X-Files Recap: Mulder And Scully Revisit A Familiar Theme In Connecticut: Witches!
Witchcraft, vigilante justice, mob violence, hounds of hell, books that can’t be burned, spontaneous combustion and… Mr. Chuckleteeth all figure in the latest mystery Mulder and Scully come up against in this (allegedly) final season of The X-Files. So much can change in just eight episodes. Last season, it felt like the magic that made the series so great had disappeared. Now if feels like it’s back, and already we’re beginning to fear that, as Gillian Anderson has promised, this really is the last ever season of X-Files. This week’s episode wasn’t the season’s strongest, but it was still fun to take a trip to Connecticut and revisit the story of the Salem witch trials—and discover that not much has changed.
When a little boy is lured into the woods by his favourite TV character, Mr. Chuckleteeth, and brutally murdered the FBI is called in because the victim is the child of a cop. Local law enforcement closed the case quickly, ruling it an animal attack but Mulder and Scully have other theories: Scully believes there’s a child-killer on the loose. Mulder believes in witches, hellhounds, and protective salt circles. Because of course he does.
When a second child meets the same fate, Scully and Mulder begin to follow the threads that link the two families and uncover an affair. Meanwhile, the policeman father of the first murdered child pins the crime on a convicted pedophile (it was statutory!) and a mob hands him his sentence before he can be tried. Scully seems ready to call the case closed, but Mulder doesn’t like the way this Connecticut mob is mirroring their witch-burning ancestors—and he’s proved correct when a third cop comes forward with evidence of the man’s airtight alibi.
The situation soon descends into total chaos and Mulder and Scully are sent scrambling all over town as people connected to the case start dropping like flies. Their chase leads them back to the killing grounds where both children were discovered. With the body count now at six, the two agents find just one person involved in the small town adultery scandal still standing (inside a circle of salt ringed with dozens of candles). It turns out she’d known about her husband’s affair all along. Did her attempts to invoke the devil and curse him and his mistress open the gates of hell like Mulder believes or were the deaths coincidental? After our modern day witch spontaneously bursts into flames, there’s no one left to ask.
“Maybe it was the candles,” muses Mulder. But then why didn’t the spellbook didn’t burn? Was this the rare witch hunt that actually uncovered a witch? We wanna believe.