The X-Files: Excelsis Dei   Rewatch 
March 31, 2020 9:04 PM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Scully and Mulder go to an elder care home in Worcester, Massachusetts, to investigate a nurse's report that she was sexually assaulted by an unseen force.
posted by orange swan (7 comments total)
This is one of those episodes that reminds you the emotional core of the X-Files, ultimately, is Fox Mulder believing people. It's easy to imagine a different show that leaned more heavily into that idea instead of being taken over by the mytharc stuff.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:24 AM on April 1, 2020

Which is not to say this is a good episode or anything, because it's not. It gets way too jokey about serious material, and the "solution" to the mystery is incredibly fucked up.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:31 AM on April 1, 2020

Ugh, I wish I could delete that first comment. It's been a while since I watched this one, so I got the dynamic totally flipped. (Even though it is the dynamic for most of the show.)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:41 AM on April 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I accidentally watched this the other week when I cued up Red Museum and it rolled over into this episode... it does not age well, not really pulling off the gravitas necessary for the seriousness of the subject matter. But Sab Shimono and Frances Bay are always fun to see.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 5:56 PM on April 1, 2020

Mulder: "Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn't mine."
Scully: "Good, because I put it back in that drawer with all those other videos that aren't yours."

According to Wikipedia, Entertainment Weekly called this episode "offbeat and cute".

This episode is probably one David Duchovny would prefer to wipe out of existence. Mulder, who always believes everyone who tells him about some crazy shit that has happened to them before (or without ever!) finding any evidence, not only demands evidence in this case (Michelle Charters' injuries didn't count, I suppose), and opines that Michelle Charters concocted the entire story, but also says not only this case but all the other cases of ghost rape came to nothing and were a big waste of his time. I thought Mulder was a dick when he told Skinner in "The Host" that investigating a dead body found in a sewer was a waste of FBI resources, but this surpasses even that -- at least in that case he presumably meant that the local police could handle the investigation, not that the crime didn't merit investigation at all.

Good on Scully for taking Michelle's report seriously, and for insisting that Mulder do so as well. She was at the office at 6 a.m. looking into that case.

That building had a horror-friendly crumbling Victorian manor vibe, but that *very* long flight of steps at the entrance made it an absurd choice for an elder care home.

How the hell did Gung set up an entire mushroom farm and an apothecary in the basement without anyone even noticing? Good grief.

Poor Dorothy had no luck. First she had to live in a terrible nursing home where everyone but her was such a horrible person that I wanted to burn the whole thing to the ground, but in a little over a year she's going to get mugged for a loaf of marble rye.
posted by orange swan at 6:17 PM on April 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

How the hell did Gung

Look up - mushroom growing kit - I see them at the farmer's market in some neighbourhoods. Back in the day, you could buy syringes of all kinds of different subspecies of psilocybin from the intertubes to inoculate your own setup.

Gung's row-tray setup works fine for crimini/ button mushrooms. It should be fine for most psilocybin varieties, but box setups are more efficient and easier to conceal.

As for not noticing; poorly run facility - "not-my-problem" syndrome, if Gung's taking care of things and there aren't complaints, <shrug> whatever, then it becomes institutionalized because racism.

Psilocybin is amazing.

Fully onboard de-scheduling it for hospice/ palliative care. Prescription needs to include an experienced trip-guide, though, at least for the first doses.

In my experience, the vast majority are pretty vile tasting but I've encountered a couple of varieties that are super tasty. Was never able to identify them or find them again.
posted by porpoise at 8:26 PM on April 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

For 1994, showing how shit rolls downhill from uneducated young men shirking responsibility, to competent women who actually do the hard work, to competent POC who do hard work... and then (a few) old entitled men fucking everyone.

Eric Christmas is good as a horrible old man. Sheila Moore is another repeat-as-different guest.

I remember someone else noting Mulder's use of pr0n previously, and I remember it popping up again later. This was a little progressive at the time, no? Healthy use of pornography can be a healthy part of sexuality?

But yeah, Mulder's not Mulderish in his empathy with people but maybe that's an attempted furtherance to point out that "women should be believed" ? That even someone like Mulder has ingrained biases that are not good. In 1994.

The nurse coming back to work after her assault - yikes.

The whole "in my culture"... not ok even in 1994.

Uncomfortable episode all around, but.

Regarding my previous comment - psilocybin is amazing - but that's not what this episode is specifically referring to, and the amounts of material shown is 1) far too low density in growth; much more biomass can be produced in much less space and far less resources, 2) that's definitely not (just) psilocybin.

The need to "concentrate down" the extracts is reminiscent of Salvia which is mostly bullshit and needs to concentrate down to have a few minutes of effect.

WTH. When the doctor goes to inject Hall at the end with.. atrophine ?! ... they swab down the outside of his elbow, use a 50mL horse syringe for a few ml (cc) of material, and they don't even inject it intravenously? If it was an intramuscular injection, that's in the shoulder or butt cheek.

For (facility) plumbing that "doesn't work so well," that's an impressive flow rate to fill up a multi-user washroom.

*Scully telling the adminstrators to shut off the water main, them going ?!, then her positing that Gung would know supports why/ how Gung's mushroom farm had never been detected.

Canadian Tuxedo sighting.
posted by porpoise at 9:33 PM on April 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

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