The X-Files: Season 9, Episode 17

Release (5 May 2002)
"The X Files" Release (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 975 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A Frank Black-esque cadet in Scully's class directs Doggett to a current murder case that may have something to do with a case that went unsolved 9 years prior...the murder of his young son.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Follmer's Assistant
Avery Glymph ...
Nicholas Regali
Ellen Persich
Kate Lombardi ...
Barbara Patrick ...
Jared Poe ...
FBI Cadet Rudolph Hayes


A Frank Black-esque cadet in Scully's class directs Doggett to a current murder case that may have something to do with a case that went unsolved 9 years prior...the murder of his young son.

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Release Date:

5 May 2002 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final appearance of Brad Follmer. See more »


(at around 4 mins) While FBI Cadet Rudolph Hayes is explaining the cause of death of the victim found by Doggett, as the camera moves from her head downward, you can see her breathing and her throat slightly moving up and down. See more »


Barbara Doggett: Agent Scully? I'm Barbara. John's ex-wife.
Scully: Hi. I'm Dana. Nice to meet you.
Barbara Doggett: He said you'd be coming by.
Scully: You weren't able to make an identification?
Barbara Doggett: I didn't expect to. You know he doesn't think clearly about this. He can't.
Scully: He blames himself.
Barbara Doggett: He thinks he failed Luke. In his mind, he can never do enough, never suffer enough, for what happened. I think if you can help him find the man who did this, maybe... he could move on. He and Monica could really have something together. He just won't let ...
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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 »


Hit Girl
Written and Performed by Deborah Poppink
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User Reviews

Well ... every problem has got a solution, right?
3 December 2007 | by (Washington Terrace, Utah) – See all my reviews

With the series quickly coming to an end, the X-Files writers decided to tie up all the loose side story lines. Release ties up Doggett's personal story about the abduction and murder of his son.

I've always admired the X-Files' willingness to mix things up. They add the element of titles to various scenes of the episode; namely, The Tip, Ashes, A Message, and Release. It's almost as if they're dividing the episode into chapters of a book.

Mark Snow adds a beautiful piano score to this episode that is very touching. I wish it could have been used in more of the episode. The man is a master. Kim Manners, who directed this episode, has some very poignant shots, especially of Cadet Hayes' apartment. His direction is very fine in this episode.

The guest character of Cadet Rudolph Hayes is very intriguing and interesting. His facial expression is very unique, as if he is purposely trying to keep his mouth shut, whenever he's not talking.

Barbara Patrick, Robert Patrick's real life wife, plays his ex-wife of the same name. She does an all right job, nothing spectacular. The one line of hers I didn't like is when she tells Scully that Doggett could have something with Reyes but he won't let her in. Why would Doggett's ex-wife know anything about his relationship with his female co-worker and why say anything to Scully? The writers just wanted to do one final reference to Doggett and Reyes' relationship. The line doesn't fit and shouldn't have been used.

I felt that the resolution to Doggett's storyline was rushed because of the decision to end the series. Was Follmer meant to be a part of this storyline from the beginning? Maybe this was intentional by the writers, but Cadet Hayes said that he had another message, then he asks to be taken back to the institution. We don't see him again or hear what the message was. Maybe Hayes told Doggett where to find Regali. It felt too abrupt how Hayes left.

Release is a very fine episode resolving Doggett's son storyline. Robert Patrick does a great job, especially when telling the story of his son to Cadet Hayes. However, I felt that this storyline needed to be fleshed out a bit more for it to have more of an emotional impact. As it is, Doggett finally receives closure with his son's death and that's all that matters.

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