The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 5

The List (20 Oct. 1995)
"The X Files" The List (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,146 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

After death row prisoner Napoleon "Neech" Manley is executed in Florida's electric chair, a number of prison guards are the victims of gruesome murders. Scully and Mulder are called into ... See full summary »

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Title: The List (20 Oct 1995)

The List (20 Oct 1995) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Sammom Roque
Badja Djola ...
Napoleon 'Neech' Manley
John Toles-Bey ...
John Speranza
...
Vincent Parmelly
...
Danielle Manley
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Warden Leo Brodeur
Greg Rogers ...
Daniel Charez
...
Fornier
Paul Raskin ...
Ullrich
Denny Arnold ...
The Key Guard
Craig Bruhnanski ...
Guard (as Craig Brunanski)
Joseph Patrick Finn ...
Chaplain
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Storyline

After death row prisoner Napoleon "Neech" Manley is executed in Florida's electric chair, a number of prison guards are the victims of gruesome murders. Scully and Mulder are called into the case and there are rumors in the prison that there is a death list with five names on it. They learn from Manley's widow Danielle that he had promised to return from the grave and exact revenge but they look for for a less supernatural explanation for the events. They think they've found when they learn that Danielle has been living with one of the guards, Vincent Parmelly. For Mulder however, the final explanation just doesn't sit well. Written by garykmcd

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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20 October 1995 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The executioner "Perry Simon" was named after an NBC executive producer that Chris Carter knew. See more »

Goofs

Mulder and Scully park in a car outside of the Manly's home. When Vincent looks at them through the blinds, he looks at Scully who is on the passenger side. In the next shot, Scully and Mulder are looking out Mulder's driver side of the car as they watch the house. See more »

Quotes

Fox Mulder: Every major world religion encompasses the idea of life after death. That means millions, even billions, of people believe in some kind of transmigration or rebirth of the soul.
Dana Scully: I'm sorry, Mulder. That's not what I learned in catechism.
Fox Mulder: Well, even Christianity teaches about the resurrection and ascendancy of the heavenly body.
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User Reviews

 
A woman gets lonely…sometimes she can't wait around for a man to be reincarnated…
3 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The List" is a competent but ultimately less-than-memorable episode from the early part of season three. Although it holds its own as a relatively straightforward revenge drama, the episode is perhaps most notable for its adroit direction, helmed by Chris Carter himself, who had previously proved to be a capable cameraman in last season's "Duane Barry." Much like that episode, this one profits from tightly-packed claustrophobic settings: the corridors of a prison that appear to be as humid as a rainforest, a dark house with a similar ambiance that, instead of cell bars, is caged in Venetian blinds. Certainly in terms of look this is one of the most impressive excursions in the series up to this point.

Unfortunately the story doesn't quite live up to the visuals. More specifically, everything that happens in the teaser more or less spells out what's going to happen in the next forty-something minutes. Neech Manley (who, though seen only scarcely, is played powerfully by the late Badja Djola), a prisoner on death row, vows to return from the dead and seek retribution to five men who have wronged him. When a prison guard inexplicably turns up dead in Neech's cell, Mulder and Scully are called on to solve the case.

The problem is they never really solve anything. This is one of those infamous episodes (though far from the more egregious offenders) that relegates Mulder and Scully to audience members instead of participants. So while both provide insightful theories of their own to the nature of the crimes, neither of them walk away having learned anything (On a side note, if anyone can paraphrase that loquacious discussion at the end, please let me know just what the hell is going on!). Poetically speaking the script is as much of a prison as the plot's environs - we know, since this is of course The X-Files, that we probably haven't seen the last of Manley and that five men probably will end up dead by the episode's end. In the end it's all a matter of getting from point A to point B.

So what we end up with is an impeccably-acted, exquisitely-directed hour of television that's just a bit too linear to stand up to the upper echelons of the series's catalog. That this episode immediately follows "Bruckman," widely regarded as the pinnacle of the show's nine-year run, doesn't do it any favors. Still, "The List" is enjoyable, nice to look at, features a better-than-average cast, and gets better with repeated viewings. Carter would write better episodes as the series progressed, but in terms of aesthetics, this may be very well be his opus. 7/10


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