19 July 2008

Season 9: Scary Monsters (9X12)

Written by: Thomas Schnauz
Directed by: Dwight Little

Inside his bedroom, a little boy, Tommy Conlon, hears a scratching sound coming from beneath his bed. He calls to his father, Jeffrey, and tells him about something he saw reflected in the bedroom mirror, but Jeffrey dismisses it as a figment of his imagination. He leaves the room... and holds the door shut as Tommy screams for help.

Back at Quantico, overeager young FBI accountant Agent Leyla Harrison shows Scully a photograph of a 30-something woman who stabbed herself to death with a pair of scissors. The woman's son, Tommy Conlin, told investigators that a monster took over his mother, and that his father knows all about it. He also claimed that the same creature killed Spanky, the family cat. Tommy and his father have since moved to a remote Pennsylvanian mountaintop.

Scully dismisses Leyla's fears that the supernatural is somehow involved, but Leyla convinces Doggett and Reyes that the boy's life is in danger, and the threesome head for Pennsylvania. On arrival they speak with Jeffrey Conlon, who seems to have been burying something. After speaking with Tommy, Doggett and Reyes conclude that something is amiss - then blood spits out of the dashboard of Doggett's car as he tries to start it.

Back at her apartment, Scully is approached by Gabe Rotter, a friend of Leyla's, who produces a box containing Spanky's corpse. He explains that Leyla said she would go out with him only if he gave it to Scully, who is understandably repulsed, until something catches her eye.

Stranded in Pennsylvania, Doggett, Reyes and Leyla hear Tommy cry for help. Doggett and Reyes run to the boy's room, pushing Jeffery aside. Inside they discover two creatures resembling giant deformed earwigs. Doggett draws his gun and opens fire, blasting a creature in two, but it regenerates into two new monsters which disappear beneath the wall molding.

After an autopsy on Spanky, Scully concludes that it chewed a hole in its own stomach. She notes the similarity to the way Mrs Conlon stabbed herself to death. She also discovers a strange cavity, as if something had lived inside the cat.

Doggett digs up bits of mirror in the area where Jeffrey buried something. Jeffrey explains that his son was afraid of the mirror. Suddenly, Coogan, the local Sheriff, alerted by a call from Scully, pounds on the front door. When Doggett answers, Coogan tells him it's too cold to leave. Jeffrey Conlon warns that the man standing in front of Doggett is not the sheriff. Coogan suddenly draws his gun and aims at Conlon. A scuffle ensues, Doggett hits Coogan in the ribs... puncturing his chest.

Reyes pushes a wooden spoon into the sheriff's body, finding no organs inside. A little later, Tommy shows Reyes a bunch of drawings he made of the earwig creatures, the sheriff holding a gun... and of a screaming Reyes with a creature exploding out of her stomach.

The sheriff's body suddenly disappears, and Reyes cries out for help, a bulge appearing in her stomach. Trying to confront Tommy, Doggett tumbles through a seemingly infinite blackness after breaking down a door in search of him. When he lands, dozens of the earwig creatures attack him. Conlon makes his way to his son's room, where Doggett appears and explains that the strange events surrounding the agents must mean that is that everything is imaginary. Conlon's wife stabbed herself because she believed the creatures were real.

Doggett realizes that the only way to save Reyes and Leyla is to beat the little boy at his own game. He splashes gasoline around the house, as Tommy watches. Tommy exclaims that Doggett wouldn't dare to light a match. But Doggett does, and drops it into a pool of gasoline, which ignites. Suddenly, both Reyes and Leyla return to normal. Doggett picks up Tommy, whose clothes are smoldering. He explains that he played upon the little boy's imagination by using water instead of gasoline. Later, Tommy is transported to a psychiatric facility, where his mind is busied with television.

Jolie Jenkins makes her second appearance on The X-Files on this episode. Her premiere was in "Alone" in the 8th season. She plays an agent that is obsessed with the X-Files, Mulder and Scully.

In this episode we find Tommy uttering the famous phrase "I made this" while showing a drawing he made to Reyes. This is also the phrase spoken over the TenThirteen logo after the credits on every X Files episode.

While Scully was doing an necropsy on "Spanky", Tommy's rotting pet cat, her apron clearly sports the words "something smells goooood!"

Agent Harrison: Agent Scully...
Scully: Leyla Harrison. What a surprise.
Agent Harrison: Oh, good. I was afraid I should have made a call first. How have you been?
Scully: Oh... busy. And yourself?
Agent Harrison: I'm back in accounting now. Happily, mind you. No regrets. Although I did relish my big adventure on the X-Files unit last year.
Scully: I have about five minutes before my next class. Can we talk while I eat?
Agent Harrison: Not a problem. (She opens a file containing a photo of a dead woman covered in blood) It's an X-File. I'm sure of it.
Scully: Where'd you get this?
Agent Harrison: It all started when I tracked down a mileage discrepancy in the bureau's vehicle fleet. It turns out a really nice secretary from our Baltimore field office had used a Ford Taurus without authorisation.
Scully: And what does that have to do with...?
Agent Harrison: Well, she was desperate to visit her grandson which is why she borrowed the car. She's the one who told me about this case. This was her daughter.
Scully: And what makes you think this is an X-File?
Agent Harrison: Well, this dead woman's son — my friend's grandson — this is Tommy Conlon. Tommy is eight years old. And Tommy told her a monster killed his mother. And his father knows all about it. I know, I know. Why take the word of an eight-year-old? But... look at the autopsy report. Clearly this woman was murdered, and yet...
Scully: ...and yet the coroner concludes that she stabbed herself to death. Agent Harrison, I see no reason to disagree with the coroner.
Agent Harrison: But... I mean, how could someone stab themselves sixteen times?
Scully: Look, it is unusual but I have seen it before.
Agent Harrison: Tommy's father took the boy to some mountaintop in Pennsylvania, in the middle of nowhere. He took him away from his friends — his family. They don't even have a phone. Tommy's own grandmother isn't allowed to see him any more.
Scully: I'm sorry, Agent Harrison but unless you have other evidence...
Agent Harrison: Wait, wait. Tommy said that the same monster that killed his mother killed Spanky, his pet cat.
Scully: Unless you bring me Spanky, there's nothing I can do. (The class bell rings, she re-wraps her uneaten lunch and hands the sandwich to Agent Harrison) Apple and tuna salad?

Scully: Who is it?
Gabe Rotter: It's Gabe Rotter. I have the thing you've been waiting for.
Scully: Who?
Gabe Rotter: Gabe... Rotter. I'm a friend of Leyla Harrison.
Scully: Do you know what time it is?
Gabe Rotter: Hey, I just do as I'm told. Enjoy. (He holds out a small dirty box, Scully recoils from the stench)
Scully: Whoa. What the hell is that?
Gabe Rotter: A dead cat.
Scully: Come again?
Gabe Rotter: Yeah, his name's Spanky. Leyla said you're helping her out on a case and you needed it ASAP, so... hey, you're welcome.
Scully: I am going to be exceptionally polite. Leave. Now. Leave now and take that with you. (Gabe Rotter and his box of dead cat enter the apartment)
Gabe Rotter: Do you have any idea what I went through to get this thing? I snuck onto the property where your perp there used to live and I dug up the whole thing looking for it.
Scully: I don't care. Leave! Now! Please!
Gabe Rotter: Uh-uh. Leyla said she'd go out with me only if I got you the cat, and damn it, I got it.
Scully: Oh, god... (Gabe Rotter opens the box, Scully covers her mouth from the stench. Something about the cat catches her attention and she starts to make a phone call)
Gabe Rotter: You calling the cops on me?
Scully: If only. God help me, but Agent Harrison might be on to something after all.

(Gabe Rotter is holding Mulder's badge)
Gabe Rotter: So, this is Johnny Fabulous, huh? (Scully takes the badge away from him) Oh... 'Mulder's so smart. Mulder's so dreamy'. That's all Leyla ever talks about. Mulder and Scully, Scully and Mulder, blah, blah, blah.
Scully: This Sheriff, Jack Coogan, I'm just getting his answering machine.
Gabe Rotter: Hey, you're really worried. I thought you didn't find anything. You told me there wasn't anything inside that cat.
Scully: No, there wasn't. But it certainly seems like there should have been.
Gabe Rotter: What does that mean?
Scully: Well, the pattern of bite marks. I mean, it seems to me that the cat was trying to get at something in its stomach, to chew something out.
Gabe Rotter: Something. What?
Scully: I don't know. I mean, there wasn't any sign of it, but it obviously caused a great deal of pain. And I'm thinking maybe it goes the same for the woman who tried to stab herself. I mean, what if that was a frantic attempt to... to cut something out.
Gabe Rotter: Wait a minute. Is Leyla in danger up there?
Scully: All I know is we're wasting our time talking about this.
Gabe Rotter: Who are you calling now?
Scully: My mom. I'm going to beg her to baby-sit.

Tommy Conlon: I made this.
Reyes: You drew all of these? (Among the collection is a picture is of two earwigs and picture of a dark-haired woman wearing black with an earwig in her abdomen)
Tommy Conlon: This one's you.
Reyes: Why would you draw this, Tommy? Why would you imagine such awful things?
Tommy Conlon: Because I'm afraid.

Gabe Rotter: (reading) 'I want to believe.' Huh? So, this is where the magic happened?
Agent Harrison: It still happens. I'm happy it's in good hands.
Reyes: Hey.
Scully: Speak of the devil.
Doggett: That so?
Gabe Rotter: Leyla keeps going on and on about how you saved the day.
Agent Harrison: I really do have to commend you, Agent Doggett. You solved this case. If it weren't for you... I don't even like to think what would have happened. I have to say, it's clear to me now that you were better-equipped for this challenge than even Agent Mulder would have been. I mean your lack of imagination saved our lives.
Doggett: Gee, thanks.
Agent Harrison: That... didn't come out right. Did it?
Scully: So, any news on the boy?
Reyes: We just got back from the psych centre. Their doctors don't quite know what to make of him. I think it goes without saying. However, they have come up with a stopgap treatment.
Scully: What's that?
Doggett: A way to stifle his imagination.

Episode Number: 196
Season Number: 9
First Aired: Sunday, April 14, 2002
Production Code: 9X12

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