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Recap / The X Files Miniseries E 14 Familiar

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Mulder and Scully investigate the brutal animal attack of a little boy in Connecticut, while suspecting darker forces are at play.

Tropes

  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Played with. Somehow, this is played straight in-universe with Mr. Chuckleteeth, as the little boy & girl love the character in a mask with a maniacal smile and wide-set eyes - in other words, outright terrifying to us as viewers. Even the children's entertainer has a Mr. Chuckleteeth mask and outfit in his closet.
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  • Acquitted Too Late: Melvin Peter has an alibi for the child murders, but it doesn't come out until Eggers has executed him.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How the grieving police officer kills the unregistered local sex offender (innocent of the current murders)
  • Captain Ersatz: The near-clone of the Teletubbies TV show.
  • Death of a Child: the cause of Mulder and Scully's investigation. Regrettably, it doesn't stop at one.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Anna Strong lays a witch's curse on her husband in response to his adultery. It winds up claiming two children and a number of other citizens as collateral damage before she herself goes up in flames.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Mulder does the classic Mulder move of tasting the mysterious white stuff from the ground (luckily it's salt).
  • Hollywood Satanism: Some witchcraft spell causes this spell of evil murders/death by a hellhound.
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  • Kill ’Em All: Of the major guest characters, only Officer Wentworth survives until the episode's end.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Mr. Chuckleteeth, but apparently to no-one in-universe. Just your typical kids' show character. There's also the secondary kids' show characters, a homage to the Teletubbies if they had porcelain masks for faces, blank black eyes with scrawny limbs off their round bodies instead of toddler like proportions.
  • Pædo Hunt: One that ends unfortunately for the man, who turns out to be innocent of the current child murders. He even seems to be innocent of true child abuse, stating that his conviction was for statutory rape and implying he wasn't much older than the other party at the time.
  • Paying Evil Unto Evil: The witchcraft spell is done by the wife whose husband cheated on her, but the revenge is Disproportionate Retribution involving multiple deaths (and unintentionally so on her part). The town is quite religious, and the husband himself believes his past actions to be evil when confronted with the violent death of his child as a result.
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  • Salt Solution: Circles of salt found at the crime scenes.
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