The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 5

Duane Barry (14 Oct. 1994)
"The X Files" Duane Barry (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,777 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 4 critic

A former FBI agent who claims he was abducted by aliens takes several people hostage.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tactical Commander
Frank C. Turner ...
Dr. Del Hakkie
Agent Rich
Barbara Pollard ...
Robert Lewis ...
Prince Maryland ...
Agent Janus


Mulder is called in to act as a hostage negotiator when a mentally unbalanced convict, Duane Barry, takes four people prisoner. Dwayne believes he's a alien abductee and he believes aliens are coming back to get him. He's also a former FBI agent. Mulder contacts Scully and she does a bit of research for him. What she finds calls into question everything Duane has said. By this time however, Mulder has become a hostage in exchange for one who has been been seriously wounded. When it's all over and Duane is back in the hospital, they discover strange pieces of metal in his body. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chris Carter's directorial debut. See more »


Scully bases the notion of Barry's mental illness on reports of Phineas Gage, who supposedly underwent a personality change after a blasting accident drove an iron rod through his head and out the other side. However, the idea that Gage became violent, immoral, or a pathological liar, like Scully describes him, is an urban legend. Gage lived a productive life for 12 years following his accident. See more »


Scully: Mulder, it's me. I just had something incredibly strange happen. This piece of metal that they took out of Duane Barry, it has some kind of code on it. I ran it through a scanner, and some kind of serial number came up. What the hell is this thing, Mulder? It's almost as if... it's almost as if somebody was using it to catalogue him... Mulder! I need your help! Mulder!
Scully: Mulder!
See more »


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User Reviews

Duane Barry's alien blues
2 June 2013 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is good, classic X-file stuff. I still remember it when it first aired in my country, it genuinely creeped me out.

Okay, typically for the show we have a well executed thriller. The show had several of these in its first two seasons, even some I don't like but can see their being efficient; Squeeze, Ice, Darkness Falls, even The Host. The problem was usually silly monsters. The better ones were character-based explorations of mental states that had some thriller aspects, a good example is Beyond the Sea.

The thriller here involves possible alien abduction, mysterious body implants, and a hostage situation with Mulder in it. The ending at Scully's home is intense, arguably the most intense moment thus far.

Why I deem this worth watching, quite apart from the show's ongoing fixations and mythology, is that we have a volatile state of narrative truth. We can't be sure of Duane Barry's story of abduction; we can't be sure if our vision of that story isn't being imagined by Mulder, possibly fed by his own paranoia linked to his sister's similar vanishing, down to the imagery of a 'bright light and a presence in the room'; we can't be sure if it is all a hoax masking some other government experiment.

Mulder here is the viewer, Duane Barry's audience in the hostage crisis. He wants to believe, and presumably so do we. He partly is, and so are we, Duane Barry—imaginatively entering a world of borderline madness to experience the intensity of revelation.

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