The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 3


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 06, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
347 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a small town chalks up five lightning-related deaths, Mulder suspects something is amiss in rural America. Despite the apparent validity of the autopsy results Mulder asks her to review, Scully, for once finds herself in perfect agreement with her partner- especially when the suspect jump-starts his boss's heart-bare-handed.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
  • Darren Peter Oswald

    This was a very memorable episode when Mulder and Scully investigate some murders where the victims appear to be struck by lightning.Throughout the episode we know that Darren was killing people with his abilities of what Mulder believes is that Darren is lightning.Darren's aim in the episode is to make Mrs kiveat like him but because that doesn't work he uses his abilities to try and get what he wants.Mulder and Scully wasn't be able to prove Darren murdered them people but you can's see how anyone would believe them.It was good to see Jack Black guest star in the episode as zero but was unfortunately killed.Overall the episode was really good with some good ideas.moreless
  • D.P.O.

    D.P.O. was a superbly entertaining episode of The X-Files and I really enjoyed watching because the story was pretty great, the characters and actors were awesome. I liked the idea of lightening striking and changing a person to give them abilities. It was sad to see Darin kill his friend Zero, and it's interesting to think what Zero must have thought being friends with someone so dangerous. Was he sticking around for fear or to prevent him from hurting too many people? I liked how every thing played out and certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • What happens when a total loser acquires supernatural powers and harnesses the lightning itself? We get "Beavis and Butthead meet 'The X-Files'"

    "D.P.O." gave us a much needed breather after the hectic pace of the "Anasazi" trilogy, with a solid performance from Giovanni Ribisi married to a minimalist X-File plot.

    Talk about your missing time! There wasn't much connection between the events of "D.P.O." and the trilogy it followed. I suppose we are expected to just assume that Mulder has had five months of intense grief therapy, or Scully has started drinking heavily in private, or however people deal with life-changing events they refuse to talk about.

    Back to DPO. Mulder and Scully go to Oklahoma to investigate some rather "Shocking" deaths. Who knew Oklahoma had so many evergreen trees and mountains. I could have swore I was looking at British Columbia. Their investigation quickly focuses on Darin Peter Oswald ("D.P.O."), whose major goal in life seems to be to run away with his high school teacher. Wonderfully played by Giovanni Ribisi, Darin comes across as a stereotypical passive-aggressive white trash slacker. Ribisi's performance is top-notch. One shudders to think what the Cigarette-Smoking Man could do with Darin Peter Oswald on the payroll.

    Director Kim Manners and writer Howard Gordon gave us an X-File in MTV mode, with some good if obviously stagy scenes. The best was probably the death of Zero in the parking lot, falling to the pavement in a shower of small change, a perfect metaphor for his life. And standing silhouetted on the roof above him, against a classic Steven Spielberg sky, is Beavis-as-Zeus himself, Darin Oswald. I loved the shot where Mulder and Scully draw down on the elevator in the hospital (without dropping their guns, mirabile dictu), aiming high and low like a grey flannel version of Mutt and Jeff. This is one instance where the difference in the actors' heights makes for a real plus. And what FBI agent does not live for the opportunity to race off down a hall, crying, "I'm going after Oswald!"? Mulder's creepy sequence in the red-lit stairwell was good if heavy handed. But we needed to *see*, not hear about, the scene where Darin Oswald tells his teacher about his "special powers". The teacher was a cardboard bimbo--why in God's name did she go with Darin? And I could have done without some of the self-consciously hip soundtrack.

    Considered strictly on its own merits, this was a fair episode. It didn't disappoint, but there were none of those moments where you catch your breath and say, "Wow!" It's a "meh, whatever" kind of episode. Only fitting since it revolves around a 90's slacker.moreless
  • Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black guest star

    The best part of the episode, for me, is seeing Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black before they became a lot more famous, especially Jack Black. However, this was all Ribisi's episode.. the plot was somewhat enjoyable, although a bit over-done. I didn't completely buy the villain's motives, but it was an exciting and fun episode nonetheless.

    Also, the cop who has helping Mulder and Scully on the job was incredibly irritating. I was just waiting for him to either die or be proven wrong, and thankfully, both occured.

    I also liked how Scully poked fun at Mulder's obsession with abductions, claiming she hoped he didn't think this had anything to do with aliens. I've been pretty vocal about stand-alone episodes in the show, but there are times when it's a breath of fresh air and harmless fun. For me, this wasn't anywhere near a great episode, but it was fun and gave us a chance to see a couple of great guest stars who would eventually become much sought after actors.moreless
  • Careful of lightning

    It's nice to have a stand alone episode back and not having Mulder and Scully dealing with cases where their own personal lives are involved.

    The case was somewhat weird but still good enough to keep me watching. Darren's character was very creepy, unstable young man in a town with mediocrity and obsessed with the imposible. Giovani Ribisi gives a truly amazing performance that makes me wonder what he is like in real life.

    I love the nice little moments between Mulder and Scully including the flirting while Scully was analizing the foot print. I also liked how Mulder let Scully deal with the man and then taking over when he was going over the line.moreless
Giovanni Ribisi

Giovanni Ribisi

Darin Peter Oswald

Guest Star

Jack Black

Jack Black

Bart 'Zero' Liquori

Guest Star

Ernie Lively

Ernie Lively

Sheriff John Teller

Guest Star

Bonnie Hay

Bonnie Hay

Night Nurse (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • This episode takes place in September, which seems odd: Mulder disappeared mid-April, as stated in the newspaper article on The Thinker, who was found April 16. Despite this, Scully questions Mulder's motive for choosing this case "after what just happened" (meaning the season 2 finale and two opening episodes of season 3). In keeping with the timeline as seen on the show, we should only be in May.

    • Principal Setting: Connerville, Oklahoma.

    • In the opening segment the boys are seen playing Virtua Fighter 2, but the music and sound effects are distinctly from Sonic the Hedgehog, which has never been an arcade game. The sound editor probably had a Sega Genesis at home from which he sampled soundclips.

    • As Mulder opens car door, reflection of camera and cameraman visible 28:08

    • Zero (Jack Black) is sitting behind the counter counting quarters when Mulder + Scully come in 9:23, yet when shot goes to Mulder and Scully he is now standing and counting from the same number 9:26.

    • The wire used to set Pizza sign on fire is visible.

    • Surely if Mulder's phone became hot enough to start smoking in his jacket pocket, it should have burnt through his jacket, shirt and probably his skin. Also, he should have been the first to notice it, not Scully who was on the other side of the room.

    • If Darin channeled enough electricity through him to burn an imprint of his shoe into a piece of wood, how come the charge didn't melt the sole of his shoe?

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Scully: Are you aware that something like 60 people die from lighting strikes across the country each year? And five of those happened right here in Connerville?
      Coroner Stan Buxton: I know it's statistically improbable...

    • Mulder: Did you see what he did to my phone?
      Scully: So what? Are we supposed to charge him for assaulting a cellular phone?

    • Zero: There's another slight problem... she's married to your boss.
      Darin: Maybe I could fry him.
      Zero: Dude, he's your boss!
      Darin: Not if he's dead, he won't be. (he chuckles)

    • Zero: You know... I've been thinking.
      Darin: First time for everything.

    • Scully: I'd have to run a chemical analysis to be sure but it looks like antifreeze.
      Mulder: Darin Oswald.
      Scully: But why? And how?
      Mulder: I don't know Scully, but let's go see if the shoe fits!

    • Darin: Hey, you know, I think you might wanna be someplace else right now. 'Cause I'm in the mood for a little barbeque.
      Zero: No, man, not the cows again!

  • NOTES (7)

    • At the conclusion of the episode, Chris Carter's Executive Producer credit is seen on the TV that Darin is watching, with Darin's face reflected in it. Until Season 9's 'Improbable', where Carter's credit is in Italian, it remains the only time the closing credits have been altered.

      Edit: The credits of a Season 5 episode - 'Post-Modern Prometheus' were also altered, as a hand turns a page of a comic book, showing Chris Carter's credit in a yellow font and blue background.

    • The name of the song that plays during the very beginning of this episode is called "Ring The Bells" by the group James. It can be found on their album "Seven". But the version used in this episode was from the Greenpeace benefit album "Alternative NRG".

    • Both Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black have gone on to become well known actors in TV and films. Ribisi had a recurring role as Phoebe's brother in Friends and has appeared in Saving Private Ryan, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Gift and Avatar. Black has risen to fame in popular movies Shallow Hal, Orange County, and School of Rock, and is half of rock duo Tenacious D.

    • The character of Teller was named after half of the magic/comedy duo Penn and Teller, notorious skeptics when it comes to the paranormal.

    • During the filming of this episode director Kim Manners's best friend and the best friend's son died. There was some discussion of having another director replace him, but Manners insisted on seeing things through.

    • The song 'Hey Man Nice Shot' by the band Filter is featured in the opening of the episode, and later on as Darin kills his friend Zero. The lead singer of the band, Richard Patrick, is the brother of Robert Patrick who would go on to play Agent John Doggett in the final seasons of the series.

    • Mulder and Scully find the yearbook picture of Sharon Kiveat stuck between the pages of a Playboy magazine. Actress Karen Witter once modelled for Playboy.