The Jersey Devil
episode written by Chris Carter
summary by Pellinor
Internal dating: The case starts with a body being found on August 29th, 1993. Mulder and Scully go up to investigate the next day. For real nit-pickers, this was a Sunday, so quite how the next day can be a Friday, as Scully clearly says it is, is rather odd. Ah well....
1947, three miles of out Atlantic City, New Jersey. A man stops to repair a burst tyre and is attacked and dragged off into the woods. Police search the woods and track something to a cave and shoot it, though the creature isn't shown.
Scully walks into the office to find Mulder looking at the centrefold of "Hanky Panky". "Working hard, Mulder?" she says, and he tells her how the centrefold claims to have been abdcuted by aliens. She then tells him how a body's been found in the woods of New Jersey, with bits of it eaten off by a human. "It's not our case, Mulder," she reminds him, as he reaches out an X-File and tells her about the 1947 incident, which he attributed to the fabled Jersey Devil beast man. Scully dismisses it as a folk tale told to children, but Mulder says he heard the story when he was young too. "Funny thing is - I believed it."
They go to the Coroner's Office in Atlantic City and are shown the body, which was of Roger Crockett, a homeless man. The bite marks on the bone are definitely human, says the pathologist. Detective Thompson, who's in charge of the case, comes in and in distinctly hostile, saying no-one called the FBI. Mulder asks about the case, assuring the Detective they're here unofficially, but Thompson won't talk. "This is a local matter," he says. Scully encourages Mulder to leave. "He was perfectly within his rights," she reminds Mulder, adding that he would have been just the same if someone intruded on his territory.
Mulder suggests they stay for the weekend, but Scully has her godson's birthday party to go to. Despite her protests about the long drive in Friday night traffic, Mulder throws her the car keys and walks off, with a smile and a wave but nothing else.
Mulder contacts the park ranger, Peter Boulle, who found the body, and they go into the woods. Boulle says everyone's scared of the woods. He won't come out and say the Jersey Devil exists, as he's scared of risking his job if he says the wrong thing, but he admits he's seen a lot of "weird stuff," including a large naked man sniffing the air like an animal. Mulder sets off the walk back to town through the woods.
At her godson's party, Scully talks to her friend Ellen, saying she can't imagine having children. "I don't think I'm cut out for this," she says. Ellen assures her she's great with kids, but first she'll need to get a life - and a man. "Know of any?" Scully asks. Ellen asks about Mulder, saying "I thought you said he was cute." "Mulder?" Scully replies. "He's a jerk. No, he's not a jerk. He's.... obsessed with his work." Later, a father turns up to collect his son. "Divorced," mouths Ellen.
Mulder talks to some homeless people and finds a man who says he's seen a wild human scavenging in the garbage. He says the police know about it but don't care. Mulder settles down to spend the night on the streets. Much later, he hears a noise and watches as a figure rummages around then jumps onto a roof. The police appear and he tells them what he's seen, but is arrested as a vagrant instead.
Detective Thompson threatens to call the DA and report Mulder for misconduct and interfering with the investigation. Mulder, in turn, accuses him of withholding evidence. He says the police know about the beast but are covering it up, scared of anything that will frighten away the visitors. Thompson laughs and walks out, saying he hopes Mulder enjoys the rest of his weekend.
Scully goes into work on Monday morning to find a call from Mulder waiting for her. "The drunk tank?" she says, loudly, when Mulder tells her where he is. In the background a fellow worker listens with interest.
Scully collects Mulder and he encourages her to take him to get some food. He's enthusiatic, telling her everything he saw and thought about the beast. Scully is worried about what the Bureau will say, and tried to dampen his enthusiasm: "Mulder, listen to yourself. You're already ascribing to it a motive and an alibi." Mulder wants to stay, but Scully says she has to get home. "I have a date," she says, looking very awkward and defensive. Mulder asks her if she can cancel, but she refuses. "Unlike you, Mulder, I want to have a life." "I have a life," Mulder replies.
On the way home, Scully takes Mulder to meet Dr Diamond, an anthropology professor at the Univeristy of Maryland, where she studied. Dr Diamond talks about wild man myths, but is sceptical of the existence of any sort of beast species that is above us in the food chain. "Highly unlikely, but not outside the realms of extreme possibility?" asks Mulder.
That evening, Scully goes on her date, but it doesn't go very well. Rob, the man from the party, talks about his ex-wife, then asks her about the case, but she doesn't feel it can be discussed over dinner. For his part, he can't talk about his own work as it's too boring.
Mulder's still at the office, looking at beast man pictures, when the the park ranger calls and tells him he's found the body of a large man, dead six to eight months, which looks like the creature he saw in the woods. Mulder pages Scully to tell her, apologising for disturbing her date. "That's okay," she says, looking as if she means it. Mulder suggests the beast man could be a beast woman after all.
Back in Atlantic City, the body the park ranger found is nowhere to be found at the morgue. Mulder is convinced it's being deliberately covered up. They all go to a deserted building and start looking round for the beast woman, where Mulder and Scully discuss whether such a creature would have emotions or act entirely on instinct. "Eight million years out of Africa - I don't think we're all that different," says Mulder. "Maybe we're just beasts with big brains."
Detective Thompson arrives, complete with a SWAT team, and start searching the building as well. Mulder catches sight of the creature and chases her into a basement, where he's attacked and knocked to the floor. He and the beast stare at each other for a while, then Scully comes in and the beast runs away. "She was beautiful," says Mulder.
Mulder is tended to in the back of an ambulance, while Scully tried to get federal jurisdiction on the case, finding out that the Detective has filed a complaint with the Bureau that they've been endangering an investigation. Just then the police team corner the creature in a warehouse but she escapes into the woods. The park ranger wants to shoot her with a tranquiliser dart but the police get there first and kill her. Mulder bends over her body, looking moved. "Why did you have to kill her?" he asks the detective. "Same reason you kill a rabid animal," he replies.
A week later, at the office. Scully comes in with the autopsy reports, which show no evidence of being of anything other than homo sapiens, although they do show the woman had had a child.. "Mulder, will you do me a favour?" Scully asks, as he is about to rush off to talk to an exobiologist at the Smithsonian."Will you go out and have a beer. Will you take the day off. I'll cover for you. Will you just take some time for yourself."
The phone rings. It's Rob, asking if Scully wants to borrow Ellen's child and go to Cirque de Soleil.
Mulder is preparing to leave when Scully comes up. He asks her who was on the phone. "A guy." He asks her if she's having dinner with him again. "I don't think so," she answers. "No interest?" he asks. "Not at this time," she says, following him to the door. "Don't you have a life, Scully?" Mulder asks. "Keep that up, Mulder, and I'll hurt you like that Beast Woman did," she replies, holding the door open for him.
And then we see the Baby Beast Boy, lurking in the woods....