The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 15

Fresh Bones

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 03, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
334 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While investigating several deaths and murders within a Haitian refugee camp, Mulder and Scully get caught in the middle of a secret war between the camp commander and a Voodoo priest.

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  • Can't go wrong with a voodoo X-File

    The voodoo storyline and the conflict between Beauvais and Wharton gave the episode some intrigue.
  • Mulder and Scully are caught up in a battle of a voodoo priest and a camp commander

    This was quite a spooky episode in a battle between a voodoo priest and a camp commander which results in several murders that was believed to be suicide but they don't turn out to be.It was a spooky episode when Mulder was chasing the kid and all that was left was a cat that also appeared at the end when Scully saved herself from the voodoo priest apparently dead coming out of her hand.There was so much spooky even for X-Files.moreless
  • Fresh Bones

    Fresh Bones was another perfectly entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of action, drama, intrigue and suspense. It was neat to see a story involving Haitian refugees and Voodoo, though it was surprising who was behind every thing. There were some interesting issues addressed in this story such as the army and it's abuse of power. I liked the ending where the guy responsible got what he deserved. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • That Voodoo That You Do

    A mediocre stand-alone episode. We get Haitians in place of aliens and I just can't buy into it. I get the nagging feeling that the writers are just trying to make some kind of political point since they leave out any details about the voodoo going down at the detention center. How could the man locked up in solitary confinement have poisoned the soldiers? After all, I didn't see a frog-press in his cage. Why was there such animosity between him and the commander? It seemed that there was more behind that story but the writers did not flesh it out.moreless
  • Not much boo with the voodoo

    Rather unusually, this episode sees "The X Files" getting political. Of course this show getting political means that it doesn't do it in an overt way, but there's enough clues laid out for us about the army's mistreatment of Haitian refugees in a detention camp to make us realise that we're being told something. Thankfully our lesson is couched in a tale of voodoo which is superficially interesting but which ultimately fails to make the grade as higher echelon X File material.

    And why would that be? There's a certain lackadaisical quality to "Fresh Bones" that seems to be generated by the episode's openendedness. Writer Howard Gordon has tried to ensure that he has every aspect covered – hell, he even manages to come up with a scientific explanation for zombification – but no X File can ever be so neatly summarised. There's also an air of familiarity that such gimmicks as the appearance of X can't quite disguise. The whole aspect of troubled US army personnel taking it out on their families harks right back to the second episode ever made, "Deep Throat". And the addition of the cheeky boy Chester who actually turns out to be a ghost is just a little bit too contrived. As in, how come nobody else in the entire camp remarked on the fact that this supposedly dead boy is running around at large?

    Still, there's enough here to keep our interest fuelled, and this is largely down to the efforts of director Rob Bowman. Mindful of how big the show is getting in terms of scope and iconography, Bowman like the director of the previous episode, Kim Manners, has pulled out the stops to give the series a big feel. Some of his cinematic close-ups of Mulder and Scully are poster material. But Bowman can also tell a good story. His opening teaser very neatly captures the tension of a household with its telling observation. As it transpires, the theme of the episode – that the brutalised Haitians are fighting back against their aggressors with the only weapon they have, in the form of voodoo – actually turns out to be more interesting than the story itself. The episode's highpoint is when Scully comes face to face with the reality of voodoo with a horrific sequence in her car parked outside a cemetery when her hand bursts open. Scully is able to avert disaster by reaching for a talisman, but does this experience make her acknowledge the power of voodoo? Absolutely not, and it's this lack of attention to detail that makes this episode ultimately a largely unsatisfying experience. Though there's no denying the horror of Colonel Wharton's fate at the end.

Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Private Jack McAlpin

Guest Star

Roger R. Cross

Roger R. Cross

Private Kittel

Guest Star

Peter Kelamis

Peter Kelamis

Lt. Foyle

Guest Star

Steven Williams

Steven Williams


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Near the beginning of the episode as Mulder and Scully are walking into the refugee camp, one of the refugee actors breaks character by trying to suppress a smirk right as he's about to go out of the camera's view.

    • Continuity: While reading from his report at the beginning of the episode, Mulder refers to Jack McAlpin as John McAlpin.

      Jack is a common nickname for those named John.

    • In "Fresh Bones", just after the opening credits, the shot of the road that Mulder and Scully are driving down is stamped as "Highway 10, Folkstone, North Carolina". In "Aubrey", three episodes earlier, the same shot is used the first time Mulder and Scully go to visit Cokely, and the stamp says "Highway 377, Missouri/Nebraska border".

    • While Mulder, Scully, and the groundskeeper are walking through Folkstone Municipal Cemetery, there is a partially hidden but still conspicuous sign that reads "Vancouver Cemetery."

    • When Mulder chases Chester on the pier, the camera's shadow can be seen as it circles around him.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Mulder: Private John McAlpin, he was one of the few, the proud... the dead. Last week he wrapped his car around a tree, died on impact.

    • (Whilst prodding a Voodoo charm)
      Scully: Mulder, voodoo only works by instilling fear among its believers. You saw the way Bauvais tried to intimidate me. The power of suggestion is considerable, I'll admit.. But this is no more magic than a pair of fuzzy dice.

    • Scully: We're not sure what happened. But there is a medical explanation for his condiition.

    • Mulder: I was surprised to get your card. I had assumed our last contact... would be our last. Why are you here?
      X: Your investigation is faltering, Agent Mulder.
      Mulder: I've got a renegade Marine who may be violating every human rights provision...
      X: These people have no rights. In 24 hours all access to Folkstone will be restricted to military personnel. No press, no third-party monitoring.
      Mulder: What about Scully and me?
      X: You'll be called back to Washington on a priority matter.
      Mulder: They're making the camp invisible. Why?
      X: In case you haven't noticed, Agent Mulder, the Statue of Liberty is on vacation. The new mandate says if you're not a citizen you'd better keep out.

    • Mulder: What do you know about zombies?
      Scully: Well I hope you don't intend to tell Robin McAlpin that she married one.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Film Reference: The Serpent and the Rainbow

      The final scene with Wharton trapped inside the coffin mirrors the final scene from the Wes Craven movie which was based on a Wade Davis book about his experiences in Haiti.