The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 15

Kaddish

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 16, 1997 on FOX
7.7
out of 10
User Rating
253 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Issac Luria, a Jewish man, is killed by a group of teenagers working for a racist shopowner, but one of them is soon strangled to death and the fingerprints on his neck are of Issac. Despite other factors, Mulder becomes convinced that the man has returned from the dead to exact revenge.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Kaddish

    9.5
    Kaddish was a superb and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was great and I found it interesting to explore some Jewish Folklore. There was some good character development and partner bonding for Mulder and Scully. It was fun watching then investigate. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • I Nearly Married A Jewish Golem

    6.0
    After three brilliant episodes, we get this, an episode where a Jewish monster made out of, um, mud goes on a killing rampage against three punks and their anti-Semitic mentor, then marries his intended before dissolving into dust. Oy vay!



    This one is slow, plodding and predictable. It seems to be a victim of writer's exhaustion after the string of so many brillient episodes preceding it. The anti-Semitic copy guy overacts terribly, so much so that he seems comical rather than menacing. It makes no sense that mudboy tries to kill his father-in-law but he does, I think. Actually, I'm not sure, as I kept nodding off as I tried to get through this episode.moreless
  • Mulder and Scully chase after a golem

    7.6
    Another episode of the X-Files that I felt is relatively disappointing. Unlike the truly terrible episodes, there was an intriguing story that had plenty of twists, but I realized about halfway through the episode, after we sort of learn everything we need to know, that the episode just wasn't doing anything for me. It was sub-par at best, and there seemed to be none of the usual humor that Mulder and Scully usually share. It's one thing to be to-the-point, but it's a completely different thing to do so and come across as lazy.



    In trying to come up with upsides and downsides to the episode, I can only come up with a few things. For one, I'm glad that for once, we found Mulder and Scully being able to agree that there was something fishy going on and that the X-File being investigated was more than just a scientific anomaly. Also, the idea of the episode itself (a hate crime begets a wife's rage) was interesting and usually makes for good television. However, there just wasn't enough substantial moments to hold it all together.



    The last few episodes of the show have actually been very good, but this episode was a huge step down. I suppose every show is allowed a few clunkers here and there.moreless
  • On par with the rest of the show. Not great, but not bad.

    7.7
    This was interesting. It was right in line with all the other episodes that we have come to expect from the X-files. This episode was interesting insofar as it pertained to a Jewish community which was interesting.



    Unfortunately, there was very little mystery behind this one as the truth was presented to us directly at the beginning. There was no great reveal, there was no great mystery, and as can be expected, the usual happens at the end, Scully and Mulder get split up, Mulder sees the undeniable truth in front of him while Scully arrives just a moment too late to witness what was actually happening.moreless
  • Muddy Jews?

    8.0
    Kaddish is an episode that actually surprised me. Im not a big fan of religion, if you know what I mean. The thought of an episode about a dead Jew did not really appeal to me that much, but actually after watching it my opinion was different. The episode is basically about a murderer made from mud. He was made to avenge the death of himself and goes on a Nazi killing spree, and even manages to get married as well. Overall this is a good episode with some great acting and special effects, and it was also quite creepy in placesmoreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: The actress playing Ariel mispronounces a Yiddish word for father: Tate. She pronounces it "Taht ay". The correct pronunciation is either, "Taht eh" or "Taht ee".

    • Factual Error: The book that Mulder finds in Isaac Luria's grave bears a Hebrew (or possibly Yiddish) inscription on the book cover. This means that it's written and bound opposite to the direction of English language books. Therefore, the name is inscribed on the back cover, not the front. (If it were an English-language book, the inscribed cover would be the front.)

      Correction: The book is bound and signed correctly. When it is shown for the first time, Mulder simply holds it upside down. When camera focuses on the signature (name of the owner) we can clearly see that it is placed along the lower margin of the cover. Had the book been bound on the left (i.e. like in books using Latin alphabet) the signature would have been inverted.

    • After Ariel invites Mulder and Scully into her home the camera pans across a room filled with people and a red dot appears on the wall and seems to move with the camera until it disappears on Mulder's back

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Scully: Apparently he'd been watching this tape when he was strangled to death.
      Mulder: Very Old Testament.
      Scully: Yeah, but with a new twist. The Brooklyn Homicide detectives contacted the FBI Civil Rights branch with an interesting set of fingerprints that they'd pulled off the boy's body.
      Mulder: Interesting how?
      Scully: Interesting in that they belonged to Isaac Luria.
      Mulder: Risen from the grave to avenge his own death?

    • Mulder: Can you think of anyone who held a grudge?
      Shop Owner: I can't think of anyone who didn't

    • Mulder: A resurrection hoax?
      Scully: And not a very good one.
      Mulder: Yeah, spectral figures are not often known to leave finger prints...Casper never did.

    • Scully: You haven't heard the rumours?
      Shopkeeper: What rumours?
      Scully: That Luria is back from the dead; that he's arisen from his grave.
      Shopkeeper: What kind of Jew trick is this?
      Mulder: A Jew pulled it off two thousand years ago.

    • Mulder: It seems pretty redundant, doesn't it? Messing up somebody you've already killed? I think they were afraid.
      Scully: Afraid?
      Mulder: Afraid that the man they hated enough to kill wasn't really dead.

  • NOTES (6)

    • It became frustrating for the production to get the mystical Jewish book to burst into flames on cue, during the graveyard scene with Mulder and Scully. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson spent hours working with the second unit on that particular and brief scene, but their experience became one of the best moments on the season's gag reel.

    • Dedicated to Lillian Katz. She was Howard Gordon's maternal grandmother.

    • The mystical Jewish book that had to burst into flames refused to do it on cue. When it finally did, it burned with a sudden flame so huge that David Duchovny had to fling the specially rigged book to the ground and dash out of camera range.

    • In an early draft of the script the Anti-Semitists were black to mirror the actual situation in Brooklyn which involves tension between Orthodox Jews and their African-American neighbors.

    • The episode title, "Kaddish" is the name of a traditional Jewish mourning prayer that is repeated daily for thirty days for a relative or spouse, or eleven months for a parent, following the day of burial. The prayer is also repeated on the anniversary of death. A mourner recites the Kaddish and a quorum responds in unison with appropriate phrases. The quorum consists of at least ten Jewish males who have passed their Bar Mitzvah (usually age thirteen). "Kaddish" is also the title of episode 72/5-17 of Homicide: Life on the Street.

    • Issac Luria is named after the famous rabbi of the same name, who is regarded as the father of Jewish mysticism. His initials in hebrew are "ha ARI" (Ashkenazi Rabby Issac), means "the lion".

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Creature: Golem
      Isaac Luria is presumed to have returned as a Golem, which, in Jewish folklore, is a being created for a purpose, often to defend or avenge. However, the supposition Mulder puts forth that this is Luria returned from the dead is one of several departures from the legend of the golem, which is made from clay or mud and activated by inscribing a holy word on the creature's forehead, either one of the names of God or the Hebrew word for truth (Emet). It could be stopped by erasing the word. This explains the significance of the word that appears on the corpse's and the golem's hand (another departure from the legends). In yet one more variation, Jacob suggests that Ariel (or the power of her love alone) raised the golem, when, in fact, is an ability reserved for the wisest and holiest rabbis.

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