Ad Astra


The X-Files - 'X-Cops'
By Kenneth Silber
Opinions Editor
posted: 06:10 pm ET
23 June 2000


While chasing a monster in Los Angeles, Mulder and Scully are videotaped for the television show 'Cops.'

(Originally aired February 20, 2000)

Quotable Moments
Mulder: I have to say that at this point in the investigation, I'm usually a little more secure in what it is we're actually investigating. But we've had so many conflicting eyewitness reports that it's hard to ascertain exactly what it is we're looking for. (Pause.) But the crimes we are investigating are paranormal. I can say that.

   More Stories

X-Files: 'X-Cops' (spoilers)

The X-Files - 'Closure'

The X-Files - 'Sein Und Zeit'

Letters to Space (Imagined) - What's Ailing The X-Files , Redux

   Related Links

The X-Files (official)

Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by Michael Watkins


"Cops" is filmed on location, a title announces, and we see a fast series of clips of law enforcement personnel running through streets and bursting through doors. Scully and Mulder are among them.

Night. A police car. Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Keith Wetzel goes to a house to investigate a reported "monster." He sees something rummaging through the alley, and he gives chase. But soon, he is being chased while screaming to the camera person to "Run!"

They take refuge in the police car. In panic, Wetzel radios for help -- as the car is violently overturned. (more spoilers)


"X-Cops" is a wearisome episode.

Watching the agents and police repeatedly run through the darkened streets of Los Angeles after an unseen -- and uninteresting -- foe evokes merely a sense of futility. The use of the format of the Fox TV show Cops provides some transient novelty but little drama or humor.

Indeed, viewers may be left with the vaguely sickened feeling of having been experimented upon in a misbegotten attempt at corporate synergy by the Fox network. Might some X-Files creature soon step from behind the curtain in the controversial game show Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?

In any event, it all seems a sad diversion from Scully and Mulder's ongoing work of investigating powerful extraterrestrial and supernatural forces that now loom over the Earth. The agents' sprints through a shabby L.A. neighborhood give every appearance of wasting precious time at a very unfortunate moment.


Mulder is not averse to publicity. Indeed, he's eager to document evidence of the paranormal before a large television audience.


Will the Los Angeles entity continue trying to scare Steve and Edy?


No attempt is made to explain the Los Angeles entity in other than paranormal terms. Moreover, even the paranormal explanation is sketchy at best.


The struggle between Mulder, Scully and various aliens, demons and black-suited conspiracies takes another week off so Tom Maddox and guest writer William Gibson can bring you "First Person Shooter", a tale of virtual reality and murder.

What do you think? Send comments to the author or editor.

   Sponsored Links

Science Fiction Book Club

Get 5 books for $1 with membership. Choose from the best science fiction and fantasy, including Star Wars: Jedi Trial and Dune: The Battle of Corrin.

Connect people and information with the Microsoft® Office System.

Improve project management and productivity. Get free trials, tips, and Microsoft® Office news.

                 What is This?

     about us | FREE Email Newsletter | message boards | register at | contact us | advertise | terms of service | privacy statement

     © 1999-2005 Imaginova Corp. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.