28 January 2008

Season 8: Badlaa (8X12)

Written by: John Shiban
Directed by: Tony Wharmby

American Hugh Potocki enters the airport in Mumbai, India on his way back home. A local beggar with no legs follows him on a wheeled cart into the restroom. Potocki is yanked out from under the bathroom stall by an unseen force. Later, Potocki arrives at his hotel in Washington, DC. A bellboy brings his luggage with the beggar's cart strapped on. Potocki sits on the bed and his eyes glaze over with blood. Another pool of blood flows from his body, staining the bedspread. Scully and Doggett investigate the crime scene at the hotel where Potocki's body was found. The agents spot a small, bloodied handprint, about the size of a child's, on the bed. An autopsy reveals Potocki suffered massive abdominal tissue damage. Scully is unsure whether something went in or came out of his rectal wall. There is no evidence that the man had been smuggling drugs, but a decay analysis does prove that he had already been dead before he left India.

Mrs. Holt, the principal of Fairmont Elementary in Maryland, interviews a normal-looking man for a potential job as a custodian. Yet she does not really see that the person sitting across from her is the legless beggar. A fight breaks out in front of the school between seventh-grader Trevor and the younger Quinton. Quinton's father arrives in time to break up the squabble. The mysterious new custodian watches from nearby. Meanwhile, Doggett traces a similar death in India several days earlier that involves another heavyset American businessman. Scully introduces the idea that a living being is using these victims to stowaway by freely entering the bodies. Doggett doesn't readily accept this notion.

Later that night, Quinton sees the beggar's reflection in his bedroom mirror, but his father dismisses the boy's fears as merely a nightmare. When the father goes back downstairs, the beggar man is there. Hearing a scream, Quinton runs down the stairs to find his father dead. The man's eyes are filled with blood. Scully and Doggett investigate and Quinton tells them that he saw a man with no legs. Finding the identical small handprints as in Potocki's hotel room, the agents suspect the same killer. Yet Quinton's father showed no sign of abdominal damage. At the autopsy, the man's stomach is distended. Scully slices into the body, and a tiny hand reaches out through the incision. Scully jumps back, and grabs her gun. Whatever was in the body has disappeared, leaving a trail of coagulated blood across the floor. Scully follows it to a closet, but sees nothing inside. However, the beggar man is in the closet. Somehow he hodes his presence from Scully.

When Scully and Doggett consult with Chuck Burks, he explains that there are siddhi mystics who have the power to manipulate reality. These Indian mystics, however, are religious and committing murder would endanger their souls. Scully shows him a report of an American chemical plant that killed many people in India, one of whom is the son of a holy man. Because siddhi mystics pass their skills from father to son, and his only son's death effecetively ends his legacy, Scully questions whether this man is out for revenge.

Trevor tells Quinton that he may know who killed his father. As he walks down the street, Trevor hears the squeaking of the beggar's wheeled cart, but no one is around. His mother, meanwhile, sees her son's body floating in the backyard pool and dives in after him. As she gets closer, she realizes that it is not Trevor but the beggar man. Scully and Doggett later scrutinize the woman's blood-filled eyes and question how her death fits into the case. Trevor returns home and tells the agents that the "little man" followed him. They call the janitor in for questioning, but he does not speak. Chuck sets up a video camera and focuses it on the janitor. The camera shows there is no one sitting in the interrogation room. They realize their suspect may be anywhere.

Mrs. Holt sees the custodian at the school later that night, but he does not answer her when she calls out to him. The principal immediately calls Scully. Trevor and Quinton lie in wait in the school building. When the beggar enters the janitorial closet, Trevor tosses bottles of chemicals on him. Yet the shattered glass seems to have hit nothing and the beggar disappears. Instead, the beggar chases Quinton in to a classroom with windows that won't budge open. Trevor is outside the window, yelling to his friend that he will get help. Suddenly, Scully and Mrs. Holt enter the classroom but they can't see the beggar man. He has transformed himself into Trevor. Quinton pleads with Scully to shoot at what she thinks is Trevor, but she is unable to fire at a child. Doggett arrives outside and hears gunshots. He runs in the classroom, with Trevor following him. The little beggar man lies dead on the floor.

Later, Scully is still shaken by the experience. She tells Doggett that she was unable to trust her own eyes, but fired her gun because the boys saw the truth. She realizes that it is what Mulder's open mind would have seen. "Maybe if I could see through Mulder's eyes I could understand," she says. The beggar man, still alive, rolls his cart in an airport in pursuit of another passenger.

'Badlaa' is a word in Urdu (a language spoken in India) for exchange/retaliation/revenge.

Even though David Duchovny is credited in the title sequence, he does not appear in this episode.

Doggett: Hugh Potocki. Importer/exporter from Minneapolis. Laid over in DC on his way home, when all this blood drains from his body.
Scully: Did the ME see it? The body?
Doggett: Yeah. Tox test ruled out haemorrhagic fever, Ebola, anything exotic. Something killed this man but it doesn't seem to be any foreign disease.
Scully: No sign of forced entry?
Doggett: No. No one was seen coming or going from this room. The maid found the body 20 minutes after a bellman left Mr Potocki here. Whatever happened, happened fast.
Scully: So, basically what you're saying is that nobody knows anything.
Doggett: But then I guess that's why it's in your inbox. So, what do you think, Agent Scully? Haunted hotel room? Alien invaders? Sloppy vampires? There is one small thing. The cops missed it their first time around.
(He pulls back the covers of the bed to reveal a small bloody handprint)
Scully: A child's print.
Doggett: Yeah. That's what it looks like. You know there was a ring of thieves when I was back in New York, they used kids for B&E jobs.
Scully: Mmm...
Doggett: Squeezing in through cracked windows, that kind of thing. But this, this is beyond.
Scully: Well, from what I see, Agent Doggett, from the way this man died... I doubt it was a kid who did this.
Doggett: Thanks. I'm not quite ready yet to lose all my faith in humanity.
Scully: But regardless, I'd say it's wise you keep an open mind.

Doggett: The first dead body I saw, I was 19 and a marine. This boy... criminy.
Scully: Yeah. That's not all he claims he saw.
Doggett: That's what the cops told me. That's why I thought we should come down here.
Scully: He said he called his dad in, because there was something in his room. I asked him to describe it. He said that it was a munchkin. That it had no legs. And that it was keeping itself up with its arms.
Doggett: Well, that's a pretty good trick considering what I just found upstairs. Palm prints in the boy's bedroom. They match the one's we found in Potocki's room. And that's the good news. It just doesn't serve your theory because this thing didn't get in here in anybody's body. It came in through the bedroom window.
Scully: How can you be sure?
Doggett: There was another print on the sill outside the locked window. And somebody must have closed it after this thing got in.
Scully: Right. Which is exactly what the boy said that his father did. But it's the father that I have a problem with here. I mean he had none of the massive haemorrhaging that we found in Mr Potocki. In the coroner's initial report, he makes it sound like the guy died of a cerebral embolism. The one salient detail in the external exam were the eyes... in which only the blood vessels are broken. Unless that's just the first stage.

Scully: (to medical recorder) This is Special Agent Dana Scully. I am a medical doctor about to perform an unauthorised procedure on a body. The, uh... the subject is a Caucasian male. Age, uh... I don't remember at this particular time. His height is about six feet. And his weight is... quite possibly subject to change. I suppose distension could be due to decomposition gases... but that seems unlikely.
(She makes an incision, starting at the base of the distended abdomen and going up to the sternum. Something in the abdomen begins moving. Startled, Scully backs up and knocks the equipment cart over, everything crashes to the floor, including her gun) Oh.
(A small bloody hand reaches out of the incision)

Scully: Are you questioning my integrity?
Doggett: No, I'm questioning the whole damn case. From your so-called expert, to the evidence you've chosen to ignore, to the fact that your approach has got us no closer to seeing a pattern or a motive or even catching this killer than we were when we started.
Scully: I asked you to keep an open mind.
Doggett: Yeah, well, I try to keep an open mind but it tends to shut my eyes.
Scully: There is something here, Agent Doggett. And I'll admit that it's hard to accept. But there is a motive and there is a pattern and there is a reason and we will see it... but not working like this.
Doggett: Yeah, well... I hope somebody sees it.
(He starts to leave. Scully turns at the sound of Trevor climbing over the wall into the yard)
Scully: Trevor. Trevor, I'm Dana Scully...
Trevor: What happened?
Scully: Your father's in the house. I'm going to take...
Trevor: Where's my mom?
Scully: Trevor.
Trevor: He was here. The little man. I saw him. He... he followed me.

Doggett: You going to be okay, Agent Scully? I got a drift of what happened in there... to you. I mean, sort of.
Scully: I shot a young boy.
Doggett: The good news is, you're wrong.
Scully: But it's what I saw. With my eyes, anyway. Do you know what it's like not to be able to trust your own eyes?
Doggett: Then why'd you shoot him?
Scully: Because it's what the boy saw. And in an instant I realised that it's what Mulder would have seen or understood. Because that's just how he came at things... without judgement and without prejudice and with an open mind that I am just not capable of.
Doggett: It's been a long night. Give yourself a break. This whole thing doesn't make any sense.
Scully: No... it did. In some way, it did.

Episode Number: 171
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, January 21, 2001
Production Code: 8X12

14 January 2008

Season 8: Salvage (8X10)

Written by: Jeffrey Bell
Directed by: Rod Hardy

Curt Delario comforts Nora Pearce as she mourns her husband. "How does a 41 year-old man just wither away and die?" she asks. Since no one can provide her an explanation for Ray's death, she is convinced that he suffered from Gulf War Syndrome, and she wants someone to pay. Leaving her house, Curt turns his car out of the driveway but skids when he sees something in his path. He plows right into a man, but instead of crushing him, the car splits around the man. Curt looks through the shattered glass to see his friend, Ray Pearce, standing in the middle of the hood, unharmed. Ray shoves his fist through the windshield to grab Curt, who screams out in terror.

The next morning, Doggett and Scully scan the crime scene. The car is torn in half and Curt Delario is missing. They find him in a trash can with five deep puncture marks in his head. The autopsy reveals that he was not killed by the impact, but rather by the wounds inflicted when he was pulled through the windshield. Blood and fingerprints on the car are from the recently deceased Ray Pierce. Ray wakes up at St. Clare's Halfway House, unharmed. He pulls shards of metal out of his face.

Doggett goes to the Pearce house. Harry Odell, the owner of the Southside Salvage yard where Ray and Curt both worked, is there. Doggett asks Nora about Ray's cremation because no record of the event exists. He wonders if Ray might still be alive and is somehow involved in Curt's death. Nora rebukes this, insisting that Ray was so sick before he died that he couldn't even walk or lift his head. At the salvage yard, Harry is hurriedly feeding Ray Pearce's employee records into a shredder when Ray himself enters the trailer office. Harry grabs a gun from his desk and shoots. Ray is blown clear out of the trailer. Outside, Harry sees Ray's severed hand, which twitches. Small, interlocking metal pieces begin to repair the limb. Ray comes up behind him, unfazed by his bloody gut and missing arm. He grabs Harry's head and punctures the man's skull with his fingers.

In checking out the aftermath, Doggett notices blue paint on Harry's fingernails. He pulls a half-torn paper out of the shredder - an invoice from Chambers Technologies. The person on the invoice, Dr. David Clifton, no longer works there. His successor, Dr. Puvogel, tells Doggett that Clifton was working on a smart metal that can regenerate itself. He also says that their company would have no use of any local salvage yards. Scully phones Doggett from the morgue, informing him that Ray's cell makeup was affected by exposure to a non-identifiable metal. Tests show that his blood has enough metal alloy to kill an elephant. At the halfway house, volunteer social worker Larina sees a news report on Harry Odell's murder, recognizes Ray and phones Ray's wife.

Ray pursues Dr. Puvogel, and the agents lure him to Chambers Technologies. Ray gets captured in a test chamber and his fists dent the four-inch metal doors. He escapes by ripping open the thick metal of the back wall. Blood left on the jagged wall begins to turn itself into metal. Remanding Dr. Puvogel to safety, Doggett notices that a row of stacked barrels are painted the same color blue found on Harry Odell's fingers.

Nora waits for her husband at the halfway house, and asks him why he didn't contact her. "I'm not me," he responds, before showing her that his body is a mix of flesh and metal. He tells her that the people who did this to him must pay. At Southside Salvage, Doggett uncovers blue barrels with the Chambers Technology logo underneath the paint. When he turns one over, a think river of silver liquid pours out with a human body made of metal. It is the missing Dr. Clifton. Scully and Doggett question Puvogel, who tells them that Clifton got poisoned from working on an alloy with genetic material in it. Puvogel was aware that Clifton was dying, but did not know how his body was sent to the salvage yard. Suddenly, Doggett sees Nora Pearce sneaking around the Chambers hallway. She is searching for the name of the person responsible for her husband's disfigurement, but is caught before she gave the name to Ray. A SWAT team is sent to the halfway house, but they are too late. Ray kills Larina and escapes. Scully and Doggett beg Nora for her help in preventing Ray from hurting anyone else, and she agrees to have her house watched by the police. Ray slips in and persuades Nora to tell him the name of the person from Chambers Technologies who made him inhuman. When he leaves, Nora rushes out of the house, hysterical. She tells the police that her husband had just been there and that he is going to kill a man named Owen Harris.

Ray intercepts Harris' car, pulls him from the driver's seat and says "You made me." The man's wife and child scream in terror. Harris doesn't understand because he's only an accountant and had waste transferred to Southside Salvage because he was told to do so. As Harris' son cries in the backseat, Ray's eyes blink with the last light of kindness left in him. He lets the man go.

Later, Doggett and Scully arrive at the scene. Harris is alive, being treated by a medic. The agents are puzzled as to why Ray didn't kill him, but Scully surmises that Ray's body had died, and what was left was a machine. Whatever bit of humanity was still in him may have saved Harris. At Southside Salvage, a car gets dumped into a compactor. Ray is inside the crushed car, calmly accepting his inevitable conclusion.

The 4-door 1973 Ford Torino destroyed in the episode is the same vehicle owned by The Dude in ''The Big Lebowski''. The car was used in the film before use in The X-Files.

Agent Doggett comments that you can only see metal men in movies; a reference to him playing the liquid-metal T-1000 in ''Terminator 2 - Judgement Day''.

Doggett: Car's registered to a Curtis Delario, local address. So far, he's been unreachable.
Scully: Well, it's highly unlikely that wherever he is he feels like picking up the phone this morning.
Doggett: Muncie PD ran some calculations. Based on the distance travelled, the length of the skid marks, they estimate the car was going at least 40 when it impacted the object, which, according to their math would require something 4300 times the density of steel to cause the damage we're looking at"
Scully: Hmm. It's interesting, isn't it? I mean... in light of the evidence.

Doggett: Sorry I'm late.
Scully: It's all right. I just got the blood test back on Ray Pearce, and it was indeed the same Ray Pearce who was pronounced dead three days ago. But that's not all. By all medical standards he should still be dead. His blood has enough metal alloy in it to... poison an elephant.
Doggett: Except that he's still a man, Agent Scully and he's going to act and think like one even if he is more powerful than a speeding locomotive.
Scully: But then the question is, why kill his friends? I mean, if he was wronged somehow wouldn't he go to them for solace? I mean, to his wife, at least?
Doggett: That's why I was late. I asked myself that same question. Ray was an outpatient at the VA. He had a history of substance abuse. Did some time for a couple of DUIs.
Scully: This was ten years ago.
Doggett: Cleaned up his act. He met Nora and married her in 91, checked himself into a rehab and got straight. This was a guy to root for, Agent Scully. This was a guy that overcame adversity and made a life for himself.
Scully: Until three days ago.
Doggett: I've busted a lot of killers, Agent Scully, and dollars for doughnuts, they fit a profile. But the Ray Pearce in this file is no murderer, let alone a guy that would hunt down his friends and crush their skulls.
Scully: Agent Doggett, the man that we're speaking about withstood impact from a speeding car, and two shotgun blasts at short range. Even if we can find him, who's to say we can stop him?

Scully: Ray Pearce.
Doggett: He came here to kill this man but something stopped him, didn't it?
Scully: This man, Owen Harris? He begged for his life. It might just have saved him. His attacker got up and ran away.
Doggett: Makes no sense. Ray Pearce was a determined killer looking for someone to blame. Why stop here?
Scully: Wherever Ray Pearce went, the answer to that question went with him but I can tell you why he came after Owen Harris. It was his name Nora found in the file. He was the accountant who authorised the shipment of hazardous materials to Southside Salvage.
Doggett: But if Owen Harris is the guy Ray holds responsible, why'd Ray let him live?
Scully: Well, I think that Nora Pearce may have been right. Her husband died, or at least his body did. Whatever killed those people, was an abomination of a man. It was a machine.
Doggett: A machine? Come on, a machine doesn't know blame, Agent Scully.
Scully: Nor mercy. Unless what drove Ray to kill is also what saved those people. Some flicker of humanity.

Episode Number: 170
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, January 14, 2001
Production Code: 8X10

12 January 2008

Season 8: Surekill (8X09)

Written by: Greg Walker
Directed by: Terrence O'Hara

Carlton Chase runs up to a pay phone on a nighttime street in Worcester, MA. "Pick up!" he barks into the recording answering machine. "Call him off, give me chance to explain," he begs, before a shadow appears behind him. Afraid, Chase runs off and dashes into a nearby police station. The officers on duty stare at him strangely when he cries "Help me! Somebody wants to kill me!" Chase reaches for the cop's gun, and the police tackle him, tossing him into an empty cell. Chase pleads for his safety, saying that "He can get me." Suddenly, Chase's head explodes and his blood splatters against the small window of the cell.

The next morning, Scully examines the x-ray and determines that Chase was shot through the top of his head. A small dent in the air vent louver above proves this, but no one in the station heard the gunshot. Scully and Doggett climb into the air duct, where a small bullet hole leads a beam of light to a tiny hole on the roof. After Doggett finds a scrap of fabric that muffled the gun, they determine that the shooter fired once through two floors to reach his target. Yet they can't figure out how someone could make such a lucky shot. The agents search Chase's real estate office. The walls are rife with bullet holes, but the shells on the floor do not match the ones that killed Chase. On his desk are a stack of invoices from AAA-1 Surekill Extermination.

Tammi Peyton arrives for work at AAA-1 Surekill Extermination and plays back the answering machine's messages. Chase's frantic phone call from the previous night plays and she quickly erases it. She notices Chase's photo on the front page of the newspaper reporting his death. Tammi reaches for a lock box and is interrupted by her boss, Dwight Cooper. He ignores her questions about Chase's murder. Dwight confronts his brother, Randall, about the previous night's events. Randall defends himself by saying that Chase had been stealing from Dwight. Dwight warns him to ask first before he does anything else.

Later that night, Dwight enters the warehouse of two drug dealers and demands their money and drugs. He points his finger at one of the gang members and calmly says "Bang." The guy immediately falls down, shot. Dwight does the same to the second one. Randall enters from outside. He is holding a smoking gun wrapped in a towel.

Scully and Doggett investigate the crime scene, finding that the shots came from behind a wall, landing perfectly on their targets. Scully theorizes that the killer could see through the wall and Doggett dismisses her claims. She conjectures that maybe this man's eyes are somehow different than normal. Doggett believes that it was merely a drug hit. Yet after finding sulfuryl fluoride, an exterminator's chemical, on the towel scrap, he suggests they go to the exterminators named on Chase's invoices.

Meanwhile, Dwight takes Tammi into a back office and she begins to undress. She senses that Randall is always watching her, and Dwight laughs her off. "How's he watching you now?" he asks. Randall stares at the door to the office, but then turns away when he hears someone coming into the building. Doggett and Scully enter, and Dwight greets them. They show him an invoice from Chase's office, but Dwight is unable to read it because he has been legally blind since childhood. He calls for Tammi, and she comes out of the office buttoning her blouse. Doggett asks why Chase called their office 14 minutes before he was killed. Tammi looks away shamefully. Dwight seems surprised, but he tells them that no message was left that night. The agents leave and Dwight confronts Tammi about the message. She admits that there was a message that she accidentally erased.

Scully and Doggett research Dwight's criminal record. He was arrested for grand theft auto, but since he is almost blind, they assume he had used a partner. They search for Randall's record and find that the two brothers are twins. In her apartment that night, Tammi is frightened by her next door neighbor's shadow on the window outside. She can't see that it is really Randall, watching her undress through the walls. Early the next morning, Tammi rushes into the office. Dwight and Randall catch her grabbing the lock box, but Scully and Doggett storm in with a search warrant. Although the lock box is empty, Scully finds a ledger with Chase Realty information in it. They bring the brothers in for questioning.

As Scully interrogates Randall, he stares at the wall behind her and reads his brother's lips in the room next door. Randall repeats Dwight's statement that he is just a "regular Joe, providing a public service." Scully opines that he can see through the walls. She says that she knows about him shooting drug dealers through walls to steal their money. As the agents bring in Tammi for questioning, Dwight nods toward the girl and tells Randall that they have a problem that needs to be "taken care of." In the interview room, Tammi offers that she only keeps the books for the brothers and doesn't know anything about the drug dealers. Surmising the case, the agents believe that Chase was Dwight's fence for the drugs and was killed because he had a relationship with Tammi. Her phone records indicate she called him late at night.

Tammi again sees the shadow outside her apartment, and it moves when she calls out to Randall. She tells him that she knows he protected her and that he snatched her secret ledger book so Dwight wouldn't find it. She still, however, needs his help. She asks Randall to meet her at the 3:00 bus, and he gives her the missing ledger that holds a key. Finding Tammi's apartment emptied out, Doggett hits redial on her phone and reaches the bus station. Tammi uses the key to grab a duffel full of cash in a safe deposit box at the bank. When she returns to her car, Dwight is waiting in the backseat. He forces her to drive to the office.

Left at the station, Randall believes he's been stood up. At the exterminator's office, Dwight accuses Tammi of skimming from the books with Chase. He questions why Randall would kill Chase, and then figures out that his brother has a crush on Tammi. Randall enters, and Dwight orders him to kill her. Randall points the gun at Tammi as she pleads for her life. He fires, but the bullet sails inches from her head to hit Dwight, who is outside having a cigarette.

Scully and Doggett arrest Randall, but he will not speak. He sits motionless in a cell, eyes focused on a blank wall. Randall stares at a computer monitor located many rooms away. On it is an all-points bulletin for the arrest of Tammi Peyton, with her image emblazoned on the screen.

Scully: Captain! We're going to need your crime scene investigators up here.
Captain Triguero: You got it.
Doggett: So, lucky shot?
Scully: Very. But this victim here stated that he was going to be killed just moments before he was shot, which doesn't sound lucky at all.
Doggett: Guess I can't argue with that.
Scully: What have you got there?
Doggett: Old Godfather trick. Wrap a towel around a pistol, muffle the sound. The killer was up here all right. So how in the hell did he make that shot?
Scully: Well, there's thermal imaging technology which can pick up body heat through walls. Maybe that's what allowed him to aim.
Doggett: We field-tested that in the Marines. Weighs close to 90 pounds. Has to be cooled with liquid nitrogen. I can't quite see somebody lugging it up that ladder we just climbed. Either way, the rooftop of a police station? It's a pretty ballsy place for a hit.

Doggett: So which kind of shooting was this? Lucky, coincidental, or some third alternative?
Scully: Well, it's precision marksmanship, that's for sure. These holes line up perfectly with the three victims behind there, which tells me that the shooter was standing right here behind this wall.
Doggett: Consequently he wouldn't be able to see what the hell he was aiming at.
Scully: Unless he could see. The light our eyes can register is only one small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Other wavelengths from infra-red to gamma have other properties. X-rays, for instance, can pass through solid objects.
Doggett: Walls, for example. So, you're saying this guy used some kind of x-ray machine. Wait, you're not saying this guy has x-ray vision?
Scully: I am remarking that these wavelengths exist and the only thing that is stopping us from seeing them, if you will, is the biochemical structure of our eyes. I am conjecturing that if this structure were somehow different we'd have the ability to see things that we don't.
Doggett: Calling Clark Kent.
Scully: Okay, so you explain it.
Doggett: Well I can't, so I'm sticking to what I do know.
Scully: Which is?
Doggett: That this was a drug rip-off. Furthermore, it's the fifth drug rip-off in this area for the past two months. This guy's making a living capping local drug dealers.
Scully: And how does a dead real estate agent figure into that?
Doggett: Now, that I don't know — yet — but I did find out one more thing. Sulphuryl fluoride.

Scully: Okay, Randall. Let's talk about your exterminating company. It's just the three of you, right? You and your brother and Tammi Peyton? So, how is it that your little company billed over $700,000 to Chase Realty last year? Seven hundred thousand. That's a lot of dead rats. I think that you and your brother and Carlton Chase were in a whole other business together.

Doggett: Agent. Has he said anything?
Scully: No. A County DA came in and he declined representation. Aside from that, he's been uncommunicative.
Doggett: APB on Tammi Peyton is a wash so far. The Bureau in Montana is on alert.
Scully: He watched her everyday. Wherever she was. A man who could look at anything in the world and he chooses her. He must have seen something in her that she could not see herself.
Doggett: Well, if you're suggesting he could see into her heart, Agent. I think we're are out of FBI territory on this one. I'll be out front.

Episode Number: 169
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, January 7, 2001
Production Code: 8X09

11 January 2008

Season 8: Via Negativa (8X07)

Written by: Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Tony Wharmby

Agent Jim Leeds is fast asleep in his government sedan when his partner, Angus Stedman, raps on the window to wake him. There has been movement in the house they are watching. They quietly creep inside to find twenty slain bodies whose skulls have all been bashed in. Stedman senses a presence behind him, and turns to see a man holding a primitive axe. Leeds hears his cry and runs toward the hallway. Stedman lies in a pool of blood. His head has the same fatal wound as the other bodies. Leeds sees the man, who now has a third eye in the center of his forehead. The man hoists the axe and swings it over Leeds.

That same night, Doggett is awakened by Scully's phone call at 4:24 am. Skinner wants his help on a case. An agent was killed while on surveillance of a religious cult in Pittsburgh. She can not join him because "something unexpected's come up." Scully does not tell him that she is being admitted into a hospital. Early the next morning, Doggett arrives at the crime scene to meet Skinner. Agent Leeds' body is in his car, which was locked from the inside. The clues lead Doggett to believe that the murder did not occur in the car. "This is damn weird," he says. They take in the ghastly scene inside the house, where all twenty members of the cult were killed with a single blow to the head. The cult's leader, Anthony Tipet, is missing. Agent Crane reports that Leeds' partner has not been found. Doggett and Skinner break into Stedman's condo, but the agent has been killed with the same head blow as Leeds. Stedman's door was chain locked from the inside.

Back in Washington, Skinner and Doggett brief Deputy Director Kersh on the case. The perpetrator left no traces of evidence. Skinner proposes that perhaps Tipet's use of an Iboga hallucinogen drug may have allowed the man's consciousness to be removed from his body. This might have allowed him to attack unnoticed. Kersh assumes that this far-fetched theory belongs to Scully. Meanwhile, Tipet walks past a homeless man on a Pittsburgh street. He uses a payphone to call Andre Bormanis' lab. "You did this," Tipet says on the machine. Bormanis listens, petrified. Bormanis then takes a razor and slices a cross into his own forehead. Tipet walks past the homeless man again, but this time Tipet's third eye appears. Suddenly the sidewalk morphs into quicksand and the homeless man sinks. Tipet raises the axe and strikes him.

When Skinner tells him that Scully is taking personal leave from work, Doggett becomes angry. He believes that Scully and Skinner are hiding something from him. Skinner has news of the homeless man's death by the same head injury. Although Doggett is skeptical, Skinner asks him to suppose that this drug really does allow Tipet's spirit to be in one place while his body is in another. They trace the payphone's last call to Andre Bormanis, a convicted drug dealer. Skinner and Doggett go to Bormanis' lab and question him about Tipet. They notice that he has a scar on his forehead. According to Bormanis, Tipet was the only one able to take the drug in order to reach the depths of the soul. Bormanis screams for protection when he is thrown in a jail cell. Doggett finds bloodstained footprints in the jail corridor, and he follows them to a lotus-sitting Tipet hovering in the air. Tipet opens all three of his eyes and looks straight at Doggett. Doggett glances down to see that the footprints lead to his own shoes. He looks at his hands and realizes that he is holding the decapitated head of Scully. Skinner wakes him - it was only a dream. Scully is on the phone to tell Doggett to trust his instincts. It hits Doggett that Bormanis was trying to not fall asleep.

Bormanis sees Tipet at his prison cell. Suddenly rats swarm Bormains and he is eaten alive. Doggett runs to the cell, but Bormanis has been killed from the same blow to the skull. Doggett finds the Lone Gunmen in Mulder's office. Scully sent them to help out on the case. They explain the idea that a third eye would bring one closer to God. Doggett formulates the theory that Tipet truly believes he has opened his third eye, and that by invading other people's dreams, he could make their worst nightmares come true. Doggett insists that Tipet would want more of the Iboga drug to continue killing. He smiles at the Gunmen. "That's what Mulder would think, right?" he says, before leaving for Bormanis' lab.

Doggett and Skinner arrive at the lab to find Tipet standing over a rotating table saw. They order him away from the blade. "I want this to end, but I just can't stop it," he bemoans. Tipet says that Doggett understands, and Doggett realizes that Tipet knows about his dream. Tipet leans over the table saw and the blade cuts into his skin. Doggett pulls him off and brings him to the hospital. While signing Tipet in, he sees Scully's name on the roster. She has been admitted for acute abdominal pain. Doggett reports to Kersh that Tipet made people's worst nightmares come true with the use of the drug. Since Tipet is in custody, Kersh closes out the case, but Doggett pleads for it to remain open. He explains that no evidence has been found. Yet Kersh wants nothing to do with an unexplained case and closes it. Confused by his own dreams, Doggett leaves a message on Scully's machine, telling her that he knows the case doesn't really add up.

While looking at a mirror, Doggett sees Tipet standing behind him. When he turns around, the man is gone. Doggett gets into bed and doesn't see Tipet waiting by the stairs with the axe. Doggett wakes in the morning and dresses for work. His reflection looking back at him shows the third eye on Doggett's forehead. His eyes widen with shock, and all three eyes blink with disbelief. Then the eye disappears. He goes to the FBI and walks into Skinner's office in somewhat of a daze. "I'm not sure I'm awake," he tells the A.D. Doggett recounts seeing Tipet in his house with an axe, and feels that the man can see inside his dreams. Skinner tries to convince him that he needs to go home and get some sleep. Doggett walks through a strangely deserted FBI hallway on the second floor. The ends of the corridor seem to disappear into infinity. The sound of echoing footsteps reveals Tipet, who whispers in reverse-speak "She's going to die."

Doggett, who also speaks in reverse, tells him that he won't let him do that. Tipet replies that it is Doggett who will kill Scully. Doggett closes his eyes, bringing his hands to his face in great distress. He drops his hands to see that he is now in Scully's apartment building. His hands, stained with blood, hold the axe. A deep, blue light strobes in and out from the windows, and a baby's endless cry fills the room. Tears well in Doggett's eyes as he realizes why he is dreaming this. Scully is asleep in the bed and Doggett holds the axe over her. He makes a decision, and lets the axe fall. Then he raises it over his own head and swings it at himself. Before it strikes him, he is woken up by Scully in his house. He lets out a deep, ragged sigh and tells her that she just saved his life. She says that she merely woke him up to tell him that Tipet died. Doggett was scared by the violent images in his nightmare, but thinks that maybe someone else put them there. "It was a bad dream, Agent Doggett," Scully says. "But that's all it was."

This is the first X-Files episode where we learn that Langly's first name is 'Richard'. In the season 5 episode "Unusual Suspects" there was a scene where Langly is called 'Ringo' but it was cut from the finished version.

The Via Negativa was first designed as a way of talking about God. As language limits a supposedly infinite God, it was concluded that the only way to talk about God was by saying what God is not, eg: God is not a cucumber. The title of the episode is refering to this.

Scully: It's, uh, it's Agent Scully. I'm sorry to wake you.
Doggett: What's up?
Scully: I got a call about 20 minutes ago from Assistant Director Skinner. He has a situation.
Doggett: What is it?
Scully: An Agent is dead. Um, Skinner had him surveilling a religious cult in Pittsburgh. And all the followers are dead, as well.
Doggett: What happened?
Scully: He's having difficulty determining that.
Doggett: I'll pick you up.
Scully: I'm sorry, Agent Doggett. I can't go.
Doggett: Agent Scully?
Scully: Um, something unexpected has come up.
Doggett: You all right?
Scully: Yeah, I'm, I'm fine.
Doggett: Will I see you later?
Scully: Uh, as soon as I can.
(As she hangs up, she is approached by a nurse)
Nurse: Miss Scully? The doctor wants to see you right away.

Skinner: Anthony Tipet served 12 years for the bludgeoning death of his wife. After his release, he became a minister preaching a hybrid of evangelical and eastern religions. He claimed a higher plane of being could be reached by the 'Via Negativa' — the path of darkness — the plane closer to god. Once reached, it would let the spirit travel unhindered. Tipet believed hallucinogens would lead him to this plane — specifically compounds of the bark of an African tree... the Iboga.
Agent Arnold: You're saying all these people were so stoned on this bark they just let their leader kill them?
Skinner: We found no trace of the drug in the blood of any of the victims.
Deputy Director Kersh: I don't understand. How in the hell did Tipet manage to slaughter all these people?
Doggett: Tipet was paranoid but nothing indicates he was ready to take the lives of his own people or our men.
Deputy Director Kersh: This is our one and only suspect. Are you telling me he didn't do it?
Doggett: Whoever did this left not even a trace how: No prints, no forensic evidence whatsoever. Agent Leeds' sedan, the cult house, Agent Stedman's condo... were all locked from the inside.
Deputy Director Kersh: That's impossible.
Skinner: Unless Tipet took the drug and succeeded. Unless his consciousness was there but his body was somewhere else.
Deputy Director Kersh: The X-File explanation. I take it this theory comes from Agent Scully?
Doggett: Agent Scully has yet to reach any conclusions, sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: That's the problem. I'm not hearing conclusions from either one of you. If this man has reached a higher plane then explain to me why 22 people are dead, including two FBI Agents. Now I want to hear what you're going to do about it.

Skinner: You spoke to Anthony Tipet earlier this evening.
Dr Bormanis: My machine picked up. I missed the call.
Skinner: What did he want? We need to find him, Dr Bormanis. This man may have murdered 23 people.
Dr Bormanis: Twenty-three? You said... twenty-two.
Skinner: Another man died tonight.
Dr Bormanis: I'm not doing anything illegal here. I just... I just made him stuff.
Skinner: You mean drugs. You supplied Anthony Tipet with drugs, isn't that right?
Dr Bormanis: Hallucinogens were Tipet's way into the depths of the soul, the heights of consciousness, planes of being that our feeble brain chemistry cannot begin to imagine.
Skinner: Is that why you cut yourself? Or is that the, uh... mark of the initiated?
Dr Bormanis: It's protection. At least I hope it is. Nobody took the trips but Tipet. See, only his mind was strong enough.
Doggett: You know, I can't tell, doctor, whether you admire Tipet or you're afraid of him. Those people he killed last night, did they admire him, too?
Dr Bormanis: What are you doing?
Doggett: Taking you in for questioning.
Dr Bormanis: On what charges? I just... I just... explained it to you.

Doggett: How'd you get here?
Scully: Your door was unlocked.
Doggett: You just saved my life, Agent Scully.
Scully: I just woke you up, Agent Doggett.
Doggett: Tipet's in my dreams. If you hadn't woken me up just now...
Scully: Anthony Tipet is dead. I got the call from Skinner on my way over here. He never regained consciousness.
Doggett: Are you okay?
Scully: I seem to be, yes.
Doggett: Well, if you need some more time off...
Scully: No. I'm back at work now. That must have been some nightmare you just had.
Doggett: Tipet thought he'd find god... by looking in the darkness inside himself.
Scully: You don't think he succeeded?
Doggett: In my dreams, I see... I saw terrible... violent images that... scared the living daylights out of me. These things are a part of me. I can't deny that, but... maybe... maybe they didn't come from me.
Scully: Then where'd they come from? It was a bad dream, Agent Doggett, but that's all it was.

Episode Number: 168
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, December 17, 2000
Production Code: 8X07