The X-Files: Season 5, Episode 3

Unusual Suspects (16 Nov. 1997)
"The X Files" Unusual Suspects (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,471 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

In 1989, the Lone Gunmen meet for the first time when they assist a woman who claims the government plans to use civilians in a secret experiment.



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Title: Unusual Suspects (16 Nov 1997)

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Episode cast overview:
Dana Scully (credit only)
Signy Coleman ...
Chris Nelson Norris ...
SWAT Lieutenant
Stuart O'Connell ...
Kenneth H. Hawryliw ...
Himself (as Ken Hawryliw)


The origins of the Lone Gunmen and their relationship with Mulder are revealed in this episode. All three were at a computer and electronics trade show in Baltimore in 1989 when they put their antagonism to one another aside to help a woman, Susann Modeski, who claims her boyfriend kidnapped her daughter. In fact, she's a government scientist on the run from security officers. She tells them about a massive government conspiracy and they inform their new found friend Mulder, who finds it all a bit far-fetched. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

16 November 1997 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is Steven Williams' last appearance before the series finale. See more »


Near the end a dark car is driving away from the Baltimore Guardian newspaper office. As the car is driving away a billboard for "CBC Radio Two" is briefly visible revealing this was shot in Canada rather than then United States. See more »


Frohike: Sure, baby, my kung-fu is the best.
See more »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.105 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

I heard it was a lone gunman.
6 October 2006 | by (Washington Terrace, Utah) – See all my reviews

When viewing this episode again to write this review, I was surprised by how much I liked it. I remember I liked it, but not this much. This is a near-perfect episode written by the amazing Vince Gilligan. It showed that the Lone Gunmen could carry an episode by themselves successfully. When an episode makes me forget about Scully, which is hard to do, you know that it has done its job. Even Mulder has very few scenes in Unusual Suspects, but the viewer doesn't care. Not only is it a well-written story, but I found it very intriguing to see the origins of the lone gunmen. Mulder indirectly forms their group, as they come together to help Susanne Modeski, for whom Mulder is searching. Signy Coleman does an outstanding job as the mysterious Susanne Modeski. Susanne is a tough woman, who can pull her own tooth out. Ouch! We see that Frohike has always been a pervert. The Lone Gunmen don't even like each other at first. They just work together to help a pretty lady. X returns to do his standard cover-up operation. I love how he just ignores the three stooges as his men are doing the clean-up, like they are invisible. Then, of course, he gives a line, which ends up being the name they take upon themselves. Unusual Suspects surprises you with how good it is, and thankfully, gets a sequel later on in season six.

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