"The X-Files" The Jersey Devil (TV Episode 1993) Poster

(TV Series)


User Reviews

Review this title
18 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
You should've seen her... she was beautiful.
radioheadrcm29 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Everyone that has reviewed "Jersey Devil" so far has missed what the episode is all about, and on top of that, it has a criminally low rating. Although it does contain Mulder and Scully's first flirtations, Chris Carter was really trying to send messages about mankind's destructive tendencies.

The episode was full of people doing animalistic, uncivilized activity, like a bunch of young kids running around a house, wearing gorilla masks and running into walls. There were several mentionings that destruction is mankind's oldest and most prominent attribute. There was a chart on the wall of an anthropologists office that showed the decline of other animal species in all of the continents that people have moved onto.

There were two major groups of people pursuing the cannibals. One group was led by Mulder, Scully, an old park ranger and an anthropologist. This group seemed to have the monsters best interest in mind, carrying around a tranquilizer gun, hardly ever drawing their weapons. They represented the group of people that are trying to evolve past their primal instinct of destructive behavior.

The other group was led by a disgruntled police chief and the local police, who covered up scenes of crimes and disregarded evidence that suggested anything paranormal. In the introduction to the episode, that group ended up shooting the father of the cavemen/primates. They also went out of their way to keep Mulder and Scully from continuing their case and carried around rifles, with the intention of shooting the mother on sight. They represented mankind's tendency to be destructive beyond reason.

The mother ambushes Mulder in one scene but does not kill him, because she did not see him as a threat, unlike the other group. In the moment of reason and peace between them, he actually recognized her as being beautiful - something the destructive group was incapable of. She ended up killing several police from the other group who ran into her. In the end, Mulder's group ends up shooting the mother with a tranquilizer dart, but the other police catch up to her first and shoot to kill, since the mother was attacking one of the officers. The message, to me, seemed to be that mankind always ends up being destructive, even when it tries not to be.

The problem with Chris Carter episodes is that they often contain deep philosophy that can benefit any person, but they carry themselves in an awkward manner. As viewers, the best we can do is to try and look past those stylistic issues and get to the real content beneath.
28 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
He's a jerk. He's not a jerk. He's, um… he's obsessed with his work.
alexandercappelli23 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"He's a jerk. He's not a jerk. He's, um… he's obsessed with his work." – Dana Scully.

Episode 5, 'The Jersey Devil', original air date October 8th, 1993. Directed by Joe Napolitano and written by Chris Carter. Monster of the week episode count, 2. Chris Carter's third episode as a series writer is the second standalone MOTW show for season one and it's a successful entry that manages to tell a coherent and self contained horror themed story while further developing the two lead characters. We open with a flash back to New Jersey in 1947. While changing a flat tire on his car out in the woods, a family man is attacked by an unseen assailant and is discovered the following morning with his legs bitten off. The man is played by Bill Dow, is his first of three separate characters best known for his role as Dr. Charles 'Chuck' Burke. The local police track a figure to a nearby cave and they open fire on the predator. At this point the audience has seen nothing of the man's attacker though the assumption is likely to made that we are looking for some type of wild beast.

Scully is starting to enjoy herself a little more at the FBI as she appears to take pleasure in presenting Mulder with the details of a case involving a a homeless man having been attacked in New Jersey, eager to hear his undoubtedly unique opinion. She interrupts Mulder as he is seen checking out the centrefold of a Playboy magazine, a fact he does not try to hide. This is the first time we see Mulder's interest in pornography which he holds primarily due to his complete lack of socialisation with women. There is also something slightly immature about a grown man so openly enjoying pornographic images. This suits what we know so far of Mulder as he has in some sense a child like personality, very willing to let his imagination run wild. Regarding the case, Mulder has seen this type of attack before. He refers to the opening scene in 1947 of a man being attacked in the Jersey woods by a creature now referred to as the Jersey Devil and the pair travel to investigate the homeless man's death. This is the first of many cases in which Mulder will pursue purely out of personal interest as he has no official justification to investigate here or any FBI jurisdiction in the matter. This does not stop him however and we can see that the X-Files cases are more than just a job for Mulder. We learn that there is in fact some type of primitive human with Neanderthal like qualities roaming the woods in search of food, in the form of New Jersey's local citizens.

The supporting cast do a fine job, particularly the park ranger Peter Brullet, played by an understated Michael MacRae who conveys a believable sense of both fear and intrigue when speaking to Mulder about the creature has has witnessed. Detective Johnson, played by the late Wayne Tippit, is a character archetype we will see often in the series, that of the belligerent local law enforcement who disrupt and impede Mulder and Scully's investigations at every turn.

Throughout this episode Carter explores Mulder and Scully's personal lives, or in the case of the former, his lack thereof. Mulder's obsession with the X-Files leads him to have a non-existent social life. While Scully is still trying to maintain a more positive work life balance. We see her attend her godson's birthday and is encouraged to date one of the parents. Ultimately she is called away from her date early due to Mulder's insistence that she assist him in his investigation. Meanwhile Mulder has given up his hotel bed to a homeless man and is camping out in the alleys of New Jersey in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the creature. He acts selflessly in the pursuit of the truth. Scully can't quite understand Mulder's point of view, she remarks about wanting a life outside of work yet Mulder's response says it all, "I have a life." The X-Files is not simply his work, it is his whole world. While Scully is attending birthdays and going on dates Mulder has nothing to draw him away from his pursuits. His reaction to Scully's mention of a date hints at a subtle sense of jealousy or perhaps he simply struggles to understand why she would rather engage in such trivialities instead of working with him. She suggests that Mulder "take some time off" yet he is dismissive of her proposal as he leaves her to further explore the mystery of the Jersey Devil. Scully ultimately turns down her date's advances only to follow Mulder at the conclusion of the episode. This is a pivotal scene in her character's development as she realises that perhaps she is seeking more than the prosaic life of a simple wife and mother. She is drawn in by Mulder's enthusiasm, at this stage of the series still pulled along by his tenacity and conviction in though appearing now more than ever to be forging some personal investment in the X-Files unit.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"... and look who's holding the door!"
MaxBorg893 December 2008
The Jersey Devil inaugurates another X-Files tradition, namely lighter, more entertaining standalone episodes following the more emotionally relevant mythology stories (Squeeze, which aired right after Deep Throat, doesn't count, on the grounds of it being, well, too creepy). This trend was exploited at best in Seasons 5-7, but this episode shows that the writers already had a clear sense of how to do comedy in the series.

As suggested by the title, Mulder and Scully travel to New Jersey, where corpses are found with limbs missing. Remembering an old X-file, Mulder says it might be the legendary "Jersey Devil" who's behind the attacks, meeting inevitable derision on the part of local authorities and, to a lesser degree, Scully. As they get closer to the truth (some evolutionary misstep might be involved), the tension increases and the search for the "Devil" gets more and more serious.

Mulder's beliefs, contrasted with Scully's skepticism, have been there since the pilot episode, but this is the first time their work relationship is played for laughs, with their respective theories clashing in a humorous debate about mankind and evolution (another important theme in the longer run of the show). Naturally, there is also suspense (though not as consistently as in Squeeze) and a traditionally open ending which suggests the story may not be over (which wasn't the case, but still...). Revealingly, though, the epilogue induces a smile rather than a shiver. That's The X-Files in a nutshell: weird, thrilling and funny - often at the same time.
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Keep it up Mulder and I'll hurt you like that beast woman.
Muldernscully10 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In doing some research for these comments, I discovered the real legend of the Jersey Devil. There actually is a legend of a Jersey Devil. The National Hockey League team of the same name was actually named for this legend. However, real-life descriptions of the "Devil" vary vastly from the creature depicted in the episode.

Don't blink or you'll miss Bill Dow as the dad in the teaser. He is better known as Dr. Chuck Burks in later seasons.

The story about the Jersey Devil is all right. Mulder gets extremely lucky in spotting the beast woman on the first night. That lame drawing of the Jersey Devil looks like a sketch of the infamous Big Foot video.

Sending in the SWAT team to apprehend the beast woman seems both unnecessary and unrealistic.

Michael MacRae plays the forest ranger. This role is so different from the one he plays five years later as August Bremer in 'The Pine Bluff Variant'.

I was surprised to see a naked bum in the episode. I guess it was okay since it was a far away shot. Of course, they had strategically placed leaves on the beast woman when she was lying on the ground.

But what makes the episode worth watching is Scully's social life. Scully has a discussion about Mulder with her friend and subsequently a date with Rod. She actually has a beeper go off during this date, which never makes another appearance on the X-Files. Early on in the X-Files, the producers and writers were experimenting with what should be going on in the personal lives of Mulder and Scully. Should Scully have a boyfriend or not? Should Scully be dating consistently or not? At the end, Scully berates Mulder for never taking a day off, yet she decides to go with him, cementing her decision not to have a personal life.

Finally, The Jersey Devil offers our first glimpse at the series-long running joke of Mulder's porn obsession.

The case may not be first-rate, but the side story of Scully's personal life is what makes The Jersey Devil worth watching.
12 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Carter's first standalone episode
ametaphysicalshark10 August 2008
"The Jersey Devil" is so typical of why the first season of "The X-Files" is the weakest of the Vancouver seasons and why one could be forgiven for being frustrated with the quality of several of the monster of the week episodes in this season.

The episode lacks any sort of worthwhile characterization aside from the first Mulder porn joke (forgive me if I'm mistaken regarding that) and the dialogue is wildly inconsistent although occasionally fun. The episode's real flaw however is the utterly lazy plotting; beyond just not being a particularly interesting take on the Jersey devil mythology, the plot inexplicably changes course far too many times for a 45 minute episode, and the transitions are not handled well by writer Chris Carter.

This was, of course, the first standalone script by Chris Carter, so I'm not going to be too harsh on him as he certainly did improve later on. Some other stuff worth mentioning: Scully's personal life is explored more here as well and it makes me glad that this didn't become the norm later on in the series and is mostly confined to early episodes, and the direction by Joe Napolitano is actually pretty solid and wasted on a mediocre script by Carter.

13 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
While it is not particularly well regarded, I am both tremendously fascinated by this episode and thoroughly enjoy it. Thoughtful commentary on civilization
SLionsCricketreviews26 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is my second time watching "The Jersey Devil" and while I realize that this isn't an episode that's particularly well regarded - well highlighted by the fact that it has a poor-ish rating here - it's one that I enjoy tremendously and think could fall under the category of 'underrated'.

"The Jersey Devil" is really a commentary on civilization and the progression of that. The episode, apparently based on a real life myth, tells the story of Scully and Mulder's investigations into murders that may or may not have been committed by a Neanderthal. There's little suspense in this episode but that's by design, largely because it is a commentary about how the progression of civilization has yielded the human capability of destruction. The themes are well explored if rather bluntly but effectively.

There's a side story that goes nowhere, but again by design, of Scully attending her godson's birthday party and later going on a date with the father of one of the attendees at the party. The first scene develops Scully as a person outside of her duty to the FBI and shows glimpses of a more human side (not to say that Scully has lacked a resemblance of humanity so far!) and has Scully contemplating the idea of motherhood. The later scene is an indication of how Scully just cannot function in the simple and peaceful environment of a date, that simpler way of life is now lost to her.

Next, there's Mulder, and his growing obsession of the case at hand which he believes to have been committed by a regressed human form. There's a wonderful moment that sells the extent to his desire to believe where we see Mulder working through the night, desperately trying to find concrete credence to the "fiction" that he's made up. It goes a long way to illustrate and define Mulder's personality so far. Arguably the best moment of the episode, however, is yet another simple one where Mulder gives up the hotel room he's staying at to a homeless man both showcasing some of his heart and some of his desperation (since he's trying to survey the territory where the Neanderthal has been found previously) to get a lead on his story.

While there are moments that can be cheesy, especially two moments late into the episode with slightly questionable lines of dialogue by Mulder, this is a very solid episode in my opinion. It is perhaps a cautionary tale for the human need to prove their superiority and through Mulder's perspective, an interesting commentary on the progression of civilization as a tool for potential destruction can be found. The main X-Files mystery coupled with a brief glimpse into Scully's personal life (which too has thematic connotations with the episode's larger story) make for what I consider to be a very enjoyable episode. As usual, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny put in fine performances but it's the chemistry between the two that is instant cinematic (or television) magic.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
D-E-V-I-L and Bingo was his name-o
Sanpaco1323 April 2008
The Jersey Devil the Limerick:

She'll tear out your lung if you p*ss her.

She's a cannibalistic sister.

One homeless man dead

Another in a hotel bed.

Mulder is sure gonna miss her.

This is the first episode I ever saw of the X-Files when it was first run. I was so terrified that I didn't watch again until much much later. Looking back on this one and Shadows and other season 1 episodes that scared me so much I have to laugh because they aren't quite as scary to me anymore but they are still great. I love season 1 so much because it is so classic. We return to the low budget horror feeling of the show where the entire show relies on story and atmosphere to keep the viewer intrigued and terrified. Good episode. Not to mention young Scully. And the first reference to Mulder's porn addiction. And the original score. I'm feeling nostalgic can you tell? 10 out of 10.
11 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Devil Or An Angel?
Dresden_Doll_10126 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Jersey Devil was an okay episode, nothing brilliant, but okay never-the-less. What makes this really interesting is Scully's love life. You just know Scully is going to make a good Mom. =P Anyway, i'm going to say some good and bad points about this episode,

The Good: When Mulder phoned at Scully's date, she seemed relieved. Scully and Mulder forever, man.

I thought it was sweet how The Jersey Devil knew Mulder wasn't a threat and kept looking at him, figuring him out.

The little The Jersey Devil at the end. The legend lives on!

"What about Mulder? You said he's cute." Scully thinks Mulder is cute? ;]

The Bad: Chasing myths always gets you into trouble.

Why did The Jersey Devil eat him? She felt threatened by him?

Conclusion: Not as exciting, yet okay adventure, watch for Scully's personal life. 6/10
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Someone or something out there is hungry."
classicsoncall11 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
When I was a kid, I would read everything I could get my hands on regarding subjects like the Loch Ness Monster, the Abominable Snowman, and it's American version, the Sasquatch. But even though the legend of the Jersey Devil goes as far back as the early 1700's. I'd never heard of it before watching this episode of the 'X-Files'. Makes me wonder how I might have missed it.

It doesn't take long into the series when one begins to wonder why the FBI wouldn't keep it's agents on a shorter leash, rather than allow them to run off to investigate what personally suits them. I know, Mulder pretty much had his own little corner of the Bureau down in the basement to pursue his paranormal investigations, but still, you'd expect he would get called on to do some 'real' FBI work once in a while.

With all that, this is probably the weakest of the first five episodes the series had to offer, but even so, it allows Scully and Mulder to pursue some creepy business investigating the deaths of individuals who have had parts of their bodies chewed away. You could tell Scully was on the fence with her involvement on this case, returning home to engage in civilian life and even going on a date. Her change in appearance from FBI attire to date night is rather startling, and one might say she even looked hot, so maybe it was better that Mulder didn't see her like that just yet. Though there was a slight smidgen of jealousy in his response to her dating if one cares to look for it.

Considering what the 'real'? Jersey Devil is supposed to look like, the ones the story divulged looked rather like mere humans running around naked in the woods. For the uninitiated, the creature is said to resemble a kangaroo-like animal with the head of a goat and bat-like wings and a forked tail to conjure up the image of a devil. With both the male and female versions of the creature summarily shot by authorities in the story, the menace inspired by the monster never gets to fully play out. The teaser at the end of the story was something one might expect from an episode of 'The Twilight Zone', but as we know, the idea never went anywhere once this story was over.

Perhaps the most paranormal occurrence in the story - Mulder hands his hotel room key over to a street bum! What could possibly go wrong with that?
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The campyness works for it
SleepTight66620 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What to say? I think this episode is underrated. I'm not gonna say it's great because it's really not. It's a bit bland and cheesy in parts. But it's really not so bad. The campyness works for it in this case.

I think that the idea of naked woman eating people was nice. And the chemistry between Mulder and Scully was constantly great. I love them so early in the season. It was cute when Mulder got jealous because of Scully's date.

I'm gonna say that I like it a bit more than Squeeze, which I know is an unpopular opinion. But i'm still giving it TWO stars. The main problem is that it's quite forgettable and although the dialog worked, it still felt like a cheesy B-flick.
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Jersey Devil-Myth or Truth?
thebigeasy55519 September 2006
A body is discovered in New Jersey and a missing limb is apparent.Upon hearing this Mulder digs deep into the x-files archive and discovers a case similar to this and decides to investigate. The local police department display a distinct lack of interest in Mulder's investigation and at one point actually ends up a police cell. Many locals merely dismiss the recent death according to Mulder attributable to the mythical Jersey Devil as rubbish. Mulder is at one part of the investigation forced to go it alone as Scully has a date.A rare glimpse into her private life for the viewer. The Jersey Devil character in this episode resembles a primitive female though many other descriptions of the Jersy Devil in literature differ from this.

A decent episode with the additional bonus of seeing more of Scully in her private life
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The hunt for The Jersey Devil - underrated episode flick!
ivo-cobra816 June 2016
The Jersey Devil is very underrated Monster-of-the-Week episode that I don't think deserves 7.2 on IMDb. I like this episode a lot and for a lot of reasons. This was the first episode that I have seen the clip about Mulder been on a stakeout for a man-eater who eats homeless people as a child. Of course I switch the channel to other program, because I promised my self I will not watch X-Files cause I don't want get scared. Today been adult I enjoy watching Season 1 and I enjoy this episode a lot.

Plot: The murder of a homeless man which is very similar in detail to a murder committed in 1947 leads Mulder and Scully to the legendary man-beast the Jersey Devil (Claire Stansfield) roaming in the forests surrounding Atlantic City.

Again for me Season 1 kicks ass and Mulder is still a hero for me. Here is a case open since 1947 New Jersey when a man was attacked and eaten by other human been. Police officers killed that person but in the present day, that case keeps continuing Mulder and Scully fly to New Jersey investigate the case, when they are unauthorized on this case. Detective Thompson (Wayne Tippit) does not want them on this case so they are dismissed. Scully fly's to Washington D.C. while she attends her godson's birthday party and she meets a handsome man and she goes on a date. Mulder stays in New Jersey and he tracks the creature down, on his own agenda, when he surrounds Atlantic City Forrest. When the local authorities finds out, that a naked man-eater is roaming trough forest and through city eating people they start a hunt for this creature. Mulder wants to catch the creature alive, while Detective Thompson want's it dead. The hunt for The Jersey Devil begins.

Here is the first time we see Scully on a date and she also dresses beautiful and she is adorable in this episode.

I like how Scully rejects her date on the end of the episode for helping Mulder on a cases I like that.

I love how Mulder (David Duchovny) is a real heart in the show. I love how Mulder gives money and a key to his hotel room to a homeless man who helps him on a search for a man-eater creature.

I love how they hunt and chase a man-beast (Claire Stansfield) when she is running though abandoned building in the Atlantic City.

"He's a jerk. He's not a jerk. He's, um... he's obsessed with his work."

I disagree with Scully, Mulder is not a jerk he is a hero and he cared about the truth and he love to help people. In this episode we have Mulder giving a homeless man, his money and keys to his hotel room.

This is actually a real study case for David Duchovny, who was really on a real stakeout, that is why we see Mulder not shaved and not been sleepy. David Duchovny did not sleep whole night, while he was preparing for his role filming this episode. I know that because I read it somewhere.

Tough we don't see Claire Stansfield face enough, she did a great job playing her villain character man-beast.

Joe Napolitano did directed well and Chris Carter did a great job directing this episode.

I like this episode and I like watching it and I still love Mulder to death. David Duchovny did an outstanding job playing his lead character.

This episode get's 9 out of 10, I still love Season 1 and the first season kicks ass and it is the best Season for me.

The first season of the science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox network in the United States on September 10, 1993, and concluded on the same channel on May 13, 1994, after airing all 24 episodes.

"The Jersey Devil" is the fifth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on October 8, 1993. It was written by series creator Chris Carter, directed by Joe Napolitano, and featured guest appearances by Gregory Sierra, Wayne Tippit and Claire Stansfield. Although the episode is the series' second "Monster-of-the-Week" story—after the earlier "Squeeze"—it was the first to have been written by Carter.

9/10 Grade: A Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Claire Stansfield, Wayne Tippit, Gregory Sierra, Michael MacRae Director: Joe Napolitano Producers: Chris Carter, Joseph Patrick Finn, Glen Morgan, James Wong Screenplay: Chris Carter Rated: R Running Time: 44 minutes
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Scully: You keep that up and I'll hurt you like that beast woman.
bombersflyup13 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The Jersey Devil is about an investigation into the mauling of a homeless man in Atlantic City. Mulder has an X file from a similar killing in the area in 1947 and thinks the Jersey Devil may be the culprit.

Even though not to the level of the first four episodes of the series, an episode I look forward to and enjoy viewing. Light and memorable and the discussion throughout first-rate, good secondary character appearances as well. A scene I'd like to focus on, where Mulder talks with the homeless man. The homeless man says he and others have seen it and Mulder gives him his motel key and swaps sleeping arrangements. The moment epitomizes the great character, the man shocked, Mulder so trusting and solely dedicated, as well as showing he cares about the little people. Minor things I dislike; the cops drive by and see the ranger's car and immediately like SWAT is there, I'm not buying it, nor Scully's dive and roll in that suit thing she's wearing.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bigfoot won't use pistols!
hamidullahgenc3 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
We're to see many "cops" or "agents" who feed the poor money in exchange for "info." But Mulder is different... You can see the genuine smile, happiness on his face when giving away money and bed to the homeless...

And to think about it, this is not even a surprising act of goodness and it feels like Mulder knows it too as he does not pique himself on.

Because, the society is a whole where the poor have rights over the rich.

So, a member of a society cannot have the death or the poverty of another member over their shoulders nor their conscience.

So, Mulder pays his debts. Good for Mulders.

Here is a Verse of my culture:

"O ye who believe! Render not vain your Sadaqah (almsgiving) by reproach and injury, like him who spendeth his wealth only to be seen of men and believeth not in Allah and the Last Day. His likeness is as the likeness of a rock whereon is dust of earth; a rainstorm smiteth it, leaving it smooth and bare. They have no control of aught of that which they have gained. Allah guideth not the disbelieving people."

The 264th Verse of the second Chapter called "The Cow" in the Gracious Koran.


(P.S.: The monster-like villains are not to be made fun of. Okay, maybe the kid in the last scene...

But the way the director used the angle and light / shadows during the chase scenes is incredible!..

It does not reduce the quality... Especially in that period of time.)
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mixed bag of an episode.
Degree715 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the blurring of reality and the otherworldliness that the show does so well, and the idea of a common myth being based on plausible anthropological events is intriguing, as the case takes a serious scientific approach the more evidence Mulder finds. But there is a missed opportunity for true scares. They could have gone a gigantopithecus or Sasquatch route to raise the creep factor, but the actual reveal is somewhat mundane.

The local police obstruct Scully and Mulder throughout the episode, but their motives are unclear - the city want to keep the "devil" alive to draw tourism, but later they are trying to shoot to kill it. Some of the commentary on man's destructive role with nature is also pertinent, but a little heavy-handed, and the subplot of Scully's dating life dragged a little. However important it was to see Scully being torn between the normality of family life and the crazed obsession driving Mulder, too much time was spent over Scully's romantic life. Overall, the episode feels like a wasted moment for something as enigmatic as the Jersey Devil. Maybe Chris Carter didn't want to rip off the "Mothman Prophecies" too much?
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The X-Files--The Jersey Devil
Scarecrow-8823 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Scully makes the mistake of mentioning a homeless man's death outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Mulder. The bum had been eaten by a human, and because this act of cannibalism took place outside Atlantic City, Mulder automatically thinks "Jersey Devil" earning more than a bit of ribbing from the eye-rolling Scully. But you know Mulder…when he fixes on a potential for the proving of a known "folktale, myth" from childhood, there's not much to persuade him from that search for the truth. "Jersey Devil" is an early example of the show offering the possibility that Mulder and Scully would become an item. Well, maybe not an item as much as fixtures in each other's life besides the FBI work.

Obviously, The X-Files was all about the aliens and government conspiracy, but there were always episodes, "one offs" like this episode that allowed the agents to escape from the confines of Washington and the Bureau to explore cases that dealt with any number of sci-fi / horror topics ranging from clones to vampirism. Here it is the possibility of an actual cannibalistic Neanderthal living in the wilderness in Jersey. Often the cops working cases are shown having to endure the FBI honing in on their turf on crime television, and the Washington government suits are considered unwelcome and intrusive…bullies who impede on the investigation of others and keeping their secrets without sharing. Watch Law & Order or CSI, and you can feel the collective groan of on-duty cops / detectives when the FBI show up. When a show follows the agents, it is actually the other way around like in "Jersey Devil" where the FBI has no jurisdiction in the cannibalism murder of the homeless man, with Mulder in a rather intense exchange with Atlantic City Detective Thompson (Wayne Tippit). Thompson wants him out of his jurisdiction, plain and simple, even faux arresting him for no good reason ("running him through the system" just for spite) other than the fact that Mulder was in an alley when a "naked barefoot woman of the wild" appears, giving him the proof he needed regarding the myth of a "female primitive at the top of the food chain" being real, not just a passed down story to strike fear in children. Mulder gets an anthropology professor from Maryland involved because of the beast woman's existence's significance, and associates with a Jersey Park Ranger who found the half-eaten homeless man and discovers the remains of an actual primitive man who could be the wild woman's mate. Mulder's refusal to just go away certainly irks Thompson who considers him a hindrance to his ongoing investigation. Mulder believes Thompson is trying to sweep everything under the rug so the slot machines continue to operate and the tourists keep their minds on spending money not the fantastic discovery of an actual Jersey Devil. This episode also focuses on Scully's best friend trying to set her up with a divorcée with children (she finds him a bit boring), and how she can't seem to pull away from Mulder in order to "get a life". Seeing Scully choose to go with Mulder instead on another date with the real estate father indicates that while she's a cynic, a skeptic of most of what her partner believes in, he's still a lot more fun and has an appeal she can't seem to resist. I just love the chemistry between the two leads, and the "look who's holding the door" comment at the end is a fitting close to the episode.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A relatively realistic monster-of-the-week episode which at the end of the day fails to build suspense and horror
LordParramandas17 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Note: this review was written after watching all the episodes

"The Jersey" devil is the second monster-of-the-week episode but unlike its predecessor "Squeeze", this one deals with very little paranormal elements and is significantly less scary in tone. It deals with Mulder trying to resolve the case surrounding the mysterious predator in the woods which appears to be human by nature.

Despite the scary opening scene where a father gets snatched by an unseen feral creature, the episode soon loses its horror tone and goes on a more complex and realistic route as the predator slowly starts to unveil its nature as a feral human who lives in the forest and behaves like an animal. And at the same time, the local police is hunting the unseen predator as an animal with intention of shooting it on sight. The main story thread starts to spin around the idea how people have animalistic nature, regardless of how developed and civilized they are, and the creature soon becomes the "protagonist" of the story while the police serves as antagonist.

While this approach to the story is very realistic, the episode lost the suspense in my case as hunting a feral human being was not particularly gripping. The creature itself is not really involved in the story itself and it barely appears on screen, resulting in very little horror atmosphere and scary scenes overall. The only moment when the story seemed to include a bit of a twist and suspense is when Mulder finds out they're hunting a feral woman and that they may have had offspring. The whole story regarding "the Jersey devil" resolves in a way that after Mulder's close encounter with this feral woman the Police hunt down and kill her, having killed a feral man years before, and Mulder is visibly sad by her death. For me personally, turning initially very dangerous creature into something so harmless felt very flat and totally removed a horror element from the story

A significant portion of the story is also focused on Scully's private life, including an attempt of a date, and I personally found this part very distracting and out of place. I get that the writers were trying to flesh out both characters but for a show built on a horror premise, I feel they should stick to the path itself and not wander off with these casual day to day life scenes.

To conclude this, "The Jersey Devil" is one of the weakest S1 episodes for me. The story is very dull and lacks the suspense and horror the previous episodes built up, making it a very uninteresting episode. I get the writers wanted to deliver more deep message with this episode, but for me personally, it felt very flat and so non-TXF-like. So my final verdict for this episode is 6/10.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mulder needs his eyes tested.
Sleepin_Dragon13 September 2020
She was beautiful... ....sorry she was what!!!!

This is the first episode from the first series I found a little hit and miss, we have been treated to some great stories and character development up until this point, this one is more of a one off.

Nice that we get some character development for Scully, we learn a bit more about her, and what she's looking for out of life. We also finally get a Policeman that isn't a jerk.

The story is a bit wishy washy, but overall it's pretty good, it starts off better than it ends, 6/10.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed