|While the first season of The X-Files introduced us to Scully and Mulder, the second season finds the show confidently hitting its stride. Building on its earlier success, the show evolves, and in these 25 episodes, a glimpse is shown of a longer-running story line (which will continue through subsequent seasons) that is woven into the usual stand-alone episodes of the paranormal. These so-called mythology episodes hint at a global conspiracy involving sinister government agents, UFOs, alien abductions, genetic engineering, the ever-lurking Cigarette Smoking Man, and Fox Mulder's father. Season 2 fleshes out Mulder's family history, including the childhood abduction of his sister Samantha, an event that would shape him for life. Actress Gillian Anderson (Scully) became unexpectedly pregnant during season 2, but series creator Chris Carter managed to dance nimbly around her absence and even integrate it into the show. As in season 1, Mulder and Scully are surrounded by a strong supporting cast, which adds a suspicious new agent named Alex Krycek, an informant named X, and a seemingly indestructible alien bounty hunter.
The seven-disc boxed set includes some interesting background material, but again, the heart of the set is the episodes themselves. Among them are standouts such as "The Host," "Duane Barry/Ascension," "Humbug," "Dod Kalm," "Colony/End Game," and "Anasazi." These episodes are a powerful reminder that The X-Files, like no other show on television, can span horror, suspense, mystery, romance, drama, and comedy, sometimes all in the same episode, and always with the production values of a major feature film. --Eugene Wei