Writer: Frank Spotnitz
Director: Kim Manners
Original Broadcast: AU: 19.04.2001 US: 04.02.2001
Episode Availability: DVD: AU CA UK US
Special Agent Dana Scully · Gillian Anderson
Special Agent Fox Mulder · David Duchovny
Special Agent John Doggett · Robert Patrick
Frohike · Tom Braidwood
Langly · Dean Haglund
Byers · Bruce Harwood
Rustic Woman · Caroline Lagerfelt
Sheriff Kurt Frey · Michael McGrady
Creature · Jordan Marder
Assistant Director Walter Skinner · Mitch Pileggi
Marie Hangemuhl · Natalie Radford
Paul Hangemuhl · Justin Williams
Doggett comes upon an old case that Mulder kept secret from Scully.
Sheriff Frey: "You must be Special Agent Doggett. I'm Sheriff Frey. Just call me Kurt."
Doggett: "I appreciate the help, Kurt."
Sheriff Frey: "Shame to have you drive all the way up here on a Saturday. Hate to say you're wasting your time."
Doggett: "Not if you confirm what you told me before."
Sheriff Frey: "Yes, sir. Agent Mulder was here, all right... last spring."
Doggett: "You said on the phone Agent Mulder was investigating a missing woman, Marie Hangemuhl."
Sheriff Frey: "Well, she wasn't exactly missing. He wasn't exactly investigating, either."
Doggett: "I'm not following you."
Sheriff Frey: "It was a false report. Marie never even left the house. The only reason Agent Mulder found out about it was because Marie's sister got all excited about nothing. There. See for yourself." [He hands Doggett a file] "Say, I've got some hot coffee and a danish here if you're interested."
Doggett: "No thanks."
Sheriff Frey: "You know, if you don't mind me asking, Agent Doggett, what's your interest? I mean, I was actually surprised that one FBI agent gave this case a thought."
Doggett: "It's not so much the case as it is the agent. Agent Mulder disappeared last May."
Sheriff Frey: "Sorry to hear that. I still don't see what that has to do with us."
Doggett: "Did Agent Mulder have a personal connection here — something that might not be in your report?"
Sheriff Frey: "No, I don't think he'd ever been to Squamash before, as far as I know."
Doggett: "I have cell phone records showing that Agent Mulder came back here the week before he disappeared."
Sheriff Frey: "What for?"
Doggett: "That's what I want to know. It's my job to find him.
Paul Hangemuhl: "Kurt?"
Sheriff Frey: "Paul, this is Agent Doggett from the FBI. He'd like to ask you and Marie some questions."
Paul Hangemuhl: "Marie, can you come out here a minute? This is an FBI agent. He wants to ask us a few questions." [to Doggett] "What's this all about?"
Doggett: "A colleague of mine, Fox Mulder, questioned you last spring."
Paul Hangemuhl: "Come on, Kurt. This again? Look, this was a personal matter that's been blown way out of proportion."
Sheriff Frey: "He's not investigating you, Paul. He's investigating Agent Mulder."
Doggett: "If you could tell me what you and Agent Mulder talked about..."
Mulder: "You told your sister you were going to disappear, Mrs Hangemuhl. Tonight."
Paul Hangemuhl: "I told you already. We had a fight, she was going to leave, not disappear."
Mulder: "I'm talking to your wife. Mrs Hangemuhl..."
Marie Hangemuhl: "It's what he said. My sister lives out of state. I was going to go... I didn't want her to worry."
Mulder: "You told your sister a story, a story you were afraid of?"
Paul Hangemuhl: "This is crazy. There is no crime here!"
Mulder: "I don't think you were going anywhere tonight, Mrs Hangemuhl. I think someone or something was coming here. And I think maybe it still is."
Paul Hangemuhl: "We had a fight. We patched things up and that was the end of it."
Doggett: "The Sheriff's report says that Agent Mulder spoke to you on Saturday, May 6th."
Marie Hangemuhl: "Yeah, I guess so."
Doggett: "Did you see Agent Mulder again that night?"
Paul Hangemuhl: "No, he never came back."
Doggett: "According to his cell phone records, he did. To this area, anyway." [He notices a large medical machine against one wall] "What's that there? Is that a dialysis machine?"
Paul Hangemuhl: "My wife suffers from end-stage renal failure. She's a very sick woman. Anything else?"
Doggett: "One thing. This someone or something Agent Mulder said might be coming?"
Marie Hangemuhl: "I just told my sister I was afraid of the stories. That's all, I didn't mean..."
Paul Hangemuhl: "Let me ask you something, Agent Doggett. Was this Mulder guy sick? Sick in the head, I mean? Is that why you're checking into this?"
Doggett: "What stories, Mr Hangemuhl?
Paul Hangemuhl: "An Indian folk legend about a creature who lives out in the woods. I've heard these stories since I was a kid. So your colleague twisted it into a theory that she was going to disappear, all right 'cause this creature was coming to eat her."
Doggett: "Eat her?
Paul Hangemuhl: "Alive."
Sheriff Frey: "Like I said, Agent Doggett, I hate to waste your Saturday."
Doggett: "The Hangemuhls own a gun, Kurt?"
Sheriff Frey: "No, I don't think so. Why?
Doggett: "I saw three holes plastered over in their living room wall."
Sheriff Frey: "Gunshots?
Sheriff Frey: "You want to go back and ask 'em?
Doggett: "Were you aware Mulder carried a second weapon, a Walther PPK?"
Skinner: "Yeah, in an ankle holster."
Doggett: "I found it hidden under his sink. The clip was three rounds shy."
Skinner: "What's this about?"
Doggett: "Three shots were fired in a house where Mulder investigated a case last May. He never filed a report on the case or the discharge of his weapon. Do you know any reason why?"
Skinner: "If Mulder did these things, he would've reported them."
Doggett: "Mulder submitted case reports, all right but they indicate he was here in Washington on days his cell phone records prove he was in Pennsylvania."
Skinner: "Are you calling Mulder a liar?"
Doggett: "This is the muzzle of Mulder's pistol. You see that there?"
Skinner: "It's blowback."
Doggett: "Macrospatter of dried blood in a semicircular pattern. Which indicates Mulder fired close-range at something or someone."
Skinner: "I've heard enough."
Doggett: "Where are you going?"
Skinner: "It's where you're going, Agent Doggett. Trying to build a case, that what? Mulder killed a man and then made himself disappear? I told you before — he was abducted. I saw it!"
Doggett: "Agent Mulder signed falsified case reports."
Skinner: "Oh, come on, John, this isn't about Mulder — it's about you! Your career. You give the FBI a narrative for Mulder's disappearance, you're off the X-Files and back on the fast-track to the directorship."
Doggett: "I'm just trying to find the truth."
Skinner: "You want the truth? Then ask Agent Scully!"
Doggett: "I can't do that."
Skinner: "Why not?"
Doggett: "Because she... she signed those case reports, too."
Skinner: "You take that story to OPR, the accusation alone could cost Scully her job."
Doggett: "I'm not taking it to OPR — I'm taking it to you."
Doggett: "Sheriff Frey."
Sheriff Frey: "Back again?"
Doggett: "This is Assistant Director Skinner. We drove up when we couldn't reach you on the phone."
Sheriff Frey: "Yeah, sorry about that. I went hunting and turned off my radio. So... you find something?"
Doggett: "You might say that."
Skinner: "You filed this death certificate at the county seat, Sheriff. We're hoping you might be able to tell us something about it."
Sheriff Frey: "Yeah. Yeah, last spring. An unidentified transient. Local woman found the body in the woods."
Skinner: "You got no suspects? No motive?"
Sheriff Frey: "No, why?"
Doggett: "You get a lot of shootings around here? That why you failed to mention this one, Kurt?"
Sheriff Frey: "What are you insinuating?"
Doggett: "The body was found dumped outside this woman's cabin on Sunday, May 7 — the morning after Mulder saw the Hangemuhls."
Sheriff Frey: "Okay, so I didn't make the connection. So what?"
Doggett: "Three rounds were missing from Mulder's weapon."
Sheriff Frey: "So Mulder came back to town to kill this man and now the Hangemuhls are lying about it. Maybe I am, too."
Doggett: "Pretty much."
Sheriff Frey: "This theory is even nuttier than the one Agent Mulder came to town with. Where's the evidence?"
Doggett: "Where's the body buried?"
Skinner: "You're on pretty shaky ground here, Agent Doggett."
Doggett: "Something happened here that night."
Skinner: "But you're forgetting one thing — Fox Mulder wouldn't do this."
Doggett: "Look, somebody shot this man. Somebody fired Mulder's weapon and Mulder was here that night."
Skinner: "And you trying to prove that Mulder's a murderer is going to help you find him?"
Doggett: "Maybe he's not. I'm not saying that he did this. Not yet. But he was here for a reason and then he disappeared."
Skinner: "Well, why would these people, people he'd never met before, try to cover it up?"
Doggett: "That's the question, yeah." [He shines his light into an empty grave and jumps in]
Skinner: "Earth is fresh."
Doggett: "Sheriff must've dug it up this afternoon after I left."
Skinner: "What would he want with the body?"
Doggett: "I don't know that he found it." [There is a hole in the bottom of the open casket and a tunnel under it] "Looks like there's another way out."
Skinner: "Are you telling me the man inside that casket did this?"
Doggett: "Looks pretty deep. A man doesn't get shot three times and then tunnel out of his own grave."
Skinner: "The Sheriff said this transient was unidentified, right?" [Doggett climbs out of the grave]
Doggett: "That's right."
Skinner: "Then why'd somebody leave these on top of his grave?"
[They shine their flashlights on what remains of the medicine wheel of white stones over the grave]
Paul Hangemuhl: "What is it now?"
Doggett: "Mind if we come in?"
Paul Hangemuhl: "What do you think you're doing?"
Doggett: "Looking for the Sheriff. He was here, wasn't he?"
Paul Hangemuhl: "Look, I've had a long day and I want to go to bed, so if you don't mind..."
Doggett: "Agent Mulder came back here that night and shot a man in this room. You know why, and so does your wife."
Paul Hangemuhl: "I want you guys out of my house, now. Hey, did you hear me?!"
Skinner: "Mr Hangemuhl, we'd like to speak with your wife. Where is she?"
Doggett: "Where is she, Mr Hangemuhl? Something happened here and I'm going to figure out what it is."
Skinner: "Agent Doggett." [Blood is pooling out from under a rug]
Doggett: "Looks like you missed a spot, Mr Hangemuhl."
Skinner: "Agent Doggett."
Doggett: "Hangemuhl says his wife must've coughed up the blood. He insists he didn't harm her."
Skinner: "Of course he says that."
Doggett: "Maybe he didn't."
Skinner: "What are you talking about?"
Doggett: "You said it before, Mulder wouldn't do this — shoot a man in cold blood. Unless he was trying to protect Mrs Hangemuhl."
Skinner: "From who?"
Doggett: "From the man that's supposed to be buried in that coffin."
Skinner: "The county police found something you ought to look at." [He leads Doggett up to the porch where a technician is working on the front door] "Mr Hangemuhl must've just used water to clean this." [He accepts an ultraviolet light from the technician] "Thank you. Otherwise... we might not have found it." [He shines the light on the door revealing the medicine wheel symbol] "Look familiar?"
Byers: [via video hook-up] "We learned what we could. This is somewhat short notice, of course."
Frohike: "And a little outside our area of expertise."
Langly: "Plus the fact we were sleeping."
Doggett: "You wearing pants, Langly?"
Langly: "Uh... yeah."
Skinner: "We don't have much time. What did you find?"
Frohike: "Thought you'd never ask, big guy."
Byers: "The pattern you described to us is most likely a medicine wheel. It's a symbol for healing usually associated with North American shaman."
Frohike: "Now, the circle represents the continuum between life and death. The journey is separated by two roads, one for happiness, one for sorrow."
Byers: "Lakota Indians teach that all these elements — life, death, sorrow, happiness — are all one. But it takes an enlightened mind to see it."
Doggett: "Why paint it on a door, or mark it on a grave?"
Langly: "Well — that's the part that takes some conjecture there, Agent Dogbird."
Byers: "We don't know what Mulder was doing out there."
Frohike: "But legends date back hundreds of years of a sin-catcher shaman also known as a soul eater."
Doggett: "A soul eater?"
Langly: "They minister to the sick — legend has it they consume their illnesses."
Byers: "The symbol might be placed on a grave as a sign of respect. Or on a door as a summons."
Skinner: "A summons for what?"
Byers: "To indicate a sick person lives there, someone in need of the creature's healing gift."
Doggett: "Thanks for your help, boys."
Langly: "Yeah, you're welcome." [He shuts down the connection]
Doggett: "Marie Hangemuhl suffered from a kidney disease."
Skinner: "Agent Doggett?"
Doggett: "That wasn't a transient buried in that grave."
Doggett: "Sorry to disturb you at this hour, ma'am. I'm Agent Doggett with the FBI. May I come in?" [She lets him in] "The Sheriff's report last May said you found a body in the woods out here. Look, the people of this town are keeping a secret about that body — about who it is. There was an FBI agent who came here because he believed that it was some kind of a 'soul eater'."
Rustic Woman: "Maybe it is."
Doggett: "You believe it, too. You put those stones on top of its grave."
Rustic Woman: "The things you're asking about — they've been this way for hundreds of years. You can't change them."
Doggett: "A colleague of mine came here to try and kill this thing last spring. I believe he was trying to protect a woman named Marie Hangemuhl. I need your help."
Rustic Woman: "You've got it all backward."
[There is a thumping sound below them. Doggett uncovers a trap door, he opens the door and descends the rough dirt stairs into a cavern below the cabin. He sees a naked female figure in a human sized indentation on the dirt floor, she is covered in slimy goo. When he wipes the goo from her mouth and nose and she gasps in a breath and her eyes open — it is Marie Hangemuhl]
Doggett: "I'm going to get you out of here."
Skinner: "Agent Doggett. How is she?"
Doggett: "She feels fine, you believe that? The doctor says Mrs Hangemuhl's kidneys have spontaneously healed. She's a healthy woman. Explain that."
Skinner: "You're going to have to explain it. The Sheriff's waiting to take your statement."
Doggett: "The Sheriff knows. He's known all along. So's her husband."
Skinner: "Known what?"
Doggett: "That this soul eater took her to cure her. I thought Mulder shot this man to protect Marie Hangemuhl. But it wasn't her he was trying to protect."
Skinner: "Where are you going?"
Doggett: "Something happened here. It just wasn't what we thought."
Rustic Woman: "To understand what this thing is, you have to understand what it can do — its gift. People hate it because they need it. It looks the way it does because of their sickness."
Doggett: "You care for this man."
Rustic Woman: "Someone always has."
Doggett: "Because you believe it? That it can cure people's sickness?"
Rustic Woman: "Not cure. Consume."
Doggett: "Mulder came to see you last year. Not to save Marie Hangemuhl. To save himself. Mulder was dying, but he kept it a secret. He had an undiagnosed brain disease. He was a sick man, desperate to find a cure."
Rustic Woman: "They all are."
Doggett: "Mulder didn't do it."
Rustic Woman: "Agent Mulder saw how it suffered. He saw it in its eyes. I knew what needed to be done. I just couldn't bring myself to do it."
Doggett: "Mulder killed it."
Rustic Woman: "He couldn't bear to add to its pain."
Doggett: "So he came back here that night to take its pain away."
Rustic Woman: "They buried it. It wanted to die. It still does, but it can't. All these months I've kept it here in secret. But now that they know it's back, it'll keep suffering."
Doggett: "Sheriff, as a federal officer, I'm asking you and your men to get out of my way."
Sheriff Frey: "You can't take it, Agent Doggett. It belongs to us."
Doggett: "This is a man. He doesn't belong to anybody."
Sheriff Frey: "We have sick people. Sick people who need what it has. We're taking it. You're free to go."
Doggett: "No, sir. I'm driving this man out of here."
[He turns his back on the men and heads back to his car. There is a gunshot and Doggett falls face forward to the ground]
Paul Hangemuhl: "Sheriff." [The creature has left Doggett's car and escaped]
Sheriff Frey: "It'll come back. It always does."
[Doggett is lying naked on a dirt floor, covered in thick slime, his hand moves as he wakes up. He sees the rustic woman leaning over the body of the creature in the cavern nearby]
Rustic Woman: "All these years, we didn't know what it could do. It took your death. You freed it."
Doggett: "AD Skinner, you're here late."
Skinner: "So are you."
Doggett: "I wanted to finish my case report before Agent Scully comes in tomorrow morning."
Skinner: "Have you?"
Doggett: "I don't even know where to begin or how to explain it. Only thing I do know is is I'm no closer to finding Mulder now than when I started this thing."
Skinner: "You got inside of his head, Agent Doggett. You understood why Mulder did something I wouldn't have thought him capable of doing. You want some free advice? Don't write that report. You turn that in you open up a world of trouble for Agent Scully. And yourself."
Doggett: "She didn't know anything about this, sir. Of that I'm certain."
Skinner: "How many months will be lost proving that? How much damage done to her good name? And Mulder's? And to yours? For what?"
Doggett: "The truth."
Skinner: "You and I both know what happened out there, Agent Doggett. No one else needs to."