The X-Files

Season 5 Episode 10


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 08, 1998 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
298 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Master of Horror Stephen King's first effort at an X-File sees Scully's well deserved vacation going terribly wrong and landing her in a small Maine town where one of the residents is believed to be a witch and her autistic daughter's doll has frighteningly evil powers.

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  • A 1000 page story turned down to a 1 hr episode.

    I had actually thought of Stephen King as I was watching that grocery store rip itself to shreds and would you look at that. Yup you've got an evil doll that emerged from the depths of haunted waters, plenty of blood going around and hell Scully is even wearing a t-shirt that says Maine, you've got a Stephen Kingish story.

    It was a pretty entertaining, quicker paced hour with Mulder and Scully having hilarious back and forths and folks going ape shit because of this doll and pain in the ass kid (though I guess its not all her fault). My only issue is that while it was fun to watch it wasn't much more than that, a killer doll in the X-Files, that could have been hella scary but I've seen too many movies so maybe that was a factor.

    Lets have some fun!moreless
  • Chinga

    Chinga was a perfect, creepy, disturbing and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome and very well written. It was spooky to see a doll who had power and controlled the surrounding people and events. This was a fun and exciting episode full of horror movie elements, great acting, and a a superb ending. I liked how the story played out and it was awesome to see things more from Scully's point of view. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • That was an annoying song

    The only thing I could really enjoyed about this is how much Mulder keeps calling Scully with lame excuses just to hear her voice, to know how she is, just because he's so used to her. Scully on the other hand, needed Mulder's insights and couldn't be away from him either. They're a team and they proved it this time.

    Even when I love Stephen King so much, the case was a little too odd for my taste. Was the girl that stubborn because of the doll? Why couldn't Melissa do anything about it? Anyway, the doll was destroyed and it was nice to see Scully back with Mulder, otherwise, he would've died of boredom.moreless
  • Chinga Tu Dolly

    Oh my, I hope they didn't pay more than scale to Stevo for this utter dud of an episode. Thoroughly, painfully unoriginal. The story is a combination of two old Twilight Zone episodes ("Talking Tina" and "It's a Good Life") with a dash of "Chucky" thrown in. For shame.

    It's not even scary, which is a pretty damning thing when you hire the supposed Master of Horror. I actually laughed out loud at the opening supermarket scene when everyone started clawing at their eyes like so many minimum wage Alice Cooper impersonators. I'm guessing that they blew their budget on hiring the Master of Horror, since the "bloody eyes" effect seemed to have been accomplished with nothing more than red tempra paint. Shockingly amateurish looking.

    Even worse, in my eyes, is that someone (probably Carter) steals Darin Morgan's "dueling telephones" bit that he used in "Coprophages" to include a presumably-absent Mulder in the episode through a series of short telephone exchanges between he and Scully. It's cute but not nearly as funny or effective as it was in "Coprophages."

    They really sexed up Scully for this episode. A tight T-shirt, windswept hair, a bare leg lifted from a luxurious bubble bath - Scully has never looked more seductive. In turn, they transform Mulder into a sort Spicoli/Ferris Bueller character, with him watching a mindless "When Animals Attack" style show on TV, spiking pencils on the ceiling and generally acting like a buffoon. It's all a bit overdone.

    For some reason, the writers seem intent on making sure Scully has a male sidekick to lean on, as she is followed around throughout the episode by the local Sheriff, who actually does very little. It's a strange plot device, one that I think is relied upon too much.

    Oh, and the Melissa character is THE most annoying character ever to appear in an X-File episode. She has exactly one expression - that of abject horror, and she uses this same expression, unchanged, through each and every scene. She is like a Kabuki doll. When she started whacking her own head with a hammer, I cheered and hoped she wouldn't stop.

    One final note. I am incredulous that NO ONE would have picked up that Chinga was a naughty word. Maybe it's because I grew up in Los Angeles, but I thought that it's meaning was common knowledge to most people. I have to believe that King chose it intentionally. Where else would he have gotten it?moreless
  • Stephen King writes an episode about a killer doll.

    Stephen King is almost unanimously lauded as the "Master of horror," or even "the king of horror," so it makes sense that Chris Carter and crew would approach him about writing an episode of the show. However, it appears that even King couldn't take a plot that's just semi-interesting and launch it into classic territory.

    There are certainly very Stephen King-esque moments in the episode. First off, it takes place in Maine, and as somebody who lives smack-dab in the middle of Maine, I can say that King gets most of the mannerisms right.. the lobsters, the constant "Ayuh/Ayup's" of the people.. it just felt very Maine-ish, something that King definitely brought to the episode. And we all know King has written novels about various inanimate objects coming to life, most notably in "Christine." However, something about the plot itself just felt a little empty, and once again, the lack of chemistry between Mulder and Scully damaged what could've been a very fun episode.

    The episode follows a mother and her daughter as they attempt to escape the violence inflicted on others via the duaghter's doll, who creepily opens her eyes, says "I want to play" in an eerie voice and makes people scratch their own eyes out or stab themselves with knives. The scene at the beginning of the episode has that over the top feeling that comes with Stephen King's works. The problem with the episode is that the supporting characters end up falling flat on their face without Mulder around. It feels like the mother and daughter get more screen time than Scully, and they're definitely not good enough actors to carry the episode.

    However, there are still some other great moments here.. the "Hokey Pokey" song skipping just before one of the women is murdered, the image of the old man walking out of the grocery store with bloody eyes.. just eerie moments that could've been even better with some editing of the script.moreless
Susannah Hoffman

Susannah Hoffman

Melissa Turner

Guest Star

Larry Musser

Larry Musser

Captain Jack Bonsaint

Guest Star

Dean Wray

Dean Wray

Rich Turner

Guest Star

William MacDonald

William MacDonald

Buddy Riggs

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Stephen King first expressed interest when he was on an episode of Jeopardy! with David Duchovny. He told Duchovny that he loved the show and he'd like to write an episode.

    • The phone conversation is a reversal of the season 3 episode "War of the Coprophages". This time Scully is on the case and is consulting Mulder for his opinion.

    • Even though Mulder tells Scully he was watching "The World's Deadliest Swarms", the cassette holder says "Alien Probe", most likely one of Mulder's porns.

    • The book on Scully's night-stand in her motel room is titled, "Affirmation, For Women Who Do Too Much" by Adrianna Carrillo. There appears to be no such book or author and presumably the book is an in-joke meant to poke fun at Scully's work ethic and her inability to simply enjoy her vacation. Also, it is noteworthy that the cover of this book appears to depict a witch in a forest beneath a full moon, a sly reference to the storyline.

    • Continuity Goof: In the first scene after the opening credits, Scully pulls into a gas station in a convertible with its top down, despite the fact that it clearly had just rained. There are storm clouds in the sky and the street and pavement are soaked. Scully even tells Mulder on the telephone that "The weather is clear."

    • The map of Kentucky that is in Mulder's office is upside down.

    • Plot Hole: Why would Scully destroy the doll using fire when she knew the kitchen floor was drenched in gasoline?

    • Why did Scully pump her own gas? It was a 'We Serve' station and she drove over a bell cable as she came in.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Scully: (to Chief Bonsaint) Wow, I wish I could help you out.. I'm just... on vacation.

    • Mulder: (In the office, swinging on the back of a chair) Hey Scully, it's me!
      Scully: Mulder, I thought we had an agreement. We were both going to take the weekend off.
      Mulder: Right, right, right. I know. But-but I, uh I just received some information about a case. A classic X-File. Classic. Wanted to share it with you.
      Scully: Mulder, I'm on vacation. The weather is clear, I'm looking forward to hitting the road and breathing in some of this fine New England air.
      Mulder: You didn't rent a convertible, did you?
      Scully: Why?
      Mulder: Are you aware of the statistics of decapitation?
      Scully: Mulder, I'm hanging up. I'm turning off my cellphone, I'm back in the office on Monday.
      Mulder: You shouldn't uh... talk and drive at the same time either. Are you aware of the statistics-- Hello?

    • Mulder: It sounds to me like that's witchcraft or maybe sorcery that you're looking for there.
      Scully: No, I don't think it's witchcraft, Mulder, or sorcery. I've had a look around and I don't see any evidence of anything that warrants that kind of suspicion.
      Mulder: Maybe you don't know what you're looking for.
      Scully: Like evidence of conjury or the black arts, or shamanism, divination, wicca or any kind of pagan or neo-pagan practices. Charms, cards, familiars, bloodstones, or hex signs or any kind of ritual tableaux associated with the occult, santeria, voudoun, macumba, or any high or low magic.
      Mulder: Scully?
      Scully: Yes?
      Mulder: Marry me.

    • Scully: Mulder, are there any references in occult literature to... objects that have the power to... direct human behavior?
      Mulder: What . . . types of objects?
      Scully: Uhm, like a doll for instance?
      Mulder: You mean like Chucky?
      Scully: (embarrassed) Yeah, kinda like that.

    • Mulder: You didn't find a talking doll, did you Scully?
      Scully: No, no... course not, uh...
      Mulder: I would suggest that you should check the back of the doll for a... a plastic ring with a string on it. That would be my first... Hello?

  • NOTES (7)

    • The Hokey Pokey that plays through-out the episode is performed by Jo Ann Greer & The Skyliners.

    • Chris Carter and Stephen King never met during the writing of this episode.

    • Stephen King churned out several drafts of this episode, but due to Mulder and Scully being slightly out of character, Chris Carter delivered the final draft.

    • The classical music selection playing as Scully drives into town and when she is taking a bath is Hummel's Piano Concerto No.3, Opus 89.

    • 'Chinga' is the name of Polly's evil doll, as well as the title. Unbeknownst to writer Stephen King at the time, Chinga is also an offensive Spanish slang term (apparently the equivalent of the F-word). When Chris Carter realized this, the episode name was changed to "Bunghoney" when it aired outside of the US.

    • The coastal Maine town as the setting for this episode is typical for a Stephen King story. Maine is his home state and is the principal setting for almost all of his novels.

    • The name of the boat in this episode is "Working Girl", a reference to the movie of the same name in which David Duchovny had a small part.


    • Mulder: You mean like Chucky?

      "Chucky" is the name of the Good Guy doll possessed by killer Charles Lee Ray in the 1988 horror movie Child's Play and it's sequels. Chucky is voiced by Brad Dourif who played psychic killer Luther Lee Boggs in season 1's 'Beyond the Sea'.