Sunday, July 26, 2009

Season 3, Episode 19: Hell Money


A young Chinese immigrant is burned alive in a crematorium in Chinatown in San Francisco. Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate, and Mulder notes how 10 other deaths have occurred with the same MO in four cities. At the scene, they find the Chinese symbol for "ghost" as well as "hell money" offered during the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.

Meanwhile, a man named Hsin is trying to get money to help his sick daughter, Kim, through a lottery where tiles are pulled from a vase. The man who draws on the first night is found dead soon after with various organs missing, and Scully posits that there is a black market trade going on to harvest body parts. Hsin is drawn for the lottery and ends up losing an eye. The agents find him after realizing that he installed the carpet in the apartment of one of the previous victims. A detective working the case with Mulder, Glen Chao, is attacked by the same masked men who have been showing up at the murders.

Hsin tries to get out of the organ lottery, but to no avail. Mulder begins to wonder if Chao is involved in the murders, and he also realizes that there is a game afoot after he and Scully interview Kim. After seeing Chao enter a building, the agents follow and find an eye packed in ice in the restaurant on the first floor. Chao orders that the lottery be stopped, and also finds that the game is fixed: all of the tiles are the same. Hsin has pulled a tile callling for his heart to be removed, but the surgery is stopped when the agents intervene. They also apprehend the lotto's main man, who defends his actions as giving hope to the men. Unfortunately, none of the men agree to testify and Chao is murdered; the game will go on.

Lucy Liu, playing Kim Hsin, is better known for her roles as Ling Woo on Ally McBeal, Alex in Charlie's Angels, and O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill: Vol. 1. B.D. Wong, who plays Detective Glen Chao, has had numerous other roles including Dr. George Huang on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Father Ray Mukada on Oz.

Episode Body Count

Johnny Lo: burned alive in a crematorium.

10 other Chinese immigrants: Mulder says there have been cremation deaths in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Boston.

Li Di-Huan: loses the lottery after he pulls a tile calling for his heart to be removed.

Detective Glen Chao: burned alive in a crematorium so he won't testify about the lottery.

Humans: 13
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (68/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 871
Creatures: 54
Aliens: 47

Grand Total: 972

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