The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 6


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 03, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
322 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A serial killer with unusual tastes is doing his stalking on the internet, luring women to him by capitalizing on their vulnerabilities, using his knack for playing into the most desperate desires. His 'long distance' approach makes apprehension difficult-and complicating Scully and Mulder's investigations further in his habit of digesting his dates, making it nearly impossible to identify his victims.moreless

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  • 2Shy was creepy!

    2Shy was a great creepy episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was interesting and definitely had some scary moments. There was a good message underneath the story to be careful trusting strangers you meet online. His reason for attacking the women was not very clear but the idea was interesting. Scully was attacked yet again though saved by the woman she was trying to help. I liked how every thing played out though I wish there was more information about the killer. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!moreless
  • 2Average

    Another standalone episode, but with an interesting police procedural style. In contrast to the previous episode, however, this one "fleshes out" the background of the victims so we at least care when the killing starts. Again, we are given no explanation as to the how or why of the killer, which creates a certain emptiness to the episode. I liked that Scully was given more of the spotlight in this episode. She was allowed to show some emotion and she looks absolutely radiant. Mulder has little to do in this episode and he basically phones in his performance. The killer's make-up was well done, especially in the final close-up of his face. Creepy stuff.

    As in many previous episodes, it is unexplained why the FBI is called in so soon on what would otherwise be a routine murder investigation. Think about it, Mulder and Scully show up the very morning after the murder, even before the discovery that the body had been sucked of all its fat.moreless
  • Mulder and Scully chase a man who is killing women by meeting them on the internet

    It's funny looking at a show made in the mid-nineties tackling a plot revolving around internet dating and online dating services. Back then, they weren't much, but it's interesting to see their take on it. Unfortunately, the episode itself was pretty lackluster, and despite the villain being interesting, there wasn't much to him, just a lot of creepiness and no back-story.

    I did enjoy the explanation of how he kills his prey, even if it's left pretty unexplained. It's a horrifying way to die; being wrapped up in some sort of stomach acid lining and then being evaporated after death. It's the kind of gross thing that X-Files pulls off perfectly.

    There was just a little too much familiar stuff going on: the annoying local cop who gets in the way and doesn't believe or understand anything, the villain who is never completely explained, the victim who seems to die until she or he is saved in the last four minutes of the episode. Shows like this are supposed to follow this format, but I feel like this episode just wasn't as well done compared to others.moreless
  • vampirish creature preys on single women.

    Good music is the only plus in what is an ineffective episode. The first 50 minutes have only about 6 minutes of real content. Basically, a vampirish creature connects with women in online chatrooms, impresses with his literary mind, then either preys on them or not (points for an ep about chatrooms in '96). Scully and Mulder come down and do their thing, and the local detective has doubts about a woman's ability to deal with this kind of case. SPOILER

    The ending is interesting compared to the rest of the episode. The creature claims that both he and his victims were acting out of a need, and that the dead are no longer lonely, but the episode as a whole failed to make an effective statement about loneliness.moreless
  • It doesn't suck!

    Proving that "The X-Files" is probably at its most comfortable when dealing with a genetic mutant killer, "2Shy" as an episode goes exactly where you expect it to go, and is no less an episode because of that. This time the genetic anomaly in question is, as Scully so succinctly puts it, a fat-sucking vampire. Funny how Mulder never expostulates his theories in quite the same put-downable away as his partner, though in this episode he rather delightfully prefaces it with "it's not the fine line of insanity you've come to expect from me". The best thing about these mutant episodes is that they're usually pure out-and-out gross. From the opening teaser when the deliciously named Virgil Incanto posits some kind of goop in his intended's mouth, we know we're in for some fairly nasty scenes. And the best of those is undoubtedly that gruesome moment when Scully pulls open the morgue drawer to find that the victim has essentially melted. No one does slop quite like this show! But gore is not the only reason why an episode like this is so satisfying. A lot of it rides on the quality of the guest star's performance, and, in this respect, Timothy Carhart doesn't let us down. Incanto is a man of few words in his private life, and carries himself with a stillness that is quite unnerving. Of course when he's moving in for the kill, he's much more eloquent and charming – the ultimate description of a vampire, in fact. Either way Carhart brings just the right level of intensity to his performance to make Incanto a significant villain in the X Files universe. (And doesn't cinematographer John S. Bartley do a fantastic job of lighting him in the final interrogation scene?) Of course we don't really get any kind of explanation why or how he does what he does, but that's the reason for the episode. It's here to scare us. And also to prey on one of our secret fears: that you can never really know the person you're with. And that's even harder when you mask your identity behind the smokescreen most of us make on the Internet. Using the World Wide Web as a murder weapon is a bit of a novelty, but its very nowness means it feels just right for the show. And this episode does deal in a universal truth, that there is a large percentage of the population who have real hang-ups about their weight. Someone who can allay those misgivings for murderous purposes would be highly dangerous and predatory. Another of the pleasures of this episode is the Mulder and Scully interaction. They don't actually spend much time together but their communication is good and Scully is almost quite willing to tolerate this week's wacko Mulder theory. If anything, this is Scully's episode. True, the fight with Incanto looks like one she might lose if it wasn't for Ellen's intervention (Mulder was conveniently out of the way on a red herring), but the most interesting aspect of her behaviour revolves around how she deals with the inherently sexist attitude of Detective Cross. And the truth is, it doesn't faze her in the slightest. You would imagine that she has encountered this kind of stance a lot in her journey up through the FBI, but if anything she actively confronts Cross about it. And by directly asking him if she can brief the task force, she is tackling the issue straight on. They don't make a big deal about this in the episode (Mulder doesn't even notice), but the fact that it is quietly addressed adds another level to a most enjoyable episode. 8/10moreless
Timothy Carhart

Timothy Carhart

Virgil Incanto

Guest Star

James Hardy

James Hardy

Detective Alan Cross

Guest Star

Catherine Paolone

Catherine Paolone

Ellen Kaminski

Guest Star

William MacDonald

William MacDonald

Agent Dan Kazanjian

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • This episode takes place in August (when Scully is setting up for the autopsy, she dictates that it's August 29th). Two episodes previously, it was September 21.

    • Principal Setting:
      Cleveland, Ohio

    • While investigating the first murder at the beginning of the episode, the lead detective is seen having a conversation with two other detectives. We hear both speak, but neither man opens his mouth. This is pretty obvious overdubbing of background actors who never had a line.

    • 42:30 Killer has gunshot hole in his shirt before the gun is fired.

    • When Scully turns around to look at clock 9:51, a light is turned on causing a reflection in the forward left leg of the table, than at 9:53 it is gone, and it is back again at 9:57.

    • Location ticker reads "Cleveland Police Department" 30:28, yet the lettering on the wall reads "Metropolitan Police Department".

    • Goof: Scully says that while going through the list of women recovered from 2Shy's computer, she says that she could reach all but two, and that she "...left messages on their answering machines." However, when the scene returns to Ellen's apartment, there is no indication that the phone has rung; instead, she receives notification by e-mail, which Scully did not mention sending.

      Depending on the unit, an answering machine message is usually heard while it is being recorded (for people who are screening calls).

      Scully said she would call the women on the list, but the computer technician did the emailing. The women were both emailed and telephoned separately.

    • When the body of the prostitute is discovered by her fellow colleague, she is on her back with the face 'melted'. When Mulder and Scully look at the body she is face down with her head turned to one side.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Scully: Why?
      Virgil Incanto: When you look at me you see a monster. But I was just feeding a hunger.
      Scully: You're more than a monster. You didn't just feed on their bodies. You fed on their minds.
      Virgil Incanto: My weakness was no greater than theirs. I gave them what they wanted, they gave me what I needed.
      Scully: Not anymore.

    • Mulder: There are examples of this in nature, aren't there?
      Scully: Yes, scorpions predigest their food outside of their body by regurgitating onto their prey. But I don't know too many scorpions who surf the Internet.

    • The Son: Don't you want to live forever?
      Mulder: Not if drawstring pants come back in style.

    • Mulder: It's still just a theory, but what if the killer isn't acting out of some psychotic impulse, but out of a more physical hunger?

    • (Talking to Mulder about the killer.)
      Scully: From a dry-skin sample, you're concluding what? That he's some kind of a fat-sucking vampire?

    • Landlady: I wish you weren't always so rude to him.
      Jesse: I don't care. He creeps me out. Plus he smells gross, like he uses dish soap for aftershave.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Kerry Sandomirsky, who plays Joanne in this episode also appears as Tracy in the first season's episode "Roland".

    • During filming, Mulder and Scully's stand-ins inadvertently walked into the wrong condominium. They had to walk across a patio and through a door, but because all the doors looked the same, the pair accidentally stepped into the next-door neighbour's place while the couple entertained dinner guests.

    • On set this episode was nicknamed the 'lick me-kill me' episode.


    • Mulder: Looks like she took her pound of flesh, huh?

      Mulder says this when he finds skin under Holly's nails. It's a reference to Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice, in which Shylock demands Antonio give him a pound of flesh to repay a debt.