The X-Files (1994/1995) – Excelsis Dei, and Aubrey

Excelsis Dei by Paul Brown plunges agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) into the still incredibly relevant exploration of a long term care facilities, and how those who live there are treated… done, of course, with The X-Files twist. This episode first aired on 16 December, 1994.

It seems a nurse, Michelle Charters (Teryl Rothery) was assaulted, and almost raped by an unseen assailant, an entity. And that is what peaks Mulder’s interest, though it is Scully who brings him the case, after clearing the tape that ‘wasn’t’ his from the player.

Arriving at the Excelsis Dei care facility, the agents encounter the residents, some of whom are behaving strangely, but nothing, really to substantiate Charters’ case. Even though she claims to know who did it.

As the pair continue to investigate, they learn that one of the janitors, Gung (Sab Shimono) has been supplying the residents with a mushroom to ingest. A mushroom with some strange qualities.

The spooky side of the story that sees, possibly, the residents able to slip their physical confines, is nowhere near as scary as to how they are treated by an overworked and underpaid support staff.

This one was always an okay story to me, but didn’t get my pulse pounding like some of the other episodes that featured this season. It has some nice moments though when one of the residents apologises to Mulder for hitting on his girl, and there are some other laughs to be had, which is kind of necessary considering how dark the subject matter can be.

And speaking of dark subject matter…

Aubrey takes us into a dark corner of the room, and with Terry Quinn, in his first X-Files appearance but not his last, aboard it almost feels like a dry run for the series first spin-off, Millennium which debuted in 1996.

Visions, a serial killer, and a well written story, Aubrey delivers. Written by Sara B. Cooper, this episode first debuted on 6 January, 1995.

B.J. Morrow (Deborah Strang) is a cop, now pregnant with her boss, Brian Tillman’s (Quinn) child, when she has a vision that leads her to the remains of a murdered FBI agent (letting Mulder and Scully join the investigation).

Unfortunately, after the discovery of the body, murders begin again, but the chief suspect is now 77. Is there a connection to B.J.?

It’s a dark story, and Strang walks the fine line between sympathy and insanity as the visions begin to overpower her. Mulder suspects they are genetic memories, and that she has a connection to the original suspect, Cokely (Morgan Woodward), and it all comes to a horrifying climax with Mulder under a straight razor.

There are more cases of the paranormal to come as I investigate more X-files next week, because the truth is out there…

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