The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 22

Quagmire

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 03, 1996 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

8.7
out of 10
Average
308 votes
  • Quagmire

    10
    Quagmire was another perfectly entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing, full of action,drama and character development. It was awesome to watch Mulder and Scully investigate the possibility of a Lake Monster. The actors were perfect in their roles and the story was well written and played out in a very engaging manner. The ending was classic X-Files, leaving something to the imagination. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Scully: "You're so consumed by your personal vengeance against life, whether it be its inherent cruelties or its mysteries, that everything takes on a warped significance in your megalomaniacal cosmology." Mulder: "Scully, are you coming on to me?"

    9.0

    "Quagmire" combines good characterization with a simple yet bent plot, we get a story that ranks in the top of the third season of The X-Files.


    Mulder drags the very reluctant Scully and her dog, Queequeg, into yet another hare-brained monster-of-the-week story that had all the groan potential of The Invisible Man. People near Huevelman's Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountain section of Georgia are disappearing under circumstances that revive long-simmering rumors of a prehistoric monster living in the remote lake.


    The now-famous Conversation on the Rock opened up more of Fox Mulder than any episode this season. Gillian Anderson was given plenty of material to work with in showing Scully the Materialist broken by the death of her dog. In fact, Scully's grief for Queequeg exceeds the grief she has been allowed to show previously for her partner, her father, and her sister. David Duchovny did a wonderful job of dropping Mulder's boyish mask, allowing him to acknowledge his own fear and vulnerability. In his "peg-leg" speech, Mulder admits to a painfully clear understanding not only of his own obsessive behavior but of how it has warped his life. The only flaw in this otherwise wonderfully fresh look at the partnership was Mulder's hard- hearted reaction to Queequeg's death, as if he is not just unwilling but incapable of relating to Scully's heartache. This is out of character for the normally sensitive Mulder. And as an animal lover, I didn't care for his lack of consoling his partner and friend in her time of grief. I also didn't like how quickly Scully herself seems to get over her dog's untimely death. If they had at least faded to black with Mulder comforting her as they sit quietly in her room, then we could have picked up the story the following night or maybe even two nights later. At least let some time pass. A little more respect for Queequeg is all I ask.


    This is a story about survival: not just the survival of Rana sphenocephalus, or Big Blue, or even our own species. It is a look at what it takes to be a survivor. The answer is surprising, as it rejects the archetypal mold of the hero as lone gunman, standing up single-handed to adversity and overcoming it. That frontier hero mold must give way in these latter days to the urban hero who knows how to cooperate and who knows how to forge alliances. Mulder not only admits he is lost, but asks for directions (a new heroic paradigm indeed). A Boy Scout leader who strays from the group ends up as a floating corpse. When Ansel Bray goes off to photograph Big Blue alone, he gets gobbled up. The message here is clearly that the loner is doomed, and the only safety is in community, union, partnership. In other words, without Scully, Mulder would end up just like Ansel. She is his rock, symbolized by the mysterious, and seemingly out of nowhere, rock in the middle of the lake.



    The real punch line of "Quagmire" is that Mulder, in fact, finds and kills a survivor from the Age of Reptiles. We forget, in our search for the more dramatic and less familiar T. Rexes and Nessies, that their cousins are still here, still surviving, and still hungry. The alligator he shoots is no less a lake-dwelling monster than a plesiosaur would have been. And I will confess that the alligator came totally out of nowhere, for me. It's beautiful. The giant alligator supports Scully's materialistic worldview, yet does not destroy Mulder's own vision of his Questing Beast, his symbol of hope that there is more to the world than appears on the surface. Although all that was sort of ruined by the the final shot of Big Blue breaking the surface. Which I wish they hadn't done. But all in all this quirky X-File, with its ruggedly beautiful setting, clever twist, and strong characters earns it high marks from me.

  • "I still have the urge to fire."

    8.8
    Here's a stand-alone episode that has nothing to do with aliens or government conspiracies but succeeds mostly because of the scenes between Mulder and Scully. Sure, there was a pretty cool story behind it all, and there were a few big shocks, but for the most part, I found myself more excited by the chance to see Mulder and Scully have a heart-to-heart with one another and connect more. Here are two characters that seem to be completely different yet connect so easily.

    The underlaying plot involves Mulder and Scully searching for a beast called "Big Blue" inside of a lake that has apparently been killing people. It's a pretty simple idea but it's increased by the way the writers were willing to go in different directions with it. We're never given any concrete proof to lend credence to this beast. People are dying, sure, but there's zero proof. In fact, while there was a clear-cut climatic scene near the end of the episode, the most intense and interesting part of the episode comes from a conversation between Mulder and Scully after they're stranded on a rock. They discuss cannibalism, the relation between Mulder and Ahab and we even get a callback to Scully's father and her nickname (Starbuck).

    For me, this was just a well-written episode that ended in a satisfying enough way. I was pleasantly surprised by it.
  • "All this moving around from crime scene to crime scene is giving me highway hypnosis."

    8.1
    "Quagmire" features Queequeg, Scully's dog, and the title can't be a coincidence. (How many words can you think of with both a "Q" and a "G"?) There is much to love about the episode. Start with the stunning BC scenery. Add the legend of Big Blue, a Nessie wannabe complete with cute likenesses on billboards and atop tourist shops. Plus we get to see Clyde Bruckman's dog again, adopted by Scully and seen also in "War of the Coprophages." Then there is the rapid fire body count... never a dull moment as bodies float ashore and turn up in the woods. And we get plenty of character development as Scully gets exasperated with Mulder and likens him to Captain Ahab (although I could have done without her calling him "megalomaniacal." Mulder? I think not.). The final scene is a great one, tying together both episode themes and the series' themes in one big blue bow.

    This is "X-Files" at its second tier best... "Quagmire" doesn't rate as high as the classics but features all the broad stokes that make this show what it is.
  • And Mulder didn't get his peg leg

    8.5
    One of the things that I like from this episode is that we see Mulder and Scully in a different environment, away from the city and enjoying the nature... while trying to solve a case.

    Mulder and Scully had always had a relationship in where many things are left unsaid, silence speaks more than words but we see something different here for a change. They have a conversation where they share so many points of view and that's why they are, to the date, one of the best couples on TV.

    The case was kind of expected, as it is based on one of the biggest mystery ever. And it goes to both ends: what everybody witnesses and becomes tangible proof and the unexplainable that remains unseen.

    Too bad Queequeg died... I really like the dog.
  • This episode is fairly written but it doesn't have anything special and is to represent about average of third season's episodes.

    7.9
    This is barely a good episode. There's not much anything special. We got monster on inland lake area and we got the usual investigation. Some interesting supporting characters are involved like the photographer and the scientist. The story advances at moderate rate, but not much surprise is provided. Only scene really worth to remember is conversation on the rocks between Mulder and Scully. In the end, the monster is an alligator, which is not a bad decision. After all I think that this episode is fairly written but it doesn't have anything special and is to represent about average of third season's episodes.
  • Traditional theme

    8.4
    It's nice to see X-Files with such a traditional story. The lake monster was just waiting in line to get handled on this show. The story is nice, and the biology lesson Mulder tells about food webs is fun to hear as a biologist. At least it was more accurate then the one about more nucleotides in The Erlenmeyer Flask. Scully's dog being eaten by the alligator or the lake monster is sad. It would have been nice to see Queequeg in later episodes, but at least its death was used as a pivotal plot element in this episode. The ending was corny, first the alligator is revealed to be the "monster" and then the real monster swims in the background unnoticed. Boring.
  • Wherein Scully Goes Alligator Fishing With Queequeg

    9.0
    Uh oh, another MOTW episode.......but wait, this one is actually pretty great. Never mind what's in the water, the star here is a surprisingly great script, full of humor and even some touching character insights between Mulder and Scully on the rock.

    Some of the funnier bits for me:

    The photographer who has devoted his life to getting a shot of Big Blue, meticulously setting up the bait and his equipment, only to forget to take off his lens cap at the crucial moment!

    Mulder's sly grin and the subtly mocking way he says "Queequeg" when he tells Scully he is sorry for her loss. Haha, yeah right.

    Mulder and Scully realizing that their rock is only a few yards from shore. Classic.

    Like I said, the monster here is secondary and one should not get hung up on the relative blandness of the plot. There are so many golden moments between the characters and hilarious gags in this episode that it is highly rewatchable and a credit to the series.
  • Nessie!

    9.0
    I'm probably biased by my lifelong fascination by the possibility of a Loch Ness monster, but I've always loved this episode. The search for the great unknown prehistoric beast within murky waters is abruptly brought to a halt by the discovery of a giant crocodile. That is, until we see the silhouette of a lake monster dipping in and out of the water as Mulder turns away. It's one of those delicious endings that I've come to love and crave from the X-Files. And it doesn't hurt that the Conversation on the Rock was a pleasure to watch. Poor Scully, losing her dog to the croc. And an interesting character quirk of Mulder - not caring about the dog, referring to Queequeg as "that thing," etc. Guess he's not really a dog person. This is one of those episodes I could rewatch again and again.
  • Conversation on the Rock saves this one

    8.9
    I liked the Mulder/Scully banter in this episode, especially the exchange on the rock - the Ahab stuff and Mulder wondering what it would be like to have a peg leg were classic. Poor Scully loses here precious QueeQueg (sp) and her sad dejected expressions after are a different side I don't remember seeing from her to this point. Mulder's determination at the end to chase down the monster was convincing - I liked the expression on his face when he asked the doctor "which way did he go!?" The shot of the monster at the end was a bit cutesy, but you had to expect that. This was a fun monster-of-the-week installment.
  • Lake Placid?

    7.0

    “Quagmire” see’s Mulder and Skully search for an elusive sea serpent that’s been going on a killing spree. The rest of the episode is fairly predictable and in the end it turns out to be an alligator. Shock horror- nothing supernatural about that then. The episode mixes various films together such as “Jaws”, “Lake Placid” and “Loch Ness”. So right at the end before the credits come on, when everyone clears off, guess what happens- the old sea serpent sticks its head out of the water just to get on your nerves. A Ok episode, which is predictable.7 out of 10.

  • top 10 ep

    10
    this is a funny episode, but not as whimsical (not that that's bad) as bad blood or war of the copraphages. mulder/scully banter is at it's best, but they get serious too. the scene on the rock is so great, so of course it was written by one darin morgan. she says he's ahab and it's no coincidence she called her dad ahab too (she tells tatoo boy at the bar in never again she has a love hate relationship with father figures...). this scene is also hilarious, but mulder and scully are both so honest too. i won't ruin anything but just watch it because eevry other thing in this episode is brilliant.
  • The one with Big Blue

    10
    This show is on fire, season 3 has mostly been great with mythology episodes. But this one worked perfectly and it also had some very funny and awkward moments.

    It begins with two guys arguing about nature and that the frogs are disappearing, one of them thinks that it’s because of the humans. When the other one stays behind he gets attacked by a large animal or creature.

    Mulder drives Scully over to the place together with her dog ‘Queequeg’ and soon she realised that Mulder is going there because of the legendary Big Blue aka the lake monster.

    They meet the scientist who saw the man as last, he doesn’t seem to care and neither does he believe in big blue.

    Soon deaths start to occur, they find a fisherman, well a part and also a guy who goes to swim in the lake gets dragged down and eaten, except his head.
    Also the deaths of two pretty annoying character, one who put the marks to make money got eaten up while being stuck and another guy who promised to make the shot before his death but the camera doesn’t work well and he winds in the monster’s stomach.

    Mulder wants the sheriff to close down the lake but he won’t until he gets dragged into it as well, he doesn’t get eaten so he has the chance to close the lake.

    At night Mulder tries to find something in the pictures while Scully is going to take out her dog, Queequeg escapes but when she grabs the leach it’s too late, the dog is eaten up (what a stupid dog really) and It was funny to see Scully’s face.

    The episode goes better after that, Scully and Mulder go on a ship to find the monster but it finds them and makes a hole in the ship and sinks it. They go on a rock but they know they aren’t save there up until the scientist finds them and asks what they are doing. Turns out that they weren’t undeep and just could have walked away.

    When they walk away the guy is attacked, his leg is almost bitten off. Mulder goes after it and when he’s attacked he shoots it time and time again. When his bullets are gone he takes a look and it turned out to be an alligator, Mulder seemed disappointed by that.

    At the end Mulder and Scully look into the sea and he wished that the Big Blue really existed, Scully tells him not to give up hope and when they leave the Big Blue comes out and swims.

    The episode was terrific, one of the best (if not the best) standalone of season 3.
  • It ain't no bass...

    9.5
    In this superb episode from late in Season 3, Quagmire puts into perspective the personalities of Mulder and Scully. Why is Mulder so insistent on making everything supernatural? Why is Scully so pessimistic to believe? Is it entirely because of "accepted science"?

    Quagmire is an often amusing look at human's insistence that "strange creatures are in our midst". Often these beliefs are nothing but exaggerations, as the episode ultimately tells us. But humans don't necessarily exaggerate for the purpose of attention -- they do so for the purpose of hope. Perhaps our dream of something unbelievable, something unfathomable, can actually exist.

    As the number of deaths around Heuvelman's Lake continues to mount, Mulder becomes increasingly convinced that a deadly, prehistoric creature lives in the lake. The search becomes much more suspenseful after the disappearance of Queequeg (Poor Queequeg). As Mulder and Scully take a boat out on the lake at night -- a mysterious creature rapidly approaches the boat -- and sinks it.

    This leads to one of the most famous scenes of the series, which is often called "the conversation on the rock". This has the color of a Darin Morgan script written all over it (which is indeed the case). The conversation is loaded with literary references, an explanation of the name Queequeg, and a debate on what the two of them are "fighting for" in life. This is one of my favorite scenes in the series.

    Quagmire's tone is appropriately colored with humor. You have to love the "Big Blue" signs and shop mascot. Or the colorful characters that surround the lake. Mulder's quick wit comes in handy again.

    Kim Manners is clever to keep the creature hidden, but in a very comedic manner. Often, the death scenes are somewhat overstated (somewhat purposefully comedically), but with time, each death becomes a bit more ominous. This ultimately leads to the disturbing disappearance of Queequeg, which leads to a somewhat more urgent tone. This is excellent suspense build-up.

    Duchovny and Anderson are once again superb. Their scenes in the boat and on the rock are exceptional. Great chemistry. So much fun to watch.

    The ending is appropriately understated. Turns out the "monster" is little more than an alligator. So as Mulder stares out at the lake, we are left to wonder if there is that monster out there, that prehistoric beast in the midst of our modern world. And as Mulder walks away, the beast appears -- somewhat out of our sight, but never out of our mind.
  • Another Average episode saved by the Mulder and Scully banter and the change of monster at the end.

    7.0
    Mulder and Scully travel to a town which believes in a Loch Ness type monster known as Big Blue.In this same town there are a bunch of missing people cases and with Mulders wide belief in the unknown he starts to believe too in the existence of this phenomenem.

    Standard X-file case with a bunch more of dead bodys and terrible acting by the guest stars.The plot isn't very significant either.

    The second half turns out to be better as Scully and Mulder are stuck in the lake on a boat sinking by a attack.The agents are stuck on top of the boat fearing for their lives.Scully looks into Mulder and tells him what she thinks of him.Thier relationship is furtherly acknowleged while their there.It in a way this is a tribute into what the agents have come across in the last three years.

    Another good point about the episode is that the prehistoric animal,which is killing everybody, is actually a huge alligator.There is also a fair share of tense moments in this episode but it's not as well done as other "out in the wild" episodes like Darkness Falls.

    Not the best stand alone episode seen this season but defintly not one of the worst either.
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