The X-Files

Season 6 Episode 19

The Unnatural

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



  • Trivia

    • The baseball scenes in the episode were filmed at Jay Littleton Ballpark in Ontario, California.

    • The name of the Black baseball team at the beginning of the episode is the "Grays", an obvious reference to the alien nickname.

      Also X's name is Josh, which references Josh Gibson who is the all time Negro-League Homerun King. Gibson played for the Homestead Grays.

    • The "Cozy Cactus" sign should have been reversed in the bus window, since it was a reflection.

    • It seemed strange that Mulder was surprised not to find the Arthur Dales he knew at his apartment when in 'Agua Mala' we (and Mulder) learned that he had moved to Florida.

  • Quotes

    • Scully: Mulder, can I ask you a personal question?
      Mulder: Of course not.
      Scully: Did your mother ever tell you to go outside and play?

    • (Scully opens a paper bag and pulls out an ice cream cone)
      Mulder: Did you bring enough ice cream to share with the rest of the class?
      Scully: It's not ice cream. It's a non-fat toffuti rice dreamsicle.
      Mulder: (Groans) I bet the air in my mouth tastes better than that. You sure know how to live it up, Scully.

    • Dales: Do you believe that that passion can change your very nature? Can make you shape-shift from a man into something other than a man?
      Mulder: (Leans in and asks quietly) What exactly did your brother tell you about me?

    • Dales: Of course you don't care about the baseball, Mr. Mulder. You only bothered my brother about the important things... like government conspiracies and alien bounty hunters and the truth, with a capital "T."
      Mulder: Wait a minute, I like baseball.
      Dales: You like baseball, huh? How many home runs did Mickey Mantle hit?
      Mulder: (Thinks) A hundred and sixty three.
      (Dales scoffs and moves to close the door, but Mulder pushes it open again)
      Mulder: Righty. 373 lefty, 536 total.

    • (Dales and Mulder meet for the first time)
      Dales: What in hell took you so long?
      Mulder: I'm sorry sir, I'm looking for Arthur Dales.
      Dales: I'm Arthur Dales.
      Mulder: No, you're not.
      Dales: Don't be a wiseass, son.
      Mulder: No, I'm-I'm sorry sir. I know Arthur Dales, and you're not Arthur Dales.
      Dales: Arthur Dales is my brother. My name also happens to be Arthur Dales. It's the same name, different guy. The other Arthur, he moved to Florida, the lucky bastard. Our parents weren't exactly big in the imagination department when it came to names. If it'll help you wrapping your little head around this stupefying mystery, Agent Mulder.. We have a sister named Arthur too. And a goldfish.
      Mulder: How do you know my name?
      Dales: My brother told me all about you. He said you were the biggest jackass in the bureau since he retired. Yeah we're big fans. Sometimes we'd stay awake for hours at night, just talking about you. Just fascinating. Now unless you're hiding some chinese food, let's call it a day. (Slams door shut in Mulder's face)

    • [A ball comes to them and they hit it. It goes way foul.]
      Mulder: Ooh! That's good. All right, what you may find is you concentrate on hitting that little ball... The rest of the world just fades away-- all your everyday, nagging concerns.
      [Scully giggles. They hit the ball again.]
      Mulder: The ticking of your biological clock.
      [Another hit.]
      Mulder: How you probably couldn't afford that nice, new suede coat on a G-Woman's salary.
      [Another hit.]
      Mulder: How you threw away a promising career in medicine … to hunt aliens with a crackpot, albeit brilliant, partner... Getting into the heart of a global conspiracy. Your obscenely overdue triple-X bill. Oh, I... I'm sorry, Scully. Those last two problems are mine, not yours.
      [Another hit.]
      Scully: Shut up, Mulder. I'm playing baseball.

    • Mulder: Mr. Dales, if you and your brother have really known about this bounty hunter and plans for colonization for the last 50 years, why the hell wouldn't you have told anybody?
      Dales: Nobody'd believe me.
      Mulder: I would have believed you.
      Dales: You weren't... ripe.
      Mulder: (Incredulously) Not ripe? LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING: I have been ripe for years. I am way past ripe! I'm so ripe I'm rotten!

    • Mulder: It's not a bad piece of ash Scully... the bat, I'm talking about the bat

    • Scully: Mulder, this is a needle in a haystack. These poor souls have been dead for 50 years. Let them rest in peace. Let sleeping dogs lie.
      Mulder: Well I won't sit idly by while you hurl cliches at me, preparation is the father of inspiration.
      Scully: Necessity is the mother of invention.
      Mulder: The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
      Scully: Eat, sleep and be merry for tomorrow we die.
      Mulder: I scream, you scream, we all scream for nonfat tofutti rice dreamsicle.

    • Mulder: Okay, so was Ex a man who was metaphorically an alien or an alien who was metaphorically a man or a something in between that was literally an alien-human hybrid?
      (Arthur Dales frowns, then hands Mulder a pint of liquor.)
      Mulder: It's official. I am a horse's ass.

    • Dales: You're just dying to connect the dots aren't you, son? Look, I give you some wood and I ask you for a cabinet. You build me a cathedral. I don't want a cathedral. I like where I live. I just want a place to put my TV. Understand my drift?

    • Mulder: I'm reading the box scores, Scully. You'd like it. It's like the Pythagorean Theorem for jocks. It distills all the chaos and action of any game in the history of all baseball games into one tiny, perfect, rectangular sequence of numbers. I can look at this box and I can recreate exactly what happened on some sunny summer day back in 1947. It's like the numbers talk to me, they comfort me. They tell me that even though lots of things can change some things do remain the same. It's . . .
      Scully: Boring.

    • Scully: Mulder, it is such a gorgeous day outside. Have you ever entertained the idea of trying to find life on this planet?
      Mulder: I have seen the life on this planet, Scully, and that is exactly why I am looking elsewhere.

  • Notes

    • "Ex" is played by Jesse L. Martin, the original Broadway cast member of RENT in the role of Collins. Perhaps knowing this is what prompted David Duchovny to allow Martin a small scene where he sings with that "beautiful voice" of his.

    • Although budget problems initially prevented Vin Scully from being hired as the baseball announcer, the famed sportscaster - who is the original inspiration for the name of Gillian Anderson's character - agreed to meet an X-Files sound crew in his Dodger Stadium broadcast booth and record the part for free.

    • David Duchovny's older brother, Daniel Duchovny, plays the role of bench jockey Piney.

    • This episode marks David Duchovny's writing and directorial debut.

    • The Coach's jersey identifies his name as "Shiban", for producer John Shiban.

    • Although the above is correct, Mr McGavin did reprise his role in this episode, at least for 2 scenes. The Season 6 DVD features 2 alternate takes for scenes shot in the episode with Darren McGavin. Scene one is the scene in the kitchen where Mulder asks if the great glories of the past were aliens and the 2nd scene was one of the last in the episode, when Mulder says goodbye to Arthur Dales. Such a shame that he was unable to complete the episode. Great actor, great performance.

    • Due to Darren McGavin's unfortunate illness he could not reprise his role as Arthur Dales, so the script was re-written with the key storyteller being his brother Arthur!

    • Significant of an episode about baseball, the tagline for this episode changes to 'In The Big Inning'.

  • Allusions

    • Scully: So, I get this message on my answering machine marked "urgent", from one Fox Mantle.....

      This is an allusion to Mickey Mantle. Mantle played for the New York Yankees for 18 years and has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    • Arthur Dales: Speaking metaphorically is for young men like you, Agent MacGyver.

      This is a reference to the 80's TV series MacGyver starring Richard Dean Anderson as the extremely resourceful secret agent Angus MacGyver.

    • Mulder: ET steal home, ET steal home.
      Said to Dales regarding the possible alien baseball player. An obvious allusion to the Steven Spielberg film ET: the Extra Terrestrial,made in 1982, in which one of the most famous film phrases 'ET phone home' was used. 'Steal home' is a baseball term, hence the pun.

    • The Title: The Unnatural
      The title of this episode makes reference to the title of a novel by 20th-century American writer Bernard Malamud: The Natural which is also baseball. The book was made into a film starring Robert Redford and Glen Close.

    • Name: Josh Exley
      The baseball loving alien Josh Exley was modeled on Josh Gibson (whose jersey Mulder was wearing at the end of the episode) who played for the real-life Homestead Grays. Gibson was one of the greatest batters ever, and if he had been allowed to play in the major leagues he would probably hold the home run record.

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