Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 3 (Part 4) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Take Two: THE X-FILES Season 3 (Part 4)

July 26, 2023 by  

THE X-FILES Season 3 (Part 4)

Credit: Fox

On Friday, September 10, 1993, Fox debuted THE X-FILES. Now, ahead of the show’s 30th anniversary, Give Me My Remote is looking back at all 11 seasons (and the two feature films) in a new daily series Take Two.

If you’ve read About Last Night, this will be formatted in a similar way: Each episode will get its own subsection/reaction, though in this case there may be slight spoilers or alluding to what comes ahead in the series. In the event a major spoiler is discussed, there will be a warning to be extra safe. Each Take Two will cover approximately 5 episodes and will wrap up the Friday before the show’s 30th birthday.

(I’ll also note how I’m watching the episodes, because some of the streaming platforms have utilized syndicated cuts of this show.)

Today, we’re continuing season 3!

(These were—primarily—viewed on the original season 3 DVD set—released back in 2001. The episodes are streaming for free on Freevee or with a Hulu subscription.)


I’m going to say something controversial: “Pusher” is probably my favorite episode of season 3. “Clyde Bruckman” and “Jose Chung” are up there, but something about “Pusher” is so freaking compelling. (Case in point: I intended to multitask and answer some emails while rewatching; I wrote two sentences in a single email during the whole rewatch. Whoops.)

Robert Wisden is compelling as Modell, a man who can effectively push his way into someone’s mind, making them do the unthinkable. Part of what makes the character so terrifying is that there’s no real way to stop him: Even when you logically know you don’t want to set your gasoline-soaked self on fire, his will is stronger. The best bet you have is his own illness weakening him. (Or, in the case of Mulder and Scully, a partner who realizes a fire alarm might help sever the link.)

The framing of the episode is also fascinating: Rather than Mulder and Scully coming into the case relatively fresh, we meet Modell when the police are already on his trail. Mulder and Scully have to get caught up, but even catching him relatively fast isn’t the end of the story.

And, yes, that Russian roulette scene is one of the most tense scenes in the show’s history. It works because of Wisden, David Duchovny, and Gillian Anderson, as it’s just the three of them in that room. Mulder doesn’t hesitate as much as he probably should in his go-round shooting Modell; he pauses, a bit, at himself. But things really escalate when Mulder has to point the gun at Scully. She doesn’t want to die, but she seems equally as pained by the torture she knows it’s causing him. And it’s by far the most we see Mulder try and fight against the hold Modell has on him. Logically, even in the first viewing, you would know Mulder and Scully are going to survive it, but it has always felt believable that this could be it; everyone sells it that well. It’s just a damn good episode of TV. 

  • “Cerulean blue” will forever and always be associated with this show, at least for me.
  • “Please explain to me the scientific nature of the whammy.”
  • The heart attack via a phone call from Modell…God, this scene stresses me out every time. RIP, Frank.
  • (Okay, but it’s a little funny Modell uses Scully shooting Mulder against them.)

“Teso dos Bichos”: 

Not to turn into Fox Mulder here, but this is one of my least favorite episodes. My (admittedly, again) old DVD disc malfunctioned to the extent I decided to go on Hulu rather than grab another hard copy of the show. Hulu glitched multiple times. I’m not saying it was a sign from the universe I should have stayed in my “Pusher” happy place, but I’m not not saying that.


I’m sure it’s supposed to be scary, but it just looks ridiculous. And cheesy. But I made my way through it. The best part is: 

“Label that.” 

“As what?” 

“Partial rat body part.”

That’s all I’ve got.

“Hell Money”:

Honestly, an episode that is better by nature of being after “Teso.” It’s a perfectly fine episode, with the real highlight being the guest cast of BD Wong, James Hong, and Lucy Liu.

(Also, Mulder perking up and Scully sighing at the mention of ghosts is laugh-out-loud funny. The show in a snapshot.)

“Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’”:

It’s a brilliant episode, in part because of how insane you sound when talking about it. Charles Nelson Reilly is pitch-perfect as Jose Chung, the man trying to write about WTFever happened. Detective Manners (named after the beloved director Kim Manners) is a foul-mouthed local cop who keeps bringing new evidence of maybe-aliens to Mulder and Scully. Alex Trebek and Jesse Ventura are Men in Black. There’s also aliens, and maybe a monster that takes you to inner space? Oh, and there are teens in love/lust, who are making it all complicated, too.

And it’s funny as hell. It takes the trope of the genre and faces them head on and plays with them. It’s also a very tightwire they have to walk in order to not become unwatchable, and somehow writer Darin Morgan manages to stay upright. 

It’s part of the beauty of the show, frankly: You can have serious as hell episodes and then episodes like this that are so unbelievably bizarre, it feels like you’re in an alternate reality. Mulder and Scully are still themselves, so it works. A well-deserved classic.

A few of the lines/line reads that made me laugh out loud this go-round:

  • “Truth is as subjective as reality.”
  • “Of course, he didn’t actually say ‘bleep.’” Detective Manners forever.
  • “But I assure you: It was Venus.”
  • “Yeah, that’s a bleeping dead alien body if I ever bleeping saw one.”
  • “That was Detective Manners. He said they just found your bleepin’ UFO.”

What did you think of these THE X-FILES episodes?


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