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"Improbable" is the thirteenth episode of the ninth season of The X-Files.


While investigating a serial killer who uses numerology to choose his victims, Reyes and Scully meet an unusual man who may prove more of a hindrance than a help.


This episode cross-cuts two storylines. A killer who is guided by numerology and the influence that Burt Reynolds has on the figures around him. Numbers and particularly multiples of three feature heavily.

Agent Reyes is investigating a series of cases that she believes are linked by numerology. While explaining the case to Scully, Scully spots another possible link - a mark made by the killer's ring on the victims faces. On consulting a numerologist, Reyes ties the murders together, however, the killer also finds the numerologist, murdering her.

Meanwhile, the killer is shown meeting up with a mysterious man (Burt Reynolds) who seems to know a lot about him and his murderous ways. He speaks in an enigmatic way but his words don't seem to make any difference to the killer.

Mr. Burt and the Killer.

Reyes' numerology theories don't go down well at the FBI, but the pattern of the killings when viewed on a map seem to show a spiral or is it a number?

Scully and Reyes revisit the murdered numerologist's office and meet the killer in the elevator. Scully recognizes the ring on the killer's hand and draws her gun on him. The killer slips out of the elevator and gets to the parking lot first. Reyes and Scully arrive only to see a car fleeing the garage and the gate closing behind it. They are stuck in the garage, alone; or maybe not.

They meet another person hiding and demand that he come out. It is a strange man (Burt Reynolds.) To pass the time, Reynolds engages Reyes and Scully in a game of checkers, whose colors (red & black) are surrogates for Scully (a redhead) and Reyes (a brunette). These are the anticipated hair-colors of the next two victims. The exiting car was assumed to contain the killer, but it didn't. They search the garage, but are surprised by the killer. However, Doggett arrives in the nick of time to shoot him. The mysterious man has completely disappeared.

Confused FBI Agents are enlightened about the killer's pattern.

Scully and Reyes chat on the phone and discuss Scully's number while Scully also wonders "Who was that man?" "God Knows..." says Reyes.

In a nearby Italian neighborhood, a party is in progress. Two men sing a jovial song and lead a crowd through the streets. The camera zooms out to reveal that the entire neighborhood from above suggests the appearance of Burt Reynolds face.


Background Information[]

  • As this episode deals with numerology, we can notice that several songs that can be heard in this episode were written and performed by Karl Zero. Those songs come from his album Songs for Cabriolet (y otros tipos de vehiculos), released in 2000,and recorded with the help of famous score composer Alexandre Desplat.
  • The tagline is changed to "Dio ti ama", Italian for "God loves you". This is a reference to Burt Reynolds' character in this episode, who, according to writer, director and series creator Chris Carter, represents God and who "loves the sinner as well as the saint".
  • At the end when Scully calls Reyes, the clock on Reyes bedside table reads 09:09. Reyes later tells Scully that she is a number 9.

Cast and Characters[]



Special Guest Starring

Guest Starring


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