JYW's Completely Short & Informal X-Files Reviews

1995-96: Season 3 Reviews

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Rating Explanation
* * * * * Superb. This only comes once in a blue moon.
* * * * Very good. X-Files on its toes
* * * Good. Your typical X-Files entertainment.
* * Below standard. They can definitely do better than this.
* What happened?!

I also use fractions, usually ½.

Lots and lots of files...

Scully in one of the secret tunnels in "Paper Clip" (3X02).

Important: The reviews contain spoilers. The titles below are listed by ascending episode number, not by the air dates.

Index - Page 1  (go >> to Page 2)
The Blessing Way + Paper Clip | D.P.O. | Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose | The List | 2Shy | The Walk | Oubliette |
Nisei + 731 | Revelations | War of the Coprophages

3X01 - "The Blessing Way" Part 2 of 3 (22 September 1995)
* * * * ½
The monologues were great. Very reminiscent of Morgan & Wong's eloquent writing. It was wonderful to get a rare peek into the emotional side of Scully. Very effective cliffhanger here, as well, but of course we all knew it had to be Mulder at the door! I was really impressed with the pseudo-New Mexico location (as in "Anasazi").

  • I still can't fully accept how Mulder survives the explosion. I suppose there's always a door out, hmmm? (Hint for "Paper Clip.")

3X02 - "Paper Clip" Part 3 of 3 (29 September 1995)
* * * * *
Can Carter pack in more? Forget I asked. And the hug! (Sigh happily.) What a great ending. What great characters. (No, I am not a pro-"M-'&'-S" lobbyist.)

3X03 - "D.P.O." (6 October 1995)
* * ½
Hmmm. I liked the music. Nitpicks:

  • If I'd heard just one more "dude!" one-liner or Beavis/Butthead-like "hehe" by DPO and Zero (how appropriate), I would have screamed. It was extremely annoying. Extremely.
  • Like every other fan, I was irked when Chris Carter decided to skip, oh, three months following "Paper Clip" and lead us to this episode; he also didn't address all the burning questions we all had.

3X04 - "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" (13 October 1995)
* * * *
After watching this a few more times, I think I have learned to appreciate this episode more than when I first saw it. This one had a really strange feel to it -- it is Darin Morgan's brainchild, and I wasn't used to his style. He combines the less attractive with some humor, so that the gory stuff isn't so bad. Plenty of playful Mulder/Scullyisms, and I loved the other clever/humorous ideas (Yappi, banana cream pie?)
:-) And how can I forget the scene when Scully came out of the service elevator and shot the bellboy?! I didn't think I would ever hear myself say this about a violent act such as shooting someone, but, "Way to go, Scully!" It was for Mulder, after all.
(More) Nitpicks:

  • I really didn't like the dog. I think it was simply because of what it did to its original owner. (Shudder)]

3X05 - "The List" (20 October 1995)
* * ½
Did I miss something here? More to follow in the footsteps of "Bruckman" (the rapid larvae-growth angle, the gory murders), I did like the joint Mulder/Scullyism (destined to be a classic!):

Mulder: "Imagine if you could come back and take out five people who had cause you to suffer. Who would they be?"
Scully: "I only get five?"
Mulder: "I remembered your birthday this year, didn't I Scully?"
Did you see their smiles (Duchovny grinned broadly and Anderson showed some teeth)?! Such rarities are to be treasured. :-D


  • Did M & S investigate the warden's car crash? He was on the same, traffic-free road, and I'm sure they must have heard the crash. Even if they'd gotten back into the Ford and driven off, they should have heard it (the windows were down), right?

3X06 - "2Shy" (3 November 1995)
* * *
Entertainment-wise, I got a few laughs out of this episode (thanks to some things that were inadvertantly funny, mainly computer/Internet-related). The whole fat-sucking idea was a bit disgusting, but I suppose the gory angle fits right in with the previous two episodes. I liked the blind character -- it added an interesting angle to the story; I especially found her trust in Scully interesting. And as for the struggle between Scully & 2Shy: when Scully gets her head bashed against the mirror -- ouch. This episode is OK, but overall, it isn't the one I'd pick first to watch on a rainy day.

3X07 - "The Walk" (10 November 1995)
* *
I really don't know what to say about this one. I guess I simply didn't like it very much, because: (1) we saw hardly any interaction/dialogue between/from M & S, and (2) the plot moved along very slowly. I took Scully's feeling of helplessness and frustration to heart when she couldn't stop Roach's murder while it happened in front of her eyes. But overall, the episode definitely doesn't rank up there with the best.


  • I didn't like the murders. Namely the boy in the sandpit and the officer in the pool.
  • The military can't be all that bad.

3X08 - "Oubliette" (17 November 1995)
* * *
Not one of my favorites (probably because of the tone of the entire story, and especially the outcome), but a good episode reflecting how emotionally fragile Mulder can be. Again, here's an episode that can't be fully appreciated by people unfamiliar with the show.

3X09 - "Nisei" Part 1 of 2 (24 November 1995)
* * * * ½
What an exciting episode! Nearly all of the wonderful government conspiracy thread performers (save Krycek and Cancer Man) returned: the Lone Gunmen, the Men in Black, A.D. Skinner and Mr. X. Finally, also, it started paving the follow-up road to "Paper Clip" (3X02). And another mess of Mulder/Scullyisms (Scully's line about the Fox Network)!


  • We saw Mulder lose his cel phone after he jumps on the train, but in the preview for "731," he's using the same one (or another?) to talk to Scully later (still on the train, right?). How does this work?
  • Was it me, or did I get the feeling that Mulder was leaping, diving, swimming and running, while Scully was basically driving, walking, sitting and standing?
  • I was caught by Mulder's minimal concern after Scully tells him about how the women dubbed her "one." (What great lines!) All he says is how it's "disturbing." Disturbing?! Scully finds out about these women (why all women?) and how she may be dying and he says it's "disturbing"?! I definitely think the writing could have used a little work here.
  • A few other X-Philes noticed this: how does Ishimaru survive, if all the scientists were executed (as shown in the teaser and, consequently, Mulder's $29.95 video)?

3X10 - "731" Part 2 of 2 (1 December 1995)
* * * * (I would have given 5 stars, but there were way too many nitpicks)
Okay, so we finally get to see how Mulder gets access to another cel phone. I'm actually kind of glad that it was such an "uneventful" reason. :-) Also, did I sense an underlying tongue-in-cheek attitude by CC & Co. towards X-treme X-Philes (my phrase) Scully's scrutinizing Mulder's $29.95 video? In "Nisei" she carefully looks at Ishimaru's (Zama's) face, and in this episode, we see her examining the tape frame by frame for the access code to the train car. Irony? I think it's a little too coincidental. :-)

Along those lines, did anyone besides me watch the second-to-last scene (the "2 weeks later" one with Mulder and Scully) a few times? I realized a few minutes afterwards why I did rewind and watch that four times: it's the only scene in the entire episode where M & S are on screen at the same time! For nearly all of the time, Mulder is on the train, and Scully is elsewhere. It isn't until that almost-final scene that we see them together. No wonder I watched it so many times . . . it was because it was "strange" seeing them both on screen! (And of course the fervor of the " 'They're getting away with it, Scully' / 'Mulder, they've gotten away with it . . .' " and "Apology is Policy" dialogue contributed too.

One of my favorite scenes: when Scully shoves, I mean shoves away her books on the windowsill : ) and gets the masking tape out (and cuts it with her teeth)! Yeah, so what if the second strand was a bit short. And while she was trying to get the access code from the tape, her line answering Mulder's "A one? Are you sure?" was classic (quote may be inaccurate): "Yeah, I'm pretty sure." That really cracked me up. And what about Mulder? I loved his recovery after the mother sees Zama lying in the bathroom. Mulder smiles :-) and ruffles the kid's hair and tells them the "motion sickness, go find another bathroom" line!

I had so many nitpicks in this episode, I still can't believe it:

  • My most nerve-wracking one: did anyone notice Scully's abrupt shoe change?! I can't believe this one. When she drives out to investigate the "treatment" facility, she's definitely not wearing heels. Although we don't get a clear view of her footgear in the shadows, we can see the either thick-heeled boots or shoes (I'm betting on a boot-like pair) when she initially opens the door to the (main?) barracks/building. To borrow a phrase, "I know what I saw." They weren't heels. You don't run through woods in heels. So after The Red-Haired Man confronts her and whisks her away to that place where she says she was "abducted," she's suddenly wearing heels! Now tell me it's not strange for her to suddenly switch shoes.
  • Scully losing her gun like that? That was pretty shocking.
  • I assume Scully gave the 'net-named dog "Clyde" away, since he's nowhere to be seen in her apartment. It makes sense that she would, since she really doesn't have the time to take care of him.
  • When did Scully find out the number to The Assassin's cel phone? Did Mulder politely ask him for it? Did she have it traced? (!)
  • When Mulder calls Scully while she's driving (she has to take the phone out of her purse), she yells "Scully!" to answer it (Mulder greets her with: "Scully, you haven't seen America if you haven't seen it from a train" or something to that effect), she's apparently yelling because of the car engine noise, etc. But when Mulder practically whispers something into the phone (I forget what), she understands him completely. Okay . . .
  • Scully's name is still not on the office door. Hellooooo . . . how long does it take to get a placard on a door?
  • Mulder obviously told Scully about his trust in Senator Matheson. When? She had his number in her address book! In "Nisei," Mulder tells her that he got the satellite photos from someone like her, who wants proof, "but believes." But he doesn't say it was Matheson. So he must have told her before the incidents of "Nisei" about Matheson. It's the only way she would have already had his number in her address book. She tells the person on the other line that no, she couldn't reach him at his office, so she must have tried sometime before. This is all very confusing.
  • I would have liked to have seen the "Mulder turns up in a hospital"-related scenes, just to satisfy my curiosity. But of course I'm sure many other X-Philes would have too. :-)
  • CC leaves a few questions dangling . . . what about those women who claim Scully is "one" of them? She believes now that she was never abducted, but we don't ever hear about the women again after "Nisei," or how they say they're dying. What about the implant? I'd hardly say that that was a minor source of information.
  • I just thought of something: Mulder said he'd bought his video from an ad. He can't be the only one who had bought it. Well, actually, maybe he could be.

3X11 - "Revelations" (15 December 1995)
* * * ¾
The "return" of Windam Earle! ;-) (You Twin Peaks fans should know that. Kenneth Welsh, who played the villain Windam Earle in the final season of Twin Peaks, is the "Millennium Man" in this episode. What a great villain.) I'm quite impressed with this one. Although I'm disturbed that Mulder didn't seem to be very supportive of Scully . . . "You never draw my bath"? Okay, I'm thankful that at least this wasn't a cut-and-dry episode (as in "The Walk"). Moving on . . . Scully says, "There's a man that I work with . . . a friend . . . and usually I'm able to discuss these things with him -- but not this." That sounds like a sad observation if I ever heard one.

I have no nitpicks this time (yet, anyway). I've only seen this once. ;-)

3X12 - "War of the Coprophages" (5 January 1996)
* * * *
This one was difficult to rate. There are so many aspects in this episode to discuss! I'll stick by my "short and informal" motto (sorry about "731"), and just skim over some points. Netpickers have talked about Darin Morgan's very clever tongue-in-cheek script for this episode: among the front-runners -- War of the Worlds/Coprophages, Miller's Grove, Grover's Mill, Breakfast at Tiffany's, sailor buying chocolate and nylons, Die Flea/Bug Die!, etc. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this episode while watching it (there was a nice balance between the unsightly cockroaches and the sardonic humor), I only gave it 4 stars (as opposed to 4 and a half) because I wasn't satisfied with the explanation/conclusion (or lack thereof). By the way, did anyone notice the hilarity of first names? Fox and Bambi?

  • So, Scully does still have that Bruckman dog! I wonder where she keeps him when she's away on a field investigation.
  • Barenbaum wearing shorts (in the beginning)? Okay . . .
  • When Scully drives up next to Mulder's car and says, "Let me guess. You must be Bambi", it was odd that Barenbaum didn't ask who Scully was, or say something like "You must be Scully" (or "You must be Fox's partner").

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