Silver Screams V: The X-Files – Bad Blood (1998)

Silver Screams V continues with Leon Nicholson looking at The X-Files episode Bad Blood starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Luke Wilson.

By this time, The X-Files was in its fifth season and ratings began to suffer and generally it was one with mixed quality. Bad Blood however, was The X-Files as one has never seen it before.

This episode is told from Mulder and Scully’s different points of view after they are called in to see Skinner after an unfortunate incident. What has happened? Well, Mulder has tracked down a young lad who he believes to be a vampire, chased him into the woods and when apprehending him, he stakes him in the chest. The evidence contradicts Mulder’s belief when the ‘vampire’ fangs in the young victim’s mouth actually turn out to be pointed dentures. So before they go to see the Assistant Director they decide to get their stories ‘straight’. So the viewer see our heroes recount events and, of course they differ somewhat.

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Bad Blood is a great episode for various reasons. Firstly, we see the same story from two differing perspectives and from these viewpoints we see how Mulder and Scully not only see themselves but also view one another. It’s not the major details that are dissimilar but the little ones – what the audience would think as insignificant but because of their intense relationship, these ‘facts’ obviously matter to them. Also the viewer also gets to see Scully ‘lust over’ another character namely Sheriff Hartwell (Luke Wilson) whilst Mulder’s reaction to the said sheriff is one akin to the green eyed monster.

There are some great performances too. Luke Wilson as the sheriff is excellent as is Patrick Renna as Ronnie Strickland, the young lad who may or may not be a vampire. Cliff Bole’s direction is spot on and writer of this episode Vince Gilligan (who created The Lone Gunman, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) pens this superb entry which apparently is inspired from an episode of The Dick Van Dyke show called The Night The Roof Fell In. Pre – and Post Bad Blood there have been other various movies and TV shows that have followed this format including Vantage Point and Rashomon from the great Akira Kurosawa and these always make for interesting viewing.

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Bad Blood is the funniest X-Files episode ever made. In fact it’s probably one of the very best X-Files filmed. Yet, in all the goofiness, thankfully there are elements of horror that most ‘Monster of the Week’ episodes need. This entry has everything and must not be missed. Bad Blood is quite simply brilliant.

FMV Rating *****



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