Episode Summary

When a teenager is suspected of murdering his father, Mulder and Scully become convinced that a greater evil may be lurking in the community.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Scully: 12 pounds, 9 ounces.

Mulder: All that came out of his stomach?

Scully: Most of it. A small amount in his lungs is what killed him.

Mulder: Is it possible that he took the term mud pie literally?

Scully: Well, I'm sure if Mr Rich were alive he would find some humour in that. According to his police report, Mr Rich was a man who could tell a joke. Grew up here, worked the same fields for twenty years, well liked around town. Funny he should turn up murdered.

Mulder: Is that what you've concluded?

Scully: I've concluded that this man's head was held forcibly down in the Michigan mud just a little too long. Most likely by his stepson, who was named in the report as Bobby Rich, age sixteen.

Mulder: Well, according to the same report, the coroner had to hire a backhoe to remove the body which was buried completely in a standing vertical position.

Scully: There is some indication that his stepson may have dug a hole, and that a recent rainstorm may have helped it turn into a muddy trap.

Mulder: Some rainstorm!

Scully: They say it rained 400 inches a day.

Mulder: Now that sounds like an exaggeration, don't you think?

Scully: Would you like me to show you how he may have done it?

Mulder: How a 6'4" 250 pound man was buried alive in less than five minutes by a sixteen year old kid whose classmates lovingly refer to as dorkweed?

Scully: He may have had an accomplice. [Shows Mulder the bruising around Phil Rich's ankle]

Mulder: Ich bin ein auslander. I am an outsider. You know when Kennedy told the Germans Ich bin ein Berliner he was actually saying I am a cocktail sausage?

Bobby Rich: Who's Kennedy?

Mulder: Did you ever shove him back?

Bobby Rich: [laughing] He's twice as big as me.

Mulder: Kid says his stepfather teed off on him regularly.

Scully: Is that his excuse?

Mulder: No, that's his explanation. He says he's innocent.

Scully: What do you think?

Mulder: I think he's a hard kid to love.

Mulder: Then how did the victim swallow 12 pounds of this stuff?

Scully: Well, when you fight for air a vacuum is created. And maybe once he sucked down a mouthful of mud it turns his oesophagus into a siphon. And with his head pushed down it filled all his passages like a gas can. [From the bottom of the hole, Mulder looks up at Scully in amusement] Well, you asked me for answers, these are the best ones I've got.

Mulder: Did you ask if anybody else might be involved?

Scully: His mother says that Bobby can't make friends. He's been in therapy for his anger since 1995.

Mulder: That could be me.

Bobby Rich: [to bully] Maybe I'll kill you too.

Lisa Baiocchi: You scared me today, Bobby.

Bobby Rich: Why? Was it because I stood up for myself? Or, um, because I didn't let them beat me up like usual?

Scully: I think it's pretty clear what killed him though. From what they put together they've all but concluded he was pushed out the window.

Mulder: Pushed out?

Scully: His daughter, Lisa, made the 911 call at 8:08 pm. She said she and her father had a fight.

Mulder: About what?

Scully: Bobby.

Karin Matthews: My approach is with the victims solely. To allow them to empower themselves.

Mulder: In what ways?

Karin Matthews: By breaking the cycle of abuse. By owning it, by confronting it and by standing up against it.

Mulder: Seems to be working.

Scully: I don't understand.

Mulder: Well it seems to me like some of the facts have been assumed. It looks to me like Lisa's father was pulled out the window, not pushed.

Scully: How?

Mulder: I don't know.

Mulder: [holding up evidence bag] Scully?

Bobby Rich: What is that?

Mulder: Evidence. [Pointing out printing across top of bag]

Mulder: Excuse me. Its been a few years. [Climbs tree]

Scully: You think that Bobby climbed this tree to pull Lisa's father out of that window?

Mulder: Kind of begs the question, doesn't it? Hey Scully... is... this demonstration of boyish agility turning you on at all?

[The orchard keeper swings his axe into the trunk of a diseased Hazelnut tree and shows the red sap running out like blood]

Orchard Keeper: Twenty years ago this happens.

Mulder: What causes this?

Orchard Keeper: A very bad man.

[Mulder and Scully are exhuming Charles Matthews' body]

Scully: Mulder, whatever you're hoping to find here, without a court order it won't be admissible.

Mulder: I'm not expecting it to be. [Mulder wrenches the lids off the coffin to find it full of roots]

Scully: Mulder, where's the body?

Mulder: I don't think this was an act of grave robbing, Scully.

Scully: No, that's what we were doing.

Mulder: More like an act of nature.

Scully: What do you mean?

Mulder: The orchardman said that the blight that plagues this town was caused by a man, implying a connection.

Scully: I'm a little afraid to ask what kind of connection.

Mulder: Between the people of this valley and their livelihood, the trees. Look at the victims, Scully.

Scully: Bobby's father, Lisa's father —

Mulder: — And Karin's father twenty years ago. All men who worked in these orchards. Their lives and deaths tied to these trees. We removed a sliver of greenwood from Lisa's father's neck, and the bruise that you found on Bobby's father's ankle could have been a caused by a root. The same root system that pulled Karin's father from his grave.

Scully: Mulder, there is a connection between these deaths. One that provides a clear motive and intent. These were abused children.

Mulder: Who couldn't defend themselves.

Scully: What? So nature did it for them?

Mulder: Something did it for them. Or someone controlling nature. Karin said she was counselling Bobby and Lisa to empower themselves. I think we should talk to them.

Mulder: For the first time in your life people are taking you seriously. And I think they should take you seriously. You're a serious kid. You're not an outsider any more, huh?

Bobby Rich: Yeah, I'm thinking about running for ASP president.

Mulder: She [Karin Matthews] made you believe you were a victim. But you weren't, were you.

Bobby Rich: She said I have the power to make it all go away. But I didn't mean for him to die.

[There is a root-encrusted body in Karin Matthews' cellar]

Mulder: Talk about putting down roots.

Scully: What the hell is going on here?

Mulder: I think we're looking at Karin Matthews' father.

Scully: But how did it get here?

Mulder: The same way Bobby's father got pulled down in that mud.

Scully: Mulder, I —

Mulder: This has to do with Karin, with her own father's abuse. It was never Bobby that was locked in the cellar, it was Karin. Karin caused all this.

Scully: You think Karin's the killer?

Mulder: I think she's the killer and the victim.

Mulder: [voiceover] Coats Grove authorities conducted a detailed examination of the soil and root composition in the Rich family orchard, but could not explain what pulled Karin Matthews' body into the Michigan mud. Nor could the authorities determine how the body of Karin's father was pulled from its grave into her root cellar three years earlier. While the forensic data is inconclusive, I believe the explanation lies in hospital records dating back to Karin's childhood, which suggests she herself was a victim of abuse. Rage unconfronted takes it's own path. I believe it was Karin's unconfronted rage that forced her to face her buried father. This same rage made her imagine victims in the children around her. Tried to instil in them a strength she never found in herself. What happened to Karin Matthews in the orchard that night was a release. Release for a victim who... unable to face up to her own past, was finally consumed by it.