Saturday, June 6, 2009

Season 1, Episode 19: Shapes


A Montana rancher, Jim Parker, is charged with murder after shooting Joe Goodensnake, a young Native American man. Parker says the man had attacked his son and appeared to be an animal, and that his cattle had been getting slaughtered prior to the incident. Mulder and Scully discover a piece of shed skin, footprints that go from human to animal, and fanged teeth on the body.

Mulder thinks that the man may have been able to transmogrify into an animal, and notes similar accounts from as far back as the Lewis and Clark expedition. Following Goodensnake's funeral, Parker is killed by another beast. A Native American tells Mulder of the legend of the manitou: an evil spirit that can turn a man into a beast by night, cause those he attacks to change into a manitou as well, and pass down the traits by bloodline.

Goodensnake's sister is suspected, but she says she witnessed the animal attack Parker. The agents realize Parker's son, Lyle Parker, was transformed. Lyle is shot and killed after trying to attack Scully.

Donnelly Rhodes, who played Jim Parker, also played Doc Cottle on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and Detective Leo Shannon on most episodes of Da Vinci's Inquest.

Episode Body Count

Bull: killed by Goodensnake while he is a manitou.

Joseph Goodensnake: shot and killed by Jim Parker while in manitou form.

Seven murders: Mulder says the first X-File was initiated in 1946 after a series of murders in the Northwest, with seven in the same Montana town. Other murders, occurring on eight-year intervals, are mentioned but not specified.

Richard Watkins: Mulder says the initial set of murders stopped after police shot what they thought was an animal but turned out to be a man.

Jim Parker: killed by his son in manitou form.

Lyle Parker: shot and killed by Sheriff Charlie Tskany while in manitou form.

Since they turn back into humans after they are shot, the manitou deaths will be recorded as human ones.

Humans: 11
Creatures: 1
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (19/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 114
Creatures: 8
Aliens: 7

Grand Total: 129

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