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Recap / The X-Files S05 E19 "Folie Deux"

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Season 5, Episode 19:

Folie à Deux
"Mrs. Loach... listen very carefully. It’s here."
Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by Kim Manners

Scully: You... you went through a terrible ordeal and sometimes people in close associations under tense conditions, the delusions of one can be passed on to the other.
Mulder: Folie à Deux? It’s not that, Scully. It’s not Helsinki Syndrome either. What I saw was real, and there may be a way to prove it.

After intervening in a hostage situation at a telemarketing firm, Mulder begins to believe the gunman was telling the truth about his employer being a monster, but can't get anyone else to believe him.


  • Affably Evil: Pincus' human form is a very likeable, down-to-earth guy. Don't let that fool you.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Pincus is some sort of insectoid monster that can create a glamour to disguise itself and convert others to zombie slaves with its bite.
  • Continuity Nod: Mulder still has his left pinkie taped from when it was broken in "The Pine Bluff Variant".
  • The Extremist Was Right: Despite reacting to it pretty terribly, if understandably, Gary Lambert was absolutely right about his boss.
  • Foreign Language Title: A French phrase, meaning "madness of two" or a shared delusion.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending.
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  • Holding Hands: Scully holds Mulder's hand during their entire "one in five billion" conversation.
  • Humanoid Abomination: We don't exactly know what Greg Pincus is, but human definitely isn't on the list of options.
  • Karma Houdini: Pincus and his group of monsters get away in the end and set up shop in another call center. But there is another guy like Lambert over there who seems to know they exist.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Pincus big time, with his genial innocent act. Especially when he morphs into his true form while standing behind Skinner in front of Mulder to make it look like he's about to attack Skinner, causing Mulder to attack him and come off looking and sounding crazy.
  • Monster of the Week: A very effective and smart one.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: You only see the monster in brief, out-of-focus shots. This was the result of the special effects team desperately trying to cover up a disappointing costume, but it works very well.
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  • Obscured Special Effects: The villainous monster was played by an actor in a giant bug costume, which the cast and crew found too ridiculous to be scary. So the visual effects editor hid the costume by adding a surreal, creepy motion blur to its movements.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Pincus' bite converts victims into un-dead slaves that appear unchanged to the unaware but are quite visibly dead to those not affected by his glamour.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Mulder denies having "Helsinki syndrome" or folie à deux with the now-dead hostage taker, both terms roughly equivalent to this. Of course both Lambert and Mulder (and in her own time, Scully) turn out to be completely right.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Mulder to Scully.
    Mulder: Scully, you have to believe me. No-one on this whole damn planet does or ever will. You're my one in five billion.
  • Wham Shot: Mulder turning and seeing what Gary Lambert sees, realizing he isn't hallucinating or crazy, altering the entire dynamic of the tense hostage scene to him and the viewer.


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