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X-Files: Every Darin Morgan Episode Ranked From Worst to Best

Darin Morgan has written some of the best The X-Files episodes of all time, and here’s how they rank, worst to best. Morgan is known for his offbeat, quirky stories and characters, and fittingly, he entered the X-Files world in a suitably strange way. Morgan’s first job on The X-Files was getting inside a monster suit to play the iconic Flukeman in the audience-favorite episode “The Host.” Thankfully, that gig led Morgan to being hired as a writer on the show, and the rest is history.

To be fair, Morgan did have a leg up when it came to getting his foot in the X-Files door, as his older brother Glen Morgan was already working for the show alongside his writing partner James Wong. Still, The X-Files hiring Darin Morgan would prove to be a stroke of genius for the show, as his work led to some of the beloved sci-fi series’ most memorable episodes. While Morgan wasn’t prolific, when he did turn something in, viewers came to expect quality. Related: X-Files Theory: Mulder & Scully’s Field Trip Never Ended Morgan wrote six total episodes of The X-Files, two of which he also directed. He also has a story credit on “Blood,” but that’s not being counted here, as he didn’t actually pen the screenplay–that duty went to his brother Glen. If The X-Files ever somehow gets a season 12, he’ll surely return, but for now, here’s how all the episodes Darin Morgan has written rank from worst to best.

6. War of the Coprophages
To be clear, being the worst Darin Morgan-written episode of The X-Files isn’t a terrible distinction. All of Morgan’s episodes have been acclaimed to an extent, and that was the case for X-Files season 3, episode 12, “War of the Coprophages.” FBI agents Mulder and Scully, as so they often do, head to a small town to investigate mysterious murders, in this case, murders that find the victims covered with roaches. Mulder and Scully are apart for much of the story, leaving Mulder to have flirty interactions with a local bug expert. “War of the Coprophages” comes equipped with Morgan’s usual humorous tone and sharp wit, but comes up a bit short of his other work when it comes to the strength of concept and creation of characters.

5. Humbug
The X-Files, season 2, episode 20, “Humbug,” was the first episode to be directly written by Darin Morgan, and went a long way toward establishing him as a writer to watch. “Humbug” was one of the first X-Files episodes to sport a wacky, irreverent feel, and indulge in a playful sense of strangeness that would come to be the show’s absurdist hallmark. Mulder and Scully head to the town of Gibsonton, Florida in order to investigate bizarre murders possibly connected to a community of circus performers and sideshow freaks. “Humbug,” for all its oddities, smartly looks at the reality of being the “Other,” a societal outcast that “normal” people don’t want around. The fact that “Humbug” is this far down the ranking just speaks to how great Morgan’s later episodes are.

4. Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster
The X-Files’ first revival season, season 10, only ran six episodes in length, but smartly brought Darin Morgan in to write episode 3, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” If anyone had been wondering if Morgan’s comedic chops had dulled in the time since X-Files season 9, this hilarious new tale quickly answered that question with a resounding no. Mulder and Scully investigate killings believed to be committed by a shape-shifting monster, but in a hysterical turn of events, the monster is innocent, and actually a lizard creature who turns into a man after being bitten by a human. Comedians Rhys Darby and Kumail Nanjiani guest star, adding to the fun. This supernatural encounter also helps restore Mulder’s faith, after the first two episodes of season 10 suggest everything he believed had been a lie.

3. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose
The top three episodes in Darin Morgan’s X-Files catalog are almost interchangeable in quality, and deciding between them is a very hard task for even the most diehard X-Files lover. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” in season 3, episode 4, is probably the darkest of Morgan’s X-Files outings – although certainly not as dark as a shocker like X-Files’ “Home” episode – but it retains his sharp-edged wit. While hunting for a killer, Mulder and Scully encounter the titular Bruckman (played by Peter Boyle), a man with psychic abilities, not that he really likes them. Boyle knocks it out of the park as Bruckman, and deservedly won an Emmy for his work, as did Morgan. Notably, this episode gave birth to the theory that Agent Scully is immortal.

2. The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat
The X-Files season 11, so far its last, was widely seen as a big improvement from season 10. Again delivering was Darin Morgan’s X-Files season 11, episode 4, “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat.” It’s probably not as moving or emotionally impactful as “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” but it makes up for that by being possibly the funniest X-Files episode ever made. Morgan creates another terrific one-off X-Files character in Reggie (Brian Huskey), who claims to have a long history working alongside Mulder and Scully at the FBI, but for some reason, their memories of these events have been erased. What ensues gets progressively crazier, leading to moments that have to be seen to be believed.

1. Jose Chung’s From Outer Space
Darin Morgan’s “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” X-Files season 3, episode 20, is another clear candidate for the funniest installment of the series ever. Charles Nelson Reilly guest stars as the titular Jose Chung, an author writing a book about aliens and UFOs. Chung is another terrific character created by Morgan, but the real driver of the story is its Rashomon-style plot structure, which sees the same events told from different points of view. As expected, many of these variations are absolutely hilarious. At one point two Men in Black, played in the X-Files episode by Alex Trebek and Jesse Ventura, of all people, even show up. Reilly, who sadly didn’t win an Emmy for his work, proved so beloved as Chung that the character would later appear on X-Files creator Chris Carter’s other show Millennium, which itself directly crossed over with The X-Files.

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