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Recap / The X-Files S03 E05 "The List"

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On the day of his execution, a death row inmate declares that he will be reincarnated and get his revenge on five men who tormented him in prison. Shortly afterward, the men on his list start dying in mysterious circumstances.

Tropes

  • Amoral Attorney: Averted with Neech's attorney, who seems honest but admits that he was too inexperienced to offer a proper defense at Neech's trial and feels guilty over the outcome. Not that Neech, or whoever the killer is, seems to care.
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  • Danger Takes a Backseat: One of Neech's victims dies when Neech attacks him from the backseat of his car (which had been empty a moment earlier) and forces the car off the road.
  • Death Row
  • Faux Affably Evil: Warden Brodeur seems both friendly and reasonable until he starts beating inmates about halfway through the episode.
  • Flies Equals Evil: Flies appear shortly before each victim is murdered.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's unclear for most of the episode whether Neech actually kills the victims or whether Parmelly, Neech's widow, the inmates or some combination of the above are responsible. Only the murder in the very last scene seems unambiguously supernatural.
  • Pinball Protagonist: This episode was a deliberate effort to have a story in which Mulder's and Scully's presence does nothing to change the end result. They don't even manage to solve the entirely unsupernatural murder of Roque.
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  • Reincarnation: The character who swore revenge came back as a fly.
  • Revenge
  • Scary Black Man: Neech, a few of the inmates, and guard Parmelly.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Neech's wife has promised to stay loyal to him forever, but she doesn't. She feels guilty about it and fears Neech's revenge.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Brodeur is a corrupt, murderous douchebag who regularly beats inmates up.
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