July 12, 2015
The X-Files 1.5, The Jersey Devil: You Thought It Was a Myth? You Were Myth-Taken
Summary: In New Jersey in 1947, a family sings “Bingo” in their car before blowing a tire. The father, Paul, starts to change it, stopping to go after his dropped flashlight as something watches from the bushes. As he goes back to the car to ask his wife to hold the light, something grabs him and drags him into the woods. Early the next day, a search party finds his body, minus his bitten-off legs. Someone spots the killer in a cave, and everyone shoots at it.
In the present day, Scully meets up with Mulder in his office, where he’s looking at a centerfold (though he claims the model had an alien encounter). Scully tells him a dead homeless man was found near Atlantic City; it sounds like his body is in the same shape as the man in 1947. Mulder makes the same connection, blaming the Jersey Devil. He also shares the fate of Paul’s killer: His autopsy showed that he’d consumed human flesh. Scully notes that the Jersey Devil is a myth. Mulder says it doesn’t matter – there’s still a killer out there.
The agents head to Atlantic City, where a medical examiner tells them the victim, Roger, was attacked by something large. The investigating detective, Thompson, doesn’t welcome the FBI’s involvement and orders the agents to leave. “What’s eating that guy?” Mulder quips. Scully thinks Mulder would react the same way in the same situation. She teases that he should have just told Thompson the killer was the Jersey Devil.
Mulder suggests that they take advantage of their time in Atlantic City to hit some casinos. Scully declines, since she needs to go home for her godson’s birthday. Instead of gambling, Mulder uses a casino’s phone book to call the New Jersey Parks Service. A ranger takes him to the park where Roger’s body was found, telling him that most people steer clear of the woods because of the Jersey Devil myth. The ranger has seen enough weird stuff not to dismiss the myth. In fact, he once had an encounter with a creature that fits the description of other sightings.
Back in D.C., Scully goes to the birthday party, complimenting her friend for being so good at handling chaos. Her friend thinks Scully’s better equipped for it since she made it through the FBI academy. She also thinks Scully and Mulder should hook up and have babies. All in good time, friend of Scully. In New Jersey, Mulder decides to walk back to his motel, heading through the woods alone. In D.C., Scully’s friend hints that she should get to know the divorced father of one of the party guests.
Mulder makes it out of the woods alive, ending up at a mission. He asks the homeless people there if they knew Roger. A man takes him to a hiding spot in an alley, where he’s hidden a drawing he found in a jacket pocket. The drawing is off a large creature the man claims he once saw in the alley. He claims the police know about the creature. Mulder offers the man his motel room for the night, staying in the alley to wait for the creature. When it arrives, Mulder tries to chase it, but the police show up and scare it off. They think Mulder’s a crazy homeless man.
The police take Mulder to the station, where Thompson threatens to go to the DA to get Mulder officially taken off the case. Mulder thinks Thompson has shirked his responsibility to get the creature off the streets. He’s more concerned with tourism than protecting the people who live in the city. Mulder shows Thompson the drawing, warning that Thompson will be responsible if a tourist is killed. Thompson continues to ignore his crazy theories.
Mulder calls Scully in D.C., and she makes the long drive back to Atlantic City to bail him out of lockup. He tells her about the creature he saw, though Scully thinks he should be more worried about his trouble with local law enforcement. Mulder wonders why the creature didn’t come after him, since it likes to eat humans. Scully brushes off his Jersey Devil talk, wanting to get back home for her date with the guy from the party. Unlike Mulder, she has a life.
Mulder goes back with Scully, and they meet with a professor at the University of Maryland to talk about the Jersey Devil myth. They talk about evolution and the food chain, which humans sit at the top of. Mulder wonders if something could be above us. The professor says no – unless some alien life form jumped in there. Mulder notes that there are studies of people raised by animals. The professor doesn’t think something living in the woods of New Jersey survives through cannibalism and superior evolution.
While Mulder looks at pictures and a drawing of what looks like Bigfoot (with breasts), Scully goes on her date. She’s not so interested in the guy, Rob, when he starts talking about spending time with his kids. The ranger calls Mulder to tell him that another body, dead about eight months, was found in the woods. It matches the description of the Jersey Devil. Mulder confirms that the body belongs to a man, then pages Scully, who’s happy to have a reason to leave the table. Mulder tells her that they might not be looking for a man.
The agents go back to Atlantic City with the professor, but the body isn’t at the morgue. Mulder cries cover-up. He also thinks the creature is female. They head out with the ranger to the building Mulder saw the creature near during his night in the alley. The professor finds a blood-stained cloth and wonders if the creature is bringing its victims there, or if it’s injured. As they continue searching the building, musing about how similar they could be to the creatures, a police team moves in.
The professor intercepts the police, telling them he knows nothing about FBI agents being present. Mulder and Scully overhear and try to evade capture. Mulder spots the creature and follows her to a basement, where she attacks him. She sniffs him for a while, then claws his side when he tries to get up. Scully arrives and scares her off. While Mulder gets medical attention from paramedics, Scully reports that they’re in trouble for interfering with a murder investigation.
The police chase after the creature, and the ranger drives Mulder, Scully, and the professor to the woods so they can continue to interfere in the investigation. They spot the creature from a hill, and the ranger is able to hit her with a tranquilizer dart, but it doesn’t affect her. As the group goes to find her, shots ring out – the creature attacked an officer, so Thompson shot her. Mulder’s all sad and asks Thompson why he killed her. “Same reason you kill a rabid animal,” Thompson says.
Back in D.C. a week later, Mulder files away pictures from the scene of the creature’s death. Scully shares that pieces of human bone were found in her digestive tract. She was 25 or 30 years old and had no signs of prehistoric bone structure. Mulder thinks she and the male creature had offspring, and that she was looking for food after her partner died. Mulder’s excited to share the news with someone at the Smithsonian.
Rob calls Scully and asks her for another date. Instead of accepting, Scully chooses to go with Mulder. She tells him she probably won’t be seeing Rob again – she doesn’t have any interest in him right now. Out in the woods in New Jersey, a father and son pass by a cave. A girl pops out as the father starts to tell his son the story of the Jersey Devil.
Thoughts: I looked up the real myth of the Jersey Devil, and other than the name, it doesn’t seem to share much with the one in this episode.
One part of the myth (in the episode) is that the Jersey Devil attacks people at their cars, but…why? That’s never explained. Plus, Roger was in an alley, not near a car, so I guess the creature wasn’t that picky about where he picked up his meals.
Mulder gave his motel room to a homeless man! Scully should definitely have babies with him!