Special Agent Fox Mulder
Special Agent Dana Scully
Assistant Director Walter Skinner
Loudoun County, Virginia
This episode contains a reference to the second season episode, "The Host". In the introduction to this episode, Pusher is seen taking a tabloid titled the Worldwide Enquirer from a rack in a supermarket. Its cover reads, "IT'S BACK! Flukeman found washed up in Martha's Vineyard!", above a sketch of the Flukeman.
When Pusher is first apprehended by Agent Burst, it seems rather odd that the cruiser in which they are traveling is the last vehicle in the convoy? During the transport of a suspected serial killer, you would think that his vehicle would be in the middle of the convoy, with the vehicles in front blocking traffic, and the vehicles following pulling rear escort.
Scully pronounces Ronin as "rōnin" and Mulder corrects her with "rōneen". Actually, Scully's pronunciation is correct.
When Modell gets into the FBI building by convincing the guard that his homemade pass is real, why did no one else question why he was walking around the place with a brown envelope with 'Pass' written in black pen on his jacket? He only spoke to the guard, Holly and Skinner while there so only they could possibly have been under his influence.
When Mulder shows his ID to the hospital receptionist, he clearly holds it upside down with the badge section on top instead of the section with the blue 'FBI' text.
Regarding the issue of a revolver and shell casings:
If you freeze the video when Mulder looks at the casings on the floor, you can clearly see 2 casings and 3 intact cartridges all lying near each other. This is because Modell emptied them out in order to play roulette.
Why didn't Mulder ever use the term "hypnosis"? While less accurate, it would certainly have made his case more strongly to the non-believers.
The electronic map indicated that Fairfax Mercy Hospital was on/near Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax County, Virginia. The hospital is actually on Gallows Road.
When Modell "talks" Burst to death, the cops in the room stop Mulder and Scully from disconnecting the call. You would think that two FBI Agents would hold rank over local PD Officers on any case.
Not necessarily. Actually, in most cases, the state government has much more widespread power than the federal government. It's just that the feds can supersede the state government on very specific issues. Policing is usually up to the state officials, with the federal government very reluctant to take over or interject. And even when their involvement is necessary, they would usually not take charge of the investigation.
In the hospital scene Mulder hears 2 gunshots and then finds the guard and the technician, but there are more than 2 bullet casings on the floor. Also the guard's weapon was a revolver, which doesn't automatically eject casings.
Holly: Agents? Here's volume ten.
(Scully stares at her black eye, Holly is embarrassed and lowers her gaze)
Scully: Sorry, I couldn't help noticing.
Holly: I was in Georgetown this weekend. A guy knocked me down, stole my purse.
Mulder: Did they get him?
Holly: Do they ever? (Mulder and Scully stare at her) No offence. Excuse me.
Mulder: You know, we thought he was undergoing treatment but we were wrong.
Scully: What do you mean?
Mulder: Read his chart. The MRIs were gauging how much life he had left, but he consistently refused treatment. The tumor remained operable right up to the end, but he refused to have it removed.
Mulder: I think it's like you said. He was always such a... little man. This was finally something that made him feel big.
Frank Burst: Ro nin.
Mulder: (corrects his pronunciation) Ronin. It's a samurai without a master. (Scully gives him a weird look) What, you never saw Yojimbo?
(Modell is trying to make Mulder shoot himself)
Scully: No, Mulder. Don't do this! Don't ---
(Mulder pulls the trigger)
Scully: (Screaming) No! Damn you, you bastard!
Mulder: I believe he has a unique suggestive ability which makes for the perfect MO he talks his victims into injuring themselves. He overrides their wills with his own.
Scully: You're saying he talked him into it? Somehow... willed him to do it?
Pusher: Your turn, Scully. Got to play by the rules. Pull the trigger, Mulder.
Scully: Mulder, fight him. You can fight this.
Pusher: Come on. Pull the trigger, Mulder. She shot you, I read it in her files. Payback time... shoot the little spy!
Mulder: Hey, Scully, check this out. Mango Kiwi Tropical Swirl. Now we know we're dealing with a madman.
Pusher: Light up, light up, light...(suddenly sees Mulder standing there and groans) Oh. Betcha' $5 I get off.
Mother: No more candy. No! No more candy!
Pusher: Let's get this show on the road. (pulls secret black panel on back of person's coat in front of him. Velcro gives way, revealing the word FBI.)
Swat Cops: Police! FBI!
Frank Burst: Hey, Modell! I know your name now. I know where you live!
Mulder: Modell psyched the judge out, he put the whammy on him.
Scully: Please explain to me the scientific nature of the 'whammy.'
The character Pusher's real name was Robert Patrick Modell. This was about five years before the actor Robert Patrick joined the cast.
Danielle Faith Friedman, the production assistant, makes a brief cameo as a cover model on one of the American Ronin magazines.
In the original script Mulder asks if the tiny camera he straps on picks up the Discovery Channel, but Duchovny went with the Playboy Channel instead.
Fox Broadcasting had some problems with the Russian roulette scene. Apparently there had never been a Russian roulette sequence in any other one-hour drama on network tv in the US up to that time. It took some serious discussion between Vince Gilligan, the writer of this episode, and the network to allow the sequence.
The character of Modell is similar to the character of Andy McGee in the movie Firestarter, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. In fact,McGee's power is described as pushing, just as Modell's is, and he suffers from exhaustion after using it, just as Modell does.
Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters member David Grohl and his wife, Jennifer Youngblood-Grohl, can be seen in the background as Modell enters the foyer of the FBI building.
Loudoun County is a real community and is where writer Vince Gilligan was born and raised.
FBI Agent 'Holly', who beats up Skinner, owes her name to writer Vince Gilligan's girlfriend, Holly Rice.
Frank Burst: Mr. Blackwell put a sock in it.
Mr. Blackwell is a well-known fashion critic who publishes a 10 Best and Worst Dressed list featuring celebrities.
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