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Revision as of 19:41, November 26, 2018

You may be looking for the person of the same name, see Duane Barry.
Duane Barry (episode)   Credits   Gallery   Transcript    

"Duane Barry" is the fifth episode of the second season of The X-Files. It first aired in the United States on October 14, 1994 on the Fox network. The episode was written and directed by series creator Chris Carter, his first directorial effort. Duane Barry helped explore the series Mythology arc.


Mulder becomes involved in a hostage situation with an escaped psychiatric patient who claims to be terrified of frequent alien abductions. (Part 1 of 2)


A psychiatric patient named Duane Barry seizes a guard's gun and kidnaps his psychiatrist, Doctor Del Hakkie. He soon holes up in a travel agency with three other hostages. Special Agent Fox Mulder is called in on the case and attempts to negotiate with Barry, as part of his psychiatric history involves alien abduction. During the negotiation there's suddenly an unexplained bright light from above and various electrical blackouts which spook Barry enough that he starts randomly shooting about, causing one of the hostages to be shot. Mulder, under the guise of a paramedic, is sent in with another to help save hostage's life. Eventually, gaining his trust, he exchanges himself as a hostage for the shot man. Mulder further gains Barry's trust with stories of his sister's own abduction, while Dana Scully combs through the FBI records for information on Barry.

Team Duane Barry

A hostage rescue team coaching Mulder in his negotiations with Duane Barry.

Scully discovers that Barry is a former FBI agent who was shot in the head in the line of duty, destroying the moral center of his brain and making him delusional - similar to Phineas Gage's accident in 1848. She goes to the command post outside the travel agency and talks to Mulder through a hidden communication device in his ear, warning him that Barry is not what Mulder thinks he is.

Barry tells Mulder that he has been abducted by aliens and the subject of various tests. We see him on an alien ship having his teeth drilled into with some kind of laser. He claims there are implants in his teeth, sinus cavities and his abdomen. After Mulder convinces him to free the two female hostages, an FBI sniper shoots Barry in the chest, seriously wounding him. Barry is taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

Grey Aliens Abduction Duane Barry

Grey aliens as they appeared to Duane Barry.

An examination confirms Barry's claims about the implants and Scully takes possession of a ragged-shaped metal piece that was in his abdomen. A microscopic analysis shows what appear to be lines similar to a bar code. The lab also tells her that the implants could not have been done with modern technology.

Later, at the grocery store, as the cashier is away from the post, on a whim Scully scans the piece of metal on the laser grocery scanner and the cash register goes haywire, displaying a strange, scrambled readout on the display. Perplexed, she rushes home to tell Mulder what happened.

Barry awakens in the hospital and is startled by a vision of aliens at his bedside. In a panic, he clubs a guard with a fire extinguisher and escapes.

Scully calls Mulder and is leaving a message on his answering machine when she hears a noise; on investigating she's startled by Barry who's standing outside her window, peering in. At Mulder's empty apartment, the recorder picks up the sound of breaking glass and her cries for help as she's attacked.

To be continued...


Virginia; tooth; Laser drilling device

Background Information


  • This is the first half of the first two-parter in The X-Files. The story is continued in the following episode, "Ascension".
  • In a scene that takes place near the end of this episode, Scully buys pickles and ice cream from a supermarket. This is a reference to actress Gillian Anderson's pregnancy at the time this episode was filmed.
  • This was the first installment of The X-Files to be directed by Chris Carter.
  • Three Primetime Emmy Award nominations were garnered for this episode: C. C. H. Pounder for her portrayal of Agent Kazdin, John S. Bartley (director of photography) for cinematography and Chris Carter for writing the show.


  • After the power goes out, both Mulder and Duane Barry are seen using cordless phones.


  • This episode earned a Nielsen rating of 8.9, with a 16 share, meaning that roughly 8.9 percent of all television-equipped households, and 16 percent of households watching television, were tuned in to the episode.[13] It was viewed by 8.5 million households.
  • The episode was well received by the cast and crew of The X-Files.
  • Carter himself described it as one of his favorite episodes because "it was a chance for me to sort of do it all, and it came out in ways better than I imagined it would" (The X-Files: the Complete Second Season, Chris Carter Talks About Season 2: "Duane Barry")
  • The episode received largely positive reviews from television critics.
  • Robert Shearman and Lars Pearson, in their book Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen, gave the episode a glowing review and rated it five stars out of five.[The two called it "a career best for Chris Carter" and praised his writing and directing, noting that both were "powerfully" and "passionately" done. Shearman and Pearson also applauded the episode's simplicity, citing it as the factor that made the entry stand out from others.

Cast and Characters


Main Cast

Guest Starring



External Links

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