The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 8

One Breath (11 Nov. 1994)
"The X Files" One Breath (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 1,536 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 4 critic

When Scully's comatose body is discovered at a local hospital, Mulder suspects the government was responsible for her disappearance.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sheila Larken ...
Captain William Scully (as Don Davis)
Dr. Daly
Nicola Cavendish ...
Nurse G. Owens
Nurse Wilkins
Ryan Michael ...


Everyone, including Mulder and Scully's mother, had pretty well given Scully up for dead when she suddenly reappears at a Washington hospital. Details are scanty - the hospital can't really say how she got there - but she is comatose and on a ventilator. With the help of the Lone Gunmen, Mulder learns that her DNA has been altered and that her immune system has shut down. The mysterious Mr. X fails to make contact with him and Mulder hen goes after the Cigarette Smoking Man, ready to do whatever is necessary to save his friend and partner. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

11 November 1994 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In Skinner's office, Mulder uses the nickname "Cancer Man" for the first time. See more »


At the open of the episode, during Margaret Scully's eulogy for her lost daughter, she states that, for a childhood birthday, Dana's brothers had given her a BB gun. The corresponding image shows two young boys with the young Dana Scully. Besides her brother Bill, no further mention is made of this second brother within the episode nor the rest of the series, and he is never again pictured. See more »


Captain William Scully: Hello, Starbuck. It's Ahab. People would say to me, life is short - kids, they grow up fast, before you know it, it's over. I never listened. To me life went at a proper pace, there were rewards until the moment that I knew, I understood, I would never see you again. My little girl. Then my life felt as if it had been the length of one breath, one heartbeat. I never knew how much I loved my daughter until could never tell her. At that moment I would have traded every medal, every commendation, ...
See more »


References Earth 2 (1994) See more »


Back from Eternity
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by Mark Snow
See more »

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User Reviews

Remarkable character-driven episode
10 November 2008 | by ( – See all my reviews

My opinion on "One Breath" has fluctuated over the years, but I seemed to have settled on a position of really liking it, but not thinking it was a truly great episode. Once again, my opinion on the episode has changed. "One Breath" is a wonderful and remarkable character-driven story, where the first two parts to the Scully abduction trilogy (which was interrupted by "3") were action-packed and intense, "One Breath" is somber and quiet for much of its duration, although there's one breathtakingly intense scene with Mr. X. The intensity here comes from a different place than it did with "Duane Barry" and "Ascension". It comes from genuine care for the characters.

My favorite shot in this episode, one which I've always liked even when I didn't enjoy the episode as a whole too much, is Mulder breaking down and crying after visiting Scully and returning home. It's one of the show's most emotional and tender moments, and just beautiful. While the mysticism is one of the reasons I'm not yet sure I personally love the episode, I found it worked really well in this context.

The episode is still a mythology episode and is hence still packed with intrigue. Mulder's meeting with Mr. X, the spectacular scene where he confronts CSM, the presence of the Lone Gunment (awww, Frohike brought Scully flowers!), and further development of Skinner's still fresh character make this something even fans of only the action-packed episodes will enjoy, even if its best moments are those between Mulder and Scully.

Oh, and Duchovny's just brilliant here.


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