EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'X-Files' Fridays: Look who's holding the door

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “The Jersey Devil” | Aired Oct 8, 1993

It’s been over two decades since The X-Files made its debut, but the series is as relevant as ever, and with talk of a revival in the air, there’s no better time to revisit it—or to discover it for the first time. Community assistant editors Andrea Towers, who watched in its original run, and Kelly Connolly, who was introduced to the show last summer, will be here each week to talk it out. Next up, Scully has a date.

KELLY: We get precious few Scully dates on this show, but I’m so glad she spends one of them in a long-sleeved white lace shirt with shoulder pads.

ANDREA: I think the defining moment of the first—what, 10?—episodes of The X-Files is Scully’s dating attire. And the fact that she dates at all. It literally lasts for five seconds and all of a sudden, I guess she doesn’t have time to date because she’s helping Mulder chase aliens. And weird mythological creatures. R.I.P., lace shirt. (At least the shoulder pads stayed for a while.)

x files scully date jersey devil lace

KELLY: I like how clear it is from the start that Scully doesn’t want a normal life as much as she says she does. She just left her date to bail Mulder out of JAIL and then pay for his breakfast, and he’s so excited about a possible caveperson that he can’t even chew his food, and she’s telling herself, No no no, this is not what my life is going to be, but she already left her date for it. She’d rather dramatically roll around under a pipe than go to the beach with some guy and his kids. She does still think Mulder could stand to take some time for himself, but if he won’t, she’ll just have to join him.

ANDREA: She’s so adamant about it too! All, “Mulder, this is ridiculous, I would like to go to my godson’s birthday.” He doesn’t care; he’s used to doing everything on his own, so he’ll stay and chase after some creature that may or may not be real. And yet she doesn’t really go through with leaving him. Five episodes in, and she just can’t tear herself away. She’s intrigued, and she finds him endearing … even the worst parts of him. (Also, I know this is random, but I like comparing this episode to similar ones that come later, like “Detour” or “Quagmire.” Can we make a list at some point of all the myths that Scully has been forced to deal with?)

KELLY: Yes, please. She’s always getting dragged into local legends. And that’s so true: Mulder is used to doing everything on his own, so he’s fine with carrying on while Scully goes back to D.C. He doesn’t take it personally. I can’t get over how Mulder-y he is in this episode, and how early this show had a sense for his specific kind of reckless empathy. The fact that he just hands his hotel-room key to a homeless man and then wraps himself in a blanket and sits outside all night waiting for a cannibal is perfect. His curiosity is so intense that it obscures everything else for him—he doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and he doesn’t care that he might get hurt. “Trust no one” only applies to people in authority. Mulder trusts anyone he thinks has been victimized without a second thought.

x files jersey devil mulder smile

ANDREA: It’s really telling of his character, isn’t it? This was something else I took for granted when I watched the show for the first time, but one of those things that comes out later when you’re rewatching, because you can watch knowing how the character ended up and what he acts like. I think it just constantly reiterates how much Scully and Mulder are independent of each other, but how strong their connection is at the same time. Mulder doesn’t NEED Scully to do his job. He’s pleasantly surprised when she joins him. Scully doesn’t NEED to do her job all the time like Mulder does, that’s not why she joined up with him. But she’s surprised when she finds herself wanting to spend time with him.

KELLY: It’s so great to watch them choose to need each other. Like you said, they’re both capable of standing on their own, but they’re already figuring out that it’s better together. When Scully is cleaning up at the party (in her vest, which is just about the most “Saturday morning in the ’90s” thing I’ve ever seen), and her friend suggests that she hook up with Mulder (well done, friend), Scully shoots down that idea by calling Mulder a jerk. Which I think is such a reflex—saying “jerk” when you really mean “it’s complicated.” She takes it right back, because she knows that Mulder isn’t difficult out of any sort of disregard for people’s feelings. He’s just passionate, and she won’t let herself be one of those people who write him off because he doesn’t care the way they say he should. She’s already defending him—while apparently telling everyone how cute he is.

And the cost of that is a normal life. This job and this relationship are about to be really all-consuming for both of them. Everyone just forgets about Scully’s godson after this. I wish it didn’t take so long to find her another female friend (or a kid to cuddle, because AGH, my heart), but I also love that it’s just Scully and Mulder against the world.

x files jersey devil scully mulder touching

ANDREA: I think there are a few points (coming up in “Beyond the Sea,” and then into the next few seasons) where we see her sister and her family and they’re like, “Oh my god, you need a life, who is this Mulder guy?!” And that always resonated with me, particularly once we got into the later seasons. (Bill Scully, why you so mean?!) It was like they would try to remind you that she wasn’t as well off because she was married to her job or had this crazy guy in her life, but the truth is, they had more of a bond than she could find with anyone else.

Scully and the vest, though. Oh man. I was so fixated on that lace thing that I actually didn’t even think of that.

KELLY: I am here for all of your Scully wardrobe reminders. That red-orange plaid jacket she wears at the end? What a gift.

And I want to paint that on a greeting card and send it to everyone in Scully’s life: “They had more of a bond than she could find with anyone else.” Her relationship with Mulder isn’t easy to label, but that’s only because it’s on its own level. It’s funny that we should get this story about Scully balking at people’s expectations for her life set against a case that itself expects some pretty frustrating things from women. She came out of the cave when her man died! She just wanted to protect her kids! I’d like to think that it’s at least a little bit intentional. They’re hitting us with all of these different images of domesticity, and Scully won’t play into any of them. “Look who’s holding the door” is her way of saying that she calls the shots. I don’t think they had to pit Scully against this vague idea of womanhood in order to make that point, but I appreciate what they’re saying about her. She won’t let anyone else define her life.

x files scully vest jersey devil

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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