24 April 2007

Season 3: Pusher (3X17)

Writer: Vince Gilligan
Director: Rob Bowman

When Robert Modell, who calls himself 'Pusher', confesses to the murders of fourteen people, who's deaths had been classified as suicide, his details of the crime scenes convince the FBI that he is telling the truth. Agent Frank Burst leads the team who arrest Modell in a grocery market in Virginia, however Modell talks to the deputy driving the patrol car and mesmerises him in to pulling out in to the path of an oncoming truck. Modell escapes from the car wreck leaving the deputy dead and Agent Burst injured.

Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate by Agent Burst who beings them up to speed on the case. A clue left by Modell on the patrol car leads Mulder to the American Ronin magazine, he finds cryptic adverts that show Modell has been working as a contract killer. They trace the telephone number from the advert to a golf driving range and attempt to arrest Modell for a second time. Modell induces one of the SWAT team members to set fire to himself but Modell collapses and is unable to escape.

Mulder becomes convinced that Modell is using psychic powers to control people's minds. A theory given credence when Modell mesmerises the Judge in to letting him walk free. Having found a worthy opponent Modell uses his unique ability once more to gain access to the FBI building in Washington to get details about Mulder. As they embark on a game of cat and mouse with Modell, Mulder realises they are playing for his and Scully's lives.

The character Pusher's real name was Robert Patrick Modell. This was about five years before the actor Robert Patrick joined the cast.

Fox Broadcasting had some problems with the Russian roulette scene. Apparently there had never been a Russian roulette sequence in any other one-hour drama on network tv in the US up to that time. It took some serious discussion between Vince Gilligan, the writer of this episode, and the network to allow the sequence.

In the teaser where Modell is taken into custody, he looks at a tabloid with a monster on the cover. This monster bears a striking resemblence to the one from Season 2's ''The Host''.

''Foo Fighters'' member David Grohl and his wife, Jennifer Youngblood-Grohl, can be seen in the background as Modell enters the foyer of the FBI building.

FBI Agent 'Holly', who beats up Skinner, owes her name to writer Vince Gilligan's girlfriend, Holly Rice.

Your turn, Scully. Got to play by the rules. Pull the trigger, Mulder.
Scully: Mulder, fight him. You can fight this.
Pusher: Come on. Pull the trigger, Mulder. She shot you, I read it in her files. Payback time... shoot the little spy!
(Modell is trying to make Mulder shoot himself)
Scully: No, Mulder. Don't do this! Don't ---
(Mulder pulls the trigger)
Scully: (Screaming) No! You bastard!

Mulder: Modell psyched the judge out, he put the whammy on him.
Scully: Please explain to me the scientific nature of the 'whammy'.

Highlights from Pusher

Episode Number: 66
Season Number: 3
First Aired: Friday February 23, 1996
Production Code: 3X17

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