Recap / The X-Files S03 E03 "D.P.O."

A teenager gains the power to control electricity after being hit by lightning.


  • Asshole Victim: Jack, the guy who bullies Oswald in the arcade.
  • Ax-Crazy: Oswald is easily one of the most unstable characters in the entire series. Even associating with him is hazardous to life and limb.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The last shot is of Darin's TV screen that has "Executive Producer: Chris Carter" written on it, then it Fades To Black and the rest of the credits start.
  • Gunman with Three Names: Darin Peter Oswald.
  • Initialism Title: The title of the episode comes from the initials of the Monster of the Week's full name; Darin Peter Oswald.
  • Inspired by...: Writer Howard Gordon described the episode as "Beavis And Butthead electrified".
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Sheriff Teller is one of the most extreme examples of this on the show, giving Mulder and Scully no assistance whatsoever and talking to them like a complete Jerk Ass.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Sheriff Teller seems to strongly believe this trope, although the actual culprit turns out to be more of a case of Electrolytes Can Make Lightning Do Anything.
    Scully: You said it yourself, Sheriff. Not even science can explain how lightning works.
  • Male Gaze: Darin looking at his former teacher's legs from under the car.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Darin Peter Oswald can control lightning and electricity. He changes channels on TV that his mother is watching, and when she tries to change it back, it gets static. At the end of the episode, Mulder and Scully watch institutionalized Darin who stares not quite at a TV in the room. Camera pans over to show the screen, channels changing. There's a shot of deadpan Darin, then the whole screen gets static, and it goes into credits.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Subverted. The first guy we see Darren kill is a real asshole, so it seems like this trope. But later we see him causing car accidents just for fun, so it's really more Kick the Son of a Bitch.
  • Shock and Awe: Darin can call down lightning and control electricity in general. He occasionally fries cows with the lightning. Poor animals. Later he moves up to killing people.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Darin creepily follows his former teacher, Mrs. Kiveat who was the first person ever who was kind to him. She got him work at her husband's car-repair shop. Now he dreams of a life with her, and she's terrified of him.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Darin has a major and very creepy crush on Mrs. Kiveat, though she doesn't return his feelings.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Darin comes off as sociopathic, killing cows with lightning and causing car accidents with his abilities just for fun and to get it on with his crush.
  • Weather Manipulation: Darin can control lightning.