The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 3

Conduit (1 Oct. 1993)
"The X Files" Conduit (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,067 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Mulder becomes obsessed with solving a case that closely parallels an "encounter" he experienced as a child.



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Title: Conduit (01 Oct 1993)

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Episode cast overview:
Darlene Morris
Sheriff Jack Withers
Kip (as Don Gibb)
Kevin Morris
Charles Cioffi ...
Shelley-Lynn Owens ...
Tessa Seers (as Shelley Owens)
Akiko Morison ...
Leza Atsumi
Ruby Morris
4th Man
Glen Roald ...
M.E. Worker
Mauricio Mercado ...


Mulder and Scully travel to Sioux City to investigate the disappearance of a teenager, Ruby Morris, whose mother Darlene claims was abducted by aliens. There's some reluctance on the part of the FBI to even open an X-File on the matter until Mulder finds that the Darlene was also supposedly abducted during a girl scout outing when she was a teenager. Ruby had something of a wild reputation and the local authorities believe she may have run off with a biker. Ruby's younger brother Kevin is seeing something on the television that he can translate into binary code, something that is of interest to the NSA. For Mulder, the case is far too reminiscent of his sister Samantha's abduction by aliens when he was 12 and she 8 years old. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 October 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tessa's appointment with her doctor is on August 7th. This is David Duchovny's birthday. See more »


At the lake Mulder finds a piece of glass made from sand on the beach. He says that lightning couldn't do that. In fact, lightning commonly turns silica (sand) into glass called fulgurite. See more »


[last lines]
Mulder: I want to believe...
See more »


Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »


Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Mvt. I, Allegro
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

"I want to believe..."
6 November 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Conduit is one of the essential episodes of the first season of The X-Files, perhaps even of the entire series, as it marks the debut of the mythology storyline's most important and affecting subplot: Mulder's search for his sister.

The case begins with the disappearance of a young girl whose mother claims to have been abducted by aliens in the past. While Mulder and Scully set out to find the girl, it is revealed that Mulder's sister Samantha was abducted when he was twelve, and that incident is what eventually led to his belief in the paranormal and his work on the X-Files. Scully fears her partner might be taking the whole thing too personal, but has to admit they're probably onto something when the US government takes an interest in the missing girl's younger brother, who receives compromising information through a television set.

Apart from Mulder's usual spot-on remarks ("How can an eight-year old boy who can barely multiply be a threat to national security? And they call me paranoid!") and the postmodern use of the TV medium within the show (something that will occur several more times), the heart of Conduit is its digging into the hidden core of the show's male protagonist: childhood trauma is often used - or rather misused - as a dramatic device to explain a character's choices, but the careful writing and Duchovny's heartfelt performance give the back-story more substance than it would have in another program. This episode really establishes Mulder as a flesh-and-blood individual instead of a caricature of a conspiracy theorist, and it's very easy to share his hope when he utters a line that, much like "The truth is out there", came to define the series: "I want to believe...".

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