The X-Files

Season 5 Episode 8

Kitsunegari

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 04, 1998 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

8.2
out of 10
Average
255 votes
  • Kitsunegari

    10
    Kitsunegari was a perfect and extremely entertaining episode of The X-Files as Modell, a.k.a. Pusher, escapes confinement and seems to be continuing where he left off. There was a lot of great action, suspense, drama, and thrilling intrigue. I liked how the story played out and Modell was trying to protect someone close to him. It was interesting to see Scully question Mulder as it seemed he may have been compromised by Modell. I liked the ending which was awesome and well played. I also liked the line: "Where's Modell?" " He had to go." which Modell made the characters say. The ending was awesome and I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Glad that Pusher is gone... both of them

    9.0

    I think this was a good way to end the Pusher storyline. It was emotional and full of drama in the end scene.


    As usual, Mulder becomes very passionate about this case and Modell knows and uses it against him. As much as I enjoy the Mulder/Scully dynamic, I also like to see the way both argue trying to proove each other's theory to a point that they get angry at each other.


    I always enjoy how Scully becomes so protective of Mulder knowing how vulnerable he can be and how much damage Modelll did to them in the past. And I loved how in the end Mulder recognizes who the real Scully... just because they know each other so well.


    Good episode overall.

  • The one with a second Pusher

    9.7
    A brilliant episode bringing back the pusher, and to be honest, I liked it a bit more than the original episode.

    The episode begins with him escaping but he doesn’t make the dumb guard kill himself, he just tells him to let him go.

    Everyone thinks he went out to pay his revenge on Mulder, and he’s also dying. When he goes to steal food he makes a guy think a bat is a snake but once again he does not kill the man, but instead someone who wanted to catch him in the past was under blue paint, something was written on the walls ‘Kitsunegari’ which means ‘Fox haunt’. Mulder believes that Pusher might go after the man’s wife and she indeed has an appointment with Pusher but they sve her by being on time and a cap caught Pusher but then realises it’s another cop and Pusher made him believe it was him.

    When Mulder catches the guy but listens, he is let loose but not killed and Mulder doesn’t understand it and thinks that maybe Pusher doesn’t want revenge after all but instead it’s someone else. he believes it’s the wife of the dead man. When Mulder goes to talk to a nurse she gets a phone call and she electrocutes herself and dies, making Mulder’s last lead dead.

    But Mulder turned out to be right, the woman escapes and goes after Mulder. when he arrives to a place he finds Scully ready to kill herself and she shoots herself but then the woman arrives with a gun and she says that she is Scully and then she shoots the woman who was behind Mulder after all.

    It was too bad that Pusher died, he turned out to be a great character and his death scene was very well done and emotional. His twin sister told him he was happy and his body to give up.

    The end was fantastic and so was most of the episode, I liked the second pusher. She turned out to be Pusher’s twin and the episode was very effective. Skinner was also finally back and he has respect for Mulder. a very good episode.
  • Overall, this episode was a disappointing sequel to one of the most popular episodes of the series. Bringing back Modell for this story was an ill-advised attempt to capitalize on impressions of continuity.

    4.0
    After an “introduction” phase that eschewed stand-alone episodes for mythology and character development (and even some “non-canon” fare), the writers return to the well for a few episodes while working out where to go next. With the series at its critical peak, especially in terms of the popular culture, there must have been some desire to touch on the themes and concepts that were popular in season past.

    According to Tim Minear, the story editor for the most acclaimed period in the series’ history, the original story concept was something more in tune with “Millennium”: a serial killer who escapes prison, supposedly on the “word of God”, to stop someone else from committing murders. The idea was to have Mulder go against his own instincts and believe in the killer’s conversion, because the evidence would suggest that the “word of God” was in fact real. Scully, on the other hand, would find herself denying something that her faith insists as possible and miraculous.

    That episode could have fit rather easily into the mythology of the series, especially since divine intervention has been on the agents’ side since the very beginning. Instead, Vince Gilligan suggested that the character of Robert Modell, the antagonist from “Pusher”, be cast in the role of the killer. Thus his motivations change dramatically: it’s not the “word of God” that matters, but rather, his knowledge of a sibling who has decided to kill in his name.

    Right away, this introduces complications. Modell was supposed to be dying and permanently out of commission. He was also completely unrepentant. It’s interesting to note that the writers avoid this little problem by giving no explanation whatsoever for Modell’s change of heart. Nor is it at all clear how Modell learned of his sister’s plans to exact revenge. Since the episode begins with Modell’s escape from prison, there’s not even an indication that Linda Bowman contacted Modell with hints of what was to come.

    Character motivation is everything, so when the writers force Modell into the mold that Minear originally cast, it doesn’t fit very well. As the meeting with the marshals suggests, Modell’s mindset was firmly established in “Pusher”. Referring to that gives the audience reason to suspect Modell and thus generate conflict when Mulder believes differently, but the seeds of Modell’s motivations should have been intact. They are not intact, and as a result, the episode never quite comes together the way it should.

    It also seems odd that Mulder would emphasize the dangers of dealing with Modell, only to ignore his own advice several times over the course of the episode. Mulder is used to placing his own life on the line for his theories, but this is a bit ridiculous.

    The plot is so thin that there’s no hidden meaning in Modell’s desire to contact Mulder. He’s trying to warn everyone about his sister, apparently out of a desire to get to her first and convince her to stop the killing. That’s literally the extent of the story. All of the important and ground-breaking character work in “Pusher”, the real reason that episode was so popular, is missing. Instead, the writers place Mulder and Scully at odds, apparently on the hopes that the episode will culminate in a compelling confrontation.

    There are some interesting images along the way. “Death by house paint” is a particularly memorable image, and one must admit that “kitsunegari” is inspired, never mind Scully shooting herself in the head. Bowman’s slow and methodical use of the “push” to induce Modell’s death is a great use of the ability.

    But then there’s the list of things that aren’t so impressive. Bowman’s hint-laden conversation with Mulder is somewhat silly, since Mulder is forced to pin his suspicions on those hints and it only serves the purpose of getting him off the case. Even after Mulder’s theory becomes more tenable, the writers make sure that Mulder and Scully are at each other’s throats.

    The worst flaw of the episode is the final confrontation. Mulder is lead to the address where Bowman is apparently waiting for him. Bowman has apparently staged this little event to ensure that Mulder kills Scully, under the belief that Scully is Bowman and that Scully has already been “pushed” into killing herself. There’s just one problem with that. Why would Scully have gone to the building where Bowman is waiting for Mulder? Scully doesn’t believe Mulder at all, and there’s nothing to indicate that Mulder shared the address that he found on the back of the “Nurse” badge.

    More importantly, this is the easy way out. Instead of having Mulder and Scully threaten each other against their will, like in “Pusher”, it comes across as a random act of revenge. Nothing that happened up to that point in the episode was building to that confrontation. It’s just a bit too conveniently staged and there’s not enough explanation surrounding the whole event. In the end, Bowman’s existence doesn’t have the same impact as Modell’s.

    The final scene is meant to bring the events into some kind of focus, as if Mulder’s near-killing of Scully was somehow his responsibility. Granted, he went hunting after Bowman on his own, and that led to the confrontation, but that was largely Skinner’s fault for isolating Mulder in the first place. It would have been more logical, however, for Mulder to wait for Bowman to come for him. If he really believed that Bowman wanted revenge, then he would have realized that Bowman only killed when it served that purpose. Mulder could have waited for Bowman to make a move out of impatience, and it would have been over.

    What this episode lacks is a sense of depth. The story is relatively thin, and the events just happen as one would expect. Sure, the writers make Modell out to be the villain, but once Mulder draws his conclusion, it’s rather obvious that Bowman will be the true enemy. The character work of “Pusher” is completely absent, and that makes all the difference. Add to that a few plot conveniences, and this is an episode that doesn’t quite match the potential of either writer.

    Ironically, Tim Minear would move on and begin working with Joss Whedon, who would use a very different storytelling method with “Buffy”, “Angel”, and “Firefly”. Minear would deliver some of the best episodes of his career while working on those series, and his post-“Mutant Enemy” work has been equally impressive. One can only assume that he learned what not to do when working with Chris Carter and 1013.
  • Pusher returns

    8.4
    I remember "Pusher" being a great season 3 episode, one where Mulder and Scully's life were truly put in danger and it seemed as if Modell, the Pusher, could actually take one of their lives. Of course, it'd be absurd for that to happen, but it still did it's job at creating a tense and exciting hour of television. This sequel has some moments that are great like the previous episode, but nothing that truly makes you feel anxious (except for maybe the final scene).

    It does start off with some promise though. Pusher escapes and Mulder and Scully are back on the case, attempting to find him. We get more of those darkly entertaining scenes where Modell convinces people to do things just by mentioning them. However, half of the episode goes by and it doesn't feel as if it's going anywhere new or addressing any new ideas. It's just Mulder/Scully chasing Modell, which was nice the first time around but a little anti-climatic the second time around. Fortunately, something new happens about halfway through the episode, but unfortunately, it's a bit lame.

    It turns out there's a second Pusher, which puts Mulder in a sticky situation: how do you outrun two pushers who want to destroy you? Or does Modell even want to destroy Mulder anymore? The resolution to the episode brings the "Pusher" storyline to an end once and for all, but one has to wonder: was it even necessary to include this episode? I liked it a lot, and it continued the streak of great X-Files episodes this season, but I had to wonder why the show would decide to bring him back just to appear in this episode, which was somewhat lackluster. Either way, it was good enough to keep me thinking that this season just might be its best yet.
  • Push Me Again

    7.0
    There are exactly three great scenes in this sequel of sorts to Season Three's "Pusher." The Cerulean blue murder scene, the scene where Mulder verbally spars with Sister Pusher in the safehouse and the final "Face Off"-esque confrontation between Mulder, Scully and Sister Pusher. The rest is pretty much crap and that's too bad.

    The opening scene after the credits where Mulder and Scully address the assembled policemen was horribly, horribly written. The stiff speeches that Mulder and Scully give to the policemen seem laughably out of character for either of them. The whole scene has a clumsy expositional feel that seems lifted from an old Dragnet episode. If the writers felt compelled to recap the events of "Pusher," surely they could have found a more entertaining way to do so other than by having Mulder and Scully make wooden speeches.

    Pusher is a great villain in the same mold as Hannibal Lector since he is seemingly capable of the most horrific deeds. After the two cops encounter Pusher at the warehouse, we feel a sick sort of dread when Mulder and the others arrive moments later since we expect that Pusher has done something horrible to the cops. It's a letdown of sorts when we see that Pusher actually did nothing to the cops. This undermines whatever tension had been developing to that point and it gets worse after Pusher even lets Mulder go, seemingly unharmed. The fact is that the writers waste Pusher's potential as a character and one wonders why in the heck they even bothered to bring him back.

    Some tension is regained as we wonder whether or not Mulder has been brainwashed by Pusher to perhaps sabotage the investigation, but not enough to save this episode from mere average-ness. Oh well, at least they kill Pusher off, so we won't be seeing Pusher III in a future episode.
  • I loved it like I love every episode!!!

    10
    I belive this is exactly what The X Files was meant to be. I fell in love with this show because of how well written and acted it was. I will watch this show forever along with both movies. I wish they would come up with a new third movie. Keep up the good work! ! ! ! A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
  • The Return of Pusher

    7.5
    This episode was an obvious attempt to revive the immense popularity of the Pusher episode, which was really popular and well done. I think that it failed, however, because the plot line was too convenient. Pusher has a twin with the same powers. Scully doesn't trust Mulder's instincts, yet again. Skinner does something without understanding why or how he's come to that point. It's all very ordinary, and I wish it had been something a little bit ... MORE. It was frustrating for me that Mulder wasn't being taken seriously, perhaps because my personal pet peeve of not being taken seriously at moments when it really counts. But it seemed like Scully and Skinner should've known better by now, to trust him or at the very least give serious consideration to what Mulder was thinking. Also, the end scene with Mulder being confused by Pusher's sister... it could have been done better. It should've been a bit longer, first of all, to protract the tension and it should've been more confusing, more frustrating for the viewer - it was over too quickly and resolved too easily for the tension level to match that of the Pusher episode. Oh well. Nice try, and an intriguing episode. Just not up to standards.
  • Pusher Lite

    7.0
    In Season 1, Liver-eater Eugene Victor Tooms was such a successful villain that the writers, just months after his classic episode, came up with a sequel that mostly managed to stand up to the original. The small problem with a Monster-of-the-Week retread is just that since the basic plot "Killer with the ability to [insert paranormal element] must be stopped" is so simple, its success hinges on the treatment of the paranormal element itself. It's what sets The X Files apart from other crime dramas. And so, "Tooms" was in danger of becoming a mere "Squeeze 2": Same plot, same gimmick. The writers wisely chose to insert more character work into the show, and it avoided that danger.

    "Kitsunegari" has less luck. While it's a thrill to see one of the most memoirable villains from one of the most memorable episodes again, the Pusher never seems quite as threatening as in the earlier show. Besides, the gimmick that Modell is actually trying to do something good and that there's another Pusher, his twin sister no less, stretches credulity a lot towards the end and diminishes the strength of the villain as a character. The intensity of "Pusher" is never reached and sadly, it's not being replaced by anything else equivalent to it..

    However, it's still an entertaining 45 minutes and no matter how recycled the premise may be, it still works. It's simply "Pusher" minus the mystery and minus the adrenaline-raising showdown. In the end, it's just a testament to "Pusher"'s brilliance that the lightweight retread is still such a solid episode.
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