The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 7

The Walk

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 10, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
303 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After a suicide attempt and multiple murders at a military hospital, Mulder and Scully meet a quadruple amputee who has gained the power of Astral Projection and is taking out his personal frustrations on his commanding officers.

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  • Out of body doings

    Some of the lines by the disabled soldier may have been a little over the top along with the supernatural voice recording on the general's tape but the steam busting finale reminds you of the high production quality of The X Files, giving you confrontations unique to television at the time. The burned victim is also a steal here. Poor guy but great make up as well.
  • The Walk

    The Walk was a great episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing and the gust cast was amazing. It was fun watching Mulder and Scully investigate this case involving veterans. There was a lot of character development and great scenes helped set the tone of the story. I liked how every thing played out and it was neat to see astral projection in play. There were some slow parts and it wasn't the best episode but still worth watching. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!moreless
  • The eerie atmosphere of the episode overtakes mostly everything else

    If there's one thing that The X-Files does extremely well, it's taking a plot that could be seen as sub-par or cliche and adding their own eerie, twisted sense to it. Some of the scenes here are horrifying and bone-chilling, and Chris Carter has always done a great job of not using over-the-top special effects as a way to shock the audience.. instead, we get lower budget effects that do twice the job in scaring us.

    I thought the plot unfolded pretty slow for an episode of X-Files; usually, things are firing on all cylinders, but that let the camera do a great job in showing us awful situations. The scene where the lieutenant colonial tries to burn himself alive in the therapy tub was awful to watch and left me wincing for some minutes afterwards, and the idea of an amputee not only having phantom limb syndrome but a phantom BODY experience, or an out-of-body experience, was pretty cool.

    Unfortunately, these episodes always feel rushed and it feels as if we never fully understand the motives for any villain or bad guy in the show except for when it comes to aliens or government conspiracies. But for a stand-alone episode of X-Files, one could do a lot worse.moreless
  • Could've been better

    I think this episode lacks among other things, a strong interaction between Mulder and Scully. Looks like their partnership was in the background the whole time and the very far-fetched plot was more important.

    Astral projection is quite interesting, however, I didn't find it that way in this episode. Maybe if they had moved the whole plot outside the fort into the city could've been better. I guess the only one who deserved to die there was the General because he is the one being responsible for putting Roach into that situation. Revenge was a strong motive, but still this just looked like a filler episode.moreless
  • Walks a good line

    Everyone's always quick to cite John Shiban as being the perpetrator of some of the show's most stultifying episodes. And certainly, when you have to sit through such lacklustre efforts as "Teso dos Bichos" and "El Mundo Gira", they have a point. But consider this. "The Walk" is not only Shiban's very first X Files episode, but it's also one of the great overlooked episodes of Season 3 that not only tells a good story but also has some deeply critical statements to make about the US involvement in the Gulf War. It begins with a particularly gruesome exercise in how to devise the nastiest way for someone to cause damage to themselves. The soldier's self-immersion in boiling water is bad enough but the subsequent glee with which the camera feeds off his horrific injuries makes this uncomfortable viewing. But I think that actually is the point. Especially when we meet the character of Rappo, raging against the iniquities of his own injuries. Truth is, we don't like to be reminded of people with severe disabilities – that is why they are usually housed in special care facilities, out of view – and this episode is very cogniscent of that fact. And very cleverly, Shiban is able to come up with the concept of one such angry man being able to channel his anger into destructive ways. It's quite simply one step beyond the now generally recognised pattern of blind or deaf people heightening their other senses to compensate their loss. One of the big questions here is how long will it be before Mulder posits his theory of astral projection? And surprisingly, he holds off on that until he is absolutely certain that that is what they are dealing with. Naturally Scully is incredulous of his theory, but she knows better than to dismiss it entirely out of hand. And on the subject of withholding things, it's at least halfway through the episode before Rappo is clearly revealed to be the villain of the piece. Nice to see Scully's completely unflappable attitude in the face of army intimidation. Presumably this stems from her naval family background, but she certainly won't be thrown off an investigation like this by some army personnel. This episode also demonstrates the show's complete lack of compunction about killing off subsidiary characters. While other programmes might shy away from killing off children, the general's son is one of the first victims to be buried alive in one of the largest sandpits in Christendom. And the female officer fares no better, in a scene which is a direct steal from the 1940s horror classic, "Cat People". What is easily distinguished in both those scenes is the high calibre of the special effects. Indeed Rob Bowman's direction is confident and stylish throughout, aided immeasurably by another outstanding contribution from cinematographer John Bartley. Just look at the way Gillian Anderson is lit throughout the episode (and Duchovny to a slightly lesser extent) – it screams "movie star"!

    But when you come right down to it, "The Walk" is a highly political episode. Scully comments that the government has completely disavowed any instance of Gulf War syndrome, so how then do we explain what's going on with Rappo? And his very rage stems precisely from him being subjected to God knows what whilst in combat. It's a theme very redolent of Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July", which in turn must count as one of the most sharply critical anti-government films of recent years. It begs the question as to whether such themes would be tackled in the very different world we find ourselves post September 11th. One would imagine not in the wake of patriotism that followed that cataclysmic event. But it's these very questions that help elevate "The Walk" into one of the more involving episodes of this season.

Thomas Kopache

Thomas Kopache

General Thomas Callahan

Guest Star

Willie Garson

Willie Garson

Quinton 'Roach' Freely

Guest Star

Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw

Ward Nurse

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Mulder: You really think the general's got something to hide?
      Scully: No. I think he's got everything to hide.

    • General Callahan: I want you to know I've had the captain contact the Justice Department and let them know about the FBI's gross misconduct here.
      Mulder: I guess this isn't a good time to thank you for seeing us.

    • Lt. Col. Stans: I never see him clearly. But he looks like a soldier. Always standing at attention.
      Mulder: A GI?
      Lt. Col. Stans: Or one of Saddam's boys. Come back to hold me accountable.

    • (Mulder sits listening to the undecipherable tape)
      Scully: Find anything?
      Mulder: No, but I'm really beginning to like the tune.

    • Rappo: Now if you're through questioning me ,I'd like to get a little shut-eye.
      Mulder: (leans close and whispers) No sleepwalking.
      Rappo: That's good. I hadn't heard that one yet. Hardy-har-har.

    • Mulder: Leonard Trimble?
      Rappo: No, it's Fred Astaire!

    • Rappo: Hey, what do you do, man, when I rap on the tank?
      Roach: Get some, get some. Fire at will.
      Rappo: Good. You're all right.

    • Mulder: You're a soldier. You knew what you were getting into when you enlisted. Now you want to blame everybody else. Why do you want to blame your COs?
      Rappo: I blame him for what happened to all of us. You don't know what it was like... You sat home and watched the war on cable TV like it was a damn video game. You have no idea about the guys that died. About the blood... the sand. What it feels like when a hit comes. Thing is, you just don't care, do you? You got your crude oil. Just change that station, right? Killer got his prime time. LC got his fancy little medals. Now, take a good look at me, WHAT DID I GET?! Nobody knows how I feel. They took my life away.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Mulder: What destroyed those parts of him that make us human beings, those better angels of our nature?

      In 1861, Abraham Lincoln ended his inaugural address by saying, "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."