The X-Files Review – “Daemonicus”

Another week, another new episode. It looks like
we’ll get new episodes of X-Files throughout the
rerun period on the WB and UPN. Read more to see
what’s happening with the next generation of


as Dana Scully

as John Doggett
Agent Reyes
Professor Kobold


Written and directed by Frank

Original Airdate

Daemonicus originally aired on
Sunday, December 2, 2001.


Reyes and Doggett are called in to investigate
some killings that
appear to be satanic. Reyes thinks that, for
once, it could be the
real thing. Doggett thinks it’s probably another
case of people
trying to make a murder look satanic for the sake
of throwing off the
police. The only solid evidence from the first
murder is a single
word on the Scrabble board: Daemonicus.

It is soon found that two prime suspects are from
a local sanitarium.
(One was a patient, the other was a guard.) The
man in the room next
to the old patient seems to know too much about
the case to be a
coincidence. While Doggett believes that Kobold
has this information
because he orchestrated the murders, Reyes
believes that he truly is
being possessed by some evil force. At this
point Scully, who is now
teaching at Quantico, has not formed an opinion.

As the bodies pile up, Kobold continues to prove
that he has access to
more knowledge than he should. Among his
revelations is the idea that
Doggett accepted assignment to the X-Files
because he’s in love with a
woman, but cannot compete with the long lost
agent Mulder.

Against Doggett’s better judgment, Reyes
provides Kobold with the new
room he requested, and basically acts the way
Doggett believes Kobold
wants Reyes to act. In the final act, Scully is
lured to a location
she passes on the way home every day, and she
arrives before backup
does. She is quickly captured.

When the other agents show up (with Kobold in
tow) they find Scully
intact, but find that her attacker committed
suicide. The ensuing
confusion is enough for Kobold to use his
apparent ability to force
his will on people to change clothes with his
guard and escape. The
guard is killed in Kobold’s place, and Kobold
remains a free man.

In the final scene of the episode, Doggett has a
moment of triumph as
he proves to Scully and Reyes that they did what
Kobold wanted them to
do, and that Kobold had in fact orchestrated the
entire affair. (The
word Daemonicus was a combination of the names of
the victims.)
Although there still seems to be some indication
that Kobold had help
from a greater power, it is nice to see the
skeptic turn out to be the
one that was right for once.

High Point

I think this is the first episode I’ve seen that
leaves open the
possibility of a completely mundane explanation.
Chris Carter
said back in the first season that he wanted such
ambiguity from every
episode, and it’s nice to see it finally happen.

Low Point

Scully’s class. The entire conversation with
her student seemed so
forced, as though Spotnitz thought it would be
nice to see some sort
of problem with the reputation of the X-Files
unit back at the
academy. While continuity demands that there be
some knowledge of it
(as we’ve seen in “Sleepless”,) I somehow doubt
that someone who has
proceeded that far in FBI training would actively
mock a teacher.

Additional Notes

Mitch Pileggi was not listed in the credits this
week. I guess he
won’t be on as often as his fans have hoped.

The Review

This was a fairly original episode of
The X-Files
this week. We had a vindicated skeptic, the
possibility of a mundane
explanation, and a type of villain and M.O. that
was unlike one we’ve
seen in a while. (I think the most similar
villain was Luther Lee
Boggs, played by the fantastic Brad
, way back
in Beyond the Sea.) I give it 5 out of
6, especially
considering the shaky start we had this season.

The limited visual effects this week
were done well.
However, aside from the snakes and the now
standard autopsy scenes,
there wasn’t a lot for the effects people to do.
Most of it wasn’t
particularly challenging, given their past
record. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was well written and well
paced this week.
This is the kind of story that can keep me coming
back. Spotnitz
played with some of the stereotypes in terms of
story structure, and
he allowed the villain to go free, which hasn’t
happened in a few
years. (Remember when the lack of closure was
one of the show’s
defining elements?) I give the story 5 out of 6
for getting me more
interested in season nine than either half of the
season premiere did.

The acting was excellent from Robert
Patrick, decent from
Scully (who never convinces me when she plays
the part of the
believer,) and the typical flat performance from
Annabeth Gish. James
Remar, who you might recognize from Judge Dredd
or the Mortal Kombat
sequel, was very good as the psycho this week. I
hope his character
returns later this season. I give the acting 4
out of 6.

Daemonicus managed to generate a stronger
emotional response
for me than either part of Nothing Important
Happened Today
It grabbed my attention, as I really did wonder
what was going on with
Kobold. I’m actually excited about this season
now. Thank you, Frank
Spotnitz! 5 out of 6.

The production on the X-Files has no
reason to be flawed,
given the experience level of the crew and the
budget available.
That’s why the scene where Doggett starts to
answer his phone before
it rings drags the score in this category down to
3 out of 6, despite
the fact that Spotnitz did so well in his second
directorial effort.
(The first was the excellent Alone.)

Overall, this was a great way to
spend an hour. I’d
normally give it 4 out of 6, but I’m boosting it
to 5 out of 6 for
proving that the series has enough left in it to
stay interesting for
at least one more season.

In total, Daemonicus received 31 out of

Next Week

It seems that Hellbound airs next week.

One reply

  1. Next week: Correction
    The Official Site updated after my review went up.
    The next episode looks like it will be 4-D,
    and it seems Hellbound has been delated for
    another couple of weeks.

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