"3" is the seventh episode of the second season of The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on November 4, 1994. The episode was written by Chris Ruppenthal, Glen Morgan and James Wong, and was directed by David Nutter.
3 is a "Monster-of-the-week" story, independent of the series' mythology arc, and was the first X-Files episode not to feature lead actress Gillian Anderson, who was on leave to give birth to her daughter Piper.
With Scully missing, Mulder closes in on an "Unholy Trinity" of vampiresque killers and finds himself falling for a mysterious woman who is the prime suspect.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
A man, Garrett Lorre, is drinking wine outside his house and surveying a fire in Malibu Canyon, directly below him. He heads inside and remarks there is ash from the fire in his wine. He says this to a woman leaning against an interior door frame. She lights a candle as he tells her he doesn't normally send his family away to leave him free for extramarital affairs, which he implies he is having with the woman. She softly cuts him off, however. They are later in a Jacuzzi. They begin to kiss, though she bites into his arm. He throws her back but she climbs back onto him as two other men jump into the tub. Somebody raises a syringe, and the victim's ashy wine-glass breaks.
At FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Mulder enters his old office, which has been left plastic-covered and abandoned since the X-Files were shut down. He goes about removing the wrap and flipping his calender to the proper month before heading to a file cabinet, where he files an X-file opened on Scully's abduction, along with her glasses and badge. He removes her necklace and stares at it briefly, before his phone rings.
The Los Angeles house of the man attacked earlier is now filled with uniformed investigators. One policeman heads outside to tell Mulder, who has been tracking the case, to leave, but Mulder goes through the crime scene tape anyway, saying he doesn't care about who gets the credit for the case. He continues on to say that, in the past year, there have been six similar murders in two states, and predicts that by the end of the week, there will be two more deaths and the killers will have left the area. He goes on to state case details: smashed mirrors, each victim having been drained of blood and the presence of writing on a wall in the victim's blood. Mulder then gives a profile, saying the killers view themselves as the Unholy Trinity. The cop, apparently moved by Mulder's knowledge, apologizes and starts to introduce him to a detective standing nearby. Mulder interrupts and insists he work alone. The cop admits he's working on limited resources and Mulder says he just requires one thing.
Mulder later calls a local blood blank under the guise of "Marty Mulder" from their payroll service, asking about a W4 form for a new employee. The woman on the line asks if he's talking about "Frank," the night watchman.
At the Hollywood Blood Bank, Mulder searches that facility with a flashlight and gun. He heads downstairs, where he interrupts a man who is sucking blood from a collection bag. The man tries to escape; Mulder brings him down and cuffs him.
Later, the blood-sucking man is screaming about the lights in the interrogation room causing him agony. Curled up in a ball on the floor, two annoyed-looking cops ask him questions which he doesn't answer. Mulder walks in and casually sets a red light on the table which the cops are leaning on, plugs it in, and flips off the overhead lights. Now in red, and apparently able to function again, the man cuts open his hand with a fingernail and sucks the blood. Both cops wince. The man tells them he'll only talk to Mulder, so the cops leave. The man tells Mulder, "He is the father, I am the son, she is the unholy spirit." He says he didn't murder the most recent victim, comparing it to a snake eating a fly. He further claims he will never die. Mulder looks skeptical, slightly more so when the man states he "can't be seen in a mirror," as Mulder is looking at the man's reflection in a mirror. Mulder, not commenting on this or the man's continued rambling, mentions the gas chamber and offers to take that off the table in exchange for the names of his two cohorts. The prisoner refuses because he believes they are the only people who can kill him. Mulder says he knows what can.
At daybreak, Mulder is holding a roll of tin foil. He says he'll cover the windows in exchange for the information. The prisoner refuses this deal, so Mulder leaves. In the interrogation room, time passes quickly and the sun strikes the man. He starts to smoke and burn.
The captive is dead. A man in a white coat suggests to Mulder the detainee had porphyria. Disagreeing with this hypothesis, Mulder now seems to believe the recently deceased person was a vampire. The white-coated man admits Mulder is upsetting him "on several levels." Mulder ignores this and leans down to look at the dead man's arm, where he sees what the consultant in the white coat guesses is an ink stamp. He peels away some skin to reveal some lettering.
In Club Tepes, where many people have a lot of piercings and unusual hairstyles, Mulder spots a woman who is looking in a makeup compact without a mirror. They make eye contact and she speaks to him. He sits and they converse. She probes into his psyche and guesses he's lost someone. Mulder looks somewhat shaken, and he notes she has a syringe in her purse. He quotes the Biblical verse the killers been writing in their victim's homes and she completes it. She then continues her evaluation of him and all but admits that she's involved with the murders. Despite this, Mulder follows her to a more private section of the club. A man at the bar, who was previously in Garret Lorey's house, eyes them as they go and bites his own hand.
The woman introduces herself to Mulder as "Kristen" while she pricks her finger with one of the syringes in her purse. Though she offers the finger to Mulder, he refuses it. She gets up and walks to a man nearby, who takes her proffered finger, then she leads him away. Mulder follows and the man at the bar watches.
Having followed Kristen to a shuttered restaurant, Mulder looks in a back window to see her sucking her companion's neck. A car drives by and the lights shine on the building, attracting both Mulder and Kristen's attention. They make eye contact and she breaks into a run. He attempts to chase her but finds the restaurant's back door locked, so he runs to the front of the building. There, he is knocked down a flight of stairs by the man who Kristen picked up at the bar. Apparently, he consented to the neck-sucking. Mulder groans from his landing on the pavement.
The consenting man is later back in the restaurant and calling for Kristen. He gets punched to the ground by the observer from the bar. Both Kristen and the newcomer fall on the sufferer and consume him.
Mulder is back at the restaurant, this time standing and accompanied by many cops. A forensic dentist has shown up, at his request. The dentist examines the area while Mulder searches around. He discovers Kristen's powder case and a tin of raspberry sauce with some red prints on it. Mulder instructs one of the cops to obtain fingerprints from these before heading back to the dentist, who tells him the bites are human and were made by three people.
In "Marty" Mulder's temporary office space, Mulder is looking at a DMV record of Kristen and an X-file labeled "Trinity Killers". He notes Kristen's two previous addresses were in Portland, Oregon, and Memphis, Tennessee, which is where the two previous Trinity murders were located. "The Unholy Spirit," he mutters.
At Kristen's home, Mulder and more cops execute a search warrant. They find a box of veterinary needles and Mulder finds what appears to be blood-filled bread in an oven, quickly shutting the oven door. He concludes aloud that Kristen is gone and won't be coming back. At 2:15 a.m., Kristen re-enters her house and turns to find Mulder there. He identifies himself and warns her the cops are looking for her. Kristen questions why he's there alone. He doesn't give an answer. She notes that a change in the wind will bring the Malibu Canyon fire their way. They then talk about her involvement in the case. She says her father beat her and then proceeds to recount an incident where her father knocked two of her teeth out, causing her to taste blood running down her throat, a sensation she remarks was the only thing that told her she was alive. She recalls having met John (The Son) in Chicago and that he beat her too. According to her, at one point, he split her lip, she retaliated by biting his lip and they then got involved with what she calls "blood sports." She goes on to say that, one day, John came home with two other men and the situation became "unnatural." She ran to Memphis but they followed each of her subsequent moves. She is now "tired of running." She pulls Dana Scully's cross necklace from Mulder's neck. Kristen expresses that she hopes he finds the person he's lost. Mulder reveals to her that the individual she lost, John, is dead. He advises her to come back to the station with him but she disagrees, intending to clean herself up, a plan he concurs with.
Later that evening, Mulder is nearly nude and shaving his face, sans mirror. Because he complains, Kristen takes his razor and says she will do it, her hand grazing his skily chest hair. While attempting to do so, she knicks him. He stops her from licking the blood, saying it's "not who you are." They proceed to passionately kiss. Watching through the bathroom window is none other than John.
At 5:47 a.m., Kristen is walking through her house when John grabs her. He tells her she "can live forever" and that "we come back." She seems mildly disturbed but says nothing as he grabs two large knives. He continues rambling to her, expressing his love and telling her she needs to kill "him," meaning Mulder. Meanwhile, Mulder is sleeping in a large chair. He awakens as Kristen approaches with one of the large knives. She tells him he has to go, blaming it on the fire. As he stands up, she starts stabbing at something. Startled, Mulder dives behind the chair, watching as the man from the bar falls. Kristen tells him that John isn't dead. Mulder takes her and they both try to escape on foot. As they head for the door, John jumps him, slamming Kristen into the wall as he does. They scuffle, Mulder wins, and he ties John up with a lamp cord. Then, Mulder grabs Kristen and heads for the garage and the car in it. As he starts the vehicle, a woman jumps onto the hood, breaks through the glass and drags him out.
Meanwhile, Kristen has moved to the driver's seat and backs up, sending both Mulder and the woman to the floor. Mulder kicks the female attacker back and Kristen slams the car into her, killing her. Mulder asks Kristen if she's okay and she says she won't leave without John. Mulder moves to get him. As he does, Kristen drives away, and Mulder makes chase, eventually finding the car abandoned on the side of the road.
Back in the house, Kristen is pouring gasoline inside her garage and around her house. John tells her she can't kill him because she isn't one of them. Kristen says she is and lights a match. John shrieks as the flame hits the ground. An explosion rocks the area and Mulder sees it.
Later, Mulder is sitting on a patch of grass while a detachment of firefighters comb through the area that was once Kristen's house. One of them approaches Mulder and says that they found four bodies, just ashes and bones. He walks away when Mulder says nothing. Mulder stares into the distance before pulling Scully's cross from around his neck. Gripping it tightly, he turns his eyes back to the smoke.
- Club Tepes was named for Vlad Tepes, also known as "Vlad the Impaler", who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Similarly, Kristen Kilar's last name could be an allusion to Wojciech Kilar, who composed the score for the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula.
- Some female fans became extremely jealous at the sight of David Duchovny kissing Perrey Reeves on-screen. "They were split about the show," observed Duchovny. (The X-Files Magazine Volume 1, Issue 2, p. 29)
Cast and Characters
- Perrey Reeves, who played Kristen Kilar, was David Duchovny's real-life girlfriend at the time of filming.
- This is one of the few episodes of The X-Files television series in which Gillian Anderson does not appear; the others being Zero Sum, Travelers and Unusual Suspects.
- Malcolm Stewart (Commander Carver) previously played Dr. William Glass in The X-Files episode "Pilot".
- Ken Kramer (Dr. Browning) previously played Dr. Terrance Allen Berube in The X-Files episode "The Erlenmeyer Flask".
- David Duchovny as Special Agent Fox Mulder
- Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully (credit only)
- Tom McBeath as Detective Gwynn
- Malcolm Stewart as Commander Carver
- Frank Ferrucci as Detective Nettles
- Ken Kramer as Dr. Browning
- Roger Allford as Garrett Lorre
- Richard Yee as David Yung
- Brad Loree as Fireman
- Gustavo Moreno as The Father
- John Tierney as Dr. Jacobs
- David Livingstone as Guard