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A monster starving for human brain matter tries to remedy his own unusual eating habits.


Episode Synopsis

Episode Synopsis: Appearances can certainly be deceiving. Though a multitude of prosthetic disguises (fake ears, hair, nose, etc.) allows him to function in society looking like a normal human being, a seemingly average man is underneath a frightening "monster" unable to control his terrible compulsion to eat live human brains. Try as he might to suppress the urges that not only leave people dead but also leave him with a maddeningly guilty conscience, the man employs every means available (including Tony Robbins-like motivational tapes) to get control of his gruesome habit. Arriving in this typically American small town while investigating one of these bizarre brain-chewing murders, Mulder and Scully set out in search of answers as they unknowingly place themselves in harm's way. As many of the events that unfold are seen from the "monster"'s P.O.V. as he is pursued by the FBI detectives, this is an intriguing look (a la Crime and Punishment) into the conflicted and disturbed mind of a reluctant killer.

Complete Episode Summary

In Costa Mesa, CA, a longhaired young man car pulls into a drive through restaurant, Lucky Boy. It is closed but an attendant answers through the speaker and finally agrees to takean order. When the driver, Donald Pinkau, gets to the window, nobody is there. He hears some wierd slurping noises coming from within, as he looks into the window, something grabs him and pulls him into the kitchen.

The rest of the story is told from the perspective of Rob Roberts . Three days after the murder he arrives for work. He gives himself a pep talk, "You are your own man, and you control everything you do." Mulder and Scully enter the restaurant investigating the murder. They ask the manager, Mr. Rice, to gether all the employees and explain to them about the murder. Pinkau's car was found ten miles away in a reservoir. A button was found in the car that is issued only to employees of Lucky Boy. Mulder aks to see them, everyone has them, and the only employee who can't produce his is Derwood Spinks. He says that he left it at home, because he only needed it on Friday, and that he didn't leave it on "some dead guy". Scully tells him that they never said that the victim was male.

Sending employees outside, Mulder and Scully search the restaurant.  Rob sneaks up to a window and overhears that Pinkau's brain had apparently been eaten through a hole in his skull. Mulder thinks that a "proboscis" was used and that the kitchen itself was the crime scene.

Rob goes home and pulls out his "Lucky Boy" uniform out of his bathtub, which is filled with blood. The shirt is still pink and he puts it in a garbage bag, ready to take it out, when Mulder knocks. Mulder asks Rob a few questions and learns that Rob had stayed late on Friday to throw out some old meat that was spoiling. Mulder checked and the meat was not in the dumpster, even though the garbage had not been collected since Friday. The garbage bag in Rob's hand starts to leak out blood, and Rob keeps looking at it. Mulder all of a sudden says "Blood" and Rob tenses. Mulder points to Rob's lip which was bleeding, and Rob says that he bit on it. As Mulder leaves, Rob looks at his blood covered fingers and sucks it off.

Later, While Rob is looking at a man watching his building from a maroon car, a Lucky Boy employee assistance counselor, Dr. Mindy Rhineheart, phones to ask him to a counseling session. Rob takes his teeth out of his mouth to reveal a set of sharp shark like teeth. As his stomach starts to growl loudly, he eats some appetite suppressant pills, and watches a video about willpower to stop eating. While watching he also eats some diet gum. At night, Rob goes out to the man (the man is Steve Kiziak, Duchovny's photo double) in the car, bares his teeth and attacks.

In the next scene, Derwood breaks into Rob's apartment and wakes him up. Derwood got fired last night. He is an ex-con and the prime suspect in the murder. He found Rob's diet pills when he opened up Sunday - there was a drop of blood on the pill bottle. He wants a payoff to keep quiet, Rob's VCR and some other things. As Rob leaves home later Mulder stops him. He tells Rob that Derwood is the main suspect, but Mulder thinks is someone else who has a compulsion to kill. 

Rob goes to the employee assistance counselor, Dr. Rhineheart. His stomach rumbles, but he fights down his appetite. She saysmurderers are not monsters. Deep down even the worst of us wants to be good. Robert leaves, because he didn't want to hurt her. At work, Rob is looking at the hamburgers grilling, when suddenly he sees brains grilling.

Later, Rob goes to Derwood Spink's residence and searches for the bottle. Derwood arrives home and finds the place in shambles. He searches his apartment, carrying a baseball bat, and finds Rob. Rob pulls off his hair, pulls off his ears, pulls out his eyes, then he attacks and a proboscis from his mouth shoots out to Derwood's head.

Rob returns to the counselor's office, looking normal again. He has compulsions that he can't put off. She thinks he's talking bulimia and doesn't understand that he kills to feed. She tries to build his self-esteem. He touches his head and an ear falls off. He puts it back on and she doesn't notice. He says he really is trying to do right.

Rob gets home and his landlady, Sylvia, tells him that Mulder and Scully were waiting for him to talk about Derwood, who was missing. Mulder saw him in Rob's neighborhood yesterday. Mulder thinks he's dead, not missing. Scully found a bit of what seems to be a tiny shark's tooth embedded in the first victim's brain. Mulder says they're looking for a monster with a biological imperative to eat. 

Rob goes to the Overeaters Anonymous meeting, that Dr. Rhineheart had asked him to attend - his landlady is there and notes that it's a small world. He tells the group about how his cravings for meat have become to powerful to resist. His description enthralls the participants. When they get home, Rob sees the landlady, Sylvia, to her door, then has a stomach rumbling attack. He knocks on her door again, and removes his teeth.

Later, Rob looks out of his window as the garbage truck picks up his can and dumps it. The landlady was in it. He trashes his own apartment to make it look like a killer broke in, when neighbors complain about the noise. He shouts at them to call for police. Rob used a baseball bat from Derwood's house, keeping his fingerprints off it. Rob tells Mulder and Scully that Derwood blackmailed him, indicating that Derwood was the killer. Scully asks him what Spinks was blackmailing him about. He says that on Friday night, both Spinks and Rob had stayed late at the restuarant, and Rob had seen Spinks clean a lot of blood. Spinks had threatened to kill him, if he had told that to anyone. Mulder tells him, that the man in the car was a private eye by the name of Steve Kiziak, hired by Sylvia's ex-husband to spy on her. He was also missing. Rob lied that he hadn't noticed him parked outside his apartment.

After the agents leave Dr. Rhineheart drops in and finds Rob packing - he says he's going to a friend's house. She sensed that there were things he wanted to talk about but couldn't. He has quit Lucky Boy. Maybe his biological imperative to eat is natural. He is sick of pretending that he is something he is not. She has the leap of understanding that he killed Pinkau and tells him that she wants to help him. As she asks him to turn himself in, police drive up. He shows her that he is a monster by removing his hair and ears and displaying his teeth ("You dont believe in monsters, How about now?!") She is sympathetic. Mulder and Scully burst in with guns drawn. They found Sylvia's body. Mindy says, "be that good person I know you mean to be." But Rob attacks and Mulder shoots him. As he dies he says he attacked because "he can't be something he is not" He smiles as the cameras show Mulder, Scully and Mindy from Rob's eyes, as his eyes close, the picture fades to black.

Episode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Chad E. Donella Rob Roberts
Judith Hoag Dr. Mindy Rinehart
Mark Pellegrino Derwood Spinks
Lois Foraker Sylvia Jassy
Bill Lee Brown Mr. Rice
Kerry Zook Lucy
Kevil Porter Motivational Speaker
Susan Slome Woman at O.A.
Steve Kiziak Steve Kiziak
Chasen Hampton Hungry Guy

Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by Kim Manners

Air Date: November 21st 1999
Shooting Schedule: 9th August to 18th August


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