3×03 D.P.O.

Darin P. Oswald, a nineteen year-old resident of Connerville, Oklahoma, argues with twenty-one year-old Jack Hammond over a video arcade game. The altercation escalates, and Jack, by far the bigger of the two, knocks Darin to the floor. Moments later, the electricity within the arcade seemingly falls under Darin’s power. Frightened, Jack runs to his automobile and attempts to drive away. An intense electrical field engulfs the car, killing Jack.

As Mulder and Scully examine Jack’s body, the local coroner describes how five other young people were killed in the same manner. Sheriff Jack Teller corrects the coroner’s statement, noting four people died but one survived. Scully believes it is statistically improbable for so many people in such a small area to have been struck by lightning-especially when only 60 people die of being struck by lightning each year in the United States.

Nonetheless, Mulder and Scully visit the video arcade. Darin’s friend, Zero, who works at the arcade and witnessed the killing, acts suspiciously and provides little help. Mulder notices the initials “D.P.O.” logged on a video game’s list of top scorers. The initials match those of Darin Peter Oswald — the one victim who survived being stuck by lightning.

While working at a local garage, Darin approaches Sharon Kiveat, a former high school teacher. Darin harbors a crush on the attractive woman, but he is unable to act upon his fantasies because Sharon is married to his boss, Frank. Later, the agents pay a visit to the garage and interview Darin about Jack’s death. Darin claims he was so wrapped up in his game he did not notice what had happened. During the interview, Mulder’s cell phone suddenly and inexplicably melts.

The next day, the agents examine a field where several cows were killed by lightning. They discover a fulgarite, an area where the lightning fused sandy soil into glass. Imbedded within the fulgarite is a shoe print. Scully makes a cast of the print and discovers it came from a size eight and a half military boot. She also finds a small quantity of antifreeze within the glass, which Mulder deduces came from the garage. The agents visit Darin’s home, and discover that his shoe size is eight and a half. They also find Sharon Kiveat’s photograph.

Using his powers, Darin alters a traffic light signal and causes an automobile accident. Frank drives his tow truck to the scene to remove the vehicles. Darin then causes Frank to collapse from an apparent heart attack. Paramedics rush to his aid, but find their defibrillator inoperative. Darin rushes to Frank’s side and revives him with his bare hands.

Scully examines Darin’s medical history and discovers he suffers from a severe chemical imbalance. Mulder theorizes how the electrolyte imbalance might enable Darin to generate electricity levels much higher than normal. The agents take Darin into custody, but Sheriff Teller releases him due to the improbable nature of the charges. Darin travels to the video arcade. There, a terrified Zero insists he did not squeal on his friend. Zero tries to escape, but Darin kills him by generating a lightning bolt.

Darin proceeds to the hospital and enters Frank’s room looking for Sharon. Instead, he finds Scully, her gun drawn. Sharon ends the showdown by agreeing to follow Darin outside. Sharon suddenly breaks free and runs to safety. When Teller and Mulder surround the teenager, he summons a lightning bolt. The energy kills Teller and knocks Darin to the ground, unconscious. He is arrested and placed in a psychiatric hospital.

Original Air Date: 10/06/95

Directed by KIM MANNERS

DAVID DUCHOVNY as Special Agent Fox Mulder
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully
Also Starring: MAR ANDERSON as Jack Hammond
GIOVANNI RIBISI as Darren Oswald
JACK BLACK as Bart Liquori (“Zero”)
ERNIE LIVELY as Sherrif Teller
KAREN WITTER as Sharon Kiveat
STEVE MAKAJ as Frank Kiveat
KATE ROBBINS as Darren’s mom
BRENT CHAPMAN as the Traffic Cop
JASON ANTHONY GRIFFITH as the First Paramedic
CAVAN CUNNINGHAM as the Second Paramedic
BONNIE HAY as the Night Nurse