The X-Files—Season 3

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9.5 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

The X-Files at its best, Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space', Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

Some weak episodes, The List, The Walk, Syzygy, Teso Dos Bichos, and a few more

 
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We’re on the case!

Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is believed to be dead and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) seems to be the only one interested in finding the truth.  When Mulder resurfaces, he learns that his father might know more about his sisters disappearance than previously revealed.  As the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) continues to thwart Mulder and Scully’s attempts for the truth, a new threat in the form of a strange oil that seems to be able to possess people.

The third season of The X-Files gets over what I think was the sophomore slump of season 2.  The acting and style of the show continues to evolve and as the show continued to gain popularity and becomes self-aware by having lots of cross-references.  In the episode “Pusher,” he is reading about the Fluke Man from season 2’s “The Host.” There are many more little crossovers like this even within the season.

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No way, Jose!

Season 3 also has two of my all-time favorite episodes.  “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” has Peter Boyle as an unwilling psychic helping Mulder and Scully with a case.  The second episode that helps show the variety possible by X-Files is “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’” which has Charles Nelson Reilly researching a possible alien abduction.  It makes fun of FOX’s Alien Autopsy special and has some fun appearances by Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek.  The episode has a lot of humor and tons of variety with a Rashomon style storytelling.  It also has a bit of a tie to “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” in that TV psychic from “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” makes a cameo in the episode.

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Queequeg…look out for alligators…October 13, 1995-May 3, 1996 R.I.P.

Season 3 gets into the black oil mythos which becomes very important in the whole X-Files saga.  In the two episodes “Piper Maru” and “Apocrypha” have a strange oil substance which possesses its victims.  This plays big into the overall X-Files plot and has even been separated into X-Files Mythos:  Black Oil collection.  The black oil was heavily featured in The X-Files:  Fight the Future film in 1998.

With The X-Files—Season 3, X-Files has finally hit its stride.  It understands its characters, understands what the viewers (many of which were probably not versed in sci-fi) can tolerate, and it all comes together for a great season.  If you faded off during season 2, come back for season 3.  It is worth it…alas poor Queequeg, we barely knew you.

The X-Files—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:

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“The Blessing Way”

3.1       The Blessing Way Airdate:  09/22/95

Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is presumed dead and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is forced into probation as the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) leads the search for the encrypted disc.  When Mulder is found by the Native Americans in New Mexico, he hangs in between life and death.  Scully discovers an implanted device inside of her and tries to track down where it came from.  As Dana searches for answers, she learns from the Well-Manicured Man (John Neville) that her life could be in danger.

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“Paper Clip”

3.2       Paper Clip Airdate:  09/29/95

Dana’s sister Melissa (Melinda McGraw) has been shot, and Mulder is back from the dead.  As Mulder, Scully, and Skinner (Michael Pileggi) seek answers about the encrypted data, the Cigarette Smoking Man tries to cover his tracks which include Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea).  Mulder and Scully are led to a hidden national filing system by a former Nazi (Walter Gotell) and learn that Dana and Mulder’s sister are in the files.

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“D. P. O.”

3.3       D. P. O. Airdate:  10/06/95

Mulder and Scully investigate strange electrocutions in a town and find there are ties to a boy named Zero (Jack Black) and his friend Darin (Giovanni Ribisi) who survived a lightning strike.  Does Darin possess a power that others don’t and could his obsession with his former teacher turn deadly?

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Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose

3.4       Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose Airdate:  10/13/95

A killer targeting psychics leads to a professional psychic named The Stupendous Yappi (Jaap Broeker) being brought in to assist the case.  When Mulder and Scully find the professional psychic doesn’t seem to have any clue, a possible true psychic appears in the guise of a life insurance salesman named Clyde Bruckman (Peter Boyle).  While Mulder tries to believe in Clyde’s ability to see people’s deaths, Scully wonders if the real murderer is getting farther away.

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“The List”

3.5       The List Airdate:  10/20/95

Napoleon “Neech” Manley (Badja Djola) is executed on the death row of Warden Brodeur (J. T. Walsh), but vows to return to kill five people.  When deaths start occurring on death row, Mulder and Scully are called in to find out if there is truth to Neech’s claim.

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“2Shy”

3.6       2Shy Airdate:  11/03/95

A man (Timothy Carhart) preys on women from the internet and Mulder and Scully discover that the victims all appear to have their fat absorbed.

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“The Walk”

3.7       The Walk Airdate:  11/10/95

Gulf War veterans are finding themselves suicidal but report they are unable to kill themselves.  Mulder and Scully investigate the death attempts and find themselves in conflict with General Thomas Callahan (Thomas Kopache) until Callahan becomes a target of the spirit himself.  As the investigation continues, Mulder and Scully find that the suspect could be a quadruple amputee (Ian Tracey).

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“Oubliette”

3.8       Oubliette Airdate:  11/17/95

A girl is kidnapped from her home, and Mulder and Scully find that the the girl might have a psychic connection to a former kidnap victim named Lucy Householder (Tracy Ellis).  As Mulder and Scully search for the kidnapped girl, Lucy begins to see more and more flashes of what is happening to the kidnapped girl.

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“Nisei”

3.9       Nisei Airdate:  11/24/95

Mulder’s purchase of an alien autopsy tape leads he and Scully on the trail of the origin of the tape.  Mulder and Scully contact the Lone Gunmen (Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood) for help and split up.  While Mulder searches for the source of the tape, Scully discovers a group that might know information about her abduction.

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“731”

3.10     731 Airdate:  12/01/95

Mulder boards a train against the orders of Mr. X (Steven Williams) with suspicions of an alien cover-up.  Scully investigates the implants pulled from her and other abduction patients and finds that the technology might be Japanese.  Scully’s investigation leads her to a leper colony that was visited by a death squad.  Mulder’s train investigation finds a possible humanoid alien and a threat to his life.

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“Revelations”

3.11     Revelations Airdate:  12/15/95

A minister (R. Lee Ermey) is murdered after displaying stigmata and Mulder and Scully are called in.  When a student named Kevin Kryder (Kevin Zegers) displays stigmata, Mulder and Scully worry the killer (Kenneth Welsh) might go after him as a fraud.  When Kevin is kidnapped by a strange man (Michael Berryman), Mulder and Scully rust to find him.

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“War of the Coprophages”

3.12     War of the Coprophages Airdate:  01/05/96

Mulder learns of a town called Miller’s Grove that has had three deaths tied to cockroaches and learns that victims are increasing.  As Mulder tries to relay information to Scully, Scully continues to dissuade Mulder that anything is really happening.

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“Syzygy”

3.13     Syzygy Airdate:  01/26/95

When Jay “Boom” DeBoom (Ryan Reynolds) becomes the latest in a string of murders in a town, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate a possible cult.  As the town goes crazy, Mulder and Scully find themselves arguing.  Margi Kleinjan (Wendy Benson) and Terri Roberts (Lisa Robin Kelly) continue a rage and Mulder learns from Madame Zirinka (Denalda Williams) that the city of Comity is at the center of a planetary alignment that could be causing all the problems.

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“Grotesque”

3.14     Grotesque Airdate:  02/02/96

The arrest of an artist for a series of murders leads Mulder and Scully to investigate if repeat images of gargoyles could have a connection.  The investigation leads Mulder and Scully into conflict with one of the FBI’s top profilers and Mulder’s former professor Bill Patterson (Kurtwood Smith).  When Mulder is attacked by a gargoyle creature, Scully begins to suspect that Mulder might be going crazy.

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“Piper Maru”

3.15     Piper Maru Airdate:  02/09/96

A French diver on the Piper Maru discovers a sunken World War II play with a living pilot inside.  Returning to the surface, the diver displays evidence of a strange black oil to have invaded his body.  Scully learns the case investigating her sister’s death has been closed.  When the Piper Maru shows up with the crew dying from radiation poisoning, Mulder investigates the one survivor while Scully goes into her past to find information on the plane found by the French.

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“Apocrypha”

3.16     Apocrypha Airdate:  02/26/96

A cover up involving the investigation into the black oil substance begins after World War II and the Smoking Man and Mulder’s father are part of it.  Scully learns Skinner has been shot and Scully realizes it is connected.  Mulder’s attempt to transport Alex Krycek is stopped, and Mulder doesn’t realize he’s been taken over by the black oil when Krycek disappears.  Scully learns that the DNA of Skinner’s attacker matches her sister’s attacker and that he had been working with Krycek.  With everyone searching for Krycek, Mulder and Scully find they might be able to locate the proof they need of alien existence.

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“Pusher”

3.17     Pusher Airdate:  02/23/96

Mulder and Scully are called in to help arrest an assassin called Pusher (Robert Wisden) who appears to will his victims to commit suicide.  When Pusher picks Mulder as his adversary, Mulder could find himself forced to kill.

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“Teso Dos Bichos”

3.18     Teso Dos Bichos Airdate:  03/08/96

An artifact discovered on a dig is brought back to a museum against the wishes of the native people.  When the scientists surrounding the artifact begin to disappear, Mulder and Scully learn that something could be attacking them.

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“Hell Money”

3.19     Hell Money Airdate:  03/29/96

Mulder and Scully are called into a series of murders in Chinatown and work with Detective Glen Chao (B.D. Wong) to determine what a dying younger girl (Lucy Liu) and her father’s connection to missing organs and possible ghosts of Chinese ancestors.

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“Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'”

3.20     Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space” Airdate:  04/12/96

Author Jose Chung (Charles Nelson Reilly) investigates the abduction of two teens and a possible government cover-up.  The witnesses, Mulder, and Scully tell about the abduction, the alien autopsy, men in black resembling Alex Trebek and Jesse Ventura, and the truth.

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“Avatar”

3.21     Avatar Airdate:  04/26/96

Walter Skinner finds himself going through a divorce and wakes up next to a dead prostitute.  Mulder and Scully try to find out if Skinner could be the killer or if the killer could be a supernatural succubus as Mulder theorizes.

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“Quagmire”

3.22     Quagmire Airdate:  05/03/96

When disappearances begin occurring around a lake, Mulder and Scully decide to investigate whether rumors of a lake monster named Big Blue could be true.

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“Wetwired”

3.23     Wetwired Airdate:  05/10/96

Mulder and Scully investigate series of murders by average citizens.  Mulder and Scully learn that a signal being sent from televisions might be the cause, but Scully falls victims to the signal to become a threat.

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“Talitha Cumi”

3.24     Talitha Cumi Airdate:  05/17/96

Mulder and Scully investigate a shooting at a shooting at a restaurant and learn that a man (Roy Thinnes) healed the injured.  After a confrontation with the Cigarette Smoking Man, Mulder’s mother suffers a stroke, and Mulder demands the Smoking Man turned over to him.  As the Smoking Man questions the man who healed the people at the restaurant, the shape-shifting bounty hunter (Brian Thompson) seeks to silence him.

Related Links:

The X-Files—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files:  Fight the Future (1998)

The X-Files—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files:  I Want to Believe (2008)

The X-Files—Season 10 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Lone Gunmen—The Complete Series Review and Complete Episode Guide

Millennium—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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