Traumafession:: Cosmo M. on The X-Files episode “Badlaa”

Oh, my goodness! The first time I experienced kindertrauma happened in 2001 when I was 7 years old and THE X-FILES was a popular tv show. Deep Roy played a character called the “Badlaa” which is also the title of the episode. In this episode, the little monster crawled inside you, and ate you from the inside out! His character seriously scared the crap out of me for years after I first witnessed him. I vaguely remember seeing him on a cart without any legs, starring into the camera after someone jumped into the pool, and exploding out of a dead person’s stomach at the coroner’s office.

The way he was depicted sitting on the dolly gave me the creeps. I had never seen anything that didn’t have any legs before. Those shiny brown stubs, that I now know were just his knee caps, just made my imagination run wild. The fact that he didn’t have legs was disturbing to me and the implications for how his character lost his legs made me lose sleep for years when I would imagine what the experience was like losing your shins.   

The pool scene was horrific as well. I remember there was a teenager that fell victim to the Badlaa in a pool, whom I could empathize with. My family would frequent the local pool in the neighborhood as well as the pool at my dad’s local gym. Some folks have the unreasonable fear of a shark in the swimming pool, but not me. All I could imagine was Deep Roy swimming after me. It probably made me a better swimmer because if the thought of his character ever popped into my head, I would ace it to the edge of the pool and hop out.

Lastly, there was that scene when he pops out of a dead person’s stomach when agent Scully was performing an autopsy, jeez! I can remember that hand popping out of that person’s guts covered in blood sending shivers down my spine. There were blood streaks across the floor from where he scooted across after exiting the dead man’s belly. Oh man, truly disturbing for a young child.

However, these experiences have led me to have an affinity to the horror genre. There’s nothing quite like a good controlled scare; it helps us feel alive. Gets an emotion out of us that’s also fun to experience. The gory scenes from the TV show set fourth my appreciation for the artform as well. Some of my peers don’t quite understand why I like gory films. Obviously, they are fake but the effort people put in to make our stomachs churn is real and I’m thankful for all the hard work that goes into them. At the time when I was a kid, it seriously freaked me out but in my adulthood I’m thankful I have an appreciation for the artform of horror. 

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Caffeinated Joe
1 year ago

Definitely was – and still is – an unsettling episode!

1 year ago

The X-Files theme always freaked me out. The episode that stands out the most in my mind is the fourth episode of the fifth season, “Detour”. I saw it when I was about the same age and the glowing red eyes of the monster scared me shitless.

9 months ago

Omg…I can still hear that eerie squeaking, even decades after watching it.