When scientists at an aeronautics lab die under mysterious circumstances, the agents suspect a mentally challenged janitor may be the culprit.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Micole Mercurio ...
Mrs. Stodie
Kerry Sandomirsky ...
Garry Davey ...
Dr. Keats
Dr. Frank Nollette
Matthew Walker ...
Dr. Ronald Surnow
David Hurtubise ...
Barrington (as Dave Hurtubise)
Lisa Dole (as Sue Mathew)


Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate the murder of a jet propulsion scientist who was trapped in a wind chamber and sucked through a jet engine when the unit was activated. It isn't the first death among the scientists there, with Arthur Grable having died in an accident several months before. As they gather evidence in the case the main suspect becomes the janitor, Roland, who is autistic but with a great knowledge for complex numbers. When Mulder finds a connection between Roland and the first dead scientist, it opens up any number of possibilities. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

6 May 1994 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This was the third episode in close proximity in the first season to feature the concept of resurrection in a different body, following The X-Files: Lazarus (1994) (1x15) and The X-Files: Born Again (1994) (1x22). See more »


The obituary that Scully reads states that Dr. Crabill completed his doctorate and post-doctoral work at Harvey Mudd. However, Harvey Mudd College only offers undergraduate degrees. See more »


Mulder: You know, I had a dream last night. I dreamt I was swimming in this, uh, pool. And I could see my father underwater. But when I dove down, the water stung my eyes. And there was another man at the pool, watching me. He upset me. He was asking me questions I didn't want to answer. And I had to leave. I couldn't find my father.
See more »


References School Ties (1992) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

6 October 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

A friend of mine recently said, as we are re-watching "The X-Files" together, that season one was more about people coming back from the dead than about aliens. Considering that this is the fourth or fifth episode this season to deal with this already tired and over-used idea, I'd tend to agree. None of these episodes being particularly good doesn't help either.

"Roland" is not as completely uninteresting as things like "Born Again", and is fractionally better than "Lazarus" thanks to a certain scene I'll discuss later, but it's still pretty bad, with countless errors others have already noticed/noted and a particularly poor and clichéd portrayal of autism. Some have called this guest performance 'brilliant', but it's really quite abysmal and inaccurate, and laughable at times.

The plot is convoluted and on the level, generally, of something you'd find late at night on one of the less prestigious and reputable cable channels, but at least there's one absolutely phenomenal kill, when Roland pushes a scientist's head into liquid nitrogen then throws him to the floor, shattering the head and as he walks away he steps on an ear... *crunch*. It's years ahead of the similar and much more noted and acclaimed scene in "Jason X" (which is similarly the best scene in that movie), and I'd wager a good amount that this was the main inspiration for that.


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