June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Miracle Man”

Mulder and Scully investigate a faith healer whose patients suddenly start dying.

Some guy from Party of Five is in this one, but I’ve never seen that show, so I’ll just take Wikipedia’s word for it.

The Case:  A Faith Healer…Maybe A Faith Killer!

Commentary:  I recently pointed out that Mulder and Scully sometimes switch roles when the subject of religion comes up.  Scully is at least a lapsed Catholic whose faith sometimes has her headed in Mulder’s usual direction while Mulder appears to believe in everything except God.  But toss his missing sister Samantha into the mix, and Mulder can stay the believer while Scully can use her general knowledge of scripture to know some people might not be interpreting the Bible in a way other than to their own benefit.

That’s just to say that for this episode, where the Vancouver region is masquerading as Tennessee, Scully was asked to look into some mysterious deaths after the local branch of the FBI asked a doctor to look into said mysterious deaths.  Some faith healer down there, some of the people he tried healing started turning up dead.  And this guy is for real since the cold open showed a young Samuel Hartley, real parents unknown, bringing a deep fried car accident victim back from the dead.

Said deep fried guy now lives in Samuel’s house with Samuel’s preacher father, and they’re doing well enough financially that the Reverend has a Cadillac for every day of the week according to the nonbeliever local sheriff.

Oh, and Samuel’s followers keep showing up to stop autopsies.

Now, Mulder starts seeing images of his missing sister, and Samuel himself seems to know something about the long-missing Samantha Mulder.  He also thinks he’s guilty because despite his faith and healing powers, he’s also as easily fooled as everyone else in town by locusts in the courthouse and his last few healing attempts leading to deaths instead.  But there’s a reason you call Scully.  She’ll actually do an autopsy while Mulder realizes the locusts were lured in by someone in a very mundane way.  Heck, the dead people were all poisoned with cyanide, a substance that would have been easy to get from anyone who sold pesticides in this rural part of Tennessee.

Turned out it was the burnt guy.

So, where’s the X-File?  Simple:  jerkass sheriff let some of his deputies beat Samuel to death in his prison cell in a very crucifixion-lookin’ way given his shadow, but his body apparently woke up and went for a walk.  Multiple witnesses saw it, and it even made the front page of the local newspaper.  Might have been a slow news day.  He did scare Burnt Guy (the actual killer) into committing suicide with the very poison he was using on other people, and the sheriff got taken in for questioning himself.  Does this mean Mulder now believes in God?

Actually, no.  He does make a joke here and there about the Christian faith (sort of), but he likewise suggests miracles are less the work of God than enough people’s wanting something to be true might just make it true.  Of course, then he spies his sister’s image again before leaving town.

Next time:  looks like some kinda wolfman.