11 April 2007

Season 3: D.P.O. (3X03)

Writer: Howard Gordon
Director: Kim Manners

Mulder and Scully investigate when a statistically impossible number of teenagers are killed by lightning strikes in the small Oklahoma town of Connerville. The latest victim was struck in his car outside a video arcade, his heart cooked in his chest. Mulder is sceptical of the coroner's report, and even Scully finds it hard to believe that so many people could have been struck in such a small area. The local sheriff, Jack Teller has no time for their concerns and puts down the number of victims to their close proximity to a government lightning research centre. But with five young men struck by lightning in the area, four of whom died, Mulder and Scully investigate further.

They visit the video arcade to speak to the owner, he is not much help to them but Mulder notices the initial D.P.O. on one of the video games from the time that the latest victim was struck. The initials match Darren Peter Oswald, the sole survivor of the recent lightning strikes. But when they interview Darren, he claims he was so engrossed in the video game he was playing that he saw nothing. As they talk Mulder's mobile phone begins to smoke and then melts.

Leading Mulder to the conclusion that following his lightning strike Darren, has developed the ability to control and channel lightning. A theory given credence when prints in a fulgarite, created when lightning fuses sandy soil in to glass, match Darren's shoes. But how can you stop someone who can conduct lightning.

Both Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black have gone on to become well known actors in TV and films. Ribisi had a recurring role as Phoebe's brother in ''Friends'' and has appeared in ''Saving Private Ryan'', ''Gone in 60 Seconds'' and ''The Gift''. Black has risen to fame in popular movies ''Shallow Hal'', ''Orange County'', ''School of Rock'', ''King Kong'' and is half of rock duo Tenacious D.

During the filming of this episode director Kim Manners's best friend and the best friend's son died. There was some discussion of having another director replace him, but Manners insisted on seeing things through.

The song 'Hey Man Nice Shot' by the band Filter is featured in the opening of the episode, and later on as Darin kills his friend Zero. The lead singer of the band, Richard Patrick, is the brother of Robert Patrick who would go on to play Agent John Doggett in the final seasons of the series.

At the conclusion of the episode, Chris Carter's Executive Producer credit is seen on the TV that Darin is watching, with Darin's face reflected in it. Until Season 9's 'Improbable', where Carter's credit is in Italian, it remains the only time the closing credits have been altered.

Mulder: Did you see what he did to my phone?
Scully: So what? Are we supposed to charge him for assaulting a cellular phone?

Zero: You know..I've been thinking.
Darin: First time for everything.

Darin: Hey , you know , I think you might wanna be someplace else right now. 'Cause I'm in the mood for a little barbeque.
Zero: No , man , not the cows again!

Episode Number: 52
Season Number: 3
First Aired: Friday October 6, 1995
Production Code: 3X03

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