Writer: Howard Gordon
Director: Rob Bowman
Mulder receives an audio tape in his morning paper, which draws his attention to the death of Dr Grissom, a prominent doctor specialising in sleep disorders. The tape is a recording of the 911 call, from the tape it is clear that Dr Grissom believed his apartment was on fire. But the newspaper article does not mention a fire. Mulder manages to get himself assigned to the case only to find that another agent, Alex Krycek has been assigned the case. Mulder reluctantly has to partner him for the period of the investigation.
Scully performs the autopsy on Grissom and discovers that his internal injuries are consistent with being burned to death in a fire, as if his body had thought it was being burned. When a second man, Henry Willig, found dead in his apartment is autopsied Scully discovers that he has internal wounds that indicate he was shot to death. Mulder is contacted by a mysterious man X, who sent him the audio tape. X is a colleague of Mulder's former contact Deep Throat, who tells him that he is in a position to help Mulder, but on his terms. X tells Mulder that Willig and Grissom were both involved in a sleep eradicate experiment on a group of elite Vietnam soliders known as J7.
Evidence emerges that one of the two surviving members of the squad, Augustus Cole is atoning for their sins during the war. Mulder believes that in his years without sleep Cole has developed the ability to project his thoughts on to other people and is using this power to kill.
This episode features X's first appearance in person. In "The Host", X only appeared on the phone.
The close ups of Mulder that were used during the scene where he first meets X were filmed with Natalia Nogulich, the actress originally cast as X when the character was going to be a woman. The shots of Steven Williams were added later. During some of the close ups of Mulder you can easily see the actress's hair shadow for a split second.
Writer/Producer Howard Gordon recommended Nicholas Lea for the part of Alex Krycek after seeing him perform in Season 1's "Genderbender".
Scully: Sounds like your new partner's working out.
Mulder: He's all right. He could use a little more seasoning and some wardrobe advice. But he's a lot more open to extreme possibilities than. . .
Scully: Than I was?
Mulder: . . .than I assumed he would be.
Scully: Must be nice not having someone question your every move, poking holes in all your theories.
Mulder: Oh yeah, it's... it's great. I'm surprised I put up with you so long.
Mulder: So how do I contact you?
X: You can't
Mulder: I may still need more.
X: You still don't get it, do you? Closing the X-Files, separating you and Scully was only the beginning. The truth is still out there, but it's more dangerous. The man we both knew paid for that information with his life, a sacrifice I'm not willing to make.