REPOST - CTP Episode of the Day - 04.05.06 Revelations

Today's Cherished Episode: Revelations (3x11)
Original Air Date: December 15, 1995
Written By: Kim Newton
Directed By: David Nutter

Mulder and Scully seek to protect a young boy who displays wounds of religious significance from a killer, causing Scully to question her own faith while being cast in the role of the boy's protector.

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"How is it that you're 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."

Some "Revelations" Tidbits and Musings:

-- Title: The episode title is taken from Mulder's line when he arrived at the morgue while Scully was conducting the autopsy on Owen Jarvis. He asked Scully, "Any revelations?" In theology, a "revelation" is defined as God's disclosure of Himself and His will to His creatures, an instance of such communication or disclosure, or something thus communicated or disclosed. In this episode, the "revelations" are through stigmata.

-- "Revelations" was one of the first cases of role reversal involving Mulder and Scully. David Duchovny felt this was a refreshing change of pace, saying it was easier for him "not to be so emotionally involved in the chase. I found it easier to be the character that kind of sits back and says, 'No, that can't be true.' It was fun not to have to drive every scene but actually to get in the way of every scene rather than having to push it forward. It became tiring after three years to step into every scene and have to drive it forward." By contrast, in "Revelations," Mulder, he observed, got to be "the one to say 'Let's put the brakes on,' or to put my hands in my pockets and say, 'Hey, I don't think so.' In that sense, it was fun."

-- Director David Nutter noted that dealing with faith provided a way to delve further into Scully's character, showing that there were other dimensions to her. He felt Gillian Anderson delivered a sparkling performance, especially in such quieter moments as the final sequence when she went to confession. "I really loved so much working with Gillian," he said. "She had such an ability to emote and give from the inside." Nutter also had fun with the ghost story scene, though he admitted working with that many kids wasn't a picnic and, in fact, "never really is."

-- "Revelations" was notable as well in its exploration of religious faith, a topic often perceived as being given short shrift on television -- in large part due to network fears about offending a segment of the audience. "It dealt with faith, not religion with a capital 'R' or Catholicism with a capital 'C'," said Chris Carter about the episode, alluding to his own overriding interest in religion and politics, which clearly found its way into the show on multiple levels. "To me, the idea of faith was really the backbone of the entire series -- faith in your own beliefs, ideas about the truth, and so it had religious overtones always. It is a more sensitive area on television because you run the risk of pissing certain people off, but I think we handled it in such a way as to make it about miracle belief, or lack of belief -- and we set it against the paranormal, which is 'Why can Mulder believe in things that go bump in the night, and when Scully believes in a miracle he shuts her down?' I think it was one thing juxtaposed with the other that gave the episode its interest."

-- Carter called "Revelations" a "surprisingly good episode" and noted that Darin Morgan did a tremendous amount of uncredited work on the episode.

-- Locations in "Revelations" included Loveland and Jerusalem, Ohio.

-- St. Anselm's Church on University Boulevard in Vancouver was used as the location for the First Church of Redemption in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, where Reverend Findley was murdered by Simon Gates in the episode teaser.

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-- Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he said, "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma meaning a mark or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave. An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic. The stigmata have been reported among believers for several hundred years. The best known stigmatic of this century was Padre Pio in Italy. The most famous stigmatic of all is St. Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226), the first recorded instance of the phenomenon. He bled from his hands, feet, and side for the last two years of his life.

-- Oopsie! When Scully looked at the dead Reverend's hands, she let go of them and they formed a fist. But when Mulder started unbuttoning the Reverend's shirt, his hand had the index finger extended. You can also see the actor's hand move as if trying to get out of the way when Mulder starts to rip the shirt open.

-- Kevin Kryder's elementary school in Loveland, Ohio, Ridgeway Elementary School, took its name from the real school were the scenes were filmed. Ridgeway Elementary School was located at 420 East 8th Avenue in North Vancouver.

-- Oopsie! When Kevin's mother ran over Gates after he chased the apparition of her son, it was obvious that Kevin was not in the passenger seat. However, he appeared in the seat when the camera cut to the car on the road.

-- The Westward Inn, the motel where Scully drew a bath for Kevin (and not for Mulder) played itself in the episode. The fictional Westward Inn was located in Loveland, Ohio, but the real motel was located at 19650 Fraser Highway in Langley near Vancouver.

-- Scully mentioned Kevin being in two places at once "... just like St. Ignatius was able to do in the Bible," and Mulder replied this was a parable. However, I can find no such reference in the New Testament.

-- A deleted scene between Mulder and Scully and Kevin Kryder's father appears on the Season 3 DVD extras. In his commentary, Chris Carter said, "The scene that was cut was one of the scenes in the series that I think plays more to the millennial idea of the show which was that the forces of evil are gathering. The father was very much affected by those forces and believed them. He spoke a bit of gibberish in the scene that Scully understood; and Mulder was ultimately propelled into the hallway to ask her what that piece of gibberish was and how she was able to understand it. Scully said she didn't know what he was talking about as if it never happened, so it really added to the sort of mystery, the X-File. Because the story worked without this scene, and because I'm sure we were long on time and short on airtime, the scene would ultimately go into the garbage."

-- In the scene that was cut, when Mr. Kryder was speaking in tongues, he quoted a line from The Day The Earth Stood Still" -- "Hlaatu barada nikto."

-- Mr. Kryder's log of medications established the timeline for the episode; it was dated November 28, 1995.

-- Oopsie! The list of Kryder's medications included haloperidol, loxapine, chlorpromazine, and largactil. Largactil is a brand-name of chlorpromazine, making it a therapeutic duplication; and it is also a drug not available in the United States - it is a Canadian drug.

-- Gates' 21st Century Recycling Plant located in Jerusalem, Ohio, was played on-screen by BFI Recycling Systems located at 5324 Thorne Street in Burnaby.

-- In the last few shots of Kevin and his bandaged hands there is no blood stain on the back of his hands, just on the palms.

-- The character of the priest in the final scene did receive some help from a higher power. The finished shot left the producers unsatisfied with the actor's voice, so a new vocal track was added in postproduction using a different performer in Los Angeles.

-- This episode contains the all purpose widely used X-File "ism" -- "I think you know."

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-- Kevin Zegers was 10 years old when he took on the role of Kevin Kryder in "Revelations," but he was already an acting veteran, having begun his career at the tender age of six. After his appearance on The X-Files, Kevin went on to appear in the Air Bud movies and many other films and television shows. He appeared as the son of another X-Files veteran, Felicity Huffman, in the film that earned her an Academy Award nomination, 2005's Transamerica.

-- Kenneth Walsh, who played Simon Gates, the "Millennium Man," also appeared with David Duchovny on Twin Peaks; he played Wyndham Earle.

-- Michael Berryman once said that the part of Owen Lee Jarvis was one of his favorite roles of all time. Berryman was best known for his creepy performance as Pluto in the Wes Craven horror film The Hills Have Eyes (1977) but has also turned up in numerous sci-fi/fantasy movies such as My Science Project, Weird Science, Armed Response, and Evil Spirits. Berryman was born with Hypohidrotic Ectoderman Dysplasia, which prevents the formation of sweat glands, hair, fingernails, or teeth. The condition is rare, inherited, and incurable. Interestingly, before Berryman became an actor, he worked as a florist. (Perhaps that's why his character had a floral scent!)

-- Sam Bottoms, who played Kevin's father Michael, is the younger brother of actor Timothy Bottoms and is best remembered for his role as Lance Johnson, the frivolous and menacing surfer dude private from Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. He also appeared in several Clint Eastwood movies and in the highly-acclaimed 1981 TV miniseries East of Eden. More recently, Bottoms has appeared in the feature films Seabiscuit, Shopgirl, and SherryBaby.

-- The Reverend Patrick Findley, killed in the episode teaser, was played by R. Lee Ermey, a talented actor known for his military roles. Ermey was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 11 years, serving in Vietnam and Japan before retiring due to injury in 1971. After retirement, he moved to the Philippines and studied Criminology and Drama at the University of Manila. He appeared in several Filipino films before being cast as a helicopter pilot (and utilized as a technical advisor) in Apocalypse Now. He played a drill sergeant in The Boys in Company C before being cast in his most famous role, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. He was originally hired as a technical advisor for that film, but did such a good job that he won the role in the movie. Ermey also served as the host of The History Channel series Mail Call.

-- In an odd X-Files connection, R. Lee Ermey played Brisco County, Sr., in two episodes of the short-lived FOX western series, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., in 1993. That series was the Friday night lead-in for The X-Files in its first season and garnered most of FOX's hopes, attention, and publicity. The assumption was that Brisco was going to be a big hit and that X-Files would benefit from the very significant lead-in that Brisco would provide. Things didn't quite turn out that way, as Brisco was cancelled after its first season and The X-Files eventually became one of FOX's biggest hits.

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-- A bit of speculation: This episode was written by Kim Newton, who also wrote Season 3's "Quagmire." The bad guy in "Revelations" was named "Gates" (just like the head of Microsoft's Bill Gates). In "Quagmire," the lake monster's nickname was "Big Blue" (also a nickname for IBM, whose mainframe computers are now considered to be dinosaurs). Were these references a nod to the "evil" found in the computer industry or just coincidences? Draw your own conclusions.

-- Most recently, Kim Newton has been writing for and serving as Executive Producer of the NBC series Las Vegas..

-- This was the last of the 15 episodes directed by David Nutter. Nutter directed some of the series' most highly acclaimed episodes including "Ice," "Beyond the Sea," "Little Green Men," "Irresistible," and "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose." Most recently, he has directed episodes of Entourage, Supernatural, The Sopranos, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, for which he also served as Executive Producer.

-- Though it has nothing to do with this episode, the newest X-Files DVD compilation, set to release in early July 2008 as a promotional tool for the new XF movie, is titled The X-Files Revelations. The DVD is set to contain eight of the series' most popular episodes: The Pilot, Beyond the Sea, The Host, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, Memento Mori, The Post-Modern Prometheus, Bad Blood, and Milagro, all chosen for inclusion by Chris Carter and each containing a new on-camera introduction by Carter and Frank Spotnitz. It is expected that the introductions will explain why the episodes were chosen for the compilation and what, if anything, they have to do with the new film. The DVD release will also contain the film trailer, a talent panel discussion featuring Carter and Spotnitz along with series' stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson taped at the WonderCon Convention held in early 2008, and a discount ticket for admission to the new film.

-- Once & Future Retreads: Lesley Ewen (Carina Maywald) was a Receptionist in the "Pilot," Agent #1 in "GenderBender," and Renee Davenport in "Unrequited." Fulvio Cecere (Priest) was The Aide in "Little Green Men." Rhys Huber (Little Boy) played Scully's godson Trent in "The Jersey Devil." Selina Williams (School Nurse) appeared as an extra in 14 episodes of the series.

-- Mr. Kryder's line, "You must come full circle to find the truth" (echoed by the priest at the end of the episode) was a rather ironic piece of dialogue, considering the final scene of the series finale, "The Truth."

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(Thanks to chrisnu for today's pics.)

Please share your first impressions, favorite (or cringe-worthy) moments, classic lines, favorite fanfic, nagging questions, repeated viewing observations, etc., as today we celebrate "Revelations."

Polly