Sunday, September 20, 2015

The X-Files - S4:E6 "Sanguinarium"

[ S4:E5 "The Field Where I Died" <<< Season 4 >>> S4:E7 "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" ]

Minus the supernatural elements, this episode would seem to pre-date Nip/Tuck. Mulder and Scully investigate a series of surgical catastrophes in a cosmetic surgery ward, potentially linked to demonic possession, or a witches' hex. As somebody who has a fear of doctors and hospitals, this is a pretty unsettling episode. It's gross, too. Even leeches factor in at one point, which is a disturbing juxtaposition against the atmosphere of a modern medical facility. Scully's definitely in her element here, but, of course, when evidence of the occult comes into play, Mulder's the one in the best position to connect the dots.

This episode definitely plays on audience's expectations from having seen Die Hand die Verletzt, in which the governing board of that town were practicing Satanists (although it's not quite as forgiving to real life Wiccans and Satanists), coupled with the misdirection we saw in The Calusari, and taking it one step further. But as much as I enjoy a good puzzle, I'm not sure I like not knowing who to sympathize with, and it tends to make the good guys look bad, to avoid being too obvious. Also, on the topic of confusion, you get a sense of humor in this episode, with not a few jokes being slipped into the script, but the mood and the subject matter is so grim, that you're not entirely sure if you're supposed to be laughing. There's a really neat scene involving a literal bloodbath, and another one that's very stylish, if epileptic - lit only by the flashing red and blue lights of a police car. But the episode ends very abruptly, with hardly any resolution at all. It's not one I'd be in a hurry to watch again.

Memorable quotes:

Mulder: Are you aware that Dr. Lloyd is claiming he was possessed during the incident?
Nurse Waite: I guess it's cheaper than malpractice insurance.

Scully: There's magic going on here, Mulder. Only it's being done with silicone, collagen, and a well-placed scalpel.

Mulder (pointing to a broom): Probable cause.
Scully: On the suspicion of being a witch?

Dr. Shannon: We fill a need. We didn't create it. Everyone wants to be beautiful.

Scully: This kind of transformation is medically impossible.
Mulder: It's not medicine, Scully. It's blood sacrifice.

Dr. Hartman: I like to say, whoever God didn't get around to creating in His own image, it's our job to recreate in ours.

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