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Recap / The X-Files S02 E11 "Excelsis Dei"

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Season 2, Episode 11:

Excelsis Dei
Written by Paul Brown
Directed by Stephen Surjik

Scully: find not just the treatment but a cure for Alzheimer’s. Do you realise how important that would be?
Mulder: If it would keep anybody out of a place like that it would be important enough. I wouldn’t say those people were exactly cured.

When an orderly at the Excelsis Dei Nursing Home claims to have been raped by an elderly (and, what's more, invisible) in-patient, Scully insists on an investigation. Once there, they find that the patients seem unusually spry and lucid - until the accused rapist unexpectedly drops dead from a rare poison that he could not conceivably have access to. Could a revolutionary new treatment for Alzheimer's be responsible? Or are the spirits of the dead exacting horrible revenge for the abuses they suffered? And what is the role of Gung, the one orderly everyone seems to like?



  • Adult Fear: Issues of rape and sexual harassment. A nurse who works in a retirement home is shown at the beginning of the episode being subjected to sexism and sexual harassment by her coworkers and by the patients. One night is raped by an invisible man whom she asserts is one of her patients. The man she accuses laughs it off and attributes her accusation to "this sexual harassment fad." He's flippant to the point where he sexually harasses Scully while she's questioning him. Mulder and Scully resign themselves to the fact that this case will be so hard to substantiate it might not be worth trying. The nurse's employers don't believe her for one second even though this has happened before.
  • Cure for Cancer: Or, rather, Alzheimer's.
  • Drowning Pit: Complete with Opening the Flood Gates.
  • Foreign Language Title: Latin for "The highest."
  • Advertisement:
  • I See Dead People: One (possible) effect of the mushroom-pills.
  • Orderlies Are Creeps: Played with; most of the orderlies are fairly callous, but Gung is attempting to be as considerate and respectful as he can, with deadly results.
  • Poltergeist: The perpetrators of the episode's weirdness.
  • Porn Stash:
    Mulder: Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn't mine.
    Scully: Good, because I put it back in that drawer with all those other videos that aren't yours.

"In response to the series of unexplained incidents at the Excelsis Dei convalescent home, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has assumed all administrative authority at the facility."

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