The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 01, 1993 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
543 votes

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Episode Summary

As Section Chief Blevins expresses his concern with the direction of the X-Files department, Mulder becomes obsessed with solving a case that closely parallels an 'encounter' he experienced as a child... the abduction of his kid sister, Samantha.

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  • Good character building

    This episode effectively added to Mulder's character, drawing a parallel to his sister's disappearance.
  • Not Sure About the Plot, but I Liked It

    This episode returns us to Mulder's main preoccupation: UFOs and abductions. The plot meanders a bit (I'm not even sure enough about some of the things that happened in the story to write much about it), but its real value is the glimpse into Mulder's past; both Scully and the viewers will learn some important things about Spooky.

    THIS EPISODE WANTS US TO BELIEVE IN: A youngster understanding transmitted binary code; (possible) alien abduction.


    The plot itself is almost Scooby-Doo-ish (was the girl really abducted or not? Evidence points in that direction, but the writers also want us to be skeptical for some unusual twist in this show so But, it's best to not worry about the plot here, and to instead enjoy the stellar subplots going on.moreless
  • Mulder feels a connection to the case

    Conduit was about a case with an abduction of a teenage girl and it starts to remind Mulder of his sisters abduction but unlike Samantha Ruby is found Unfortunately Ruby never wanted to speak about what happened which leaves Mulder at a dead end.
  • Conduit

    Conduit was another perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of mystery, intrigue and suspense. The action was engaging and I was on the edge of my seat wondering how every thing would play out. I liked how Scully got to know more about Mulder's background and his motivation. The series so far manages to blend the paranormal with common reality in a very intricate manner. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Girls get abducted and boys are left to tell the tale.

    Once again Mulder and Scully are investigating an UFO related incident. Although, nobody else thinks this a paranormal case except for Mulder. This episode is rather slow and not very exicitng but it is not boring either. It takes you slowly through the plot and doesn't let you go very easily either.

    I really disliked Scully telling the NSA agents that the boy was the "conduit" and Mulder not doing anything about it other than complainging for what seemed, 2 seconds. Once again we get to see a very powerful light in the distance that turns out to be something else than what we were expecting. This is rather repetitive and of course, I don't like it.moreless
Carrie Snodgress

Carrie Snodgress

Darlene Morris

Guest Star

Michael Cavanaugh

Michael Cavanaugh

Sheriff Jack Withers

Guest Star

Don Gibb

Don Gibb


Guest Star

Charles Cioffi

Charles Cioffi

Section Chief Scott Blevins

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • This is the first episode in which Mulder fires a gun. Although he does it in the air to scare off the wolves.

    • Goof: Before Kevin hands the pad to Mulder you can see that some of the shapes are filled in. But after Kevin hands Mulder the paper the shapes are just outlines, and it doesn't appear that pages were flipped.

    • Principal setting: Sioux City, Iowa.

    • Sheriff Jack Withers rubs the evidence a wallet pulled from a dead man, against his chin. Before handing it to Mulder who handles it with latex gloves.

    • Factual Error: When Mulder and Scully are questioning Tessa, Scully tells her that if she lies, she will be guilty of perjury. This is not true. She is being questioned; she is not under oath, and she is not making an affirmation or signed statement. Even if suspects are under arrest or being interrogated, perjury cannot occur until they take an oath in court or before a judicial body, or sign certain specified statements (an income tax form 1040 is one example of such a statement). In most jurisdictions, lying during questioning is only a petty infraction or, at worst, a misdemeanor. This could represent an attempt on Scully's part to intimidate Tessa, assuming she does not know she cannot be charged, or it could be a lack of proper knowledge on the writers' part as this is a frequent error in crime fiction.

    • Continuity: At the end of the episode, Scully's cross goes from hanging outside of her shirt to jumping inside between shots.

    • Revealing Mistake: Scully conducts a rather haphazard CPR attempt on Ruby, doing chest compressions without following with mouth-to-mouth.

    • Why do the NSA agents burst into Scully's room looking for Mulder? Surely his room at the hotel would have been the most logical place to start looking.

    • As Mulder and Scully drive past the "Sioux City Downtown" sign, their car is missing its interior mirror (but with a conspicuous black square on the window where it would mount). However, later, as they drive past the "Lake Okobogee" sign at night, the mirror is clearly present.

    • Goof: Mulder refers to the leader of a group of Girl Scouts as a Den Mother. Girl Scouts, and their junior affiliate, the Brownies, are organized in Troops, and the adults in charge are women called Troop Leaders. The Cub Scouts, the junior affiliate of the Boy Scouts, are organized into Packs, led by men called Pack Leaders; subunits of a Pack are called Dens, and it is the Dens that are led by women called Den Mothers. (The adult leader of a Boy Scout Troop is called a Scoutmaster.)

    • Goof: The road sign reads "Lake Okoboge." It is actually "Okoboji." Also, they depict it as being near Sioux City, which is actually 106 miles away.

    • Revealing Mistakes: The 77 pages of binary code that Mulder gets analyzed, could never contain so much information. The 3-D model of the DNA-helix alone would contain over 1 million binary digits.

    • Revealing Mistakes: In the teaser, Darlene Morris burns her hand on the metallic doorknob. If the doorknob was hot, wouldn't the metallic steps leading up to the caravan door be hot as well. Nevertheless, she runs across them with bare feet.

    • Revealing Mistakes: When Ruby is found, Scully tells Mulder that she is "alive but unconscious." However, at this point Scully is still administering CPR to the girl.

    • Continuity: In Mulder's hypnotic regression therapy tapes, he says that he and Samantha were asleep in their bedroom when she was abducted. However in "Little Green Men" we see that she and him were playing "Stratego" in the living room when it happened.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Mulder: She should be encouraged to tell her story, not to keep it inside, it's important that you let her.
      Darlene: Important to who? I have my daughter back, I don't want any more trouble. Besides she can hardly remember anything.
      Mulder: But she will remember one day, one way or another, even if it's only in dreams. And when she does, she's gonna wanna talk about it, she's gonna need to talk about it.
      Darlene: Like I did? Listen to me, all of my life I have been ridiculed, for speaking my mind.
      Mulder: But it was the truth, Darlene.
      Darlene: The truth has caused me nothing but heartache, I don't want the same thing for her.

    • Mulder: Any ideas what caused the coma?
      Scully: Eerrr, there's no sign of head trauma, no narcotic traces or electralight abnormalities, but her white blood cell count was skyhigh.
      Mulder: By any chance was there attendant reduction in the lymphocyte population or a release of gluco-cordacoids?
      Scully: Errmmm, actually both, how did you know that?
      Mulder: They're symptoms of prolonged weightlessness. Shuttle astronauts have reported similar imbalances.

    • Mulder: You know when I was a kid, I had this ritual. I closed my eyes before I walked into my room, 'cause I thought that one day when I opened them my sister would be there. Just lying in bed, like nothing ever happened. You know I'm still walking into that room, everyday of my life.

    • Leza Atsumi: We scanned all seventy-seven pages through the mainframe in Washington.
      Scully: And none of the information is actionable?
      Leza Atsumi: Other than the satellite transmission, nothing can be construed, in any way, as a national security risk. As far as I know, the boy's being released this afternoon.
      Scully: So it's just a random set of ones and zeroes.
      Leza Atsumi: On the contrary, there was nothing random about it.
      Scully: I don't understand.
      Leza Atsumi: All information can be rendered digitally, in a series of ones and zeroes. When we downloaded the data, we found an amazing range of... Well see for yourself. Da Vinci's "Universal Man". A DNA double helix. Oh, there's lots more.

    • Mulder: Hey, that's a nice tattoo, what is that?
      Bartender: What's it look like?
      Mulder: Flying saucer. You don't really believe in that stuff, do ya?
      Bartender: I take it you don't.
      Mulder: No, I think it's all just a bunch of crazy people howling at the moon.

    • Scully: I just think it's a good idea not to antagonise local law enforcement.
      Mulder: Who me? I'm Mr. Congeniality.
      Scully: You never know, we might need his help one of these days.
      Mulder: I'll send him a bundt cake.

    • Darlene: I knew that if I screamed loud and long enough that someone would listen.

    • Scully: Mulder, stop. Stop running after your sister. This won't bring her back.
      Mulder: Come with me or don't come with me but, until they find a body, I'm not giving up on that girl.

    • (Mulder walks through the house that the NSA have trashed)
      Mulder: You guys do really delicate work.

    • Mulder: So, basically, you ignored her statement.
      Sheriff: I included it in my report.
      Mulder: But you didn't bother to check it out.
      Sheriff: We went to the campsite. We didn't find anything. Let me tell you something. Darlene's little girl was no prom queen. I can't count the number of times I pulled her out of parked cars or found her puking her guts out by the side of the road. It was just matter of time before...
      Mulder: Before what?
      Sheriff: Before something bad happened to her. and if Darlene needs to make up crazy stories to get past that, fine. But don't tell me to treat it as the truth. I'm not going to waste my time.

    • Mulder: Four sightings in 1967, August, including one by a national weather service plane. This is a light blasted digitally enhanced enlargement.
      Scully: The pilot took the photograph?
      Mulder: Try Girl Scout with an instamatic. Four of the nine girls in the troop claim to have seen something. Five if you count the Den Mother. The Air Force said it was it was a weather balloon caught in a wind shear but there wasn't a weather balloon launched that day within 700 miles. Read me the names of those Girl Scouts from 1967.
      Scully: Lisa Terrel, Bonnie Winston, Doreen McAllister, Darlene Mor-
      Mulder: It's the same Darlene Morris.

    • Scully: What makes this case anymore credible than the 100 year old mother with the lizard baby?
      Mulder: Because the lizard baby wasn't born anywhere near Lake Okobogee.
      Scully: Oko- what?
      Mulder: Bogee. Okobogee.
      Scully: Is that suppose to mean something to me?
      Mulder: If you know anything about trout fishing or UFO hotspots.
      Scully: Define hotspot.

    • Scully: At least if we had a legitimate source...
      Mulder: This is the essence of science. You ask an impertinent question and you're on your way to a pertinent answer.

    • Scully: It just doesn't seem... substantial enough to warrant an investigation.
      Mulder: Ok Scully, so we don't agree. It's not the first time and it won't be the last.

    • Blevins: Perhaps it has something to do with this. Take a look.
      Scully: An X-File?
      Blevins: Has he shared any of this with you? There's no need to protect him. He's the agent of record. He initiated the file himself.
      Scully: She was his sister. She disappeared 21 years ago. He was 12 and she was 8. He claimed that he was in the room when it happened. He recalls a bright light outside the window. and, uh... presence in the room.
      Blevins: In your opinion, has agent Mulder's personal agenda clouded his professional judgment?
      Scully: In my opinion, no.
      Blevins: But you can see how it might appear that way. As you know, Agent Mulder's preoccupation with fringe matter has been big source of friction in the Bureau. This is another case in point. I'm going to disallow the 302.
      Scully: With respect sir, at least let me talk with him and make a recommendation.

    • Mulder: ...The voice in my head.
      Werber: What's it telling you?
      Mulder: Not to be afraid. It's telling me no harm will come to her, and that one day she'll return.
      Werber: Do you believe the voice?
      Mulder: I want to believe.

  • NOTES (5)

    • There's a song playing in the background when Mulder and Scully are talking to the guy in the bar. It's "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers.

    • The address in Samantha Mulder's file, 2790 Vine Street, is the former address of The X-Files production office in Vancouver.

    • The huge portrait of Ruby that Kevin draws was originally a computer printout, but it looked a little too perfect, so art department member Vivien Nishi painstakingly hand-drew all the 1's and 0's to make it look like a child's drawing.

    • Tessa's doctor's appointment was scheduled for August 7th, which is also David Duchovny's birthday.

    • The character 'Tessa' was played by actress Shelly Owens, sister of Chris Owens, who will eventually portray young Cancerman and Cancerman's son, Special Agent Spender during seasons 4-6.


    • Mulder: I know a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend who can get you tickets to a Redskins game.

      The Redskins are a professional football team based in Washington DC.