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Mulder and Scully are followed documentary style by a "Cops" camera crew as they investigate a monster on the streets of Los Angeles.


Marking the series' milestone 150th episode, "X-Cops" was shot on video entirely in the hand-held, gun-and-run style of the FOX series COPS, and employs many of the trademark COPS devices. In the story, agents Mulder and Scully are followed documentary-style by a COPS camera crew throughout the course of their investigation. X-Cops The series' 150th episode plays from start to finish like an episode of Cops, using the same theme, graphics and hand-held cameras, as a crew from that reality show stumbles into a case steeped in unreality. It begins on a ride-along with an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy (Judson Mills), who is investigating a report of a "monster" in a drug-plagued neighborhood during a full moon. Suddenly, their patrol car is attacked and turned upside down. Responding units find two "suspects": Mulder and Scully, who say they're on the same case-looking for a werewolf. The intrepid camera follows, and the agents encounter 911-callers Steve (J.W. Smith) and Edy (Curtis C.).

Episode Summary

From Michael Marek , The Time Line and Jamie Ruby

(This episode, the 150th of the series, was shot on video using the handheld camera style of the FOX network series "COPS." In the episode "tease," before the opening credits, we see the standard "COPS" intro, with the "Bad Boys" music, and see Mulder and Scully among the law enforcement officers seen in the opening credits. A "viewer discretion" warning is also included.)

Los Angeles sheriff's deputy Keith Wetzel, on patrol, talks about how crazy stuff happens under a full moon. A prowler call is received of a reported monster lurking around a high-crime neighborhood. Exiting his car the officer searches the neighborhood. Claw scratches are found on the door of the woman who reported the monster. She is hysterical. He walks behind the house to search further then runs back toward the cameraman - "run, get back in the car, 10-33 officer needs assistance." Something attacks the car.

Assistance arrives to find the police car overturned. Wetzel is disoriented but tells other officers that it must have been "gang bangers." A report of armed suspects nearby is received and the officers run off to find Mulder and Scully. They are first held at gunpoint but then released when the deputies find the agent's FBI IDs. They're working on the same case as the officers. Mulder says it is not a question of who did this, but what. The sheriff however wont reveal anything about what he saw. There have been a half-dozen similar sightings in the last 60 days and only on nights with a full moon. Based on previous descriptions, Mulder says it was large, stood on hind legs, and was covered with fur. It had glowing eyes, teeth and claws. Mulder discovers that the deputy was bitten. Mulder thinks it was a werewolf. 29 days ago a man was bitten and gave a full description before he died. Mulder says the deputy will have to be isolated and kept under guard, because he will become a werewolf. The cop swears at Mulder, which is beeped out. ("With all due respect, what the *beep* are you talking about"). Scully pulls Mulder to the side to talk to him, and the cameracrew follows them, which really annoys her.

Mulder: Oh, what is it?
Scully: What is it? Mulder have you noticed that we're on television?
Mulder: I don't think it's live television, Scully… she just said *beep*
Scully: Mulder, there's a camera here! It's recording -- It's recording every word you say. You understand? I need to make sure you're aware of that.
Mulder: Of course I'm aware of that.
Scully: My point being, we're investigating a case -- .
Mulder: -- And this presents an opportunity. I feel we're very close here. The possibility of capturing concrete proof of the paranormal, of werewolves? Proof that would be witnessed by a national, even international audience? What's not to love?

Mulder think that finding proof of the paranormal on national television would be good. He tells her that he knows he looks foolish, but he doesn't care. However, she doesn't want to look foolish so he says okay and asks Scully to take deputy Wetzel to the hospital Scully dials Skinner on her cell and turns to the cameraman and tells him to give it a rest. Ofcourse he doesn't listen, so she puts her hand over the camera lens.

The Hispanic lady is still distraught, talking about a claw monster. The sergeant overseeing the scene is highly skeptical. Mulder's previous witness provided a sketch that looks like a werewolf but a sketch artist works with this lady and produces a sketch that looks like Freddie Krueger.

Scully returns. The deputy's wounds turned out to be insect bites. Scully checked with Skinner who told her to cooperate with the crew from COPS because the FBI has nothing to hide. Mulder tells her that he's not entirely convinced its a werewolf, but he doesn't know what it is. Scully goes to get in her car and the cameraman tries to get in the back. She won't let him and makes him go with someone else.

Another incident is reported and everybody races off to find the sketch artist who had left a few minutes earlier. He has claw marks across his chest. Scully finds a pink artificial fingernail on the ground nearby. Mulder just says, "Nice color." Scully tells him to check out the other color - blood red.

They talk to the men in the nearby residence who are homosexual. The one acting like a woman keeps trying to get in front of the camera. They didn't see the attacker but heard all of the screaming. They recognize the color of the fingernail as belonging to a streetwalker, Chantara Gomez. When Mulder and Scully leave, one of the men starts singing for the camera. In the car:

Mulder: So apparently we're on the lookout for someone whose hair matches her fingernails. Bubblegum pink. That'd be a good color for you, Scully. It'd have to say at this point in the investigation, I'm usually a little more secure in what it is we're actually investigating. But, we've had so many conflicting eyewitness reports that it's hard to ascertain exactly wht it is we're looking for. But the crimes we are investigating are paranormal. I can say that with absolute certainty. And...and the nature of these crimes...they are notoriously hard to quantify on any kind of rigorous scientific level as Agent Scully will tell you.
Scully: Oh yeah.
Mulder: Which in its own way is a kind of validation if you think about it in and of itself. But, ya know, that's our job. That's why they pay is the big bucks.
Scully: Bubblegum

Driving around they see Chantara, identifying her by her description of bubblegum pink hair. She runs but they corner her - with her face blurred on the video. She is crying. She heard screaming and went to help but ran away when she heard the sirens. She says the attacker was "Chuko," her boyfriend who has been chasing her for a week. He told her he was going to twist her neck off like a chicken if she didn't give him more money.

Police know him - he is a drug dealer. With a warrant they go to his crack house but Mulder doesn't think he is responsible because no matter how bad his reputation he can't turn over a squad car. Officers raid the crack house. They find chuko's body. He died of a drug overdose, probably a couple of days ago and could not have been who Chantara saw. Shots are soon fired outside. The officers rush outside to find Deputy Wetzel who says that whatever it was came back. Chantara, who was in one of the squad cars, is dead. Her neck has been twisted.

They find a stray bullet in the road, and Mulder theorizes that maybe the Sheriff hit what he was aiming for. The sergeant doesn't understand what is going on but Mulder finally gets Wetzel to admit what he saw. He says it looked like the "wasp man" quoting a horror story his brother told him when he was little. That fits with his wounds being insect bites, but he can't explain and doesn't know what it really was.

Mulder wonders if all of the attacks are all by one creature that appears as your worst nightmare. The first victim had claimed it was a werewolf after him and the injuries indicated that. The sheriff saw a waspman and recieved insect bites. Another witness claimed to see Freddie Krueger. The only way to find it must be to determine it's pattern. He tells her that they need to find out how it chooses it's prey. It's seems to spread like a contagion. One person's fear becomes the next. Mulder goes through the cycle of who it's attacked. Scully tells him that he's missing some people - Steve and Edie (the homosexuals). They're a part of the chain, but they haven't been attacked.

The agents return to their home and find them fighting about their relationship. Mulder and Scully stay with them for some time to keep watch but eventually leave, stationing a couple of deputies there to protect them. He realizes that they aren't in danger because they aren't scared.

There are only 4-5 hours until the moon sets. Scully goes to examine Chantara's body while Mulder rides with Wetzel, the only person to have seen it twice. Deputy is surprised that Mulder believes him. He's been on the job for 18 months and is worried about being considered crazy. It's hard to get on the law enforcement fast track when people think you're nuts, he says, and Mulder agrees.

At the morgue a second film crew watches Scully do the autopsy, blurring the open body. The morgue attendant is disturbed, and asks Scully why she was doing an autopsy so early in the morning at 2:47 AM and why was the cameraman following her. Scully turns to the camera and says "Because the FBI has nothing to hide".

The assistant is asking a series of questions about possible disease. Scully says there is no suspicion of disease here, the woman obviously died of a broken neck and not the Hanta virus. The attendant becomes even more upset about what Scully said was a figure of speech. She suddenly sneezing. Blood comes out her nose and she collapses and dies.

When Mulder arrives, Scully says it was certainly not the Hanta virus, which doesn't kill that fast. It was like the power of suggestion. She was afraid and her fear killed her, says Mulder, claiming that it is the same MO as the other attacks. Scully didn't see anything, Mulder says, because she wasn't afraid. This thing is attracted to mortal fear. A high crime neighborhood would attract it.

Meanwhile the other camera crew is with Wetzel, back at the crack house. They've checked every place else for this thing to reappear, so they'd better check here. They go inside but hear a noise and Wetzel and the camera crew panic, then the screen goes to static. Mulder and Scully arrive at the crack house with other officers and find the door locked. The FBI agents go around and enter a back door while the deputies continue hammering at the front door with a battering ram. They find the camera crew that was with Wetzel hiding in a closet. Proceeding upstairs they hear Wetzel behind a locked door, is crying for help. Mulder calls to him "it can't hurt you." when Mulder finally breaks down the door they find Wetzel on the floor, injured but alive. The sergeant enters, deputies having finally broken open the front door. "What happened?" she asks. "The sun just came up," Mulder responds.

Scully: Do you think the deputy stopped it, whatever it was?
Mulder: Maybe it just went away until the next full moon. Really, you gotta figure there's enough fear in the world, that if it doesn't show up in Willow Park, it's gonna show up some place else.
Scully: You didn't get the proof that you wanted Mulder.
Mulder: Hey, it all depends on how they edit it together. [Points to the camera]
Scully: It's gonna be a hard one to write up.

The screen fades out to the different X logo, and then to "Executive Producer Chris Carter."

Michael Watkin's TVIndustry Interview

"We shot the whole X-Cops episode on video. "Cops" is a real-life television show and it has a huge following and the banner song, "Bad Boys." They drive around with officers all over the country. What we did is -- I think it`s the 150th episode -- we started off riding around with sheriff`s deputies and then lo and behold, we come across Mulder and Scully investigating a case. And they get involved in the television show "Cops." I watched many episodes and met with the creators. I think it`s a delightful episode. It`s a huge change from our look -- all those close-ups and everything. We do one-timers and turn it into that sort of TV show. I think the fans will like it. It`s a lot of fun and it took a lot of courage. Everyone had to go the other direction to do it. I think it's one special one, right out of the chute. A lot of times we do fun ones. Chris did one a couple of years ago in black and white. We did one as a sort of homage to Hitchcock's "Rope," trying not to have edits. Every now and then, one of these pops out. But this is all by itself. It's a lot of fun. "

Episode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Judson Mills Deputy Keith Wetzel
Perla Walter Mexican Lady / Mrs. Guerrero
Dee Freeman Sergeant Paula Guthrie
Michael Maher Redhead Deputy
Lombardo Boyar Deputy Juan Molina / Spanish Speaking Deputy
Solomon Eversol Sketch Artist / Ricky
J.W. Smith Steve
Curtis C Edy
Maria Celedonio Chantara Gomez
Frankie Ray Crackhead
Tara Karsian Coroner's Assistant
Daniel Emmett Camerman
John Michael Vaughn Soundman

Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by Michael Watkins

Shooting Started: 14th December 1999
Tentative Air Date: 20th February 2000


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