Re-Opening The X-Files: Die Hand Die Verletzt

x-files die hand

Scully: I think this case is an example of a murderer taking advantage of local folklore. I mean there’s nothing odd about– {frogs start raining down}
Mulder: So… lunch?
Scully: Mulder, toads just fell from the sky.
Mulder: I guess their parachutes didn’t open. You were saying something about this place not feeling odd?

Die Hand Die Verletzt

In an interview for the X-Files Files podcast, writer Glen Morgan revealed he and James Wong decided they wanted to have an episode that featured a giant snake consuming a person.   The duo put that beat on a card and then worked to build an episode with that moment in it.

The result is “Die Hand Die Verletzt.”   It’s the duos swan song as they exited the writing staff to develop and produce their own series Space: Above and Beyond.   And you can see that the two are throwing everything and the kitchen sink into this one to make it both creepy (because again — giant snake eats a guy!) and a bit fun (Mulder’s reaction to the raining frogs is priceless).

The episode is one that plays with a lot of conventions.  It starts off with the PTA meeting ending with prayer — only in this case it’s a group of Satanists who somehow manage to call up the dark one in the form of a substitute teacher.  Seems this little group has fallen out of practice with their faith and the devil has arrived to exact his toll.  

As far as the idea of Satan being a substitute teacher goes, it’s a divinely (pun fully intended) amusing one.    Ms. Paddock toys with Mulder and Scully and it’s interesting to see the duo try to keep up with what’s going on and unfolding in the town.  I’d argue that this is an episode where our duo don’t really have much of an impact on resolving the situation (all the Satanists are killed and then Ms. Paddock leaves), but it’s still fun watching Mulder and Scully try to keep up with what’s unfolding.

It’s odd to think that an episode about cults and devil worship could be a lighter outing — but after “Irresistible”  this one seems a bit lighter.   Again, it could be the set pieces of frogs raining down, grown men eaten by snakes and water circling counter-clockwise that does it.  It makes the long scene where Shannon breaks down, confessing to being abused in ways that never happened seem a bit more out of place than it normally would, though I’ll give the actress credit for really going for it.

The episode also aired just before the Super Bowl in which the San Diego Chargers played the San Francisco 49ers.  Morgan and Wong are big Chargers fans and got the production crew to change their opening crawl producer credits  to cheer on their  favorite team.  Alas, it didn’t work….the 49ers blew out the Chargers.

And since this is the duos last writing credit for a while, they send a farewell message to the fans…..

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Filed under Re-Opening the X-Files, review, The X-Files, TV review

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