which we are so inclined to do). A legendary showdown between Duchovony and Wayne Tippet (almost as legendary as Scully's dress or her performing flips in 3 inch high heels). The opening scene feels like the 1947, and I enjoyed the exchange between Mulder and the park ranger. I also adored how they transitioned from Scully asserting that Mulder is obsessed with his work to a scene where he's walking through the woods in search of a pre-evolutionary beast woman (a nice hint of humor). Speaking of which, the scene between him and beast woman was rather intimate, which added to the viewer's sympathy of her. A strong cast, decent script with some good one-liners made for a strong monster of the week episode.
  • great episode,

    we get more development between Mulder and Scully, Scully goes on a date. Great episode
  • A Believable Episode--Unfortunately!

    An absurd episode, not because of the "paranormal" elements, but because of just about everything else in it. I might believe that a feral family might be living in the woods of New Jersey, but I'm not convinced that the female would be so helpless at finding food that she would stoop to raiding homeless people-- hobos don't throw away anything edible anyway. Of course, Spooky knows exactly where and when to go, so we get to see him hanging out with hobos for a while in order to catch a view of the wildwoman. Meanwhile, Scully is going to kid parties and dating a boring dude. Of couse, she loses interest, but she's got to realize that she isn't the wild, aggressive mate that Mulder finds so attractive in the Jersey woods.

    THIS EPISODE WANTS US TO BELIEVE IN: A feral family unit hidden in New Jersey.


    While the main plot in this episode is fairly believable (tests indicated the wildlings weren't "prehistoric"), everything else going on is pretty much dull or absurd.
  • Mythical beast

    Mulder and Scully a series of murders near and in the woods of New Jersey and many say its some kind of beast called the Jersey Devil.When Mulder learns there is more than 1 and he is attacked by one and then it gets shot but Mulder's theory prove to be right when there is many of them at the end and the mystery continues.
  • The Jersey Devil

    The Mulder-Scully relationship suffers, again, a small earthquake, with Scully trying to live a "normal life" and dating a divorced man (why she thinks Mulder a large immature), but soon returned to normal. It's certainly one of the funniest episodes voluntarily and involuntarily, with all characters dropping at least one sentence and even comic monster of the week is not very convincing. This creature is the demon of New Jersey, a kind of Neanderthal, which was above us in the food chain for their cannibalism, which brings the discussion of how far would the man and his vein of this beastly creature appears, therefore, the humans, although evolved and civilized, even door primitive behaviors. The atmosphere enveloped the monster is very good, but when he finally appears, you lose some strength, but is another good episode.
  • The Jersey Devil

    The Jersey Devil was a perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was fun and exciting. Scully knows how to rock a pant suit and work the field in heels, haha. I also liked the conflict between the local authorities and Mulder. It was interesting to learn the true nature of the beings responsible for what happened. There was a little camp factor to the episode which made it even more awesome. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Bigfoot in Atlantic City!

    Average. Not Scary. Not a lot happens. Scully has a date. Possibly one of the most uneventful shows of the 1st season! It could have done with a higher body count for a start - one homeless guy, really? The local cops (or one in particular) motives for preventing Mulder from getting involved in the case aren't believeable - why with just the one isolated murder are they bothered about the negative publicity? There's not enough going on in this episode - its mainly deals with Mulders obsessive nature (he cant just leave the case alone, can he) and Scullys life (or lack of it) outside of work. To be honest, its was perhaps to early in the show for Scully to be choosing The X Files over a life - she's only investigated 5 cases so far!! Despite all of this, the premise of the show, and some of the dialogue, is pretty good, but its just as well, because without it this would have been the shows first stinker.
  • Meh!

    The main problem with Jersey Devil is the pacing. For much of it, nothing much seems to be happening. In fact, Scully's dull date actually seems more interesting than Mulder wandering about achieving nothing. We know there's a devil out there, but Chris Carter's thing that not seeing is scarier than seeing falls flat here. There's no dramatic tension to pull you in since the local police seem so petty. The sub plot with Scully's date reeks of desperation. Five episodes in and the poor woman's already feeling on the shelf. It's the back and forthing that rankles. In Jersey for an hour or so. Back. To Jersey for breakfast. Back again. And what is the result of this? Nothing, except it shows Mulder is a bit obsessed. Good grief he's Mulder. We know he's obsessed! We didn't need an episode chasing urban folklore to learn it.

    And the kid at the end? Could any child have looked less feral? Perhaps we were supposed to empathise with the humanity of the creature, but she did just look confused and a bit bored. And by that point, so were we.
  • Not the best episode, but had some great character moments.

    Of course Mulder and Scully had to investigate Bigfoot at some point! The plot is decent, even if there is some dodgy science and very little mystery - the big surprise is the gender of the "devil", and that seriously lacks punch. However, it's an entertaining episode whenever Mulder and Scully get to have little character moments, Mulder being his crazy obsessed self (Who doesn't love Scully busting Mulder out of the drunk tank?) and Scully trying to have a personal life - good luck in this series!

    The whole episode is worth watching just for Mulder and Scully's last bit of dialogue. "Eight million years out of Africa, and look who's holding the door" - great stuff.
  • Filler Episode

    What can I say? This episode was not very good to be honest. The storyline was good and could have been great if the writing and direction was better. There wasn't really any character development going on in this episode and it did not draw me in at all, in fact there were times where I was not even paying attention properly because nothing was happening. I think if there was more suspense injected into it the episode would have been much more interesting. Overall I think that this was just made to be a filler episode and not much thought went into it.
  • A Jersey Devil? Awesome! WARNING: SPOILERS

    So, I actually really love this episode. I'm surprised by the lack of 'loving' I must say!

    This episode was awesome. I was NEVER bored and continue to love this episode! It's one of those...'on the edge of my seat' kinds! It was well written and explored a new phenomanon. So...yeah, Mulder got 'injured,' of course...but Scully was right by his side. It looked like she almost understood him until she lashed out at him...too bad. LOL I loved how Mulder was in the drunk tank. The look on Scully's face when he called her at work...all, priceless! In the end...quite sad that she was shot and killed. That cop was an a**. I thought Mulder was going to deck him for sure! Then, the end with the daugter in the woods. Hmmm...
  • Mulder goes to Atlantic city

    The Jersey Devil myth or a person living off animal instincts living in the New Jersey area? Mulder seems to think in favor of the second option. Especially when a man is shot in the woods. An extremly hairy naked man that mulder thinks is the jersey devil. Problems arise when the jersey devil begins looking for food in the city. Mulder and the locals get on each others nervs. Eventually mulder gets locked up in a drunk tank and scully had to bail him out. Mulder continues looking for the devil, and he discovers taht the devil is a she-devil...
  • Corny, good idea, crappy writing.

    It should have been a cro-magon beast, not a human adam and eve wild couple. the male was 40 and the chick was 25, puhleeese. Corny, good idea, crappy writing. It need a script and history, yada, yda,yada, yada, yda, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, ayada.yada, yda,yada, yada, yda, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, ayada.yada, yda,yada, yada, yda, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, ayada.yada, yda,yada, yada, yda, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, ayada.
  • Attack of the flesh eating primates

    And we find ourselves once again with a rather average episode of our favorite show. Actually, for an amazing show like this, an average episode equals to a very good episode on a different(less good)series. Things I really enjoyed in this episode: Mulder giving the homeless the keys to his hotel room. Things I didn't enjoy at all in this epsiode: As usual, the city police commander who doesn't believe anything serious is happening, and who besides, does not believe in Mulder's theories about the current unsolved crime. An ok episode that will keep you watching but won't make your heart race.
  • A very basic idea amounts to a lackluster episode that falls very flat.

    The problem with this episode is that it never really gets off the ground. The concept and the execution are both poor, and coupled with Mulder's constant ranting about prehistoric species and whatnot, this episode becomes almost unbearable. The one decent part of this episode is what it reveals to us about Scully and her personal life (or lack thereof). Mulder, unfortunately, stays rather one-dimensional and even takes his behavior to an embarassing extreme. Ultimately, this episode is based on long and drawn out interactions with various people that don't exactly work, and when the action finally heats up at the end of the episode, it is almost laughable. Skipping this one probably wouldn't do any harm.
  • “Keep that up, Mulder, and I’ll hurt you like that beast-woman...”

    The Jersey Devil is not one of my favorite MOTW episodes. Unlike Squeeze, this episode completely disengages itself from the series mythology, which, is common in subsequent MOTW episodes, and it usually works--just not here. It is still to early in the series to completely ignore surrounding events. This episode is, for lack of a better word, sloppy. Mulder is always impulsive, too eager to believe everything, but he is uncharacteristically impetuous in this episode (it is actually obnoxious), much more than usual. In this episode we also see Scully attempting to find a life outside of work, this could have been interesting, unfortunately, the writers had two things working against them. Firstly, Scully’s date has so little personality we are left with no doubt that this was a first and last outing. Secondly, we all know instinctively that Scully is doomed to failure in this arena. This scenario does, however, begin to show us Scully’s realization that her place--her destiny--is to be Mulder’s helpmate, the person who strives to keep him out of trouble and protect him from himself. This episode is slow, the dialogue is overly philosophical and in all the wrong places, the commentary on human behavior falls flat. This is one of the least enjoyable episodes of the first season, although, as another reviewer mentioned, it is much better than Space.
  • Wanna know Chris Carter's stance on the environment and a host of other political issues? Watch this episode! Aside from that, it is useless!

    Wow, this episode is problematic on so many levels. Let's discuss for a moment the concept of wild violent primates living in New Jersey. Now, customary Jersey jokes aside, this is ridiculous, and the 'scientific' explanation given is lackluster at best. At least in season five's Detour they give us a halfway plausible reason for a very angry creature to be living in the forest. This is one of the few bad episodes of the series where the premise is the problem, and the execution actually isn't that bad. The scenes where Scully tries to date Mr. SuperDad are funny, and make sense for her character and her situation, Mulder's fascination with the creature also works, but the times where he defends it don't make a lot of sense, because it makes him sound more like a member of Greenpeace than an FBI agent. Because the plot is so bad, the resolution feels forced, the only payoff being Mulder giving a speech about conserving wildlife and the nature of humanity and our presence on the earth. YAWN. If they had maybe spent more time on the science of the creature, instead of the politics of it, it might have made a decent episode.
  • Not as bad as I remember it, but still filler.

    They used to rerun this episode a LOT, and I detested it all the more because of it. "The Jersey Devil" is actually a wild woman running amok in New Jersey, and on her trail is Mulder, who has a strange primal attraction to her. Or something. Series creator Chris Carter wrote some of the best and worst episodes of the first season; he would get more reliable as the series progressed. This is one of the bad ones, though not as bad as I remember it; it's certainly watchable, and has a few good Mulderisms--those one-liner comebacks delivered with a smirk. But yeesh, that ending!
  • Tarzan!

    Probably the weakest episode so far in the season, but still quite a good one nonetheless. The writing and acting is better than before, and it is funny in places too. The character development is welcome too, with Mulder letting a homeless man stay in his hotel room, and Scully going out on a date.
    The whole idea of the Jersey Devil isn't that interesting though, and it's not exactly the most threatening creature the FBI duo have faced.

    Mulder: You should have seen her. She was beautiful.
    Scully: Yeah? Well she just about ripped your lungs out.
  • Mulder and Scully search for Neandrathal people.

    I liked this episode a lot, but I found it very sad at the end when the little girl is all alone. It is implied that she will either starve to death,(although I think it is a possibility that she will eat the little boy that walked by.) This episode was well written and certaintly kept me watching till the very end. However, I found it odd at the end that Scully was not interested in a relationship with the man she went on a date with; she seemed to have a good time. Oh well. Such is the mystery of x-files.
  • Better Than Space!!!!!

    This epsiode is alright, it\'s not in my top ten favorite X-Files list, but it is acceptable. I like the story concept of the episode and find it entertaining. I wasn\'t that crazy about the ending, but c\'est la vie. It has an intense beginning but quickly loses its steam and interest in the middle of the plot. This episode has a very comforting X-Files vibe and it makes it enjoyable and interesting. I think the ending could have been much more entertaining and creative, but I will just have to deal, I guess. Overall, this episode is enjoyable and should be watched.
  • Cavemen?

    The Jersey Devil- When I first saw this episode I expected to see a winged demon, or something cool like in the playsation one game, but I was wrong. Instead I got an episode where Mulder trades places with a hobo, and gets attacked by a caveman/ woman, I mean come on, Jersey Devil? Caveman? Wtf? Anyway, back to the review. It was an ok episode apart from the fact that I just stated. We have a nice flashback thingy at the start of the episode which takes us back to the 1940s, and we see more crooked cops. Again not amazing but ok
  • Jersey Devil is a fine episode that follows in the tradition of Squeeze as being a non mythology episode that shines the light on Scully this time. However while there is nothing wrong with this episode as there wasn't with Conduit, ultimately it fails t

    I'm going to ignore the "X-Files"ish element of the episode for the most part and focus on Scully, as this is as much her episode as it is about The Jersey Devil. The idea that is touched upon here is that Scully, amidst her work and her rather odd teaming with Mulder, is looking for more of a real life as well. As such she leaves Mulder in Atlantic City and goes to her god son's birthday party, where I assume the family aspect and the role of motherhood appeals to her. At this party she meets and is obviously attracted to a single father of one of the kids. She goes on a date with him, where the normality of his life seems to bore her. Later on he calls for a second date, involving children, and she declines. Why she declines is never specified really, but one can ascertain that she does so as she finds his real life, one she seemed to want before, more mundane than she expected. However as I said above, it is never clearly stated one way or the other. It's almost as if she compares this man and his life to Mulder and his, and decides to choose Mulder and The X-Files. However why she can't have both is also not clearly stated. At this point and time Scully hasn't seen anything that would lead her to decide that her own life isn't ripe for a family, so I don't fully understand her character's motivations for making the decision she makes.

    The remainder of the episode, the Jersey Devil parts, are just okay. Nothing ground breaking is explored, and aside from a few brief moments of brilliance between Mulder and Scully it just seems very basic. Several of the characters involved also have iffy motivation. Again, not the worst episode of season one by far, but it's not terribly great either.
  • Jersey Devil In the Flesh

    A slight drop in quality after the first four episodes, The Jersey Devil has a slightly tedious main storyline but features some intriguing characterization for both Mulder and Scully.

    In the episode, Mulder travels to Atlantic City when a half-eaten corpse is found in the woodland, leading him to believe a legendary beast, The Jersey Devil, is responsible. Meanwhile, Scully tries to have a social life outside The X-Files.

    The best thing about the episode is the evolution of Scully. Her determination to have a life outside of her job is excellently written and Gillian Anderson is impressive throughout. And it also says a lot about her character when she ends up realizing it\'s more interesting tracking down a wild beast-woman than going on a second date with a boring taxman.

    The Jersey Devil herself is an especially boring creature. Neither interesting or threatening, her dangerous side is never really played up at any point during the episode and Mulder\'s sudden proclamation of \"she was beautiful\" is extremely corny.

    Another thing that annoyed me was the slightly out-of-place \"conspiracy plot\" involving the Atlantic City Police Department. They\'re apparently determined to keep the Jersey Devil story quiet so as to not find their city swarming with monster theorists and would rather gamblers travel there. It\'s a subplot that is brought up and quickly put away and ends up being, basically, a complete waste of time.

    This isn\'t a completely bad episode but the Jersey Devil storyline is mostly garbage. If you ignore that and concentrate on the funny dialogue between Mulder and Scully and the subtle humor in the script, then it becomes pretty good.

    Director: Joe Napolitano
    Writer: Chris Carter
    Rating: C
  • "Jersey Devil" is all about nature, instinct, and how far we've really come in our cognitive and cultural development. Great character development is evident here as well as we see Scully making decisions rooted in her personal life that have everything

    "8 million years out of Africa--"
    "And look who's holding the door."

    --Mulder and Scully (respectively), Jersey Devil


    This episode is yet another stellar example of 1013 story-telling, and is decidedly Scully-centric. The parallels between Scully and the "beast woman" are made obvious but not blatantly so, Carter effectively using the underlying themes of the inherent nature of man (or should I say "woman") and the natural order of the universe throughout.

    Motherhood is a workable idea used in this episode, evident with the mention of Scully and children, the beast woman and children, setting up the notion that we are not so different than uncivilized man. Our primal instincts remain unchanged, despite years of biological evolution. Scully, showing an interest in a romantic relationship (perhaps following the instinctual need to procreate) and the beast woman, doing whatever she could to protect her child at all costs.

    As a side note, I really enjoyed this episode... and as it is usually with me, I couldn't help but indulge in an opinion-laden sidebar of my very own (but when do I not?) .

    Random Musings:

    The Jersey Devil is real :) . At least the myth is, anyway. Check it out here:

    Hmmm... a weekend in Atlantic City with the ever-so sumptuous, sexy, super fine Agent Mulder --OR-- a little kid's birthday party. Yeah. That's a real tuffy, Scully. Poor thing, sometimes she can be such a stick in the mud ;) .

    At the party, I couldn't help but think of Scully as a mommy--too bad Chris Carter couldn't let this happen (for good). First Emily, then William, it's been a sob-fest to the end as opposed to Scully's motherhood.
    And before any whiners out there even say it, I know there is no room for little Willy in the movie. I know this, and I accept it. But I wouldn't discount him outright. He can't stay in Smallville forever, you know ;). In fact I can totally see Mulder and Scully dying, and William saving the world from alien invasion. Not the end I would want mind you, but it's a possibility.

    Mulder's meeting with the homeless dude: I'm not sure, but due to the magic of 3x zoom and DVD fun, the bill he gives him appears to be a fifty, not a twenty. And it also looked like fake money . What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. I just thought it was cool B-) .

    And while we're talking about that whole scene, I have to mention how sexy DD looked when he was disguised as a hobo. Is that messed up that I should think that? I mean, I dunno, he just was and I know that's wrong. I guess that's about as wrong as thinking the exam scene with Crispy!Spender and Scully in "William" was undeniably erotic. Disturbing, yes, but erotic nonetheless.

    Don't worry, the nurses are way ahead of you .

    So, The X in a nutshell: Instinctual leanings don't have to be evolutionary. We are not bound by nature, rather, take its advice as one would that of an elderly mentor. Scully, at the end of the episode, could have gone with Rob as easily as she could've stayed with Mulder. I like to believe it was her instincts, rather than pragmaticism, that led Scully to follow her partner instead of pursuing a courtship. Perhaps that is the natural order (at least in the world of The X-Files), after all.


    "Maybe we're just beasts with big brains."
    --Mulder, Jersey Devil
  • The one with the naked female cannibal

    A murder has happened in New Jersey and Mulder is very interested in it. He thinks it's some sort of a Jersey devil and remembers a case in 1947 where something like it had happened. Mulder goes undercover and he meets the jersey women and kinda falls inlove but when they go after her one idiotic agent shoots her off. A while before they found a male body so they think that the female was looking out for her offspring. At the end we see a kid with his father in the woods and the little cannibal girl is watching them.

    The episode has a very interesting story and it made me jump two times. I also loved the flashback as the teaser.

    The weak things about the episode were some weakly written scenes and some slow and uninteresting scenes. The episode was pretty good itself but with that story it could have been better.
  • Dumb, if you think about it--

    This episode really streched credibility--I mean really!! Do you think for a monent that tourists will stop coming to Alantic City to gamble because of a creature that lives--in the woods? If the creature really did exist, it would be "Drive me up to the front of the Casino, okay?" Dumb. I'm glad someone else caught the eyelid closing mistake. And while I'm at it, how did they get Four people in the front of a pickup??(Make me want to buy the DVD to see--Un-No) This episode smelled like "Jaws" all over (Tourists=money, close the beach/casino). They can do much better, and have.
  • The devil is in the details

    Not an inherently interesting episode but still a very interesting episode nonetheless. As monsters go, this one seems barely threatening, and looks like a model scruffed up for a designer shoot. Although she has gnawed several homeless people, we certainly get no sense of her representing much danger (and let’s gloss over Mulder’s corny reaction to her, “She was beautiful”).

    Having said all that, “The Jersey Devil” is also great fun. Carter really has got the measure of the Mulder and Scully characters and the episode is just full of delightful banter. Starting from when Scully catches him looking at one of his porno mags (“anti-gravity is right”), to her riposte to his teasing that she has no life (“Keep it up Mulder and I’ll hurt you like that beast woman”), the two spar together with an ease and candour rarely seen among TV pairings. It’s really charming, and shows the actors are really at ease with their roles. Likewise they seem more into the banter, Mulder’s determination to solve the case not quite having the same level of intensity as he did in “Deep Throat”, for example.

    Odd too to hear Scully utter the immortal line “I have a date”! Much is made of this in this early episode of how Scully turns her back on some semblance of a social life to devote herself to her work. That kind of commitment requires a real dedication and seriousness, qualities that Scully singularly doesn’t demonstrate much in this episode. It’s quite a surprise when she rejects dating to side with Mulder, having firmly established earlier with her friend that she doesn’t fancy her partner. But it’s a logical choice (the date is wearisomely dull, and doesn’t Scully know it) whereas hunting down a naked woman in the wilds of Atlantic City obviously holds a much deeper attraction.

    Carter’s love of conspiracies enters into the plot with the ACPD going out of their way to keep the Jersey Devil out of the news so as not to frighten the tourists. It’s an unnecessary addition to a straightforward plot, when Carter’s strength here is the fleshing out of the 2 lead characters. Having Mulder openly enjoy pornography and profess to having a life when he quite clearly doesn’t are lovely touches, while Scully displays a sprightly sense of humour that we haven’t really witnessed up until this point. It all helps make for a highly enjoyable episode, despite its flaws.
  • Mulder and Scully travel to New Jersey where the mythical "Jersey Devil" is said to have claimed a new victim.

    This isn't your classic Bigfoot. "Jersey Devil" is clever specifically through interactions of time. In this episode the past, present and future are connected to one another and interact all as part of the "Jersey Devil" story. In developing this idea director Joe Napolitano combines the typical short takes seen in a television series with one specifically long take in which Mulder encounters a homeless man with in formation about the possible primitive human.

    The episode's weakest point lies in Mulder's claims of a larger conspiracy involving the Atlantic City Police Department and the gambling community. Mulder has a point when he claims a cover-up of any evidence indicating a primitive creature would be brushed aside, but this aspect of the episode becomes too underdeveloped and it undercuts Detective Thompson's final point of why the creature needed to be killed: "For the same reason you put down a rabid animal."

    Mulder and Scully continue to develop. Mulder's fascination with pornography is one of the first noticable traits in the beginning of the episode and Scully is tied, as an alumnist, to the University of Maryland through the professor's implication. Another avenue explored is Scully's desire to establish herself outside of her work, opposite to Mulder, and Mulder, despite his clear self-centeredness, provides a homeless man not only with money, but a hotel room.

    By the end the future of the child "Jersey Devil" is uncertain, as is the fate of the series at this point.
  • this is one of the classic episodes

    ok, i liked this cuze it was a throwback to humnaitity. what mulder thought to be a beast turns out to be a woman. she almost ripes put mulder's lung when they first meet. which i found it funny after mulder says dreamingly, "she was beautyful" to scully. i dont think she shared that though lol! after they chase her through the woods of new jersey, she is killed. at the end of the episode, they find human bones in her digestive system! eww, u might think but there was a reason behind it- not that it makes it right. the reason was because she wanted to protect her child!