As a hurricane bears down on the Florida coast, the agents search for a sea monster that Arthur Dales believes is responsible for the disappearance of a couple and their son.



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Episode complete credited cast:
George Vincent
Deputy Greer
Nichole Pelerine ...
Sara Shipley
Evan Shipley
Roadblock Officer


At Arthur Dales' request, the agents go to Florida during a hurricane to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Dales' neighbors, two marine biologists and their son. During the storm, Mulder and Scully get stranded in an apartment building where a sea monster is on the loose. Written by Muldernscully

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TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 February 1999 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Arthur Dales drinks an imported blended Scotch whiskey labeled "Old & Rare". See more »


About 30 minutes in, when Mulder is outside of Mr. Vincent's apartment listening to the gun fire within, it is extremely evident that Mulder's gun is missing its magazine. See more »


Mulder: I don't know if I need a gun or a harpoon.
See more »


References The Great Escape (1963) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

Bad water.
2 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I really wanted to like this episode. Right from the gripping teaser it had so much momentum, and even brought back Darren McGavin who had a fine if arbitrary stint in season five. The waterlogged scenery, creating a believable hurricane-stricken coastal town, lent itself perfectly for a spooky X-File. Yet somehow "Agua Mala" falls short of delivering any real substance and its unfortunate placement at a pivotal about-face for the series mythology only adds injury to insult. So many integral questions following the attempted murder of Jeffrey Spender, the demise of the Syndicate, and an impending alien colonization of Earth go completely ignored in this one-off (and would for a large stretch of episodes, indicating the weakness of the isolated MOTW story lines at this point in the series). In the context of the larger spectrum this episode is already at a significant disadvantage.

Unfortunately there are problems within the episode itself. Take for instance the monster: a washed-up sea anemone subsisting on salt water. While the special effects are commendable, the notion that this creature could have survived a season of hurricanes (it is asserted that the organism cannot be sustained in fresh water) is absurd. At various points the script sets us up for edge-of-seat action, only to abandon the tension in the following act. We do not know how Mulder escapes the tentacled mass nor how he escapes his predicament by the final act at all. There is a bizarre scene with a cat that seems entirely random and you'd be forgiven for calling to mind "Teso dos Bichos" (AKA the worst episode of The X-Files), as its importance is never explained.

Alas, every hurricane cloud has its less-murky linings. "Agua Mala" earns props for competent directing, stunning scenery and a building tension that made earlier ventures like "Ice" so fun to watch. In spite of lack of payoff, annoying stock characters and impotent stabs at humor, this is one of those guilty pleasure type of episodes that generally goes unmentioned among hardcore fans. Though it is certainly not an essential viewing, it has enough charm to make it passable. I will be lenient and give it a 6 out of 10. No more tap water for me.

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