X Cyclopedia: The Ultimate Episode Guide, Season I

4. THE JERSEY DEVIL
WRITER: CARTER
DIR.: JOE NAPOLITANO
Mulder and Scully investigate a murderous Bigfoot family living deep in the forests of New Jersey. Historic moment: A dolled-up Scully goes out on a date; her realization that she's bored — with a glimmer that Mulder and her work are all that count — registers. Critique: Needless philosophizing (man battling the beast within) dumbs down an already corny premise, as does the ridiculously attractive ''beast woman'' Mulder takes a fancy to. C

5. SHADOWS
WRITERS: MORGAN/WONG
DIR.: MICHAEL KATLEMAN
A Philadelphia secretary is possessed by the spirit of her dead boss, an apparent suicide, who uses her to help him uncover both his real murderer and an illegal arms deal with Arab terrorists. Critique: The exceedingly awkward my-boss-is-inside-me premise degenerates into silliness, and the series has never managed to find rich material in political subjects like the Middle East. C+

6. GHOST IN THE MACHINE
WRITERS: GORDON/GANSA
DIR.: JERROLD FREEDMAN
A supercomputer develops a mind of its own, killing anyone who intends to shut it down. Naturally, the government wants to usurp the artificial-intelligence research, despite the threat to human life. Critique: The unacknowledged 2001 rip-offs, gratuitous use of Deep Throat, and absence of humor compound a tired idea (computers as modern-day monsters is so old). D+

7. ICE
WRITERS: MORGAN/WONG
DIR.: DAVID NUTTER
John Carpenter's The Thing gets a dustoff as Mulder and Scully investigate a team of Arctic Circle researchers wiped out by a worm-like, psychosis-inducing parasite. Critique: Particularly taut and briskly paced, with good comic relief (including Mulder's memorable reference to his manhood, shrunken by the cold); placing the agents in utterly isolated situations will continue to pay off. A-

8. SPACE
WRITER: CARTER
DIR.: WILLIAM GRAHAM
An extraterrestrial ghost, acting through a former astronaut-turned-NASA official, sabotages a space shuttle to prevent further explorations that may discover alien life. Subtext: Mulder's (read Carter's) nostalgia for the beleaguered space program. Critique: Cheesy F/X, extensive reliance on stock footage, and a poker-faced Mulder and Scully make for one dead hour. (FYI: This is Carter's least favorite episode.) D-

9. FALLEN ANGEL
WRITERS: GORDON/GANSA
DIR.: LARRY SHAW
A UFO crashes in Wisconsin and a holographic alien (think Predator) is on the loose. As a government-directed military unit attempts to cover it up, Deep Throat alerts Mulder, who is able to snatch a glimpse of the ship before it is secreted away. Creative casting: Scott Bellis as endearing Lone Gunman precursor and conspiracy freak Max Fenig. Critique: The still-more-skeptical-than-trusting Scully has an eye-rolling field day (never fun). Other than that, a very cool-looking episode that does the best job so far of illuminating the agents' position with relation to the government (contentious) and crackpots (sympathetic). B+