Episodes are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. A detailed explanation of the rating scale appears below, but in general, I consider a
6-7 rating to be the average, enjoyable X-File; this is a good rating. Anything higher indicates an exceptional episode, and
anything lower indicates a weaker episode.
A rating of 1 indicates a very poor and/or problematic episode, perhaps possessing a weak or incomprehensible plot, bad performances, or major inconsistencies within the episode or in relation to the series or the characters themselves. In other words, you're almost sorry you watched it.
A rating of 2-3 indicates a generally poor episode. Not as disasterous as a 1 rating, but indicative of a sloppy and/or inconsistent plot, and significant flaws in characterization or mythology. Maybe saved by a couple of oneliners, but all and all, it leaves much to be desired.
A rating of 4-5 indicates a mediocre episode (4 is borderline; 5 is basically the "not bad/not good either" scenario). The ep has potential, but perhaps doesn't quite deliver in some areas. No major complaints, maybe a few inconsistencies and plot holes. Has some good oneliners and memorable scenes.
6-7 is an average to good rating. This is more along the lines of your typical X-File; a generally good episode which makes for an enjoyable hour. Solid plot and good performances.
8 indicates an above-average episode. Great plot and very good performances, an all around very enjoyable hour.
9 indicates an exceptional episode. Outstanding plot and fabulous performances. Hands down classic material.
10 indicates an absolutely fabulous episode. Instant classic.
+'s are assigned to episodes which are slightly better than average within their assigned rating.
My episode classification scheme may differ slighty from others on the web. Since there are a fair number of episodes which exist in a gray area between mythology and MOTW, in essense "pseudo-mythology," I feel they belong in a category of their own. Here's an explanation:
Mythology: an episode which deals directly with the mythology of the series. Examples are Anasazi, The Beginning, The Erlenmeyer Flask, S.R 819, etc.
Myth/Stand Alone: More than your typical MOTW; they're mytholgy/stand alone eps. An episode which does not deal directly with the series mythology, however contains subjects which are not confined to the episode itself--for instance, major character development, recurring themes, or some notable mention of the general mythology. Examples include Irresistible, Orison, Tithonus, Dreamland, Paper Hearts, Squeeze, Tooms, etc.
MOTW: Little or no mention of the general series mythology, and no significant character development. Examples include: Alpha, The Field Where I Died, War of the Coprophages, Teliko, etc.