The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 15

Young at Heart (11 Feb. 1994)
"The X Files" Young at Heart (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,590 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

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



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Episode cast overview:
Agent Reggie Purdue
Alan Boyce ...
Agent Henderson
Graham Jarvis ...
NIH Doctor
Dr. Joe Ridley
Merrilyn Gann ...
Prosecuting Attorney
Gordon Tipple ...
Joe Crandall
CIA Agent
Courtney Arciaga ...
Young Child
David Petersen ...
Computer Tekkie


John Barnett, Mulder's first Bureau case and seemingly dead killer, is back in action. Reclaiming his affection for cryptic messages as well as his taunting personality, he leads Mulder and Scully on a chase involving heart, mystery, and science. Written by EJS

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The footage of the young girl with progeria was filmed after the production crew contacted the Progeria Society and were put in touch with the family of Courtney Arciaga, who was a young girl with the disease. She and her family were fans of the series, and were flown from their San Diego home to Vancouver to shoot the scene. 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 »

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User Reviews

A mistake from the past causes Mulder some problems in the present.
27 March 2013 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

After an interesting and eerie prologue, this episode of The X Files moves into a storyline that, much like the preceding episode, has great potential, but falls a bit short.

Mulder is the focus this time around, as the episode revolves around a killer who seems to be committing crimes in almost the exact same fashion as someone the FBI already caught and imprisoned many years ago. Mulder was involved in that operation and he was also told that the man died in prison. It would appear that he was lied to, but maybe they can catch whoever is trying to get Mulder's attention before it starts too feel too much like history repeating itself. Mulder definitely doesn't want to be put in the position that he was many years ago, when he tried to do everything by the book with disastrous results.

Strangely enough, this episode really feels as if it doesn't know what it wants to be. There's no real mystery element as Mulder quickly jumps to a conclusion that turns out to be correct. There's no horror element, as some things are hinted at and then just not made use of. There's some fun to be had learning about the young Mulder and how he can/could be fallible, but the main storyline is a cat & mouse tale that doesn't really provide a good enough villain to make it all as enjoyable as it could be.

Scott Kaufer and Chris Carter have a couple of good ideas in the script, but they throw them together in a careless fashion that renders them ineffective. The direction from Michael Lange is okay, I guess, but he certainly doesn't elevate the material at all even if he does a serviceable job.

Duchovny and Anderson are great and Dick Anthony Williams is pretty good as another face from Mulder's past, but nobody else does anything worth writing up.

Thankfully, the season would start to pick up again after this episode.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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