Season 1, Episode 18: “Miracle Man”
Let’s talk about fundamentalist Christians, shall we?
Actually, I really have very little to say on the subject, at least in this blog. I’m not fond of them, but that’s not what this blog – or this episode, for that matter – is about. No, the church in this episode is the fundamentalist Christian church of Entertainment Land. Meaning, it is not very realistic.
Maybe the preachers on TV act like this, but I’d be willing to bet most churches do not run their services this way. They do get some things right; for example, the tendency of some preachers to spew vague Bible quotes and turn them into sermons, how some churches make their services into a rock concert rather than a place for worship. But it’s all so overblown.
I don’t think Chris Carter and Howard Gordon were trying to criticize anyone in this episode. Granted, there will always be a hint of criticism directed toward any sort of fundamentalist religious group. The problem, though, with episodes that feature fundamentalist churches is that the church comes off as ridiculous, like, funny ridiculous, rather than pose any sort of threat. If anybody was scared once during this episode, they probably shouldn’t be watching this show.
The ridiculousness of the whole thing is the episode’s Achilles’ Heel, and it’s right there, loud and proud, from beginning to finish. A preacher, even if he did have a son like Samuel, would probably never go so far as to claim his son had been touched by God, or likened his healing powers to those of Jesus Christ’s. And the end of the episode, where Samuel appears before Vance bathed in light like some sort of saint or martyr, is absurd. Samuel is about as saintly as a toothpick. Just because he has the ability to heal and spew out Bible verses like his father does not automatically transform him into the spiritual marvel of the century. Scully probably has more spiritual awareness than Samuel does, and she’s a self-proclaimed skeptic.
This episode’s biggest fault, though, is that it’s just rather boring. There’s honestly not a whole lot more I can say about it. It’s just kind of ridiculous.
Final score for “Miracle Man” is 4/10. Just silly.
- Eh…there aren’t many. Let’s see what we can come up with. Scully likes The Exorcist, I guess that’s notable enough.