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An indifferent genie grants three wishes. But her offerings bring more  mayhem than fortune.



Vince Gilligan's first attempt at directing finds Mulder and Scully coming in contact with a Genie, who when unrolled from her rug grants the person three wishes, but you would better think before you wish. Will Sasso ("Mad TV") guest stars in an amusing and inspiring look at the age-old fantasy of having three wishes.

Episode Summary

In Missouri, at a self-storage business, Jay Gilmore drives a golf cart among the storage garages, calling Anson on the radio. He eventually finds Anson sitting in an empty storage garage, reading a magazine about pleasure yachts. Jay berates Anson for not cleaning garage 407. Anson opens the overhead door of 407 and finds plastic covered furniture. Inside a rolled up Persian rug, something moves. Anson unrolls the rug and inside finds a woman. Jay is again calling for Anson on the radio. He drives up to 407 calls out more critical comments. All of a sudden he has no mouth, just unbroken skin where his lips should be.

In the X-Files office, Mulder is talking with Jay when Scully enters. A mouth has been surgically opened for him, but it is gruesome to look at. Jay is convinced that Anson Stokes did this. Later, Scully gives some possible explanations for Jay. There is a disease what's called "small mouth" that causes the person's mouth to shrink to only a small hole. Mulder tells her that that would take months, what happened to Gilmore was instantaneous. She tells him that some people are born without noses. Mulder tells her that it’s Gilmore’s mouth, not nose.

Anson resurfaced several days later but refused to talk with police. The agents go to the Mark Twain Trailer Court, where Anson lives with his brother, Leslie. Anson now has a huge yacht by his mobile home. Anson is afraid that Mulder and Scully are IRS agents, investigating how Anson could afford the yacht. Anson hides and Leslie tells the agents that they are just taking care of the yacht for somebody. Mulder sees the women from the rug inside the mobile home. Leslie claims that Jay stored chemicals that caused "the mouth thing."

Mulder and Scully visit 407 but find odd chemical smells. A calendar is dated 1978. The furniture is expensive and high quality. Might Anson have taken something and sold it to pay for the yacht? They find a picture of the woman Mulder saw at the trailer.

Anson talks to the woman - she gave him the yacht because he asked for it. He's upset that it's not in water, but she just tells him he didn't specify. He makes clear that he has wasted two wishes and only has one left. He doesn't want to wish it until he is completely ready. Leslie suggests a wish for money. Leslie cannot walk and rides in a motorized chair - but is doesn't occur to the brothers to wish for him to be able to walk. Anson finally wishes that he can turn invisible at will. The woman says it's unoriginal, but grants the wish. Anson tests it and fades out however he forgets to wish that his clothes would become invisible as well. He strips and runs around the trailer court. Then he approaches a couple of pretty girls, but while crossing the street even when the sign says "Walk", he is hit by a truck and is killed as the driver could not see him. On the side of the road is an indentation of a body in the dirt. A boy on a bicycle rides towards it, not knowing anything is there, until he hits it and is thrown off his bike.

Scully waits in an autopsy room as the invisible body is brought in. She is astounded. She uses yellow fingerprint powder to outline the face, then the entire body. Mulder arrives. (Mulder: "I think you missed a spot here. I can see straight through to his ass") Dental records identify the body as Anson Stokes. This is the most amazing thing Scully has ever seen. Mulder agrees that it is amazing but says it probably has nothing to do with science.

The previous owner of the items stored in 407 become successful literally overnight, in 1977 his net worth was $36,000 & in 1978 it was $30,000,000. But he died in a very unusual way - he wished for a big hoo-hoo.  Mulder thinks that the mystery woman is the link, but he can find out nothing about her. Scully stays to guard the body while Mulder goes to the mobile home.

Leslie says the woman is gone. Mulder thinks she is a Jinniyah (Feminine for Genie), a spirit from Middle Eastern folklore. They live in inanimate objects and grant wishes for the people who find them. Leslie agrees to hand over the object and gives Mulder an ornamental box. Later, however, Leslie goes to 407 for the rug.

Mulder goes back to Scully at the autopsy room and tells her he wants her to check something out. She doesn't want to leave the body, but finally she closes the body in a drawer. Before leaving she whispers "Bye" to it! At the office, Scully tells Mulder that she has a group of researchers flying in from Harvard medical and she can’t wait to see their faces.

Mulder shows her the box, but it obviously has no Jinniyah in it - just marijuana. Mulder, meanwhile, has found pictures of the mystery woman using FBI software that matches faces in photograph databases. She is seen in pictures of Benito Mussolini and Richard Nixon, men who got all the power they wished for, then lost it.

Leslie talks with the woman. He wants Anson back and she grants the wish. Scully leads a team of scientific experts into the autopsy room, but Anson's body is gone, making her very embarrassed. Leslie's wish backfired, because Anson is back, but still with a decayed body and unable to talk - He didn't specify that he wanted a "normal" Anson back. Leslie wishes Anson can talk, and Anson begins scream. Mulder and Scully can't find Anson's body anywhere in the lab. Scully now doesn't know what she saw. Mulder thinks the body disappeared because of a wish being granted. 

Anson finally stops screaming. Anson can't feel his hear or his blood and he's cold. As Leslie struggles to think of his last wish, Anson fumbles to light the gas oven, to warm the mobile home. As Mulder and Scully pull up and the mobile home explodes from the ignited gas. The carpet falls to earth near the agents.

The woman is taken into custody. Mulder calls her Jenn, short for Jinniah. The fire department recovers two bodies, including Anson, now visible. Mulder's conclusion is that Jennis evil, or the victim of a curse, but Gen says the only thing people are cursed with is stupidity. In 500 years people have not changed a bit. Greed still reigns. She used to be human, born in 15th century France. A genie offered her three wishes. Her first two were inconsequential. Her third was to wish for great power and long life, which made her a genie. It is forever, like a prison tattoo, and it is clear that she regrets her wish, so many years ago. Scully can't come up with any reason to hold her, but she will not leave. Mulder unrolled the carpet so he gets three wishes. 

Mulder and Jenn are back at Mulder's apartment. Scully left the airport quickly. Mulder asks what Jenn would wish for and she answers that she would wish that she had never heard the word "wish," and that she could live day to day, relaxing over coffee, and watch the world go by. But, she's not him.

Mulder theorizes that in order to avoid problems, his wishes should be totally altruistic, for everyone. He wishes for peace on Earth. She grants the wish, but when Mulder looks outside, he finds that he is the last man on Earth. At FBI headquarters he walks into Skinner's office and calls Jenn. She explains that it is what he wanted - he wasn't specific about how world peace should be established, He didn't specify "Goodwill toward men". She accuses him of having a huge ego, to want her to change the hearts of six billion people in his name. He wishes to undo his first wish, and Skinner and a staff meeting appears in the room, causing Mulder much embarrassment. 

He goes to his office and begins typing a wish, in intricate detail, so that he can get all of the specifics and details correct. Scully enters. She doesn't remembering disappearing of the face of the Earth. 

Scully tells Mulder that it has got to be hypnotism, or mesmerism, or something. He tells her that it is what it is. She examined an invisible body. She tells him that she thought she did. She says that even if he’s right, what he’s doing is extraordinarily dangerous, he even said it himself. He tells her that the trick is to be specific and make the wish perfect, that way everyone will benefit and it will be a safer, happier world – food for everyone, freedom, no tyranny, etc. Scully tells him that that sounds wonderful. He asks her then what the problem is. She says that maybe that’s the point of their lives, to achieve that. Maybe it’s a process that one man shouldn’t try to circumvent with a single wish. Scully leaves and Mulder wipes the screen. Jenn comes back and asks Mulder if he's ready to make his third wish. He tells her that he is.

Back in Mulder's apartment, Mulder and Scully are watching "Caddie Shack" - a classic American movie which according to Scully is a guy's movie. He tells her when she invites him over to her place, they can watch “Steel Magnolias.” Mulder tells Scully that he made the world a happier place. Scully asks him what his final wish was and Mulder just smiles. Somewhere, Jenn sits drinking coffee and smiling, watching the world go by. 

Episode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Paula Sorge Jenn, the jinniah
Will Sasso Leslie
Kevin Weisman Anson Strokes
Paul Hayes Jay Gilmore
Mitch Pilleggi Walter Skinner
Brett Bell Morgue Assistant

Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by Vince Gilligan (His first attempt)

Air Date: 14th May 2000
Shooting Started: 10th April 2000


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