The X-Files

Season 5 Episode 13

Patient X (1)

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 01, 1998 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
267 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully meet Cassandra Spender, a woman who claims to be a multiple abductee and wants to deliver a positive message about the aliens. Mulder who now is skeptical of extraterrestrial activity and believes that the government is behind the abduction phenomena is disturbed when Scully forms a special bond with the woman. A series of group attacks against abductees take place and the shadowy Syndicate believes that a rebel alien resistance is attempting to destroy all their work.moreless

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  • More than probing going on here

    Above all else I enjoyed this episode because of the amount of time it takes to explore Scully and Mulder's beliefs and this turnaround is fascinating to watch, the roles have begun to reverse. The other plot points are entirely up to each viewer, if you've enjoyed the story so far I don't see any reason not to now, in fact its getting better. A multi species war with humanity in the middle, sounds damn good to me. When Cassandra tells them that they have great and wonderful plans with us it looks like theres more to them than just anal probing. Still curious to how Samantha fits into all this but maybe thats for another time.... if in fact that really was her.moreless
  • Patient X

    Patient X was a perfect, exciting, thrilling and awesome episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was one of the best and it had lots of significant character and plot development. More is revealed about the shadowy syndicate and Krycek makes an appearance with his own mission. The scary faced beings who set people on fire were horrifying and made me feel the terror of their soon to be victims. Cassandra was great and I like the significance of her name in the story. The ending was awesome and I look forward to seeing how the story finishes in the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • One day this moment will come

    Roles reversed... but it doesn't seem to ridiculous or far-fetched. After all Mulder and Scully have experienced over the last months, it was logical that this day would come: the day were Mulder became the skeptical and Scully became the believer... to say the least.

    The introduction of new characters was very interesting and I guess it was the right time for it. Also, learning more about the black oil, the vaccine and the whole alien rebel revolution, was a good start for what the movie would bring us.

    It must've been quite a shock for Scully to learn more about her abduction through Cassandra Spender. I also liked the role of the Well-Manicured Man in all this, now that the Cancer Man is gone... if he is.moreless
  • Mulder continues to question his faith while Scully may begin to believe.

    I like it when Chris Carter decides to allow room for Scully to begin believing in the supernatural and the unexplainable and gives Mulder reason to doubt or be skeptical. All season, Mulder has continued to believe in certain supernatural items, but when it comes to the existance of aliens, he's been stubborn and skeptical. I still don't believe the Cigarette Smoking Man's claim that it was all a hoax, but for now, I suppose we need to go along with it. I thought that for a myth-arc episode, it was pretty all over the place, difficult to understand and doing what The X-Files does worst: trying to cram a crapload of plots into one episode without explaining anything. However, for an individual episode, there was enough creepy moments and revelations (as well as a good cliffhanger) to keep me entertained.

    The basic premise of the episode is that there's a woman only known (at first) as Patient X who has claimed to be abducted numerous times over thirty years and that there is a lot of women like her who have been abducted and can tell when they will be taken. Mulder refuses to believe her story after his recent experiences with the government, while Scully's abduction makes her more prone to believe her, especially when she's found near the same area she was found in the Duane Berry/Ascension episodes.. also, the fact she has a chip in the back of her neck makes her more interested.

    I have to say, the episode is certainly working at it's best when it investigates the warring opinions of Mulder and Scully, especially since they seem to have switched places. However, the episode jumps to Tunguska again to focus on Krycek, who is appearently still running around doing God knows what, attempting to find a cure for that "black oil/alien liquid/whatever the heck it is." He does so by calling the government men that the C.S.M associated with all the time and worked with. And in an additional layer of confusion, we learn that the woman that Mulder is getting information from (Laurie Holden) has some sort of romance with Krycek. What in the world? I just don't understand the show sometimes.

    Either way, that final scene where the faceless men come to set the former abductees on fire was haunting and should make the second part that much more interesting.moreless
  • The one where Mulder does not believe

    ‘Patient X’ is an absolutely fascinating episode from start to finish.

    The episode begins with two boys in the woods searching for their parents. But they only find everything burned, then some faceless clones come after them and they catch one and burn him. The other one stays behind to be caught by Krycek.

    Meanwhile Mr. Mulder is at a meeting and changed completely from one episode to another. Now he suddenly doesn’t believe in aliens anymore and just thinks that the government made it all up just as a cover story. Only this time suddenly nobody believes him about that and instead they believe in the aliens. It’s like opposite world.

    Mulder then meets a woman named Cassandra who says that he saved her life. She was afraid of the truth but after what she read about him and Duane Barry she began to accept herself. But Mulder doesn’t believe her and tells her to get a life.

    Meanwhile the young boy was taken as hostage by Krycek who is doing experiments on him. Krycek and Marita also turn out to be working together and against each other. She seduces him to sleep with her but when he doesn’t watch she takes the boy with her and calls Mulder, so she’s actually working for three different sources.

    Scully, just like I said. Was in bizzaro world, she was suddenly the believer even though she had trouble believing. She had a conversation with Cassandra who seemed to know about her. But she’s different, she also has the ship at her back only she isn’t planning on taking it out. Scully is having a hard time because now that her partner suddenly doesn’t believe anymore, she does. She tells Mulder to listen better to Cassandra but when he goes on the phone she leaves.

    But there is something weird happening, something that isn’t supposed to be happening. the people are all getting burned. When Scully and Cassandra and other people go to a bridge suddenly people begin to scream and it’s those hunters who are there to put everyone on fire.

    ‘Patient X’ was an extremely well done and fascinating episode bringing back Marita and Krycek. When Marita is on the phone and the kid appear on the window it makes a very creepy and disturbing scene, and as the kid appears on the bridge it means that something happened to Marita.

    We also meet Cassandra’s son, Jeffrey who doesn’t believe in any of it. the episode was a very nice twist changing Scully’s role with Mulder’s once more.

Veronica Cartwright

Veronica Cartwright

Cassandra Spender

Guest Star

Alex Shostak Jr

Alex Shostak Jr


Guest Star

Ron Halder

Ron Halder

Dr. Floyd Fazio

Guest Star

Nicholas Lea

Nicholas Lea

Alex Krycek

Recurring Role

Laurie Holden

Laurie Holden

Marita Covarrubias

Recurring Role

Don S. Williams

Don S. Williams

1st Elder

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Am I the only one who found it somewhat odd that Krycek was able to get a unit of Russian soldiers into Kazakhstan without any international problems?

    • In season 2's 'Ascension' Skyland Mountain was a private ski resort, yet here we are told it is a national park.

    • It seems unlikely that so many cars would have been allowed to go up to Skyland Mountain at that time of night, and wouldn't the ranger have been a bit suspicious?

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Krycek: Your authority isn't recognized here. Only your lies.
      Marita Covarrubias: These are UN peace keepers. This is a mission of mercy.
      Krycek: This is a mission of fear. Yours and the men you work for.

    • Mulder: I don't think you understand. There's just too much evidence that it's all been a lie. The conspiracy is not to hide the existence of extraterrestrials. It's to make people believe in it so completely that they question nothing.

    • Scully: Shouldn't that be my picture next to that headline? Or is that you just having a little fun?
      Mulder: Do I LOOK like I'm having fun, Scully?
      Scully: You look constipated, actually.
      Mulder: That would make sense. I've had my head up my rear end for the last five years.

    • Mulder: You know? You... you try to reveal what's hidden, you try to incite people with the facts, but they'd rather believe some insane nonsense, refusing to believe what our government is capable of.
      Scully: You've come a long way, Mulder.
      Mulder: Yeah, and still nobody believes me.

    • Mulder: One more anal-probing, gyro-pyro levitating ectoplasm alien anti-matter story and I'm gonna take out my gun and shoot somebody.
      Scully: Well... I guess I'm done here. You seem to have invalidated your own work. Have a nice life!

  • NOTES (5)


    • Krycek: Well look who's answering the Batphone.

      An obvious reference to the Batman lore, whereby the Batphone was the way of contacting Batman in an emergency.

    • Mulder: This whole phenomenon is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a government agenda.

      This is almost ad verbatim a famous quote by Winston Churchill on the Soviet Union in the 1940s.

    • Name: Cassandra

      Cassandra Spender was named for a figure in Greek mythology, the prophet Cassandra. The god Apollo fell in love with her and granted her the gift of prophecy, however since she did not love him back he cursed the gift by having no one believe her prophecies. Cassandra, who claimed to speak for the aliens, was sarcastically called "The Prophet" by Mulder as he was talking to her son.