|Original Airdate:||January 9, 2000|
|Written by:||Chip Johannessen|
|Directed by:||Rob Bowman|
Reverend Orison wants to save Donnie Pfaster's soul by helping him break out of prison, but Pfaster only wants the woman who once escaped from him - Scully.
SummaryEditA man gets his fingers chopped off during a workshop in prison and all the people in the prison move very slowly to help him, while one man walks out at regular speed. The man is Donnie Pfaster who kidnapped Scully five years earlier (Season 2 Episode "Irresistible"). The man is obsessed with women's hair and eats their fingers. It turns out three men escaped from three prisons and all had contact with the prison chaplain (Reverend Orison). The US Marshals corner Pfaster and Orison at a diner, but Orison uses his powers to distract the Marshals as they escape. Pfaster picks up a prostitute and hits Orison while driving off.
Meanwhile, Scully keeps hearing the same song ("Don't Look Any Further") everywhere she goes. Mulder and Scully question Orison and show her the remains of the prostitute Pfaster killed. They also find that Orison killed someone and spent 22 years in prison. Orison claims he is being spoken to by God and doing his work. Mulder finds that Orison has three times the bloodflow capacity of the brain, and he drilled a hole in head which allows him to perform mental tricks by hypnotizing people. He does this while repeating the phrase "Glory, Amen."Orison hypnotizes the security guard in his room and escapes. Pfaster hired a prostitute, but realizes she has a wig and attempts to attack her, but she gets away. Orison finds Pfaster and takes him at gunpoint while he digs a grave for him, but Pfaster morphs into a beast and kills Orison, burying him in his own shallow grave. Pfaster then calls the police to tell them where Orison is buried and goes to Scully's house. He attacks Scully, where Scully tells him that the only reason he wasn't dead was because she asked the judge for life. He overpowers her and locks her in her own closet. Mulder thinks something may be wrong when he hears the same song on his radio and calls Scully, but there is no answer so he goes over. Meanwhile, Scully escapes from the closet and shoots Pfaster, killing him.
- This episode's title is a literary word for a prayer.
- This episode of The X-Files is the third of three in which a person can be seen walking towards camera before the screen cuts to black, as happens at the end of this episode's teaser section. The earlier two examples of this occur, firstly, at the end of the teaser section of the Season 2 episode "Irresistible" and again in the cliffhanger conclusion of the Season 3 episode "Piper Maru". "Irresistible" features Donald Pfaster approaching the camera, similar to this episode, and "Piper Maru" features Alex Krycek doing so.
- There is actually a fourth example of a character walking towards the camera when the scene cuts to black: CSM in the pilot episode of Season 1, after filing away the implant.
- This episode features the song "Don't Look Any Further" by Dennis Edwards & Siedah Garrett which has significant meaning to Scully.
- Singer John Hiatt recorded a cover version of the song "Don't Look Any Further" specifically for "Orison."
- When Pfaster tips off the police as to where to find Orison's body, Mulder remarks that the case is over - he's dead in a grave he dug himself. How would Mulder know who dug the grave?
- Answer/Contention: He was speaking figuratively. It was Mulder and Scully's theory that Orison brought the convicts out there to pass judgment on them and dig their own graves. Thus, in a way, Orison brought this upon himself and he "dug his own grave".
When the priest was digging Pfaster's grave, asking him to repent, Pfaster says he can't be killed because he is the Devil (in turn killing the priest without a gun and hands tied), but later on Scully's bullets seem to work perfectly well on him...
- How does Mulder know that Donnie Pfaster escaped at exactly 6:06AM when no-one can remember him walking out of the prison?
- Answer/Contention: Prison cameras likely showed him walking out.
- Mulder is alluding to William Blake's work when he speaks about the "Doors of Perception" in relation to the gates of Hell. Blake says in his "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" that "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite."
- Musical Reference: "Sheep go to Heaven, Goats go to Hell" This phrase is amongst the words scrawled on the prison chapel's walls. This is the chorus line of the song "Sheep go to Heaven" by the band Cake - one of Gillian Anderson's favorite bands. It also refers to the division of the just and the unjust upon death, which is something that Scully grapples with at the end of the episode.
- Biblical Reference 666 Scully's clock malfunctions, showing the time as 6.66. Of course 666, as most people who've seen The Omen will know, is generally taken to be the number of the Beast, i.e. the Devil. Interestingly, in 2005, technological advances allowed scholars to read illegible portions of the earliest known record of The Book of Revelations and found the Number of the Beast stated there to be 616 rather than 666.
Special Guest Starring
- Nick Chinlund as Donald Pfaster
- Emilio Rivera as Brigham
- Steven Rankin as US Marshal Joe Daddo
- Lisa Kushell as Lady in Red
SEMICOLON-SEPARATED LIST OF ITEMS/LOCATIONS REFERENCED IN EPISODE (BUT NOT LINKED TO IF ALREADY LINKED IN SUMMARY OR GUEST STARS SECTIONS)