The X-files

Episode: 5X09
First aired:1/11/98
Written by: Jessica Scott and Mike Wollager
Directed by: Ralph Hemeker

This is a scary episode of X-files, somewhat disturbing, but also very good as it stays true to what the X-files is all about.

In Michigan, a 16 year old boy, Bobby is yelled at by his stepfather, Phil, for not doing his chores in the yard. The argument escalates and Bobby threatens his stepfather with a shovel and then runs away into a nearby orchard with Phil chasing him. Suddenly, Phil is knocked down. Soon afterward, Phil's wife finds her husband dead and buried up to his shoulders in mud

Scully and Mulder are brought in and Scully does an autopsy on Phil's body and finds more than 10 pounds of mud in his stomach. She feels that Phil was forced and held in the mud by Bobby, who may have dug a hole in the ground, using a rope to catch Phil's ankle (she sees a bruise on Phil's ankle).

Mulder talks to Bobby who says that Phil had been physically abusing him. Scully talks to the wife who saw Bobby at the pit, apparently trying to help Phil out of the mud. She also says that Bobby had been in therapy to control his anger. Mulder and Scully talk to Bobby's therapist, Karin Matthews. Karin tells them that Bobby's anger is from the physical abuse and Mulder feels that Bobby may not be to blame for Phil's death.

Bobby tells his friend, Lisa, that she has to stand up to her father just as he had done. Lisa goes home and confronts her father who tells her not to see Bobby again. Lisa storms off. Shortly, her father is attacked and killed by a big arm-like appendage which crashes through the window. Scully feels that the father was killed by being pushed out the window but Mulder feels that the father was grabed from outside.

Mulder and Scully learn later that Lisa is also a patient of Karin Matthews and talk to Karin again. She tells them that she has her patients empower themselves and confront their abusers.

Mulder finds a small piece of wood in the father's neck and matches it to a tree outiside the family's home. In the orchard, Mulder and Scully are approached by Ramirez, a man, who is holding an axe at his side. Ramirez tells them that the tree is sying because of a "bad man" and shows them that the tree is actually bleeding.

Karen invites Lisa to her house and as Lisa enters, she hears Karin arguing with a male voice. Lisa finds herself to the root cellar where she discovers the body of a man. She tries to run out but is trapped by the closing door which locks her in. She hears the male voice yelling at her and calling her a snoop. Later, Karin finds Lisa telling her that she has to be quiet or the man will hear her voice.

Mulder finds out that Karin's father was killed in an orchard, similar to how Bobby's stepfather was killed and wonders why Karin didn't mention the coincidence. Ramirez says that after Karin's father's death, the disease affeting the trees ended. Karin tells them that this myth is associated with the fact that her father was a powerful man that inspired fantasy. Mulder digs up Karin's father's casket and finds it empty except for tree roots.

Lisa's aunt arrives at Karin's house expecting to pick Lisa up. However, Karin tells her that Lisa isn't here, even though Lisa is still trapped in the cellar. Before her aunt can drive off, Lisa attracts her attention and her aunt runs over to a window to the cellar. But the aunt is attacked and killed by the force of tree branches. Mulder later talks with Bobby who tells him that Karin had him pretend he was Phil and that he wasn't really a victim afterall.

In the cellar, Lisa hears the male voice again, but realizes that it is actually from Karen. Mulder and Scully come to Karin's house. They find the male body that Lisa had discovered before and Mulder realizes that it is the body of Karen's father. They are locked in the root cellar but Mulder forces their way out. They find Lisa hiding in the kitchen and see Karin driving away. Mulder drives after her but his car is crushed by the falling of a huge tree.

Karin drives to Bobby's house and chases him into the orchard. While running, Bobby is dragged down into the mud. Mulder finds Bobby and Karin and tells Karin to stop, to break the cycle and fight the voice inside her head. However, a root grabs Mulder and starts to drag him down as well. Ramirez appears and strikes Karin with his axe, killing her. Mulder and Bobby are able to climb out of the mud.

Important Quotes:
Scully -- "His mother says that Bobby can’t make friends. He’s been in therapy for his anger since 1995."
Mulder -- "That could be me."

Mulder (climbing a tree) -- "Hey, Scully, is this demonstration of boyish agility turning you on at all"

Mulder -- "I don’t think this was an act of grave robbing, Scully."
Scully -- "No. That’s what we were doing."

Back to The X-files: Season 5

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