The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 11

Excelsis Dei

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Dec 16, 1994 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
350 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully investigate when the rape and battery of a nurse takes place in a Massachusetts convalescent home. The nurse claims that she was attacked by one of the residents but also claims they were invisible. Mulder and Scully soon discover that it may not be one of the residents after all...moreless

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  • My plumbing is as old as the building.

    The most effective aspect of this episode is the questions that it poses (moral, scientific and anthropological). Do we place way too much faith in allopathic methods of recovery? Do us North Americans rely too much on homes for the elderly? After learning the truth, why was the cure completely abandoned (instead of being studied)?
  • Mushroom pills

    When a female employee working at Excelsis Dei is raped by what she says was a spirit of a 74 year old man Mulder and Scully investigate Excelsis Dei and shortly after another man turns up dead and you could see it had something to do with Gung the Asian man.Mulder also became in danger when he was locked in the bathroom with the woman from the beginning and nearly drowning until the water burst out and the the spirits went.Even though it unknown what actually happened it is likely that the mushroom pills from Gung is causing it and it seemed to make the patients better but with some bad outcomes.In the end when there was no more pills all the patients progress had reversed.moreless
  • Excelsis Dei

    Excelsis Dei was a superb and entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it features guest star Teryl Rothery whom I know well, at this point in time, from Stargate SG-1 as Dr. Frasier. Her story line was fun and full of drama, intrigue, suspense, and action. I liked how the story played out and there were definitely some creepy elements along with excellent music accompaniment. The ending was great and learning more about what had happened, though not every thing, was a definite benefit. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • Perfunctory

    There's a lot going on in "Excelsius Dei", and it's with great relief to see that it's a much better organised episode than its predecessor, "Red Museum". It's a typically interesting X File fusion of other projects, in this case, a mixture of "Cocoon" and "Awakenings", and just as typically, it has a fascinating underlying theme. This is expounded by the Chinese orderly Gung, who does what he does in reaction to what he sees as being the disrespectful treatment of the elderly in our society. And one trip to the Excelsius Dei nursing home would certainly make you agree with him.

    This is got to be one of the darkest, dingiest nursing homes in existence, a grim depressing place with lots of long dark corridors down which our agents frequently run. (Clearly Gillian Anderson is still breastfeeding at this point in her new role as mother.) But it's a good atmospheric backdrop, beautifully lit, and yet another affirmation of the sheer quality of this show. Interesting to see that Scully is the crusader in this episode. You'd have thought that Mulder would be chomping at the bit to crack a case involving entity rape, but he seems instantly dismissive of it. Instead his partner is the more determined of the two, and she is actually right. She suspects that some kind of fungal contaminant is at work at the nursing home. It's not only until much later in the proceedings that Mulder makes one of his much-vaunted leaps and suspects that Gung is responsible for the weird goings-on. And so he goes off looking for some mushrooms. The vengeful spirit aspect here ultimately sits quite uneasily with the regenerating old folk. Is that what's really at work here? Or is it Stan Philips astrally projecting his anger at his mistreatment? It would appear to be the latter for when he is saved from suffocation, Mulder and the redoubtable nurse are both freed from their watery prison. And there's a tantalising moment when Scully stands in a corridor surrounded by ghosts. The expression on her face would almost seem to imply that she's dimly aware of their presence – there's a theme running through the entire X Files universe that Scully has some kind of precognitive ability – but this is not explored. Other than that, this episode treads its ground in a fairly perfunctory way. There are a couple of nice touches – one of the residents of the nursing home becomes one of the first in X Files history to automatically assume that Mulder and Scully are an item – and there's a great spectacular water effect at the end.

    Yet for some reason this is not an episode that ranks that highly. Perhaps it just seems a little ordinary in comparison with some of its fellows. At any rate, it's rather ironic that a solidly put together story like this, addressing the problems of Alzheimer's, should in itself turn out to be so forgettable. 5/10moreless
  • Mulder and Scully investigate "entity rape," as the two are wont to say

    It's no surprise to look through the episode ratings on the website and find the episodes focused on extra-terresterials and the over-arching mythology plots as the higher rated episodes. Sure, the random episodes that focus on random X-File cases are fun, but they're not nearly as intriguing and captivating as when Mulder and Scully are looking at conspiracies and trying to figure things about the government out. Just look at the arc with Duane Berry and Scully's disappearance. Incredible television right there, but when you jump back to normal episodes, it's a jolt.

    This episode wasn't bad though. It was much better than some of the previous episodes this season too. Mulder and Scully investigate the possibility that spirits are sexually assaulting people. It takes place in a nursing home, where an orderly claims she was raped by an invisible man. Nobody believes her of course, and surprisingly, Mulder is doubtful. It's interesting to see Scully sort of coming into her own and questioning whether or not there's a possibility of supernatural stuff happening.

    That being said, it felt like an average episode all around.. nothing all that exciting. The reasons for why these things happen remain a little murky, as a lot of the episodes throughout the show tend to do, but at least the episode remained tense all the way throughout.

    Overall, not a bad episode.moreless
Frances Bay

Frances Bay


Guest Star

Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery

Nurse Michelle Charters

Guest Star

Eric Christmas

Eric Christmas

Stan Phillips

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In reality, ibotenic acid is a psychoactive substance found in mushroom fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) but, if ingested orally, most of it is converted into an alkaloid, Muscimol. Most, if not all, ibotenic acid is actually converted to muscimol during the preparation process and in the receiver's liver. Therefore, toxicology would have shown trace amounts of muscimol, not ibotenic acid, in the patients' blood.

    • In the scene where Charters is attacked, the pillow on the bed changes sides.

    • Gung refers to his "prefecture", which is the name for a district in China, but is eventually repatriated to Malaysia where there are no prefectures.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Mulder: Whatever tape you found in the VCR isn't mine.
      Scully: Good, because I put it back in the drawer with all of the other tapes that aren't yours.

    • Mr. Arden: (to Scully) If I told you you were a very pretty woman and I would like to show you some affection, would you be offended? Huh? (turns to Mulder) Oh, I didn't mean to step on your toes there.

    • Mulder: I think you're right, Scully.
      Scully: About?
      Mulder: What's been happening is the result of the medication, but not the medication the Doctor's been giving them.
      Scully: Mulder, mushrooms aren't medication. They taste good on hamburgers, but they don't raise the dead.
      Mulder: Shamans have used them for centuries to gain entrance to the spirit world.
      Scully: I think you've been reading too much Carlos Castaneda.
      Mulder: Ask any anthropologist then.
      Scully: I know --- a shaman gets intoxicated, he has dreams or hallucinations, and he interprets them. I don't think it's any more magical than that.
      Mulder: I don't know how else to explain what's happening here.
      Scully: Well, I think, if anything, these mushrooms are a poison to the system and I think that's what killed Hal Arden.
      Mulder: And raped Michelle Charters and killed those two orderlies? Something's been unleashed here, Scully. I don't know how to explain it, but it has something to do with those pills.

    • Mulder: I...I think you're looking too hard, Scully, for something that's not there. I think Michelle Charters concocted this story to get out of a job she hates.
      Scully: Her lip required 13 stitches. The blow to her head resulted in a subdural hematoma. That's quite a concoction.

    • Scully: What if there's a connection?
      Mulder: Between the rape case and the Alzheimer's? When they're not drawing childlike pictures they're brutal sex offenders?
      Scully: Dr. Grago's therapy produces acetylcholine. Too much cholinergic activity causes a psychotic state similar to schizophrenia.
      Mulder: You think that Michelle Charters was raped by a 74-year-old schizophrenic?
      Scully: It's possible.
      Mulder: An invisible 74-year-old schizophrenic?
      Scully: Well, maybe it's not in the medication. Maybe it's the place itself.
      Mulder: Are you saying that the building's haunted? If you are, you've been working with me for too long, Scully.
      Scully: I'm talking about an environmental reason behind what's happening there. Even the disinfectant couldn't mask that smell. Who knows what's breeding behind the walls or in the sub-structure. Some fungal contaminants have been known to cause delusions, dementia, violent behavior.

    • Scully: What do you think, Mulder?
      Mulder: About the guy's plumbing?
      Scully: About his story.
      Mulder: I think this will turn out to be a huge waste of time just like all the other X-Files on entity rape. Unsubstantiated phenomena.
      Scully: But in a substantiated crime.

    • Mulder: I have several X-Files that document similar cases.
      Scully: I know. I've been here since 6:00 this morning going through them.
      Mulder: Well, then you know none of them have ever been substantiated.
      Scully: Not surprisingly.
      Mulder: Given the emotional and psychological violence of rape, the face or identity of the attacker is often blurred or erased from memory. That he could be perceived as invisible is a logical leap for me.
      Scully: Yes. But this case is different.
      Mulder: Why?
      Scully: The victim has filed a lawsuit against the government. She seems to be certain who the spirit being is.

    • Scully: This is Michelle Charters. She's a registered nurse at a convalescent home in Worchester, Massachusetts.
      Mulder: What happened to her?
      Scully: According to Miss Charters, she was raped. The abrasions and contusions here would be consistent with her claims as would be the medical report which cites the kind of injury and tearing associated with sexual trauma.
      Mulder: Where did you get this? Violent Crimes?
      Scully: No. The woman made the video herself. It seems that no one will believe her story.
      Mulder: Why not?
      Scully: Because she claims to have been raped by an invisible entity. A spirit being.

    • Nurse Charters: Okay. Party's over, gents.
      Stan: Why'd you do that?
      Nurse Charters: 'Cause rules are rules, Stan. And I'm the Queen Bitch around here.
      Hal: Gung said we could watch the rest of the fight.
      Nurse Charters: Well, do I look like Gung to you?
      Hal: No. You got a better figure.

    • Hal: If I attacked that nurse, I should be in the Guinness record book. I'm 74 years old. I've got plumbing older than this building...(opens his robe to show them)...and it don't work much better either.
      Mulder: Thank you for sharing.

    • Hal: I may have one foot in the grave, but I certainly can't fly down hallways spreading amore.

    • Hal: If that's how it's like in heaven (ghosts being able to have sex with nurses), oh please God take me now.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Scully: I think you've been reading too much Carlos Castenada.

      Carlos Castenada was the author of a controversial series of books that described his training in Native American Shamanism.