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The search for Mulder intensifies in the first of a three-episode story arc. As Scully and Doggett's difference of opinions heighten over the Mulder case, Doggett enlists Special Agent Monica Reyes (guest star Annabeth Gish) for another take on the situation. In the climactic episode ending, Scully has a shocking encounter with Mulder.

|This is not happening|

Episode Summary
By Michael Marek

Near Helena, Montana, a UFO zooms over a deserted rural area. A young man in a car is pursuing, taking photographs with one hand and dictating into a pocket recorder as he goes. It is Richie, who Mulder and Scully met in Bellefleur, OR, in the episode Requiem. The UFO hovers and Richie stops his car and gets out. He runs to the top of a hill, saying "This is not happening" to himself, and finds that the UFO has disappeared, but he sees someone walking nearby. Running after the man, Richie trips and finds a body on the ground.

Scully arrives at the X-Files office -- Doggett has called her in and takes her to Skinner's office. Teresa Hoese, formerly Nemmen, has been found. She was abducted just before Mulder and is now in a Montana hospital, just hanging on to life. Scully, Doggett and Skinner fly to Helena and rush to the hospital. The doctor says she has been severely mistreated. It is as if someone was experimenting on her. In addition to many other injuries, there are marks on her face as if the skin had been pierced and stretched. Police deliver their report to Doggett, after which the three FBI agents go to see Richie. He is in Montana looking for his friend, Gary, who was also abducted. Internet chat rooms have told him that there has been a lot of UFO activity nearby over the last couple of weeks. He claims to have seen someone with Teresa and police evidence also found footprints -- of Nikes. Doggett pressures Richie, asking if he thinks aliens wear Nikes. Richie responds that it it wasn't an alien, what about his spaceship? Doggett is disgusted. Scully sees it as their first break in the search for Mulder. Doggett tells Scully that he thinks she is also afraid to find Mulder, because of what might have happened to him.

Scully wakes from a bad dream about Mulder being experimented on. She goes to Skinner's room and they talk outside the motel. Scully relates a conversation with Mulder about starlight and about how the light we see may be millions of years old. Mulder thought that souls dwell in starlight and she hopes he's right. Skinner says it sounds like she is trying to prepare herself, but encourages her to stop -- Mulder may be fine. Jeremiah Smith, first seen in the episode Talitha Cumi, enters the hospital and morphs to look like Teresa's doctor. He tells a nurse to prepare Teresa to be transferred to another facility. He is wearing Nikes. Scully's phone wakes her up with the news that Teresa is gone and the doctor denies having transferred her.

Skinner and Scully drive up to the open field where Teresa was found. Doggett has called them to meet him there. He introduces Monica Reyes, an FBI agent from the New Orleans office who specializes in ritualistic crime. Doggett asked her to help with the case. She suspects that the abductions may be the work of a UFO cult, similar to Heaven's Gate, an opinion which rubs Scully the wrong way. Doggett follows and tells Scully that if she is going to contend that there is an alien bounty hunter involved, they have to part company. "Enjoy your new company," Scully says.

A man later identified as Absalom enters a rustic rural building. Jeremiah is in the building with Teresa. He is using the alien power to heal wounds on her. Absalom cries with joy while Jeremiah is performing the healing. They were almost too late, he observes. Scully finds Monica at the hospital, looking at Teresa's x-rays. She says she is looking for evidence of implants. Scully doesn't understand. Monica says she still believes that this is the work of a cult, but that she doesn't disbelieve the reports of alien abductions, and implants are often reported in such cases. She has worked on many cases of satanic ritualistic crimes, but never found direct evidence is Satan. ("We should talk," quips Scully.) Monica believes that there are energies in the universe that she is sensitive to. She can sense Scully's fear. Later, Monica is driving down a rural highway, sees a UFO and follows it. It has left another person behind. Jeremiah and Absalom are loading the body into a pickup truck when Monica runs over a nearby hill, calling that she is a federal agent. The two men drive off before she can approach them. In the grass nearby Monica finds a second body -- it is Richie's friend, Gary.

Scully does an autopsy on Gary. He has all of the same kinds of injuries Teresa did. Scully is more scared than ever for Mulder. Doggett and Monica talk in the hall. When they worked together before, she helped during a three-day search for Doggett's son. She knows that Scully fears finding what Monica and Doggett did find, i.e. Doggett's dead son. She understands that this is why Doggett is so determined to find Mulder. Monica recognized Absalom in the field. He was a doomsday cultist who believed that an alien invasion would begin at the start of the Millennium. When that didn't happen, he got involved in credit card fraud, and other activities. Monica also saw the license number of the pickup and traced it to a place about an hour drive away. Absalom's people are eating outdoors, around a campfire. Jeremiah comes up and says "they are coming" and "you can't let them find him." The compound is soon raided by law enforcement, including Scully, Doggett, Skinner and Monica. There are dozens of people there, many sleeping in rough dormitory buildings. In one, Scully finds Teresa, alive and well. They question Absalom who is evasive. He now thinks that the alien invasion really did begin with the new millennium, but just not the way he expected. There are video cameras all over the compound, which he claims are to give the abductees a feeling of safety -- so they can see if the aliens return for them. Scully shows him a picture of Mulder, but Absalom shakes his head, no. In her motel room, Scully sees a vision of Mulder standing before her, but when she looks away for a moment, he is no longer there.

Monica has reviewed the tapes and shows scenes to the others. On one, Scully recognizes Jeremiah, who she recalls Mulder believed had the power to heal. They see him morph on the video tape, changing to look like Doggett, although Doggett was never in that building. The agents return to the compound, where riot troops are still in control. Scully asks for Jeremiah. Picking out one likely suspect from a crowd, she questions him privately. He morphs and really is Jeremiah. He says that he saves abductees and he was trying to help Mulder, too. Skinner comes in. "You'd better come with us," he says. They have found Mulder, wrapped in a blanket, on the ground a distance away from the compound.

Scully rushes up, frantic to help him, but Doggett holds her back, saying that it is too late. Knowing that Jeremiah has the power to heal, she turns and runs through the dark back to the compound, but finds a UFO hovering over the main building, a light beaming down into it. She enters the shaking building; there are many of the abductees still inside. When the light goes out, Scully discovers that Jeremiah is gone. She sinks to her knees, crying, and moaning, "this is not happening." To be continued in April.


Episode Cast and Information

Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Robert Patrick Special Agent john Doggett
David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Mitch Pileggi Walter Skinner
Annabeth Gish Monica Reyes
Zachary Ansley Billy Miles
Judd Trichter Richie Szalay
Roy Thinnes Jeremiah Smith
Bernard White Dr. Strauss
Arlene Pileggi Skinner's Assistant
Sarah Koskoff Teresa Hoese
Roz Witt Night Nurse
Roy Thinnes Jeremiah Smith
Judson Scott Absalom
Randy Ross Nike Man
John McGonegle Uniformed Cop
Eddie Kaye Thomas Gary Cory

Written by Chis Carter and Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Kim Manners

Aired on: 25th February 2001

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