Season 2, Episode 11: “Excelsis Dei”
“Excelsis Dei” is an episode with good intentions but few actual worthwhile moments. There are many elements that should work but because of the episode’s dull atmosphere, they impact you with a light pinch rather than a slap in the face.
First of all, it’s nice to see Scully pursuing a case for once, with Mulder claiming that there’s nothing here to see; that’s always a nice change. It seems odd that Mulder wouldn’t believe the nurse when she claimed to have been raped by a ghost. Mulder usually believes people no one else believes, especially women. His compassion for the disbelieved goes right back to his past with his sister. There’s really no reason it should be any different here, but for some reason, Mulder can’t wait to get out of here. I could possibly be reading too much into this, but my theory is that places like nursing homes, where people send their family members away to die, are rather uncomfortable for Mulder, who’s never been that good with familial relationships. It’s just a theory.
I also like how this episode addresses the elderly, especially Alzheimer’s disease, which is a very serious and often overlooked condition many people suffer from today. The Asian nurse gives these people pills because in his country, old people are treated with the utmost respect. Here, we just send them off to die.
This episode’s big problem, however, is that it’s honestly quite boring. It breaks my heart to say so, because I think many of the ideas here are very good. The episode’s even more fluid compared to most of Season 2 so far. There’s just an atmosphere about it that is so dull, and because of that, I find myself getting distracted while watching it. By other things. And that’s a serious crime to commit.
Because, come on. If Mulder and Scully can’t hold my attention, that’s when I know I’m bored.
Final score for “Excelsis Dei” is 5/10. There are some legitimately good elements in this episode, but on the whole, it’s rather bland.
- It doesn’t quite get up to the level of other X-Files endings, but I do like the part where Stan’s daughter is taking care of Stan after the drugs have worn off and his Alzheimer’s has come back. It really is a very sad moment.
- I know what he was doing wasn’t good, but I’ve always kind of admired the Asian nurse. He was the most kind and humane out of all of them, that’s for sure.
- That wall painting is creeepy.