episode by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon
summary by Pellinor
Internal dating: The case starts on March 27th 1994 and takes about three days. Mulder writes up his final notes on April 19th 1994.
14th Precinct House, Buffalo, New York. Detective Sharon Lazard finds a young girl outside on the street and passes her over to a colleague, Detective Barbala, to question. The girl says her name is Michelle Bishop, but will say nothing more, simply staring straight ahead. The next thing everyone knows, Barbala is dead on the street below, having fallen from the window, and Michelle is still staring, as if nothing has happened.
Mulder and Scully are called in by Detective Lazard, who says her brother in Baltimore came across them in the Tooms case. "He said you have a feel for things out of the ordinary," she says. Michelle says there was a man in the room, she tells them, but there was no way there could have been, and neither is there any way Barbala would have killed himself. Mulder also points out that jumpers usually open the window before they jump. Lazard talks about Michelle again, saying she's the strangest thing she's seen in her eight years in the force. "This kid... Something's not right about her," she says.
Mulder questions Michelle about the man she claims to have seen in the room. Her description is entered on a computer to produce a composite picture of the man. To make the girl laugh, Mulder makes gives picture a silly moustache, but suddenly the picture jolts and shows a clear image of a man. Michelle solemnly identifies him as the man she saw.
Scully talks to Michelle's mother, who is baffled as to how Michelle got to the police station. "Michelle is a disturbed child," she admits, telling Scully how she's got through four nannies this year alone. "Sometimes she frightens me," she says. "She's not like other girls.... She says she sees things that I can't see. She hears people yelling in her head." Last year they had to cover up the pool as she would scream terribly whenever she was taken into the water. As they talk beside the covered pool, Mulder comes out and shows Michelle's mother the picture of the man Michelle claimed to have seen. Her mother says she doesn't recognise him. Michelle comes to the window and throws done an origami bird, beautifully crafted. Her mother says she has no idea where Michelle learnt this.
As Mulder plans to visit Michelle's psychiatrist, he asks Scully, who is going to autopsy Barbala's body, to look to signs of burning - the signs of psychokinesis. Clearly this is the first Scully has heard of this particular theory.
The psychiatrist tells Mulder that Michelle has signs of extreme rage, although there is no clear cause. When left alone with a doll, she repeatedly hacked off its left arm and pokes out its right arm. Despite her initial suspicions, she has seen no evidence of abuse within the family. "I'm at a loss," she admits. Mulder suggests she try deep regression hypnosis, but she calls it "an unreliable approach at best." While she's searching for the cause of the problems, she's been giving Michelle thorazine to regulate the bizarre behaviour. When Mulder asks if Michelle has any signs of psychic powers, the psychiatrist dismisses him, saying she has a patient waiting.
Scully performs the autopsy on Barbala, finding a large burn mark across his middle which suggests localised electrocution. Lazard interrupts, looking shocked. The man Michelle claims to have seen is Charlie Morris, who's been dead for nine years. "That little girl saw a ghost," she says.
Morris was killed in Chinatown, presumably by the Triads, although no arrests were made. Scully, telling all this to Mulder, cautions him against thinking Barbala was killed by a ghost. She refuses to think about the burn mark on the body, not until the lab results come in. "Why is it still so hard for you to believe, even when all the evidence suggests extraordinary phenomena?" "Because sometimes," Scully says, "looking for extreme possibilities makes you blind to the probable explanation right in front of you." She points out a picture of Charlie Morris on the wall, which Michelle would have walked past when going into the room where Barbala died. Mulder doesn't even answer her, instead asking how Morris died. His left arm was chopped off and his right eye gouged out, Scully tells him, as Mulder shows her one of Michelle's dolls.
Mulder and Scully visit Morris's old partner, Tony Fiore. He looks edgy and insists they talk outside, for fear of waking his wife. Morris's death, which happened off-duty, was probably a warning to the police after some big busts that had just happened. When his wife comes out, drying her hands and not looking at all as if she's just woken up, he goes inside with her, saying he'll talk more after the weekend. Scully notices the fact that he lied about her being sleeping.
Fiore is seen talking to another man, Felder, saying how scared he is that the FBI will dig things up. Felder urges him to lighten up, but Fiore thinks they're a threat, since they've already worked out the link between Morris and Barbala. The two men argue. Fiore says he wants to get the safety box from the bank and dump it somewhere, but Felder says there's "only two of us left" and that means over a million each. "We agreed to wait ten years," he says, adding that no-one - not him, not Barbala - had intended Charlie to end up dead. "We were just trying to scare a little sense into him. It was an accident - end of story."
That night, Felder gets off a bus. Suddenly his scarf lifts up as if by an invisible hand and gets caught in the bus doors, just as the bus drives off. The driver tries to stop but the pedals depress without his foot touching them, and the man is killed. Michelle solemnly watches from the bus.
Mulder and Scully question Michelle's mother, who can shed no light on the situation. As Scully comforts her, Mulder talks to Lazard, who's found out that the dead man, Felder, used to be a cop and that his partner was Barbala.
Mulder and Scully try to work out the connection between the four cops - Morris and his partner Fiore, and Barbala and his partner Felder. All were involved in a drugs bust in Chinatown nine years ago, but how they are related to Michelle neither of them can say. They then find that there's a page missing from the file on Morris's death, and that Fiore checked out the file that afternoon.
When they arrive at Fiore's house they are greeted by his wife, anxious because her husband didn't come home the previous night. She says she's never heard the names Barbala or Felder. There are lots of origami animals on the mantelpiece and Mulder asks about them. "They were Charlie's hobby," she says, thus leading them to realise that she used to be married to Charlie Morris.
Mulder points out that Michelle was conceived at the same time Charlie Morris was killed. "Do me a favour, Mulder. Let me say it - reincarnation," Scully says, saying a little origami is no reason to come up with a theory like this. Mulder tells her they are "one short step from proving the pre-existence of the human soul."
At Mulder's request, Michelle is regressed. She says he age is 24, then starts screaming. "We can't do this! It's wrong!" she shouts, over and over, then "They're killing me! They're killing me!" The psychiatrist objects, saying it could push her permanently into deep withdrawal, but Mulder says it's better than pumping her full of thorazine. Hearing her cries, Michelle's mother stops the session. "We almost had it, Scully" Mulder says, afterwards. "We were right there. We'll have to try to again. Scully says there's no way Mrs Bishop will change her mind, and adds that she herself doesn't think it's necessary. Mulder asserts that Michelle is Charlie Morris. "How much more apparent does it have to become for you to accept it?" he challenges her. She still says it doesn't matter. Even if they did regress her again and ("by some small miracle") he finds out everything he could hope for, they would still have no case that would stand up in court.
In the FBI Buffalo Office, Mulder writes up his report, long-hand in a black bound notebook, saying how he still believes in reincarnation as the key to this case. He studies the video of the regression and sees a sudden burst of interference on the picture.
Anita Fiore, her husband still missing, hears a knock on the door. When she opens it she finds only an origami giraffe on the doorstep. (She'd earlier told Mulder and Scully how Charlie was making all the animals from a Noah's Ark picture, and only the giraffe remained to be done.)
The interference picture on the video is analysed and enhanced. Meanwhile, Lazard has managed to unearth Morris's autopsy report, which shows he was killed by drowning in sea water and the mutilations done after death, presumably to make it look like a gang related execution.
Fiore comes home, telling his wife someone wants to kill him and that he wants them to get out as soon as possible. Michelle watches from behind the curtain.
Back at the FBI regional office, the image on the video is revealed, by some high-tech wizardry, to be a little model of a diver. Mulder recognises it as the same model as he saw in the fish tank in the Fiore's tropical fish tank. He theorises that Charlie was drowned in his own fish tank and this was the last thing he saw.
Anita Fiore shows her husband the giraffe, but before he can answer the lights go off in the house. He rushes downstairs to investigate, and an invisible force turns the key, locking her in the bedroom. Downstairs, Fiore's felled by a rope tat snakes around his legs, and his gun slithers across the room away from his hand. Michelle approaches him menacingly. As Mulder and Scully arrive, pictures and things start exploding throughout the house. Fiore, talking to Michelle as if he's Charlie, says "they" said they were only going to talk to him and it wasn't his fault. "Why didn't you take the money?" he asks. As Fiore cowers on the floor, Mulder rushes in. "This won't make right what happened," he tells Michelle/Charlie. Scully releases Mrs Fiore and the two arrive in the room to find Fiore on the floor. He confesses that he knew what they did to Charlie - he was a part of it but didn't say anything. "I just wanted to take care of you," he tells his wife. Michelle looks at him with hatred, and the whole house starts shaking. "Please don't hurt him any more?" Mrs Fiore begs, as the fishtank explodes but the rest of the house returns to normal.
Mulder writes his notes. Fiore has pleaded guilty in court, the other deaths ruled accidental, and Michelle, happy and no longer afraid of water, claims no memory of what happened. Mulder wants her regressed, but her mother has refused. The date of his report is given as April 19, 1994, though this is long enough after the events for the case to have come to court.