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Recap / The X-Files S07 E09 "Signs and Wonders"

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Season 7, Episode 09:

Signs and Wonders

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thexfilessignsandwonders.png
"Before Jared joined us, he belonged to a fundamentalist congregation outside of town - the Church of God with Signs and Wonders. It practices snake handling."
Written by Jeffrey Bell
Directed by Kim Manners

Reverend Mackey: They found that a rigid interpretation of the Bible was not for them, especially when it involves risking life and limb in the act of worship, but again it is not for me to judge. I will say, however, that both Jared and Gracie were persecuted by the members of their former church. All this animus... stems from their church leader - Enoch O'Connor.
Scully: Animus enough to motivate a murder?
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Following a murder by snakebite, suspicion falls on Reverend Enoch O'Connor, pastor of a fringe church that uses snake-handling in its rituals.


Tropes:

  • Continuity Nod: It's mentioned in "One Breath" that Scully is deathly afraid of snakes.
  • Evil All Along: Reverend Mackey.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The real Sinister Minister.
  • Fetus Terrible: Gracie's baby. She later gives birth to a tide of snakes.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Reverend Mackey is absolutely demonic in nature, though it's somewhat ambiguous whether he is Satan himself or just a standard demon.
  • Karma Houdini: Mackey escapes and starts a similar church in suburban Connecticut.
  • Primal Fear: Snakes.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Both agents are on edge by the huge amount of snakes.
  • The Reveal: Several.
    • Gracie and Jared turn out to have left O'Connor's church to join Mackey's more tolerant beliefs.
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    • Then it turns out Enoch O'Connor is Gracie's father.
    • Then it turns out that Gracie is pregnant, but Jared was infertile and could not have been the father.
    • So, it leads to O'Connor turning out to be the father of Gracie's baby.
    • The final reveal is that O'Connor is not the father of the baby. In fact, Mackey is the father and he might not even be human. He is either the devil incarnate or a demon as evidenced by Gracie giving birth to snakes.
  • Sinister Minister:
    • Reverend Enoch O'Connor is a bible-thumping religious fanatic who keeps poisonous snakes with him. Ultimately subverted as he may be bible-thumping but he is on the side of right.
    • Samuel Mackey pretends to be tolerant but is in fact extremely evil and might just be Satan himself.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: For Scully, literally. Though Mulder has different phobia and he's uneasy, too.
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