The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 4

The Jersey Devil (8 Oct. 1993)
"The X Files" The Jersey Devil (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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When a homeless man is found in the woods just outside Atlantic City with his arm and shoulder chewed off, Mulder thinks it may be the work of the fabled Jersey Devil. Mulder has an X file ... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Claire Stansfield ...
Wayne Tippit ...
Detective Thompson
...
Dr. Diamond
Michael MacRae ...
Ranger Peter Brullet
...
Glenna
Tamsin Kelsey ...
Ellen
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Rob
Bill Dow ...
Dad
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Jack
Jayme Knox ...
Mom
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Sean O'Byrne ...
...
Young Officer
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Storyline

When a homeless man is found in the woods just outside Atlantic City with his arm and shoulder chewed off, Mulder thinks it may be the work of the fabled Jersey Devil. Mulder has an X file from a killing in 1947 where a man who stopped to fix a flat tire was snatched and dragged into the woods in front of his wife and children. The agents are in Atlantic City informally but they get little or no support from the local police. It's clear that they know there is beast out there but are worried about the impact it might have on tourism if it became widely known. Mulder and Scully investigate on their own with the help of a park ranger and a paleontologist. Written by garykmcd

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8 October 1993 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

It was David Duchovny that suggested to Chris Carter that Claire Stansfield should play The Jersey Devil. Duchovny and Stansfield had met earlier while filming a Red Shoe Diaries (1992) episode together. See more »

Goofs

When Mulder is looking through the phone book, his finger rests on the listing for the New Jersey State Parks office. The listing includes a phone number to call for park hours, with a note stating "Thru Labour Day Only." American English drops the "u" from words like "labor." See more »

Quotes

Mulder: Don't you have a life, Scully?
Scully: You keep that up and I'll hurt you like that beast woman.
Mulder: [as she holds the door open for him] 8 million years out of Africa...
Scully: ...and look who's holding the door.
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Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"... and look who's holding the door!"
3 December 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

The Jersey Devil inaugurates another X-Files tradition, namely lighter, more entertaining standalone episodes following the more emotionally relevant mythology stories (Squeeze, which aired right after Deep Throat, doesn't count, on the grounds of it being, well, too creepy). This trend was exploited at best in Seasons 5-7, but this episode shows that the writers already had a clear sense of how to do comedy in the series.

As suggested by the title, Mulder and Scully travel to New Jersey, where corpses are found with limbs missing. Remembering an old X-file, Mulder says it might be the legendary "Jersey Devil" who's behind the attacks, meeting inevitable derision on the part of local authorities and, to a lesser degree, Scully. As they get closer to the truth (some evolutionary misstep might be involved), the tension increases and the search for the "Devil" gets more and more serious.

Mulder's beliefs, contrasted with Scully's skepticism, have been there since the pilot episode, but this is the first time their work relationship is played for laughs, with their respective theories clashing in a humorous debate about mankind and evolution (another important theme in the longer run of the show). Naturally, there is also suspense (though not as consistently as in Squeeze) and a traditionally open ending which suggests the story may not be over (which wasn't the case, but still...). Revealingly, though, the epilogue induces a smile rather than a shiver. That's The X-Files in a nutshell: weird, thrilling and funny - often at the same time.


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