The X-Files (1993– )
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Miracle Man 

The agents investigate a ministry led by a man whose son possesses the power to heal, and to kill, with a touch of his hand.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Lillian Daniels (as Iris Quinn Bernard)
Beatrice Salinger
Alex Doduk ...
Young Samuel


The FBI is called in to assist Sheriff Maurice Daniels who thinks that a preacher's son, Samuel Hartley, is responsible for several deaths. Since he was a young child Hartley has reputedly been able to cure the sick by the laying on of hands. As a boy he revived someone who had been badly burned and pronounced dead at the scene. He and his adoptive father, Calvin Hartley, now run a revival-like tent ministry but Samuel's attempts at healing has resulted in several deaths. As far as Sheriff Daniels is concerned, Samuel is a murderer and wants to get the proof to arrest him. Mulder isn't so sure and wonders if there might be other forces at work. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 March 1994 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The plot for "Miracle Man" was also adapted as a novel for young adults in 2000 by Terry Bisson. See more »


When Reverend Hartley invites the agents over to his house and asks them for help; he states that Sherriff Daniels is a non-believer who won't even let his own wife be healed. When Scully remarks that, in light of recent events, you can't blame sheriff's decision; the reverend replies, "I don't know how those poor people died." However only one person, Lucy Kelley, has died at this point. See more »


Mulder: I think I saw some of these same people at Woodstock.
Scully: Mulder, you weren't at Woodstock.
Mulder: I saw the movie.
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Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

I think people are looking hard for hard that maybe they make themselves see what they want to see.
27 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

The monster-of-the-week episodes from season one were, perhaps more so than any subsequent season, a mixed bag. Their quality was not determined so much by innovation ("Ice" was primarily an update of John Carpenter's The Thing and "Beyond the Sea" an abbreviated version of The Silence of the Lambs), but by the personal stakes the main protagonists had in them. The two aforementioned episodes were integral in the evolution of Mulder and Scully's relationship, and as such succeeded far more than say, "Space" or "Genderbender," which were not.

"Miracle Man" doesn't cleanly fit in either category, but it could be argued that it falls closer to the former. Like the earlier episode "Conduit," the plot dips in to the overarching MacGuffin of the search for Samantha Mulder. The two agents arrive in Tennessee to investigate Samuel Hartley, a faith healer whose touch has recently become a nail-in-the-coffin for his reverend father's congregation members.

The religion-based X-Files are seldom considered to be fan darlings, perhaps due to both religious sensitivity and their higher-level of open-endedness. Carter and Gordon's script does an admirable job of avoiding both of these potential pitfalls. Although the characters themselves are not fully able to piece together the puzzle by the end, it is fairly obvious to the viewer of Hartley's legitimacy. If anything, Mulder and Scully's confusion is too over-played, especially given Mulder's aversion to more pedestrian explanations. Perhaps this is part of his reaction to the visions of his sister, which although appropriate in the context of the episode, tend to throw off the pacing in parts.

I was trying to find a way to score this episode an 8 because it is certainly in the upper echelon of the season one catalog. For some reason I don't find it quite as captivating as several other episodes, but Gordon and Carter's first joint script is still a solid X-File that proved the show could move into more spiritual territories without meandering into ham-handed ones. Some excellent guest acting and a truly creepy villain played by Dennis Lipscomb make this a near-classic. 7 out of 10.

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