The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 21

Avatar (26 Apr. 1996)
"The X Files" Avatar (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,115 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

Skinner becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a prostitute.


(as James Charleston)


(created by), (teleplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Avatar (26 Apr 1996)

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Episode cast overview:
Tom Mason ...
Detective Waltos
Sharon Skinner
Carina Sayles
Agent Bonnecaze
Morris Panych ...
The Gray-Haired Man
Michael David Simms ...
Jay Cassal
Judy Fairly
Janie Woods-Morris ...
Lorraine Kelleher


With his marriage on the rocks and on the verge of getting a divorce, a depressed Assistant Director Skinner meets an attractive blond, Carina Sayles, in a hotel bar and they decide to get a room and spend the night together. When he awakens in the morning however, Carina is laying beside him dead from a broken neck. Scully and Mulder investigate on their own as Skinner would prefer they just mind their own business. When they learn that their boss has been having nightmares of sorts, Mulder believes he is being visited by a succubus, an old woman of legend who takes the life force out of a man. Some in the FBI move quickly to have Skinner removed from his post and it becomes obvious that it's all part of a greater conspiracy. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

26 April 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carina Sayles was the succubus' first victim. A "qarinah" in Arabic is a succubus. In Italian, Carina means "pretty", thus making a double reference. See more »


When Mulder and Scully are examining the dead prostitute, you can see her eyes moving beneath her eyelids. See more »


Mulder: Maybe that's it. Maybe that's why Skinner's running. He's afraid.
Scully: That he did it?
Mulder: That he doesn't know he didn't do it.
See more »

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User Reviews

There's a Succubus Born Every Minute
22 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I loved this Episode originally, cos Samantha Carter gets her head twisted off like a chicken and Skinner's Wife is also Jean-Luc Picard's Girlfriend - And Skinner has about as much hair as Patrick Stewart did at the time, so this episode is highly appropriate..

I love it now, because of the high level of Creepo factor.

Skinner had told Mulder about his "Near" death Experience in Vietnam- But here, he reveals that there was no "Near" about it. He was dead, and brought back to his Body by the White Haired Old Woman.

Who we initially thought was some evil entity, leaving glow-in-the-dark lipstick on Samantha Carter's face. But Skin-Man did NOT know she was a hooker, paid for by one of Cancer-Man's minions, using Skinner's own credit card. Skin-Man thought it was just a chick in a bar, and how wrong he was.

So, what started out as to be about Skinner, ends up being about The X- Files instead. It seems Skinner is Skully and Mulder's Mac Daddy, he's the one who makes sure they can do it with out red tape.

But what is great is how Mulder is able to see that this Skinner-Related X-File is a setup, a way to use the X-Files to close the X-Files. But Mulder finds a more Mundane conspiracy. And Cancerman would have gotten away with it...

...If not for Skinner's Succubus, who was also Protecting Skinner's Ex- Wife Jennifer Hetrick.

This episode marks the very first time Skinner witnesses an X-Files event, something which cannot be categorized or easily referenced.

And he can't talk to Mulder about it - Not even off he record. At least not yet.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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