The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 11

Excelsis Dei (16 Dec. 1994)
"The X Files" Excelsis Dei (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,244 users  
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Mulder and Scully investigate the case of a woman, a nurse in an elder care facility, who claims she was raped at the facility by an invisible spirit. Nurse Michelle Charters has the ... See full summary »

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Title: Excelsis Dei (16 Dec 1994)

Excelsis Dei (16 Dec 1994) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode cast overview:
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Michelle Charters
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Gung Bituen
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Dorothy
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Stan Phillips
David Fresco ...
Hal Arden
Sheila Moore ...
Mrs. Dawson
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Dr. John Grago
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Laura Kelly
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Jerry Tiernan (as Jon Cuthbert)
Paul Jarrett ...
Upshaw
Ernie Prentice ...
Leo Kreutzer
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Storyline

Mulder and Scully investigate the case of a woman, a nurse in an elder care facility, who claims she was raped at the facility by an invisible spirit. Nurse Michelle Charters has the bruises to prove the attack but not surprisingly, no one will take her seriously given the nature of her claim. The elder care home is primarily for Alzheimer's patients and the doctor there is experimenting with a known drug, one that has not been very successful in the past. He is getting positive results however, even if he can't quite explain them. Incidents continue to occur making believers of the agents who believe that the residents are getting drugs from someone else in the institution. Written by garykmcd

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16 December 1994 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The English translation of the title is "To the greatest glory of God." See more »

Goofs

Scully puts two fingers on the neck of a deceased man, presumably to check his pulse. However, she places her fingers on the back of his neck, right behind the ear, nowhere near where a neck pulse should be taken. See more »

Quotes

Mulder: So you think that Michelle Charters was raped by a 74-year-old schizophrenic?
Scully: It's possible.
Mulder: An invisible 74-year-old schizophrenic.
Scully: Well, maybe it's not the medication. Maybe it's the place itself.
Mulder: Are you saying that the building's haunted? Because if you are, you've been working with me for too long, Scully.
Scully: I'm talking about an environmental reason behind what's happening. Even the disinfectant couldn't mask that smell. Who knows what's breeding behind the walls or in the substructure. Some...
[...]
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"Good. Because I put it back in that drawer with all those other videos that aren't yours."
12 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Excelsis Dei" is a better-than-average episode that could have easily been a season two gem if not for a muddling storyline. Dana Scully finds the case, creepy settings are abound, ghosts and invisible rapists are on the loose, and the script is rounded out by an excellent guest cast. Unfortunately, Paul Brown's story is a little too ambitious for these high spots to beggar the myriad plot strands that undermine them.

It doesn't help that this comes on the heels of a particularly confusing mythology episode. Like "Red Museum" before it, "Excelsis Dei" dabbles in a lot of unsettling social themes: rape, abuse of the elderly, abuse of women, the encroachment of immigrant cultures - and twists them into a bizarre knot of conjunction and happenstance. A nurse at the Excelsis Dei convalescent home (Teryl Rothery) is strapped to a bed and violated by an unseen presence. A male Asian nurse (Sab Shimono) dispenses presumably illicit pills to residents that have invigorating effects. A creepy mushroom garden is found in the facility's basement. An elderly woman wheels the corridors conversing with ghosts. But where does it all come together? As one might imagine, this episode makes for some great imagery. The drab grays and greens of the building's snaking corridors lends to the eerie quality of the script. The scene where Mulder and Nurse Charters hall-surf out of a flooded bathroom is particularly delightful. Also, Gillian Anderson has some great lines of dry humor. Although there aren't a whole lot of intimate character moments between the two agents, their chemistry continues to shine.

Unfortunately this episode leaves the viewer with too many questions and too few answers. We don't know whether or not Hal Arden traveled out of his corporeal boundaries to rape Nurse Charters. We don't know how the magic mushrooms evoke the presence of spirits (or are they simply hallucinations?). Where is Leo dragged off to in act four? Ambiguity can and has worked in plenty of episodes of The X-Files, but it's hard to excuse a script that fails to offer answers to any of its questions. Still, "Excelsis Dei" is creepy and enjoyable. 6 of 10.


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