The X-Files: Season 4, Episode 10

Paper Hearts (15 Dec. 1996)
"The X Files" Paper Hearts (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 9.0/10 from 1,762 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

An incarcerated serial killer claims Mulder's sister was one of his many victims.



(created by),
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

« Previous Episode | 83 of 201 Episodes | Next Episode »





Episode cast overview:
John Lee Roche
Byrne Piven ...
Robert Sparks
Rebecca Toolan ...
Day Care Operator
Vanessa Morley ...
Edward Diaz ...
El Camino Owner
Paul Bittante ...
The Local Cop
Caitlin Ross


A particularly vivid dream leads Mulder to the burial site of a young girl who had been kidnapped and murdered years before. Mulder knows exactly who the murderer is, John Lee Roche whom Mulder an another FBI agent had arrested based in part on the psychological profile Mulder had prepared on him. Roche was convicted of 13 murders in all and Mulder always wondered if there might be more. The girl found as a result of his dream is number 14 and when they locate Roche's 'trophies' - hearts cuts out of the victims' clothing - they realize there are still two victims unaccounted for. The case takes an unexpected turn when Mulder's dreams suggests that Roche may have been involved in his sister Samantha's disappearance. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

15 December 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The role of John Lee Roche was written specifically for Tom Noonan. See more »


When Roche is shot and falls over, the bullet hole is missing from his head. See more »


Mulder: Scully, do you believe that my sister Samantha was abducted by aliens? Have you ever believed that? No. So what do you think happened to her?
Scully: What are you saying you believe now?
Mulder: I don't know. I don't know what happened. I don't know what to believe. I just know that I have to find out now.
See more »


References The Magician (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Mad Hatter
9 July 2007 | by (Sandy, UT, United States) – See all my reviews

Paper Hearts has become one of my favorite episodes since I started watching the series again. I remember watching it earlier on when I was more into the mytharc of the series and wanting to know about the conspiracies and I remember being disappointed that this episode leads you to believe that you would get answers about Mulder's sister and then you don't. But you know after rewatching it and knowing the final outcome and being able to focus on other aspects of this episode it really is great. I love the acting performances both by Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the guest star performances are just as good. I almost want to like Roche when I first meet him. He acts like he and Mulder are just old friends that haven't seen each other in a while. This works very well for a serial killer because actually the exact opposite is the case. The music was another high point of the episode for me. It doesn't happen often that we get an original score for just one episode but this is done here and it is just eerie enough yet soothing to the point that you actually feel like you are in Mulder's dream with him. All in all this is a great episode and I give it a 10/10.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Episode Elimination Game Season 8 lowriders95s10
Does it have any LGTB content? prinsmars_91
Do you think Gillian Anderson was too young to play Scully? SmokeMeAClipper
A new viewer... Where to start and what to watch!!?? stephenmillerisme
Does this show get better? outlookaccount2
Episode Elimination Game Season 7 lowriders95s10
Discuss Paper Hearts (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: