The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 2

Paper Clip (29 Sep. 1995)
"The X Files" Paper Clip (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Mulder returns to Skinner and Scully while the deadly pursuit is still at hand. Led by an old photograph of his father and a group of scientists, he and Scully discover more than they could... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sheila Larken ...
Albert Hosteen (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Rebecca Toolan ...
Don S. Williams ...
Elder #1


Mulder returns to Skinner and Scully while the deadly pursuit is still at hand. Led by an old photograph of his father and a group of scientists, he and Scully discover more than they could imagine in an old West Virginia warehouse. The truth, of course, may kill everyone. Written by EJS

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The spacecraft spotted by Mulder was achieved by using a crane to lift lights outside the building. See more »


Scully and Mulder use Napier's Constant (also known as Euler's Number) to gain access to locked doors using an electronic keypad at an abandoned mine. Mulder checks with Scully that Napier's Constant is in fact "27828" and she confirms that it is. However, the constant is NOT 27828, it is actually 271828 (or 2.71828...). Without the number "1" in the sequence, Scully and Mulder should not have been able to enter any of the doors. See more »


[at a meeting of the Syndicate Elders]
The Cigarette Smoking Man: [on the killing of Scully's sister] This was a mistake. It will be rectified.
Well Manicured Man: By whom? By whom will this be rectified? Your ridiculously ineffectual assassins?
The Cigarette Smoking Man: These men are professionals!
Well Manicured Man: This is NOT a profession for men who make mistakes! My God! You presume to make us believe that you can simply fix it with enough bullets?
The Cigarette Smoking Man: [slumps in his chair uncomfortably] No.
See more »


References Let's Make a Deal (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

29 June 2013 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

It may be the Anasazi - Blessed Way - Paperclip trifecta is the best X- file run up to this point. The season 1 finale was fine, but the Little Green Men followup was a generic restatement of intentions, not worth the time. Duane Barry and Ascension are the only other contenders, but One Breath is a letdown, hitting against the show's hard limits so far as exploring character. Colony is pure jumping the shark, as ridiculous as a Dolph Lungren film.

But this X-file stretch is fine: it centers on the childlike apprehension of a nefarious conspiracy, stressing hallucinated urges.

Blessed Way is below average, to get this out of the way. The pedantic prolonging of Mulder's re-emerging just grates as useless, the spiritual connection in dreams is unimaginative, and the episode is my new example of worst use of voice-over in a film, previous being the 60s version of The Haunting.

This is much better.. What we learn solidifies earlier notions, chiefly that Mulder's father was among the engineers, that Mulder may have been guided within limits of his revelations, that the engineered project is on a vast scope.

But the best part for me is how the makers of the show imagined the vault where 'secret' archives are hidden. It is literally a dark, abandoned place lined with rows of cabinet files - watching Mulder and Scully run up and down with their flashlights, uncovering barely corners of a portentous masterplan, Mulder's revelation of the departing ship, then being chased and fired at by 'agents' and making that miraculous escape..

It's all so dreamy in a childlike way, a scenario a son whose father is doing important business for the government, whose sister has disappeared, would imagine around him.

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