Theatre of the Mind ~ Miracle Man
"Miracle Man" should be our first clue that religion is going to be an important part of the XF. Though Scully has worn her cross since the Pilot, her religious beliefs really haven't been touched upon until this episode. And of course, as we now know, we will get at least one (sometimes more) episode with religious overtones in every season following this one. And CC will ultimately weave religious symbolism into the very fabric of our beloved XF.
1. Religion in 1983 Tennessee but no snakes in sight. Other then Rev. Hartley, I guess.
2. The charred hand coming out of the body bag is a little yechy!
3. This time Scully brings the X-File, though she says it isn't one. They just want her medical opinion.
4. Mulder is still stuck in the dark ages with his slide shows. Only high-tech video for Scully. (Perhaps she thought this was the only way to get Mulder's attention.)
5. Mulder does seem to know the story already. Perhaps he found this video in the drawer with the other videos that aren't his.
6. "The boy's been performing miracles every week for the past 10 years; twice on Sunday." If Mulder's right about that, wouldn't Rev. Hartley and Samuel have their own television ministry by now?
7. Samuel couldn't save the woman in the video, but perhaps he was able to send her off to her final reward with a bottle of hair color.
8. Mulder is characteristically exuberant: "When do we leave for Tennessee?
9. "Come as you are, leave as you always wanted to be." Or if that doesn't work out, at least leave in an official "It's a Miracle" tee-shirt or hat, only $29.95 or $49.95 for the pair at the gift tent.
10. "I think I saw some of these same people at Woodstock." I think I saw some of these same people in Scully's video . . . and at the next revival . . . and they're wearing the same clothes.
11. Guess when those folks from Pen-see-cola leave the Sunshine State, they want to get their money's worth. Maybe sometimes the nuts roll up from Florida.
12. Well, at least Rev. Hartley knows his flock. He may have a Cadillac for every day of the week, but he apparently only has one suit and one tie. He hasn't changed clothes since the video either.
13. But at last Mulder has a rival in the bad tie category.
14. Mulder shares his penchant for all things Elvis. Is this the first XF Elvis reference? Can't remember.
15. Love that license plate: B-Heald.
16. "Ninety-nine percent of the people in this world are fools, and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion." I might put this on my door at work.
17. Wouldn't it be more prudent to exhume a body in the daytime? Ooooooh, they're trying to keep it quiet! Good plan. Nobody would notice those portable stadium lights and a backhoe in a cemetery in the middle of a foggy night!
18. Is it just me, or does Leonard Vance remind anyone else of Judge Doom from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"?
19. Kudos to Scott Bairstow who does a great job with his character of Samuel, showing us the conviction of his beliefs. He deserved a better fate for Harsh Realm.
20. Samuel's and Scully's faiths go one-on-one in the barroom scene. "Pennance./Some might call it a plain old bar brawl." "God has given me a special gift./Did he buy you all that jewelry too?"
21. About time for TWC: Mulder is looking might fine in this episode.
22. We believe Scully when she informs us with great sincerity that she doesn't doubt the power of God, just the veracity of this particular messenger.
23. But MamaBear Scully springs into action when Samuel plays the Samantha card. When she can't shuffle Mulder off on her own, she calls in the Sheriff for backup.
24. Remember Mulder, "God gives us signs every day. Open your heart; He might just open your eyes."
25. Oops, they did it again: Screen says Kenwood County Courthouse when building says DeKalb County Courthouse.
26. Love Scully's look as the locust lands on her hand.
27. And shouldn't Mulder be freaking out right now? He HATES bugs, after all!
28. An interesting comparison as Mulder reads the Bible, and Scully studies the grasshopper.
29. TWC2: LOOOOOOOOOVE Mulder reclining on the bed and his little snicker after Scully's comment about slaying of the firstborn.
30. M&S do what they do best - present their theories, discuss, question, defend, challenge, and make each other better.
31. Mulder begins to see visions of a little girl, which allows Scully a chance to make a Jessica Hahn joke, really dating this episode.
32. Guess this Samantha was best seen and not heard, as 1013 ditched her for a cuter and more verbal version in "Little Green Men."
33. There's Rev. Hartley in his one revival suit again. And there's some of those same people I saw before! Guess the bus for Pen-see-cola still hasn't left!
34. Dr. Scully does what SHE does best: 1) Rush to the victim; 2) Call for an ambulance; 3) Check for pulse; 4) Don't bother with CPR; 5) Pronounce.
35. The compassionate Scully that we all know and love comes through several times in this episode, perhaps best in her exchange with the father of the dead woman with MS.
36. Scully shares her Catholic upbringing and assures Mulder that God never lets the devil steal the show.
37. She also shares her penchant for scary movies. She's referenced The Exorcist, Carrie, Poltergeist; guess Mulder should have chosen Scream 3 instead of Caddyshack.
38. Scully guesses that Mulder is seeing visions of Samantha and worries for his mental health.
39. Love the scene where M&S's conversation about the power of suggestion turns to a whisper as their discussion becomes personal; they make us just as interested in their relationship as they do in what they are saying.
39. Slicin' and dicin' Scully is just a little too eager to perform this autopsy! Look how she sharpens those knives!
40. Queasy!Mulder makes an appearance, and given Scully's enthusiasm, I don't blame him!
41. Mulder visits Samuel in jail to find out if he is the Messiah or not. Mulder thought that was his role.
42. Don't they have any heat in this jail? You can see their breath!
43. TWC3: Mulder walking down the jail hallway. Woo hoo!
44. Religious symbolism 101: Samuel is crucified, dead, and buried in the Kenwood County Morgue.
45. You've got that look on your face, Mulder. Not the panic face. The "forgotten your keys and you're trying to figure out how to get back in the house" face.
46. "What exactly are we trying to find?" "Clues." Good one, Mulder.
47. Mulder has a locust epiphany, but no girly scream when he steps on the grasshopper.
48. Religious symbolism 102: Samuel appears to Judge Doom . . . er, Mr. Vance and wants to know why he betrayed him. Vance/Judas reveals it was not for pieces of silver, but for saving him when he should not have been saved.
49. I know Mulder loved his sister, but I find it hard to believe that he totes around her picture while he's out investigating cases. This gratuitous photo-packing was a little too heavy-handed for my taste.
50. Religious symbolism 103: Samuel's body disappears and appears to rise from the dead, witnessed by the "angels in white" (nurses). Was he resurrected or simply taken away by members of the good Reverend's flock? Religious symbolism ends here with no answer.
51. Sheriff is feeling mighty bad that he may just have contributed to the elimination of his wife's best chance for a cure, not to mention maybe the Second Coming. You know, "That kind of thing happens only once or twice every two thousand years or so."
52. Mulder acknowledges that people are looking hard for miracles and maybe that's why they see what they want to see. We were all hoping for a miracle for Mulder too. Awww.
53. Sometimes when I look at this blank page, I think it will be a miracle if the TOTM gets finished. Well, "Imagine the miracle and you're halfway there."