New Orleans, an executive and his assistant have to fire an employee
- you've done a good job here but the economy is the result. As the
employee, Jeb Duke, leaves the building, he witnesses a police chase
and the car being chased slams into another vehicle, exploding. As
Jeb stares, it appears to him that the driver of the car, burning on
fire, gets out of the car and walks past Jeb. Jeb's eyes blaze for a
moment, and then Jeb runs off. Later, he returns to the office and
shoots his former boss and the assistant.
arrives at the crime scene. The officer in charge has reason to
believe that the killings may be satanic. Jeb had some artwork at
his desk that appeared to be satanic, but Reyes recognizes them as
artwork used by a popular recording artist. Reyes doesn't think
there is a satanic angle, until she sees the arm of one body under a
sheet and has a vision of it turning to ashes. Mulder calls on
Scully at her apartment. She was waiting for the pizza man and
Mulder jokes, implying that Scully is having an affair with the
pizza man. He sneaks a wrapped present into her house. She finds the
package - he says it is an old family keepsake he came across. The
pizza man comes to the door, but as Scully begins to open the
package, she has severe abdominal pains. Mulder arrives at the
hospital in the ambulance with Scully. Doggett soon shows up, having
received the news about Scully. While they wait, Reyes phones Mulder
asking for help on her case. He refers her to The X-Files unit, but
she says she can't call Doggett because it involves him. He says to
call when she gets to Washington. Scully, it turns out, is not in
immediate danger and the doctors are going to run some tests.
Jeb is at a motel.
He picks up his gun and holds it to his head, but it glows red-hot
and burns his hand, and he cannot kill himself. His scratches his
face, and he seems to be glowing with fire inside his body. At FBI
headquarters, Reyes is reviewing boxed files in a storeroom when
Mulder enters. She reminds him that she was there when they found
him in the woods. Her case involves the death of Doggett's son,
Luke, when Doggett was with the New York City Police Department.
Reyes was the lead investigator for the FBI and worked closely with
Doggett on the case. The killer was never found. She doesn't want to
put him through this again, unless she knows whether what she saw
means anything. When they found Luke, Reyes had a vision, as if for
a moment the body was changed to ashes. Doggett saw it too, although
he later tried to convince himself that he didn't. Now she has seen
it again on a seemingly unrelated case. There has to be a reason.
Doggett is still at the hospital, checking in on Scully, who is
sleeping. He has a flashback to the discovery of his son in a wooded
field. A nurse interrupts the flashback, kicking him out of the
Mulder is in the
basement of the FBI office when Doggett accosts violently him for
sneaking through files relating to Doggett's personal life, i.e. his
son's death, but Reyes comes down the hall and intervenes and tells
Doggett about her vision. Bob Harvey was a suspect in the death of
Luke, but was not charged. Harvey was killed in the car crash that
Jeb witnessed. Doggett is adamant that there is no connection and he
wants them to leave it alone. Reyes is still sure that there is some
connection. She calls on Jeb's sister, Katha Duke, who lives with
her young daughter. Jeb lived in the house with them until he moved
south. She doesn't recognize the name Bob Harvey. While Reyes is
there, Jeb calls, claiming that it was somebody else who killed
those people. Jeb is calling from a rural phone booth and a woman
who says she has a flat tire stops him. Doggett visits Scully in her
hospital room again. She is still feeling the effects of sedatives.
He asks her about Mulder and how she came to believe in the
paranormal. What changed her mind was realizing that she was afraid
to believe. Doggett has another flashback to the discovery of his
son and cuts the conversation with Scully short. Reyes finds Mulder
in the X-Files office, even though it is not his office anymore -
just habit, he says. He has several files similar to the vision
Reyes saw, but in the cases the visions seem random and don't have
much relevance to the cases. Mulder thinks Harvey's death was a
coincidence, but Monica disagrees. Monica accuses Mulder of not
having an open mind.
Jeb walks through
the countryside and arrives at the minivan with the flat tire. In
the window he sees the reflection of himself with flames behind him.
He gets in the car, now with its tire replaced, and drives off.
Later, police are at the scene later when Doggett drives up. Mulder
is there and has summoned Doggett. The woman's body has been found a
short ways off the road and Reyes thinks the killer is Jeb. When
Doggett looks at the body, he says he does not see a vision of it
turning to ashes. Reyes suggests that he is afraid to see it. She
can't blind herself to the connections. What if this is a threat of
evil, connecting through time and men and opportunity back to
Doggett. Doggett just can't bring himself to see it. Later, Mulder
calls on Scully. She had a problem with her placenta and needs to be
monitored, but she should be fine. She asks where Mulder has been
and he tells her about it. She tells Mulder that Doggett is worth
the effort to help. Jeb's sister arrives home to find Jeb there. He
swears that he didn't do what they say. Katha sees blood on his face
and he claims he doesn't know how it got there. He repeats that he
is not the killer and that he needs help.
Doggett is working
on the case when Reyes enters his office. She says he shouldn't be
phone canvassing but he insists that proper police work will find
Jeb. She wants him to be honest about what he saw and his feelings.
She asks him what he's scared of. He replies that he's got to
believe that he did everything he could to find his son and to save
him. He is afraid that he let his son down, and if these other
possibilities are real, then it represents something else he could
have done to save Luke. The phone rings - it is Jeb's sister.
Doggett and Reyes rush off. Jeb is reading to his young niece. Katha
wants him to talk to Reyes, but Jeb reacts strongly, grabbing his
niece. Jeb and Doggett soon are in a confrontation, Jeb's gun on
Doggett. Reyes shoots Jeb to save Doggett and the niece. At the
emergency room, Doggett and Reyes come in with the ambulance. Reyes
thinks maybe saving the little girl is why this all happened. She
sends Doggett home, but instead he goes to Scully's room in the same
hospital and has yet another flashback. He sees Luke dead on the
ground and sees the ashes. Mulder steps in and wants to talk to
Doggett. When Mulder first worked for the violent crimes unit, he
saw the worst of humanity and began to think of evil as a disease.
Most people can stifle that momentary urge to kill, but some people
experience tragedy or loss that overwhelms that urge. Does that mean
that Jeb is effectively evil, Doggett asks? Mulder says Doggett may
never know for sure.
Katha is with Jeb
in Intensive Care when he goes into convulsions. His heart stops and
doctors can't save him but something passes from Jeb to Katha, and
her eyes glow momentarily. Reyes enters and Katha attacks her.
Doggett rushes in and subdues the sister, knocking her unconscious.
He tells Reyes "it's over now" and she says "it's
never over." Scully is back home and Mulder is visiting. He
brought pizza of his own. She finally gets the present opened and
finds a child's rag doll, which Scully with cherish. The other gift
he gave her is courage, a gift she will try to pass on. At the
hospital, Doggett is keeping watch on Katha, who still appears to be