The X-Files mini-series revival is currently in full-swing, twenty years after select episodes from the first season were released on VHS. Around that time in central Wisconsin, FOX was not considered part of the basic TV package alongside ABC, NBC, and CBS. Thus, I was unable to follow the show as it moved along. I relied on these videotapes to both fuel my fandom and convince my mother that getting cable was worth it.
I was able to locate five of the six original tapes, if I recall correctly - "Pilot/Deep Throat," "Fallen Angel/Eve," "Conduit/Ice," "Squeeze/Tooms," and "Darkness Falls/The Erlenmeyer Flask." While it was paired with the season finale, I have a sneaking suspicion that "Darkness Falls" might have been the first episode I ever viewed, given my particular fondness for it to this day.
My family finally got cable in the summer of 1998 due solely to the X-Files, just in time for the release of its movie. FX started broadcasting the series from its beginning son after, so we taped every episode onto VHS for rewatchability. When I moved to Minneapolis in 2004, I brought with me a giant purple tub of these tapes with the assumption that I would continue to watch them. For a long time I did not, and when I finally returned, the tapes were a faded-out mess.
The favorite episode both for myself and my mother was "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," and while I'm not sure it remains there for me, it certainly has my favorite moment in any hour-long fiction broadcast. During the wonderful final montage, the writing of Jose Chung turns its focus to David Duchovny's Fox Mulder, stating, "his quest into the unknown has so warped his psyche, one shudders to think how he receives any pleasure in life."
And then the camera cuts to what's on TV.
Anyway, my favorite episodes:
Season 1, Episode 3 - "Squeeze"
Season 1, Episode 20 - "Darkness Falls"
Season 2, Episode 1 - "Little Green Men"
Season 3, Episode 2 - "Paper Clip"
Season 3, Episode 4 - "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
Season 3, Episode 12 - "War of the Coprophages"
Season 3, Episode 20 - "Jose Chung's From Outer Space"
Season 5, Episode 4 - "Detour"
Season 5, Episode 12 - "Bad Blood"
Season 7, Episode 22 - "Requiem"