Scully's comatose body is discovered at a local hospital and her life is hanging in the balance. When Mr. X shows Mulder the high price he'd have to pay if he truly wants justice for Scully, Mulder must choose between hope and revenge.



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

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Release Date:

11 November 1994 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


David Duchovny was so amazed by the fantastic performance of Gillian Anderson in The X-Files: Beyond the Sea (1994), showing Scully's feelings about losing her father, that he asked the writers for an episode with emotions like that for him. The result was One Breath, in which Mulder displays his feelings for losing Scully. See more »


A Bible verse is inscribed on Scully's tombstone. It says, "The Spirit is the Truth," and cites it as "1 John 5:07." The verse is actually 1 John 5:6. See more »


Melissa Scully: I don't have to be psychic to see that you're in a very dark place. Much darker than where my sister is. Willingly walking deeper into darkness cannot help her at all. Only the light...
Mulder: [disgustedly] Enough! - with the harmonic convergence crap, okay, you're not *saying* anything to me.
Melissa Scully: [angrily] Why don't you just drop your cynicism and your paranoia and your defeat. You know, just because it's positive and good, doesn't mean it's silly or trite.
See more »


Featured in The X-Files: Home Again (2016) See more »


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