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Episode 7ABX14

Title: Theef

First screened in Australia: 21 June, 2000
First screened in the USA: 12 March, 2000

Credits: Director: Kim Manners
Writers: Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz
Starring: Guest Stars: Plot:
In an upscale neighbourhood in California, Dr. Tharlbo is found dead hanging from a chandelier. On a wall nearby the word "theef" is scrawled in blood. Autopsy results reveal he died of an illness called Kuru, an extremely rare disease that causes the infected person to go insane. Mulder suspects the death may be the handiwork of someone familiar with hexes.
My Rating: 9/10

Hey, a great episode full of the things a good X-File should contain; an out-there "monster-of-the-week" but plausible all the same; a doubting Scully; a funny Mulder; great special effects; an autopsy/graveyard scene etc.

Billy Drago is excellent as Oral Peattie.

Now where can I get a poppet and some goofer dust?

Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Billy Drago (Oral Peattie), whose real name is Billy Eugene Burrows, has appeared in numerous B grade movies but also some well-known ones such as "Pale Rider" (with Clint Eastwood), "Cutter's Way" (with Jeff Bridges), "Guncrazy" (with Drew Barrymore) and "The Untouchables" (with Kevin Costner). He's also recently appeared in an episode of "Charmed".

James Morrison (Dr Weider) was one of the stars of "Space: Above And Beyond" and has also starreed in the soap "General Hospital". His movie roles include "Abilene" and "Falling Down" (with Michael Douglas). He's also had guest roles on "The Others", "Millennium" and "Profiler" as well as the mini-series "North and South II" with Kate McNeil who played his wife in this episode.

Kate McNeil (Nan Weider) has starred in soap "As The World Turns" and three "Waltons" movies. She's also been a regular on "Love Boat" and had a guest role in "Providence".

This was Cara Jedell's (Lucy) first role since 1995 when she starred in two movies "Blue River" and "Little Women In Transit" and had a guest role on "Law And Order".

Trivia and Research:
Appalachian folk magick primarily concerns omens, portents, curses, cures, and protections, and is decidedly geared to non-material goals, a consequence which at first seems out of place in a region which has had so little of the basics of life. Yet in this place where shoes and secure homes have been luxury items, spells for money, food, shelter, or clothing are virtually non-existent. Instead the magick focuses on intangible values: family and home, romance and children, health and dying. Folk magick practitioners will occasionally need the use of a poppet to complete a curse or fulfill a desire. A poppet (a colloquial word for doll) is hand-crafted and filled with personal items of the "victim," and used in conjunction with a spell or ritual. Although they have long been associated with evil, poppets are also used for beneficial purposes such as good health or romance. Goofer Dust is used in folkloric magick and black magic as a powerful hexing element to cause harm to another person. It is created from natural, yet unusual, ingredients which include graveyard dirt, powdered sulfur, various herbs, and/or animal remains, such as snake skin. Goofer dust also goes by the names Graveyard Dirt or Conjure Dust. A good reference book is Mountain Magick : Folk Wisdom from the Heart of Appalachia by Edain McCoy.

One of the television reporters in the episode is named "John Gilnitz" -- a reference to the three writers of the episode: John Shiban, Vince Gilligan and Frank Spotnitz. The trio has inserted that moniker into many of their jointly-written scripts, including "Wetwired," "Leonard Betts," "Emily" and "Christmas Carol."

The character of Dr. Wieder is named after Ten Thirteen staffer Sandra Tripicchio's doctor. Sandra is Frank Spotnitz's assistant.

The actor Billy Drago (Peattie) is the father of actor Darren E. Burrows, who played Bernard in Monday.

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