In Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, a priest is giving a sermon about the importance of faith in an increasingly cynical world. As his sermon nears its end, he begins bleeding from his hands. After mass, a parishioner comes in to see the priest in his dressing room. He says that the sermon really touched him, and praises the priest . . . before killing him.
Mulder and Scully investigate the case. Mulder says that the priest was the eleventh fake stigmatic who has been killed over the past 3 years in a series of international murders. Meanwhile at an elementary school in Ohio a boy, Kevin Kryder starts bleeding from the palms of his hands. The agents arrive and meet with a social worker, who claims that Kevin has suffered injuries before and that his father was institutionalized, claiming that Kevin was in danger from evil forces. The agents visit Kevin's father, who claims that his son is the chosen one and that evil forces will come to kill him as part of a great war between good and evil.
Kevin is abducted by a strange-looking bald man. Kevin's mother recognizes the man's description as Owen Jarvis, who had done yard work for the family in the past. Owen claims to be Kevin's guardian angel. By the time the agents arrive Kevin is gone. Owen claims he was asked by God to protect Kevin and criticizes Scully for her faith not being as strong as his. Owen jumps out the window and escapes. Kevin arrives at his home and is pursued by the man who killed the priest, who kills Owen when he arrives to protect him. Scully performs an autopsy and finds that Owen's corpse is not decaying, reminding her of "incorruptibles" that she learned about in Catechism. Mulder tells Scully to not let her faith cloud her judgement. Scully finds that handprints on Owen's neck belong to Simon Gates, a rich and powerful executive.
Kevin travels with his mother in a car which breaks down. Gates arrives offering to help fix the car, and Kevin, who appears in two places at once is able to distract him and help them escape. Kevin's mother runs their damaged car into a ditch however, dying as a result. Scully tells Kevin she'll protect him. They bring him to a hotel where Scully finds an additional wound on Kevin's side. Scully becomes upset at Mulder for his unwillingness to accept the possibility of a miracle. As they talk, Gates breaks into the bathroom, kidnapping Kevin by prying an opening in the barred window. Scully returns to see Kevin's father but finds him heavily drugged.
Scully theorizes that Gates has brought Kevin to a recycling plant he owns in Jerusalem, Ohio. Mulder thinks that he has headed to the airport, as a man matching Gates' description was reported headed there. Mulder thinks Scully believes that she's been chosen to protect Kevin. Scully arrives at the recycling plant where Gates tells Kevin that he must die for the 'New Age' to come. Gates attempts to jump into a shredding machine with Kevin, but Kevin grabs onto the side as Gates jumps in and Scully is able to pull him to safety. Two days later Scully and Kevin say goodbye. Kevin tells Scully he'll see her again. Scully goes to the confessional for the first time in years, wondering if God is speaking, but no one is listening.
- This would be David Nutter's 15th and last direction of an X-Files episode. His first episode was "Ice."
- The producers weren't satisfied with the priest's voice, so a new vocal track was added in postproduction using a different performer in LA.
- The scene where Mulder and Scully are having a conversation with Mr. Kryder appears much shorter in the final version than in the original script. In the script Mr. Kryder begins to speak in tongues. Only Scully can understand him, even when he quotes a line from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- When the mother runs over the bad guy after he chases the apparition of her son you can see that Kevin isn't in the passenger seat. However he appears in the seat when the camera cuts to the car on the road.
- Nowadays, its widely regarded that when Jesus was crucified he would have been nailed through his wrists, not his hands, as was the norm in his time. Stigmatics should therefore bleed from their wrists also.
- Scully mentions Kevin being in two places at once, "...just like St. Ignatius was able to do in the Bible..." There is no Ignatius in the Bible. The earliest Ignatius (c.50 to c.108 AD) was the third Bishop of Antioch. No person in the Bible appears in two places at once. Scully would know better, and the script supervisor could easily have checked this out.
- After the agents meet with Kevin's father in the mental institute, Scully lists the medication that he is on: haloperidol, loxapine, and chlorpromazine make sense, but the fourth medication - LARGACTIL - is in error. Not only is it a brand-name of chlorpromazine, but it is not available in the USA, it is a CANADIAN drug! The fact that one of these drugs is Canadian is mostly likely a nod to the fact that production takes place in Vancouver.
- In the last few shots of Kevin and his bandaged hands you can see that there is no blood stain on the back of his hands, just on the palms.
- Seeing as Scully was the only one there when the kidnapper died, it is highly unlikely that Mulder would be able to make the police statement on her behalf.
- Social Services were pretty quick to remove Kevin from his mother's custody, after a single incident when his mother was nowhere around.
- This is a reference to the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. This book describes the second coming of Jesus Christ, essentially the end of the world when, according to Christian tradition, God will divide those worthy for heaven from those worthy for hell and send them to their respective places.
Cast and Characters
- Lesley Ewen (Carina Maywald) previously played Receptionist in The X-Files episode "Pilot" and Agent #1 in "Gender Bender".
- Kevin Zegers as Kevin Kryder
- Sam Bottoms as Michael Kryder
- Kenneth Welsh as Simon "Millennium Man" Gates
- Michael Berryman as Owen Jarvis
- Hayley Tyson as Susan Kryder
- R. Lee Ermey as Reverend Patrick Findley