The X-Files: Chinga   Rewatch 
June 12, 2020 7:26 PM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

While on vacation in Maine, Scully enters a grocery store where all the customers and staff had suddenly began clawing at their own faces when a young widow briefly visited the store with her young daughter and her daughter's doll.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
 
Not Stephen King’s best work.

Still kinda fun tho’.
posted by Monochrome at 8:03 PM on June 12, 2020


I like this one more than a lot of people seem to. In particular I think that first scene is an incredible if hard-to-watch piece of horror filmmaking. And the mom did a great job - you could buy that, by the end of the episode, she really thought killing her own kid was her only option.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:36 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]


For sure, fun, definitely creepy too. Not so much the doll itself ("Let's have fun!") but the will of a sociopathic/ pathologically un-sociablizeable little girl who has a way of getting what she wants, violently. But you're right, the plot was hokey.

Small detail that I particularly enjoyed - the wonky shopping cart wheel. But the scratched-out-eyes makeup was surprisingly weak.

The repetitive song was much more annoying than creepy. I'd have murdered the little girl long before just for that.

The sound work for the climax was first rate, though.

I like Scully's very classic pair of shades.

The town in Maine was shot in White Rock, with the distinctive pier (which dramatically blew down a couple of years ago, but I think has been fixed now). Save-On-Foods is an independent Western Canadian chain and SuperSave Gas is a very local discount fuel distributor+.

There's no "real" book titled 'Affirmation For Women Who Do Too Much' (by the phone in Scully's hotel room) but there appears to be one called 'Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much' and 'Women Who Do Too Much:...' Nice bit of work by the props dept.

Not sure if the show is supposed to be contemporaneous, but Mulder's orange drink has an expiry date of Oct 97; this episode aired Feb 98.

Some of the locals had pretty heavy "regional" accents - do they resemble rural Mainer at all?

I think we see the pencils again later as an Easter Egg.
posted by porpoise at 7:18 PM on June 13, 2020 [1 favorite]


I think we see the pencils again later as an Easter Egg.

I rewatched the whole series recently and they bring it back like half a dozen times! It's right up there with the sunflower.seeds and porn re: Mulder quirks. I had forgotten they introduced it in this episode.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:19 AM on June 14, 2020 [2 favorites]


I really dislike this episode. I maybe wouldn't call it the worst episode in the show's run because the Mulder and Scully parts are really enjoyable, but it definitely gets my vote for Most Annoying Episode. The writing is terrible. I mean, the mother doesn't figure out that the doll is making terrible things happen? The doll is rendered powerless by cooking it in the microwave... except it isn't? I didn't find the grocery store scene worked well or was horrifying, except for the part where Scully walks through the store and sees the aftermath -- it mostly just looked silly. And the makeup looked fake -- people gouged at their eyes that way and left the eyes completely unharmed? Really? A number of the performances were so over the top that they irritated the living shit out of me (Jane Frölich, Melissa, the employee at the ice cream place), but then they were handed a shit script so I hate to blame the actors. I will say that the father's death was horrifying and Jenny-Lynn Hutcheson turned in a fine performance as a seriously disturbed little girl -- her poor mother is going to have a hard life of it with her even with the doll gone. And that song -- arghhh.

I did love the whole "Scully on vacation" thing -- that she rented a convertible, wore a great pair of shades, luxuriated in a bubble bath and classical music, and refused to answer her phone. The woman knows how to use her time.

Mulder meanwhile just seemed so bored and lost without Scully. They agreed to take the weekend off, but he's at the office, and either there or at home he's at loose ends. Has he really become so unused to working without her that he can no longer do it? Granted, it was the weekend, and he didn't have to work, but he didn't seem to be able to find anything else to do either. I liked that he guessed that she had rented a convertible -- he gets her.

Mulder: You didn’t find a talking doll, did you, Scully?
Scully: No, no. Of course not.
Mulder: I would suggest that you check the back of the doll for a - a plastic ring with a string on it.
Scully: [hangs up]
Mulder: That would be my first... hello?


Mulder: It sounds to me like that's witchcraft or some sorcery that you're looking for there.
Scully: I don't think it's witchcraft or sorcery. I've had a look around and I don't see any evidence of anything that warrants that kind of suspicion.
Mulder: Well, maybe you don't know what you're looking for.
Scully: Like evidence of conjuring or the black arts or shamanism, divination, wicca or any kind of pagan or neo-pagan practice. Charms, cards, familiars, bloodstones or hex signs or any of the ritual tableau associated with the occult. Santeria, Voudun, Macumba or any high or low magic.
Mulder: Scully.
Scully: Yes.
Mulder: Marry me.

posted by orange swan at 8:35 AM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


Mulder: Well, maybe you don't know what you're looking for.
Scully: Like evidence of conjuring or the black arts or shamanism, divination, wicca or any kind of pagan or neo-pagan practice. Charms, cards, familiars, bloodstones or hex signs or any of the ritual tableau associated with the occult. Santeria, Voudun, Macumba or any high or low magic.
Mulder: Scully.
Scully: Yes.
Mulder: Marry me.


One of the multiple "Yay X-Files" interviews flying around then, or it was an interview just with David, had a bit of behind-the-scenes intel about this scene - there were apparently a couple takes where David read his last line there as "Scully?....What are you wearing?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:05 PM on August 17, 2020


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