The X-Files

Season 6 Episode 19

The Unnatural

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 25, 1999 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

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  • David Duchovney writes and directs this odd episode about aliens in 1947 and baseball.

    The name of the episode certainly matches the tone of the episode.. this is certainly an odd, unnatural episode of "The X-Files" that Duchovney makes work through his script. The story itself is corny, and with the pen hand of somebody else, it could've failed. But Duchovney has been with the show for long enough by this time to be able to figure out what works and doesn't.

    Most of the episode takes place in 1947, shortly before the alien conspiracy in Roswell. Arthur Dales, the man from the "Agua Mala" episode earlier, returns, although it's not the same Arthur Dales.. it's his brother, also named Arthur Dales. It turns out that this Arthur had an experience with an alien in the past that Mulder wants to look into. Apparently, an African American baseball player named Josh Exley who is rivaling Babe Ruth's home run record, even if it's in minor league play. Dales is hired to defend Exley after his life is threatened. The longer Dales looks after him, the more he realizes that Exley is not normal. In a very strange scene that is incredibly open about the appearance of aliens, Dales sees Exley in his true alien form and freaks out and soon comes to accept him.

    We also get a return visit of that shape shifting alien bounty hunter from all the way back in Season 1 or 2.. he keeps reappearing, and I don't really get why he keeps showing up so randomly, but I'll go along with it. The thing I had a problem with in this episode is the fact that we never truly learn whether or not Exley is an alien. Dales, in the future, tells Mulder about some bull involving "metaphorical aliens or men" and it just completely ruins the validity of the story. If this is something that really happened, then I feel like the show ruined its little conspiracy myth-arc by actually showing the aliens so much. In the episode "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," the alien appearances were so insane that it didn't feel real. Every other time we've seen aliens on the show, it's been fuzzy views of them, never as clear as it was in this episode. It really makes me wonder whether or not it actually happened, and we probably won't really know.

    But the episode comes to a satisfying close, with Mulder playing baseball with Scully and giving us the most intimate moment in the show since they nearly kissed in the movie. A good episode, definitely impressive considering Duchovney was responsible for it.
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