The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 11

Revelations

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 15, 1995 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

8.1
out of 10
Average
292 votes
  • Love this episode so much. Definitely one of my favorites of the series.

    10
    I truly love this episode so much because it's a very symbolic religiously speaking. It's a great performance by David and Gillian and it truly shows the interest of the show's creator Chris Carter in religion in general. I really like it and I think it's one of the most amazing tv episodes of all time in the history of television. Love it for real.
  • Revelations

    10
    Revelations was a perfect episode of The X-Files and I really enjoyed watching because the story was interesting and Scully finds herself in Mulder's position as the believer and he the skeptic. It was also neat to see how religion could possibly tie into the larger picture of the series with the common thread of faith and belief. The story was entertaining and played out well. I liked when Scully was talking with a priest at the end. There were certainly some Revelations of character along with great development. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Trying to make his way home.

    5.0


    Clearly this episode was meant as a showcase for Gillian Anderson, and she did very well with what she had. Writer Kim Newton gave her some wonderful scenes, such as her decision to keep Kevin with her rather than send him to a shelter, her conversation with Owen Jarvis, her goodbye to Mulder (further evidence that she can no longer confide in him--she never even tells him where she is going), and of course her final scene: "I'm afraid God is speaking, and no one is listening." Anderson displayed again her ability to bring a luminous intensity to the quietest word and gesture. She can personalize the smallest, most routine moment of an investigation without trivializing it or "domesticating" it.

    Duchovny, however, never managed to find a way to show us a skeptical Mulder who was still Mulder. This is one of the few times I have seen him portray Mulder when it looked more like David Duchovny than Mulder onscreen. Some of this can be laid at the feet of Kim Newton's inability to delineate a credible doubting Mulder: the most unbelievable line I have heard this season is Mulder saying, "How is that possible?" Mulder is asking this? Mulder, who constantly pulls explanations out of thin air?


    I was dumbfounded by the utter lack of mourning when the mother died. Kevin tried desperately to save her, then merely expressed regret at her death, as if he had lost a baseball game. Even the incarcerated father does not even mention the woman who died trying to save her son. A loving mother dies in a fight with the devil and nobody cares! This emotional refrigeration just wiped out my involvement in the story.


    Why does Kevin Kryder exhibit the stigmata at all? If you're one of the faithful who accept these marks as signs of sanctified faith, then you're bound to be troubled by the fact that at no time during the episode does Kevin make any profession of faith of any kind. He does not even pray in moments of stress. This is what happens when you use a symbol and ignore what it signifies. Stigmata in themselves mean nothing; they are supposed to mark out the faithful among us as chosen witnesses of God. Strip a symbol of its meaning and you have an empty token. Since Kevin is not a child of faith, what is he? A victim of God? His condition becomes a mere curiosity. His hands carry less significance than the Millenium Man's, which can generate enough heat to bend steel.


    If, on the other hand, you're a skeptic who does not believe in miracles, you're left with no explanation at all advanced for the bleeding wounds--hysteria? self-inflicted wounds? psychosomatic trauma? Anything? Where is our famous Oxford-trained psychologist, Fox Mulder? Why isn't he coming up with explanations?


    This episode did not scare me. Chris Carter is fond of saying that something is only as scary as it is real; by extension, this means that if it could happen to you or me, it's scary. I don't know about you, but I'm unlikely to wake up anytime soon with the marks of divine favor on my hands.


    The script was weak and the introduction of Scully's faith built on too flimsy a foundation. Gillian Anderson's excellent work is the one saving grace (religious joke) of this otherwise below average episode.


  • Scully finds her beliefs tested

    7.9
    I think this episode was most interesting because it put us in a position where Scully found her own beliefs being tested and we also found Mulder having doubts about Scully's claims. It's interesting how the man who usually believes so easily about things such as aliens is so skeptical about the idea of stigmatas and religious miracles.

    Most of the episode focuses on a man chasing after people who are faking religious miracles, such as bleeding from the hands or feet and whatnot. The man killing them has powers of his own, powers that are never even close to being explained. However, there's a young boy who experiences true miracles and true stigmata's, a boy that the man is after and wants to kill. Once again, it's never truly explained why he wants to kill the boy, especially because he's clearly not faking his ailment. However, it's better to just go along with the episode, because it gives us a very good insight into Mulder and Scully and their beliefs, specifically Scully.

    Coming off of a couple of incredible episodes, a stand-alone episode like this felt a little flat, but if it weren't for Scully's plot, it would probably be a lot worse.
  • Scully is tested

    8.5
    It wasn't one of the best episodes of the X-files but I like it when one of the characters has his or her own beliefs tested or when try to believe something else.

    I still don't know why Scully thought she had the responsibility to save Kevin. I don't know if it was because she had been away from church for a while or because she just felt some kind of maternal urge to protect Kevin.

    I think the plot could've been better developed and we would've had a better episode. I still think there were several holes.

    Mulder respects much of what Scully does in this episode and Scully tries to go back to rebuild her faith.

    Nice to go back and see a very young Kevin Zegers.
  • "Maybe God is speaking and no one is listening."

    7.1
    "Revelations" takes on traditional religious faith in a way few episodes of "The X-Files" do. Scully, a believing Catholic, is unhinged by miraculous events surrounding a young boy and becomes convinced that she has a role to play in saving his life. The boy has been exhibiting signs of the stigmata and is being pursued by a madman who believes it is his duty to kill the faithful. Scully's non-rational pursuit of the kidnapped boy ends up being his saving grace.

    In a rare twist on the dynamic, Scully is right and Mulder, the skeptic, is wrong. It is a little disarming to see Dana "Are you suggesting?" Scully suddenly embracing every unexplained nuance. But we learn that Dana once believed in miracles and fate and now she believes again that God has placed her in this boy's life for a reason. I liked the episode, although some of the religious symbolism is a little heavy handed. There are a few scares, and Owen Jarvis is an "X-Files" original, but this is primarily an episode heavy on character development, showing us a side of Scully we'll see again throughout the series.
  • Some great revelations

    10
    Scully grounds herself in science to explain the unexplainable. But she has another belief system that she has let slide and which is explored to telling effect in this excellent episode. This is Scully's "Oubliette" for here everything she holds near and dear is questioned and her honesty forces her out onto a limb, one which her partner resolutely refuses to join her on. The shoe is very much on the other foot, with the positions reversed and Mulder viewing the case as being simply a con job. For Scully, the real revelation here is that she has been chosen by a higher power to save one of the apostles, who in this case is a young boy with stigmatic ability. There's a certain arrogance at work here in her making such an assumption, but because arrogance is not part of the Scully make up, we know that this realisation is one that she only comes to after much resistance and soul-searching. Right from the beginning of the episode, Scully's whole belief system is called into question. The fake Reverend in the teaser directly attacks her approach by criticising how people have turned their back on the church and found some kind of truth in science. Of course he pays the price for such a view, in the series' second swipe at religious evangelic fervour after Season 1's "Miracle Man", but the seeds of doubt have been sown. This episode gives us another chance to see Scully's innate ability to interact with children. Her relationship with Kevin is a responsible one, and she never talks down to him, despite the welter of frightening and confusing events that befall the young chap. That Anderson is given a confident child actor in the form of Kevin Zegers to play against helps immeasurably, and full marks to director David Nutter for managing to wring a good performance from him. Nutter must also be commended for some of the setpieces in the episode. Owen's abduction of Kevin is well handled. Gates' entry into Kevin's house is a terrifying moment, aided immeasurably by some great spooky work from Mark Snow. And then of course, there is the final confessional scene, which remains one of the most outstanding individual scenes of the entire series, but more on that later. As has been mentioned before, the best episodes involve some sort of personal involvement on the part of the agents, and "Revelations" probably gives us the most in-depth exploration of the Scully character since Season 1's masterpiece "Beyond the Sea". It's so good that we can happily overlook some of the silly nitpicking traps (like why did the agents decide to bound Owen upstairs in the attic, giving him a convenient window to fall out of, and how well Kevin managed to come out of the crash considering he wasn't wearing a seatbelt). Instead we can reflect on the novelty of a major television programme that boasts an overt Christian as one of its stars. Quite a brave turn by 1013 there. Ultimately Scully is forced to reveal to Mulder where she's coming from, and boy, does she hate to have to do that. To be fair to Mulder, he doesn't rain all over her parade too much, trying to talk her out of her notions without appearing too patronising. But in the same way that there is an element of presumption on Scully's part that she is Kevin's appointed saviour, she quite rightly points out to Mulder his own double standard. It's fine for him to run around proclaiming conspiracies every time he sees a light in the sky, but when it's her turn, he doesn't give her the credence. Personally I feel that Mulder does this more out of a need to shield her from looking too ridiculous – that's his domain after all – so that she can preserve her scientific and serious integrity. Mulder's obduracy is interesting though, for we don't often see him as closed off as he is here. His conventional approach to the case means that we see Scully almost being reckless in his place (well, reckless for Scully), in that she eventually has to come clean about how all the signs are clear to her and that she feels its her role to protect Kevin. A job incidentally she doesn't do terrifically well at. It's only by happenstance that Kevin isn't killed at the recycling plant, and certainly not by Scully's intervention. And so the ending of the episode, the real revelation. Scully can't help by the recent events but to make her way to a confessional to try to make some kind of understanding of what she's just witnessed. Here we learn that she has turned her back on the church but now she is doubtful. It's a beautifully handled scene, superbly acted by Anderson. Note the use of the screen in the confessional booth. Most of the scene is shot with us only seeing Scully through that screen to represent the barriers that she continually puts up. As the scene progresses and comes to its conclusion, and as Scully comes to a clearer conclusion of her own, the perspective shifts to her side of the confessional to give us a clearer view of her. Scully's plaintive little girl voice throughout too suggests how helpless and lost she feels and how much she needs to find her way back. And underneath it all is the biggest X File of them all. That there is a higher power at work behind all this, and that it has guided one of its denizens back to the fold.

    10/10
  • Character switch!

    8.5
    I read a ton of reviews that said in this episode, Mulder becomes the skeptic and Scully is the believer. But this is such a great episode, not only because of this character switch. It is about a young boy who is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a stigmatic. And there is a man who believes that he must kill this young boy. From the very beginning of the episode, you are aware that Mulder seems a little put off by this entire case. I mean he is the one that reveals the priest as a fake and while questioning the boy's father and the other suspects, he seems very patronizing and hostile. But Scully begins to believe that this boy is for real and at the end of the episode Mulder makes a very interesting comment: Do you believe you were sent to protect him? And the look on her face says it all.

    This is a really good episode. Definitely don't miss it.
  • Scully: Events that defy explanation... But now I wonder if I saw them at all. Priest: Why do you doubt yourself? Scully: Because my partner didn't see them. He didn't believe them. And usually he believes without question. That sums it up:

    10
    Yes! Scully Scully Scully:) This was a golden episode! Not only was it a Scully episode, but it was a beautiful way to show how Scully finds her own way into her own truth.. her own faith.. and her own way to believe. During this entire episode, I was waiting for Mulder to pull a classic Mulder and not go for the obvious scientific explanation that our Scully usually jumps for... but he never did... he was pure fact through and through, he didn't... he didn't believe... and Scully did... and it was amazing. I loved the role reversal! Ever so much it was like they stepped into each others mindset for an episode, and by golley! It worked! --Side Note-- We had a beautiful classic Mulder line: "You never draw my bath" Breathe in... and let that image sink in... :) Perfect Ten I'd say!
  • Scully finds her own way into belief.

    10
    This is one of my favorite episodes. It would probably be forth or fifth. Scully is so interesting, and yet sometimes even when the writers try for a "Scully" episode, it doesn't effect me. Like Beyond the Sea: an amazing episode objectively, but it didn't get me. This one got me. Scully is fascinating in this episode. She is finding her own path into a place where she can accept the fantastical things that go on in her universe. Her way in is very Scully; it's not something marginal and paranoid like it is for Mulder, it's something steady and based in morality and discipline. And besides that, she got to do the chase scene. Which rocks. Besides that, the episode was suspenseful because you cared about the little boy (that b*tchy teacher at the beginning really helped characterize him and bring him into our sympathies). Also: "You never draw my bath." Conjures images of . . . David Duchovney . . . Gillian Anderson . . . baths . . .

    Anyway, ten of ten.
  • Red Right Hand

    8.0
    There are a lot of plot holes but this is a nice episode that turns the tables, making Scully the believer and Mulder the skeptic. Scully's faith is explored at some length, which will set up much of her future storyline in future seasons. Lee Ermey does a good job in his cameo appearance as the fake reverend. Hearing his voice as the episode began made me chuckle a bit as a I recalled his bravura performance in Full Metal Jacket. Too bad he dies so soon into the episode.

    I never did understand the killer's motivation in seeking out stigmatics or how he got his powers. I guess it was simply that the devil made him do it.
  • main guy from the old “The Hills Have Eyes”?

    9.0

    “Revelations” is about stigmata. The episode sees a murderer going after supposed stigmata victims. When Mulder and Skully investigate they find out that all the victims so far are not actually suffering from the condition but actually faking it.. They then find a boy that show symptoms and Skully believes she chosen to protect him. At first viewing I didn’t think that I would like this episode, because it seemed a bit silly. But I ended up liking the episode for the wrong reasons. The reason was because the main guy from the old “The Hills Have Eyes” movie was in it. This made my day as I am a really big horror fan. Anyway, because of that this episode rocked!

  • An excellent episode!

    9.0
    This is one of, if not the, most profound episodes of the whole series. Mulder and Scully switch roles with Mulder becomming the skeptic and Scully the believer. The audience gets an amazing look into the faith of Scully which plays an important part throughout the rest of the series. I'm not sure if I believe in stigmata or not but the thought is very intriguing. I am a Christian and have been told on more than one occasion that The X-Files is not a good show but this is one of the episodes which, to me, proves exactly the opposite. The best part of the whole show is when Scully is in the confessional at the end and says she thinks that God is speaking but she fears no one is listening. I really wish they had left the part in where the man is speaking in tongues and only she can understand it. Amazingly profound and touching. Two thumbs up!
  • The one where Mulder doesn't believe

    10
    A fantastic and so far the best Scully episode.

    I am personally someone who doesn’t believe (or like) religion, but this episode is extremely well written and executed and made Scully have more depth and gave her more independence.

    It’s about a boy who is or may become a prophet. Satan send one of his followers to kill 2 prophets, two fake ones and a real one (The young boy)

    The prophets all bleed out of their hands, even if it’s not real. The real boy does, and he can’t control it. The people who try to protect him all begin to die, his protector and his mother in a car accident.

    After the guardian of the boy has been killed, Scully believes that she is the new chosen one. And this time, Mulder is the sceptic one. He doesn’t believe in god’s miracles and that makes Scully unsure herself.

    Anyway, when the guy eventually takes the little boy with him, Scully tries to save him but the guy jumps with the kid in some machine, the kid was able to hold on while the man falls in the machine and becomes slashed meat. Scully saved the young boy and he promise her to see her one day in the future again.

    The best part of the episode was when Scully goes to a father, she tells him that she doesn’t know if she should believe because Mulder didn’t. He’s the one who ‘just’ believes, the father tells her that he doesn’t have to believe and that she was meant to be the one who believed.

    I found this episode to be excellent and developed Scully just exactly where she needed to be developed on, she was always like Mulder’s lassie but this gave her character more ‘freedom’.
  • Kim Newton writes her first X-Files episode with a clever role-reversal, which gives interesting insight into the religious beliefs of Mulder and Scully.

    8.5
    Revelations is a great episode not only for its engrossing storyline but also because of its quiet power.

    Mulder and Scully investigate a string of murders associated with priests who falsely claim to have the injuries of Christ (This, by the way, leads to a most satisfying episode trailer -- which is disturbingly effective thanks to the quietly terrifying portrayal by Kenneth Welsh (as Simon Gates)).

    During their investigation, they run into a boy who has inexplicable injuries to his hands. Although their viewpoints differ (as per usual), Mulder and Scully both believe the boy may be in danger. This leads to convincingly suspenseful sequences involving the boy and Simon Gates. One of the more nerve-wracking sequences involves Owen Jarvis (played by Michael Berryman), who tries to protect the boy from the malicious Gates. His ultimate death is impressively tragic and poignant. Furthermore, Newton (and director David Nutter) intelligently play Jarvis's death as a means of clarifying the agents' beliefs regarding not only the crime but also the religious overtones of the case.

    Newton cleverly plays role reversal here. Interestingly, Mulder (who consistently believes in the paranormal, or unscientific) is unconvinced of the religious intents of the killer and victim. Meanwhile, Scully is more easily persuaded. Newton is playing the fact-vs.-faith card here. Interesting that evidence suggesting the paranormal is convincing to Mulder if there's evidence -- but when religion is thrown in the mix, he is not so easily convinced.

    I like this idea, and I think it plays to the characters of Mulder and Scully well. Scully, who is more rigidly convinced of science and scientific fact, is also more readily convinced of "the leap of faith" regarding religion. Mulder, however, believes science cannot account for everything (yet) but requires more convincing when science CANNOT ever prove the facts.

    Ultimately, this leads to a thought-provoking and satisfying episode that is worthy of David Nutter's final performance as director of an X-Files episode.

    Some afterthoughts: The last scene between Scully and the priest was superb. Great job by Gillian Anderson here.

    I absolutely loved the Mulder-Scully interaction this episode. Quiet, tense, but respectful. Great stuff. Some of the best "peer interaction" written for television was on this series.

    Mark Snow's musical score for this episode was particularly memorable. More subtle and mournful than normal. I thought this was particularly effective.
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