X Cyclopedia: The Ultimate Episode Guide, Season III

70. QUAGMIRE
WRITER: NEWTON
DIR.: MANNERS
''Scully, do you think you could ever cannibalize someone?'' This is Mulder's idea of small talk when stranded with his partner on a rock while in search of a legendary prehistoric lake monster — that's Mulder's theory on what's killing local citizens, anyway. Scully, well, you know ... Creative casting: The stoner kid of ''War of the Coprophages'' turns up again with a whole new way to get high. Critique: Notable only for Mulder and Scully's Moby Dick digression. But, hey, the show kinda had to tackle Loch Ness. C

71. WETWIRED
WRITER: MAT BECK
DIR.: BOWMAN
A tweaked cable-TV signal is turning people's anxieties into psychosis, and Scully discovers the true dangers of couch potato-dom. Historic moment: X and Cancer Man make their relationship known. Or do they? Critique: Been there, done that (see ''Blood''), but Anderson gives good unhinged. B

72. TALITHA CUMI
WRITER: CARTER
STORY: DUCHOVNY/CARTER
DIR.: GOODWIN
The Project. The Process. Colonization. These are the cryptic terms thrown around in this third season-ender. What do we really learn? That there's a renegade alien clone, Jeremiah Smith, who is challenging ''the greater purpose'' represented by Cancer Man, and that Smith is being stalked by the Bounty Hunter, last seen in episode 40. Plus, a visit from Cancer Man to Mulder's mother reveals an unexplained relationship between them. Creative casting: Roy Thinnes (of 1995's sci-fi miniseries The Invaders) as the messianic Smith. Critique: Another frustratingly provocative cliff-hanger, and a tour de force Cancer Man-Jeremiah Smith confrontation. ''That is really a summation of my feelings about science,'' says Carter. ''That it has definitely usurped religion and can explain everything now. [Cancer Man's] speech was greatly inspired by 'The Grand Inquisitor' chapter of The Brothers Karamazov, where the Inquisitor imprisons Christ and won't let him speak.'' A-

Originally posted Nov 29, 1996 Published in issue #355 Nov 29, 1996 Order article reprints
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