Season 3, Episode 18: “Teso Dos Bichos”
Every season has its dud. You know, those episodes that aren’t good or horrible, just completely forgettable. They’re inevitable. And in the case of Season 3, I can’t think of any episode more qualified for the name of “Dud” than “Teso Dos Bichos.”
Season 3 is not a very good season for monsters. We’ve had great human villains, like Puppet from “Clyde Bruckman,” Virgil Incanto from “2Shy,” and Robert Patrick Modell from “Pusher,” but in terms of actual scary, otherworldly creatures, Season 3 is surprisingly lacking. The scariest imagery we’ll get all season in terms of the creepy grossness The X-Files is known for are the cockroaches that crawl into people’s arms in “War of the Coprophages,” which for me is terrifying but I can see why people wouldn’t consider that a classic X-Files monster, like the Flukeman, for example.
“Teso Dos Bichos” is the first legitimate creature we’ve had in a very long time, and what do we get? A killer kitty-cat.
You know how I said in my review of Season 2’s “3” that perhaps The X-Files wasn’t the best when it came to “traditional” monsters, like vampires and werewolves? Well, the same can be applied to The X-Files and house pets. Only two episodes of the show deal with domesticated animals – “Teso Dos Bichos” and Season 6’s “Alpha” – and neither of them are very good.
And, quite frankly, it’s not too hard to see why these episodes really don’t work. They’re domesticated animals. Cats just aren’t that scary. Especially in this day and age, when cute cat videos occupy at least one whole section of the Internet.
There are a few scenes in “Teso Dos Bichos” that I suppose could theoretically gross someone out, like the rats coming out of the toilet, but honestly if you’ve seen Indiana Jones you’ll be able to handle this, I promise. And I don’t want to hear “well Indiana Jones was a movie with a bigger budget and could therefore make the rats more scary” stuff. Indiana Jones also did a whole sequence with bugs and I still find “War of the Coprophages” much scarier.
I have to hand it to Season 3, though – it’s done a pretty good job of holding my attention so far. Even though there have been a few bad episodes, they’ve all managed to hold my attention and I’ve at least been able to say something about them. “Teso Dos Bichos” is the first episode I get to label the “I’m bored and have nothing to say about it” episode, but considering that this is Episode #18, that’s pretty good.
So yeah, “Teso Dos Bichos” is a dud. But you know what? That’s okay.
Final score for “Teso Dos Bichos” is 4/10. Why? Because 4/10 = eh.
- For the record, I love cats.
- I do feel a tiny amount of connection with this episode because it involves two things I love: cats and history/archaeology. It doesn’t combine them very well, but whatever.
- This isn’t really a Notable Nugget, just a bit of trivia: Gillian Anderson is allergic to cats, so during the scene where Scully is attacked they had to cover a cat replica with bunny fur and basically stick it in her face. Fun times.