The X-Files (1993– )
16 user 5 critic


Reyes, Doggett, and Scully are pulled into a bizarre serial murder case involving the number '3', numerology on a whole, and an eccentric man who likes to play checkers.


Chris Carter


Chris Carter (created by), Chris Carter

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Robert Patrick ... John Doggett
Annabeth Gish ... Monica Reyes
Burt Reynolds ... Mr. Burt
Ray McKinnon ... Mad Wayne
John Kapelos ... Special Agent Fordyce
Ellen Greene ... Vicki Louise Burdick
Beth Watson Beth Watson ... Woman
Ernesto Gasco Ernesto Gasco ... Heavy Italian Man
Benito Prezia Benito Prezia ... Old Italian Man
Amy D'Allesandro Stolz ... Amy (as Amy D'Allessandro)
Angelo Vacco ... Guido / Bartender
Nick DeMarinis Nick DeMarinis ... Pizza Guy (as Nick De Marinis)
Shannon Maureen Brown Shannon Maureen Brown ... Pretty Blonde
Larry Udy Larry Udy ... Middle-Aged Man


Reyes, Doggett, and Scully are pulled into a bizarre serial murder case involving the number '3', numerology on a whole, and an eccentric man who likes to play checkers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

7 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


They had to stop the shooting several times because of Gillian Anderson's reaction when Burt Reynolds danced. See more »


Mr. Burt: What's this about numbers?
Dana Scully: Will you just...!
Mr. Burt: I'm very good with numbers.
Monica Reyes: The killer is driven by an impulse we believe is numerological.
Mr. Burt: Of course, he's a serial killer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the main title for the ninth season, a piece of paper flashes across the screen listing "FBI Contacts: Witnesses and Contributors." The names on the list are screen names of the series' on-line fans. For episodes #9.01-#9.11, the names were randomly picked from various X-Files message boards. For episodes #9.12-#9.19, the names came from contest entries. See more »


(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
Written by Deek Watson and William "Pat" Best
Performed by Karl Zéro
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User Reviews

There's always checkers.
26 November 2007 | by MuldernscullySee all my reviews

Severely lacking in seasons 8 & 9, was some fun. Chris Carter finally discovered that and gave us Improbable before the end of the series. What captures your attention right away is the music in this episode. It is so catchy, and fun! I just can't help moving my feet to it.

This is Reyes' first chance to do comedy, I guess Doggett's as well, though it doesn't feel like it because of all his clever one-liners we are used to hearing.

I like the cinematography at the beginning of the episode as Reyes is walking through the FBI as people are passing her left and right. Very creative.

The FBI finally upgraded the x-files office overhead projector. Reyes uses a very sleek-looking hi-tech one.

Burt Reynolds is perfect in his "Role". Very enjoyable. The garage segment is just classic. I like the message that Carter is trying to get across in this episode, although Wayne-O never gets it, unfortunately. Ray McKinnon also does an excellent job as Mad Wayne or Wayne-O, as Burt Reynolds calls him.

I also like this episode because it offers a different combination. Instead of Scully and Doggett or Doggett and Reyes, it's Scully and Reyes for the most part. Power to the women! I found it very interesting that Carter uses a brand new A.D. to run the case instead of A.D. Skinner. I was hoping that Carter would explain why he used a new character instead of Skinner in his commentary, but he doesn't. Also an interesting note from the commentary: Ray McKinnon, who plays Mad Wayne, won an Oscar for a short film he wrote and directed while filming this episode.

Reyes' theory on numerology gets a little tiring, but not enough for me to drop this episode a point. The music is catchy and contagious, the dialogue is funny and entertaining, and though it seems "improbable", Improbable is one of the best episodes of season nine.

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