The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 14


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 12, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
234 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate a series of murders where the victims are all in some way related to a wealthy, well-educated doctor. As they search for clues the FBI agents discover the apparent motive is revenge. Years ago the doctor was involved in the euthanasia of a young girl on the verge of death. Once again, Mulder must race against time to find who is behind the killings before the doctor and (more importantly) Scully become the next victims.moreless

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  • Theef

    Theef was a great episode of The X-Files and I enjoyed watching because the story was interesting but definitely didn't jump out and grab me. It was intriguing to see a grieving father use folk magic to take revenge upon the Dr. he blames for the death of his daughter. There were some scary moments and Scully became a victim yet again. The ending was good and I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!moreless
  • A man skilled in hexes and voodoo doll tortures a doctor.

    Me and my brother found a voodoo doll in the woods one time and poked it with needles over and over again, wondering if there was somebody in the world feeling what we were doing. It seems brutal to say it that way, but we were young and didn't know exactly how they worked. Watching this episode reminded me of that and also of why we were so freaked out by them in the first place back then.

    A doctor who won an award finds his family being attacked and ultimately murdered by forces he can't explain. Mulder and Scully get on the case, where Mulder immediately assumes that something paranormal is at work.. Scully, who is usually the skeptic, believes Mulder to an extent, and together, they try to work to save this man's family.

    What makes the episode work so well is the intensity of the scenes. Normally, we have causalities occur to people that we've never met and haven't grown to know completely yet.. however, the villain of this episode is extremely creepy (look up Billy Drago and you'll see) and the things he does to this family, with the help of his voodoo doll, is truly horrifying. I'm glad the writers here didn't shy away from the dark material because we get a compelling episode in the process.

    By the time we reach the end, not everything adds up.. sure, we get a motive eventually from the bad guy, but it's pretty darn thin. But sometimes, the quality of individual scenes can make us forget about the problems overall, and that's the case here.moreless
  • Most of it was just average, but there was one bit of significant character development.

    I'm not going to say much about the episode - it was a standard voodoo episode. What I'm going to talk about (surprise, surprise) is what I perceive to be some interesting character information. I think it's very important to establish a hint of mystery left between Mulder and Scully, here in the seventh season. It's getting so close, so close to the end. The line, "You keep me guessing" that was getting repeated over and over - it was a way for the show's writers to instill in the viewers the sense that Mulder and Scully may not be the familiar characters, set in their little molds, that we expect them to be. For most of the episode, it's just a little joke they have between them but the very last scene I think it's wonderful that the writers took it out of the joke context and put a serious spin on it. It's significant that here in the seventh season, Scully was victimized by the voodoo firsthand and amazingly enough, it makes her admit to herself (and to Mulder!!) that perhaps medicine and science is not the answer to everything. I believe it's the first time she's ever admitted something like that, and in true X-Files style, they bury it in the middle of a seemingly inocuous episode.moreless
  • A little boring.

    This episode is not one of the more exciting of the series, or even the seventh season. A man with the power to hex people puts a curse on the family of a doctor that treated his dying daughter after a bus accident. You can pretty much predict the ending of this one from the first scene. Man hexes woman, woman dies. Man hexes doctor and the Agents save the day. This episode is not very origial but they can not all be uber dramatic over the top suspense up to the last minute. Not bad but not good either.moreless
  • Fascinating and creepy.

    Old fashioned folk medicine, though this is not of the usual overdone Voodoo type but rather rural West Virginia. Very interesting.

    Even Scully would have made the same call as the doctor, put the girl out of her pain and while Peatie ranted about how he could have saved her, the doctor pointed out – you weren't there! Peatie's abilities are certainly impressive but has given him something of a god complex, he cares nothing for killing the doctor's family for vengeance. The doctor didn't murder his daughter, it was an act of mercy.

    Billy Drago, as always, plays psycho creepiness to perfection. James Morrison plays the doctor wonderfully, I've always been a fan of his.

    A great episode.moreless
Billy Drago

Billy Drago

Mr. Peattie

Guest Star

James Morrison

James Morrison

Dr Robert Wieder

Guest Star

Kate McNeil

Kate McNeil

Nan Wieder

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: When Peattie is in the break room he's having a lot of trouble operating the vending machine and failing to realize his poppin' corn needs to be microwaved. A med student just tells him to use the microwave to get his popcorn. Peattie then rants on like he's heard of it but has never used one before. But then he simply presses the correct POWER and TIME buttons, without any further instructions.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Scully: Oh yeah, Mulder. Win him over.

    • Dr Wieder: Get back. Get back! Don't make me hurt you!
      Oral Peattie: Can't hurt the man who ain't got nothing left. You know who I be now? Maybe you can recollect my daughter.
      Dr Wieder: I remember! I never forgot! I'm... I'm sorry for your loss but I did everything humanly possible to save her.
      Oral Peattie: You arrogant little man.
      Dr Wieder: I did everything I could! And when I couldn't do any more I eased her suffering!
      Oral Peattie: By killing her. If I be there... I save her!
      Dr Wieder: YOU WEREN'T THERE!

    • Mulder: Dirt. It's a very powerful component of hexcraft. As well as the pattern in which it was originally arranged. Check this out. Looks like a human form.
      Scully: Hexcraft, as in, uh, putting a curse on someone? Murdering them magically?
      Mulder: Yeah, that's what it looks like to me. Now, I know what you're
      going to say, Scully.
      Scully: No, hexcraft. I mean, I'll buy that as the intent here. It certainly jibes with the evidence. I say we talk to the family. I'll always keep you guessing.

    • Scully: Kuru...
      Mulder: You mean the disease that New Guinea tribesmen get?
      Scully: From eating their relatives brains.
      Mulder: And I thought my grandpa slurping his soup was bad.

    • Mulder: You think Peattie could have saved her life?
      [Scully gives Mulder a long look, then walks out of the room.]
      Mulder: You do keep me guessing.

    • Scully: T-H-E-E-F, I assume it's supposed to be T-H-I-E-F. Thief.
      Mulder: Insert your own Dan Quayle joke here. Lousy spelling aside, what do you think it refers to? Who's the thief?

    • Scully: Well, that's certainly one question. I've got many.
      Mulder: "Mulder, why are we here?"
      Scully: Well, to be fair, I might have used the words "Mulder, how is this an X-File?"
      Mulder: You see that, Scully? You always keep me guessing.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The woman who owns the shop which Mulder and Scully go to for information descibes Billy Drago's character (Orel Peattie) as 'charmed.'

      Billy Drago is a semi-regular guest star in the television series 'Charmed.' (1999-2004)

    • This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Make-up in a Series.

    • Dedication: In Memoriam, Rick Jacobson 1951-2000. Rick Jacobson was president of Twentieth Television (the syndication arm of Fox) who died of cancer in March of 2000.

    • The name of the reporter covering the flesh-eating disease story is John Gillnitz, marking the 5th appearance of the name in an X-Files episode. This long-running in-joke is a combination of the names of the writers John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz.


    • Dr. Wieder: Folk Magic, you mean like Baba Yaga.

      Baba Yaga was a witch from Eastern European folklore who supposedly kidnapped and ate children. She reputedly lived in a house that stood on chicken legs.

    • Mulder: Insert Dan Quayle joke here.
      This is an allusion to the embarrassing incident when Dan Quayle informed a young spelling bee contestant that the word "potato" had a dangling "e" at the end of it. Commonly referred to as the Dan Quayle "potatoe" incident.