The X-Files

Season 9 Episode 8


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 27, 2002 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
197 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Agent Reyes takes the lead while investigating an X-file case, surrounding a man found skinned alive after having visions of seeing other people appearing skinned alive. Reyes calls on Scully's expertise to help on the investigation.

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  • Hellbound

    Hellbound was a superb episode of The X-Files and I really enjoyed watching. The story revolved around Reyes and visions she had connected to some gruesome murders which was interesting. I liked the character development and the general theory of what was happening. It was great to watch the agents investigate and figure out the possible reasons for what was happening. The guest cast was great. I liked the ending and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • Skin Deep

    One thing that has remained consistently good about the X-Files is the casting. The guys in this episode really do look like ex-cons. Other than the casting, there isn't really much to recommend this episode. Oh, there is a shot of a sweaty Reyes in a black camisole waking up after a bad dream (with Doggett rather incongruously listening in on her from the next room). Too bad she is still overwhelmed by the role and she gives yet another bleh performance, which is unfortunate since she is the focus of this particular episode.

    The initial suspect in the murders is so obvious that we know it can't be him. And as there aren't a whole lot of other characters left alive, it's pretty easy to figure out that the killer must be either the group counselor or the bored detective. So flip a coin.

    In the end, the storyline ends up being pretty clever, it would have made a nice feature film in itself. It seems completely arbitrary that Reyes has some psychic connection with the events, but it's reminiscent of a previous X-File episode where the agents discover their past lives, so I'll give this plot contrivance a pass.moreless
  • Reyes has spooky feelings, the plot is not believable, even for X-Files.

    This episode makes no sense, and the whole time it feels like all these convenient things are happening just so Reyes can have her mysterious revelation. Meanwhile, the whole premise is ridiculous. It's based on the idea that when the murderer dies, his soul is transferred to a newborn baby, like exiting the vagina is somehow a soul-giving moment. For this to work, the soul would have to be passed upon conception, but conception is impossible to pinpoint by looking through files, and so we get this episode. Just a real clunker. I'm not one of those people who bashes season nine; it has its strengths. But it also features most of the worst episodes in the series, this one included.moreless
  • The storyline is great as in every single episode.

    I think the problem that fans have has nothing to do with the storyline but with the characters solving it.

    If you look at the storylines, the cases, itself you know they are great and that Chris Carter didn't lose his touch. I think we just see them different because they are investigated in a different way, with a different aproach. We are used to Mulder and Scully solving, or at least investigating, the cases in their own special way and in this season we lose that and we get 2 new characters, Goggett and Reyes, who investigate the cases in a complete different way. We loved Mulder and Scully's way so for us it's hard to see it different.

    But I repeat, the storylines are still great, they are as x-files as they have ever been.moreless
  • A series of gruesome murders reveals more about Monica Reyes and her subtle psychic or empathic abilities.

    This is not the greatest episode in the world and the story is rather convoluted and fields weirdly somewhat far-fetched even for an X-Files episode. I don't know whether it's in the writing or the direction, but it just felt a little 'clunky' alongside other better ones. That being said, it is still pretty good with a fair share of chills and gore. The premise is around a series of murders of four people, a similar set of murders that has been happening on certain dates in the past. The deaths of one set of victims correspond with the births of others etc.

    The method of murder is skinning alive and the special effects team really comes into its own here. The body is very believable - though less so to me was how someone could remove the skin and leave all the arteries and veins intact without an incredible amount of skill. There is a particularly unsettling scene in an abattoir, which is already place with dead carcasses in it.

    It does tell us more about Monica and her abilities - actually it's a shame these weren't further exploited, but that would have probably taken another series of the X Files. The ending and the culprit are a little easy to guess.

    So I wouldn't call it a classic, but it's still worth a look.moreless
Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick

Special Agent John Doggett

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson

Special Agent Dana Scully

Annabeth Gish

Annabeth Gish

Special Agent Monica Reyes

Don Swayze

Don Swayze

Terry Pruit

Guest Star

James McDonnell

James McDonnell

Detective Van Allen

Guest Star

Cyril O'Reilly

Cyril O'Reilly

Ed Kelso

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Why did the guy who gave Scully "everything she wanted to know about skinning people" think that a case from the 1960s should have been excluded?

      Especially considering there were 3 others exactly like it at the same time.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Doggett: Can I see that light a second? (He pokes Terrance Pruit's cheek. The man moves) Holy god, he's still alive! Somebody get in here and get him down! We need a medic in here! (to Terrance Pruit) Can you hear me? Do you understand? Who did this to you? Do you know who did this to you?

    • Dr Mueller: In all my days, I never saw anything as inhuman as this. (He's looking through the case file and autopsy photos)
      Scully: Sir, I haven't located police records from the investigation. Was there ever a suspect who was charged or arrested in this case as far as you know?
      Dr Mueller: No suspects, no investigation for that matter.
      Scully: I don't understand.
      Dr Mueller: The victim was a John Doe — a nobody. Carl Hobart, the county sheriff, figured he was a drifter. Hobart said he didn't want to stir up the community.
      Scully: And no one called him on that?
      Dr Mueller: I tried... the sheriff had other things on his mind, I suppose.
      Scully: Why do you say that?
      Dr Mueller: Well, it wasn't long after that he put a bullet through his head. What are you thinking, doctor? This is some copycat murder 40-odd years later?
      Scully: If so, it's the most perfectly executed that I've ever seen. And why copy an obscure murder that nobody's ever even heard of?
      Dr Mueller: A string of murders.
      Scully: I'm sorry?
      Dr Mueller: I thought you knew. John Doe... was only the first.

    • Doggett: FBI! Stop right there! (Ed Kelso runs. Doggett chases him out of the house and through the backyard before tackling him) What part of 'stop right there' did you not understand?

    • Scully: Excuse me. Dr Mueller? Dr Bertram Mueller?
      Dr Mueller: Yes?
      Scully: My name is Dana Scully. I'm with the FBI. I want to ask you some questions about a John Doe you did an autopsy on in 1960.
      Dr Mueller: You honestly expect me to recall some case from way back when? I'm 84 years old.
      Scully: Sir, this particular victim was skinned alive.

  • NOTES (1)