Darkness Falls

"Darkness Falls" is the twentieth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on April 15, 1994. "Darkness Falls" was written by series creator Chris Carter, and directed by Joe Napolitano. It featured guest appearances by Jason Beghe and Titus Welliver. The episode is a "Monster-of-the-Week" story, a stand-alone plot that is unconnected to the series' wider mythology. "Darkness Falls" earned a Nielsen household rating of 8.0, being watched by 7.5 million households in its initial broadcast, and received mostly positive reviews.

The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files. In this episode, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate when a team of loggers disappear without a trace. Initially suspecting eco-terrorism, the agents find themselves trapped by a seemingly ancient menace lurking in the woods.

Chris Carter was inspired to write this episode based on an interest in dendrochronology, a subject that involves analyzing annual growth rings found in non-tropical tree species. Carter credits the episode's ominous ending with his experience growing up in the era following the Watergate scandal, having spent his life coming to mistrust the government profoundly.