Principal setting: Browning, Montana.
After Fox suggested doing an episode that featured a more conventional monster than The X-Files had previously used, writing partners Glen Morgan and James Wong - who had been wanting to create a story that explored Native American mythology - proposed the real-life concept of the Manitou. They conceptualised the Manitou as being similar to a werewolf, in order to attract fans of that genre, but attempted to make the episode feel distinctive, in the fashion of the series, by taking a slightly unusual approach to that concept and the word "werewolf" is consequently never mentioned in the episode. As Morgan later remarked, "A horror show should be able to do these legends that have been around since the thirteen hundreds".
Throughout the episode, the American flag patch on Sheriff Tskany's jacket is backwards (blue square and stars on the right). The patch on his uniform shirt is correct however.
Factual Errors: The Native Americans mentioned were the Trego Indians, but the episode took place in Browning, Montana. The only Reservation near Browning belongs to the Blackfeet Nation, not the Trego. There is a Trego, MT near Idaho and Canada, on the other side of the Continental Divide. Which, in Montana terms, is pretty far away.
Continuity: When Lyle turns into the Manitou, we see him rip the shower curtain. However, in the next shot we see that his hands are still normal and haven't transformed yet.
Factual Errors: If you drink blood, it doesn't alter your own blood and thus would not show up in a blood test.
I don't think it was suggested that the blood had altered anything, just that it had been ingested, which I'm assuming they found in the stomach contents??
Continuity: During Joe Goodensnake's funeral, the parting in Mulder's hair switches in between shots. After he gets out of the car, his hair is parted on the left. Then in the shot after Gwen gives Scully one of her brother's possessions, his hair is parted on the right. In the next shot when Mulder talks to Sheriff Tskany, his hair is once again parted on the left.
Continuity: When Ish describes his childhood experience with the creature, he ends his description with "... but his eyes, they were still human. And they begged me to kill him." However when Parker changes into the Manitou his eyes are the first thing to change.
It could have been an expression, not something literal
Ish: FBI. See you in about... eight years.
Mulder: I hope not.
Lyle Parker: It gave me the creeps.
Scully: (looking skeptical) The creeps?
Lyle Parker: Yeah, the creeps. Don't you ever get the creeps?
Mulder: A true piece of history, Scully, the very first X-File... created by J. Edgar Hoover himself in 1946.
Ish: I sense you are different, FBI. You're more open to Native American belief than some Native Americans. You even have an Indian name - Fox. You should be Running Fox, or Sneaky Fox.
Mulder: Just as long as it's not Spooky Fox.
Mulder: I want to believe.
Ish: I could smell you a mile away.
Mulder: Well, they told me that even though my deodorant's made for a woman, it's strong enough for a man.
Michael Horse had previously worked with David Duchovny on Twin Peaks. They played similar roles in this show as well, Duchovny an FBI agent, and Horse a local Sheriff.
The sound effect of the Manitou's roar consists of 12 different elements.
The original script had a scene where a cow would be blocking the agents' car. Scully would try to shoo the beast out of the road by waving her arms and yelling: "Baseball glove! Leather purse!".
Character Name: Manitou
The term Manitou is used to designate the spirits among many Algonquian groups. It refers to the concept of one aspect of the interconnection and balance of nature/life, similar to the East Asian concept of qi; in simpler terms it can refer to a spirit. This spirit is seen as a (contactable) person as well as a concept.
Ish: I was at Wounded Knee in 1973.
Ish is referring to the 71-day standoff between the federal authorities and militants of the American Indian Movement at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Wounded Knee holds some significance in American Indian history as it was the site of the last armed conflict between the Great Sioux Nation and the USA in 1890.
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