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"Signs and Wonders" is the ninth episode of the of The X-Files. Written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Kim Manners, the episode first aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 23, 2000.

Signs and Wonders is a "Monster-of-the-week" story, independent of the series' mythology arc.


Mulder and Scully investigate a gruesome and unexplained snake-bite death, which points to a religious group in the deep south.


In an unnamed town in the state of Tennessee, Jared Chirp, while attempting to flee his home, is attacked by rattlesnakes inside his car and killed. Mulder and Scully confer with Samuel Mackey, the reverend of Blessing Community Church, and are pointed to go to the Church of God with Signs and Wonders, a fundamentalist snake-handling sect, which Jared is an adherent of, and led by Reverend Enoch O'Connor, who then becomes a prime suspect. A Community Church congregation member named Iris Finster tells Reverend Mackey that she feels guilty because Jared called the night he died wanting to speak to his pregnant girlfriend, Gracie, but she was already asleep and Iris didn't want to wake her. Later that night, Iris is bitten when her [./https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staple_remover staple remover] turns into a snake; she promptly goes into the bathroom to clean the wound, but is killed when snakes appear everywhere in the bathroom.

Enoch O'Connor's snake-handling church.

Mulder and Scully question Gracie, a former member of O'Connor's congregation and they find that she is O'Connor's daughter who was excommunicated from his church and banished from their family home following her pregnancy. The agents return to O'Connor's church for answers wherein Scully is attacked by O'Connor who attempts to stick her head in a box of snakes. O'Connor is arrested and, while in his cell, is attacked by dozens of snakes. He is taken to the hospital, barely alive, but is not given antivenom on Gracie's insistence that it goes against his religious beliefs. When she is alone with him in his hospital room, O'Connor's wounds begin to spontaneously expel the venom, and he regains consciousness, takes Gracie, and flees. After Mulder and Scully find test results at Jared Chirp's house revealing that he was [./https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infertility infertile], Reverend Mackey tells them that Enoch O'Connor is the father of Gracie's child.

Samuel Mackey takes a mouse and performs a ritual.

Back at the Signs and Wonders church, Enoch O'Connor baptizes Gracie, and as the congregation prays, the pastor lays hands to deliver Gracie's baby who is really a bundle of snakes. O'Connor goes to Mackey's church and attempts to kill him, but Mulder intervenes and saves Mackey. In the ambulance, Gracie tells Scully that Mackey is the actual biological father of her baby and that he murdered others and to prevent them from knowing the truth and to destroy O'Connor's congregation. Back at the church, Mulder realizes O'Connor was innocent all along and confronts Mackey, but he locks the door and summons snakes, which promptly attack Mulder. Scully is able to break down the door and save Mulder in time.

As Mackey disappears, he resurfaces in Connecticut under the name of Reverend Wells, and joins another church, where he starts a new congregation. After he accepts his new post, he sits at his desk, removes a live mouse from a box, then sits back as a snake emerges from his throat and devours it.


Church of God with Signs & Wonders;

Background Information[]


  • A boom mic operator is visible on the left hand side of the screen wearing a white T-shirt, beige shorts, and sneakers. He is carrying the boom mic and following Mulder and Scully. You can see him when Mulder and Scully arrive at the "Church of God with Signs and Wonders" for the first time, when Mulder delivers the line "That's funny, I knew a couple Catholic schoolgirls who were experts at it."
  • When Reverend O'Connor is reading from the Book of Revelation, his Bible is flipped open towards the front. Revelation is the last book in the New Testament, so his Bible should have been open towards the back.


  • Scully: Snake handling- we didn't learn that in catechism class.
  Mulder: That's funny, I knew a couple Catholic schoolgirls who were expert at it.

(This line could be interpreted a number of ways, but as David Duchovny was known for his improvised and often sexually inappropriate lines during filming (many of which had to be edited out at Chris Carter's insistence), it was probably one of Duchovny's many lewd contributions and wasn't actually in the original script. Perhaps because of its offhand and slightly cryptic nature, the line made the final cut.)



Guest Starring


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