The X-Files

Season 8 Episode 7

Via Negativa

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 17, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
205 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Working without Scully's input, Doggett and Skinner try to avert the mysterious murder spree of a drug-induced, religious cult leader and it becomes clear that the man can enter the dreams of the people he knows and can kill them in their sleep.

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  • Via Negativa

    Via Negativa was a superb episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because Doggett was exposed to more of the unknown and I liked seeing him work with Skinner. There was some good character and plot development. The story was interesting and original. I liked how every thing played out. I look forward to watching what happens in the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Authentic Lynchian mood.

    David Lynch fans rejoice, the final 10 minutes of Via Negativa capture the dark surreal feel of the best of Lynch's work. Who would have thought season 8's mediocrity could birth this kind of greatness? This episode definitely makes me feel the potential of Doggett as a regular character. His main flaw, his blue collar intellect, finally adds to the tone and mood of an episode rather than detracting from it.

    The director Tony Wharmby and the writer Frank Spotnitz are very wise to keep the ending of the episode open, showing us through action the plot rather than over-explaining, as is the tendency of the final seasons of the X-Files.

    A great little piece of surreal horror!moreless
  • A very interesting Doggett episode, forcing him to further accept the contents of the X-Files.

    I didn't think I'd like this episode for some reason, probably because of the macabre intro but it was surprisingly engrossing. I'm getting to like Doggett more and more.

    Poor Doggett, I'll bet when he got assigned to the X-Files, the worst thing he envisioned was career suicide and not having a psycho dream walking into his dreams and trying to kill him.

    A rather surreal episode but a very good one, Doggett really is opening up to extreme possibilities, even if it's not by choice. Makes me respect him that he's got the guts to admit what happened to Scully, even – or maybe especially – because she doesn't believe him.moreless
  • I dont want to go to sleep again >.>

    This episode begins when Agent John Doggett is called by Agent Dana Skully about a mysterious case about twenty dead cult members and two dead agents. Doggett must deal with the case on his own when Skully tells him that she can not investigate the case with him this time.

    One more murder happens to a homeless man by the same man, and this gives Doggett bigger clues as to where he was, seeing as he made a phone call to one man by the pay phone by the homeless man. The case soon gets very personal with Doggett once he starts getting strange dreams. Dreams involving the case. At the end, Doggett has a dream about waking Skully, but is awoken before it happened.

    This episode was just...weird. Very good installment. Just weird.moreless
  • A cult leader uses drugs to invade the dreams of his victims, including possibly Doggett.

    A nice, creepy episode that showcases Doggett. I still have trouble with his lack of growth for several more episodes considering the paranormal things he sees, but Patrick handles the dilemma well here. Aided by some good visual effects work, this one lifts itself above its faults. Not phenomenal, but quite good.
Keith Szarabajka

Keith Szarabajka

Anthony Tipet

Guest Star

Grant Heslov

Grant Heslov

Dr. Andre Bormanis

Guest Star

Wayne Alexander

Wayne Alexander

Senior Agent

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

James Pickens Jr.

James Pickens Jr.

Deputy Director Kersh

Recurring Role

Tom Braidwood

Tom Braidwood


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Andre Bormanis in real life was the Science Consultant for Star Trek: The Next Generation and most of the following ones, and also wrote some of the later episodes in the cannon.

      He has an entry in!

    • The scene following the lockup of Dr. Andre Bormanis, with John Doggett (Robert Patrick) in the hallway behind the gate, is eerily similar to the scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I half expected him to walk through the chain-link gate!

    • Skinner refers to the car that one of the victims was in as having been "locked from the inside." I suppose I'm not familiar with every model of car ever made, but I am fairly certain that there is no way to tell whether a car was locked from the inside or if the door was locked while it was open and then shut by someone on the outside.

    • When Doggett and Skinner show their badges to Dr. Bormanis, Skinner's badge is upside-down.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Doggett: You just saved my life Agent Scully.
      Scully: I just woke you up Agent Doggett.

    • (answering machine)
      Scully: This is Dana Scully. Please leave a message.
      Doggett: Agent Scully, I think we caught the guy who did it. But still it... it just doesn't add up. It's the damnedest thing I ever saw. I know that this sounds strange, but there's a, there's a... part of me says what if... what if this guy was right? What if I shouldn't have let him die? I'm not making a whole lot of sense. Maybe I just need some sleep. If you get this message... and feel up to it... you give me a call.

    • Homeless Man: Spare change?
      Tipet: I don't have any.
      Homeless Man: Now, come on, man. I know you got something 'cause I hear it jingling in your pocket.
      Tipet: (grabs homeless man) You don't want to know me.
      (Tipet then lets the man go. He scurries away. Tipet then goes to a payphone and puts the coins he had in his pocket in. The phone rings in a bearded man's lab. After a few rings the answering machine kicks in.)
      Tipet: Pick up the phone, Bormanis. (The bearded guy sits there in fright, as Tipet grows even angrier.) I said pick up the phone, damn you! Pick up the damn phone!... You. You just did this to yourself. God help you, Andre because there's nothing left you can do.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This is the first X-Files episode where we learn that Langly's first name is 'Richard'. In the season 5 episode "Unusual Suspects" there was a scene where Langly is called 'Ringo' but it was cut from the finished version.


    • Episode Title: Via Negativa
      The Via Negativa was first designed as a way of talking about God. As language limits a supposedly infinite God, it was concluded that the only way to talk about God was by saying what God is not, eg: God is not a cucumber. The title of the episode is refering to this.