|The X-Files episode|
|Original Airdate:||February 22, 1998|
|Date(s):||February 10–13, 1998|
|Written by:||Vince Gilligan|
|Directed by:||Cliff Bole|
After Mulder kills a teenage boy who he believed was a vampire, he and Scully recount the events that led to the killing.
We see a teenage boy running through the woods, late at night, screaming "Help me! Somebody help me! Help! That guy's gonna kill me! Help!". He is being pursued by a man in a black suit with an overcoat. He continues to run, screaming frantically until he stumbles and lands on the ground. His pursuer quickly jumps on top of him, holding him down, and reveals a wooden stake which he rams into the boy's chest. The man then picks up a rock and proceeds to slam the stake with it, driving it deeper and deeper.
Another person runs up to the scene, we see it is Scully. She speaks only one word, "Mulder?". It is here we see that the attacker is, in fact, Mulder. Scully kneels down beside the two as Mulder opens the boy's mouth to reveal fangs. "Look at that. Huh...huh?" Mulder pushes. Scully taps the boy's fangs and they fall out. She picks up the fake teeth and holds them up for Mulder to see. Mulder stares unbelievably and replies, "Oh, shi-".
Mulder is sitting in his office at his desk as Scully opens the door and peers inside. There is a bit of awkward silence between the two as she comes in and sits down. She begins to talk but Mulder quickly silences her, telling her "Don't even start with me" and pointing his finger. He proceeds to let out his frustrations on the office trash can after a missed shot with a paper wad.
The two discuss the fact that Skinner expects a report in the next hour and what they should do. They agree to tell exactly what they each saw, although this thought worries Mulder as he believes they have conflicting views on what "exactly" happened. Scully reminds Mulder that the family of the boy Mulder killed (Ronnie Strickland) plans to sue the FBI for around $446 million dollars and that both of them, not just Mulder, will be held accountable. She goes on to say that Mulder "overreacted". Mulder decides he wants to hear Scully's side of the story, starting from the beginning.
Throughout Scully's version, Mulder is very energetic and playful. Perhaps even a bit more than usual.
Beginning the story in the X-files office, Mulder enthusiastically tells Scully about the deaths of a number of cows in a small Texas town called Chaney, rarely letting her get a word in. Approximately one each week has been drained of blood over the past six weeks, all with two small puncture wounds on their neck. Scully discusses the possibility of satanic cultists and even, jokingly, El Chupacabra, both of which Mulder throws out as possibilities. His explanation is classic vampirism. He then goes on to add that a vacationer from New Jersey was killed the night before in the same way. After asking why he didn't tell her that in the first place, Mulder ushers her out of the office. They then head for Texas.
The agents arrive at the PEACEFUL SLUMBERS FUNERAL PARLOR, as the town is too small to maintain a morgue. They wait with the mortician for the Sheriff to arrive and show them the body. The Sheriff, Lucius Hartwell, soon arrives clad in cowboy boots and even a cowboy hat. As he introduces himself, Scully is obviously a bit taken with his appearance. Mulder introduces he and Scully, seemingly perturbed at their immediate attraction and intermittently embarrasses her.
The three walk into the examination room. Scully asks if an exam has been done and the Sheriff replies they thought they should "leave that up to the experts". This makes Scully smile. Mulder, jokingly, tells Scully to inform the Sheriff of her "theory". She goes on to explain that she now believes the killer is someone mimicking a vampire, having filed down their incisors to create fangs, and that a moulage casting should lead them to his identification. She continues, delving into different psychological conditions which someone mimicking a vampire may suffer from. The Sheriff eagerly agrees with her, goes so far as to say "you really know your stuff, Dana."
Back in the X-Files office, Mulder cuts in and stops Scully's story. Claiming it silly that he call her by her first name, as he did not know it. Scully continues, citing that this is the moment when Mulder has his "breakthrough".
Now back to the story , Mulder makes the discovery that the victim's shoes are untied. When Scully asks what that means, Mulder proceeds to ask the Sheriff about the town cemetery and asks to be taken there immediately. He tells Scully to perform a full autopsy in his absence and when asked what she is looking for, he simply replies "I don't know". And with a tip of the Sheriff's hat, the two leave.
Later on, Scully is in full Scrubs performing the requested autopsy. She weighs various body parts and then moves on to the contents of the victims stomach. She finds remnants of pizza, remarks at how good that sounds, and grudgingly continues.
In a voice over, Scully tells us that after finishing the autopsy she checked into the DAVEY CROCKETT MOTOR COURT to rest. Mulder quickly corrects her, saying the actual name was the SAM HOUSTON MOTOR LODGE.
On screen, DAVEY CROCKETT MOTOR COURT appears first, then is erased and replaced with SAM HOUSTON MOTOR LODGE as Mulder says this.
In her room, Scully puts money in the magic fingers, kicks off her shoes and falls onto the bed. Very soon after, Mulder enters the room, covered in mud. Scully tells him that Chloral hydrate ("knock out drops") is "that thing you didn't know you were looking for" as she found traces of it in the victim's system. She then asks him what happened to him, but he averts that question and asks who gave the Chloral Hydrate to the victim. Scully states that her theory is that their vampire did it in order to extract the victim's blood. Mulder asks what kind of vampire would do that and Scully triumphantly replies "exactly". Mulder then informs her that there is another dead tourist and that she's going to have to do another autopsy that same night. After some debate Scully dejectedly leaves, passing the pizza guy on her way out. We then see that the pizza boy is the same boy from the teaser, Ronnie Strickland.
Scully returns to do another autopsy, though not taking her time as with the first one. She repeatedly slaps the various organs on to the weight tray, going as quickly as she can. She finds Chloral Hydrate in this system of this victim as well and is about to move on to his stomach contents when her phone rings. She answers and hears nothing but heavy breathing. Thinking nothing of it, she hangs up and continues. In the victim's stomach she again finds pizza and then makes the connection between the Chloral Hydrate and the pizza, realizing that the pizza guy is, in fact, the murderer and that she left him with Mulder at the hotel.
Back at Scully's hotel room she kicks down the door and frantically searches for Mulder. She sees his feet on the floor on the other side of the bed. Just then, Ronnie stands up from the side of the bed and hisses, his eyes green and glowing. Scully fires at him as he leaps over the bed and knocks her down. He runs outside and she fires at him again from the floor. Scully walks over to check on Mulder who wakes up and recites the theme to SHAFT.
Back in the X-Files Office, Mulder denies having done so. Scully finishes her story, saying she pursued Ronnie on foot and that when she got to the clearing in the woods Mulder had gotten to him first and "overreacted". And that his fangs were fake. Mulder seems weary of her story, even though Scully tries to reassure him that they did stop a killer, though not a supernatural killer. Mulder accuses her of being afraid of the truth and says that that isn't how it happened at all. Scully then suggests that he then tell his side of the story.
Throughout Mulder's version Mulder acts very subdued and nice, while Scully is mean and uninterested (a definite exaggeration).
Again, the story begins in the X-Files Office. The conversation is very similar (talking about the cows and possible theories) except Scully whines about going to Texas and seems very agitated at the whole situation. When Mulder suggests vampires, Scully quickly dismisses the idea stating they don't exist and adds that it's "not that Mexican goat sucker, either".
The two arrive again at the PEACEFUL SLUMBERS FUNERAL HOME. Mulder quips that he heard something from the Mortician that Scully missed. Mulder asks him why this small town needs so many caskets and the Mortician answers "repeat business". He is the only one to find that funny. Sheriff Hartwell enters, and Scully lets out a "Hoo-boy" to show her admiration. The Sheriff looks exactly the same as in Scully's version except when he talks, we see he has big buck teeth.Back in the X-Files Office, Mulder and Scully argue over whether or not the Sheriff had buck teeth. Scully asks how that is significant and Mulder states he is just trying to be thorough.
In the morgue, the mortician removes the stake from Ronnie's body and walks away with his back turned. Suddenly, Ronnie inexplicably wakes up and attacks the mortician. In the office, Skinner informs the agents of the disappearance of Ronnie's body. Also, although the mortician is not dead, he was 'bitten on the neck'. The agents return to Texas.
They arrive at the cemetery at night. Sheriff Hartwell appears again, so Mulder has him stake out the cemetery with Scully while Mulder himself goes to 'check something out' at the RV Court where Ronnie is staying. Mulder reaches the motel and goes into Ronnie's room. He finds a coffin, containing a sleeping Ronnie. Suddenly Ronnie wakes up and attacks Mulder. Mulder manages to restrain him by sitting on top of the coffin lid and uses handcuffs to lock Ronnie in. Looking out the window, though, he sees all the villagers approaching in vampire form, with glowing green eyes. He goes outside to confront them, but they surround him and attack.
Meanwhile, Scully and the Sheriff are in the car in front of the cemetery. The Sheriff apologizes for Ronnie, saying that although most of them live normal lives, Ronnie finds it hard to restrain his urges. Scully talks about how she heard vampires are supposed to be charming, although she does not believe this because, as Mulder said, there are many kinds of vampire. When she looks back at the Sheriff, his eyes are glowing green.
Mulder and Scully both wake up after falling unconscious during their individual attacks. Neither of them have any bite marks, but all the villagers seem to have mysteriously disappeared. They return to the office and recount it all to Skinner, assuring him that it is 'exactly what happened.' When the screen turns black in preparation for the credits, Mulder's voice can be heard, quickly stating 'Except maybe about the buckteeth.'
"Oh sh-" - Mulder after hammering a stake into Ronnie and learning that his fangs were fake
"Come on, Scully, get those little legs moving, come on!" - Mulder
"Have you noticed this man's SHOES ARE UNTIED?! - Mulder's great breakthrough
"Sheriff, do you have an old cemetery in town, off the beaten path, the creepier the better?" - Mulder
"Who's the black private dick who's the sex machine with all the chicks? Shaft! Can you dig it? They say this cat Shaft's a bad mother-shut your mouth! Talkin' about Shaft." - Mulder, under the influence of chloral hydrate
"What do you mean you want me to do another autopsy?! And why do I have to do it right now? I just spent hours on my feet doing an autopsy, all for you. I do it all for you, Mulder. You know, I haven't eaten since 6:00 this morning, and all that was was a half a cream cheese bagel, and it wasn't even real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese! And now you want me to run off and do another autopsy?!" - Scully
"Dana?! C'mon, he never even knew your first name!" - Mulder
"Probable cause of death? Gee, that's a tough one..." - Coroner, staring at the spike sticking out of ronnie Stickland's chest
"4:54 p.m. begin autopsy on one white male, age 60, who is arguably having a worse time in Texas than I am...although not by much." - Scully
"Prison, Scully. Your cell mate's nickname is going to be Large Marge. She's going to read a lot of Gertrude Stein." - Mulder
- Outside Skinner's office
- Scully: (Hushed) Remember, keep telling him you were drugged!
- Mulder: Will you shut up about that for a minute?
- (Skinner pokes head out of office)
- Skinner: Mulder, Scully.
- Mulder: (Standing up fast, shouting) I was drugged!
- Skinner: I want you to go back to Texas.
- SCULLY: You're saying that I actually hit him two times?
- MULDER: Square in the chest. No effect.
- SCULLY: And then he sort of flew at me like a flying squirrel?
- MULDER: Well, I don't think I'll use the phrase "flying squirrel" when I talk to Skinner, but... yeah, that's what happened.
- The term "bad blood" is not used in this episode, nor in any other episode of The X-Files with the exception of Season 7's "Je Souhaite", in which Mulder uses it to describe a troublesome relationship, specifically between Anson Stokes and Jay Gilmore.
- Iditarod As the camera pans across the display room of the funeral home that doubles as the morgue for the town of Chaney, a casket in the foreground sports a tag identifying its model name as Iditarod. The Iditarod is a 1,600 km dogsled race that is run from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska starting on the first Saturday in March. Among the conditions that the racers have to contend with are blizzard whiteouts and wind chills reaching -75 or more. It can be presumed that the appeal of a coffin with that name is an implied guarantee that one's afterlife won't be overheated
- This episode took place in Chaney, Texas which is probably so-named for Lon Chaney Jr and Sr, both of whom played vampires during their illustrious film careers (Lon Chaney Jr in The Son of Dracula and Lon Chaney Sr in the silent film London After Midnight). - Actually, Chaney is a real town in Texas, about half-way between Abilene and Ft. Worth. It was founded in the 1880s and named after its 1902 Post Master. (Maybe the writers picked it for this episode for the name connection)
- To shoot inside Ronnie Strickland's lair, crewmen cut an entire side wall out of a brand-new motor home. Afterwards they realized that they hadn't bought the thing, but only rented it.
- This episode was inspired by an episode of the old "Dick Van Dyke Show", titled "The Night the Roof Fell In", in which Rob and Laura Petrie have a fight and then each tell their neighbor their version of what led up to it.
- Scully's "It's not that Mexican goat-sucker, either" refers to the 'Chupacabra' from season 4's 'El Mundo Gira'.
- Ronnie's middle name is LaVelle. An odd name, LaVelle is also the middle name of character Xander Harris from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
- Sheriff Hartwell is named for Vince Gilligan's girlfriend, Holly Hartwell Rice.
When Mulder is breaking a chair, the chair is broken and then quickly at the bottom left hand side of the screen a hand can be seen dropping a piece of wood. Mulder then picks up exactly the same piece of wood and goes to use it as a stake. [note for edit- this is not technically an error. The whole episode is a tongue in cheek humor piece, and the hand passing the stake was meant to be seen. Very funny.}
The runaway RV doing circles in the lot is running in reverse, yet while the red tail lights appear functional, there are no white "backup lights" visible.
In a lot of episodes Scully hangs up on Mulder and Mulder has to say "Scully?" at least two times. In this episode when Scully is kidnapped and Mulder gets hung up on we can clearly hear dial tone. Why then does Mulder ask if Scully is still there?
Scully should have said "small intestine" not "large intestine". They are named for their diameter, not length and there looked far too much of it to be the large intestine. The intestines Scully puts in the scales at the autopsy are small intestines, not large. The small intestine is, in fact, longer (several meters) than the large intestine, which is only about 1.5 meters long. The large intestine has ridges on the surface and has a larger diameter than the intestines in the scales.
"The Ride of the Valkyries" composed by Richard Wagner is heard in the background shortly after Mulder's futile attempt to stop the runaway RV, which eventually rolled to a halt on its own anyway.
Cast and CharactersEdit
- Forbes Angus (Funeral Director) previously played Tissue Bank Technician in The X-Files episode "Shadows", Government Scientist in "Soft Light", M.D. in "The Blessing Way" and Security Guard in "Small Potatoes".