September 9, 2015

The X-Files 1.14, Gender Bender: “The Addams Family Finds Religion”

Posted in TV tagged , at 11:48 am by Jenn

I make the same face as Andrew when someone of another gender tries to talk to me

I make the same face as Andrew when someone of another gender tries to talk to me

Summary: Someone with an eye is at a club. Or maybe two eyes. I don’t know; they just keep showing us an eye. A woman takes the hand of the guy the eye belongs to, and he leans close to her. She whispers something, then leads him off with her. Fast-forward to the two of them having sex. The guy is very satisfied. The woman crosses the room and the guy starts to spasm. Foam comes out of his mouth. That’s not very romantic. So he’s dead. The woman strips and puts on the guy’s clothes…only now the woman is a man.

Mulder and Scully check out the scene in Germantown, Maryland. Witnesses remember a woman entering and a man leaving, wearing the dead man’s suit and carrying his briefcase. Scully isn’t sure why she and Mulder were called in. A detective tells her that someone at the FBI wanted to be notified of any case fitting the man’s cause of death. Gee, I wonder who put in that request?

Back in his office, Mulder tells Scully that this is the fifth victim to die under these circumstances. The people all died of massive heart attacks and were found with high levels of pheromones in their body. Scully wonders if some sort of toxin is being synthesized. Mulder reveals that the pheromones also include human DNA. The killer is “a walking aphrodisiac.” He pegs the killer as a man, though Scully points out that there’s no reason it can’t be a woman.

The killer’s moving south from Boston, and appears to have started near the Kindred, an Amish-like sect in Massachusetts. Mulder found white clay in scratches on the latest victim’s body – clay that’s particular to the Kindred’s reason. Scully’s surprised that he’s connecting the dots between a killer and a group of altruistic pacifists.

The agents head to Steveston, Massachusetts, and ask a couple shopkeepers about the Kindred. The shopkeepers have pictures of the Kindred on their walls; they’re from the ’30s, but they have more recent pictures under the counter. (It’s hard to tell the difference between the old ones and the modern ones, though.) The shopkeepers are about to give the agents directions to where the Kindred live when a buggy passes by.

The agents go over to a feed store to chat with the Kindred, who aren’t very friendly. Scully tries to get a man to open up by asking about his horse. The man says he shouldn’t be talking to her. Scully promises that she’s harmless and introduces herself. The man rubs her hand, seeming to send her into a trance. The connection is broken when the other Kindred call the man, Andrew, away. Scully tells Mulder that there’s definitely something weird going on.

Up the mountain the agents go, forced to walk a mile through the woods since there’s no road for their car. They get lost, so Mulder balls up their map and kicks it. Suddenly, a bunch of the Kindred emerge from behind trees and approach them. The agents announce themselves as FBI, explaining that they’re investigating a murder. The Kindred tell them they can’t bring their weapons into their society. A woman named Abigail gently tells the agents that they can come up the mountain and talk, but they have to hand over their weapons first.

The agents agree and are led to a farmhouse. They were lucky enough to arrive just in time for dinner. As someone says grace, Scully and Andrew exchange a glance. Mulder immediately starts in on the questions, wanting to show security footage of the killer from Germantown. Andrew and Abigail keep looking at each other.

The agents ask if anyone has left the Kindred recently. Another man, Wilton, suddenly demands that the questions stop. Abigail calls him out for getting mad. A man farther down the table starts choking, and though Scully moves to help him, Abigail stops her. She and Andrew insist that the Kindred take care of their own. Meanwhile, back at the club from the first scene, the killer looks for another victim. He talks to a woman who isn’t interested in dancing until he rubs her hand the way Andrew rubbed Scully’s.

Mulder and Scully leave the Kindred, who Mulder describes as “the Addams family finds religion.” They hope the Kindred were telling the truth about taking care of their own. Mulder notes that no one answered the agents’ questions, which is pretty convenient. Mulder continues that there were no children at the farm. He thought he saw some of the same faces in the pictures from the ’30s as he did in the more recent ones.

The agents sneak back to the farm in time to see everyone gathering in a barn. They’re able to spy on the meeting and see the unconscious or dead form of the man who was coughing at dinner. The Kindred head into a cellar, so Mulder follows them. Meanwhile, Andrew catches Scully outside and asks her to come with him so he can give her information.

Mulder heads through a tunnel and finds the Kindred again as Andrew tells Scully that he knows who the killer is – his best friend, Marty. The Kindred anoint the cougher’s body. Andrew tells Scully that Marty’s different, and probably poisons his victims. The Kindred take the cougher’s body with them through some catacombs. Andrew shows Scully some magazines he and Marty found by the road. They made Marty decide to join the outside world.

Mulder hears noises and realizes that someone’s returning to the catacombs. He hides as Wilton and another man discuss how Scully’s with Andrew but no one knows where Mulder is. Mulder realizes that he’s with the cougher’s body, though the cougher now looks much different. Also, he’s alive. Scully asks Andrew if Marty’s murderous methods have to do with what she and Mulder saw in the barn. Andrew takes her hand and starts rubbing it.

As Mulder heads back to the house, Andrew tells Scully that all the Kindred are different. He starts kissing the side of her neck. Oh, buddy, Mudler’s going to be jealous… Speaking of Mulder, he interrupts the moment of intimacy and hurries Scully out of the house. Too bad they run right into a group of the Kindred. Abigail’s mad that the agents have interfered after being asked not to. The agents are ushered out again, but Scully doesn’t make it far before she gets sick.

A woman at the club tries to talk to a man who’s on the phone. He turns his attention to her as soon as she puts her hand on his. Mulder takes Scully to get coffee, and she admits that she’s a little embarrassed about getting sick. He wonders why she kept talking to Andrew. Scully says she believed him when he said he knew who the killer was. Mulder tells her that he found the cougher buried alive, with a different face. Scully wonders if Andrew was going to kill her. Mulder wonders if it’s the sex that kills people.

The couple from the club makes out in a car, getting caught by a police officer. As the woman speaks with the cop, the man starts spasming. He watches as the woman, now a man, knocks out the cop and runs away. The would-be murder victim, Michel, ends up in the hospital, where Mulder and Scully ask how much physical contact he had with the killer. Michel claims not to remember much of what happened, but Mulder thinks he’s just uncomfortable with the details. Michel reluctantly admits that he thought his date was a woman, but she turned out to be a man.

Scully thinks they’re dealing with a transvestite, since it’s more likely that the person who knocked out the cop was a man, not a woman. Mulder thinks Michel would have known if he’d made out with a man. Mulder and Scully learn that Michel’s stolen credit card was just used to order takeout. Somewhere, a woman talks about how knows touching people is forbidden, but she couldn’t help herself. She just loves the pleasures of this world.

The agents race to the apartment where the woman’s hiding out with a man’s body. The killer tries to knock Scully out, then runs. Mulder chases the killer, seeing with his own eyes the transformation from female to male. The killer tries knocking him out, too, incapacitating him so much that Scully has to take over the chase. She comes across a man and starts to take him into custody, but the Kindred arrive and surround him.

Andrew tries to entrance Scully, who has trouble fighting the connection. Mulder arrives, distracting her enough that Andrew’s able to knock her out. As Mulder tends to Scully, the Kindred take off with the killer. The police set up roadblocks, positive that the Kindred won’t get through them, but Mulder’s not so sure. They head back up to Steveston, where they find the community deserted and the entrance to the cellar boarded up. All that’s left behind is what looks like a crop circle.

Thoughts: Michel is played by Nicholas Lea, who later plays Krycek.

This episode is SO BORING. It’s horribly paced, too. We should have seen more of the Kindred than just the scene at dinner. And we needed more background on them – I assume they started living like the Amish so they wouldn’t be tempted to have physical contact with people and manipulate/hurt them? What about healing the sick or dead?

And where does the gender-swapping/body-changing come into play? What was the point of having a killer who can change genders if we only see him in the male form? Think of how many other things the episode could have done with that trait. Think about plot developments involving DNA. I would have much rather watched half an hour of people talking about DNA than the horribly slow scenes where Mulder follows the Kindred around.

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