Friday, April 24, 2009

X-Files 2x14 The Hand that Wounds (part 1)

"Better hide your Megadeth albums." Mulder

Episode Synopsis "Die Hand Die Verletzt": New Hampshire teenagers feign an occult ritual in an attempt to score and inadvertently cause the murder of one of their group. When Mulder and Scully are called to look into the matter, the town’s real worshippers attempt to hide their tracks, though they fear that the boys’ attempt to “get some” got them more than they thought. (full transcript here)

The episode starts with a Parent Teacher's Council meeting, who after discussing typical school affairs conclude their meeting with a satanic prayer.
AUSBURY: Look, I'll talk to Howard. OK, let's adjourn till next week. Deborah, why don't you lead us in a prayer?
HE PRODUCES A RED CANDLE AND SETS IT ON THE DESK AS HE AND VITARIS SPEAK.
VITARIS: Jim -- the game is on.
CALCAGNI: It'll only take a minute. (SIGHS) We've been... letting it slip.
AUSBURY STRIKES A MATCH TO LIGHT THE CANDLE. WE HEAR FAINT THUNDER IN THE BACKGROUND.

AUSBURY: Paul, why don't you get the door.

VITARIS GETS UP, CAMERA TRACKS HIM TO THE DOOR THEN IS "SHUT OUT" BY HIM. FAINT LIGHT IS VISIBLE AROUND DOOR EDGES. OVER FOLLOWING, CAMERA SLOWLY PULLS OUT FURTHER.
ALL (VO): In the name of the Lords of Darkness, rulers of the Earth, kings of the Underworld, I command the forces of darkness to bestow their infernal power upon me.
DURING THE ABOVE AND THE FOLLOWING, THE LIGHT AROUND THE DOOR BRIGHTENS, REDDENS, GLOWS IN TRADITIONAL "INFERNAL" WAY

DEBORAH (VO): Sein ist die Hand die verletzt.
OTHERS (VO): Sein ist die Hand die verletzt.
CAPTION: HIS IS THE HAND THAT WOUNDS!

DEBORAH (VO): Sein ist der Ort genannt Hölle.
OTHERS (VO): Sein ist der Ort genannt Hölle.
CAPTION: HIS IS THE PLACE CALLED HELL.

DEBORAH (VO): May the black powers of our forefathers make us strong.
ALL (VO): Hail. Hail the Lords of Darkness.

JERRY: I heard the altar is a hollowed stump, just up here. (HE IS CARRYING AND DRINKING FROM A BOTTLE. IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT THE PACKAGE CONTAINS FURTHER BOTTLES. SAYS TO DAVE, LOW VOICE) OK. When they get free, you get Kate, I take Andrea. (GRINNING) Those mittens are giving me (????) (HE AND DAVE LAUGH LAUGH TOGETHER. THE GROUP APPROACHES THE STUMP) This is it. (HE DRINKS, PUTS THE BOTTLES DOWN)
DAVE: OK. I need a personal object from everyone. All right. (THEY GATHER ROUND THE STUMP, THE GIRLS STILL HANGING ON TO THEIR UMBRELLAS. DAVE PRODUCES A BLACK CANDLE FROM HIS POCKET, STANDS IT UP ON THE STUMP AND LIGHTS IT) Now Andrea, you gotta stand over here and face Jerry (GUIDES HER TO STAND OPPOSITE JERRY)... Like this.... (SHE LOOKS UNCERTAIN) Closer. (PUSHES THEM CLOSER STILL)
ANDREA: Why like this?
DAVE: Well that's so... er... so we're calling the spirits up of every direction. (PATS HER ON THE BACK, MOVES BACK TO KATE). Ok now Kate, you gotta stand here and face me. (PULLS HER).
KATE: Do you really think someone used this place for black magic? Or is it just a rumour?
JERRY: (IMPATIENTLY) C'mon Dave!
DAVE: (TO JERRY) Sshh! (HE TAKES A PIECE OF PAPER, OBVIOUSLY A PAGE TORN FROM A BOOK, FROM HIS POCKET, AND TURNS TO KATE. HE BEGINS TO READ FROM IT, LOOKING IN TURN AT THE OTHERS. HE'S REALLY TRYING TO COME ACROSS AS SERIOUS ABOUT IT)
DAVE: In the name of the Lords of Darkness, rulers of the Earth, kings of the Underworld, rise, rise to this place. A... Azazel.
(SOUND LIKE SIGH IS HEARD AS THE CANDLE IS BLOWN OUT. DAVE AND ANDREA LOOK AT IT, DAVE ISN'T BOTHERED) Know ye all who dwell in the light of professed righteousness that the others who know the keys and the angels have opened the gate.
A SOUND LIKE GROANING VOICES FILLS THE AIR; DAVE IS STARTLED, KATE LOOKS SCARED. ANDREA IS SCARED -- SHE JUMPS TO HUG JERRY FOR PROTECTION. JERRY SIMPLY GRINS. KATE AND DAVE ARE VERY UNEASY, LOOKING AROUND. ANDREA LOOKS DOWN AND SCREAMS, AGAIN AND AGAIN.
ANDREA'S POV: MANY RATS RUNNING AROUND HER FEET. THE OTHERS ARE OBVIOUSLY SCARED NOW. STILL SCREAMING, ANDREA RUNS OFF INTO THE FOREST.
JERRY: Forget this! (RUNS AFTER ANDREA, SHOUTING) Andrea!
KATE IS TURNING TO FOLLOW THEM. DAVE THROWS SOMETHING AT THE RATS WHICH BURSTS INTO FLAME AS IT HITS THE GROUND. HE TURNS AND THEY RUN AFTER THE OTHERS. WE SEE ANDREA, SOBBING, UPSET, RUNNING, FRANTICALLY RECITING A PRAYER OF SOME SORT. SHE IS PRACTICALLY HYSTERICAL.

ANDREA: ....believe in Jesus Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our deaths...

RUNS PAST CAMERA, WE SEE JERRY RUNNING AFTER HER.
JERRY: Andrea! Wait!
HE HAS ALMOST CAUGHT HER UP WHEN A LINE OF FLAME APPEARS SUDDENLY ON THE GROUND. HE STUMBLES AND FALLS TO HIS KNEES IN FRONT OF IT, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. HE GETS TO HIS FEET, SHIELDING HIS FACE. A GROAN-LIKE, ANIMALISTIC SOUND IS HEARD. HE TURNS AND A THIN, BONY, CADAVEROUS HAND SEIZES HIS THROAT AND LIFTS HIM UP ... UP... HE IS CHOKING.

OAKES: They say this arena's used for witches' ceremonies.
MULDER: "They"?
OAKES: Well.. everybody... everybody who lives around here knows about the things that go on in this town. They say there are people who control things.
SCULLY: (POLITE DISBELIEF) Any evidence to substantiate those rumours, Sheriff Oakes?
OAKES: Well, Agent Scully... look at the body... the eyes and heart have been cut out.
MULDER LOOKS ON BLEAKLY...

SCULLY: Theories like that are why I can't take him seriously.
MULDER: The homicide did have a ceremonial presentation -- the manner in which the body was displayed...
SCULLY: Mulder, I got the impression you didn't believe him either.
MULDER: I didn't want to incite his already clearly aggravated imagination. But there is a weird feel to this place, maybe there is some truth to those rumours.
SCULLY: I think he incited your imagination. I think this case is nothing more than a murderer taking advantage of local folklore. I mean there's nothing odd about -
SHE IS CUT OFF AS SOMETHING FALLS ONTO HER UMBRELLA, KNOCKING IT. OTHER THUDS ARE HEARD. CUT TO SHOT FROM ABOVE. FROGS ARE FALLING HEAVILY ONTO THE PAIR'S UMBRELLAS.
CUT BACK TO THE AGENTS -- THEY LOOK BEMUSED, MULDER LOOKING UP, SHIELDING HIS FACE, SCULLY DUCKING, DEFINITELY STARTLED. THE THUDDING STOPS. CUT TO SHOT OF THE GROUND -- MANY FROGS HOPPING AROUND THEIR FEET.
MULDER: So... lunch?
SCULLY: Mulder, toads just fell from the sky! (LOOKS AT HIM, TAKEN ABACK)
MULDER: I guess their parachutes didn't open. You were saying something about this place not feeling "odd"?
HE WALKS AWAY. SCULLY STANDS STILL FOR A MOMENT, THEN FOLLOWS HIM, STEPPING GINGERLY OVER THE FROGS.


CAPTION: (ALEISTER) CROWLEY HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY MLS: MULDER IS AT THE LOANS DESK, FLICKING THROUGH A BOX OF LIBRARY CARDS. CU ON THE CARDS. WE SEE ONE FOR STEPHEN KING'S "Four Past Midnight", THEN ONE FOR M.R. KRASHEWSKI, "Witch Hunt: A History of the Occult in America". MULDER STARTS TO LIFT THE CARD OUT. BACK TO THE MLS; WE SEE SCULLY WALK INTO THE LIBRARY AND JOIN MULDER.

SCULLY: The National Weather Service says there are tornadoes in Northern Massachusetts. The wind probably picked up the animals into the storm. (DOESN'T LOOK TOTALLY CONVINCED, DESPITE HER WORDS).

DAVE, FRIGHTENED, DEFENSIVE BUT STICKING TO HIS STORY. DESPERATE TO BE BELIEVED.
DAVE: I'm not into that stuff at all, I swear. (SIGHS) Jerry was my best friend. Look, I swear, I've never done anything like that.
SCULLY: What made you go to a place you heard was a witches' altar?

DAVE TURNS HIS HEAD, WE FOLLOW HIS GAZE AND SEE KATE AND ANDREA STANDING TOGETHER IN A CORNER. HE LOOKS BACK TO SCULLY, WHO IS SITTING OPPOSITE HIM.

DAVE: (SIGHS) We were just trying to get some.
ANDREA: (LOW VOICE, TO KATE) I told you.
SCULLY AND MULDER TURN TO LOOK AT THEM, THEN BACK TO DAVE. MULDER IS STANDING NEXT TO AND LOOKING OUT OF A WINDOW WHICH LOOKS OUT ON A HALLWAY.
SCULLY: Why did you take the book?
DAVE: Because I don't know a thing about witchcraft, and we wanted to make it sound good... but I never thought... SCULLY: You never thought what?
DAVE: That it would work.
MULDER: (TURNS AWAY FROM WINDOW) If you didn't kill Jerry Stevens, why did you run away from us in the classroom?
DAVE: I'm scared, man.
MULDER: Of us?
DAVE: Of it. That ceremony! I'm afraid we called up some devil or something. (SIGHS)
MCU OF KATE AND ANDREA, EYES DOWNCAST, THEY LOOK SCARED TOO. WE PAN PAST DAVE TO SEE AUSBURY, DEBORAH, CALCAGNI AND VITARIS STANDING IN A CLOSE GROUP IN THE AREA OUTSIDE THE OFFICE, LOOKING IN AND CONFERRING.
AUSBURY: (LOW VOICE, FIERCE) One of you killed Jerry Stevens. Who? (HE LOOKS AT EACH OF THEM IN TURN; THEY ALL LOOK AT EACH OTHER) He was displayed according to the rites of Azazel. Who else would know about the ritual? We stopped doing this because--
CALCAGNI: I went out there. We were supposed to have a Mass, no-one else showed, so I left.
VITARIS: It wasn't any of us.
CALGAGNI: Something's here... a presence amongst us. Angry, I can feel it.
HE STOPS AND LOOKS UP AS WE HEAR THE SOUND OF A DOOR OPENING. THE OTHERS LOOK UP. AS AUSBURY TURNS TO SEE WE SEE THEIR POV: SCULLY SHOWING KATE, AUDREY AND FINALLY DAVE OUT OF THE OFFICE. MULDER FOLLOWS. AUSBURY STARTS FORWARD.

AUSBURY: (INCREDULOUS) You're letting them go?
MULDER: (SHRUGGING) There's no evidence to warrant an arrest.

HE WALKS TOWARD THEM, SCULLY CLOSE BEHIND.
DEBORAH: They never leave evidence.
AUSBURY: We heard how Jerry Stevens was killed. An occult ritual.
VITARIS: They've reached into our area from outside.
MULDER: (ASIDE, TO SCULLY, BUT AUDIBLE BY THE OTHERS) "They" again.
AUSBURY: Those three kids are obviously under occult influence.
DEBORAH: They reach into our children. In music, television, books...
CALCAGNI: They prey on children's innocence.
SCULLY: (CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT SHE'S HEARING) The FBI recently concluded a seven-year study and found little or no evidence of the existence of occult conspiracies.
CALCAGNI: And J. Edgar Hoover never admitted to the existence of the Mafia. (HE HALF-SMIRKS. THE OTHERS TRY TO HIDE SMILES)
SCULLY: (VOICE RISING A LITTLE, A BIT EXASPERATED BUT STAYING REASONABLE) Look, if the number of murders attributed to occult conspiracies were true, it would mean thousands of people killing tens of thousands of people a year, without evidence, without being exposed... it would be the greatest criminal conspiracy in the history of civilisation.

AUSBURY TURNS TO HIS COLLEAGUES, THEN BACK. HE WALKS TOWARDS MULDER AND SCULLY.

AUSBURY: Finally, you people understand what we're up against.
MULDER: (LOOKS AT SCULLY, MAKES QUICK DECISION) Our investigation is ongoing.

MULDER REACHES TO SCULLY, TO DRAW HER AWAY. SHE GOES, BUT LOOKS BACK IN SHEER DISBELIEF AT AUSBURY. AUSBURY LOOKS BACK AT THE OTHERS.

THE AGENTS TURN INTO THE CORRIDOR. MULDER CROSSES TO A DRINKING FOUNTAIN AND BENDS TO DRINK.
SCULLY: (EXASPERATED) Mulder, this is mass hysteria. And our presence here on a routine homicide only gives validity to their fears of occult murder.
MULDER STOPS DRINKING, PAUSES, NOTICES SOMETHING. CU TO SHOT OF WATER SWIRLING DOWN DRAIN OF DRINKING FOUNTAIN.
MULDER: (HALF TO HIMSELF) The water...
SCULLY: What's wrong with it?
MULDER: It's going down the drain counter-clockwise! Coriolis force in the Northern Hemisphere dictates that it should go down clockwise.
SCULLY: That isn't possible.
MULDER: Something's here, Scully. Something is making these things possible.
SCULLY LOOKS AGAIN AT THE WATER, PUZZLED.

Stay tuned for Part 2

2 comments:

Michael Skaggs said...

Great work bro! One of the creepiest X-Files there is!

A mix too, as you will see Scully thrown towards the idea of ritualistic abuse/mind control. Love the surprise ending too.

Look forward to part 2!

Christopher Knowles said...

That's a great ep- very scathing parody, great black humor. An the XF directoral debut of the late, great Kim Manners.