3X01 . The Blessing Way

3X02 . Paper Clip

3X03 . D.P.O.

3X04 . Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

3X05 . The List

3X06 . 2Shy

3X07 . The Walk

3X08 . Oubliette

3X09 . Nisei

3X10 . 731

3X11 . Revelations

3X12 . War of the Coprophages

3X13 . Syzygy

3X14 . Grotesque

3X15 . Piper Maru

3X16 . Apocrypha

3X17 . Pusher

Another one that's high on my favorites list, especially for Shipper content.

**Synopsis: Mulder and Scully are assigned to a case in which Robert Modell (aka Pusher) murders people with the power of suggestion.**

Oooh, where to begin? This one had numerous pieces of evidence supporting the closeness Mulder and Scully share. First, there's the surveillance of the pay phone. It's almost 3:00 in the morning, and Scully is zonked out on Mulder's shoulder. That's a picture cute enough in itself. Then Mulder reaches to touch her face. "Hey, I think you drooled on me." Scully awakens, startled and embarrassed.

Another one of significant importance would be when Mulder suits up to enter the hospital where Modell has gone in for an MRI. Knowing it would be the safest procedure (in terms of putting numbers of people at risk) and knowing it is he who Modell wants, Mulder chooses to go in alone, strapped up to quite a heaping of technological radio equipment. In the background, Scully looks on, quiet and certainly not happy about Mulder putting himself in such risk.

The tension jumps ten-fold when gunshots ring out. Mulder finds that it was the guard who shot the technician then shot himself. No one else is there. Scully spots a computer monitor with Modell's brain scan and urges Mulder to move closer. There, they confirm Mulder's theory -- that Modell is indeed dying of a brain tumor. Suddenly, Mulder is very still. When he finally turns around, Modell can be seen pointing a gun at Mulder's head. He reaches for Mulder's radio equipment, and all goes black.

Next we see Scully strapping on a bulletproof vest and handing over her gun to a member of the SWAT team. Cautiously, she inches past each hospital room looking for the one where Mulder may be. Finally, she comes to one where Mulder's gear lies on the floor in a heap. Slowly pushing open the door, we see Mulder sitting at a table, staring straight ahead. Pushing the door further reveals Modell on the other side of the table, staring back at Mulder. A revolver sits on the table between them. Playing along to buy time, Scully sits down at the table. Modell speaks to Mulder about being a warrior and unafraid of death. As he does this, he pulls out the chamber of the revolver and spins it. There's one bullet in there, and Mulder gets to have one shot at him. As Mulder picks up the gun, Scully warns him about there being pure oxygen in the room, which could easily ignite. She doesn't even finish her sentence when Mulder pulls the trigger. Scully is startled, but luckily nothing happens -- there was no bullet. Modell is equally startled, but composes himself. "Piece of cake. Your turn." Scully watches in horror as Mulder lifts the revolver to his head. Scully tries to reason with him. " Mulder, listen to me. Give me the gun. We can stop this thing right now. You and I can walk outside of this room..." Mulder pulls the trigger. Nothing. But Scully explodes at Modell -- she jumps to her feet and slams the table. "Damn you! You bastard!" She reaches to take the gun from Mulder, but he pulls the gun on her. Wide eyed, she stops, then urges Mulder to fight Modell. "Mulder, you don't have to do this. You are stronger than this." The fear and pressure is getting to her. Tears begin to well up in her eyes. All the while, Modell keeps pushing Mulder.

Mulder is unable to change his position, but his will breaks through enough to speak. "I am going to kill you, Modell!" But Modell urges him along -- if he pulls the trigger on Scully, he'll get another shot at him. Mulder's finger pulls slowly on the trigger, and the barrel starts to turn. Unable to stop it any longer, he shouts for Scully to run. She spots a fire alarm on the wall and triggers it. It is enough for Mulder to get enough control to get the gun off of her, and he trains it on Modell and fires. Modell falls to the ground.

Analysis? Oh my god ... When Mulder had the gun on Scully, it was loaded in that spot! If his finger had gone another millimeter, Scully would have taken the bullet in the head. Too close for comfort ...

But this tells you something about the strength of Mulder's will. Modell was strong enough to "persuade" Mulder to pull the trigger on him, and even on Mulder himself. BUT, Modell's powers were NOT strong enough to make Mulder shoot Scully. Mulder fought back at that instant to save her life. That power was stronger than the will to save his own.

Mulder sinks into the chair after shooting Modell, no doubt with thoughts about how close he came to shooting Scully. He hands the gun to her without even turning to face her, and buries his face into his hands.

Later, in Modell's hospital room, Mulder stands there regarding the man who almost made him take Scully's life -- something he would never be able to live with, no matter how little there was he could have done to prevent it. Scully walks in, and they quietly discuss Modell's condition. He won't regain consciousness, but Mulder sheds some light on his motives. Modell had refused to undergo treatment, all because this power made him more than the "little man" he was. As they speak, Mulder and Scully, come to terms with what went on earlier. In their very subtle ways, Mulder is sorry for what happened and Scully forgives him. For a few moments, they touch fingers. Then Scully suggests that they not let Modell take up any more of their time.

3X18 . Teso Dos Bichos

3X19 . Hell Money

3X20 . Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"

3X21 . Avatar

3X22 . Quagmire

The best thing of this episode was the conversation between Mulder and Scully on that rock after the boat sank. The greatest stuff from them is always the casual exchanges, and this definitely ranks up there:

MULDER: "Why did you name your dog Queequeg?"
SCULLY: "It was the name of the harpoonist in Moby Dick. My father used to read to me from Moby Dick when I was a little girl, I called him Ahab and he called me Starbuck. So I named my dog Queequeg. It's funny, I just realized something."
MULDER: "It's a bizarre name for a dog, huh?"
SCULLY: "No, how much you're like Ahab. You're so consumed by your personal vengeance against life, whether it be its inherent cruelties or mysteries, everything takes on a warped significance to fit your megalomaniacal cosmology."
MULDER: "Scully, are you coming on to me?"

I think we learn the most about the two of them when they're together, because they're not afraid to be honest and open, and by now, they're comfortable enough with each other to develop great discussions on just about anything. ("Just about" was italicized for good reason ...)

3X23 . Wetwired

3X24 . Talitha Cumi