Oh my god the computers are going to rise up and kill us all! If you grew up in the 1990s you can probably remember most of the shows you loved doing a computer panic episode. In a world where not everyone had a computer and most people didn’t understand the internet this fear made sense although none of these episodes predicted the truth of what computers would be used for (porn and flinging racist abuse at complete strangers). As the Millennium approached all the best shows tackled the villainy of these dreaded computing machines (my personal favourite being Buffy’s I Robot, You Jane) and The X Files committed fully to this tale of computers gone mad (and it’s not the last time they tackle this trope).
Once again this is not an essential episode. There’s a lot to enjoy here though. We’re introduced to the first of Mulder’s former partners and get the first hint that the position is somewhat of a poisoned chalice, we get to see Deep Throat again and he’s not worrying about aliens at all and Scully gets to be the bad ass for a change.
This is one of the few episodes that really date The X Files. Nowhere on telly today will you see the world being saved by a floppy disk. This kind of computer/internet panic episode died with the dawn of the 21st century and the realisation that our fears of the online apocalypse were unfounded. Well for now at least.