Director: Kim Manners
After a group of teenagers fake an occult ritual at a woodland alter, inadvertently causing the death of one of their group, something evil is unleashed in the local community. Mulder and Scully are called in by the local police who fear the involvement of witchcraft. They travel to New Hampshire to investigate, combing the scene where teenager Jerry Stevens' body was discovered, they are caught in a down pour of toads!
Later in Crowley High School Mulder notices the water running backwards down the drains, indicating that something powerful is affecting the area. When local teenager Shannon Ausbury, one of the group present at the occult ritual where Jerry died, comes forward with claims of repressed memories of occult rituals, sexual molestation, that she was made pregnant and then the baby sacrificed.
Mulder and Scully are stunned and question Jim and Barbara Ausbury about their daughters claims. The Ausburys are incredulous and dispute their daughter story, Shannon has never been pregnant. Before they can question Shannon further she slits her wrists during a lesson with Mrs Paddock, a substitute teacher that no one can remember hiring. Jim Ausbury meets with a group of parents in secret, they discuss how they have let their religion slip, how they feel the presence of something evil in town. They attempt to re-affirm their beliefs before it is too late. But it would appear it will take much more to appease the evil presence among them.
The snake scene proved to be the most difficult sequence for the production crew of this episode as Dan Butler (who plays Jim Ausbury) was immensly terrified of snakes. In the original script, Jim had some lines right before he notices the snake, but those had to be cut because Butler just couldn't bring himself to deliver them. In addition, the snake kept falling down instead of gently sliding down the staircase.
The high school, Crowley High, is named for Alistair Crowley; whose theories laid much of the groundwork for early- to mid- 20th century occult practices.
'Die Hand die Verletzt' is German for "The Hand that Wounds", which is part of the satanic prayer spoken in the teaser by the members of the PTA.
Writers Glen Morgan and James Wong left the show to create the sci-fi series ''Space: Above and Beyond''. The message left behind by Mrs Paddock, "It's been nice working with you." served also as their goodbye to the cast and crew. The pair returned to co-write several season 4 episodes starting with ''Home''.
Mulder: The water...
Scully: What's wrong with it?
Mulder: It's going down the drain counter-clockwise! Coriolis force in the Northern Hemisphere dictates that it should go down clockwise.
Scully: That isn't possible.
Mulder: Something's here, Scully. Something is making these things possible.