TV Article

X Cyclopedia: The Ultimate Episode Guide, Season III

A look at '95-'96 episodes of 'The X-Files'

49. THE BLESSING WAY
WRITER: CARTER
DIR.: GOODWIN
Mulder (rescued and nursed back to health by Navajo healers) has his near-death encounter with Dad, who urges him to return to the living and complete his search for the truth. Back in D.C., Scully — convinced Mulder is alive — is suspended for helping conceal the MJ files and discovers a computer chip implant in the base of her neck. What could that mean? Historic moments: We meet the Well-Manicured Man (John Neville) — part of the mysterious New York-based consortium that seems to be pulling all the strings. And Mulder discovers an old photo linking his father with Cancer Man and Deep Throat, among others. Critique: The corny dream sequence and high-flown cosmic hooey in this script keep it from earning an A. However, Skinner rocks big time and provides a knockout finale. B+

50. PAPER CLIP
WRITER: CARTER
DIR.: BOWMAN
The title of the final third of this triptych refers to Operation Paper Clip, a postwar alliance formed in the wake of the Roswell discovery and seemingly bent on creating human-alien hybrids. Mulder and Scully are reunited and meet former Nazi scientist (and OPC member) Victor Klemper, who directs them to an abandoned coal mine containing the medical records and tissue samples of virtually everyone born after 1954. And Skinner, now holding the MJ tape, takes on Cancer Man in the hopes of reinstating Mulder and Scully. Historic moments: Scully's sister is killed by Krycek; Scully seeks to uncover the meaning of the implant; Mulder learns why his sister was taken instead of him. Critique: Outstanding episode, but it exacerbates a maddening trend: Scully has literally ''made contact'' but will not or cannot open her mouth about it. A-

51. D.P.O
WRITER: GORDON
DIR.: MANNERS
A videogame geek — Darin Peter Oswald — turns out to be a lightning conduit. He uses his power to destroy his enemies, barbecue the occasional cow, and impress his schoolteacher crush. Creative casting: My Two Dads' Giovanni Ribisi as the sardonic Oswald, everyone's suburban teen nightmare. Critique: Not much in the way of action, but this episode's excellent photography and truly hilarious sociopathic high jinks keep you glued. B+

52. CLYDE BRUCKMAN'S FINAL REPOSE
WRITER: DARIN MORGAN
DIR.: NUTTER
A serial killer is preying on the fortune-tellers of St. Paul, Minn. When one of the bodies is discovered by insurance salesman Clyde Bruckman, Mulder and Scully are introduced to a true, if reluctant, prognosticator who tells them more than they want to know. Creative casting: Peter Boyle, as the beleaguered Bruckman, delivers the series' most hilarious performance. Critique: Boyle gets lots of help from another superlative, laugh-a-minute script (for which Morgan won an Emmy). Nicely captures one of the overarching themes of the show: fate and man's isolation. A+

53. THE LIST
WRITER/DIR.: CARTER
An executed murderer makes an electric-chair vow of reincarnation and revenge, promising five deaths as payment for his. When a guard is found murdered, Mulder and Scully must determine whether it's penal politics or transmigration of the soul. Creative casting: Ever-evil J.T. Walsh (Dark Skies) as the warden; Ken (Dawn of the Dead) Foree as a guard. Critique: Standard but well executed, if you will, and one of the show's few unsolved mysteries, as it were. B+

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