The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 23

Wetwired

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 10, 1996 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

8.8
out of 10
Average
287 votes
  • Wetwired

    9.0
    Wetwired was a superb and entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, interesting and dealt with a fun conspiracy. It was intriguing to watch what Mulder and Scully uncovered as they investigated the case. I liked the idea of the government using a form of mind control through television. It was interesting to see Agent X help Mulder and the ending with him and the Cigarette Smoking Man was awesome. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!
  • Mulder and Scully investigate a television signal that makes people hallucinate

    8.5
    Just when I thought we wouldn't discover the culprit of this episode's misdeeds, out pops the Cigarette Smoking Man and "X," Mulder's all-knowing source. I'm still not sure how I feel about his reappearance, especially so randomly in a case like this, but it helps lead us into a finale that is sure to have both of them in it.

    The story itself was even more interesting than the last few we've had in Season 3. A television signal is sending false images into people's brains, making them see things that aren't there. It seems to be just another normal case until Scully is affected by the signal and finds herself believing that Mulder is meeting up with the CSM and working for him. The paranoia that Scully undergoes is completely believable and is yet another example of how Gillian Anderson is making her character better and better with each episode. I always thought she was a good actress, but this, coupled with the season premiere episodes and some scattered ones throughout are just more examples of how her character is growing.

    Meanwhile, Mulder remains as great as ever, getting so close to reaching the truth before finally faltering and being outdone by his own sources and his enemies. It's frustrating to watch him try and try again and fail, but it'll make it that much nicer when he succeeds.
  • Once again Scully is a victim

    9.0
    Once again Mulder and Scully are victims of someone dark's agenda. And all because they were doing their jobs.

    The whole case is violent enough. But I don't think what we see in this episode is far from reality. We might not be hallucinating, but I guess we could be influenced at some point by whatever is shown on TV. Mulder worried about Scully's whereabouts was interesting. As time goes by, Scully becomes the only reason Mulder could stop doing anything just to save her or be with her. The scene where Scully confronts Mulder and points her gun at him, must be one of the most heart-wrenching moments of the show.
  • the x files episode wetwired third season

    9.5
    i just love when scully has a gun pointed at mulder.
    scully paranoid is THE most..i don't even have a word to describe it, it's just really really cool. you can tell how much closer and intimate the mulder/scully relationship got on the third season by the way scully feels when she's is her hospital bed and mulder gets in to see how she's doing, that trsut is there and the respect between them and she gets embaressed for doing what she did to him, the only one she can rely on. well, i just think this is a great episode.
  • Sort of a hybrid episode, not really monster of the week or full on mythology

    10
    A very underrated episode from maybe the best season overall of the x-files. There were only a couple episodes during the entire run that were stand alone, but had elements and storylines from the overall mythology arc. Red musuem in season 2, along with leonard betts, never again and the cancer arc, from season 4 and some of the season 5 ones involving emily to name a few. These are all great episodes in my opinion because I would get annoyed when Mulder and Scully would have all kinds of crazy stuff happen to them in a two-part mythology episode, and then not even mention any of it the next week while chasing an inbred family of killers. Also any episode with X was going to be suspenseful and you knew something was going to hit the fan. It was always cool to see Scully act differently from her normal skeptic role as well. Overall, this was one of the best episodes from the great season 3, and one of my favorites overall.
  • Mulder and Scully investigate the murder of a woman. They discover the government is placing special casing inside TV boxes, and that this caused paranoia in its subjects. And as the duo search into the case, it has an unexpected effect on Scully.

    9.2
    When I saw this episode for the first time, I instantly knew: one of the best 3rd season episodes, and one of the best episodes that wields paranoia in its plot. Combining thrills, emotions, action, intrigue, and a classic "X-Files" theme of the government interfering/experimenting with humans. Not to mention that there's one particular scene that highlights Gillian Anderson's incredible acting. When a paranoid has a gun pulled on Mulder, you can see the fear and paranoia in her eyes--brilliant performance by Anderson. (I also really liked the scenes were a now mistrustful Scully tore apart all the electronic items in her hotel room--genius.)The script was well-written, including Mulder's funny line about how not even "must-see TV" can make a person go crazy. I thought the idea of having TVs affect the person's mind was an original idea, and after viewing the episode, I was still nervous going near a TV. Loved the effects of the static screen appearing in the seeming rising pot of soap; it created the mood. And the twist ending, that Mr. X had sent Mulder this case so he could save some lives, but that Mulder was too late, was shocking. And then, to add to it all, that Mr. X was working with the Cigarette Smoking Man, and that CSM didn't know that X was helping Mulder was mindblowing. Effective, original, and emotional, this is what "The X-Files" are all about.
  • Long Live The New Flesh

    7.5
    This episode has one of the most intriguing teasers ever with the hallucinatory reappearances of a man who seemingly just won't die. The special effect of the images the killer sees breaking up into video static was well done and is used to good effect throughout the episode.

    The episode borrows its premise from the film "Videodrome." It's Scully's turn to be drawn into the madness of it all and she is very convincing as she first withdraws into a sense of isolation, which shifts to paranoia before blooming into full-blown psychosis as she points her gun in Mulder's face. Great acting by Gillian and very enjoyable viewing for the X-Files fan.

    Unfortunately, the episode seems to lose steam three-quarters of the way in, which wastes the otherwise excellent build-up of tension and paranoia to that point. Our friend X is brought in to again kill the perpetrators and we are led to believe that the syndicate is behind the television broadcasts. It is not explained how the syndicate hopes to profit by turning people into psychopaths and it all just seems a tad too convenient.
  • "television does not make a previously sane man go out and kill five people, thinking they're all the same guy. Not even "Must-See TV" could do that to you."

    8.9
    This is a great episode i just loved it TV making people kill each other but mulder's not infected because he's Red/Green colorblind. I Loved the quote he made about TV Killing people "television does not make a previously sane man go out and kill five people, thinking they're all the same guy. Not even "Must-See TV" could do that to you." Worth watching over and over.
  • Role reversal: Scully, the paranoid psychotic.

    9.7
    Excellent all around! The premise of the episode (subliminal messaging through the television set) is relevant and intriguing, and not so mixed up in alien conspiracy that it's unbelievable. This is ground in reality, but still original and creative. The role reversal is particularly wonderful - it was a pleasure to watch Scully lose her marbles for once, while Mulder remained the calm and collected one. It was a touching scene when he had to go ID a body, thinking it was Scully. Well written and well played by the actors. The only distracting thing is that in the scene where Mulder confronts crazy Scully, his pupils are drastically different sizes. Hard to take my focus off that contrast, for some reason. Haha. But no, this episode has all the components of a perfect X-File. Tension, character development, great acting, original script, Mulder laughing and buddy-buddy with CSM, and TLG. :)
  • One of the greatest episodes of the season

    10
    From the amazing special effects, like the people affected by the TV scrambler seeing TV distortion through their own eyes, to the nail biting, well done and well acted paranoia, this episode is easily one of my all time favourites.
    The storyline is enhanced by the showing of details of the TV scrambler, where usually The X-Files allows a little far-fetched scientific explanation this one is that much more realistic and therefore engrossing, for me, because you can see how it works.
    I\'m reluctant about giving any episode a 10 out of 10 rating, but it really is very good. Cheers
  • great

    9.0

    “Wetwired” see’s Mulder and Skully investigate a series of murders that are all linked by television. The episode seems straight forward but then takes a drastic change when Skully goes mad. This is a brilliant episode with a great story and some great concepts. Skully’s mum makes an appearance as well as Mr X and the smoking man. The episode has a great ending too. This episode deals with the issue of “Does TV cause us to kill after viewing something violent?”, and a bunch of other things to, witch are important issues in society today. Just watch it. 9 out of 10
  • The agents investigate a sinister experiment in a typical suburban community involving the use of subliminal messages carried in television signals.

    7.6
    Since Fox has released all of the "X-Files" seasons in more affordable slimcase DVD versions I've finally managed to own all of the episodes for myself. I thought for sure I had seen all, or at least nearly all, of the "X-Files" there was to be seen, but to my surprise there were around 15 episodes that I didn't remember at all. This is probably the most significant of the group, which includes a lot of forgettable episodes from the eighth and ninth seasons.

    Many of my favorite "X-Files" episodes involve some sort of estrangement between the lead characters. Mulder and Scully's relationship is so well-balanced most of the time -- they disagree often, but always with a strong baseline of mutual respect -- that episodes that build around one or the other losing faith in his or her partner always hit close to home. After reading some of the reviews on this site of "Wetwired" I was very excited to see the episode for the first time. The concept of Scully, rather than Mulder, being the paranoid, crazy one for a change sounded intriguing. And it's always fun to watch Gillian Anderson do her "terrified" look.

    Unfortunately, "Wetwired" is a real letdown. It has the same indefinite, unsatisfying ending as many episodes involving the CSM do. X, despite the appealing actor, is more of a deus ex machina than a character. I'm sure I overestimate this effect in my mind, but it seems nearly every episode that this particular informant appears in has him emerge after the last commercial break to cover up all the evidence and taunt Mulder with cryptic remarks. Too much of an okay thing, if you ask me. The use of yet another anonymous informant, plus the Lone Gunmen, in "Wetwired" gives that familiar "X-Files" feeling of scene after scene of exposition with little to nothing actually explained.

    On the plus side, the wiggy TV-static special effects used in POV shots for Scully and the guest stars affected by the CSM's broadcast-brainwashing plot are textbook "X-Files." It's a credit to the creativity of the show's production staff that low-budget tricks like this one are often the most memorable and creepy on the series. There's a nice character touch in that Scully's mother, who's often shown trying to convince her daughter to quit the FBI and lead a real life, ultimately trusts Mulder when Scully is flipping out.

    The biggest problem with "Wetwired" is one of perspective. After the early scenes establishing Scully's viewing of contaminated videotapes and the beginnings of her paranoia, the narrative strangely leaves her behind and follows Mulder on an extremely standard, boilerplate "X-Files" investigation. This is a rare case where the use of the Lone Gunmen actually hurts an episode. The long scene where Byers, Langley, and Frohike use their toys to figure out how the device Mulder has found is affecting TV signals doesn't really work because we already know what's going on and what we really want to see is what's happening to Scully. Most of her "freakout" takes place off-camera, which is a poor decision. Some of the most terrifying moments of my favorite sci-fi shows have effectively used a "me against the world" structure where a beloved character is isolated, estranged, hunted. The broadly similar "Folie a Deux," one of my favorite "X-Files" episodes of all time, uses this device. So do the great "Deep Space Nine" ep "Inquisition" and the terrifying "Angel" ep "The Magic Bullet." In all of these examples, our point of view remains solidly behind the paranoid character. In "Wetwired," we stay largely with "normal" Mulder, while Scully's psychological distress is more referred to in the dialogue than actually shown. Huge mistake.

    A good episode, sure, but given the subject matter it could be so much more.
  • The one where Scully goes all insane

    9.2
    Interesting episode with only two to go until the end of season 3.

    The government is putting like, a double message into tapes which make people do stuff they wouldn’t do normally, kill.

    It has a pretty strange teaser where a guy kills someone and then every person he sees looks like the same. But then the faces change and he sees that they aren’t the same person, he’s just crazy.

    Also more killings like that occur, a babysitter kills two babies for mistaking them with wolfs and a woman kills her neighbour by mistaking him for her husband cheating with a blond girl who turns out to be a dog.

    As usually, this effects Scully. She and Mulder watch tapes but she begins to see strange things, she sees CSM talking to Mulder and exchanging tapes and also hears wires and sees lights over the place. She thinks she is being watched and that Mulder wants to kill her. She tries to hide and runaway.

    The person who gave Mulder the orders to investigate this didn’t tell Mulder who is behind all of this, he warned Mulder but Mulder didn’t listen. At the end of the episode all evidence are exterminated, by nobody else than X. X tells Mulder that he ruined his only chance to do this and knows that Mulder needs him.

    Scully herself is going mad and when Mulder goes to her mother he finds Scully hidden, she wants to kill Mulder but the mom stops and she looses the gun. In the hospital she says she was sure it was real, but now she knows better.

    When Mulder has to write a report he tells Skinner that he doesn’t know who killed those men, while X goes to CSM and says that he doesn’t know who’s the one working with Mulder.

    This episode definitely changes my point of view on X. it’s also mostly exiting and turns Scully in a crazy b!tch, a role that suits her.
    And besides, always nice to see the Long Gunmen.

  • The One Where TV Makes You Wanna Kill

    6.7
    A brilliant episode with Mulder and Scully investigating strange killings in small towns. Though a lot like season two's Blood, Wetwired is full of great performances and an intriguing storyline.

    The episode has Mulder and Scully investigating a series of bizarre killings which appear to be spurred on by people reacting to strange television signals, which turn people insane and make them see things that aren't really happening.

    Gillian Anderson is amazing in this episode and it was a good idea that the writers make us believe that it's Mulder who has been affected by the TV signals when in fact it was Scully. Anderson is brilliant as her paranoia grows and the scene when she finally goes completely nuts is hilarious as well as being shocking. The episode also features some conspiracy talk but thankfully it doesn't completely overshadow the episode. The Lone Gunmen also appear and they're hilarious as always.

    An awesome episode with some neat twists and an excellent plot, Wetwired is well worth watching.
  • Mulder and Scully investigate a series of murders. That could be the result of subliminal messages sent through the TV.

    9.1
    Another frightening episode that puts Mulder and Scully in danger. Murders committed by a man thinking he was killing the same man over and over may be the cause of subliminal messages sent through the TV. Mulder and Scully investigate who would do this, until Scully falls under the same subliminal messages and begins to doubt her trust in Mulder. The episode is intense with a dark, scary ending. It is another classic episode.
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