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Recap / The X-Files S09 E13 "Improbable"

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Season 9, Episode 13:

Improbable

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Dio Ti Ama Translation 
Written and directed by Chris Carter

Doggett: But don't we at least have to accept that as a possibility?
FBI agent: No, we don't.
Reyes: Why?
FBI agent: Because it's highly improbable.
Doggett: But not impossible.
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The agents pursue a serial killer (Ray McKinnon) who appears to be choosing his victims based on numerology, encountering a strange man (Burt Reynolds) in the process.


Tropes:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Doggett swoops in just in time down to the parking garage to prevent Mad Wayne from killing Reyes and Scully, gunning him down.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Agent Reyes finds out that there is a Serial Killer at large and that his pattern consists murdering women in a set of three. Each set has a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. Redheaded Agent Scully and dark-haired Reyes get trapped in an underground garage and fear they might be his next targets.
  • Breather Episode: The killer is played for drama but the rest of the episode is light and good-natured, especially compared to the rest of the grim Season 9.
  • Disappointed in You: Mr. Burt tries to convince the murderer to "surprise him" and walk out of the casino instead of following the blonde into the bathroom to murder her. The sad look on his face displays this trope when the murderer predictably follows her instead with little hesitation. And this continues popping up as he keeps trying and failing to talk down and discourage the murderer from what he is doing.
    Mad Wayne: Go to hell.
    Mr. Burt: Are the reservations in your name? You're a card. You really are a card. But I love you.
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  • "Eureka!" Moment: Doggett had one off screen, realizing that the six on the map was really a nine, and that Scully and Reyes were in trouble.
  • God Was My Copilot: The ending implies that the mysterious man who shows up several times in the episode trying to subtly dissuade the murderer and help the agents pursuing him is God.
  • In Mysterious Ways: The mysterious man who may be God appears to be trying his best to stop the murders in a roundabout, subtle way. Trying to subtly steer the murderer off his path by following and chiding him lightly like a father would his rebellious son instead of directly stopping him from murdering. As well as not telling the agents how to stop him exactly, but implying, wanting them to figure it out for themselves.
  • Numerological Motif: The whole episode deals with numerology and tries to show everything can be expressed in terms of numerological patterns.
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  • Serial Killer: He targets women and kills them in a set of three.
  • Something Completely Different: The episode features, among other things, a comedic guest performance from Burt Reynolds and bizarre musical numbers (and on a show that seldom features songs from commercial artists, no less). Even Fox's bumper for this episode was something different from the usual "standing around and looking serious" business.

♫ Nun me spose chiu. ♫
 
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The X-Files S09 E13

As Burt sings "Ponciana", the motions of the people around him unexpectedly fits the song's beats.

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