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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.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

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

Summary[edit | edit source]

Jared Chirp, while attempting to flee his home, is attacked by rattlesnakes inside his car and killed. Mulder and Scully go to Reverend Enoch O'Connors church, Jared's preacher of the Church of God with Signs and Wonders, who uses snakes at his services. A woman, Iris Finster, tells Reverend Samuel Mackey of another church called that she feels bad because Jared called her on the night he died to talk to his girlfriend, Gracie O'Connor, but she would not let him talk to her because she was in bed. At Mackey's church later, Iris is bitten when her staple-remover turns into a snake. She goes into the bathroom to clean up and is killed when snakes appear everywhere in the bathroom.

Enoch O'Connor's snake-handling church.

Gracie is questioned about O'Connor because she was a former member and they find that she is O'Connor's daughter and he kicked her out of his church and home when she became pregnant. The agents go back to O'Connor's church and Scully is attacked by O'Connor who attempts to stick her head in a box of snakes. He is arrested and attacked by snakes in his cell, but is not killed. While Gracie was alone in his room, he wakes back up and takes Gracie. Reverend Mackey tells Mulder and Scully 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 Scullly that Mackey was the real murderer, and the father of Gracie's baby. He killed everyone to keep the fact that he was the father a secret and destroy O'Connor. He was the one with the power to summon snakes and attacks Mulder in this manner, but Scully breaks down the door and saves Mulder. Mackey disappears to Connecticut, changes his name to Reverend Wells, and starts another church. The episode ends with a snake coming out of Mackey's mouth and eating a mouse.

References[edit | edit source]

Church of God with Signs & Wonders;

Background Information[edit | edit source]

  • A deleted scene included O'Connor singing to his church group. It was cut due to time constraints.
  • Enoch O'Connor is likely named after a person from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. An ancestor of Noah, the prophet Enoch "walked with God" and was transferred so as not to see death.
  • 'Signs and Wonders' is a common biblical phrase used to describe the acts used to convince followers of the nature of Christ and his apostles, for example: Second Corinthians 12:12: "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles."
  • Enoch O'Connor's name is also a likely homage to Southern Gothic writer Flannery O'Connor, who constantly featured themes of religious hypocrisy and the mysteries of faith and grace. Enoch Emery is a character in her first novel, Wise Blood.

Nitpicks[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • 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.)

Cast[edit | edit source]


Guest Starring


External Links[edit | edit source]

Episode Navigation[edit | edit source]

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