season 2, episode 11, “excelsis dei”
“excelsis dei” (and even the previous, “red museum”) starts a series of really disturbing cases. “red museum” had child pornography. this episode has a brutal rape. then is followed up by a serial killer that carves “sister” into his victims’ chests and then “irresistible” with the death fetishist. it even continues a bit with “die hand die verletzt” with that awful account of child molestation and baby killing. it gets dark here on “the x-files” for a bit. season one is very serious, but never gets really morbid like this string of episodes.
this episode causes a pretty uneasy feeling in the viewer from the get go. they’ve got horny old guys, insensitive and misogynistic orderlies, and a ghost rape. scully brings the case to their attention. mulder doesn’t have much interest in it, knowing that cases of attacks by invisible entities never go anywhere. scully is interested probably by the irrefutable evidence that an assault has taken place. “unsubstatiated phenomena, but in a substantiated crime.” scully’s interest continues when she finds out about the resident doctor’s advances in the treatment of alzheimer’s. scully loves her some advances in modern medicine. mulder’s disinterest continues, but then he gets caught up in all the weird goings on, especially when they find a missing orderly’s body buried next to a crop of mushrooms the janitor has been growing and giving to the patients.
there is one of those infuriating moments where they hear a scream and mulder takes off running. scully waits the requisite amount of beats and then follows after him allowing for her to get conveniently locked out of the room with the supernatural events. much like in season one’s “shadows.” there’s a titanic moment and then the evil spirits are suddenly gone.
“whatever tape you found in that vcr isn’t mine.” “good, because i put it back in that drawer with all the other videos that aren’t yours.” ah, scully busting his balls. love it.
the writers seem to want to play an angle that criticizes our country’s treatment of the elderly compared to other cultures that respect theirs. it’s a bit uninspired and seems casually thrown in. and everyone already knows those homes for seniors are bad news.
they get mistaken as a couple by outsiders. arden pays scully a compliment and mulder is watching scully with amusement for her reaction and arden says, “i didn’t mean to step on your toes there.”