The X-Files #60: Revelations

"Maybe it's just a... very disgruntled altar boy."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Mulder and Scully help a stigmatic boy under threat from one of the Devil's disciples.

REVIEW: Revelations is a reverse-formula episode where Scully is the believer and Mulder the skeptic. It deals with his one blind spot, God. UFOs and Jersey Devils, fine. Miracles, nope. And Scully calls him on it too. Most impressively, this reversal is done without betraying either of the characters. Mulder is quick to dismiss the miracles, just as quick to jump to the conclusion that they're hoaxes as he would be to believe in aliens. At the same time, Scully may believe, but she is filled with doubt; she believes, but still, heartbreakingly, questions that belief. Scully gets called out for being a hypocrite twice, once for not believing enough, the other for believing too much, but there's plenty of hypocrisy to go around. And since the X-Files presents a world where the believer is rewarded with unsharable proof, only Scully really sees the miracles, just as only Mulder sees the aliens. (Which is to say, each of them CHOOSES to see the proof, because in each case, they actively deny evidence to protect their world view.) So when the priest tells Scully maybe the things she's seen were only meant for her, that's fudging. The child's wounds being magically healed is pretty verifiable.

Layered over everything that's true in the X-Files universe, there also appears to be a great big war between Heaven and Hell, forces trying to spark or prevent the Apocalypse, and Heaven's on the side of the End of Days. Little Kevin Kryder the stigmatic is treated as the Second Coming - did Scully ever see him again as foretold, or did he mean when she dies? - though if he is, his parables have the bent of campfire stories. And there's the "Millennium Man", a demonic assassin come to stop him from achieving his Glory. Since he has human origins, there is ambiguity, but his powers are real. Sadly he dies in a recycling shredder. And in this fight between Good and Evil, he has an opposite number played by the naturally-distinctive Michael Berryman, who acts as Kevin's guardian angel and dies the death of a saint.

I could easily imagine a version of the X-Files where THIS is the mytharc, but it's doubtful it'll really be revisited (or am I wrong?). We sometimes get a hint that something's going on in the Afterworld, like in The Căluşari when Mulder is said to have been "noticed". It's a whole other Conspiracy manipulating events that merits its own puzzle pieces. Hope they pursue it in some form.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE:
What if it's all reversed? Kevin is a bit of a brat, not listening in class and enjoying putting fear in the hearts of his classmates. Is he the Anti-Christ instead? His would-be assassin starts his (un)holy war after a trip to Jerusalem, and kills eleven "false prophets" before trying to kill Kevin. Could the stigmata, lack of decay in Saint Owen, etc. be the Devil's work, confusing and manipulating Scully into insuring the Apocalypse? In a conflict like this, neither side seems particularly "good" because they're all fanatics.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High
- An interesting reversal of everything we've come to expect from the show, adding to the whole rather than distracting from it.

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