Monday, April 5, 2010

The X-Files: Miracle Man (1.18)

The first of many faith-related X-Files episodes, Miracle Man centers less on the most obvious religious character (Scully) and more on faith itself, how it can be manipulated and sold for profit, how quickly it can be turned on, and how it can drive people to potentially fatal actions.

I really liked Vance as the bad guy, and it was unfortunate that we weren't able to understand more of his motive. It was undoubtedly the best part of the episode: a man saved from death that grows to despise his second chance at existence. His general appearance was pretty sinister too, with the black sun-glasses and his cloaks. Also creepy was the evangelical faith-healing stuff, but that's probably just my feelings in general. They can't not be creepy.

Mulder's visions of his sister again show the series attempting to shoe-horn in the X-Files mythology into an episode that doesn't need it. I liked that Samuel mentioned Samantha in passing, but it was unnecessary to see her appear constantly after. Also a little unnecessary was Samuel's resurrection, making him a literal Jesus figure. For me, it would have been far more shocking to have him stay dead at the hands of those who once idolized him.

Miracle Man has some interesting ideas, and they're mostly played successfully, but it doesn't stop the episode from being pretty average in quality. Rating C

Guest stars R.D. Call (Sheriff Maurice Daniels); Scott Bairstow (Samuel Hartley); George Gerdes (Reverend Calvin Hartley); Dennis Lipscomb (Leonard Vance)
Writers Howard Gordon, Chris Carter Director Michael Lange

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