The future of the X-Files project is jeopardized after Mulder secretly infiltrates the government cover-up of a UFO crash.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Frederick Coffin ...
Chief Joseph McGrath
Colonel Calvin Henderson
Scott Bellis ...
Corporal Taylor
Deputy Sheriff Jason Wright
Sheila Paterson ...
Gina Watkins
Lt. Fraser
Freda Perry ...
Mrs. Wright
Lt. Griffin
Dr. Oppenheim (as William McDonald)
Jane MacDougall ...
Laura Dalton
Kimberly Unger ...
Karen Koretz


With inside information courtesy of Deep Throat, Mulder heads off to Wisconsin where the Defense Department is in the process of reclaiming a downed UFO. He sets off on his own and finds the crash site only to be knocked out by a soldier. In the brig, he meets Max Fenig, a UFO enthusiast who was also arrested for being too close to the clean up site. Mulder, who has been working on his own, is rescued by Scully but he is clearly in big trouble and faces a professional conduct hearing. When Fenig is found dead, it is clear that there are forces within the government who will go to any length to keep the existence of alien life forms a secret. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

19 November 1993 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The character of Max Fenig would return to the series in Season 4 in the episodes The X-Files: Tempus Fugit (1997) and The X-Files: Max (1997). See more »


Mountains can be seen in the background of the motel, which is supposed to be in Townsend, Wisconsin. There are no mountains in Wisconsin (and there are no large hills in Oconto County Wisconsin, where Townsend is located), but there are many in British Columbia where the series was filmed up until its sixth season. See more »


[about Mulder using a nickname]
Fox Mulder: l didn't think anybody was paying attention.
Max Fenig: Somebody is always paying attention, Mr. Mulder.
See more »


References The Godfather: Part II (1974) See more »


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

That story happens to be highly classified. A highly classified lie.
27 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Most of the Howard Gordon episodes never really tickled my fancy. Often they were re-treads of superior precedents ("Firewalker"), or centered around ideas too underdeveloped to carry an episode on their own, and thus cushioned by wanton detours into the mythology arc ("Avatar," "Teliko"). So it's interesting to see his name attached to one of the original mythology scripts – the third chronological mytharc script to be exact – "Fallen Angel," a much more competent work in a largely uneven premiere season.

Like most of the other season one mythology eps, the story is independent of future plot threads (excluding a two-part sequel that wouldn't air until the latter half of season four) and introduces UFO geek Max Fenig, played seamlessly by Scott Bellins, who Mulder meets upon being detained in an alleged restricted toxic spill site. Obviously there is more going on here than meets the eye, with a conspiracy of silence and indignant superiors still trying to eliminate Mulder from the X-Files. Fenig seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle, as a singular scar behind his ear leads Mulder to believe he may be an abductee.

I didn't care for this episode upon first viewing. I can't be certain whether it was the unusual pacing (the traditional two-parters wouldn't commence until season two) or just the fact that my taste buds were still soured from the previous episode. After three or four viewings, however, the strong characterization and guest acting won me over. Bellins captures a congenial awkwardness in his role very reminiscent of the then-imminent Lone Gunmen, and Marshall Bell is perfect as the nasty, callous general. It is a shame this character wasn't used in later episodes. Jerry Hardin reprises his role as the original Deep Throat in a closing scene that expands his character in more interesting directions.

Some of the soundtrack choices Mark Snow employs are quite curious. There is a score in the warehouse scene that sounds fit for a holdover 80s crime-drama. I'm not certain if it was used in any other episodes but it sounds kind of cheesy. The special effects in this scene are also very dated, but forgivable considering the time frame. It is interesting that the invisible alien creature is not used in later episodes, making this one seem further detached from the mythology.

This is a laudable Gordon/Gansa effort that fits in somewhat into the mythology puzzle, but unfortunately is barely touched upon in later years. In a way it can be considered a standalone, and in that category it surpasses most of the scripts Gordon would go on to write without Gansa. "Fallen Angel" is most notable for the introduction of Fenig, and also for providing a shadowy mystique that only the earliest mytharc scripts seemed to be able to do.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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