The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 23


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 06, 1994 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
406 votes
  • Slightly above average

    A superb performance by Zeljko Ivanek and some creative direction turned a very average script into something worth watching.
  • Roland

    This episode is another ghost story/spirit story, where some dead person's brain workes through another person, it was getting silly. A brain dead person turned into a mathematiical genious, sure... Some great acting here, by the braind dead actor. We get to see the more humane side of Mulder. Average episode.
  • Roland

    For the episode that foreshadowed the "finale" of the first season of "The X-Files," I confess that I expected something better. Again focusing on spirits (not that this is the fact negative), the episode is confused himself in visions, theories of freezing and preserving, and even in history. Theories like the soul that lives on, as opposed to the dead body, and the certainty that the dead should not only lead back to the glances and even more points and underutilized by the script in an unsatisfactory development of the plot, since the moments of suspense and excitement are almost nil, so to say nothing of the minimum rate of strain. The actors "playing" the mentally disabled is very funny, and the various plot holes manage to complete the steps disastrous. So that some passages involving the conservation of such persons to be released in the future and not regenerated leaves the episode is the worst of the season, as the hideous "1x09 - Space" managed this feat, but is there: The second worst.
  • Roland

    Roland was a perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome with a "Goodwill Hunting" meets "The Lawnmower Man" vibe, the acting was awesome, and the ending was good. I like how Roland's brother Arthur was using him to get revenge on those who stole his work. It was fun watching Mulder and Scully investigating the case. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Great Episode.

    I actually find this a very good episode, compared to what certain people think I do not think the episode was about reincarnation, since the episode dealt with 2 twins separated at birth, then one of them dies and the other is struggling to live despite his mental conditions. "It is the belief that one has lived before and will live again in another body after death. The bodies one passes in and out of need not be human. One may have been a Doberman in a past life, and one may be a mite or a carrot in a future life."-( Since Roland already had a "soul ", his brother was merely controlling him.

    I actually found it a pretty touchy episode and I was enjoying every bit of it. The end, when Roland gives his love his bottled up stars, that was a very special moment.
  • A great episode.

    Roland is a handicapped genius because somehow his death brother who's head is in statis is controlling him to kill the people who stole his work. Mulder and Scully are forced to work out the mystery and stop Roland from killing the scientists. Overall i really enjoyed this episode. Tis is the last episode before the season final and i think this pritty good. Most of the episode was interesting but again it is another possesion story with is a little unoriginal but i still really liked it. I thought it was well written and the plot was not as simple as i thought it would be.
  • Well-rounded and Mysterious

    This episode is just plain good writing (finally). The project and its devoted scientists is just the right amount of intriguing and enough so that it's not too much boring science stuff. Basically, the premise is the project - so the writers set it up but then only use it minimally throughout the show. It's a good device.

    Roland is a sweetheart and you really feel for him and his struggle, particularly when he doesn't want to hurt Tracey. The actor was great! And the flashes of dreams used by his twin brother to control him were surprising and scary when they flashed suddenly onto the screen.

    I loved when Mulder was helping Roland pick out his shirt. And also, when Mulder first thinks that it was Roland's handwriting on the board - his facial expression when it turns out his first hunch is wrong was funny. He's not used to being told he's wrong. Haha. And lastly, that squelching noise when the scientist gets eaten up by the fan - that's a great sound effect. Appropriately yucky!
  • Another reincarnation plotline

    It does come as a great disappointment after “Born Again” to find that the writers are resorting to the old reincarnation theme yet again in this episode. What’s more, they’re doing it in a particularly lazy and unconvincing way. Hey, no one bought the old brain-in-a-jar movies from the 50s. Just because you dress it up as a Mulder and Scully investigation doesn’t make it any more plausible now. And in the absence of any convincing arguments on her part, Scully obviously feels the same way. We’ve rarely seen her so docile and unquestioningly accepting of Mulder’s bizarre theories as she is here.

    Also in the absence of any demonic kiddies that we had in “Eve” and “Born Again”, here we have the mentally impaired Roland of the title, which boils down to being the next best thing. Although Zelkjo Ivanek works hard at playing his role, it does come across as being a bit too hard. Just a bit too laboured. Though, to be fair to him, he is ten times better than the actress playing his girlfriend Tracy, who’s been saddled with some dreadful dialogue and doesn’t know what to do with it. Every now and then “Roland” threatens to go off in some interesting directions, and then it thinks better of that and doesn’t. The frozen brain is just too difficult a concept to buy, even for this show, that it sours any mystery that might have been produced. But is there any mystery? Not really. OK, you get the novelty of an autistic murderer but he doesn’t know he’s doing it. You get the vaguely comical sight of a couple of rocket scientists hurtling into a big jet engine (though the shattered body of the scientist who met his end in the liquid nitrogen is probably the episode’s nicest touch). And you also get Mulder and Scully padding around, not doing very much. Sure, Mulder comes up with his out-there theory in record time, as he did in the previous episode, but the two are given surprisingly little to do here. They seem to spend a lot of time hanging out at Roland’s care home and not doing much when he goes off on one of his wiggies. So, given that this is the penultimate episode in what has been a long run of the show’s first series, “Roland” would seem to indicate that everyone is a bit tired at this stage and going through some easy motions. This is borne out doubly so when you put it next to the previous episode, “Born Again”. The question now remains is whether the show can pull a big rabbit out of its paranormal hat for the big season finale? We look forward to finding out. 3/10
  • Roland and Albert

    When a series of murders occur among a group of scientists working on advanced propulsion technology, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate. Roland's twin brother was a scientist. he was killed in a car accident. he worked in the same lab as his brother roland who was the janitor. All evidence seems to point to the janitor Roland, who is mentally handicapped. albert is finishing his work through his brother. Albert's brain was the onlly part that survived the crash. he had it cryogenically frozen. in hopes that when they could resusitate them they could also grow new bodies for patients.
  • Do the benefit people know about this?

    Ah, “Roland”. The first time you actually see Roland, you know what’s gonna happen, and you right for like the first half an hour. Until plot change and it turns out Roland’s twin brother, who’s dead, had possessed him and is doing all the evil crimes. Sound familiar to another episode of X- Files? Yep! This is basically “The Calusari” with a disabled man. Trust those series 2 writers to do the same episode again. Well anyhow this is before “The Calusari”, so that’s why its good, because its plot change is a bit unexpected. Overall it’s a good episode, with some good and some laugh out load bad acting.
  • The one with the handicapped genius

    wow, this was a very effective episode with many depths.

    It all begins with some weird janitor guy who is clearly handicapped and he goes into a room filled with scientists who are doing some project (only uninteresting thing of this whole episode was that project) so the guy goes into the room with a wind tunnel and Roland suddenly changes and closes the door of the man and puts the wind tunnel-thingy on that sucks the scientist in and shreds him into tiny little pieces.

    Mulder and Scully begin to investigate and one scientist says that he is the second who got killed, the first one was a man named Arthur who died in a car accident and is now in a freeze tank or whatever.

    Mulder goes to the home of the only person who was round when the scientist got squished. There is something odd about Roland and he has something with numbers and Mulder takes those numbers and they turn out to be the password of the computer of the third murder. The scientist got his head frozen and when it fell on the ground his head went into hundreds of pieces (jikes, painful I guess...or, well not if you're dead)

    As the episode continues, we learn that Roland had a twin brother and guess who that was? no, not Madonna but Arthur. Mulder thinks that Arthur through some sort of psychic power is controlling Ronald into murdering those scientists (what I don’t get, why did he want to kill Tracey?)

    The last remaining scientist wanted to get away with the work that Arthur started but Arthur had different plans and put him into the same place where the first one was squished. But Mulder and Scully come on time and Ronald is able to turn it off. Bye, bye career for the evil scientist man.

    What I most loved about this episode was the love between Roland and Tracey, it was passionate and sweet. Roland did a great job, now THAT is what I call acting and it left me a huge impression. I also loved the flashbacks of when Roland got separated from Arthur. All in all, a powerful and underrated episode.