The X-Files (1993– )
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The Pine Bluff Variant 

Mulder goes undercover to infiltrate a militia group armed with a deadly pathogen and wanted for domestic terrorism. Scully becomes suspicious when Mulder lets a suspect escape but she learns that his assignment may be a suicide mission.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Jacob Steven Haley
Michael MacRae ...
August Bremer
J.B. Bivens ...
Field Agent
Skin-Head Man (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
Dr. Leavitt
Ralph Alderman ...
Dean McKenzie ...
Army Tech
Kate Braidwood ...
Armin Moattar ...
Goatee Man


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

3 May 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to John Shiban, Mulder was not supposed to wear Dracula's mask, but he asked to because Dracula was one of his favourites characters as a child. See more »


[strapped into a chair with a hood over his head]
Mulder: Ooh, is this the Pepsi challenge?
See more »


References Dark City (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

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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