The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 5

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

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
8.8
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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 ... See full summary »

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Storyline

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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14 October 1994 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Chris Carter's directorial debut. See more »

Goofs

When the power goes out Mulder calls Barry from his cell phone as they have lost the "captured line". Then Barry is seen talking to Mulder on a cordless phone. Cordless phones will not work without power. See more »

Quotes

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!
[shouts]
Scully: Mulder!
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Features A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Krycek, have you got your notepad? ...Grande, two percent cappuccino with vanilla.
8 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The X-Files proved in its first year on the air that is was capable of doing drama, suspense, and intrigue all relatively effortlessly. Despite the ever-looming cancellation reaper following mere steps behind, the show managed to continue into a second season, largely thanks to its excellent finale "The Erlenmeyer Flask," which saw the death of a rather critical character and opened up new doors with the termination of Mulder and Scully's tenure on the X-Files. Although the hunger of the writers and the producers that drove the first season carried on, they too knew that the show could not continue without the actual X-Files to propel it forward. Thus, a critical turning point was required to get the agents back on track. This can be seen as that turning point.

"Duane Barry" is a curious affair in that despite its explosive script there is quite little in the way of explosive action. Steve Railsback plays the titular character and does so to the hilt. A former FBI agent who has been out of commission for thirteen years, Barry believes he is a multiple alien abductee, and escapes a mental institution with his unwilling psychiatrist as part of a plan to prove the veracity of his claims. This leads to a standoff at a travel agency, where the majority of the episode takes place, in which Mulder is called in to do damage control.

The episode primarily serves as a tension-builder for the next episode but is notable in its own right for its proficient guest acting and directing. CCH Pounder is impeccable in her role as Agent Kazdin, who in a world of justice would have been destined to become a recurring character. Railsback is equally competent as the crazed gunman with just enough humanity to reel you in. Chris Carter makes his directorial debut, with some assistance from vet David Nutter, and captures the claustrophobic hostage setting without flaw.

"Duane Barry" would serve as the precedent for various mythology elements in the years to come, in the form of implanted chips and human testing (it's interesting how similarly this was replicated in the "Within/Without" episodes). It also showed that the series was unafraid to raise its stakes by jeopardizing the fate of a main character. As a standalone and as a small part of a big whole it is an essential X-File and remains a classic. And who could say no to Mulder in a speedo?


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