'I'm afraid to believe.'

Title: Beyond The Sea
Season: One (1994)
Duration: 44m
Written by: Glen Morgan and James Wong
Directed by: David Nutter
Rating: ****

One of the most tedious sub-plots in the X-Files canon were the 'sceptical Scully has a crisis of faith' episodes. These particular stories would involve Scully questioning her beliefs, usually religious beliefs, and would not only have open-ended climaxes but would contrivedly require the usually open-minded Mulder to be narrow minded for the purposes of dramatic conflict. Yet while later episodes in this vein could nearly all be categorised as 'ones you can skip', the first time they tried it it was one of the best episodes they ever did.

Largely it's down to guest star Brad Dourif well earning his extra fee as a killer who claims to channel the spirit of Scully's recently-deceased father. Dourif gives the role everything, and if early Duchovny is even more vocally monotone than usual here, Gillian Anderson ups the ante to compete with Dourif in an emotionally charged instalment. I have to confess to personally finding it all a little artificial in places, and more than a touch 'Silence of the Lambs' (the influential film which was released three years earlier) but there's no denying this was a strong and memorable instalment.

Select A Track
1 Rocks Off: Never Again

2 Rip This Joint: Redrum

3 Shake Your Hips:
The Post-Modern Prometheus

4 Casino Boogie:
The Goldberg Variation

5 Tumbling Dice: Improbable

6 Sweet Virginia: Small Potatoes

7 Torn and Frayed: Home

8 Sweet Black Angel: One Breath

9 Loving Cup: E.B.E.

10 Happy:
Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man

11 Turd On The Run: Tooms

12 Ventilator Blues: Anasazi

13 I Just Want To See His Face:
Clyde Bruckman's Finale Repose

14 Let It Loose: Humbug

15 All Down The Line: X-Cops

16 Stop Breaking Down:
Jose Chung's From Outer Space

17 Shine A Light: The Pilot

18 Soul Survivor: Beyond The Sea

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