Decades before TV viewers could stream series with complex, seasons-long, and bingeworthy narratives, Chris Carter's The X-Files carved out a unique niche. His show introduced a more consistent "monster-of-the-week" format situated within an overarching narrative mythology. Casual viewers could tune in for a weekly dose of frights without too much character or plot baggage attached, and dedicated fans were rewarded for their attentiveness with plots and sub-plots linking characters, locations, and objects throughout the show's run.
For 202 episodes and nine seasons - plus two feature films and two encore seasons - FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) chased lights in the sky, fought terrifying cryptids, and attempted to deny their love for one another while pursuing a truth that remained forever out of reach.
While some episodes were pedestrian, others were nightmare-inducing, but all were essential parts of the larger tapestry of one of the best series in TV history. Vote up the episodes of The X-Files that mattered most to the series overall.