The X-Files: Season 5, Episode 18

The Pine Bluff Variant (3 May 1998)
"The X Files" The Pine Bluff Variant (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
8.3
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Scully is worried about Mulder when during an undercover sting operation, Mulder apparently lets a suspect, Jacob Steven Haley, escape. Haley is a right-wing anti-government militiaman who ... See full summary »

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Title: The Pine Bluff Variant (03 May 1998)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Jacob Steven Haley
Michael MacRae ...
August Bremer
...
Leamus
J.B. Bivens ...
Field Agent
Douglas Arthurs ...
Skin-Head Man (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
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Dr. Leavitt
Ralph Alderman ...
Manager
Dean McKenzie ...
Army Tech
Kate Braidwood ...
The Usherette
Armin Moattar ...
Goatee Man
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Scully is worried about Mulder when during an undercover sting operation, Mulder apparently lets a suspect, Jacob Steven Haley, escape. Haley is a right-wing anti-government militiaman who was observed in a park handing an envelope to someone who the FBI thinks was selling weapons. After Haley's escape, they find the other man dead with most of his flesh eaten away. Concerned that militiamen are in possession of biological weapons, FBI assistant Director Skinner takes Scully into his confidence and tells what is really going on. Written by garykmcd

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3 May 1998 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Make-up artist Toby Lindala, who created the faux corpses, at first had no place to store them when he brought them to the set, so he kept them temporarily in the craft-services room. See more »

Quotes

Mulder: [leaving the room to go under cover] If you don't hear from me by midnight... Feed my fish...
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References The Big Lebowski (1998) See more »

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Title Meaning
11 August 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In response to Sanpaco13's comment, I checked on the meaning behind the title of the episode, and think I understand. Pine Bluff Arsenal is an American Military base in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, which is mainly known for its storage and development of chemical weapons. Scully suggests this to Skinner as the site of the development of a strain of Streptococcus bacteria that she speculates is the basis of the deadly toxin used in the episode:

Scully: (on phone) "Now CIA intelligence suggested that this biotoxin was stolen from the Russians. But my research indicates that it was almost certainly developed domestically." Skinner: "The United States has no bioweapons Agent Scully. President Nixon dismantled the program in 1969." Scully: "Yes sir, that's what we've been told. But the CDC database contains evidence of a Streptococcus bacterium being developed by the Army's Pine Bluff facility in the 1960s. it appears to be very primitive strain of what we're seeing here."

The chemical weapon used in this episode is a variant of the one developed at Pine Bluff, hence the name Pine Bluff Variant. :)


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