jersey devil hanky panky

The Jersey Devil — 1×04

Episode summary:
After a corpse turns up in New Jersey with limbs chewed off BY HUMAN TEETH, Scully and Mulder head to Atlantic City, where Mulder argues with a local top cop and manages to spend a night in jail. With some help from an anthropologist and a park ranger, the agents eventually track down the (female!) Jersey Devil, but she’s killed in an altercation with the local police force. Also, Scully goes on a date.


Night. A nuclear family in a car outside New Jersey. Singing “BINGO”. Flat tire! Dad goes out to fix it. Taps on the wife’s window with his flashlight, and says:

“Honey, do you mind holding the light for a secoAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRBGGGGH”

Next morning, a search team finds his body. With a leg eaten off. And then they surround the entrance of a cave in which there lurks something “as big as a house”. Like half a dozen cops shoot whatever it is.

At FBI headquarters

Mulder is the meat in a porn-and-creeped-out-coworker sandwich

Scully walks in on Mulder reading “Hankypanky”. The centerfold, specifically. Scully’s shirt is tightly buttoned up, perhaps as a subconscious, prescient expression of disapproval.

This woman claims to have been taken aboard a spaceship and held in an anti-gravity chamber without food and water for three days.
Anti-gravity is right.
That’s a really lame-o comeback.

But enough about porn. Scully has news:

I just heard a story that’d just about take your knees out.

The scoop: a human has been gnawing off another human’s limbs. So it could literally take your knees out, if you were the victim. Right.

They’re going to Atlantic City, so Mulder tries to be witty.

You feeling lucky, Scully?
Relative to whom?

Fact: Scully is Vulcan.

Mulder puts on his wild and crazy Atlantic City-wear.

A visit to Atlantic City

Mulder and Scully meet a nice coroner lady in the Atlantic City morgue, but their peaceful corpse talk is soon disrupted by a grumpy Detective Thompson.

Hi, I’m special agent Dana Scully and this is agent Fox Mulder.
He’s a not-so-special agent.
I don’t remember anybody calling the FBI in on this.

There’s some grr grr Mulder grr action with the detective, and Thompson makes it clear he doesn’t want them helping–


–with the case. So our heroes bail, or at least Scully does.

Mulder, I’ve got to be back in DC.
You’ve got a date?
No…I have my godson’s birthday party at six thirty.

Mulder stays in town and hits a casino because…well, that’s not really clear. To make a phone call? From a casino?

He’s there for the atmosphere. It reminds him of alien abductions.
What with the flashing lights and all.

Dial J for Jersey
Do you think he knows that’s not a slot machine?
You know, this is a pretty crappy episode so far. I think they spent all their money on the first four.

Mulder flips through the phone book, in what is clearly a bluescreened shot set against stock casino footage.

Is he looking up “New Jersey Devil”?

Nope, Parks services. Mulder hooks up out in the woods with an affable park ranger who seems maybe not so skeptical about the Jersey Devil as most folks. He’s seen things. He’s found things, like scat.

Shoobee doo wee bop ahh
Do skiddle be bip reticulan bam shoop

At the party

Scully helps out at her godson’s party…

He’ll make you an offer you can totally refuse, because he’s just a little kid.

…where kids prove the genetic link between man and the great apes.

Monkey Monkey Monkey

Insights from Scully as she chats with her godson’s mom, uh, Ellen?

On motherhood:

I don’t think I’m cut out for this.

On Mulder, who Ellen says Dana says is cute:

He’s a jerk. He’s not a jerk. He’s, um…he’s obsessed with his work.

Cut to: Mulder in the woods, looking for the fucking Jersey Devil.

What a jerk.

And then some good-looking hunk of blond divorcee wanders into Ellen’s house and makes eyes at Scully. He’s picking up his monkey son Scott.

Outskirts of Atlantic City

Mulder canvases the local homeless population for friends of Roger Crockett, the guy whose corpsey gnawed-on-ness got our agents out here in the first place. He finds an unkempt looking dude who says he knows Crockett. “I’ll show you something”, says the guy.

“My collection of bird skeletons!”
“I cleaned them myself!”
“With my teefs!”

Actually, it’s a crude drawing of a naked person with long scraggly hair. Dude has SEEN IT! Mulder trades the dude the key to his hotel room–

Bow chicka bow bow

–in exchange for camping rights in the dude’s cardboard box.

Oh. Boo!
It’s not really a cardboard box. It’s more of a hole in the wall.
A bum hole, as it were.

Guest drawing by Billy Keane, age 7

Night falls. Mulder sees something — someone — in the alley where he’s hiding. It sniffs the air! He ducks!

Yeah, duck. Can’t smell you if you’re CROUCHING.

It bolts! Mulder chases! The, uh, cops arrive–

Yeah, and there’s like three cars.
Did someone call them? “Hey, there’s an FBI agent here. Somebody’s got to clean this up.”

–and throw him in the drunk tank. Where he gets a visit from grumpy old Detective Thompson. Mulder and Thompson growl at each other, Mulder about the Devil, Thompson about having A Job To Do. The whole scene is kind of lousy, really. Check this out:

You know it’s out there.
I’ve got a perpetrator out there. Whether it’s Hannibal the Cannibal or Elmer Fudd, I’ve got a job: to protect people.

OH IS THAT YOUR JOB? Or is it to keep the dice rolling, keep the tour buses rolling in. You can’t fill those casinos, this town disappears like a quarter down the slot.

I’ve seen it.

Seen what?

[displays crude drawing of naked humanoid]


You’ve been spending too much time in supermarket checkout lines.

Seriously. This is like the television equivalent of poop.


Scully gets a call from Mulder.

What’s that noise in the background?
That’s a guy getting sick.

She bails him out. And takes him to eat some pie. And then…

I’ve still got a hotel room I’m paying for.
A hotel room that a homeless guy is squatting in, and that Mulder doesn’t have a key to.
Well, I have to get back to Washington by seven thirty, so, uh…
Another birthday party?
No. I have a date.
Can you cancel?
Unlike you, Mulder, I would like to have a life.
I have a life.
Okay, that’s a decent comeba–

Meet Scully’s anthropologist

Scully brings Mulder to visit a dude at University of Maryland, who explains the Jersey Devil as a cross-cultural myth.

He has that balding-plus-ponytail thing going on.
Are he and Scully old friends? Or maybe old “friends”?
I bet she really “digs” him, eh?
That’s archeology, honey.
That flying dinosaur?

Professor Dinosaur also points out that “Barring the introduction of some alien life form, we will live out our days as rulers of the world.”


And a catch-phrase in the making:

…the realm of extreme possibility.
Tubular possibility.

This large creature would certainly have sizable feet.
Wait, is this supposed to be more of Mulder Looks At Drawings Of Bigfoot, or more of Mulder Looks At Porn?

Scully’s big dating adventure

Dana on a date with Scott’s Dad Guy. She has chosen to wear the stupidest blouse in the history of television dating. It’s made out of old ladies and shoulder pads.

La la la I’m a pretty princess!

There’s kind of a half-formed sight-gag here: dude asks about the case she’s working on, followed by cut to him cutting up meat.

Cannibalism, geddit?
I…guess it’s funny?
Terrible episode.

Back to Mulder, who is still in the office at 8pm, proving that he has a life. And then that nice park ranger calls him to tell him he found a corpse in the woods — maybe the thing that might have maybe been the Jersey Devil, maybe!

So he pages Scully on her date, solely to tell her that he thinks maybe the Jersey Devil is a Jersey She-Devil.

That was definitely worth interrupting her dinner. Jerk.

And then he stares at the bosomy Bigfoot picture some more.

Atlantic City Morgue

The agents (and Professor dude) follow Park Ranger’s tip and head back into Jersey — but the body he told Mulder he’d found never got to the morgue! Cover-up! So they go on a field trip, sneaking into an abandoned warehouse with a tranquilizer gun.

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but this isn’t a very good episode.
Did you know that according to the internet, it is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon in New Jersey?
Ooh, and did you know that in Bernards Township, New Jersey it is illegal to frown as the town is a “Frown-Free Town Zone”?
What a wondrous place.

They find some blood — evidence that Bigfoot The Jersey Devil is here?

And then the, like, SWAT team or whatever figures out that they’ve snuck into the warehouse? And start sneaking in after them with big guns?

What if it is a female, Scully? How close is she to you or me? Does she feel emotion, or are her days just spent looking for food?
Maybe she spends her days shopping.
See, that’s supposed to be like a zing or something.

Thompson is here with the pile of cops. He’s looking for Mulder. Oh man. And Mulder and Scully split up, for no apparent reason. Mulder sees the thing out a second-story window. Mulder JUMPS out the window and gives chase. Scully, not to be outdone, ALSO jumps out the window, and pulls her gun to boot.

Voluntary defenestration.
It’s in the courseload at Quantico.

Mulder wanders around in another dark basement room of the abandoned warehouse…and gets jumped by something! Some…one!

It’s a lady!
She’s gonna sniff him!

Hello, Jersey Devil!

Rerro, Rox Rulder!

Scully catches up and spoils the moment.

INJURY ALERT: Mulder gets a nice wound to the abdomen from the wild lady.

You should have seen her. She was beautiful.
Yeah, well she just about ripped your lungs out.

Mulder is into strong women. And pain. And lung-ripping.

Into the woods

The Devil wounds a SWAT guy and escapes back into the forest on the outskirts of town. Our merry band of agents, Park Ranger, and Archaeopteryx track her down — ranger dude puts a tranq dart into her from like 200 yards and they follow her. But Thompson and friends are in the forest too, and…


Our heroes catch up with the local police folks and find that the Devil is dead! The cops killed her! Mulder does the sadly-closing-the-dead-person’s-eyes-with-your-hand thing that people do in shows, and sort of stares emotively for a minute.

He’s all thinking about how they could have had happy Neanderthal babies.
It’s convenient how there’s leaves covering up her butt now.
He would name the first one Ug Mulder. Unless it was a girl, in which case she’d be named Grakka Mulder.
Like serendipitous arboreal panties or whatever.

And now, some extremely bad acting:

Why’d you have to kill her?
Same reason you kill a rabid animal.


Mulder broods over some photos of the dead wildwoman. Scully drops by with some medical results. Human remains in the stomach! And there’s evidence that she had given birth. Mulder gets all excited and grabs his coat. He’s gonna find that Baby Devil! He’s gonna–

Mulder, will you do me a favor? Will just go out and have a beer, take the day off? I’ll cover for you.
I’ll spout crazy theories at people who dislike me!
I’ll run around breaking and entering based on flimsy evidence!
I’ll be ruggedly handsome but paranoid and emotionally immature!
Oh HELL no.
I know, right?

Also, Scully is wearing one hell of a red jacket:

This jacket is woven from dead matadors.

So then Rob, Father Of Scott calls — ON MULDER’S PHONE, OMG — to see if Dana and her godson want to go see Cirque d’ Soleil with him and his kid. Mulder wanders off to requisition a car, but a minute later up walks Scully, who explains under questioning that she turned down Dad Guy for another date. She follows him and his newly-requisitioned keys out of the office.

What are you doing?
Going with you to the Smithsonian.
Don’t you have a life, Scully?
Keep that up, Mulder, and I’ll hurt you like that beast woman.
Eight million years out of Africa…
…and look who’s holding the door.

Hint: it is Scully who is holding the door.

Hey! The episode is over!
It was pretty bad.
But we’re done!

Fat chance. Time for…

Epilogue 2


OMG THERE’S ANOTHER JERSEY DEVIL AND oh god I so don’t care at this point


  1. Shalora Said,

    May 28, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

    Dana on a date with Scott’s Dad Guy. She has chosen to wear the stupidest blouse in the history of television dating. It’s made out of old ladies and shoulder pads.

    OMG I just about hurt myself reading this one. This is, without a doubt, one of the worst episodes of the X-Files EVAR. However, that gives you great impetus to make this one of the best snark-fest-y installments evar. :)

  2. Leigh Ann Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 6:23 am

    Man, if you guys ripped this one a new one, I can’t wait until you get to 3, because man, that one is terrible.

    Since I haven’t commented before, I also have to tell you that this is a totally awesome idea and it’s been great fun to read so far. I hope you stick with it to the bitter, unsatisfying end.

  3. The Proprietors Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 6:27 am

    [Josh] Oh god, 3. Yeah, that’ll be…interesting.

    Anyway, welcome!

  4. Izzie Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 9:27 am

    I was googling info about the new movie and somehow stumbled across this site. I bow down to you two. This blog is my new obsession.

  5. muddgirl Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

    Oh lordy lordy, I was so confused by this episode. How did the Jersey-she-devil get pregnant? Asexual reproduction? Was there some Jersey-HE-devil that died? Or was she like some sort of praying mantis, who mated with her prey before eating them? If so, ewwwww…

  6. The Proprietors Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

    Yeah, the takeaway for me is that it was probably more of a long, narrow line of Jersey Devilkin — the most recent He-Devil being an older fella who died a few months before the episode’s action took place, leaving our single-mother She-Devil alone with her little devil daughter as seen at the end.

    Which implies daughter growing up alone, and probably the end of the Devil dynasty — unless (a) there are unmentioned other relatives out there in the woods too, or (b) this young’n grows up and finds herself a Mulder of her own.

  7. Chel Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

    Yeah…“Honey, do you mind holding the light for a secoAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRBGGGGH” That’s exactly how it sounded ;p

    Aww, poor Mulder’s knees. I guess he deserves it.

    Mulder in the woods, looking for the fucking Jersey Devil. I believe there is a pattern developing here…

    ICE COLD BURN. Fo’ sho’.

    I’m starting to grow accustomed to these recurring Gesundheit jokes…(Heitzverber?)

    She has chosen to wear the stupidest blouse in the history of television dating. A-MEN!

    That was definitely worth interrupting her dinner. Jerk. See, I would agree if she hadn’t been secretly wishing the whole time that he’d call. Who wants Mr. Divorcee when you can run around the forests of (VANCOUVER) I mean, Jersey, chasing after a beast-woman? Pssh, besides, Mulder’s way cuter than Mr. Blonde-Boring-What’s-His-Name-Again? I can remember his son’s name (only mentioned once, I believe) but not his. That’s how boring he is.

    Also, Scully is wearing one hell of a red jacket: She saw the Scotch tape packaging and was like ‘Damn, I need me a jacket like THAT.’

    ROB! That’s his name! *has already re-forgotten it*

    *sigh* I’d still watch this one again. No clue why…I guess it’s worth it for the Scully/Mulder interaction. And Mulder!burns. And random homeless (artist?) guy!

  8. Shalora Said,

    June 1, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

    Though you must admit, there was one good thing about this episode; it leaves the opening for Scully to say (I forget which ep it’s in) “Keep it up, Mulder, and I’ll hurt you like that beast woman!”

  9. Heather Said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

    This website is amazing! I got a link for it through XFN. I’m going to tell all the fellow Philes I know about it. You two are hysterical! Can’t wait for the next episode!

  10. jeff n. Said,

    June 7, 2008 @ 2:22 am

    Oh man oh man, you guys are almost to “Space;” I’m really excited. And I can’t believe I own the same jacket in 2008 as Mulder did in 1993, but blue and maybe ever so slightly more subtle. Slightly.

    Okay, so maybe my only jacket is garish and horrible and roughly eighteen years out of style. Crud.

  11. B. Said,

    June 8, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    Gosh, what a terrible episode!

    Good work blogging it, though; and I’m glad you guys aren’t X-Files hagiographers or anything, because really: it’s the best show ever, but it’s SO AWFUL, SO OFTEN. I’m stoked enough anticipating future bad reviews to motivate a re-watch of terrible episodes, maybe.

  12. Ashley Said,

    June 11, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

    Maybe it’s just me but I always really liked this episode. However, that didn’t stop me from almost dying when you guys said, “This jacket is woven from dead matadors.” My favorite part about re-watching the show is how Scully goes from little old lady fashion victim to smoking hot pwnage, slowly but surely.

  13. calraigh Said,

    June 18, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

    The ”dead matador” line nearly killed me too. I have to say though, in this show’s defence, despite the fact that there are hokey episodes like this one, it still stands up. We’re STILL talking about it 15 years later and that ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a classic TV show. I cannot describe the depth of my love for it, lame lines, awful early 90′s fashion and bluescreen composite shots be damned.

    That ” gravity is right” line though. Why, WHY?!

  14. The Proprietors Said,

    June 18, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

    [Josh] Yeah, our love for the show cannot be denied. The first season is a bit rough around the edges, so we’re sort getting off on an extra-snarky foot by definition, but I’ve never once said to myself, “huh, I should start a Family Matters blog”.

  15. Kristian Said,

    July 17, 2008 @ 7:27 am

    You guys are fun! I must thank you for posting your silly comments.

  16. gosh Said,

    July 31, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

    Muddgirl, for not paying adequate attention, you must watch this episode again and write a 2000 word essay on the perils of inbreeding.

    OK, so obviously we have a family line of cavedevilpeople. The he-devil was said to be around 40 and she-devil 25 – 30. I imagine cavedevilpeople don’t a huge amount to do apart from hunting, sleeping, and hanging out naked in a cave, I know how I’d probably pass the time. The little devil girl looked to be around 10ish? The naked she-devil looked pretty well nourished to me, so I imagine there could be half a dozen little devil siblings in that cave living the incestuous tribal cave life and snatching random hikers to munch on. This would make a great sitcom

  17. Nina Said,

    December 1, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

    I …. am a really big fan of this recap. :)

  18. marshan Said,

    March 30, 2009 @ 7:01 am

    ‘Shoobee doo wee bop ahh
    Do skiddle be bip reticulan bam shoop’

    ^^nice duet

  19. Amanda Said,

    June 26, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

    Not-so-great episode but an amazing recap.

    I love what you guys are doing here!
    It brightens my day to laugh at this stuff, even if my cat stares at me like I grew another head (and claws my legs for startling her).

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