The X-Files: Season 8, Episode 21

Existence (20 May 2001)
"The X Files" Existence (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 934 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Agents Mulder, Doggett and Skinner investigate (along with Alex Krycek) the Super Soldier conspiracy, while Scully goes into hiding to have her child.

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Title: Existence (20 May 2001)

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Agents Mulder, Doggett and Skinner investigate (along with Alex Krycek) the Super Soldier conspiracy, while Scully goes into hiding to have her child.

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childbirth | See All (1) »


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20 May 2001 (USA)  »

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Goofs

When Knowle Rohrer is first introduced by Agent Crane as a visitor to see Agent Doggett, he's seen wearing a standard FBI pass (white background). However, when Doggett is talking to Knowle Rohrer minutes afterwards, he is wearing a visitor FBI pass (red background). See more »

Quotes

Mulder: We call it the miracle of life. Conception - a union of perfect opposites - essence transforming into existence - an act without which mankind would not exist and humanity cease to exist. Or is this just nostalgia now? An act of biology commandeered by modern science and technology? God-like, we extract, implant, inseminate... and we clone. But has our ingenuity rendered the miracle into a simple trick? In the artifice of replicating life can we become the creator? Then what of the soul? Can it...
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Scully's Theme
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by Mark Snow & Nicci Sill
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User Reviews

Season 8 Review
9 April 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

I really would have been pleased if Season 7's "Requiem" was the series finale for The X-Files, but only because season 8 was surplus and led to the disappointing season 9. Season 8, however, despite lacking Mulder for a significant number of episodes and containing some lesser episodes, is really one of my favorite seasons of The X-Files, with a lot to recommend.

First off, the 'old' mytharc effectively finished with "Requiem". Say hello to the new mytharc. Fans, including me, have been guilty of generalizing when speaking of the later mythology episodes, because as evidenced by ratings from this site and others and many reviews that have been written on them, all but the last two mythology episodes from season 8 are very, very well-liked. The last two have more critics because they were the real beginning for the deservedly hated 'super soldiers' storyline. It's refreshing to see such a significant focus on the mythology arc again (nine of the 21 episodes are mythology episodes), and within the context of the season, these mythology episodes are really quite excellent, some of them being absolute favorites for me, such as "This is Not Happening", "Deadalive", and especially what I consider a real classic and something of a MOTW meets mythology type episode, "Vienen", which features Mulder and Doggett's only investigative partnership, which is really too bad, considering their effortless chemistry.

With the excellent mythology episodes lifting the average score for the season, the standalones do suffer a bit, although it's nice to make a clean break from the sunny, humorous season 6 and 7 episodes and return to the gloomy feel of earlier seasons (kudos to the directors and cinematographer Bill Roe for making this aesthetic work). Most of them are good, some truly outstanding ("Roadrunners", "Alone", and especially "Redrum", which is one of the best standalone episodes for the entire series), and some significantly weaker ("Badlaa", "Surekill").

I didn't mind Mulder being gone for the first part of the season as much as I did when initially watching the season on TV as part of its original transmission. I find that every time I see Season 8 on DVD it improves. Watching the episodes closer together, one gets a sense of how much the creative team was aware of the need to revitalize the series and not play it safe ala Season 7.

Season 8 is a season that continues to grow in my estimation and currently stands as my third favorite season, not a commonly shared sentiment, but one that I think will continue to grow in popularity as more casual X-Philes continue buying the DVD sets and watching this season this way. I think Robert Patrick made for a truly great addition to the cast and John Doggett an excellent character. Season 8 is a thrilling, dark, action-packed season of television which seems just a little unsure in places but quickly makes up for it. The excellence of this season makes Season 9's relative mediocrity seem even more disappointing in retrospect.

Season average based on ratings for all episodes: 7.95/10


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