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Mulder, Scully, Doggett and Reyes investigate a killer's mysterious connection to the unsolved murder of Doggett's son.

|Empedocles|

Episode Summary
By Michael Marek

In 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.

Monica Reyes 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 room.

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 unconscious .


Episode Cast and Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Robert Patrick Special Agent John Doggett
Annabeth Gish Special Agent Monica Reyes
Mitch Pillegi Assistant Director Walter Skinner
Ron Canada Det. Franklin Potter
Denise Crosby Dr. Mary Speake
Bruce Wright Gary Garber
Jay Underwood Jeb Dukes
Wendy Gazelle Katha Dukes
Amanda & Caitlin Fein Mia Dukes
Cheryl Francis Harrington ER nurse
Dayna Beilenson Roberta Toews
Christopher Stanley Agent Joe Farah
Devlin Elliott Devlin Elliott Pimply-Faced Pizza Delivery Man
Louise Melilli Distraught Woman
Veronica Brown Payphone Woman
Jake Fritz Luke Doggett
Jennifer Hammon ICU Nurse

Written by Greg Walker
Directed by Barry Thomas

Aired on: 22nd April 2001

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