The X-Files (1994) – E.B.E., and Miracle Man

This week’s entry into exploration of The X-Files brings me one of my favourite episodes, E.B.E. written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. This episode truly lays the groundwork for the alien conspiracy arc that would play such a large part in the show’s mythology.

Filled with lies, disinformation, shreds of truth, and the stark realisation that they can trust no one, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) find themselves mired in listening devices, paranoia and conspiracy theories.

Originally airing on 18 February, 1994, the two FBI agents believe they are on the trail of a transport truck that is carrying alien wreckage, and perhaps a survivor, an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity from a UFO that was shot down in Iraq.

They are lied to by Mulder’s contact, Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) they are assisted by the Lone Gunmen in their first series appearance, and the truth has never been harder to find.

The addition of Byers (Bruce Harwood), Langely (Dean Haglund) and Frohike (Tom Braidwood) to the supporting cast means that almost all of the players are on the board for the series, and they serve as an illustration of Mulder and some of his ideas taken to the extreme.

But where is the truth, and what is really going on with the government and their possible interaction with alien life. Mulder says it himself, he’s trying to decide which lie to believe. How much of what he sees and learns is truth, and how much is more smoke and mirrors to keep him in the dark?

I love this one. And watch for an appearance by the wonderful Roger Cross!

Howard Gordon and series creator Chris Carter send Mulder and Scully to Tennessee to investigate murder at the hands of a healer in Miracle Man. First airing on 18 March, 1994, the pair of FBI agents look into the works of the Hartley church, and Mulder becomes haunted by visions of a little girl, that may be his sister.

The ministry is run by Reverend Calvin Hartley (George Gerdes) but it is his son, Samuel (Scott Bairstow) that people come to see, since restoring a hideously burned man, Leonard Vance (Dennis Lipscomb) to life, the ministry has been filled with miracles. Not is is being plagued by murders.

Summoned by the local sheriff (R.D. Call) the duo are plunged into tent revivals and the laying of hands, but both seem sceptical. Even Mulder, who is quite willing to throw out ideas of what Samuel’s powers may be, doesn’t seem to necessarily subscribe to the possibility that the young man has paranormal gifts.

When a death happens during a revival, the ministry seems doomed for good, and the most likely suspect, Samuel, suffers from police brutality, but the true murderer will be outed.

Scully points out that suggestion and belief in a miracle does half the work for it, which could account for Mulder’s visions, and the things the Vance sees as well.

The ending leaves the possibility of Samuel’s gifts open to interpretation, or perhaps the reverend is only looking to cash in on him. But that is neither here nor there for our agents, who close the case, and head back home.

The exploration into the paranormal continues Thursday as I delve deeper into The X-Files, because the truth is out there…

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