The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 15

Piper Maru (1)

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 09, 1996 on FOX
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
281 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
A French salvage ship searching for a lost WWII fighter plane unknowingly surfaces an alien which appears in the form of black oil and has the ability to jump hosts. Mulder heads to Hong Kong to investigate the salvage broker who sold the information to the French and he encounters Krycek, who has been selling information from the MJ Documents. As Mulder prepares to take Krycek back to the US, the alien makes its way to Hong Kong and takes control of Krycek.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Piper Maru

    10
    Piper Maru was a perfect and pretty entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, the actors were awesome, and the mystery was engaging. There was something extraterrestrial or paranormal involved with what was happening and it was great to watch it all play out. Skinner was great in this episode as he tried to help and got hurt in the process. I am excited to see how the rest of the story plays out in the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Krycheck (or however you spell it) makes a return as Mulder tracks a suspect in Hong Kong and Scully tries to find her sister's killer

    8.8
    We return to the conspiracy/alien plot and I must say, it's definitely a doozy. Not only do we have a new slew of enemies that have mysterious powers that mimic radiation poisoning, but we have Skinner getting shot by what appears to be a random guy but is likely a government agent and Scully getting closer and closer to discovering what happened with her sister.



    The show always seems to be at its best when it focuses on these kind of plots, and by the time we reach the "To Be Continued" title screen, I find myself craving the answers right off the bat. Mulder was at his usual "any means necessary" mood, flying to Hong Kong just to track the suspect in the case. The case itself revolves around a plane that's found in the middle of the ocean, in the same area as the action from the "Nisei" episode from earlier. However, the diver who finds the plane finds himself infected by some kind of supernatural power, one that allows whoever's infected to have their eyes cloud over with black smoke and emit white light from their body that creates radiation.



    While Scully tries to figure out why her sister died and what relevance the ship has to everything, Mulder tracks a suspect to Hong Kong to learn why she's hiding something from him. Mulder is clever as hell here, finding ways to sneak up on her and get information. Eventually, he learns his old partner from Season 2 and the killer of Scully's sister, Krycheck, is the man the suspect is meeting up with and that he's somehow connected to it all. We finally have come full circle, with Mulder asking for the tape from the Season 2 finale (Anazazi). The episode ends with a massive cliffhanger: Krycheck is infected with the disease and has the black cloudy eyes and the white light inside of him.



    That's not even considering the fact that Skinner was shot! The episode leaves so many things up in the air, I'd be surprised if they could efficiently answer all the unanswered questions. However, that's about the only reason I rated this lower; next episode should be rated very high if it's able to answer everything else. Great episode of Season 3.moreless
  • Conspiracy is back

    8.5
    No wonder Mulder was named like that. Because he hunts for the truth no matter what, even if that means making a decision like going to Hong Kong to track down a suspect. And what a suprise to find there one of his worst enemies.



    I felt sorry for Scully when she was told about her sister's case. She was right about every word she told Skinner. And Skinner can't save himself this time for being on Mulder and Scully's side.



    I don't know if this is were Scully started to realize that sooner or later she was going to question Mulder's leads. She regrets this time and sure helps Mulder a lot, but I believe it was here when she just began thinking more of herself.moreless
  • Freaky black oil

    9.4
    This is one of my favorite alien related episodes. This is the first of many episodes featuring the spooky stuff. It is very mysterious and always very engaging to watch. Mulder and Scully investigate a diver who resurfaced with what appears to be radiation burns. They discover the vessel was allegedly carry UFO material. It's a very interesting story.
  • Black Gold

    9.0
    The beginning of a pivotal Mythology two-parter and the episode where the body-jumping black oil is introduced.



    The events of World War II again influence the action here as we are given a flashback to a submarine crew attempting to salvage what is misreported to be a fallen nuclear bomber. Scully visits an old friend of her father, who at first professes to know nothing of the salvage effort then, somewhat randomly, almost has her arrested at the front gate as she is leaving so that he can reveal that he survived the salvage effort. This was a bit clumsy and over-dramatic - why did he change his mind so quickly and why did he call so much attention to himself by having Scully detained at the front gate?



    Production values are top-notch and the acting is solid. The producers are in a groove and it shows. The writers cram a lot of action and storyline in a mere 45 minutes and the cliffhanger at the end is just great.moreless
Robert Clothier

Robert Clothier

Commander Chris Johansen

Guest Star

Jo Bates

Jo Bates

Jeraldine Kallenchuk

Guest Star

Stephen E. Miller

Stephen E. Miller

Wayne Morgan

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Morris Panych

Morris Panych

Gray-Haired Man

Recurring Role

Lenno Britos

Lenno Britos

Hispanic Man

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Principal Settings:
      San Diego, California; San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C.; Hong Kong

    • In the movie Alien vs. Predator, the crew arrive in Antarctica on an ice breaker called Piper Maru.

    • Michael Bublé guest starred in this episode; however he was uncredited. He was a sailor in Commander Johanson's memory.

    • Factual Error: When the support crew loses contact with Gauthier in the submersible, the communications technician is told to "try another frequency" (a statement verified in the subtitles). However, since radios don't work underwater, there are no frequencies to change; the only communication is by wire, which may carry more than one channel, but a disruption in cable-based communications affects all channels simultaneously.

    • When Skinner walks into the cafe (the time he gets shot) another man is just walking out, leaving a table with a used glass and coffee cup. The waitress is in the back, getting Skinner a cup of coffee (she couldn't have cleaned the other table yet), but when we look over Skinner's shoulder you can see that the other table is cleared and has a clean coffee cup (turned upside down) on it.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Dr. Seizer: Whatever these men came in contact with, it was man- made. Levels like this just don't appear in nature.
      Mulder: Not on this planet.

    • Scully: You know, it's strange. Men can blow up buildings, and they can be nowhere near the crime scene. But we can piece together the evidence and convict them beyond a doubt. Our labs here can recreate out of the most microscopic details their motivation and circumstance to almost any murder. Right down to a killer's attitude towards his mother and that he was a bedwetter. But in the case of a woman... my sister... who was gunned down in cold blood in a well-lit apartment building by a shooter who left the weapon at the crime scene, we can't even put together enough to keep anybody interested.
      Skinner: I don' think this had anything to do with interest.
      Scully: If I may say so, sir. It has everything to do with interest. Just not yours and not mine.

    • (Mulder & Scully discussing the details of a new case that Mulder believes may have something to do with the remains of a UFO)
      Mulder: I checked. It's thousands of miles away from any test sites. (Scully smiles, then laughs) What?
      Scully: I'm just constantly amazed by you. You're working down here in the basement, sifting through files and transmissions that any other agent would just throw away in the garbage.
      Mulder: Well that's why I'm in the basement Scully.
      Scully: You're in the basement because they're afraid of you, of your relentlessness and because they know that they could drop you in the middle of the desert, and tell you the truth is out there, and you would ask them for a shovel.
      Mulder: Is that what you think of me?
      Scully: Well, maybe not a shovel. Maybe a backhoe.
      Mulder: Well that's good because there's some garbage in San Diego I want you to help me dig through.

    • [Mulder, Scully and Morgan looking at something underwater through a videotape]
      Morgan: What the hell is that?
      Mulder: Looks like the fuselage of a plane.
      Scully: It's a North American P-51 Mustang.
      Morgan: Yeah it sure is.
      Mulder: I just got very turned on.

    • (at the salvage broker's office)
      Mulder: I've got a letter here, typed on [Mr. Kallenchuk's] stationery. Maybe you typed it for him?
      Jeraldine: Sorry. I don't type.

  • NOTES (3)

    • For this episode, Gillian Anderson received her first Best Actress Emmy Award nomination.

    • The deep-sea diver Gauthier is named after the shows effects supervisor, Dave Gauthier.

    • This episode's title and the name of the ship featured are named after Gillian Anderson's daughter, Piper Maru Anderson, who was born during season 2.
      'Maru' was particularly fitting as it is the Japanese word for 'ship', but no, Gillian didn't name her daughter after a boat; it also means 'flower' in Polynesian.

      Actually 'Maru' means 'circle' not 'ship', though it is a traditionally used suffix for names of ships.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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