Saturday, September 5, 2015

The X-Files - S3:E17 "Pusher"

[ S3:E16 "Apocrypha" <<< Season 3 >>> S3:E18 "Teso dos Bichos" ]

Two words: cerulean blue. That was my main takeaway from this episode years ago. Certainly, it has a pretty memorable opening. After an egocentric contract killer known as "Pusher" (Robert Wisden) is picked up in an FBI sting at a Virginia supermarket (excellently choreographed scene, by the way), he causes the driver of the police car to pull out in front of a large truck, resulting in an accident from which he is able to escape custody. How did he make the driver crash the car? By using his extraordinary power of suggestion to "push" his will onto the driver, making him deliberately not notice the truck careening down the roadway.

The agent that's been hunting Pusher believes that it's all a game to the killer. Imagine having the ability to talk people into doing anything - even killing themselves. It would make you feel invincible. How could anyone prove in a court of law that you made people commit suicide merely by willing them to? And what judge could convict you when you have the power to simply persuade him to let you off? This is a very compelling episode, in which Mulder & Scully follow the Pusher's clues (like Sherlock Holmes, or, better yet, like Batman hunting The Riddler), and try to beat him, against the odds. It culminates in an extremely harrowing climax that I won't spoil for you. As far as monster-of-the -week episodes go, this is a pretty good one.

Memorable quotes:

Mulder: Suggestion is a powerful force. The science of hypnosis is predicated on it, as are most TV commercials. I mean, they're designed to plant thoughts in your head.
Scully: Inducing someone to buy hair color is a little different than inducing him to drive in front of a speeding truck.
Mulder: But the mechanism of suggestion is the same; it's just a lot more powerful in this case.

Mulder: Modell psyched the guy out. He put the whammy on him!
Scully: Please explain to me the scientific nature of "the whammy".

Mulder: You're dying, aren't you, Bob? What, do you wanna take a few innocent people with you before you go?
Modell: Biology tells us we're all dyin'. And original sin tells me ain't nobody innocent.

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