Pusher | The K Files | The X Files Podcast | Case File 402
It’s season four of The K Files – time for deep cuts. Agents kicks off a ten episode investigation into the most heinous monsters in all of X Files-dom, those humans perpetrating serial cruelty on other humans, starting with 3rd season thriller, Pusher.
The show’s rogues gallery features a number of serial killers from all over the seasons who are in many ways more frightening then their more supernatural compatriots. In this episode, we meet Robert Patrick Modell (played by Robert Wisden), aka Pusher, a man seemingly capable of bending people to his will. Once Modell gets a load of Mulder, the two men are locked into a destiny involving pistols and sad Scully eyes.
Pusher is Mulder’s photo negative – where Fox looks perfect on paper but in reality, can’t swim through official/normal channels due to past pain (+ a few eccentricities) and Pusher falls apart on paper but in the real world is the smoothest guy in the room through force of will. Mulder serves order/justice but is still in touch with mystical/supernatural elements versus Pusher, who considers himself a warrior who serves no master and conversely draws his power from sickness.
The wonderful thing the character of Pusher demonstrates (thanks to magic making writer Vince Gilligan) is that when one wields power over a creature with less power, as Pusher does in this episode, ultimately the pain and suffering returns to the person who inflicted it. Pusher manipulates people using his power and he grows sicker, weaker, closer to dying. Mulder is much more gentle by comparison (see: Emily), or at the very least more attuned to the invisible worlds and therefore less inclined to obliterate any spirit of life. He loves his fish, for Pete’s sake. He’s spent a lifetime searching for a little girl he loved, who died. Pusher hasn’t learned this kind of simple quiet yet, though he will, later on, in next week’s case file, Kitsunegari.
But in this chapter, the dance the characters perform exploring their duality is tense and exciting to watch unfold; director Rob Bowman photographs Duchovny and Anderson’s faces and captures some very real emotion from them and their young, ruddy, beautiful faces. Not just in the climactic roulette scene but throughout in little moments, in the phone booth, sitting at a table across from Modell and a pistol.
The point is, in really great XF episodes (re: Vince Gilligan) you can always see: in some episodes Mulder and Scully are pulling apart a little, like in Never Again, or in this episode, they feel like they’re pulling together. Their faces are constantly next to each other, it’s wonderful from a fan’s standpoint and a little too hot for shippers, hoo boy.
Open the case file below for the full report on Pusher:
The K Files has a new investigation every Wednesday! We return next week with the conclusion to Modell’s story, Kitsunegari aka “Fox Hunt.”
Mulder: “That’s a little on the nose, don’t you think?”
The truth is already here.