The X-Files (1993– )
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Young at Heart 

A criminal believed to have died in a prison years earlier wages a vendetta against Mulder.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Agent Reggie Purdue
Agent Henderson
NIH Doctor
Dr. Joe Ridley
Prosecuting Attorney
Joe Crandall
CIA Agent
Courtney Arciaga ...
Young Child
Computer Tekkie

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The man whom Mulder worked for before calls him to tell him of something weird, a robbery and a note left for him. When Mulder reads it, it's how a criminal whom he pursued 6 years ago would leave notes for him. Thing is the man died a few years ago in prison. But when more crimes occur Mulder wonders, if the man is really dead. And later someone calls Mulder and talks like the man but the voice is younger. Mulder goes to the prison where the man died and inmate says that on the night he died he was in the infirmary being treated for an infection to his hand and the doctor said he's dead but he saw he was alive and the doctor threatened him. Later Mulder's mentor is killed. Mulder later learns that the doctor who treated the man was working on a secret project to reverse the aging process. But he was so reckless that he was shun by the medical community. Mulder thinks the doctor was working on it and needed elderly test subjects like the criminal so he thinks he did it so the man is ... Written by

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Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The CIA man in the background of the final scene is William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man) making his second appearance on the show. Like his first there appears to be no dialogue. See more »


(at around 43 mins) Young Barnett is seen in the hospital with a bullet wound on his left shoulder, received from the shot fired at him by Mulder. However, his left shoulder was earlier hidden behind his hostage, so could not have been the target of Mulder's shot. Only his right shoulder was visible, which could have been the target of the only shot fired at him by Mulder. However, a shot fired at his shoulder could not have incapacitated him the way it was depicted, which could only have been possible with a shot aimed at his head. But, as seen in the hospital, his head was completely injury-free. Moreover, a shot fired at his shoulder should have also given his arm a strong backward thrust, which was not seen. See more »


Scully: Mulder, I know what you did wasn't by the book.
Mulder: Tells you a lot about the book, doesn't it?
See more »


Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »


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

Fox can't guard the chicken coop.
26 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Young at Heart" starts off strongly enough with an eerie teaser in which proclaimed dead prisoner John Barnett blinks toward the camera with glazed-over eyes, but quickly loses steam thereafter. I think an episode delving into Mulder's beginnings at the FBI was a great idea, but this one is a mess and can't hold a candle to later ones like "Grotesque" or "Paper Hearts," which attempted to do the same thing after a fashion. The idea of reverse aging makes for an intriguing X-File alone, yet wanton inclusions such as Barnett's salamander hand and deteriorating vision are never thoroughly explained and haven't the slightest impact on the storyline. This episode was penned by Chris Carter and Simon Kaufer, and it would appear as though the two had to compromise their own distinct visions of the plot to come up with this jumble.

There is some good guest acting on the parts of Dick Anthony Williams, who plays Mulder's ex-partner Reggie Purdue, and Christine Estabrook (who I immediately recognized as Desperate Housewives' Ms. Huber), who has great chemistry with Duchovny in her respective scenes. That one of these characters is killed off and the other not seen again is lamentable, as their performances are the highlight of an otherwise pedestrian effort.

On a side note, I think John Barnett is one of the most annoying villains of the entire series. Just the sound of his voice is enough to tarnish a scene. Throw in some poorly-explained genetic mumbo jumbo and you have one very unfulfilling episode.

A generous 5 out of 10.

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