When a neglected billboard becomes weathered and forgotten, Part one of a two-parter, "Tunguska" leaps right off the television screen. It's a rip-roaring episode with the fast pace and wide-eyed wonder of earlier season classics. I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of the hour. Mulder forced to cooperate with the man he hates most on earth, and Skinner caught between two loyalties--what's not to like? The first half of this two-part story rocked, with the nearly complete family reunion including Agent Pendrell, the Well-Manicured Man, and the Cigarette-Smoking Man.
The Oilien from "Piper Maru", one of the most innovative forms of alien life conceived so far on the X- Files, turns up again in a mysterious rock being smuggled into the USA in a diplomatic pouch. At the same time, Mulder and Scully orchestrate a raid on a bomb-making operation reminiscent of the Oklahoma City bomb plot, spurred on by information being leaked to Mulder from someone inside the plot. That insider turns out to be the hated Alex Krycek, supposedly rescued from his imprisonment in the missile silo by the conspirators he is betraying. He tells them of the diplomatic pouch, and winds up chained to Skinner's balcony for his pains. He is forced to kill the pouch carrier, who comes looking for him, even as the researchers cutting up the rock at NASA/Goddard unleash the deadly alien. Mulder consults Deep Blonde for a bit of help from the UN, and takes Krycek with him to Siberia looking for the origin of the rock. They are surprised and imprisoned, and Mulder is exposed to the alien being living in the rocks mined from a giant impact crater in the Tunguska wilderness. And this is only part one!