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"Quagmire" is the twenty-second episode of the third season of The X-Files.


In a small town, Mulder and Scully investigate rumors of a prehistoric lake monster called Big Blue.



Mulder e Scully examine whats affirm are one of scales of Big Blue.

Mulder and Scully investigate a missing person case after Dr. Bailey's body disappears at the edge of a large lake. Apparently, he and another scientist, Dr. Faraday, had a heated discussion, in which Dr. Faraday told Dr. Bailey that nature should be preserved (frog population was down), not only for future generations, but also out of respect. Nature is dangerous. Scully brings along her dog, Queequeg, because of Mulder's hasty schedule. In his case debriefing, Mulder tells Scully about the case of another missing person, involving a Boy Scout leader. Scully wonders why a missing person's case would attract Mulder's fascination, until she finds out that the place is the home of a legendary lake monster called "Big Blue."

Mulder and Scully then ask the local bait shop what they believe in this tale. The locals enjoy the publicity because it brings tourists like them. A local man makes it his priority to photograph Big Blue and make a movie. Despite his persistent efforts to do so, and out of the hundreds of photos taken, he has been unsuccessful.

The Boy Scout Troop Leader's body then resurfaces, or at least half of it. Mulder and Scully discuss nature, saying that while we may eat them, they, ultimately, eat us. The halved body is still not enough evidence for Scully. She believes that a possible propeller in some kind of boat could have done that much damage. Even if it didn't halve the man, he would have been finished off by the nibbling/ biting of local fish. "Were they saving the other half for later?" Mulder asks. On the contrary, Mulder believes that this "mystical" creature is a prehistoric dinosaur. It has been attacking people because it is being forced to protect itself from colonization; not alien, from locals. The frog population was also dying out, meaning that the creature was being driven into the woods to find alternative food sources; the water was being polluted and being used more by people.


The agents rent a boat to explore the lake.

The two then decide to have a little stake-out. While Mulder looks through all of the pictures taken by the determined local, Scully takes Queequeg out for a walk. Unfortunately, it was his last. Scully never did see what bit through the dog's leash and took him away. Mulder, being as sympathetic as he can, decides to go out for a boat ride and quench this mystery once and for all.


The agents end up stranded on a rock.

While driving the boat, Mulder notices something on radar: it's big and fast, coming straight for them. Whatever was in the water crashed into the side of their boat, forcing them to abandon ship. They rest of a rock out in the middle of the lake, thinking that they're miles from shore and that the water is too deep. While sitting there, Mulder and Scully have a meaningful conversation. Scully talks about her dad and his respect for the sea and nature, and Mulder delves into his beliefs of cannibalism and life. Scully compares Mulder to Captain Ahab, being so driven to find the answer that it will destroy his life and ultimately kill him. Mulder doesn't notice the criticism, but rather how Scully is able to know and list everything about him through the analogy.


Big Blue curiously watches the Agents leave.

Dr. Faraday discovers them sitting on the rock, but they're fairly close to shore. Later on, Faraday is attacked by something in the woods. He is hurt, but does manage to survive. Mulder races after the creature despite Scully's pleas. The creature surprises and charges Mulder, who empties his gun into it before it finally dies. The creature turned out to be an alligator, of all things. Disappointed, he and Scully have one last look at the lake. Scully tells Mulder that there are more mysteries out there to be solved, and that just because this adventure didn't support his theory, he shouldn't give up. As they turn away, the real Big Blue, indeed a plesiosaur-like creature, rises up from the water to watch them before diving back down below the surface, unnoticed by either Mulder or Scully.


Georgia; Lariat Rent-a-car; Big Blue; Moby Dick; Ahab; Starbuck; Queequeg

Background Information


  • This episode marks the final appearance of Scully's dog, Queequeg, which was previously seen in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "War of the Coprophages".  In a 2013 "Ask Me Anything" forum on Reddit, Gillian Anderson joked (or perhaps not) that she was not sorry to see Queequeg go: "That dog killed people with its farts and it deserved to die a nasty death in the mouth of that alligator or whatever it was. Ugh. I had to shampoo it, or walk away every few seconds, because these puffs of nastiness kept happening."
  • The characters "Stoner" and "Chick", played by Tyler Labine and Nicole Parker, first appeared in "War of the Coprophages."
  • Darin Morgan reportedly made uncredited contributions to the script (particularly the conversation on the rock), hence there are several references to his previous Season 3 episodes.
  • Sky Television mentioned Queequeg's death in their synopsis of this episode.
  • Heuvelmans Lake was actually Buntzen Lake, just north of Coquitlam, BC. The map of the lake used by Mulder is an actual map of Buntzen.
  • In X-Files:Resist or Serve, a Quagmire Movie poster can be found at Wetwired Video in Red Falls Colorado. Apparently somebody used the events of Quagmire to make a movie.
  • This is the only episode with correct, real world uniforms and logos in reference to the U.S. Forest Service.

Cast and Characters



Guest Starring


External Links

The X-Files episodes
Season 1
"Pilot" ・ "Deep Throat" ・ "Squeeze" ・ "Conduit" ・ "The Jersey Devil" ・ "Shadows" ・ "Ghost in the Machine" ・ "Ice" ・ "Space" ・ "Fallen Angel"
"Eve" ・ "Fire" ・ "Beyond the Sea" ・ "Gender Bender" ・ "Lazarus" ・ "Young at Heart" ・ "E.B.E." ・ "Miracle Man" ・ "Shapes" ・ "Darkness Falls"
"Tooms" ・ "Born Again" ・ "Roland" ・ "The Erlenmeyer Flask"
Season 2
"Little Green Men" ・ "The Host" ・ "Blood" ・ "Sleepless" ・ "Duane Barry" ・ "Ascension" ・ "3" ・ "One Breath" ・ "Firewalker" ・ "Red Museum"
"Excelsis Dei" ・ "Aubrey" ・ "Irresistible" ・ "Die Hand Die Verletzt" ・ "Fresh Bones" ・ "Colony" ・ "End Game" ・ "Fearful Symmetry" ・ "Død Kalm"
"Humbug" ・ "The Căluşari" ・ "F. Emasculata" ・ "Soft Light" ・ "Our Town" ・ "Anasazi"
Season 3
"The Blessing Way" ・ "Paper Clip" ・ "D.P.O." ・ "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" ・ "The List" ・ "2Shy" ・ "The Walk" ・ "Oubliette" ・ "Nisei" ・ "731"
"Revelations" ・ "War of the Coprophages" ・ "Syzygy" ・ "Grotesque" ・ "Piper Maru" ・ "Apocrypha" ・ "Pusher" ・ "Teso Dos Bichos" ・ "Hell Money"
"José Chung's From Outer Space" ・ "Avatar" ・ "Quagmire" ・ "Wetwired" ・ "Talitha Cumi"
Season 4
"Herrenvolk" ・ "Home" ・ "Teliko" ・ "Unruhe" ・ "The Field Where I Died" ・ "Sanguinarium" ・ "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" ・ "Tunguska"
"Terma" ・ "Paper Hearts" ・ "El Mundo Gira" ・ "Leonard Betts" ・ "Never Again" ・ "Memento Mori" ・ "Kaddish" ・ "Unrequited" ・ "Tempus Fugit"
"Max" ・ "Synchrony" ・ "Small Potatoes" ・ "Zero Sum" ・ "Elegy" ・ "Demons" ・ "Gethsemane"
Season 5
"Redux" ・ "Redux II" ・ "Unusual Suspects" ・ "Detour" ・ "The Post-Modern Prometheus" ・ "Christmas Carol" ・ "Emily" ・ "Kitsunegari"
"Schizogeny" ・ "Chinga" ・ "Kill Switch" ・ "Bad Blood" ・ "Patient X" ・ "The Red and the Black" ・ "Travelers" ・ "Mind's Eye" ・ "All Souls"
"The Pine Bluff Variant" ・ "Folie à Deux" ・ "The End"
Season 6
"The Beginning" ・ "Drive" ・ "Triangle" ・ "Dreamland" ・ "Dreamland II" ・ "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" ・ "Terms of Endearment"
"The Rain King" ・ "S.R. 819" ・ "Tithonus" ・ "Two Fathers" ・ "One Son" ・ "Agua Mala" ・ "Monday" ・ "Arcadia" ・ "Alpha" ・ "Trevor" ・ "Milagro"
"The Unnatural" ・ "Three of a Kind" ・ "Field Trip" ・ "Biogenesis"
Season 7
"The Sixth Extinction" ・ "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" ・ "Hungry" ・ "Millennium" ・ "Rush" ・ "The Goldberg Variation" ・ "Orison"
"The Amazing Maleeni" ・ "Signs and Wonders" ・ "Sein Und Zeit" ・ "Closure" ・ "X-Cops" ・ "First Person Shooter" ・ "Theef" ・ "En Ami" ・ "Chimera"
"all things" ・ "Brand X" ・ "Hollywood A.D." ・ "Fight Club" ・ "Je Souhaite" ・ "Requiem"
Season 8
"Within" ・ "Without" ・ "Patience" ・ "Roadrunners" ・ "Invocation" ・ "Redrum" ・ "Via Negativa" ・ "Surekill" ・ "Salvage" ・ "Badlaa" ・ "The Gift"
"Medusa" ・ "Per Manum" ・ "This is Not Happening" ・ "DeadAlive" ・ "Three Words" ・ "Empedocles" ・ "Vienen" ・ "Alone" ・ "Essence"
Season 9
"Nothing Important Happened Today" ・ "Nothing Important Happened Today II" ・ "Dæmonicus" ・ "4-D" ・ "Lord of the Flies" ・ "Trust No 1"
"John Doe" ・ "Hellbound" ・ "Provenance" ・ "Providence" ・ "Audrey Pauley" ・ "Underneath" ・ "Improbable" ・ "Scary Monsters" ・ "Jump the Shark"
"William" ・ "Release" ・ "Sunshine Days" ・ "The Truth"
Season 10
"My Struggle" ・ "Founder's Mutation" ・ "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" ・ "Home Again" ・ "Babylon" ・ "My Struggle II"
Season 11
"My Struggle III" ・ "This" ・ "Plus One" ・ "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" ・ "Ghouli" ・ "Kitten" ・ "Rm9sbG93ZXJz" ・ "Familiar"
"Nothing Lasts Forever" ・ "My Struggle IV"