The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 18

Fearful Symmetry

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Feb 24, 1995 on FOX



  • Trivia

    • The elephant "Ganesha" is named after the Hindu God

    • 1:44 Wire visible when road worker tossed.

    • 1:13 The car that gets smashed at the very beginning, the wires/ropes used to spin the car to the side are visible, at the left of the rear bumper.

    • Factual Error: When the invisible tiger attacks the WAO activist it is obvious that the victim is facing the attacker. Cats, whether domestic or wild, large or small, visible or invisible, always attack prey from the rear or the side. Their killing bite is usually applied to the back of the neck, biting into the brainstem and top of the spinal cord. People have been known to avoid a lion attack simply by staying in front of the animal and staring it down.

    • Mulder states that the animals are being returned miles from their cages by "an astrological variation." The correct word should be astronomical.

  • Quotes

    • Scully: (about doing a necropsy on an elephant) This isn't exactly in my job description.
      Mulder: And the next thing you know, they'll be doing it on MTV Sports.

    • Mulder: Sophie tried to tell me something.
      (He shows Willa the sign language.)
      Willa: That doesn't make any sense.
      Mulder: What does it mean?
      Willa: "Man save man."

    • Scully: Where are you going Mulder.
      Mulder: Talk to the animals.

    • Mulder: I'd be willing to admit the possibility of a tornado, but it's not really tornado season. I'd even be willing to entertain the notion of a black hole passing over the area or some cosmic anomaly but it's not really black hole season either . . . If I were a betting man, I'd say it was . . .
      Scully: An invisible elephant?
      Mulder: I saw David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear once.

    • Kyle: ... All animals should run free.
      Scully: Even if that means trampling a man to death?
      Kyle: Maybe he should have gotten out of the way.
      Mulder: I'm sure he would have if he had seen it coming.

    • Frohike: If that's the lovely Agent Scully, let her know I've been working out ... I'm buff!

  • Notes

    • Filming the elephant necropsy scene was one of Gillian Anderson's favorite X-Files moments.

    • The message that Sophie signed to Mulder before she was taken: "man save man," may have many meanings, but could also be the first hint of the prophecy that Krycek alludes to throughout the series, which stated that the fate of mankind may lie in Mulder's hands.

    • Blake Towers, where the tiger is found, is named after the poet William Blake.

    • 'Fearful Symmetry' is a phrase from William Blake's poem "The Tyger": Tyger, tyger burning bright / In the forests of the night: / What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?. The novelisation of this episode is called "Tyger, Tyger".

  • Allusions

    • Mulder: Talk to the animals.

      This was the ethos of Doctor John Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. A human doctor who turned away from humans and learnt the language of animals.

    • Mulder: It's all happening at the zoo, Scully.

      Refers to the Simon and Garfunkel song "At the Zoo" off their Bookends album.

    • Frohike: Beam me up, Scotty.

      "Beam me up, Scotty" is a catch phrase from the original Star Trek television series. Ironically, these words are never uttered on screen by any of the characters.

    • Mulder: I saw David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear once.
      David Copperfield is an American illusionist whose most famous feats include making the Statue of Liberty disappear, levitating over the Grand Canyon and walking through the Great Wall of China.