20 Year Anniversary: Revisiting X-Files – Season 1, Episode 3: “Conduit”

Ending Shot

Season 1, Episode 3: “Conduit”

Director: Daniel Sackheim

Writers: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon

No vampires, just your everyday alien abductions. When a teenage girl vanishes after a camping trip, our favourite duo head to Sioux City to investigate. The girl’s mother claims she was abducted by aliens like she herself did when she was young. Mulder immediately believes her and starts looking for the girl with tenaciousness Scully hasn’t seen before.

Scully is impervious to Mulder's suave demeanor.

Scully is impervious to Mulder’s suave demeanor.

Mulder takes the girl’s supposed abduction personally, because it reminds him of his sister’s abduction that he witnessed as a child. Scully tries to calm Mulder’s shit down, so they can investigate with neutral opinions. Mulder sees that the missing girl’s younger brother writes down weird binary codes and sends them to be analyzed by the F.B.I. but the NSA soon break in the family’s house and confiscates all evidence. This encourages Mulder to go full speed ahead in his search.

After hearing a few testimonies from the locals (the sheriff, a girl in the library and an awesome cameo by Donald Gibb as a bartender who has a reason to believe) the duo heads up to the lake where these supposed abductions took place. There they find a corpse of a man buried in a shallow grave…

This is sort of a mix between the overall story arc and a mystery of the week and I don’t think they nailed it fully. The idea of Mulder taking the case way too personally is good stuff, but the actors are not quite there yet to give it the emotional weight it needs. They’ll get there, but not just yet. And the mystery is not even resolved, so it sadly just gives you that ‘whatever’ feeling in the end. I like the idea that they combine the week’s mystery with the X Files mythos. They’re going the right direction with this episode but they do it way better as the show goes on…

In the meantime...DO THE MULDER SHUFFLE!

In the meantime…DO THE MULDER SHUFFLE!

Now come on with the vampire episode already!

Best scene: Mulder’s talk with Donald Gibb’s bartender…

Most memorable bit: The reveal of the secret behind the binary codes that the young kid scribbles.

Rating: ++½

Mulder: This is the essence of science: you ask an impertinent question and you’re on your way to a pertinent answer.

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