Episode Summary

A bizarre murder leads Agent Mulder to question a former FBI Agent who investigated one of the first X-Files dating back to the 1950s — a case which may have involved Mulder's father. Set in 1990, this is Mulder's first brush with the X-Files.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Landlord: [opening Skur's front door] Oh! God almighty! What the hell's he got in here?

Sheriff: Smells like a whole lot of something went bad.

[The landlord comes running from the bathroom retching]

Sheriff: What is it? Ain't nothing but a glove. No reason to... [The Sheriff sees that the glove is actually the hand of a desiccated corpse]

Arthur Dales: Do you know what an... X-File is?

Mulder: It's uh.. yeah, it's an unsolved case.

Arthur Dales: No. It's a case that's been designated... unsolved.

Arthur Dales: Have you ever heard of HUAC, Agent Mulder? House Unamerican Activities Committee. No, no, no, it was before your time, you wouldn't know. They hunted Communists in America in the 40s and 50s. They found... practically nothing. You think they would have found nothing... unless nothing... was what they wanted to find? Hmm?

Mulder: I'm sorry, sir. I, uh, I don't... I don't see the connection.

Arthur Dales: Maybe you're not supposed to...

Mulder: Edward Skur died saying a name. My name... my father's name...

Arthur Dales: Go ask your father...

Mulder: My father and I don't really speak.

Arthur Dales: Skur killed this man the way he did all the others. All the soft tissue, the internal organs, the ligature — all were removed without tearing the skin.

Mulder: The coroner wasn't able to determine how.

Arthur Dales: Oh I can tell you how, what I can't tell you is why.


Agent Michel: Look what I found. [Agent Michel hands Edward Skur's Communist Member card to Agent Dales]

Edward Skur: You planted that!

Agent Michel: I'll plant one in your keester, Bolshevic, you don't watch your mouth!


[Agent Michel reports Edward Skur's suicide to Agent Dales]

Agent Michel: What do you figure? Commie central command tell these mopes to snuff themselves in the event of capture?

Arthur Dales: [voiceover] I didn't know what I should say to her. I'm sorry about your loss, Mrs Skur. If there's anything I can do. The words sounded hollow. No matter what I said, I was the man who'd busted her husband, turned her life upside down. I sat there for over an hour, trying to find my courage in a bottle. An then... then I saw someone I shouldn't... I couldn't have seen. Now it was my life that would be turned upside down.


Agent Dales: EDWARD SKUR! [Agent Dales gives chase, Edward Skur tackles him to the ground and starts to regurgitate a creature onto the felled agent when they are interrupted]

Arthur Dales: [voiceover] The world still seemed clear to me that morning, despite what I'd seen the night before. I still thought I knew who the bad guys and the good guys were. But that was all about to change.


Agent Michel: They're not going to find him Artie. Open it up. [Agent Dales opens an envelope containing photographs of a dead man in a police cell]

Agent Dales: It's Skur.

Agent Michel: Maybe you want to change your description of the suspect who assaulted you.

Agent Dales: When were these taken?

Agent Michel: last night. Two hours before you say Skur attacked you. [Agent Dales looks at Agent Michel in shock] You had a few. You were feeling bad about what happened. It's understandable.

Agent Dales: I... I didn't have that much to drink.

Agent Michel: Just leave Skur's name out of your report. Nobody else has to know.

Agent Dales: I already filed my report, an hour ago.


Agent Dales: I don't interest myself in politics Mr Cohn.

Special Assistant Roy Cohn: Everything is political Agent Dales.


Special Assistant Roy Cohn: We are fighting a powerful enemy in a war of ideology. In any war there are secrets, truths that must be kept from the public in order to serve the greater good.

Agent Dales: You want me to amend my report? Take out any reference to Edward Skur? I don't understand?

Special Assistant Roy Cohn: You're not supposed to understand. You're supposed to follow orders.

Arthur Dales: [voiceover] I'd never so much as faked an expense report or used a Bureau car to drive home, so lying didn't sit too well with me, even if I was under orders. I wanted to leave behind the business of Edward Skur and never hear that name again, but it was too late. By then Skur had already become a murderer.


Agent Dales: I know this song. [Lily Marlaine] They were playing it the day my unit rolled into Berlin.

Agent Michel: Guy must be a kraut.

Agent Dales: Yeah... [Pointing out a picture of their suspect shaking the President's hand] A well-connected kraut.


Agent Michel: A well-connected dead kraut. [Finding the Doctor's desiccated corpse]


First Officer: Who called you guys out here?

Agent Michel: You did you mope. We got the call from your department.

Second Officer: We don't know nothing about that.

Agent Michel: Then who brought you guys out here?

[Agent Dales finds a coaster from his bar bearing the message; Come alone]

First Officer: One of his nurses called in. Said the Doc didn't show up for surgery this morning.

Agent Michel: Well, something tells me he ain't going to make it.

Arthur Dales: [voiceover] I was summoned to the bar by a man who'd already been to the Doctor's house that morning. It was the man, Agent Mulder, you came here to ask me about.


Agent Dales: Skur?

Agent Mulder: No. By I came here to warn you about him.

Agent Dales: Like you warned that Doctor you murdered in Chevy Chase?

Agent Mulder: I tried to save that man, but I was too late.

Agent Dales: Skur killed him?

Agent Mulder: He'll kill you too.


Agent Dales: What are you talking about? What is this, some kind of Communist plot?

Agent Mulder: Skur is not a Communist. He's a patriot. All of these men are patriots.

Agent Dales: What are you talking about? What men?

Agent Mulder: There were three men, veterans, working at the State Department — Skur, Gissing and Oberman.

Agent Dales: Gissing and Oberman. I read those names on a censored report.

Agent Mulder: And they're dead now.

Agent Dales: Murderer?

Agent Mulder: No. Dead by their own hand. They couldn't live with what they'd become, what they'd been turned into. And Skur's the last.

Agent Dales: Why'd they put out that cover story about him hanging himself?

Agent Mulder: Because they had to do something to cover up what they'd done to him. Label him a Communist, say he killed himself and put him up some place where no one's even going to look for him. But his escape threatens everything.

Agent Dales: Threatens what? What did they do to him? [Agent Mulder doesn't answer] Look, you asked me here.

Agent Mulder: And I risked by career and my family by coming here. But the crimes these men have committed against innocent people... I can't have that on me conscience any more. Someone needs to know the truth.

Agent Dales: Who are you?

Agent Mulder: My name's Mulder. In work at the State Department.


Agent Dales: Alright then Mr Mulder, who is this that you want me to arrest?

Agent Mulder: You can't arrest these men.

Agent Dales: Why not?

Agent Mulder: It's political.

Agent Dales: What are you telling me? Are you telling me that Mr Cohn and Senator McCarthy are involved in this? Is Skur after them too?

Agent Mulder: Skur wants vengeance for what they did to him. He's a killer now. He can only guess at the dimensions of this conspiracy. But he thinks you're part of it, you and your partner.


[Agent Dales orders Agent Michel's body to be taken away for an autopsy when Special Assistant Cohn appears and countermands his order]

Special Assistant Roy Cohn: You want to test me? See how fast I can pull the chain and flush you? You want to see your name on a list? Are you now or have you ever been...?

Agent Dales: What are you talking about? I'm no communist!

Special Assistant Roy Cohn: You are if I say you are... [to Officers] This is a matter of National Security. Take this body, get it out. [to Agent Dales] See... you're a patriot again.


Agent Dales: X-File?

Dorothy Bahnsen: Yes. Unsolved cases. I file them under X.

Agent Dales: Why don't you file them under U... for Unsolved?

Dorothy Bahnsen: That's what I did until I ran out of room. Plenty of room in the X's.

Agent Dales: Who decides when a case gets an X?

Dorothy Bahnsen: The Director's office. It's... uh... it's kind of a dead end. No one's supposed to see them but... makes for interesting reading.


Agent Dales: Your husband was discredited in order to over up a crime, Mrs Skur. A crime that was committed upon him, against his will.

Mrs Skur: What ever was done to my husband, you're part of it.

Agent Dales: According to VA records, your husband underwent surgery for war injuries. So did two other men he worked with at the State Department. But the surgeries that they received... it wasn't what they thought it was, it had nothing to do with their war injuries.

Mrs Skur: Then what was it?

Agent Dales: It's called Xenotransplantation. It's the grafting of another species into the human body. It's a procedure that Nazi doctors experimented with during the war and I believe that they continued their work here — using your husband and these two other men as unwitting test subjects. I want to expose what was done to your husband, Mrs Skur. I can't do that unless I have his help.


Agent Dales: The men we arrested weren't Communists.

Director: If we are to defeat the enemy, we must use their tools. We must go further, we must do those things which even our enemies would be ashamed to do. It is only through strength that we can make our enemies fear us and thereby ensure our own survival. You have one chance, Mr Dales, to save yourself. To demonstrate that you have the strength to serve your country.


Roy Cohn's Assistant: Make your meeting with Skur, let him thinkyou're alone, put him at ease. We'll be in when the time's right.

Agent Dales: Is this why you came to see me Mr Mulder? Make me into your stalking horse?

Agent Mulder: I followed my orders.

[Roy Cohn's Assistant removes Agent Dales gun]

Agent Dales: I might need that.

Roy Cohn's Assistant: We want him alive.


Edward Skur: They're not coming, you know. They wanted me to kill you or you wouldn't be here. You're part of their test now too.

Agent Dales: I don't want to kill you.

Edward Skur: I know. [He launches himself at Agent Dales]

Mulder: I can't believe my father threw in with these men. He let them dictate his conscience.

Arthur Dales: Oh don't fool yourself. None of us are free to choose. I was ruined for my insubordination. You keep digging through the... the X-Files and they'll bury you too.

Mulder: Skur died saying my father's name... why?

Arthur Dales: I haven't the faintest idea.

Mulder: There was... one thing you didn't explain. It was how Skur was able to get away, how he was able to live in obscurity for the last 38 years.

Arthur Dales: 38 years. My god. Well I kept hearing things through the years, you know, people tell me things. I heard that he was dead, that he'd been kept in some secret lab while they finished up the experiment. [voiceover] I even thought that maybe... maybe some poor innocent bastard, somebody with a conscience... might have let him go. [Mulder's father stops the car on an isolated road, gets out and tosses the keys to Edward Skur]

Mulder: Why would anyone do that? Why let a killer go free?

Arthur Dales: In the hope that by letting him live... the truth of the crimes that were committed against him and the others... might some day be exposed.