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Recap / The X-Files S05 E09 "Schizogeny"

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Season 5, Episode 09:

"Hey, Scully, is this demonstration of boyish agility turning you on at all?"
Written by Jessica Scott & Mike Wollaeger
Directed by Ralph Hemecker

Karin: My approach is with the victims solely to allow them to empower themselves.
Mulder: In what ways?
Karin: By breaking the cycle of abuse. By owning it. By confronting it and by standing up against it.
Mulder: Seems to be working.

Mulder and Scully investigate a town where people are being killed by trees.


  • Abusive Parents: Apparently the motive for the murders. Played With: the teenage suspects' parents weren't abusive; but their therapist's father was.
  • Body Horror: Of a kind; a man cuts a tree with an axe and blood pours from the wound.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Invoked. Karin, projecting her abusive childhood on other kids, coerces them into 'standing up to' their fathers, regardless of whether said fathers are actually abusive.
  • Creepy Basement: Karin used to be locked up in one when she was small and she in turn locks there another girl who has to watch her aunt's murder and her body through a small window. Moreover, there is Karin's father’s body covered in tree roots in the cellar.
  • Demonic Possession: Karin is possessed by the ghost of her abusive father.
  • Advertisement:
  • Destination Defenestration: The trees suck the girl's father out of the room through a window.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: There's a Deus ex Machina woodcutter at the end, which is a reference to Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Hope Spot: A girl, trapped in a cellar, sees Scully and Mulder through a small window, but they don't notice her, and drive away. Later, the girl calls to her aunt, who finds her and tries to save her, but is killed before she can do so.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Mulder tries this when the villain is finally revealed, only for the Orchard Man to chop her head off.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Karin turns out to be haunted by her childhood experience and she keeps projecting her issues on other kids.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Subverted. Several characters are sucked into the mud, but they're actually being pulled in by possessed tree roots.

"Rage, unconfronted, takes its own path."

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