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:
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Mrs. Stodie
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Tracy
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Dr. Keats
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Dr. Frank Nollette
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Dr. Ronald Surnow
David Hurtubise ...
Barrington (as Dave Hurtubise)
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Lisa Dole (as Sue Mathew)
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Storyline

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 of fluid mechanics. 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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6 May 1994 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Trivia

Director David Nutter considered this the weakest of the six scripts he directed in the first season (to be fair, he had also helmed The X-Files: Ice (1993) (1x8) and The X-Files: Beyond the Sea (1994) (1x13), the two high water marks of Season 1). Nutter was thankful that he had such a strong guest actor in the form of Zeljko Ivanek to help sell in what he considered to be weaker material. See more »

Goofs

Wind speeds of 60+ can uproot trees and blow the roofs off of buildings. The first victim caught in the wind tunnel was still standing at nearly mach 2. At sea level, mach 1 is equal to 761.2 mph. It is impossible for anyone to stand in such high winds. See more »

Quotes

Mulder: You got a brother, don't you, Scully?
Scully: Yeah, I've got an older one and a younger one.
Mulder: Well, have you ever thought about calling one of them all day long and then all of a sudden the phone rings and it's one of them calling you?
Scully: Does this pitch somehow end with a way for me to lower my long distance charges?
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Connections

References Beakman's World (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Roland Theme
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by Mark Snow
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User Reviews

*crunch*
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.

4/10


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