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Recap / The X-Files S07 E14 "Theef"

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Season 7, Episode 14:

"'Theef'? Are you asking if my dad's a thief? He saves people's lives. He's a good man."
Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Kim Manners

"So... modern medicine, and all it encompasses - artificial hearts, laser surgery gene therapy, to name a few - all of that arrayed against a pile of magic dirt... and you tell me I'll lose."
Dr. Robert Wieder

A doctor's family start dying in mysterious circumstances, done by a hoodoo man (Billy Drago) enacting his revenge for mysterious reasons.


  • Arc Words: "You always keep me guessing."
  • Berserk Button: Wieder telling Peattie that he 'wasn't there' when his daughter was dying. This causes Peattie to immediately try to kill Wieder through his poppet.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mulder arrives and severs the link between Scully and one of Peattie's poppets (restoring her eyesight) just in time to allow her to shoot Peattie before he kills Dr. Wieder.
  • Bond One-Liner: After Nan Wieder's death by microwave: "All done."
  • C.A.T. Trap: With Wieder's wife.
  • Eye Scream: Scully's temporarily blinded by Peattie when he sticks two nails through a poppet's eyes.
  • Idiot Savant: Peattie is an illiterate hick who's nonetheless versed in esoteric, complex voodoo magic. Some scenes might indicate that he's playing up just how dim he actually is.
  • Inherited Illiteracy Title: "Theef" is how Peattie spells "thief".
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The episode averts the usual trappings of the trope by pointing out that what Peattie is doing is not really related to voodoo, but more to Celtic and Native American folklore.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Wieder shaved off maybe twenty minutes of Peattie's daughter's life, to ease her pain in her final moments. For this, Peattie has vowed to kill (nearly) everyone close to him. It is implied if he had got to his daughter in time he might have been able to save her with his magic.
  • Monster of the Week
  • Pet the Dog: Peattie's friendly relationship with his landlady starts this way. Then he kills her after she discovers his secret.
  • Revenge: Peattie's motivation.
  • Revenge by Proxy: He focuses primarily on Wieder's friends and family before going after the physician himself.
  • That One Case: Dr. Wieder is haunted by what happened with Peattie's daughter, more so that he never knew her name.
  • Tragic Villain: Peattie.
  • Voodoo Doll: Or "poppets", which is actually a more historically accurate term for them.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Averted; When Dr. Wieder believes that Peattie is going to kill his daughter as revenge for the death of his own, Peattie denies that is the case. He might have been perfectly willing to target the Wieder family's adult members and Wieder himself, but he is not going to hurt his child.