The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 2

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

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 1,516 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 5 critic

As a government hit squad closes in on the agents, Mulder searches for clues about his father's involvement in a top secret project.



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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

Sound Mix:


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

Best X Files Episodes Fitting Conclusion
27 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When The X Files originally aired I wasn't exactly a fan. I didn't watch it on broadcast TV or time-shift on the technology of the day, the lowly VCR. That wasn't a slam and it has proved to be a good thing as I get to watch the pristinely presented episodes taken from the DVDs. I get the luxury of not having to pause through endless interruptions so I can fully take in the show. Sure, there's chaff among the wheat, but even so I have waded through 2 seasons with plenty of gems unearthed. None more so than the triple-episode story that started with season two's finale and ended with "Paper Clip" which is the second episode of season three.

Paper Clip finishes what,up until now, is undoubtedly the best story line of the entire series. It is, basically, an X File movie when you have the ability to watch all three in succession. Far superior, in fact, to the two later-day X Files movies released in theaters. All of the things that make X Files compelling are here. The focus is entirely on the myth-arc and much is revealed as well as left for future episodes. Everything gels, especially the Navajo tie-in which adds so much richness to the story. It's devoid of comedy, even with the appearance of "The Lone Gunmen". Comic relief would just water things down. This is a definite high water-mark for the entire series.

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