The X-Files: Season 4, Episode 16

Unrequited (23 Feb. 1997)
"The X Files" Unrequited (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,396 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

Scully and Mulder investigate the murders of several Army generals who were killed when they were ostensibly alone. Mulder begins to wonder if the killer isn't a Vietnam veteran who has ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Nathaniel Teager
Scott Hylands ...
General Benjamin Bloch
William S. Taylor ...
General Leitch (as William Taylor)
William Nunn ...
General John Steffan
Larry Musser ...
Renee Davenport
Ryan Michael ...
Agent Cameron Hill
Allan Franz ...
Dr. Ben Keyser
Jennifer Jasey ...
Female Private (as Jen Jasey)
Agent Eugene Chandler
Don McWilliams ...
Gus Burkholder


Scully and Mulder investigate the murders of several Army generals who were killed when they were ostensibly alone. Mulder begins to wonder if the killer isn't a Vietnam veteran who has returned from the dead to take revenge against those who left American POWs behind. Closed circuit television footage shows just such a marine, believed killed, who enters the Pentagon undetected. With his ability to disappear not in doubt, it becomes imperative that the FBI stop the killer before he reaches his next target, Major General Benjamin Bloch. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

23 February 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to legal reasons, the Vietnam Memorial replica had fake names created by the sister of art assistant Kristina Lyne. These included names of the cast and crew. In addition, two of them, "Jesse R. Ellison" and "Harlan L. Hahn", referenced noted writer Harlan Ellison and model Jessica Hahn. See more »


The ghost of a dead Vietnam vet visits a mourning wife at the memorial wall and supposedly disappears after handing her her missing husband's dog tags. She looks up and cannot see him but if you look into the wall behind her, you'll see him walking away in its reflection. See more »


Referenced in King of the Hill: Hank's Unmentionable Problem (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Invisibility applies to this episode in more ways than one.
29 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Season four, though one of the consistently better years of The X-Files, really suffered from helter-skelter scheduling and last-minute episode switching. Thus, a wholly self-contained episode like "Unrequited," airing just weeks after the momentous events in "Memento Mori," seems out of place and pallid in comparison.

The x-file in this case has to do with invisibility, specifically the paranormal ability of a POW escapee to induce some sort of blind spot in the eyes of others. I didn't really get it, and the writers probably didn't either, but the theme is appropriate: this is an episode largely forgotten amongst the season's pinnacles and for good reason.

As with numerous other Howard Gordon episodes, political overtones float around the script with the subtlety of a brick and a window. Nathaniel Teager, a man left for dead in Vietnam, has returned to the US to carry out his agenda to murder the men responsible for his predicament. Excess preachiness notwithstanding, don't forget this is a theme largely borrowed from season three's "The Walk," which featured basically the same scenario with a few blanks filled in differently.

The generals are not likable characters, the character of Teager is never explored (Peter Lacroix has few spoken lines in the entire episode), an opportunity to explore Skinner's character is all but wasted - despite a contrived mentioning of his time in Vietnam slapped onto the end. Somehow Marita Covarrubias shows up in the mess, reminding us how much Gordon likes to shoehorn his deep throats into plots that don't really necessitate their presence. Even Larry Musser, notable for his sheriff roles in "Die Hand Die Verletzt," "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" and "Chinga," falls flat in his static role of Denny Markham. And somehow at the end of the episode, notable for being one of the series' shortest, it is hard to meet the preceding events with anything but indifference.

There is one scene that I did like, when the agents arrive outside of Markham's compound, and Scully, scanning the perimeter, briefly spots Teager standing in the background. This is truly a creepy scene, and adds a distinguished touch that is unfortunately lacking just about everywhere else.

Overall, this is a fairly skippable episode. There are no particularly interesting characters, the plot has been seen in other episodes, the script is filled with political clichés and just seems far too reminiscent of other Gordon episodes. For the forty-something minutes I invested in this, I feel as though my reward was unrequited.


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