The X-Files

Season 5 Episode 3

Unusual Suspects

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 16, 1997 on FOX



  • Trivia

    • When Suzanne extracts her tooth, she is shown holding gauze, and later an ice pack on her lower left jaw. Yet, the tooth being examined by the Lone Gunmen is a maxillary molar as evidenced by its three roots.

    • We find out the Byers' full name is John Fitzgerald Byers and he was born November 22, 1963. This was the same day that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed. Before the assassination when his parents decided to name him after the President, his name was to be Bertram.

    • When the Lone Gunman decrypt the file, it says Susanne killed four people and then the MP that tried to detain her, but whenever anyone mentions her crimes they say she killed four people including the MP.

    • Goof: At the end of the episode when the payphone rings, the closeup of the phone shows a white van parked behind it, but when the phone is shown further away in the next shot, the van is gone.

    • Trivia: Dig Dug is the video game that Byers' booth partner is seen playing during the first half of the episode is a PC translation of Atari's 1982 arcade game Dig Dug. Versions of the game were made for several home game systems and computers from the '80s.

    • When Byers pulls up the Susanne Modeski file and sees that it's encrypted, she asks him to print it out; this is a useless effort, since encrypted files use codes that show up as nonprinting characters. Therefore, in a printout of such a file, much of the data would show up as blanks or garbled text from which it would be impossible to derive any useful information or recreate the encrypted data. What he needed to do was print a byte-by-byte file dump.

    • When Susanne finds out her dentist was spying on her, she goes to the bathroom and pulls out her tooth. Her mouth should have been swollen, but when the Lone Gunman meets her, her face is perfectly normal.

    • Mulder wears a wedding ring throughout the episode, but when Frohike, Langly and Byers look at his FBI file, it says that he is single.

    • When the Lone Gunmen catch up with Susanne at the end of the episode, when she is talking to them and the camera is on the three, you can see not one, but TWO boom mics at the top of the screen. (This was seen on the DVD and may only appear there.)

    • The Gunmen's use of the primitive internet in 1989 is extremely dodgy. Among other things they downloaded Mulder's FBI file and picture in an instant which, given the standards of telephone lines and modems in 1989, is virtually unbelievable.

  • Quotes

    • Detective Munch: Here's a tip: aluminium foil makes a lovely hat and blocks out the government's mind control rays. Keep you guys out of trouble.

    • Detective Munch: Do I look like Geraldo to you? Don't lie to me like Geraldo, I'm not Geraldo!

    • Frohike: There is nothing in here about him being a psycho or having a daughter.

    • Ken Hawryliw: You don't understand... All I did was play Dig Dug! I didn't hack into anybody's computer. Seriously guys, I've got like a circulatory problem... I have a tendency to fall down a lot.

    • Frohike: This dude doesn't look so tough! (Mulder looks in Frohike and Byers direction) Act casual. (Frohike is wearing a VR helmet)

    • Byers: It was at this point we enlisted the help of one... Melvin Frohike. Computer hacker.

    • Byers: Hey guys! Like a button?
      Convention Customer: Up yours, Narc!

    • Frohike: What's the narc doing here?

    • Langly: Say it!.. SAY IT...
      Frohike: Your Kung-Fu is the best.

    • Frohike: You know, with that long blond hair, you'll be the first one in here that gets traded for cigarettes. I'm gonna be laughing my ass off.

    • X: I heard it was a lone gunman.

    • Susanne Modeski: No matter how paranoid you are, you aren't paranoid enough.

    • Frohike: You look like a gentleman who'll appreciate 33 channels of crystal clear television.
      Mulder: No thanks, handsome.
      Frohike: Ah, a man of distinction! (Mulder walks away) Punk-ass.

    • Byers: You're talking about a pre-meditated crime against the United States government!
      Frohike: Hey... your second one of the day! Welcome to the dark side.

    • Langly: Your molar-pulling girlfriend roped us then left us hanging in the breeze!

  • Notes

    • Richard Belzer set a TV record by becoming the first person to play the same character on three different prime time series during the same week. Detective John Munch appeared on the Law & Order/Homicide crossover "Baby It's You" on November 12 and November 14 and then this episode on the 16th.

    • This episode featured the appearance of Baltimore homicide Detective John Munch played by actor Richard Belzer, who also played the same character as a recurring character on the shows Homicide and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and as a guest star on the shows: Law and Order, Law and Order: Trial by Jury, The Beat and The Wire.

    • Due to the fact that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson would still be tied up in California shooting The X-Files movie at the end of August 1997, the producers decided to create an episode that was centered around The Lone Gunmen. This way, 1013 could complete the network episode order and have their leading stars freed up and complete principal shooting on The X-Files: Fight the Future. The scenes with David Duchovny were shot several weeks after shooting of this episode wrapped up.

    • The script of this episode never called for Mulder to wear a wedding ring. This was David Duchovny's idea who thought it would be cool to toy with the notion that Mulder could in the past have been married.

    • Eric Knight, who played Eric the Hacker Dude, is David Duchovny's personal assistant.

    • Gillian Anderson does not appear in this episode.

    • Susanne's dentist, Dr. Michael Kilbourne, is named after writer Vince Gilligan's own, real-life dentist.

    • Susanne Modeski owes her alias to writer Vince Gilligan's girlfriend, Holly Rice.

    • This episode was actually filmed before the conclusion to the season cliffhanger as David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were still away filming the X-Files Movie and the studio needed to begin filming to keep their production schedule.

  • Allusions

    • White Rock is the name of a small, unincorporated town in New Mexico, largely populated by employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory and their families. The name could be a thinly disguised reference to Los Alamos or a conflation of Los Alamos and White Sands, a missile and atomic testing range also in New Mexico (however, the two facilities are not very close). Much of the basic research on the first atomic bombs was conducted at Los Alamos, and the first tests were done at White Sands.

    • Munch: Don't lie to me like I'm Geraldo Rivera. I am not Geraldo Rivera.

      Detective Munch: Do I look like Geraldo to you? Don't lie to me like Geraldo, I'm not Geraldo!

      In the Homicide: Life on the Street pilot "Gone for Goode", Det. John Munch uses a nearly identical line when interrogating a suspect, except using Montel Williams' name instead of Geraldo Rivera.

    • Killlbarbie: Your kung fu is the best.
      The line "My kung fu is the best" is a reference to a prank voice mail "My kung fu is best" left to tease investigators who were attempting to apprehend famed hacker Kevin Mitnick. Originally Mitnick was thought to be the originator of the prank calls and is often mistakenly credited for making the quote, however the true identity of the prank caller has since been discovered to be phone "phreaker" (i.e.hacker) Zeke Shif who went by the handle SN.

    • Episode Title: Unusual Suspects
      A play on the phrase "The Usual Suspects", which is also the title of a movie containing unreliable narratives: 1995's The Usual Suspects. The episode referenced the movie a few times, with a questionable character making up a story from objects he/she sees around the room, jail scenes, and the hard-to-explain opening that is revisited later when it is much more easily understood.

      The title of the 1995 film is taken from the 1942 classic film Casablanca. Captain Renault's (Claude Rains') final line is "Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects". The Marx Brothers 1946 comedy A Night in Casablanca appears to start with that rounding up.

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