Demons (The X-Files)

Demons (The X-Files)
The X-Files episode
Demons TXF.jpg
The Cigarette Smoking Man with Samantha Mulder
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 23
Directed by Kim Manners
Written by R.W. Goodwin
Production code 4X23
Original air date May 11, 1997 (Fox)
Guest stars
Episode chronology
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"Demons" is a 1997 episode of The X-Files television series. It was the twenty-third episode broadcast in the show's fourth season. "Demons" features Mulder waking up in a hotel with blood all over him and no memory how it happened. Mulder and Scully soon discover that Mulder was involved in a double homicide and may have been the killer.



Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) has a flashback to being in the attic with Samantha while their parents are arguing downstairs. Back in the present, Mulder awakens in a hotel room in Providence, Rhode Island, covered in blood. Mulder calls Scully, who arrives, finding him in shock. Mulder has a pounding headache and has no memory of what he's done since nearly two days ago. Scully finds that two bullets have been fired from Mulder's gun and he has in his possession keys belonging to a David and Amy Cassandra. Scully wants Mulder to check into a hospital, but he wants to find out if he was involved in a crime before doing so. The agents arrive at the Cassandra's house where the housekeeper tells them they are not at home. Mulder recognizes a house in many of Cassandra's paintings, a house that is near his parent's summer home in Rhode Island. When they arrive there Mulder has striking pains in his head and flashes back again to when he was a child, seeing the Cigarette Smoking Man in his home. The agents enter the home, where they find the Cassandras dead from gunshot wounds.

The agents call the police, who take Mulder with them due to the circumstantial evidence against him. Scully performs an autopsy on Amy Cassandra, finding a scab on her forehead. The detective in charge of the case tells Mulder that they have found David and Amy's blood on his shirt. Mulder refuses to confess to the murders, not remembering anything. Scully arrives, saying she found a hallucinogenic substance in Amy's blood, something that was detected in Mulder as well. One of the officers at the police department kills himself, showing to have similar symptoms as the Cassandras. Mulder suffers a seizure and flashes back to his childhood again, witnessing his parents arguing with the Cigarette Smoking Man. Scully sees Mulder the next day, telling him that she believes that the Cassandras killed themselves after receiving psychiatric treatment and that Mulder was visiting them about their alien abduction experiences.

The agents visit Dr. Goldstein, who was treating Amy with an aggressive method to help her recover her abduction memories. Goldstein also treated the police officer, but says he hasn't met Mulder before. Mulder has another painful flashback of the Cigarette Smoking Man arguing with his mother. Mulder declines Scully's request that he go to the hospital and goes to visit his mother, demanding she explain what really happened when they had to make a choice between him and Samantha. Mulder believes that the Cigarette Smoking Man forced them to take Samantha. Mulder also questions who his father really is. Mulder's mother gets upset and refuses to provide him answers. Later Mulder visits Goldstein, and convinces him to again treat him so he'll remember what really happened. Mulder has further visions of the past. Scully and the police arrive soon after to arrest Goldstein but find Mulder gone. Scully finds him at the family's summer home in Rhode Island and is able to calm him down. While Mulder is cleared in the deaths of the Cassandras, what truly happened when he was a child remains a mystery.[1]


The episode was written by R.W. Goodwin, an executive producer and director for the show. This was the second instance where a member of the production crew wrote an episode, the first being Mat Beck's "Wetwired". Goodwin came up with the idea of having Fox Mulder waking up in a strange place with no idea how he got there. After receiving approval from series creator Chris Carter, Goodwin spent approximately six weeks writing the episode. The episode was influenced from An Anthropologist on Mars, a series of essays by Oliver Sacks, in particular The Landscape of Dreams featuring a man who could recall every detail of his childhood.[2] Amy and David Cassandra were named after the Greek prophetess Cassandra.[2]

The home where the Cassandras were murdered was filmed at a farmhouse in South Surrey, near locations used for filming the episodes "Home" and "Tunguska". The farmhouse was rented and refurbished by the show's art department, although this restoration was only used for preproduction photographs and the farmhouse was returned to its original state for the actual filming.[2] The camera's shuttering mechanism along with altering the film's negatives during post production was used for the flashback sequences.[2]


This episode earned a Nielsen household rating of 11.8, with a 18 share. It was viewed by 19.10 million people.[3]


  1. ^ Meisler,Andy (1998). I Want to Believe: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 3. Harper Prism. pp. 245–256. 
  2. ^ a b c d Meisler,Andy (1998). I Want to Believe: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 3. Harper Prism. pp. 256–257. 
  3. ^ Meisler,Andy (1998). I Want to Believe: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 3. Harper Prism. p. 298. 

External links

  • Demons article at The X-Files wiki.

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