The X-Files: Season 9, Episode 13

Improbable (7 Apr. 2002)
"The X Files" Improbable (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 847 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

Reyes, Doggett, and Scully are pulled into a bizarre serial murder case involving the number '3', numerology on a whole, and an eccentric man who likes to play checkers.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shannon Maureen Brown ...
Pretty Blonde
Amy Sheridan Aufsbergher
Nick DeMarinis ...
Pizza Guy
Ernesto Gasco ...
Heavy Italian Man
Vicki Louise Burdick
Special Agent Fordyce
Kelly Knox ...
Mad Wayne
Benito Prezia ...
Old Italian Man
Travis Riker ...
Larry Udy ...
Middle-Aged Man


Reyes, Doggett, and Scully are pulled into a bizarre serial murder case involving the number '3', numerology on a whole, and an eccentric man who likes to play checkers.

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Release Date:

7 April 2002 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The final scene, featuring Burt Reynolds' face superimposed onto the cityscape was created by special effects supervisor Mat Beck. An alternate version of the scene was created that featured Chris Carter's head instead of Reynolds'. This version is included as a bonus feature on the season nine DVD set. See more »


Dana Scully: What are YOU looking at?
Mr. Burt: Same thing you are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the main title for the ninth season, a piece of paper flashes across the screen listing "FBI Contacts: Witnesses and Contributors." The names on the list are screen names of the series' on-line fans. For episodes #9.01-#9.11, the names were randomly picked from various X-Files message boards. For episodes #9.12-#9.19, the names came from contest entries. See more »


La Panse
Performed by 'Karl Zero'
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User Reviews

A brighter spot in the last seasons of the X-Files
18 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I don't understand how one cannot "get" the plot for this episode. Agent Reyes had been examining numerology when she hears of a recent murder, it allows her to connect this murder with previous ones. Scully, who is skeptical of numerology, notices that all the women have a particular mark, which ties the cases together.

We then see our killer, he is inside a bar where he kills another woman, and nearby is a strange man(Burt Reynolds). The next time we see the killer, he approaches Mr. Burt, who is playing three card monte, having recognized him from before.

Reyes goes to see a numerologist, who just as she finds something, is killed. Eventually, this leads to Scully, Reyes, Mr. Burt, and the killer all inside a parking garage. Mr. Burt convinces the agents to play checkers, which leads to Reyes noticing that their colors are red and black, which fits into the pattern of the serial killer, he had been killing women by patterns of hair, the last victim being blonde. Mr. Burt asks Reyes if the numbers are helping the killer, or if they are helping them catch him, which certainly hints at something about Mr. Burt, as well as his love of music, having seemingly every CD in the trunk of his car, and his viewing everything as a game.

The killer corners the agents and is about to shoot Reyes when Doggett, who had found the killer his own way, by recognizing a pattern in the locations of the victims, shoots him dead. Mr. Burt is nowhere to be seen.

The end of the episode shows to old Italian men singing a song as the body of the killer is hauled out of the parking garage, some kind of festival is going on, as the camera zooms out you see the face of Mr. Burt made from the lights of the city far below, and then the screen blacks out to the credits.

I took Mr. Burt as being God, who, although not directly, stops the serial killer by making his actions into a pattern that could be recognized, using numbers and other coincidences. Basically saying that God is looking out for people, albeit in a strange playful way, if the people are open to everything.

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scully's character development : is she stupid The_Master_91
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Re-watch! ChristopherWG
Other sci-fi shows referenced on the X-Files? LondoMollari1
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