212 of 236 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2000
Whoopee! Glad they're coming out with Season 2 later this year. That means I have roughly 6 months to save for this set!
As one may gather, I'm obviously an x-phile - how else can one explain a five-star rating for a dvd boxed set which isn't even available yet? Heck, I'm still waiting for my Season 1 gift set order from amazon to arrive.
Here's a rundown of the second season episodes:
1) Takes off from the season one finale. After the X-Files have been shut down, Mulder & Scully journey to Puerto Rico. 2) Introduces fan-favorite The Flukeman, a genetic mutation living in the New Jersey sewer system. 3) Residents in a small community suddenly become violent, apparently urged on by digital readouts ordering them to kill. 4) Introduces Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea). 5) Mulder is in the middle of a hostage negotiation involving alien-abductee Duane Barry. 6) Continues from the previous; Mulder pursues Barry who has kidnapped Scully. 7) My personal favorite! Vampire-themed episode featuring Duchovny's then real-life girlfriend Perrey Reeves. 8) Scully is found, albeit in a coma. 9) Deadly lifeform living in a volcano. 10) Agents investigate a possible connection between several teenager disappearances and a religious cult. 11) Strange unseen attacks in a nursing home. 12) The personality of a serial killer is transferred to his granddaughter 13) An "escalating fetishist" episode, where one's relatively harmless "hobby" turns homicidal. 14) Satan worshippers pay for their laxity! 15) Voodoo episode. 16) Features horror genre fan-fave Brian Thompson (Fright Night, Kindred) as the alien boutny hunter. Mulder meets long-lost sister Samantha (or does he?). 17) Continues from previous. 18) Animal abductions from a zoo near a major UFO hotspot. 19) Partly inspired by "The Philadelphia Experiment". 20) Great episode featuring circus acts, Jim Rose, and the Conundrum! 21) Possession story featuring the Romanian holymen the Calusari. 22) Plague-like epidemic sweeps a prison facility. 23) Killer shadows. For Marvel comics fans this recalls powers of characters such as Cloak and The Shroud. 24) A town hides a terrible secret. Hint - read up on the New Guinea Jale tribe. 25) Cliffhanger episode. Hacker obtains all the Defense Department's files on UFO's - encrypted in Navajo!
NO BRAINER - Get this set of one of the most fascinating sci-fi TV series of all time!
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2002
How does one begin to describe the perfection that is this second season of "The X-Files?" Speaking from the perspective of having watched these shows as they aired, anxiety and anticipation doesn't begin to describe the four month wait between seasons one and two. In season one's finale "The Erlenmeyer Flask," we see a mere glimpse of how this television series can go from greatness and kick it up even higher to absolutely stunning. The X-Files are closed and we also lose "Deep Throat" in this episode, played by Jerry Harden who is an excellent actor.
Season two picks up with "Little Green Men" and the introduction to "X," "Deep Throat's" protégé and his replacement and Special Agent Fox Mulder's inside source. We also get to start seeing the "Mythology" of the series start to take some real form. To hide the fact that the ever beautiful Gillian Anderson is pregnant, the producers come up with some wonderful filming techniques. Then to top it off they come up with the plot line for "Duane Berry."
Every episode of this season qualifies as amazing, enthralling, stunning and any number of ways to describe that which is great. Some notables: "The Host," because it's just creepy and kind of like an accident, you don't want to look at it but you have to. "Sleepless" because it has Tony Todd who, when he chooses the right parts, is such a wonderful actor. "Duane Berry," "Ascension," "3," and "One Breath" for the masterful way the writers and producers skillfully scripted out Gillian Anderson's pregnancy in Dana Scully's abduction. Not to mention the wonderful job that Steve Railsback did in the role of Duane Berry. "Firewalker" because of its simplicity and the scientific curiosity it created. "Aubrey" because of its ability to surprise and scare you. "Die Hand Die Verletzt" because it makes you wonder what your neighbors are up to. "Colony" and "Endgame" for their X-Files mythology aspect, plus the scenes with the submarine were stunning. "Humbug" was their first attempt at humor and they carried it off with perfection. "The Calusari," shades of "The Exorcist." "Soft Light" in which Tony Shaloub gives an excellent performance playing a scientist that found a little more than he was looking for. "Our Town" just gives you the idea you don't want to stop in the wrong town. "Anasazi," what a wonderful season ending cliffhanger with the mythology in full stride. The only bad thing about "Anasazi" is that it was prelude to a four month wait to find out what happen next. "Colony" is also David Duchovny's debut as a writer for the show.
The seventh disk also contains some wonderful and enlightening special features. The only true minor complaint that I can think to register about this DVD set is the case in which it comes. The outside cover has interior flaps that seem to incessantly get caught on the case that holds the disks. Thanks for sticking it out and reading through this.
Little Green Men
Die Hand Die Verletzt
78 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2000
It's difficult to say why The X-Files continues to capture the awe of the viewer. The first season introduced us to Agents Mulder and Scully, who connected with each other movingly in the first season, and we see how that effects them in the second as they continue to work together.
The second season stretches the mythology angle somewhat, but some of the stand-alones rank among the best.
Here's just a rundown on the best episodes (though all of them are definitely worth seeing).
---Duane Barry/Ascension/One Breath: The X-Files trilogy that abducted Scully! Now, we all know that Scully comes back, but these three shows held for me an intense fascination with the fate/free will ideas, and certainly engaged it's viewers in passionate discussions.---Firewalker: I don't know why I love this episode. I think that the seemless mesh of science, fiction, and suspense is what enthralled me throughout.---Irresistable: In introducing us to Donnie Pfaster, Chris Carter introduced us to one of the most evil villains in the show's history (not the coolest, mind you). I'd thought that the second season had peaked with this episode, but along came---Colony/End Game: The episode that showed us Mulder's abducted sister! (or a clone, or an alien-human hybrid). Scully gets taken by the bionic killer people (my friends claim this is why that I'm not an X-phile, having no clue what they're called. Oh well). Not as good as many other mythology episodes, but still notable for Mulder's attachment to his partner.---Dod Kalm: My favourite of season 2. No way to truly describe it, but it was enchanting and magical, thrilling and inspiring, a combination of technical brilliance and artistic majesty. Gillian Anderson deserved an Emmy for this and Irresistable.---Anasazi: Ending with what was the best Mythology episode to date, I'd be a fool to tell you what happened.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The mythology takes a major step forward with "Duane Barry" and it's follow up episode. The second season found the show stepping away from its inspirations and creating its own formidable backstory for the series. Among the outstanding episodes are "Sleepless","Colony", "End Game", "The Host" and "One Breath". So what's the difference between this "Second Season" set and the previous edition?
The packaging with all of the disks in slimline boxes (the really skinny DVD boxes)is a good thing. The previous set unfolded with the disks and as the sets aged the disks could easily fall out. You can't replace the other set but you can buy more DVD slimline holders to replace the originals here when they begin to break. The contents are exactly the same for all intents and purposes with the exception of the disk of extras for this set. That disk is missing in action as its only available as part of the "Collector's Edition". All of the extras on the regular DVDs are, however, the same including any deleted scenes, etc. that were on the previous set. This is a good thing because the original fold out DVD packaging was a bit of a pain and didn't hold up to wear and tear all that well.
There aren't any new extras and the show looks the same (it's the same transfers with the discs pressed from the same digital masters). You're just getting the show at a reduced cost with better packaging. It's a good deal for a great season of television. I'm surprised that Fox didn't repackage these into half season sets like they have with "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and "The Time Tunnel".
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2003
The final episode in Season One of The X-Files, "The Erlenmeyer Flask" proved that this show could go from excellent to flat out stunning. In this episode, Deep Throat was killed and The X-Files was closed down. It truly was a superb season finale and helped the show continue for a second season, which was a million times better. Season Two gained The X-Files popular critical and commercial acclaim, in which the show won awards at the Golden Globes, Digital Hollywood Awards, Saturn Awards and the Environmental Media Awards. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully respectively were born to play these roles and this aspect is what makes the show so excellent.
Season Two picks up where Season One left off with the episode "Little Green Men." This is where the mythology arc of the show really begins to take off. Mulder races to make contact with a downed UFO before a secret government team can cover it up. "Duane Barry," the Emmy-nominated episode, is another in the mythology arc in which a gunman who claims to have been the subject to alien experimentation holds Mulder and a handful of others hostage. "Ascension" is kind of the conclusion of the previous episode (Duane Barry), in which the gunman takes Scully hostage and takes her up onto a mountain top and has her abducted by unseen forces so that they will leave him alone. Scully fights for her life in the episode "One Breath" after been deposited back onto Earth.
The Season Two two-parter in the form of "Colony" and "End Game" is undoubtedly some of the most gripping, enthralling and absorbing episodes in X-Files history. Mulder makes a stunning discovery regarding his missing sister, who he believes was abducted when she was only a young girl. Scully's life is also in danger when an alien bounty hunter tracks her down. These aliens have the ability to take the identical form of anyone they want to. The scene where the alien appears to be Mulder and goes to Scully's apartment, only for the real Mulder to ring Scully's mobile is one of the most symbolic scenes in the history of the show. Scully is taken hostage by these bounty hunters and Mulder must rescue her, but discovers a shocking alien plan to colonise the Earth. In the final mythology episode of Season Two - "Anasazi" - things get really ugly for the agents when Mulder's father is killed by Alex Krycek, Mulder's enemy who works side by side with the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Mulder and Scully also uncover a chilling link between a UFO cover-up and secret government experiments in a huge box buried underground in New Mexico. There are bodies everywhere...bodies of aliens. One cannot describe the suspense a fan experiences between the end of this episode and the Season 3 opener which concludes this Season Two finale. Absolutely amazing.
The stand-alone episodes of this season include "The Host," "Blood," "Sleepless," "3," "Firewalker," "Red Museum," "Excelsius Dei," "Aubrey," "Fresh Bones," "Soft Light" and "Our Town." One of the best stand-alone episodes is "Irresistible." The agents track down a death fetishist whose horrifying obsession involves removing hair and fingernails of dead women. The way the man acts all kind and friendly makes it all the more freaky, especially when Scully (who is having trouble dealing with the case) is taken hostage by the man. In "Die Hand Die Verletzt," the agents persue a group of school teachers who worship the devil led by a Satan-worshipping and demonic substitute teacher. Scenes such as the one with the snake in the basement is one of the most famous scenes in the show's history and you'll feel like crying when the teenage girl tells the agents about her horrifying experiences with these teachers - two of whom are her parents.
"Fearful Symmetry" involves rare zoo animals being abducted and impregnated in a case which Mulder believes may be linked to alien conversation. "Dod Kalm" sees the agents stranded on a 'ghost ship' which is in an area of the sea which accelerates the ageing process of the victims on board at an alarming rate. Mulder and Scully must find a way to survive of the stranded ship through means of fresh water. Gillian Anderson is superb in this episode and deserved to win an Emmy. "Humbug" was the first humorous episode of the show and was a huge success, further proving that this is a unique show that can scare and absorb you, while making you laugh and cry. In "The Calusari," the agents investigate a young boy possessed by evil while being exposed to the ancient ritual of exorcism. It's episodes that include evil and Satanic subjects that really, really scare me. I couldn't sleep after watching this episode! And the agents go behind closed doors to stop a grotesquely disfiguring virus that is killing off prison inmates at an epidemic rate in the episode "F. Emasculata."
OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
Season Two of The X-Files is definitely a highlight of the entire show. Every episode is absolutely excellent, but all touch you and affect you in different ways. There are not many shows that can do this, but The X-Files pulls it off to maximum effect. Fairly confident that The X-Files was here to stay because of the huge success of Season One, Chris Carter put all his effort into Season Two of the show. After the show just went on to become a global phenomenon, Carter gained more ideas for Season Three. One thinks things can't get any better after Season Two, but they can. And they do.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2000
First of all, hats off to CBS/FOX for giving X-Philes a real value. It would be tempting to release the X-Files episodes two or three at a time as Paramount has done with the original Star Trek. Or even to just release a "best of" collection as they've done with the video releases of X-Files (which while it gives you the classic mythology episodes, sometimes it overlooks some some of my personal favorites). Instead, FOX has given us the box set that includes every episode of season two, plus a few extra goodies.
The second season of the X-Files was when it really took off, becoming not only a solid hit for FOX, but also a critical darling and a pop culture phenomenon. It was the first season to be nominated for an Emmy for best drama and it certainly shows in the episodes represented here. Season two is the one that had the best balance of monster of the week and mythology episodes. The monsters of the week were memorable and scary--from the disguisting flukeman to the horrifying Donnie Phaster and many more. There were also the mythology episodes such as the six-story arc to open the season and the classic Colony/End Game episodes that introduced us to Mulder's family. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are both superb over the course of the season and they continue to get better and better with each episode. The second season also introduces perhaps one of the greatest X-Files writers of all time--Darin Morgan. His two episodes here are interesting--one is great (Blood) and the other is superb (Humbug). Season two had it all and it's worth a look on DVD.
As for some of the detractors to this set, I must point out that only the past three seasons of X-Files have been shown in both widescreen and the full screen version. Rumor is FOX plans to release the widescreen versions when we get to those seasons. Also, the Dolby surround sound wasn't used until season three, hence why FOX may have chosen not to include it here.
If you're an X-Phile, this is a must have. If you're looking for a good place to start your journey into the X-Files and remember how good it was, this is the collection for you.
I know it says trust no one, but trust me on this one.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2000
As an X-Files fan, not a fanatic, I'll defer criticism of the 25 episodes in this set to other, much better qualified reviewers below. But you don't need to be a rabid fan of this series to appreciate the quality and thought that has obviously gone into the packaging of this product.
All 25 episodes and a bunch of extras come on seven discs. The one-sided discs each feature unique artwork from one of the episodes they contain. The discs nest in a very nifty container made of seven panels, one for each of the discs. This *container* is over two feel long and folds in on itself. Additionally, there's a pocket to hold a slim booklet which includes production information that only the aforementioned fanatics will care about. Finally, there is a sleeve that fits over the folded package to keep it from unfurling.
The paper stock is luxurious and lavished with artwork and stills from the show. All told, the entire set has dimensions approximating three stacked DVD cases. Contrast this to Paramount's bumbling release of a mere 79 episodes of the original Star Trek on FORTY separate discs.
All the hay that's been made about viewing movies on DVD is completely deserved, but the format's service to television has yet to be fully appreciated. For starters, the picture quality is much better than broadcast or even cable. Watching a season's worth of episodes in rapid sequence will give you a new appreciation for the subtle changes in Mulder and Scully's characters and at least a fighting chance at understanding the series' underlying "mythology" story arc.
This is a superb product. Lets just hope the other studios pick up a few clues from Fox when releasing their TV catalogs.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
when the x-files series was originally released on DVD, it was the first of its kind, no one had ever heard of "complete season box-sets" available for purchase. So Fox not having any president, listed the sets at an MSRP of $149.99, which fans of the show had no problem sending (most of them), but that price has high enough to that people who never watched the show, or on ight budgets never picked them up. NOw fox has finally realized that they are opening up an whole new untapped market with these new lower MSRP's.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I've blasted Twentieth Century Fox over and over the past few years for not making THE X-FILES available in an affordable edition. I was especially miffed this past year as they brought out the inexpensive but incomplete Mythology editions. Finally they have given us an edition that recollects the original DVD releases but in a new format and a dramatically lower price. For anyone with even the slightest doubt, this is the edition of THE X-FILES to get. Although I like to collect my favorite shows on DVD, and I consider THE X-FILES to be one of my two or three favorite shows ever, I have not bought any season, opting instead to rent and rerent the discs from Netflix. Partly this was because I am on a budget and partly because I revolt at paying over $40 for any television season. Once we consumers start paying those kinds of rates, the producers will provide us with nothing priced lower. I was determined either to wait the folks at Twentieth Century Fox out or give Netflix a lot of X-FILES rentals. To complicate matters, buying the seasons used is complicated by the fact that so many sellers on Amazon and elsewhere are actually selling cheap Hong Kong rip offs, not a very good option. Now, however, we not only can pay a reasonable price, but a better format, with the slim line cases that are both longer-lasting than the original fold out cases and more aesthetically pleasing.
There are two major differences between Season One and Season Two of THE X-FILES. First, there is an overall increase in the quality of individual episodes. The writing and production in Season One was very sharp, but the writing was even more finely honed in the second season. Even in the episodes that dealt with the "phenomena of the week," there is a persistent increase in the quality of the new characters introduced and the complexity of the situations. In other words, there is no sophomore slump for these guys. The second major difference is a slight increase in the complexity of the back story. Partially this is done by a couple of multi-episode stories and partially by developing the longer arc of a complex and nefarious conspiracy of silence on the part of a shadowy federal agency that seems to be connected with the Department of Defense. There is a great deal of character development, especially of secondary characters. The Deep Throat of Season One has been replaced by a new Deep Throat, a highly placed African-American played convincingly by Steven Williams who is far more ruthless than the original Deep Throat. Assistant Deputy Director Skinner becomes a far more important character, one whose loyalties are hard to place, but one who clearly is capable of at times being Mulder and Scully's most loyal friend, though more frequently their taskmaster and disciplinarian. The Smoking Man continues to lurk in the shadows, radiating patronizing tyranny and an aura of conspiratorial intrigue. He was a presence in the first season, but he becomes a full fledged character in the second, moving from a non-talking character to one who talks a fair amount. Even Mulder and Scully, who were magnificently conceived characters from the very first episode, learn new things that show their lives to be more complex than they had suspected (and in the two shows that begin Season Three that complete the story that begins in the final episode of Season Two show that there is much, much more to learn than they even remotely suspect).
The start of the season finds Scully in a coma, the X-Files unit disbanded, and Mulder assigned to outrageously trivial surveillance work. Of course, all works out in a series of spectacular episodes. Those fans of Gillian Anderson's crystal blue-eyed, porcelain beauty might notice that she doesn't look quite as lovely early in the season, a function partly of a terrible hairstyling mistake (her bob with bangs instead of her usual part, which utterly alters the balance of her face) and partly of her being extremely pregnant. I applaud the makers of the show for not trying to work her pregnancy into the story line, instead hiding it use of the billowing trench coats that help constitute Scully and Mulder's uniforms. The pregnancy is easy to see in her face, it getting rounder and fuller as she got further into the pregnancy. In fact, if you do a screenshot of her in her last episodes before having her daughter, and compare it to one from an episode either early in Season One or from Season Three, the difference in her face is dramatic. Pregnancies are always hard to work around, but this is one of the more interesting attempts in TV history for their refusal to work it into the plot. Amazingly, she filmed the extraordinary pair of episodes "Duane Barry" and "Ascension" while very close to term. There is absolutely no more terrifying image in all of THE X-FILES than that of the glimpse of Scully's gagged face in the trunk of Duane Barry's stolen car from the video camera of a police car. One has to admire the professionalism of an actress who will climb gagged into a car trunk
One thing that is not frequently noted is how unusual both Mulder and Scully are from most action heroes. Neither has especial physical prowess. In fact, it is hard to recall a time when Mulder has come out on top in a scuffle. These guys are not street fighters, and while each can often be found drawing their guns when exploring a room or building, they are not by television standards trigger happy individuals. Furthermore, only rarely do they come across as being in absolute control of situations. They are not forceful individuals, either physically or in personality. They tend to back down a lot. They do not throw their authority around very often, not merely, I suspect, because they do not trust that judges will back them up, but because their style is more to persuade and cajole rather than to force. They stand in stark contrast to all similar characters in action or FBI shows.
My one complaint with Season Two is that there is too much emphasis on individual shows. I'm sure much of the cause of this was pressure from network execs to limit the multi-episode stories. Also, the creators themselves were not quite certain to what degree they wanted to emphasize the "Mythology" shows. Certainly many of the single episode shows are absolutely outstanding. For instance, the one featuring Jim Rose and The Enigma from the Jim Rose Freak Show is incredibly entertaining (as well as quite funny, with the most unique ending of an evil entity in the first two seasons of the show) as well as shocking; it is one thing to see The Enigma shoveling living bugs down his throat (in their stage show, he eats worse, including glass and worms), but it is rather surprising when Scully snacks on a grasshopper (something that interviews confirm was not faked, though her producing the grasshopper later through sleight of hand was). But as fine as many of the individual episodes are, the series rises to a completely different level in those episodes that expand to two or three episodes. The stand alone episodes make great TV, but the multi-episode arcs make spectacular television. I always experience a sense of disappointment when I realize an arc has ended and we have returned to the X-File-of-the-Week format.
Those who have not yet seen THE X-FILES in their entirety are lucky because they can now work their way all the way through the series season by season, not having to wait a week (or several months in the case of season-ending cliffhangers) to see what happens next, and being able to watch them in pristine DVD without having to be interrupted by inane commercials (is "inane commercial" redundant?). This is television as fine as it has ever gotten. And now thanks to the new slim format sets, they are affordable as well.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2006
Appears to only be missing in the Canadian 'Bilingual' edition that is sold on Amazon.ca and in Canadian stores. From having gone through two sets myself and from exchanging emails with folks on the web, the missing season finale for Season 2 does appear to only be affecting the 'Bilingual' edition. So long as you purchase the set from Amazon.com or another American store/website you should be okay. But avoid the 'Bilingual' edition like the plague!