One of the scarier episodes.
Ed Jerse, a handsome Philadelphia
resident, is devastated as a judge decrees the harsh
terms of his divorce settlement
. After downing too many drinks at a neighborhood bar,
Ed enters a tattoo parlor and selects a Betty Page-like design (on which is printed the
words, "Never Again.") The next day, while at work, Ed hears a female voice
him as a "loser." Angered, Ed picks a fight with some women close to his cubicle
they don't understand his anger. His boss sends him home for the day.
he must take time off for vacation
or face losing several
week's pay. Tension erupts between the pair when Mulder tells his partner
need her attention during his absence
. Scully refuses to waste her time on a dubious
case involving a Russian
living in Philadelphia whom Mulder believes possesses
valuable information on UFOs
. Scully tells Mulder she feels as though she has lost sight
of herself--as if her own life does nothing but stand still
Now in his shabby apartment
, Ed hears the female voice taunting him again, mocking
him. Not realizing where the voice is coming from, he thinks it's his downstairs
neighbor. The voice eventually drives Ed to the point of madness
. In a rage, Ed bursts
into the woman's apartment and attacks her. Later, he drags the body into the basement
and stuffs it inside an incinerator
Despite her reservations, Scully decides to keeps tabs on Mulder's Russian. She quickly
realizes the man is an extortionist
and his activities have nothing to do with the X-Files
Scully follows the Russian into a nearby tattoo parlor
, where she strikes up a
conversation with Ed (who is in the process of begging the tattoo artist to cover his
handiwork). They strike up a conversation
and an undeniable chemistry
between the pair. Ed hands Scully his business card, and suggests they have dinner.
She politely declines, but takes his card anyway.
After a tense phone conversation
with Mulder about the Russian, Scully sets up a date
with Ed. Scully tells Ed how her whole life, she's followed some type of father figure
around, until she has to rebel
. Ed observes that it looks like she's ready to rebel again.
After consuming a few drinks, Scully and Ed return to the tattoo parlor, where Scully has
the image of a snake eating its own tail
tattooed on her back. The pair return to Ed's
. Noting the bad weather, Ed suggests Scully spend the night. Scully notices
blood dripping from Ed's tattoo and, doctor-like
, helps him pull off his shirt. A moment of
intimacy develops, but before Ed can act upon his feelings, the Betty tattoo cries out:
"Kiss her... and she's dead."
The next morning, Ed awakens on the couch. He leaves Scully a note that he is going to
. While Ed is away, detectives roust Scully from her sleep. They reveal that
a resident downstairs was reported missing, and that a blood type different from her's
was found inside the apartment
. The detectives tell Scully that the blood contains
. Seeing the chemical breakdown, Scully realizes it is composed
of the same odd ingredients the Russian tattoo artist used to make the ink he used in
When Ed returns with breakfast
, Scully tells him about the detectives' visit. She also
reveals that the chemical found in the blood is an ergot alkaloid
that can produce
. Ed confides in Scully about hearing Betty's voice in his head,
taunting him, controlling him
--but now that Scully is here, the voice has gone away.
Now afraid for herself, Scully prepares to take them both to the hospital
. But when Ed
learns Scully is an FBI agent
, he snaps. He attacks her and Scully is knocked
. As Betty's voice urges him on, Ed drags Scully's body into the basement,
intending to stuff it inside the incinerator. Scully regains consciousness
and tells Ed to
"take control." Suddenly, Ed gathers the strength to thrust his arm inside the incinerator,
burning off the tattoo. He is transported to a burn center
When Mulder returns from vacation, the air between him and Scully remains tense.
Scully reminds her partner that not everything revolves around
him-and that she intends
to live her own life.
Mulder -- "Okay, so we . . . we'll have them send down another desk and there won't be any room to move around here but we can put them really close together face to face. Maybe we can play
Scully -- "Where will you be?"
Mulder -- "Ironically
enough, it's personal. It's a . . . place I always wanted to go. What I anticipate
to be a spiritual journey
. I hope to discover something about myself. Maybe you should do the same."
Mulder -- "All this because I . . . because I didn't get you a desk
Scully -- "Not everything is about you, Mulder. This is my life
Mulder -- "Yes, but it's my . . ."
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