The X-Files

Season 8 Episode 16

Three Words

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 08, 2001 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
209 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder's request for reassignment to the X-Files is denied by Kersh, who hopes that Mulder will simply quit the FBI. When a census worker is killed on the White House lawn trying to get information to the President, Mulder gets in over his head trying to discover what the man knew.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • alive... then back to work.

    As the last few episodes all kind of roll into one another I just thought I'd recap it all. 1st and foremost I should clap my hands for Gillian Anderson for her awesome acting, especially during "this is not happening" which so far anyway is her shining highlight in the show. I was on the fence about them using Mulder in flashbacks, etc before actually bringing him back but these moments in these 3 episodes were all great.

    It's still odd to have Fox be killed, then brought to life AND then returns to work (sort of) in the course of 3 episodes, can't help but feel like the behind the scenes issues with the show were evident here but it seems cleared up so we can get back to business as usual.

    I dig the 3 words, fight the future, as it kind of brings the movie back into play a little. Mulder and the lone gunman breaking into the facility at the end= awesome even if the exit was cliched. They escape through the ceiling, come on!

    Again as odd as it seems to have things going back to normal I still dug these last 3 episodes for their acting and keeping the story moving forward without too much of a mess occurring even if Alex got away again, though he did get a good punch in the face, good job Doggett.

  • Three Words

    Three Words was a perfect and superbly entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because Mulder sort of clashes with Doggett over The X-Files as Scully finds herself caught up in the middle. I found it interesting that Krycek was informing Doggett but more so in the end when it's revealed Krycek may not be quite who he seems. The over all story and plot progression was engaging and fun. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • A pretty pointless episode, all it serves to do is make Mulder not trust Doggett.

    Doggett gets a backhanded compliment – the X-Files success rate has significantly increased since Doggett got assigned.

    Mulder naturally takes an intense dislike to Doggett even before he meets him. It's totally unfair and Scully's defense of Doggett probably just antagonizes Mulder. I had forgotten how obnoxious Mulder can be. He comes back and all Hell breaks loose, Mulder's a loose cannon that ruins everyone around him. Fond as I am of Mulder, he's toxic and has no regard for others' safety.

    I'm surprised that Doggett would trust Noel again, after what he did with Scully. After this, John would be stupid to trust him again. Especially now we know he's been replaced.

    I'm getting the alarming feeling that the slew of alien stories are back. It's the one thing I didn't like about the series, the later the season, the more aliens there are. In the beginning, at least there was a balance between the aliens and the stand-alones.moreless
  • I really enjoyed this one. Ok it is "yet another mythology episode" as someone pointed out, but one which serves as a (albeit temporary)reminder of what this show used to do bestmoreless

    The X Files was always ultimately about Mulder and his search for "little green aliens" and he does just love any hint of a "government conspiracy" While it was a little contrived in places (Fight the Future as the disk password!) this is the 16th episode of the season and the first time Mulder has been seen other than:

    1. In Flashback Sequences

    2. Dead/Dying/Unconscious in a hospital bed/coffin!

    Clearly sick of his long period of horizontal inactivity, he agressively pursues the case in an attempt to get the information into the public domain.

    His attitude towards John Doggett is interestingly fraught. It was immediately after hearing of Doggett's association with the X Files that Mulder decided it was time to get back to work, and his agressive, almost arrogant behaviour clearly establishes he feels threatened by Doggett and unsure of where he fits back in. A much more interesting dynamic with the three lead characters, just as Doggett and Scully have overcome their initial mistrust and formed an effective team.

    Certainly one of the better season 8 episodes, in my opinion.moreless
  • Not bad

    Doggett: “Three Words – Fight the Future.”

    A pretty tacky, clichéd beginning of a man outside the White House shouting “Aliens! They’re real! They’re here!” marks the start of yet another Season Eight mythology episode (how many are there in this series?).

    Duchovny continues to make Mulder feel like he’s been back for ages. Isn’t it weird seeing him in a leather jacket and jumper, instead of the usual suit and tie?

    Doggett meets his own shady informant as well – who turns out to be one of the Super Soldiers.

    Overall, not a bad episode, but not brilliant either. Remember, Fight the Future!!!moreless
Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick

Special Agent John Doggett

David Duchovny

David Duchovny

Special Agent Fox Mulder

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson

Special Agent Dana Scully

Nelson Mashita

Nelson Mashita

Dr. Lim

Guest Star

Gary Bristow

Gary Bristow

Howard Salt

Guest Star

Joe Basile

Joe Basile

Lead Guard

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

James Pickens Jr.

James Pickens Jr.

Deputy Director Kersh

Recurring Role

Tom Braidwood

Tom Braidwood


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • It seems a little strange that Mulder's body has been able to restore itself from almost death, plus three months of decomposition, but that the marks from the cheek pulling things are still there! There seems little evidence that the marks from any of the other experiments are still around.

    • Scully takes Mulder back to his apartment when he gets out of the hospital. Everything's still there and it's even clean! Scully must really like his place to have kept it the way it was, even though he was supposed to have died 3 months earlier.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Scully: (As she enters the evidence room with Mulder) Mulder, I know you know this, but if anything leaves this room you could be in violation of the law.
      Mulder: Really? When I was dead I was hoping maybe they had changed the rules.

    • (on Mulder coming back from the dead)
      Byers: I think it goes without saying that we're all tremendously relieved.
      Langly: Not just because we have questions about your involvement in a certain blessed event.

    • Skinner: You know, I'm starting to wonder about you, too, John. Just whose side you are working on here.
      Doggett: I'm starting to wonder about that myself. You said Scully's at her apartment. What's the number there?
      Skinner: That's why I'm here. I can't get a hold of them-- either one of them-- and I have no idea where they went.

    • Doggett: Just what's the problem here?
      Mulder: The problem? You occupy an office that used to be devoted to finding the truth and now you're busy burying it. That's the problem.
      Doggett: Whoa, you must've got your wires crossed somewhere, Agent Mulder.
      Mulder: You got that man killed.
      Doggett: I got him killed?
      Mulder: Because of what he knew. What he was going to expose.
      Doggett: You see this, Agent Mulder?
      Mulder: I see you sitting there, Agent Doggett. That's good enough for me.

    • Scully: What are you doing?
      Mulder: I'm going to book myself on that Princess cruise.
      Scully: I'll book it for you.

    • Scully: Mulder, you make it sound like this was a conspiracy.
      Mulder: Ooh, there's that word again.

    • Mulder: This is America Scully, just because you get the most votes doesn't mean you win.

    • Doggett: You've got two minutes, Knowle. Two minutes to give me one good reason why I shouldn't put your name in lights. Why I shouldn't expose you for the lying bastard you are.

    • Mulder: Let's do some e-mailing.
      (Just then Doggett comes up outside and starts banging on the glass windows.)
      Doggett: Agent Mulder, get out of there! Agent Mulder! Your life's in danger if you don't get out now.
      Frohike: (into secret mic) Agent Mulder, what the hell's that.
      Mulder: (into secret mic) Just a fly buzzing around the window.

    • Frohike: It's not fair. you've been dead for six months, and yet you still look better than me
      Mulder: Ah Melvin. I'd be a whole lot happier to see you if you took your hands off my ass

    • Doctor: How do you feel, Agent Mulder?
      Mulder: Like Austin Powers...

  • NOTES (2)

    • When Doggett and Absalom are about to pass through the X-Ray scanner, and Doggett show's his badge to the guard, it's upside-down. This could have been a ploy by Agent Doggett to alert the security guard to his non-compliance with the situation, or a goof.

    • The title of this episode refers to the three words "Fight the Future".


    • Mulder: Like Austin Powers...

      Austin Powers is a character created by the actor Mike Myers and has appeared in 3 movies Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, The Spy Who Shagged Me and Goldmember. The jibe was made because Austin Powers is a spy from the 60's who is put in suspended animation until now, and Mulder had also been out of the game for a little while.

    • Mulder: Remember boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes, doesn't mean you win.

      Reference to the fact that George W. Bush became president of the United States of America despite Al Gore getting more votes than him.