The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 3


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 06, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
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  • 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.
  • 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!!!!!!!!!
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mulder & Scully investigate several murders in a small Oklahoma town all involving lightning. It turns out young Darin Oswald has the ability to attract lightning & is the prime suspect in the murders.

    After all the drama involving those files, the show gets back to normal investigating the paranormal. I loved this episode because it was well written & to me is where the show has its bright spots. Like in my previous reviews of the X-Files, I am a big fan of the no nonsense, ridiculously entertaining episodes like D.P.O. I like when Mulder, Scully, Doggett & Reyes investigate the real stories not the stupid ones like that ridiculous Brady Bunch episode in season 9. I don't know why the writers felt they had to throw a curveball with all the goofy episodes into a show that was a hit in the first place. I watch this show to see the agents tracking down little green men and not wasting their time with sideshow freaks but this episode is the exception.
  • Nice to get back to the stand-alone shows

    After a 3 show arc that dealt with the alien conspiracy, it was refreshing to get back to a show that was a standalone and featured such great talent. (Assuming you're watching the shows in order.

    It's also a real treat to see some (then) up-and-coming stars in roles before they were really well known. Jack Black is very understated compared to what we know him as now.

    As far as stories, go, this one doesn't have a lot of twists and turns though. The idea is interesting, but it doesn't get particularly creepy like Tooms or the Flukeman. Overall an interesting idea, but not particularly sinister.
  • Electrifying. Not.

    Nice to see our two resident agents back in action in a regular standalone episode after all the momentous events of the Anasazi trilogy. (Incidentally, this must surely be one of the very few – if not the only – standalone which actually acknowledges what happened in a preceding mythology episode; we don't get treated to that kind of continuity much!)

    "D.P.O." turns out to be a fairly low-key tale of raging teen hormones that actually seems better than it probably is mainly due to a very strong guest turn from soon-to-be star Giovanni Ribisi. This actor seems to specialise in playing vaguely retarded characters as his work as Phoebe's brother Frank in "Friends" and in the Diane Keaton movie "The Other Sister" testifies, but he also brings a very strong level of commitment to the role. This is more than just a shuffling portrait of an awkward teenager with pent-up feelings for his high school teacher. Ribisi has a couple of scenes in this episode in which he's called to deliver some real rage, which he does enormously well, making this apparently lumbering teenager into something rather frightening. Couple that with a talent for upsetting electrical devices and channelling lightning and we have a surprisingly formidable "villain". D.P.O.'s new talent is not just put to evil nefarious ways though. There's a real playful aspect to his gift, such as late night freebies at the video arcade, playing with traffic lights, his mother's TV remote and melting Mulder's phone. And that would be all consistent with a teenager's attitude to things, making for a fairly well-rounded characterisation. The special effects guys get a good work-out here too, creating some interesting lightning effects. We see D.P.O. get hit several times, once in company of some clearly frightened cows, and it's all very convincingly done. Circling around all this inventiveness is director Kim Manners who at this stage is clearly becoming "The X Files" most interesting director. Lots of swooping camerawork, almost instinctively iconic staging of Mulder and Scully, some well paced action scenes, and eliciting some good performances from his guest stars (yes, even from that other soon-to-be star, the irritating Jack Black) – all of these are testament to the amount of hard work Manners invests in his episodes, and which make his efforts so much more noticeable. And Mulder and Scully, what are they like here? Well, they're there, and Mulder as usual goes flying off in the face of all the given evidence and has some whacked out theory of his own, while Scully plays tagalong. And they spend the latter half of the episode trying to protect (and not overly well) the object of Darin's affection. And yet they're not the mainstay of this episode. They're not exactly going through the motions (the opening scene with them in which Mulder keeps schtum in front of the sheriff while Scully hangs herself out to dry is a nice unusual touch and the only really distinctive element to their presence here) but we've seen Mulder and Scully in more dynamic mode than they are here. Perhaps this investigation seems more muted and formulaic, having just come off the back of one in which their personal stakes were so much higher and therefore more involving. 5/10
  • Great Balls Of Lightning

    A slyly funny episode that contains some great acting(especially from Ribisi) and a fresh self-contained story to wean us away from the seriousness of the previous three-parter. I loved the punky attitude of this episode. It was
    hilarious that Ribisi has this huge burn mark on his neck that neither Mulder nor Scully, or any other character for that matter, acknowledged. I suppose it was from when he was struck by lightning, which presumably is what gave him his ability to control electricity, although the source of his power is never explained. Nor is it explained what eventually happens to the Ribisi character as the
    episode ends with him sitting in a padded cell. One wonders how the justice system would really handle someone with his powers - I know I wouldn't want to be a juror on his case, if you know what I mean!
  • Ribisi is excellent in this episode.

    Perfect characterization by Ribisi of the nervous, underdog, angry, vengeful kid with dangerous amounts of power. Having seen this episode three times total (twice in the recent days) I have to confess that I still don't really understand what exactly was up with that kid, played by Ribisi. Where did he derive his power from? Did it have to do with his being struck with lightning and surviving? There was some issue with continuity as well, because Ribisi didn't seem to need lightning bolts when he killed the boy in the opening sequence, nor when he was messing with the traffic lighs. But on top of the hill and when he killed Jack Black, his power seems to be the ability to call lightning down from the sky. Also, why was the Sheriff so hostile toward the FBI investigation? Was there some underlying story there that didn't get fully discovered? There were definitely some questions left lingering, and it wasn't the most conclusive of episodes. Still, it was a good exercise in practical X-File investigation. And, as always, it's a bit of a letdown after the high-intensity, character development-driven episodes of Anasazi to Paper Clip. I know the post-myth arc episodes always struggle to make a smooth transition back to normal X-File life.
  • Gotta love Ribisi in this one.

    This is one of my favorite episodes because it is just fun to watch. I can't say enough about Giovanni Ribisi in this one. I wonder how much he improvised like the burp when his mom is watching TV (actually that was probably scripted), or giving Mulder some candy from the vending machine. The music and effects are awesome. The obnoxious sherriff was pretty annoying though - didn't like that actor much. Jack Black has a great performance as DPO's buddy who tries to convince him to just leave town. I can watch this one anytime - "Your really starting to P1SS me off!!" love that line.
  • "Hey Man, Nice Shot"

    Finally an episode that takes a break from the bigger picture of The X-Files. A regular episode with its own story.

    Darin, a teenager who's a bit slow, is a special kid. Somehow he's able to influence objects and people with electric currents. Once he was struck by lightning which he survived and now he charges himself up through the lightning.

    With this "gift" he usually spends the day tripping off the traffic lights resulting into (small) accidents.

    The part where it starts to be an X-File is the fact that Darin "takes care of people" with his gift who are in his way between him and his old teachter Mrs. Kiveas who he has a crush on.

    What's great about this episode is that it contains two famous actors, Giovanni Ribisi who plays Darin and Jack Black who plays his stoner friend Zero. It's really great to see these two guys in an old episode when they weren't famous yet.

  • Lars Ulrich & Jack Black

    “D.P.O” see’s Mulder and Skully investigate a series of accidental deaths due to lightning strikes. Mulder suspects foul play, and they eventually find a kid who can control lightning. The duo battle to try and find evidence to convict the killer, and struggle to get him into custody. When they do, he is released without their knowing by a local sheriff. Mulder and Skully must save the day once again. This is a ok episode, with an good story, and some good acting. D.P.O looks like a young Lars Ulrich (Metallica’s Drummer) and we see one of Jack Black’s (Tenacious D, King Kong) first performances. This is the first episode in season 3 that doesn’t focus Aliens. Overall 8/10
  • The one with the lightning kid

    It was impossible to top the last episodes, but this episode didn’t fail.

    The problem was probably that it wasn’t entirely well executed or interesting, the best thing about the episode was the character of Giovanni Ribisi. He actually liked to kill, Gio gave a perfect performance and Jack wasn’t a bad person, he didn’t know better. He mostly did everything to be able to be with the woman he loved, I didn’t entirely understand why he brought her husband back to life though.

    The teaser was a kid pissing off Jack, Jack electrocutes him by lightning. Jack is hit by lightning himself but survived, he likes to play with his electric power and he doesn’t seem to have a big conscious.

    Mulder doesn’t believe It was lightning and he talks to Jack’s best friend ‘Zero’ played by Jack Black. Zero was a fun character that accepted his friend but should have told him that it wasn’t right what he was doing, eventually Jack killed him because he thought that Zero talked to Mulder and Scully.

    So anyway, Jack had a crush on his teacher. His boss was her husband, and when he almost has a heart-attack, Jack saved his life. I don’t know if it was to show his love for the teacher that way or if he actually saved his life.

    When Jack makes the teacher go with him, not everything runs smoothly. She is too afraid for him and runs away, when the annoying cop tries to stop him he electrocutes him and himself. They put Jack in some place where he can’t use his powers, all the medical records indicate that he is a normal boy, but Mulder and Scully know better.

    Case closed
  • Scully and Mulder investigate the mysterious deaths of young men where lightning is blamed, but the evidence contradicts itself, leading Mulder to believe that the lightning is actually being controlled by another young man in the town.

    This is a show that gets to the purpose of the X-Files by investigating strange circumstances that can't be explained by the scientists and experts. Plus, it doesn't hurt that this is one of many episodes that had a couple of good guest stars, in this case it is Jack Black and Giovanni Ribesi.
  • The agents find bizzare deaths, where one kid is present, and the murder weapon seems to be a lightning bolt...

    This episode is a good introductory episode for anyone new to the X-Files or to all those people that think the X-Files are all about aliens and conspiracies. The guest stars do a very good job moving this riviting episode through to the end. Jack Black is in it! The whole story, which is about a boy who conducts lightning is well written and acted. Although i was waiting for Electrical quips from David, the outer lines of this story are exposed
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