Season Five stumbles on with this throwaway story that attempts to provide more of the history of Mulder's father. Mulder phones in a brief performance while Scully is completely MIA.
It's a cut above other mediocre episodes in the series because it IS well done. The costumes and set design really do evoke the 1950s very well. The paranoia of McCarthy-era America is an appropriate and logical backdrop to the storyline. We also get to see just how the X-Files got their start with a somewhat hokey bit about filing problems.
What sinks this episode is that it's never explained what the heck is going on with the spider thingy implants or what the government hoped to accomplish with the experiments. It all seems so arbitrary and pointless.