The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 7

Orison

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 09, 2000 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

8.4
out of 10
Average
266 votes
  • Orison

    10
    Orison was a haunting and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the man who kidnapped Scully and almost killed her escapes and tries again! The story was compelling and well written. The character and plot development was psychologically thrilling and intriguing. It was scary when Scully was face to face with her former captor. I liked the way every thing played out and the whole religion aspect was interesting as well. I liked the ending and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • The creepy guy from an earlier Season 2 episode returns to torment Scully,

    7.6
    The writers of the show must be pretty brave to assume that people would be able to remember this guy from Season 2. Honestly, I had to go back and look at the episode just to remind myself of the guy. The episode revolves around Donald Pfister, the man from the "Irresistible" episode of X-Files who sought after Scully and was obsessed with women's hair and fingers. I don't think that this character was as memorable as Robert Patrick Modell from the "Pusher" episode, so I'm not sure if it warranted a return, especially five seasons later, but the episode quickly turned from a real disappointment to an okay episode.

    The thing that made the episode a disappointment was the presence of the Priest who could supposedly hypnotize people. What in the world was the purpose of him? The episode seemed to be going in three different directions at once: Scully coming to terms with the fact that the man who tormented her is released, the idea that some people will always be evil and some religious ideas. If the episode just took one of these episodes, it might've been better, but unfortunately, there was just too much going on. The fact that the priest is killed halfway through the episode made everything better.

    The whole point of the episode is that the Pfister guy escaped by jail by putting people in a daze and simply walking out. The show really used that song to good use.. every time it was used, it got creepier and creepier, and by the time we get to the end, the tone has been established and the episode actually got great. The episode as a whole, though, was pretty weak.
  • The writers bring back possibly the creepiest bad guy in the show's history, Donnie Pfaster, a sadistic serial killer who has spent the last 5 years in prison thinking about Scully, the one who got away.

    9.5
    When I first saw this episode it quickly became my favorite. At the time I hadn't seen many of the older episodes and didn't know much of the show's history, so I have different favorites now, but this episode is still one of them. It is one of those rare episodes in which Scully is faster to accept the supernatural (that she's getting signs from God in the song and her alarm clock) than Mulder. That in itself makes this episode great, but there is more. Donnie Pfaster is a terrific villain. In "Irresistible," (his first episode) there isn't anything supernatural or paranormal about him---he's just a creep. While the supernatural does play a role in this episode, it takes a backseat to the emotion and drama. Mulder gives us another example of how well he knows Scully right in the beginning by suggesting she stay away from this case, but she remains true to her character and puts on a strong face, pretending she can handle it. The emotional strain gets to her, though, and she willingly returns to DC once the x-file portion of the case is solved. Donnie beat her there, however, and what ensues is one of my favorite scenes from the show's entire 9 years. Scully gives an impressive show of girl power at first, but Donnie manages to tie her up and get her in the closet. Mulder comes to the rescue but Scully beats him to it and shoots Donnie dead in an artistically brilliant slow-motion sequence. This episode gets high marks from me for character development, artistic quality, suspense, action, great writing and great acting.
  • Super-creepy Donnie Pfaster is back.

    9.0
    Of all the villains in X-Files, Donnie is definitely one of the truly memorable ones, also one of the creepiest. He also happens to be one of the few criminals Scully has crossed paths with who really scarred her. Which means I was surprised at how Scully lets her guard down when she gets home, leaving her gun on the dresser. A serial killer is on the loose who has attacked her before, I would have expected more paranoia.

    That was just awesome. Scully actually shot Donnie. He was genuinely evil and he never would have stopped killing. Not to mention that after failing to kill Scully twice, there's no doubt he would try again if given the chance. I'm glad the writers didn't do the 'right' thing here and have Scully take the higher ground, having her shoot him felt right for her character, far more so than if she hadn't.

    A disturbing episode, it's always fun when an old favourite is resurrected.
  • Pfaster gets a second shot.

    9.7
    WONDERFUL! Not only did the writers bring back Pfaster they did so very convincingly!

    A Reverend is hypnotising people to free murderers who only got life so that he can kill them on the outside. Only with Pfaster he took on more than he could take. Pfaster kills the Reverend and after 30' you think (as Mulder) that the episode is over but ooooh it's just getting started.

    Pfaster awaits Scully in her apartment and wants to wash her hair (or whatever) but she kicks his ass! What a nice change of pace, I just love it when GA gets to act out. Be it Three of a kind (where she is drugged) or Kill Switch (where she kicks three nurses asses ;) ) those are the scenes you get a glimpse of what GA is capable of. That even these scenes feel like Scully although she is not that distant sceptical ice-queen she aparently feels the need to be. (now I know Scully is no Ice-Queen but maybe she has to come off that way so that her male co-workers respect her for her work - not her beauty.)

    All in all this is one of my favourite episodes, don't miss it!
  • With so much packed into such a deep and darkly spiritual episode, it still manages to scare.

    9.0
    "Irresistible" was scary because it was quantifiably real and it played on fears that everyone could imagine. "Orison" is scary because it plays with possibilities that we all fear and at the same time, brings back some of the realistic horror of its predecessor.

    There's so much to unpack in this episode but I don't hold it against the writer for having to force it all into a 45 minute episode and thus leave a few dangling questions.

    Scully's spirituality has been a major factor in many of the season 7 episode so far. Here it is in the forefront again but for the first time this season, we see Mulder's reaction a la "Revelations." Scully has paid him an open mind this season and now Mulder must begin to do the same. Mulder has always been skeptical of anything spiritual or religious. He sums up his opinion of God very well here by saying, "God just reads the box scores. He's a spectator." During the investigation he does at least ask Scully what she thinks God is telling her but he is condescending and quickly moves on to his more "concrete" theory about holes in Orison's head. Mulder's motivations here are easier to reconcile with his actions once you realize that he's acting predominantly out of his need to take care of Scully. He doesn't want to see her in any harm and he knows the effect Pfaster had on her the first time. He's much more concerned with Scully's safety than having a deep theological conversation. But the seed for that is planted here because he doesn't dismiss it. In fact, at the end of the episode, once the danger has passed, he asks Scully if she think sit was God that motivated her actions. This suggests he may finally be engaging Scully in this conversation and beginning to open his mind to the spiritual realm. Of course this will be important for upcoming episodes and ultimately the conclusion of the series. For the rest of "Orison," Chip Johanessen, a veteran Millennium writer, paces the story well. Orison dies early after his forgiveness is seemingly in vain. It also seems to foreshadow Scully's fate. She forgave Pfaster before by arguing against the death penalty. Orison spoke briefly about the "signs" that put him on this path. In this speech, he tied the major season 7 themes together nicely. Fate and Faith are one and the same because God influences fate, but does not control it. But where Orison paid attention to the "signs" along the way, Scully seems to ignore them. The song and Mulder both tell her, "Don't Look Any Further." Yet it is Scully, not Orison, who is spared. This might lead the audience to think that the signs were from God and not the devil After all, shouldn't it be God that acts so seemingly benevolently? But the rest of Orison's speech referenced "instants" when the devil takes the reigns of us and manufactures evil in the world. Donnie Pfaster seemed to live in these "instances." But Scully experiences one of her own. The slowing of the camera work only emphasizes the importance of this moment for her (and was a bit exaggerated, not to mention confusing). So does Scully act out under direction from God or did she allow the devil to seize that instant and beget more evil? This is all worth serious discussion and the 1013 crew was right to leave it open to audience interpretation. Mulder and Scully most likely had a very emotional moment while sharing their feelings on this question. For the audience, it is the fact that they had this moment that serves as our payoff. Writing 2/2 Directing 1/2 Acting 2/2 Character 2/2 Entertainment 2/2: 9/10.
  • Scarier that Irresistable...

    9.6
    This episode terrifies me. Donnie Pfaster is a character who really got inside our heads. It seems obvious that he would be a character brought back. But what would be the justification?

    It's a clever twist that this time around it is an X File, with Pfaster taking advantage of the powers of the reverand Orison. This ability to manipulate time and reality is almost a sub plot, since the main dramatic thrust of the episode is towards the encounter between Scully and Pfaster.

    There is a sickening scene, with Scully unaware of who is hiding in her bathroom while she undresses. The viewer becomes a voyeur, as we share in what Pfaster can see. It's uncomfortable to be put in this position. At this point the viewer is looking for a way out, knowing what will happen. Pfaster still terrifies Scully, unsurprisingly. He calls her "girly girl" again, recalling the last time they met, refers to her as "the one who got away." These are strong reminders of the moment the viewer realised that he was becoming obsessed with her the first time round. The difference this time is that she doesn't need to be rescued by Mulder. Through rage or fear or some form of intervention she channels all the violence commited against her back at Pfaster.

    Mulder's role here is to play back up. As a faith episode, he is put in the position of disbeliever. He is gentle in his scepticism, however, judging how Scully will react to Pfaster. In the same way, he comes in to help pick up the pieces.

    It's a powerful episode, both disturbing and thought-provoking.
  • Donnie Darker

    9.2
    Donnie Pfaster was one of my favorite monsters from the first few seasons of the show. He was the closest thing to Satan himself that Mulder and Scully ever encountered and after such a classic episode in Irresistible, I was worried that Donnie's second appearance wouldn't live up to its predecessor. Luckily, it's done really well.

    Orison sees Donnie escaping from prison by slowing down time, an ability he was granted by the mysterious Reverend Orison, who believes he can save Donnie's soul. However, Donnie isn't interested and immediately starts stalking young women to fulfill his needs. Including the one victim who escaped him... Scully.

    I'm a big fan of "Scully in peril" episodes and love when Miss Anderson gets to unload and really kick ass. This is no exception as she gets involved in a massive fight with Donnie in her apartment, culminating in Scully pumping him full of lead.

    Nick Chinlund is the creepiest guest actor in X Files history. He's so unbelievably sinister that you just couldn't take him seriously in a non-evil role. Orison contains several memorable moments. The "666" on Scully's clock to her pondering of whether God or the Devil was responsible for making her pull the trigger on Donnie.

    Written by Millennium scripter Chip Johannessen, this is X Files at its best and features a truly disturbing bad guy.

    Rating: A
  • Donnie Pfaster of “Irresistible” reappears and we are delivered a brilliant episode.

    9.7
    Donnie Pfaster, perhaps the creepiest and well-written guest character on The X-Files, returns in this chilling, treat of episode. After several good, but hardly frightening episodes, “Orison” was widely welcomed and definitely a thrill to watch. The acting was, as usual, superb and the script was certainly well-written. At first I was rather annoyed that the writers had to resort to old ideas instead of generating something fresh. However, after the story got going, I realized that “Orison” is a fantastic continuation of “Irresistible” and, although featuring the same villain, is almost entirely different. I have practically no complaints about this episode and would recommend to any X-File fan, especially those who loved “Irresistible.”
  • One of the best character episodes ever done, this story involves the enemy with the purest evil of the show and the performance will blow you away.

    9.8
    This episode is brilliant and masterfully done. The story is about the serial killer Donald Pfaster from episode 2-13 “Irresistible”. In that episode he is shown to be into necrophilia with a fetish for women’s hair and nail grooming. He also collects fingers from his victims, who are mostly hookers and call girls. This episode culminates with Scully being run off the rode, abducted by Donald, and taken to his grandmothers house where Mulder managers to bust in with the cops as Scully is struggling with him.

    “Orison” begins with Donald Pfaster just walking out of jail where he is serving life in prison. This is the only episode of The X-Files written by Chip Johannessen and he does an amazing job. The religious aspect of the story has been intricately grafted onto the ideas of the first episode with the addition of the reverend Orison. The character of Donald is played horrifically well and is one of the creepiest and most evil in all of The X-files. They play out the history between Donald and Scully as Donald says she’s “the one that got away.” I’d say this is one of the best “filler” episodes of the entire series and the ending will leave you in awe.
  • The return of Donnie Pfaster brings Scully to the brink.

    9.0
    I've always appreciated when the show revisited past nemesis. Pfaster was a creeptastic foil for Mulder and Scully, and his return is just as good. It's painful to see Scully so helpless, especially after she put up such a comendable fight. And it's nice to see Mulder arrive too late for once, leaving Scully to her own devices. However, I don't feel the remorse Scully feels over killing that piece of filth, and I don't really understand, from a character standpoint, why she would be so distraught. She's killed guys for less:)
    A great, but wrenching, installment.
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