'Mulder, have you noticed that we're on television?'

Title: X-Cops
Season: Seven (2000)
Duration: 45m
Written by: Vince Gilligan
Directed by: Michael Watkins
Rating: ****

Considering that by its seventh season The X-Files was nearing the end and David Duchovny was looking to move on, then there's a surprising amount of innovation and clever episodes that make up its run. Duchovny and Gillian Anderson get to be writer-directors for an episode each, while Duchovny gets to co-write another with Chris Carter and even William B. Davis, the Cigarette-Smoking Man, writes an instalment for the show.

Perhaps none are as innovative as this one, however – an X-Files episode filmed as if it's a real-life documentary, complete with hand-held video cameras, no incidental music and segments filmed in ‘real time'. Sure, it's a gimmick, as Mulder and Scully follow a fear monster stalking down a line of victims, but it's a good gimmick. Innovation shouldn't always be rewarded for its own sake, but X-Cops more than delivers on its promise. It can perhaps be argued that the final product is a little hollow, and has nothing to say about the real nature of television, but that's not its prime motive. X-Cops is an entertainment episode, and any self-referential barbs are there are bonuses, not the main intent.

On the subject of entertainment then as we've seen throughout these featured episodes The X-Files wasn't a series exactly noted for its love of political correctness. The show-stealing turn in X-Cops are Edy and Steve, two stereotyped homosexual lovers, hilariously played by Curtis Jackson and C.W. Smith.

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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