The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 3


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 1994 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
370 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When several violent deaths in a small farming community are connected by the destruction of digital devices, Mulder believes that people are being driven to kill by the use of subliminal messages in the digital readouts.

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  • Great episode

    This is an awsome episode about a killer who gets orders from machines. No cosnpiracy though. Mulder gets Messages too. Maagically he is not affected.
  • Kill 'em all

    This was a great episode where normal people are turning into dangerous killers because of messages from digital appliances telling them to kill.The messages are very persuasive and make people think that killing is right like when the message says to the woman that the man fixing her car will rape her and made her think that it is right to kill him to stop him killing her.Mulder later finds out that when people are exposed to the pesticide it shows messages come up making them kill.At the end Mulder was speechless when he got a message on his phone saying all done bye bye.moreless
  • Blood

    Subliminal messages, whether on television, in newspapers or on billboards, and its effect on the population are the major themes of this great episode of season two. Although it is inconclusive, especially at the end, and explanation of what causes such killings shown here is not so good, is surrounded by a beautiful thriller clever ideas and people, healthy people before, now become machines programmed to kill. Drawing a parallel between the effects of Lsdm, a substance with hallucinogenic effects and panic, with the discrete subliminal messages propagated by various means, the scenes of objects by mind control and electronic attack are quite tense, but the best is when the leading killer walks into a store and see, in many televisions, a succession of pictures of accidents, Charles Manson, beating, horror. The episode hits the conspiratorial vein even stronger when it reveals facts about the spraying DDT in American suburbs, to kill insects, and quotes and indirectly subliminal messages propagated in the Coca-Cola. Resulting in a great episode on the control and manipulation of the media, and details of electronic objects implied, the series returns to the level that made it so dear and delivers more a case full of plausible revelations.

    And you did not notice that all the initial letters of each sentence form something very unpleasant. That's right.moreless
  • Blood

    Blood was a superb and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was lot of action, the story was well written and the horror elements were scary. It was interesting to see people's fears being exploited, and even more so to learn the causes. I liked the mystery of the digital messages, and wonder who or what was behind them. It was great watching Mulder question the housewife who eventually cut him. The ending was typical of the series and fun. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • "It's men like you who give perversion a bad name"~Mulder

    Creepy camera angles, good writing, tight pacing, and eerie music, the pacing of this episode was excellent. Having pulled the pin out of the grenade in the teaser, writers Morgan and Wong make us wait and wait for it to go off. William Sanderson is one of my favorite oddballs. His excellent "mad scene" in the tower reminded me of Brad Dourif's master turn in last season's "Beyond the Sea"--it's hard to laugh and cry at the same time. And the irony was delicious: unlike the other killers, the "messages" are telling Funch to commit an act--bloodshed--which will bring forth his deepest fears, not allay them.

    The absolute best scene, for me, was the one where Mrs. McRoberts was in the garage. The lighting, the angles, the pacing. I was right there with her, afraid to be alone in the dark with a stranger, trying to tell herself that it was all right, and not believing it.

    The show played into the paranoia generated by government blunders like Thalidomide and DDT very well, while linking David Koresh, Charles Manson, and OJ Simpson into an up-to-the-second mix.moreless
William Sanderson

William Sanderson

Edward Funsch

Guest Star

John Cygan

John Cygan

Sheriff Spencer

Guest Star

Kimberly Patton

Kimberly Patton

Mrs McRoberts

Guest Star

Bruce Harwood

Bruce Harwood


Recurring Role

Dean Haglund

Dean Haglund


Recurring Role

Tom Braidwood

Tom Braidwood


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This episode appears to have aired out of order. Either that, or there's a date goof: At the blood drive (36 minutes 24 seconds), there's a banner visible that says Blood Drive Sept. 30, 11am - 5pm. However, in episode 5, the text giving us date and location says August 7th (the beginning of the "Speedo scene").

    • Plot Holes: Some of the subliminal messages would have taken an almost impossible amount of effort to arrange. Altering a wristwatch or microwave so that it can send a message at the right time would require completely rebuilding it. The level of planning and observation required to set up some of the messages would also be difficult to achieve, and it all adds up to mean that you can kill someone indirectly with a huge amount of work. Note that in the autopsy of Mrs. McRoberts, Scully reports finding traces of a compound containing lysergic acid (the active component of LSD). This allows for a reasonable supposition that the messages "delivered" by the electronic displays were the result of hallucinations, not reprogramming or rebuilding. Lingering effects from Mulder's exposure to the LSDM could also explain his seeing the message on his phone at the end (although this could have been an ordinary text message). It's interesting to note that of all the different forms of LSD that have been created, only one has been shown to be psychoactive.

    • Continuity: In the investigation scene following the mechanics murder, Mulder is wearing rubber gloves but when he scans his finger down the clipboard, his hand is bare.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Mulder: Yeah, he's probably one of those people that thinks Elvis is dead.

    • Mulder: (looking at destroyed doorbell) Frustrated Jehovah's witness?

    • Mulder: Hey, Frohike, can I borrow those?
      Frohike: If I can have Scully's phone number.

    • Spencer: I played softball with this guy over Labor Day. He was one of those nice guys... couldn't play and didn't bitch about being stuck in right field.
      Mulder: What's wrong with right field?
      Spencer: Always the first one to shake hands at the end of the game. Didn't matter whether they won or lost.
      Mulder: Got to have an arm to play right field.
      Spencer: Bought a round of beers afterwards, even though he didn't drink.
      Mulder: I played right field.

    • Mulder: They've done it before. D.D.T. in the 50's, Agent Orange, germ warfare on unsuspecting neighborhoods.
      Scully: Yes, but why, Mulder? Why would they intentionally create a populace that destroys itself?
      Mulder: Fear. It's the oldest tool of power. If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above.

    • Mulder: Scully. Are you familiar with subliminal messages?
      Scully: You mean like... sex in ice cubes in liquor ads? That's paranoia.
      Mulder: No, it's a fact that some department stores use subliminal messages in their ambient music to deter shoplifting. And the Russians have been using advanced electroencephalographic techniques to control behavior.

    • Frohike: So, Mulder, where's your little partner?
      Mulder: She wouldn't come. She's afraid of her love for you.
      Frohike: She's tasty.
      Mulder: You know, Frohike, it's men like you that give perversion a bad name.

    • Mulder: Have you ever come across this chemical compound?
      Langly: L.S.D.M. Obviously, you haven't read our August edition of "T.L.G."
      Mulder: Oh, I'm sorry, boys. It arrived the same day as my subscription to "Celebrity Skin."

    • Byers: In our April edition of "The Lone Gunman," we ran an article on the C.I.A.'s new CCDTH-twenty-one thirty-eight fiber-optic-lens micro-video camera.
      Langly: Small enough to be placed on the back of a fly.
      Mulder: Imagine being one of those flies on the wall of the Oval Office.
      Frohike: Been there, done that.

    • Mulder: I'm convinced an outside factor is responsible, but I must concede frustration as to a determination of the cause. A residue discovered on the fingers of the most recent perpetrator was analyzed and reported to be an undefined but non-toxic organic chemical found on plants...perhaps remaining from gardening. There have been reported abductee paranoia in UFO mass abduction cases...
      Scully: I was wondering when you'd get to that.
      Mulder: I find no evidence of this to be the case.

    • Spencer: No. Since colonial times, there's only been three murders in this area. In the last six months, seven people have killed twenty-two. Per capita, that's higher than the combined homicide rate of Detroit, D.C. and Los Angeles. This town is not any of those places. In Franklin, you'll never have to pull off the road to make way for a celebrity driving with a gun to his head.
      Mulder: In each incident, the suspect was killed?
      Spencer: Suicide by cop. Each incident occurred in a public place. The suspect went crazy and refused to desist when ordered. Officers used deadly force in order to save lives.

    • Spencer: Things like this aren't supposed to happen here.
      Mulder: A forty-two year old real estate agent murders four strangers with his bare hands? That's not supposed to happen anywhere.

  • NOTES (3)


    • The scene in which Edward Funsch (William Sanderson) climbs the campus tower for his shootings is based on an actual incident. On 1 August 1966, Charles Whitman went to the observation deck on the 27th floor of the clock tower on the University of Texas - Austin campus and began a 92-minute shooting spree leaving 16 dead and many wounded, ending when Whitman was shot by police. That incident and nine other deaths, seven of them suicides, led to the deck's closing in 1974. After installing heavy security and safety measures, the observation platform was reopened in 1999.

    • Scully: I'd love to tell you that I flew three-hundred miles in the middle of the night to perform tests that prove that you're about to become the next Charles Manson...

      Charles Manson was the leader of a cult called 'The Family' who ordered several of his members to carry out mass murders. One of his most prominent victims was the actress Sharon Tate. Manson was sentenced to death in 1971 but this verdict was automatically commuted to life in prison.