The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 15

Piper Maru (1)

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 09, 1996 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

9.0
out of 10
Average
281 votes
  • 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!!!!!!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Thank god it wasn’t “Dod Kalm” part 2

    8.1

    “Piper Mara” is part one of a two part story involving an alien oil. A salvage ship turns up back on shore with all its crew covered in radiation burns. This leads to Mulder and Skully investigating. We also see Skully think of her sisters murder and Skinner gets shot. Krycek shows up and were left with a WTF cliff hanger if you know what I mean. Its an ok episode, Thank god it wasn’t “Dod Kalm” part 2! The story has the usual X-files twists and turns and that’s about it. 8 out of 10. The second part of this episode is “Apocrypha”
  • The one with the oil

    10
    Another fascinated episode which makes both Scully and Krycek better characters.

    It begins a little confusing, a guy is send in the water and when he finds something it makes his eyes go black. It’s the cool oil mythology and all the men on the ship turn out burned except him, he is in perfect health. When he goes back to his house, his wife finds him strangely and she is the next one with the black oil and leaves him in his house covered under oil himself.

    Meanwhile Scully’s storyline is mostly with Skinner, he tells her that the investigation of her sister has been stopped and Scully was very pissed off. Her side of the episode was pretty and emotional, she goes back to her house and remembers the time she spend with her sister. She also goes to a man who tells her that he was in the chip and then the captain started to act weird and some of them began to have burned out wounds. The captain had the same black thing in his eyes and was left for dead, only 7 of all those people survived.

    Skinner is then followed, some men don’t like his work and later a guy at the shop shoots him and the hospital calls Scully and she is afraid of his life.

    When Mulder goes to the French guy’s house, he finds him covered in oil and there is a letter, he meets a woman who is very dangerous and he follows her over to China. He arrests her and when he meets her partner he sees that it’s Krycek. He shuts her out and then some guys arrive and shoot her to death. Both Krycek and Mulder escape, the woman who is under the thrall of the oil then burns them all.

    When Mulder finds Krycek he makes him tell about the disk because he knows he has it, Mulder gives Krycek a nosebleed and lets him clean himself up in the bathroom. When Krycek goes into the bathroom the strange lady goes over to him and hits him. Outside he’s looking normal and goes with Mulder but his eyes turn black too.

    To be continued

    A fantastic episode and very effective and interesting.
  • A two-part barn burner.

    8.8
    Remember the good old days of The X-Files when the mythology wasn't pretentious but instead immensely engrossing? Yep, these were the good old days.

    "Piper Maru" and the associate "Apocrypha" had a somewhat different focus than on the "731/Nisei" two-parter from earlier in the season. This go-round had aliens in the form of "black oil" and Scully focusing on her sister's death. For Gillian Anderson, this began her jump from unknown quality actress to superb actress with substantial stardom. Her performance in this episode was outstanding, especially in the California scenes in the community Scully grew up in (Although her first scene with Mitch Pileggi was also a keeper). I was glad to see a rekindling of this storyline as it gives Anderson a lot to work with her -- making her an outstanding counterpart to the obsessive nature of Mulder's character.

    Speaking of Mulder, another fine performance here by Duchovny -- although this time his character is somewhat overshrouded by the storyline. The plot itself was deliciously complicated and engrossing, centering on a long-since-submerged submarine and the extraterrestrial activities aboard it. The "black oil" is exploited in all of its glory in this episode (with a still scary-looking special effect), and the cliffhanger at the end of the episode was especially twisted and appropriate.

    What would become a longtime writing partnership, Spotnitz and Carter were always impressive with their ability to make a taut and yet very complex storyline. Thus, they could amplify the suspense quite well (with the Krycek element, the "black oil", Melissa's murder investigation, and Skinner's near-death experience). It at times got a little out of hand in this episode (especially the somewhat contrived Skinner storyline), but it was never boring or unconvincing. It certainly was suspenseful and fun, and I don't think you can ask much more from a series like this.

    Spotnitz and Carter also often gave clearer glimpses of the psychologies behind the personalities. Thus, they often tended to separate Mulder and Scully in their episodes -- something that I thought worked quite well. It gave a little bit more freedom to the actors, and their versatility became quite apparent during these episodes. Although their best scenes from the series were obviously when they were together, they worked well apart too -- and a lot of credit should be given for this somewhat gutsy characteristic of the "mythology" episodes.

    Finally, the recurring characters of the series were really starting to shine on this show. Nicholas Lea was impressive in this episode as he now was a full-fledged villain with unknown motives -- the best kind of villain, if you ask me. And Mitch Pileggi continued to impress with his matter-of-fact, all-serious attitude with that constant source of "I want to help" in his eyes and in his actions. He played a good Skinner.

    "Piper Maru" was a quality hour. Yep, the good ol' days.
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