08 June 2008

Season 8: Empedocles (8X17)

Written by: Greg Walker
Directed by: Barry K. Thomas

Mild-mannered Jeb Dukes gets fired from his job in New Orleans, while his boss, Gary Garber, apologizes profusely. Jeb calmly strolls out of the office and out on to the street where, coincidentally, he witnesses a police chase that ends in a fatal auto accident. Jeb stays back, but is approached by a man awash in flames from the burning wreckage. The man seemingly walks into Jeb's body and then disappears. Suddenly, Jeb's eyes turn flaming red. That night, Jeb enters his office building and goes right up to his boss. He lifts a gun and fires at Garber.

Detective Franklin Potter is examining the crime scene when Agent Monica Reyes arrives. He shows her some artwork from Jeb Dukes' desk, but Reyes tells him that it is merely the insert from a popular rock CD. She dismisses the case as being satanic-based. Yet when she sees the victim's body, it appears to be charred from a fire. A second glance proves that it was only in her imagination. She is still unsettled by what she saw. Meanwhile, Mulder visits Scully and brings her a present. Before opening it, she doubles over in pain and Mulder rushes her to the hospital. Reyes calls Mulder on his cell phone, saying it is important she see him.

Jeb Dukes sits alone in a motel room, staring in fear at his gun. He raises it to his own head, but it gets hot and burns his hand. His face suddenly crackles. He rips at his skin, revealing flames underneath.

Mulder meets Reyes in an FBI file room. Showing him the file, Reyes asks if he is familiar with Doggett's son's case, which was the most emotional case she has ever worked on. When they found the boy, she had a vision of the body as ashes. Doggett also admitted to seeing the ashen body, but convinced himself that it meant nothing. Reyes once again saw the vision on a new case and senses that there is a reason for it happening a second time.

At the hospital, Doggett checks in on a sleeping Scully. He envisions himself in a crime scene in a field, but a nurse enters the hospital room and shakes him out of it. Later, Mulder is in the FBI hallway when Doggett attacks him. "Stay out of my life!" he yells. Mulder tries to cool him down, saying that he was asked to investigate. Reyes approaches the men and explains about the recent case where she had a recurring vision similar to what they both saw in Luke Doggett's case. A suspect in Luke's case was killed in a car accident in New Orleans right outside of where the Jeb Dukes shooting took place. Doggett again warns her to leave it alone.

Reyes goes to the home of Jeb's sister, Katha Dukes, to plead for her help. Jeb calls Katha from South Carolina, claiming that someone else killed those people. A woman knocks on his phone booth door because she needs help with her flat tire. The next morning, Jeb wanders in a daze to a car pulled over with tire trouble. He is unaware of any events that may have taken place. He sees flames in the reflection of the car window, gets in and throws out the woman's purse. When he pulls off, the tire iron falls to the side of the road.

Scully awakes and sees Doggett in her hospital room. He asks her what changed her mind about not believing any of the paranormal on the X-files. She admits to being afraid to believe. Suddenly Doggett sees a vision of Reyes in a field at the familiar crime scene. She is surrounded by sheriffs and looking at a body on the ground. Meanwhile, Reyes comes to Mulder in the X-files office. He has found no connection to other cases with the same kind of visions. Reyes tells him he is wrong because she believes there are patterns.

Doggett arrives at a crime scene in Spartanburg, SC where Mulder is waiting for him. Reyes' case has another murder victim. Doggett's reoccurring hallucination turns into reality when he sees her standing over a body, surrounded by sheriffs. He looks at the woman lying on the ground and tells Reyes that he does not see the ashen remains. Reyes is insistent that there are connections and that it may be a thread of evil. Mulder asks her to leave Doggett alone if the man really doesn't see anything.

Later, Mulder stops by the hospital to see Scully. She had a partial abruption in the uterus wall but she will be fine. He places his hand on her belly and they smile. Scully tells him that she likes Agent Reyes. Mulder is surprised. "You're nothing at all alike." "Neither are you and I," Scully responds. He says that he can't help Doggett if he doesn't want to be helped. She is convinced that Doggett is worth the effort.

Jeb Dukes is at his sister's house. Although he claims he hasn't committed any murders, Katha sees blood on his face and doesn't believe him. Jeb asks her for help, but Katha's fears deepen over the safety of her daughter. Doggett, meanwhile, submits to investigating the Jeb Dukes case when Monica enters the office. She wants him to be honest with himself about what he saw at the Spartanburg crime scene, but he says that feelings don't solve crimes. "What are you scared of?" she asks. Reyes assures Doggett that he did everything he could to save his son. She receives a call from Katha who says that Jeb is at her house. Doggett wants to know what link Jeb may have to his son, and the agents race off to the Dukes home. When they arrive, Katha tells her brother that Reyes only wants to talk to him, but Jeb is scared and takes Katha's daughter as hostage. Doggett holds him at the stairs, but puts down his gun when Jeb threatens to kill the little girl. Reyes shoots Jeb from the other side and Doggett calls for help.

Jeb is transported to Washington Memorial Hospital and the agents follow. Reyes surmises that perhaps saving the little girl was the connection to Doggett's son. She tells Doggett that there is nothing more for him to do, and he goes down to Scully's room. Watching her sleep, he again sees the vision in the field where Reyes is surrounded by the sheriffs. The men back away to reveal that Luke Doggett is the unseen body lying at their feet. The body turns to ash. Mulder interrupts him and asks if he thought there really was a connection to his son's death. Mulder wonders whether evil is like a random disease: while most people have immunity, others may catch it at a weak moment. In the ICU, Katha witnesses her brother's body seizing. The doctors try to revive him but his heart stops, and Jeb Dukes is declared dead. Katha stands crying over him, accusing Reyes of killing him. An invisible spirit floats from Jeb to Katha, causing her body to convulse and her eyes turn to flame red. She strikes Reyes and grabs the agent's gun. Doggett arrives in time to capture Katha. "It's over," he tells Reyes. "It's never over," she says.

Mulder comes once again to Scully's house and reminds her to open his gift. It is an heirloom doll from his family. She thanks him for the other gift he gave her - the courage to believe. "I hope it's a gift I can pass on," she says, tearfully. Back at the hospital, Katha Dukes is alive and strapped to her bed. Doggett stares intensely at the woman, wanting to believe that this will prevent the evil from spreading again.

"Empedocles" is the name of a Greek scientist-philosopher-poet circa 450 BC. He was known for his belief in the "four-element" theory - that all things are composed of four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water. He believed that opposing forces (love and hate) acted upon these elements to combine and separate them into their varied forms (hate separates them, love combines them). He also formulated a primitive theory of evolution in which he claimed that humans and animals evolved from antecedent forms.

Scully: Mulder?
Mulder: What?
Scully: I was just about to jump in the shower, but I was waiting for the pizza man.
Mulder: You got something going on with the pizza man I should know about?
Scully: The pizza man?
Mulder: Well, correct me if I'm wrong but you just said you were waiting for the pizza man to jump in the shower.
Scully: No, what I mean was the pizza man's usually late, and so... You want to come in?
Mulder: Thank you.
Scully: I feel like I'm stuck in an episode of 'Mad About You'.
Mulder: Well, yeah, but small technicality. 'Mad About You' was about a married couple and we just work together.
Scully: Yeah, well, you know what I'm talking about.
Mulder: I do, I do. What I'm trying to say is that, uh... we have no good reliable information on this man. I mean, what I am saying is the pizza man... (He indicates her swollen belly) ...is not above suspicion.
Scully: Ah, I see. Is that for me?
Mulder: Yeah.
Scully: Nice package.
Mulder: Thank you.
Scully: What's the occasion?
Mulder: Oh, I was going through some stuff after my mother died and, um, it's just an old family keepsake and I wanted you to have it.
Scully: Well, I'm touched.
Mulder: Little Caesar, I presume?

Agent Reyes: You're taller than I thought.
Mulder: You keep on alluding to a time that we've met and I don't remember.
Agent Reyes: I was there when they found you in the woods. You were... Yeah. I'm not surprised you don't remember.
Mulder: Yeah. I have somewhere I have to be... if we could cut to the chase.
Agent Reyes: As I said before, it involves Agent Doggett... the death his son. I don't know if you're familiar at all with that case.
Mulder: No, I'm not at all familiar with Agent Doggett.
(Agent Reyes hands Mulder a file:
Luke John Doggett
Age at Disappearance: 7
Date of Birth: 7/9/90
Date of Last Contact: 8/12/97
Race: White
Gender: Male
Height: 48"
Weight: 52
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond
AKA: Unknown
Missing From: Long Island, NY
Child is suspected to have been...)
Mulder: I wasn't aware of this. You were the lead investigator?
Agent Reyes: Once it fell to the FBI. Agent Doggett was with the NYPD at the time. We worked it together. We never caught the killer. It was the hardest case I've ever had. As in stealing-
into-the-bathroom-to-cry-my-eyes-out kind of hard. I can't begin to imagine what it was like for John. I couldn't bear to put him through this again, but if it means we could catch his son's killer... I just can't go to him until I know if what I saw means anything.
Mulder: You said this case involves some kind of phenomenon?
Agent Reyes: I don't know if it was a psychic experience or what, but when we found his son, I had a vision. It was as if for just a moment... The body was changed.
Mulder: Changed? Into what?
Agent Reyes: Ashes. It looked like ashes. The thing of it is Agent Doggett told me he saw it, too... although he spent the last few years convincing himself he didn't, that even if he did, it didn't mean anything.
Mulder: What do you think it means?
Agent Reyes: I can't shake the feeling that it's a clue, that it could somehow point to who's responsible, if only I let it. And now I've seen it again. A thousand miles from here, a seemingly unrelated case and I've had the same vision. There has to be a reason for it, a reason it's happening now.

Mulder: Hey! Hey!
Doggett: You stay out of my life!
Mulder: Take it easy!
Doggett: You stay out of my business!
Mulder: Take it easy, Agent Doggett.
Doggett: You want to get something on me, you ask for it! I don't want to get calls about you going behind my back! You got that straight?
Mulder: I don't want anything on you. I was asked to look into this file.
Doggett: Who asked you?
Agent Reyes: Agent Doggett. What are you doing?
Doggett: Is this you? Is this you looking into this?
Agent Reyes: Yes. I asked Agent Mulder.
Doggett: You asked him what? There's nothing in there for him to bother with.
Mulder: Why don't you just calm down, Agent Doggett and let her explain the connection to you.
Doggett: The connection? To what?
Agent Reyes: I was going to tell you, John. I was in New Orleans on a case — a shooting. Something that I saw connected back to Luke. A vision.
Doggett: Not this again. You're not going to make something out of nothing.
Mulder: Bob Harvey. Does that name mean something or nothing to you?
Doggett: Bob Harvey was a suspect in the death of my son. We questioned him but then we realised he wasn't our man.
Agent Reyes: Agent Mulder pointed it out. Bob Harvey was killed last night in a car crash fleeing the police near a shooting in New Orleans. He died in front of the building where the shooting occurred.
Doggett: What's the connection?
Mulder: That's it.
Doggett: That's it?
Agent Reyes: And then there was the vision.
Doggett: No, there's no connection. I don't care what you saw, you leave it alone... and you leave it the hell alone. (He takes his son's file and leaves)
Agent Reyes: I know there is something here.
Mulder: Good.

Mulder: You awake?
Scully: Yeah.
Mulder: What did the doctor say?
Scully: That I had a partial abruption. Which means that my placenta started to tear away from the uterine wall. They're going to need to monitor me for a while.
Mulder: But you're going to be fine?
Scully: Yeah. Where have you been?
Mulder: I've actually been out in the field with Agent Doggett and this female Agent from New Orleans.
Scully: Agent Reyes.
Mulder: Yeah.
Scully: I like her.
Mulder: You're nothing at all alike.
Scully: Well, then neither are you and I. So this is a case you're working on?
Mulder: Yeah. Actually, one that involves Agent Doggett's son, the son who died.
Scully: Yeah, he's never talked to me about him, but I know something. Are you able to help him at all?
Mulder: You can't help a man who can't help himself.
Scully: He's worth the effort, Mulder.

Mulder: Agent Doggett... She just fell back to sleep.
Doggett: I just wanted to check to see how she's doing. Anyways, I'm here with this other thing. We... we caught this killer, Jeb Dukes. He's in the ICU. He may not make it.
Mulder: And now you're wondering if there really was a connection. You know, when I... I first came to work at the FBI, I worked at Violent Crimes, and I saw, I saw the worst of humanity. I saw monsters, and I wondered, how they became that way, how these men became so evil. I know there were... psychological explanations — victims of their environment, victims of their parents — but the scientific explanations were never truly satisfying. And I began to think about evil like, like a disease. You know, that it goes from man to man, or age to age. Most of us walk around thinking we're incapable of any acts of evil and we are. You know, we can stifle that momentary urge to kill or to hurt. We have some kind of immunity to it. But I think it's possible that there's... an occurrence in somebody's life, a tragedy or a loss that leaves them vulnerable, hurts their immunity to evil, and all of a sudden at that point in their lives when they're weakened, they're open to evil and they can become evil.
Doggett: If that were true, then what you're saying is... is that this man we wheeled in here tonight is infected with evil, the same evil that killed my son. You really believe that, Agent Mulder?
Mulder: Uh, I'm not really a good test for questions like that. I'll believe almost anything, you know, but the... the pisser is you may never know. It may be like Agent Reyes says. It could be random and meaningless — who it affects, who it goes to.
Doggett: What if it isn't?
Mulder: Well, then you'd be seeing something that I don't, Agent Doggett.

Episode Number: 178
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, April 15, 2001
Production Code: 8X17

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