Recap / The X-Files S05 E18 "The Pine Bluff Variant"

Mulder goes undercover in a terrorist organization that has access to a horrifying biological weapon.


  • After Action Patch Up: Scully treats Mulder's broken finger when he comes to his apartment.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Mulder is about to be shot but one of the terrorists is shot instead.
  • Bank Robbery: But a fake one.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Mulder, led to a secret location and about to get his finger broken.
    Mulder: Is this the Pepsi Challenge? How ’bout some, uh, fresh air, boys?
    Terrorist: Welcome, Agent Mulder... This is just a little method that we use to learn the truth.
    Mulder: Well, you might want to put that hood back on me unless you want to see a grown man cry.
  • Continuity Nod: Mulder's anti-government rant at the UFO convention in "Patient X" appears to be what brought him to the group's attention as a possible defector.
  • Fingore: Mulder gets tortured and his finger gets broken.
  • If I Do Not Return:
    Mulder: If you don't hear from me by midnight ... feed my fish.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Mulder's loyalty is tested when he is ordered to kill a wounded hostage. Turns out the group leader was a mole all along; that's why he suffered no repercussions.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The New Spartans, played monstrously straight.
  • Something Completely Different: An X-Files episode without an X-File. No alien invasions, Myth Arc tie-ins, or Monster of the Week. Instead, it's a paranoid thriller about a group of terrorists with a genetically-engineered bioweapon. However, it still managed to be about government conspiracies.