A seemingly unmotivated murderer, who can apparently talk his victims into killing themselves is on the loose and it is up to Mulder and Scully to study the clues left to them by the person and capture him.



(created by),

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video



Episode complete credited cast:
Robert Wisden ...
Agent Frank Burst
Swat Lieutenant (as Roger R. Cross)
Don MacKay ...
Brent Sheppard ...
Deputy Scott Kerber
Meredith Bain Woodward ...
Defense Attorney
Julia Arkos ...
Ernie Foort ...
Lobby Guard
Darren Lucas ...
Lead Swat Cop


Scully and Mulder investigate a series of deaths, all of which have been ruled to be suicides. Connected to all of the suicides is Robert Patrick Modell who has confessed to the crimes on the telephone and who the FBI has been trying to apprehend. When they do, the car carrying him is in a major traffic accident. Mulder comes to believe that Modell has the ability to suggest to people that they commit suicide. How he does it isn't known and not surprisingly, Scully is skeptical about it all. It all comes down to a battle of wills between Modell and Mulder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 February 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one point during the episode, Mulder and Scully identify a phone number the Pusher had called to be a golf driving range and pro-shop, to which Scully quips, "So he's a killer and a golfer", to which Mulder replies, "Rings a bell, huh?". This is a non-too-subtle reference to O.J. Simpson, alleged murderer and avid golfer. See more »


In real life, the FBI Headquarters is guarded by the FBI Police force. However, in the episode, it is being shown as being guarded by private security guards. See more »


Robert Patrick Modell: [after the hearing] I believe you owe me five dollars.
[Mulder reaches for his wallet, then looks down]
Mulder: Hey, your shoe's untied.
[Modell looks down, then back up]
Mulder: Made you look... how do you do it?
See more »


References Yojimbo (1961) See more »


Performed by Robert Wisden
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A little too forced.
23 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The directing, acting, and basic elements are here but there are quite a few plot holes and the basic situational premise is very flimsy.

I think some of the most glaring incidents of illogic:

1-Mulder recognizing and knowing that some random personal ad for "I solve problems" in some random magazine has been posted since 1994 (when the killings started, obviously)

2-When the agent self-immolates, why did he go into the building alone? They pretty much knew what this guy does from the start of the investigation...yeah.

3-The telephone-heart attack. Does his suggestion work by voice? With the judge and the FBI security, it seemed to be eye contact...now it is via telephone wires...or some mind-to-voice-to-ear manipulation which makes my brain hurt. I mean, if he can persuade through rhetoric, FINE. but what of the eye contact action? Consistency. Please. And how can Pusher will/control someone to do something that that person couldn't do to begin with? If he could cause people to have heart attacks or levitate, why not just always do that? Why not reverse the progress of his tumor? OH GOD, I think he's telling me to go on the internet and review this episode... makehimstopmakehimstopohplzohplzmakemestop.

4-Pusher says that he read in Scully's file that she shot Mulder once before, but we learned from Skinner that the only file Pusher accessed was Mulder's (if her file even had that information, they were kinda AWOL and off the record when that happened).

5-Why is Skinner immune totally from even a weak suggestion, but Mulder almost kills Scully?

I just feel like they didn't develop the supernatural idea at all before going right on to try to get at some head-to-head between Mulder and Pusher. This made everything kind of a mess from the get-go. And no amount of Ronin or Ninjas could cool their way out of it.

I really like detective and creative sci-fi/supernatural stories, and I have to admit that I like action too. Guns don't really hurt my interest either. And the x-files usually has these things down solid. And they give you some historical, forensic or humorous information along the way.

I think that if I were a little younger, the agent lighting himself on fire would have probably distracted me more, too. But unfortunately, none of that good stuff here was really clicking and the only mystery that got solved was how "Pusher" couldn't force me to care.

7 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What things makes this show recommendable? diegoaltierro
Home...20 years later fjk1138-731-161881
Scully should have stuck it to Mulder and gone off with Skinner sloane-square-undergroun
100 things I learned from the The X-Files fjk1138-731-161881
First time watcher KitWalker11
Season 7 the best season? Agent_Mulder89
Discuss Pusher (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: