The X-Files: Revelations

Case: Scully’s faith is tested when she is charged with protecting a little boy with stigmata whose death might herald Armageddon.

Destination: Waynesburg, Pennsylvania; Loveland, Ohio; Jerusalem, Ohio

After the tension filled two-part episodes about the ongoing mythology of the show, we take a breather with a little bit of the religious supernatural. This episode turned the usual skeptic Scully and believer Mulder on its head. Most of the time Scully is the hard-headed scientist who needs proof but this is underpinned by a Catholic faith that is evident in the cross she wears. Proof is really the antithesis of faith but in many ways Scully is given the proof of the miracles she is searching for in her life. In contrast, Mulder willfully refuses to see the signs of the miracles going on around him.

Scully is the focus of this episode and Gillian Anderson did a lovely job of displaying the struggle Scully was having with her faith versus her scientific mind. Many of the close-ups of Scully's face were beautiful, especially the bit at the end through the confessional window.

The action centres around Kevin Kryder who appears to be a normal little boy, even to the point of shooting spitballs at girls in his class. Hardly the actions of a prophet or disciple, but he has stigmata. That is, he has wounds that appear out of nowhere and reflect the wounds that Jesus suffered in his crucifixion. There are evil forces out to kill him in order to bring on Armageddon, namely the CEO of a recycling company named Simon Grant. Simon can burn his fingerprints into people as he strangles them, a handy trick that Mulder completely ignores. It was completely out of character for Mulder to try and find the rational explanation rather than the supernatural one even if the rational one was ridiculous. I wanted to start shouting at him when he came up with the acetylene torch explanation for the bathroom window. He is obviously versed in the bible and Christianity. I wonder what made him so 'blind' to the evidence in front of him.

The pitting of science against religion begins at the very start of the episode but perhaps, this episode posits, you don't have to choose between the two. An interesting idea in today's polarized view of such things as creation. Faith and the search for the truth are the core of the quest in this show and the show continues to put forward the idea that there is more in the world than science can explain. How interesting that our main characters both believe this and question it, in very different ways and from very different places.

Other Thoughts

Of course the disciple of the devil was a rich Southerner who made his money from recycling. This show likes to layer its metaphors.

Kevin telling the ghost story and then Owen Jarvis showing up was a nice piece of writing.

I always learn new things from The X-Files. This week it was "hagiographic fabrications" (look it up. I did), incorruptibles, and Jerusalem syndrome.

Farou was one of the devil's disciples. I didn't know the devil had them.

I wonder if they made Simon Grant a recycler just so they could kill him in the shredder. It was gross.

Quotes

Mr. Kryder: “You must come full circle to find the truth.”

Mulder: “Looks like Kevin was abducted by Homer Simpson’s evil twin."

Mulder: “And the townfolk wonder why I sleep in on Sunday.”

Mulder: “These people are simply fanatics behaving fanatically, using religion as a justification. They give bona fide paranoiacs like myself a bad name.”

Mulder: “You never draw my bath.”

Scully: "How is it that you are able to go out on a limb whenever you see a light in the sky, but you’re unwilling to accept the possibility of a miracle even when it’s right in front of you."

Scully: “Maybe I’ll see you again some time.”
Kevin: “You will.”

2 comments:

Heather said...

Love your review! You covered everything so concisely. Me sobbing plus a standing ovation in my living room is what happens every time I watch Scully's confession. :)

ChrisB said...

Great review, Doc. I love the way the writers turn the tables on the skeptic/believer roles, but I'm always puzzled by Mulder as well. He goes too far in not "seeing" what is right in front of him.