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Recap: The X Files S 03 E 17 Pusher


  • Awesome McCoolname: Frank Burst is one, according to Pusher.
  • Compelling Voice: Pusher's key element in forcing his victims to do what he wants.
  • Continuity Nod: See the cover of the magazine in the teaser? It's the Flukeman!
  • Criminal Mind Games: Modell plays with several policemen and FBI agents. Mulder becomes his prime target.
  • Gunman with Three Names: Robert Patrick Modell
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Modell certainly loves Japanese culture.
  • Holding Hands: Mulder and Scully. Twice.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Robert Nodell's Compelling Voice derives from a brain tumor that's killing him. He refuses to treat it because his powers would dissipate.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Pusher
  • Monster of the Week: Very memorable one.
  • Pay Phone: Used very effectively. Modell used them to preserve anonymity.
  • Phone-Trace Race:
  • Plot Hole: A minor one: Why didn't the FBI send Skinner to the hospital with the SWAT team? He already demonstrated his resistance to Pusher's mind control. But then, of course, we wouldn't have had that awesome showdown between Mulder and Pusher.
  • Professional Killer: Modell's ad reads "I solve problems".
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Modell's MO.
  • Psychic Powers: Modell's suggestive ability is a form of psychokinesis brought on by the brain tumour which he doesn't want to treat.
  • Ronin: Modell sees himself as ronin, a samurai without a master who does not fear death.
  • Russian Roulette: In the climax of the episode, Pusher made Mulder play with him and nearly kill Scully.
  • Self-Immolation: Modell forced Agent Collins to set himself on fire.
  • Serial Killer: At first he was a hired hitman and then he targeted law enforcement.
  • Shout-Out: Yojimbo and Svengali.
  • Sleep Cute: Scully falls asleep on Mulder's shoulder during a stakeout.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mulder and Scully think Pusher is "a small man", and that he welcomes the idea of going down as an epic killer.
  • The Sociopath: Modell has no regard for the feelings of others and perceives people as objects.
  • Suicide by Cop: Modell wants to go down as a big badass. Playing Russian roulette with Mulder definitely counts.
  • SWAT Team: They are used at the end of the episode during the climax in the hospital.
  • The Worf Effect: Double Subverted in Skinner's case: Skinner is the only one who wasn't influenced by Modell's compelling suggestions. However, we all get to know what Modell is up to when he gets Skinner beaten up anyway, and by petite Holly on top of that. In the final showdown, even though Mulder proved great force of will, at the end he couldn't actually resist him either. They would have lost if Scully hadn't pulled a fire alarm to break the spell of his voice.
  • Worthy Opponent: Modell was looking for one, and found exactly who he wanted in Mulder.

The X Files S 03 E 16 ApocryphaRecap/The X-FilesThe X Files S 03 E 18 Teso Dos Bichos

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