The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 20

Darkness Falls (15 Apr. 1994)
"The X Files" Darkness Falls (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 2,231 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

A group of loggers working in a remote forest unearths thousands of deadly insectlike creatures that paralyze and cocoon their victims.



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Title: Darkness Falls (15 Apr 1994)

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Episode cast overview:
Larry Moore
Steve Humphreys
Doug Spinney
David Hay ...
Clean-Suited Man
Barry Greene ...
Bob Perkins


Mulder and Scully head off to the Pacific Northwest when there are reports that 30 loggers seem to have simply disappeared. Mulder is aware of a similar case for the 1930s and along with a Forest Ranger and a representative of the logging company, the agents head off into the woods. They know that environmental activists are active in the area and when they come across one of them, he says that a swarm of bugs that only comes out at night is responsible for the deaths. A body they find wrapped in a bug cocoon seems to bear out his claim. With no way to communicate with the outside world and with the gas for the generator running low, they have to find a way to survive. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During this episode, Gillian Anderson was often sick due to her pregnancy. See more »


A close-up of the mysterious bugs is obviously archive footage of aphids. See more »


Mulder: Take a good look, Scully.
Scully: What am I looking at?
Mulder: Thirty loggers working a clear-cutting contract in Washington State. Rugged, manly men in the full bloom of their manhood.
Scully: Right, but what am I looking for?
Mulder: Anything strange, unexplainable, unlikely... a boyfriend?
See more »


Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Mulder and Scully need to keep things light if they don't want to bug out.
18 February 2014 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

Written by Chris Carter, and directed by Joe Napolitano, "Darkness Falls" is an episode from season one that I really like. Oh, it's nothing new, neither in terms of the killer bug idea or the notion of staying safe in the light, but it's a fun episode with an enjoyably downbeat ending.

When a bunch of loggers go missing, about thirty in total, Mulder decides to head to the forest area they were working in. He wants to investigate the matter fully, before assuming that it was the work of eco-terrorists, and he convinces Scully to join him. Once they get there, with two men who will help them navigate the area (one a forest ranger and one a representative of the logging company), they soon discover that the men who have disappeared may have been affected by more than just eco-terrorists. In fact, one such eco-terrorist (Titus Welliver)is still around to try and convince them of the truth.

Really standard stuff in a lot of ways, I just like this episode because, well, I just do. Sometimes it IS that simple when it comes down to my taste in viewing choices. Nothing I can quite put my finger on, but enough all on screen to make me happy.

The banter here isn't the smartest or wittiest, but the very slight twists and turns, while never surprising in the slightest, keep the episode ticking along nicely, as characters take turns at being suspicious of, and/or irritated by, one another. Mulder is as naively optimistic as usual, while Scully loses her cool in one moment that runs counter to almost every other display of her behaviour on the show.

Perhaps I like this episode more than most people because of how I didn't really love the preceding episodes, or perhaps it just felt like things were picking up as season one headed toward its final few episodes. Whatever the case, this remains a bit of a favourite of mine from the first season.

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