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"Miracle Man" is the eighteenth episode of the first season of The X-Files. The episode first aired in the United States on March 18, 1994 on the Fox network. It was written by Howard Gordon and series creator Chris Carter, directed by Michael Lange, and is a "Monster-of-the-week" story.

Synopsis

Mulder and Scully encounter a religious healer who seems to have the power to perform miracles.

Summary

Teaser

Crowds gather at an apartment fire as an EMT carries out a burnt dead man on a stretcher. A firefighter tells the EMT to go help a women who needs oxygen. As the firefighter turns to leave, a man and his young son unzip the body bag and say a prayer to raise him from the dead. Seeing this, the fireman begins to tell them to go away as the man is dead when the boy's father tells him, "then the boy can do no harm, now can he?" Meanwhile, the boy continues saying the prayer, causing the burnt man to return to life as the fireman leaves.

Act One

Ten years later, Scully shows Mulder a videotape which shows the man and the boy, now a teenager, have opened up a church called Miracle Ministry and are about to heal a woman with a malignant tumor on her spine. Scully pauses the tape to give Mulder some information and is surprised when he has already heard of Reverend Calvin Hartley and his adopted healer son Samuel Hartley. Local authorities are beginning to think the reverend and his son are a scam and have been trying to shut the ministry down. Mulder finds this curious and asks Scully why. She responds with "Murder. Watch the tape."

The tape continues showing the Reverend explaining what is about to happen to his amazed audience. Scully stops the VHS again to explain to Mulder that twenty minutes after Lucy was "healed", she was rushed to the hospital only to die mysteriously. Despite knowing this is not an official X-File, Mulder and Scully hop a flight to Kenwood, Tennessee.

Once there, they visit the tent Miracle Ministry to witness for themselves the faith healing powers of Samuel Hartley. However, he does not make an appearance. They meet the Reverend outside after the sermon where they learn that Samuel is missing. Calvin Hartley tells them he can not help and drives them off in his Cadillac. As this is happening, Sheriff Maurice Daniels walks up to them and gives them the autopsy report for Lucy Kelly. Sheriff Daniels goes on to tell them that more people related to the ministry have died but no autopsies were performed due to Miracle Ministry interference.

They arrange for the bodies to be exhumed; however, in the process of digging the bodies up, a group of the ministry's followers, who caught word of what was going to be done at the cemetery, show up and demand that the graves not be disturbed. Mulder and Scully begin to explain the importance of the autopsies when the Sheriff interrupts with news that Samuel's car was spotted downtown.

Act Two

Mulder Sheriff Daniels Scully Miracle Man

Mulder and Scully with Sheriff Daniels.

Sheriff Daniels, Mulder and Scully enter a seedy bar to find Samuel Hartley smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer while sporting various cuts and bruises all over his face. The sheriff lets Samuel know he is going to be arrested for suspicion of murder, but Mulder asks for a few minutes with him first. Samuel admits guilt of murder and explains that he "muddied the water" of his faith because of pride and weakness, and now his gift has been corrupted. Scully doubts the young man, saying there's something missing in his story. Samuel, in retaliation, tells Mulder of a great pain Mulder has related to a sister. Intrigued, Mulder asks him to continue, but an unnerved Scully calls the Sheriff over to their table to officially arrest Samuel.

Act Three

During Samuel's trial, a swarm of locusts come in the court room and forces everyone to leave. Mulder and Scully are summoned to see the Reverend who is adamant that his son is innocent. While in counsel with Reverend Hartley, Mulder sees a little girl through the window and excuses himself. He exits the building to try to find the little girl, but she's gone. He then looks up and sees Samuel staring down at him through the window. Later that night, Scully and Mulder attend as Samuel returns to his ministry and attempts to heal a woman in a wheelchair. However, she suffers a seizure and dies, which leads to Samuel's second arrest. During the service Mulder sees the little girl again and tries to follow her, but loses her in the crowd. The ministry tries to deter the family from getting an autopsy, yet Scully changes their minds. Scully questions Mulder about who he was chasing, knowing that Samuel's words have influenced him. Mulder reveals that he thinks he has seen his sister, Samantha, twice. Scully performs an autopsy which reveals the woman died of cyanide poisoning. Mulder visits Samuel in jail and asks him if he poisoned the woman. He asks for more information about Samantha, but Samuel taunts him. Mulder asks the sheriff to release Samuel, but the sheriff refuses. After Mulder leaves, the sheriff has two men fatally beat Samuel in his cell. Later the sheriff tells Mulder and Scully that Samuel instigated a fight. They go back to the court room and find evidence that the swarm of locusts, which were actually common grasshoppers, was guided by someone to the courtroom through the building's ventilation system.

At his home, Vance, who has been the faithful assistant to the Reverend, is confronted by a ghostly vision of Samuel, who accuses him of betraying the church and perpetrating the murders. Vance confesses and blames his bitterness at having been resurrected with such a scarred and deformed visage. Mulder and Scully, who have been able to trace a large purchase of grasshoppers to Vance, arrive with the sheriff to find the man dying of cyanide poisoning from his own glass of water. The sheriff tells Vance to get his clothes on because he was under arrest. He tells them of Samuel's visitation and confesses before falling dead.

As the agents prepare to finish work on the case, they receive a phone call to say that Samuel's body has gone missing from the morgue, and witnesses have seen him walking around, badly bruised. Later, Sheriff Daniels is picked up from his home, by one of his deputies, to be questioned by the district attorney over Samuel's death. As Mulder and Scully leave Tennessee, Samuel's ministry closes down, and Mulder sees one last vision of his missing sister before he gets into their car.

References

SEMICOLON-SEPARATED LIST OF ITEMS/LOCATIONS REFERENCED IN EPISODE (BUT NOT LINKED TO IF ALREADY LINKED IN SUMMARY OR GUEST STARS SECTIONS)

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Starring

Co-Starring


External Links

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