The X-files

Our Town
Episode: 2X24
First aired:05/12/95
Written by: Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Rob Bowman

George Kearns is led into the woods by a woman, Paula. Suddenly he is surrounded by lights and sees a man in a tribal mask. He screams as an ax comes flashing down.

It turns out that Kearns, a federal inspector, was about to suggest closing down Chaco Chicken, a local processing plant at the heart of the community. Mulder investigates his disappearance.

Mulder and Scully talk to the sheriff who says that it wouldn’t be weird if Kearns just ran away with some girl. Kearns’s wife agrees. Later Paula starts to hallucinate on the assembly line in Chaco Chicken and takes the plant manager hostage but the sheriff shoots her.

Scully gets permission from Paula’s grandfather, Mr. Chaco, to perform an autopsy. Her birth records show that she is actually 47 years old and that she is suffering from the same extremely rare fatal disease, Creutzfeldt-Jaccob, that Kearns had.

Mulder decides to drag the nearby river and they find nine headless skeletons, one of them is Kearns’s. The bones seem to have been boiled. Mulder notes that 87 people have disappeared in the area over 59 years and that the polished bones suggest cannibalism and that many tribes believe that cannibalism results in eternal life.

Mulder visits Chaco’s house and finds a display case filled with human heads. Scully goes to Kearns’s wife who fears Mr. Chaco.

Chaco captures Scully when she arrives at Kearns’s house. She is bound and gagged and leads her to a bonfire ceremony attended by numerous townsfolk. They behead Chaco and plan to do the same to Scully.

Mulder rushes to the scene and shoots the executioner who turns out to be the sheriff.

27 people have become infected with the fatal disease which shows the cannibalism to be prevalent in the community.

Important Quotes:
Scully -- "They're sending us on some kind of a wild goose chase."
Mulder -- "Chicken chase."

Mulder -- "...It gave me nightmares."
Scully -- "I didn't think anything gave you nightmares."
Mulder -- "Well, I was young."

Scully -- "I just came up with a sick theory, Mulder."
Mulder -- "Oooo, I'm listening!"

Back to The X-files: Season 2

Our Town by Thornton Wilder is a drama about everyday life. It takes place in a small town, Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, in the early 1900's. Made up of three acts, Our Town is a simple story about the simple things that we take for granted.

The three acts describe life, love, and death. In the first two, nothing extraordinary happens. A picture of life in Grover’s Corners is created. The milkman comes, the kids go to school, the fathers go to work, and the mothers cook dinner. A young girl and a young boy get married; they have some doubts, but go through with it anyway.

The third act brings the play together when the girl who had been married earlier dies, and finds herself in the cemetery with the other dead. She is told that she can go back and watch any part of her life, if she wants, but the others in the cemetery tell her that it is not a good idea, and that she would be better off just trying to forget her life. She cannot understand this, so she takes the trip back to her life, choosing to relive her twelfth birthday. She sees things she has long forgotten, and things that she never even noticed. She is delighted at the sight of the white picket fence around her house that they had taken out long ago. From the outside, she can notice every detail of everything that is going on, things she never noticed then. But that is the problem: she is on the outside, and she cannot be part of it. She cannot relive it with her new understanding. She tries to get her mother to look at her, but her mother cannot see her. The agony she experiences from her now-useless new view of life brings her back to the cemetery, where she wonders if people ever realize life while they live it. As one character puts it, "The saints and poets, maybe--they do some." Then she just remembers to forget.

An interesting aspect of this play is its staging. There are few props, and little scenery. This shows the simplicity of the whole play, but also the depth. This message about life, the things people forget about, mundane and ordinary things that no one really notices, is what the story is about. Through using no scenery, Thornton Wilder magnifies the theme of the importance of the little things in life, and how very great they really are. They are what make life what it is, and most people don't notice this until it is too late, if at all. By using no scenery, one sees these lives in the simplest possible way, and sees how great they are in just their ordinary routine.

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