The X-Files: Season 4, Episode 5

The Field Where I Died (3 Nov. 1996)
"The X Files" The Field Where I Died (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,377 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

Agents Mulder and Scully investigate a suspicious religious cult, which inadvertently draws Mulder into recalling a past life, in the field where he died.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Doug Abrahams ...
Harbaugh
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Melissa Rydell Ephesian
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Mighty Man
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BATF Agent
Les Gallagher ...
Attorney
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Agent Riggins
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Donna White ...
The Therapist
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Storyline

When authorities receive a telephone tip from someone named Sydney, the FBI and ATF stage a raid at Temple of the Seven Stars, a religious cult the anonymous caller says is abusing children and has a cache of firearms. Mulder feels that he's been there before and has a powerful sense of deja vu. They arrest the cult leader Vernon Ephesian and several of his followers including one of his wives, Melissa Rydell Ephesian. They don't find the arms cache however and Assistant Director Skinner thinks they have less than a day to get some hard evidence or they will all be released. Melissa seems to be suffering from multiple personality disorder and has a personality known as Sydney, the person who made the call. In fact she has several personalities including a Southern belle who tells Mulder they were there for a Civil War battle. Mulder thinks she's recounting a past life. Written by garykmcd

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3 November 1996 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The first cut was over an hour long, an excess length record for the series. Eighteen minutes had to be cut, which included two additional personalities of Melissa, and most of a third, Lily, which only makes a brief appearance in the final cut. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) Mulder is in an interrogation room with Melissa. In the shot from behind her, Mulder is holding her hand. The camera angle switches to a shot from the door (behind Mulder) and his hands are nowhere near Melissa's. The camera switches back to being behind Melissa and he is holding her hand again. See more »

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Mulder: Evil returns as evil. But love... Souls mate eternal.
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User Reviews

 
The Inspiration for the Episode
4 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was the first episode of The X Files that I had ever seen, and it got me hooked into one of my favorite series in television history. The story reverberated with me, perhaps due to my beliefs in the somewhat "Eastern" philosophies of reincarnation and bonded souls. That is why it came as such a surprise to me to see this episode rated so poorly. Two of the major themes that I see in the user comments are the perception of poor writing (personal taste, I guess) and the unrealistic portrayal of the hypnosis sessions.

Although I have not seen this specifically stated anywhere, I have no doubt that the inspiration for this episode comes from the book "Many Lives, Many Masters" by Dr. Brian L. Weiss, a psychotherapist who wrote about his experiences using past-life regression. The hypnotherapy scenes are extremely close to the descriptions given by the book, including the ability of the regressee to recognize "current" souls in the past, and the noticeable changes in demeanor and mannerisms as the regressee moves from identity to identity.

This episode is not for everyone, and I can see how fans may not have appreciated it as much as I did. I still consider it my favorite episode, specifically because it went beyond the odd, beyond the quirky, beyond the "are they out there or not." Instead, it was an episode more focused on philosophy and the meaning of life. A little heavy for a television show, perhaps, but outstanding for long discussions over a few drinks.

Oh, and for those who found this episode as entertaining as I did, I highly suggest the book "Many Lives, Many Masters."


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