The X-files

Episode: 4X02
First aired:10/27/96
Written by:Vince Gilligan
Directed by: Rob Bowman

One of my favorite episodes.

A woman and a man stop at a store a long a highway. The woman goes into the store to get her passport picture taken. After the picture is taken she has to go outside to the car to get her wallet. She is followed by a hooded man, who bumps into her. She suddenly feels very strange and stumbles down the steps to the car. She sees her friend in the seat with blood running out of his ears. She falls down and sees the hooded man over her. Inside, the photo is developed and the store owner sees that the picture is of the woman screaming in terror.

Mulder and Scully are in the car and discuss the case. They have the picture taken of the woman. Mulder explains that there is no evidence of abduction and the store owner says that that was not the picture he took, that the one he took was perfectly normal in every respect. They go to the store.

The store owner does not know what could have happened and had only come forth because he heared the woman was missing. Scully takes a look at the camera used, which apparently has not been tampered with. Scully notes that the film used is out of date, implying that the quality of the film could have produced such an image. Mulder does not agree but does not have his own theory. They talk to Officer Trott who has come to the store. They find that the woman and her boyfriend were frauds and were stealing credit cards. The police think that she faked her own dissaperance.

They go to the woman's house and find a camera. Mulder takes a picture with his hand over the lens and explains to Scully a story of a guy who was famous for his thoughtographs, saying that he could create a photographic representation of what he saw in his mind. The photos Mulder took develop (polaroid camera) and the image is of the woman screaming, very similar to the one taken at the store. Mulder believes that her abductor was in the house before. Scully believes that someone doctored the camera and left it there.

The woman wakes up in a field of weeds and gets up emotionless and walks along the highway. She is found by a police car. The doctors find her nonresponsive and that she's been given painkillers. She is given a PET scan and the results show that the woman was given a transorbital lobotomy, which involved inserting a leucotome through the eye sockets but who ever did it did it totally wrong. In the scan machine, the woman speaks and says "unruhe."

A woman, bound to a chair, with duct tape over her mouth is in a dark room. She moans and struggles. There is an unknown man with her who speaks in German. As she struggles, she watches him place a leucotome - a six-inch steel needle with a handle - on a metal table next to her. The man says something about unruhe.

Another body has been found, in a corporate park, with a secretary missing. They think about the word 'unruhe' and Scully recognizes it as the German word for 'unrest.' They can find no evidence, specifically no cameras or photos. However, Scully sees that a sign in the first photo matches the logo for the building company of the bulding that they found the body at meaning the abductor would be able to see both women. Mulder wants to go back to DC to have the photo analyzed.

We see the secretary in the same chair, held down and ducktape over her mouth. The man looms over her.

Mulder works with an analyst at the photo. They are able to find a man's face in the photo.

Scully gets information about the workers who are working on the corporate building. Mulder finds no match for the face. They do find another shadow looming over the woman. Mulder believes that it shows the shadow passing judgement over the woman.

Scully finds and talks to Gary Schnauz, the foreman, who is wearing construction stilts. Mulder calls her and tells her that the abductor may be unusually tall or wants to be. Scully suddenly realizes that Gary is the guy and runs after him. She catches him and frisks him. She finds the bloody leucotome in his pocket.

They talk to Gary who appears to know nothing about the abductions or the women. Years ago, Gary murdered his own father and was diagnosed with a paranoid schizophrenic disorder but claims to have recovered. Gary mentions that Scully looks troubled. Mulder shows Gary one of the pictures and Gary is taken back. He says that the women are saff from the howlers. They demand to know where they can find them.

They find the body of the other woman in the woods. Scully is obvioulsy shaken and wants to go and tells Mulder that it is over. Mulder, however is still contemplating the meaning to unruhe, unrest, that the photos represent Gary's nightmares.

An officer takes Gary's prison photos. The photo comes out and it shows the officer dead from a bullet wound to the head. The officer stares at it with disbelief and Gary grabs his gun and shoots. Mulder looks at the photo and sees that the real man was killed by a wound to the throat, that Gary was not trying to save the man.

The store manager has been robbed and hurt. Mulder and Scully talk to him and it turns out that Gary took all the film and morphine. Mulder takes random photos with a photo booth. Scully wonders if Gary has already picked out his next victim. Scully goes out to bring the car around while Mulder waits for the photos to develop. Scully is injected with something in her foot at the car, cries out in pain and collapses. Gary comes out from under the car and picks her up. Mulder, in the store, looks at the photos and sees a screaming Scully. He runs out to see her car speeding away.

Mulder studies the photos. He sees the "howlers" and also 6 finger like objects. They police have found the car, empty, that Gary has stolen a couple of cars on his way. In Gary's wallet they find his father's obituary that he is vetren and a retired dentist.

Scully wakes up, tied to the chair. She sees Gary and tell him to let her go. He says something in German. He tries to put ductape over her mouth but she yells in German that she does not have unruhe and does not need to be saved. Gary says that she does, because of the howlers, who also killed his sister. Gary shouts at Scully. He grabs for his camera but takes pictures of himself.

Mulder realizes that the six fingers represent the 6 headstones in the picture of Gary's father's obituary. At the cemetary, the officers spread out. Mulder sees a clearing in the trees and runs.

Gary looks at the photos of himself with disbelief. He grabs the weapon and pushes it at Scully who struggles. He hears a knock an looks through the peephole of the door and sees Mulder outside. Mulder is outside a motorhome. He looks around and sees the keys in the ignition. The keychain is off a tooth, which links it to Gary's father. He shouts to Scully, who gets one ar free and gets the duck tape off her mouth. She screams for Mulder. Mulder bashes the door down and shoots Gary once. He frees Scully, who is shaken but says she's okay and leaves the motorhome. Mulder looks down at Gary and at the photos, which show Gary dead of a bullet wound.

Scully closes the case, writing in her report that Gary has died.

Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "So why would she stab her boyfriend through the ear? The magic was gone?"

Scully -- "Mulder, take a look at this. See this smeariness here? I'm thinking that it's heat damage. With the heater sitting under the film right there that the emulsion probably melted."
Mulder -- "So you think that might make it look like she posed, screaming, for a passport photo?"
Scully -- "...Plus the film is two years out of date..that..."
Mulder -- "Oh..."
Scully -- "...that the photographic chemistry could have changed... "
Mulder -- "Yeah... "
Scully -- "...the dyes fade... they... all right, so what's your theory?"
Mulder -- "I'm not sure I have a theory."

Mulder -- "...Then those photos wouldn't be his fantasies, they would be his nightmares."
Scully -- "What the hell does it matter now?"
Mulder -- "Because I want to know."
Scully -- "I don't."

Scully -- "After his death, a diary was found among Gerald Schnauze's belongings. Written in the second person and appearently intended as an open letter to his father, it includes the names of his victims. The women he desired to "save". My name is contained in the last entry. I have no further explaination for the existense of the photographs, nor am I confident one is forth coming. My captivity forced me to understand, and even empathize with Jerry Schnauze, my survival depended on it. I see now the value in such insight, for truly to pursue monsters, we must understand them. We must venture into their minds. Only in doing so, do we risk letting them venture into ours."

Back to The X-files: Season 4

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