The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 11

El Mundo Gira

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 12, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
270 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a deadly yellow rain falls in a migrant workers camp and kills a young woman, Agents Mulder and Scully come to investigate what happened. After questioning the family the agents learn that they believe a mythical creature is responsible for the death and before long Mulder and Scully are on the trail of a mythical beast known as El Chupacabra. Mulder and Scully have to work out where the beast will go next before it can kill anyone else.

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  • Before I was a kingpin in New Mexico I was a chupacabra

    eeeehhh yeah. Nothing here that I think we'll see again or remember much of in time but not without some noteworthy qualities. Raymond Cruz who is better known as Tuco from Breaking Bad does about as good as one can with this kind of role, you believe in his drama, Vince Gilligan sure had somebody in mind for that Breaking Bad part seeing as he worked on The X Files too, good call. The fungi effects were pretty cool too.

    Again nothing memorable but well made as always and a stand out performance that helped elevate it all.moreless
  • El Mundo Gira

    El Mundo Gira was a superbly entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was about a suppossed mythological beast famous in Mexico. The story was well written, intriguing and full of great scenes. The love triangle between the two brothers was good and added a touch of broken heart romance. I liked learning more about what else could explain what happened. The ending was pretty good and scary knowing they are still out there somewhere. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Mulder and Scully chase after a Chupacabra

    I'm not a scholar on Mexican folklore, but I've only heard bits and pieces about Chupacabras and what they actually are. This episode was about half interesting and half confusing, as most episodes of this season have turned out to be. We get the promise of a cool "monster-of-the-week," but we never get enough explanation to make it a satisfying episode.

    Scully got it right when she described it as a Mexican soap opera. There was two brothers who wanted to kill each other, both of who seemed to love the same woman. The supernatural and mysterious idea of the episode comes from a thunderstorm that leaves the woman dead and one of the brothers infected with some kind of extraterrestial virus. For an episode that contains something involving alien-like bacteria, there's a surprising lack of focus on it. Instead, we focus on the brothers and their drama, along with characters that are never fleshed out enough to care about.

    Plus, the ending explanation for everything was so rushed and poorly written that it just about ruined everything that preceded it. For me, this was a promising enough episode that just had too many poorly written moments.moreless
  • Mulder and Scully travel to the Central Valley of California where a yellow rain appears to have resulted in the death of a young woman and a goat. Rumors of El Chupacabra, a mythical creature along with issues with INS complicate the case.moreless

    This is nowhere near a favorite episode of mine, however there are some things about it that I really like about the episode. Whenever, TV shows or movies are set somewhere you live or have lived I think we make a connection to them in some way. I lived in San Joaquin County, California for a year and Sacramento county for another two. Despite my preferance things set in my home state of Oregon, I enjoyed watching this episode for this reason alone. I think they are also proving a solid point, "Nobody cares". So often as people we simply ignore the things that we don't want to deal with; we pretend they are not there. In this time with immigration being a hot issue, it seems like this episode hits home in a very real way. As people we seem to want out politicans to deal with this for us and let us not worry about it. However, as a teacher I am unable to turn a blind eye to this very real issue. So to sum up, not a great episode, but maybe we can let it make up think.moreless
  • Alien Fungal Nation

    If I didn't hate "Sanguinarium" so much, this would be my pick for worst episode of Season Four.

    The storyline is confused - what in the heck was the thunder, lightning and yellow rain during the opening teaser? This event is never really explained and seems to have been included just to give an excuse for some cool effects at the beginning. And we are led to believe that one of the two brothers will have his vengeance against the other, but in the end they both decide to take it on the road as "Dos Chupacabras?" Huh? What happened to Soledad's "righteous need for revenge?"

    The socio-political "message" is too heavy-handed. Um, ok, the illegal aliens are invisible to us, so invisible that we won't even notice a couple of them when they grow giant fungus heads and hitchhike down to old Mexico. Riiight...

    I kept looking for irony but found very little. The scientist's comment that fungi might one day actually beat out the cockroach for world domination seemed like a sly reference to "Coprophages."

    About the only thing I did enjoy in this episode was the make-up work. The fungal victims were all very well done, excepting perhaps Maria, the first victim, who looked a bit fake.moreless
Pamela Diaz

Pamela Diaz

Maria Dorantes

Guest Star

Susan Bain

Susan Bain

County Coroner

Guest Star

Robert Thurston

Robert Thurston

Dr. Larry Steen

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In the episode, Scully consults with a doctor. He says that the Athlete's Foot fungus had help with an enzyme. He then goes on to explain that it is a catalyst. Technically, all enzymes act as catalysts throughout our bodies.

    • How is it that both brothers were able to carry a fatal enzyme across the border and slip away from the F.B.I. and everyone else, simply because 'nobody cares'. I find it hard to believe such a potentially massive outbreak would be left alone by the entire United States government.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Skinner: You would think that with the resources we have, we'd be able to find these men. I'm not hearing a good explanation why this hasn't happened.
      Scully: Well, Sir, they have a way of being almost invisible.
      Mulder: The truth is... nobody cares.

    • Scully: Did he tell you what happened?
      Mulder: A flash of light, yellow rain, Maria! MARIA!

    • Mexican Woman: (In Spanish) Two brothers. One woman. Trouble.

    • Scully: Mulder, I know you're not going to like this, but I think the aliens in this story are not the villains, they're the victims.

    • Lozano: A man cannot live with vengeance in his heart.
      Mulder: So we got to find him first.
      Lozano: My mother used to say that blood should be left to cleanse itself. God curses the man who stands between two brothers.

    • Mulder: They think he's the Chupacabra.
      Lozano: That may be. But I will tell you with a tremendous degree of certainty this guy is not Erik Estrada.

    • Lozano: Let's see . . . OK. We have a Jose Feliciano. We have Juan Valdez. We have Cesar Chavez. We have Placido Domingo here. But I don't see any Eladio Buente.

    • Mulder: Scully, I've been thinking. I know that's dangerous, but just bear with me.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode aired the same day as the Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files", featuring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

    • This episode had some delays during production. The migrant worker's camp was built from scratch in the middle of a large waste ground, unfortunately a storm dumped several inches of snow onto the sunbaked 'San Joaquin Valley'. Crew members had to scurry ahead of each camera setup, melting down the snow with hot water and blow dryers.

    • 'El Mundo Gira' is Spanish for "The World Rotates" -- possibly a play on the soap opera title As the World Turns, since Scully described this case as a "Mexican soap opera."


    • Movie Reference "Maria ... Maria ... I just met a girl named Maria". This is a reference to the musical West Side Story, written by Arthur Laurents with music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. It is a modern day re-telling of Romeo and Juliet set in Manhattan's Upper West Side. Instead of rival families, it involves two rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks.

    • Cultural Reference: El Chupacabra The references to El Chupacabra are based on urban legend, myth or true story, depending on which version of the tale you believe. First sightings were in Puerto Rico in the late 1980s and it seems to be a creature mostly confined to Latin American communities. Literally meaning 'goat sucker' it is supposed to be a creature that preys on livestock. Descriptions vary widely, from a doglike form to a lizardlike being with spines.

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