Episode Summary

When Mulder and Scully shadow a killer who leaves no clues, Scully finds herself enthralled by Mulder's prime suspect.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Scully: I, uh... I rode up on the elevator with someone. Someone from next door, I think.

Mulder: Hmm... Young guy?

Scully: Yeah.

Mulder: New neighbour. Why?

Scully: You met him?

Mulder: Uh, briefly, yeah. He's a writer.

Scully: What does he write?

Mulder: He didn't say.

Scully: These are, uh... these are my autopsy reports from the second victim. As you can see the heart was removed in the same manner as the previous victim. No incisions, no scope marks, no cutting of any kind.

Mulder: No indication of how the killer did it?

Scully: No. There's no prints, no DNA material, no hair and fibre.

Mulder: And yet, you still refuse to believe my theory — that what this is psychic surgery?

Scully: Mulder, psychic surgery is some man dipping his hand in a bucket of chicken guts and pretending to remove tumours from the sick and gullible.

Mulder: Or... it's a grossly misunderstood area of alternative medicine.

Scully: Well, medicine, as you're referring to it is about keeping people alive.

Mulder: Well, absent another theory how else do we account for the impossible extraction of this man's heart?

Scully: I don't know. I have no idea.

Mulder: I mean, we have no evidence — no MO to speak of. This could be the perfect crime.

Scully: Well, a crime is only as perfect as the man or the mind that commits it. Even if it were perfect — even if he made not one mistake — there's still his motive. You find his motive and you find the murderer.

Scully: [answering phone] Scully.

Mulder: Hey, Scully, glad I caught you. We got a third victim — 16-year-old kid out on lover's lane.

Scully: Are you sure?

Mulder: Yeah. I'm sure many a person's had their heart broken out here, but not quite like this. I was hoping you'd be here to explain it in medical terms to the local PD.

Scully: I'm not sure that I could. Did anybody see anybody?

Mulder: No, nothing. I mean, it's like there's nowhere to start on this case. Nothing to ask, nothing to say.

Scully: Well, there's got to be something, Mulder... [She picks an envelope up off the floor] Something about his victims — why he chooses them, a pattern.

Mulder: So far, there's absolutely nothing, Scully. It appears to be just a series of random attacks.

Scully: An envelope's been slipped under your door.

Mulder: Yeah? From who?

Scully: It's unmarked. It's some kind of a pendant. Like a charm.

Phillip Padgett: [voiceover] Her prompt mind ran through the golconda of possibilities — was this trinket from the killer? Was there a message contained in its equivocal symbolism? Was he a religious fanatic who had, in fervid haste licked the envelope, leaving the telltale DNA that would begin his unravelling? She had a condign certainty the killer was a male... and now, as she held the cold metal at her fingertips she imagined him doing the same, trying to picture his face. It would be a plain face, an average face... A face people would be prone to trust. She knew this inherently, being naturally trusting herself. But the image she conjured up was no better than the useless sketch composites that littered her files. Preconsciously, she knew this wasn't her strength as an investigator. She was a marshall of cold facts, quick to organise, connect, shuffle, reorder and synthesise their relative hard values into discreet categories. Imprecision would only invite sexist criticism that she was soft, malleable not up to her male counterparts. [Scully brushes her hair behind her ear] Even now, as she pushed an errant strand of titian hair behind her ear, she worried her partner would know instinctively what she could only guess. To be thought of as simply a beautiful woman was bridling, unthinkable. But she was beautiful... fatally, stunningly prepossessing. Yet the compensatory respect she commanded only deepened the yearnings of her heart... to let it open, to let someone in.

Scully: It's called a milagro. That's the Spanish word for miracle. It's worn as a lucky charm.

Mulder: It came here for me?

Scully: It was dropped off at reception by a man in his late 20s, early 30s... average looking, average build. They weren't able to get a good ID. There are no fingerprints and no DNA from his saliva.

Mulder: I don't think it's the killer, Scully.

Scully: Did you see that it's a burning heart?

Mulder: I see it has a burning heart. But we're dealing with a killer that leaves absolutely no clues. Why would he do something as heavy-handed as this?

Scully: Well, maybe it has something to do with his next victim. Maybe he's taunting you.

Mulder: Maybe it's not me at all. Maybe he sent it to you. Maybe it's a secret admirer.

Scully: I think I'll check it out.

Mulder: Actually, let me. You've got a 9:00am with the DC medical examiner. He's going to let you autopsy the latest victim.

Scully: Thank you for making my schedule but I think I'm going to have to be late for that appointment.

Phillip Padgett: I often come here to look at this painting. It's called My Divine Heart after the miracle of Saint Margaret Mary. Do you know the story... The revelation of the Sacred Heart? Christ came to Margaret Mary, his heart so inflamed with love that it was no longer able to contain its burning flames of charity. Margaret Mary... so filled with divine love herself, asked the Lord to take her heart... and so he did, placing it alongside his until it burned with the flames of his passion. Then he restored it to Margaret Mary, sealing her wound with the touch of his blessed hand.

Scully: Why are you telling me this?

Phillip Padgett: You came here specifically to see this painting, didn't you?

Scully: Yes. How did you know that?

Phillip Padgett: I saw you enter. The way you knew right where it was.

Scully: I know you. You live next to somebody I work with. Why are you following me?

Phillip Padgett: I'm not. I'd only imagined that you'd come here today.

Scully: You imagined it.

Phillip Padgett: Yes.

Scully: Yeah.

Phillip Padgett: I'm a writer. That's what I do — imagine how people behave. I have to admit I've noticed you. I do that... Notice people. I saw that you wear a gold cross around your neck so I was taking a chance with the painting — explaining something you may have already known. I saw Georgetown parking permits on your car dating from 1993 and a government-exempt sticker that lets you park anywhere you like. You don't live in this area but as a federal employee, you have reason to frequent it. You're fit, with muscular calves, so you must exercise or run. There's a popular running route right nearby that you might use at lunch or after work. You'd have noticed this church in passing and though parking is always a problem in this part of town, your special privileges would make it easy to visit... not as a place of worship, but because you have an appreciation for architecture and the arts... and while the grandeur is what you'd take away from your visit... this painting's religious symbolism would have left a subconscious impression, jogged by the gift you received this morning.

Scully: That was from you?

Phillip Padgett: I have to admit to a secret attraction. I'm sorry I didn't include a note explaining that but you didn't know me then.

Scully: Yeah, and I don't know you now and I don't care to.

Phillip Padgett: I see this is making you uncomfortable and I'm sorry. It's just that I'm taken with you. That never happens to me. We're alike that way.

Mulder: Hey, you weren't joking about being late. I was about to start slicing and dicing, myself.

Scully: I'm sorry.

Mulder: Where were you?

Scully: I was doing some research, and learning that I owe you an apology.

Mulder: For what?

Scully: The Milagro charm — you were right about its insignificance.

Mulder: No, I think I was wrong. I think it's very significant. I think it may be a communication from the killer. Most of my research shows that most credible practitioners of psychic surgery believe themselves to be imbued with the Holy Spirit — that their hands become the miracle tools of God.

Scully: Mulder, this... is nothing more than a tool, used by a lovelorn Romeo who just happens to be your next-door neighbour.

Mulder: Who, the writer?

Scully: Yes — my secret admirer, who claims to know the mysteries of my heart.

Mulder: You're kidding.

Scully: No, I wish I were. He cornered me today and told me my life story. It was kind of frightening, actually.

Mulder: Is... he our killer?

Scully: No. Frightening as in too much information and intimate detail. What kills you is his audacity.

Mulder: Did you get his name?

Scully: No, but that shouldn't be too hard to find out, should it?

Mulder: I'm sorry I forgot your name.

Phillip Padgett: Padgett.

Mulder: Padgett.

Phillip Padgett: Phillip Padgett.

Mulder: You're a writer. Anything I'd know?

Phillip Padgett: I don't think so. You're an FBI agent. Working on anything interesting?

Mulder: A murder case.

Phillip Padgett: Anything I'd know?

Mulder: Possibly.

Phillip Padgett: [voiceover] The overture in the church had urged the beautiful agent's partner into an act of Hegelian self-justification. Expeditiously violating the fourth amendment against mail theft, he prepared to impudently infract the first. [Mulder is listening at the heating vent] But if she'd predictably aroused her sly partner's suspicions, Special Agent Dana Scully had herself... become simply aroused. All morning the stranger's unsolicited compliments had played on the dampened strings of her instrument until the middle C of consciousness was struck square and resonant. She was flattered. His words had presented her a pretty picture of herself, quite unlike the practiced mask of uprightness that mirrored back to her from the medical examiners and the investigators and all the lawmen who dared no such utterances. [Scully finishes the autopsy and looks at the charm] She felt an involuntary flush and rebuked herself for the girlish indulgence. [Phillip Padgett imagines the stranger in bed with Scully] But the images came perforce and she let them play — let them flood in like savoury — or more a sugary confection — from her adolescence when her senses were new and ungoverned by fear and self-denial. Ache, pang, prick, twinge — how ironic the Victorian vocabulary of behavioural pathology now so perfectly described the palpations of her own desire. The stranger had looked her in the eye and knew her more completely than she knew herself. She felt wild, feral, guilty as a criminal. Had the stranger unleashed in her what was already there, or only helped her discover a landscape she by necessity blinded herself to? What would her partner think of her?

[Mulder opens Phillip Padgett's phone bill, under the long distance charges it says No calls placed]

Mulder: Mr Popularity.

Scully: Hi. I, um... I was going next door and I thought that I'd return this. [The Milagro charm]

Phillip Padgett: Why?

Scully: Because I can't return the gesture. I can't.

Phillip Padgett: You're curious about me.

Scully: You don't have any furniture.

Phillip Padgett: I have what I need. I write at my desk. I sleep in my bed.

Scully: You don't eat?

Phillip Padgett: I live in my head.

Scully: Writing your books?

Phillip Padgett: Yes.

Scully: Anything I'd know?

Phillip Padgett: No. They're all failures... Except the one I'm working on now. I think I'm getting it right.

Scully: Why now, all of a sudden?

Phillip Padgett: Best not to question it. See? You are curious about me.

Scully: Well, you lead a curious life.

Phillip Padgett: It's not so different from yours I imagine — lonely.

Scully: Loneliness is a choice.

Phillip Padgett: So, how about a cup of coffee?

Scully: My life's not so lonely, Mister, um...

Phillip Padgett: Padgett.

Scully: It's actually anything but.

Phillip Padgett: Mmm.

Scully: How is it you think you know me so well, Mr Padgett?

Phillip Padgett: I'm writing about you.

Scully: Right. Since when?

Phillip Padgett: Since I first noticed you. You live in my old neighbourhood.

Scully: And you moved into this building by coincidence?

Phillip Padgett: No.

Scully: You moved here because of me?

Phillip Padgett: There wasn't anything available in your building and it's not like you spent a lot of time at home. I should've said something but I just couldn't get it all down fast enough. To really write someone, I have to be in their head. I have to know them more completely than they know themselves.

Scully: This is all about me?

Phillip Padgett: Well, you're an important part.

Scully: May I read it?

Phillip Padgett: It's not finished. I can't tell you how helpful it is having you here — being able to talk with you like this. Would you sit and stay a minute?

Scully: You don't have anywhere to sit. [Phillip Padgett leads her into the bedroom]

Scully: I'm due next door.

Phillip Padgett: You haven't finished your coffee.

Scully: I'm very uncomfortable with this.

Phillip Padgett: Why? You're armed, aren't you?

Scully: If you know me so well then why am I standing here when my instincts tell me to go?

Phillip Padgett: Motive is never easy. Sometimes it occurs to one only later. Please. Sit.

[Mulder bursts into Phillip Padgett's apartment with his gun drawn]

Scully: Mulder!

Mulder: Scully.

Scully: What are you doing?

Mulder: You all right?

Scully: Yes. [Mulder searches through Phillip Padgett's manuscript] Mulder... what are you doing? [Mulder hands Scully a page and handcuffs Phillip Padgett]

Mulder: Putting this man under arrest.

[The page reads; ...felt his warm beating heart.]

Phillip Padgett: Yes, I've seen this paper.

Mulder: Yeah, that's how you found your victims — the personals. They all took out personal ads.

Phillip Padgett: They were lovers.

Mulder: And you targeted them.

Phillip Padgett: I only write about them.

Mulder: No, you targeted...

Scully: Mulder. Not without his lawyer.

Phillip Padgett: I don't need a lawyer. I'm telling the truth.

Mulder: Then this is your confession? [Phillip Padgett's manuscript]

Phillip Padgett: No, that's my novel.

Mulder: It's all in there — every detail, every murder, all laid out. How'd you do it, Mr Padgett?

Phillip Padgett: If I sit long enough, it just comes to me.

Mulder: The murders.

Phillip Padgett: I only knew what was in my mind and wished to express it clearly.

Mulder: How about the stranger? Is that you? How about Ken Naciamento?

Phillip Padgett: The self-proclaimed Brazilian psychic surgeon?

Mulder: Is that your accomplice?

Phillip Padgett: I guess you could say that. He's a central character.

Mulder: Did you direct him to do it?

Phillip Padgett: Jungians would say it's the characters who choose the writer, not the other way around. So I guess you could argue he directed me.

Mulder: Which is the truth?

Phillip Padgett: By their nature words are imprecise and layered with meaning. The signs of things, not the things themselves. It's difficult to say who's in charge.

Scully: Mulder.

Mulder: Why, Mr Padgett? Maybe that's a question you can answer.

Phillip Padgett: That's the one question I can't. Agent Mulder, my book... did you like it?

Mulder: Maybe if it were fiction.

Scully: Mulder, where are you going?

Mulder: To find his accomplice, the Brazilian psychic surgeon.

Scully: I did that. That's what I've been doing. Dr Ken Naciamento, Sao Paulo, Brazil, emigrated here in 1996.

Mulder: Where is he now?

Scully: He's dead.

Mulder: Can't be.

Scully: Two years dead, Mulder. I'm having them fax me a certificate of death.

Mulder: Padgett couldn't have done this alone.

Scully: Well, maybe he didn't do it at all.

Mulder: Scully, it's all on the page. How else would he know it?

Scully: Maybe he imagined it, like he said. Like Shakespeare or Freud or Jung. I mean, maybe, maybe he has some gift and he has a clear window into human nature.

Mulder: No one can predict human behaviour. No one can tell you what another person's going to do.

Scully: Well, isn't that what you do, Mulder, as a behavioural profiler? You... you imagine the killer's mind so well that you know what they're going to do next.

Mulder: If he imagines it, it's a priori — before the fact. I think that's pretty clear from what he wrote about you. You know you're in here, don't you?

Scully: I read a chapter. What does he say?

Mulder: Well, let's just say it ends with you doing the naked pretzel with the stranger on a bed in an unfurnished fourth floor apartment. I'm assuming that's a priori, too?

Scully: I think you know me better than that, Mulder.

Mulder: Mmm. Well, you might want to finish it.

Guard: Prisoner's written something I think you should see.

Scully: What is it?

Guard: He says it's a statement. I think he's putting somebody on.

Scully: [voiceover] Grief squeezed at her eggshell heart like it might break into a thousand pieces, its contents running like broken promises... into the hollow places his love used to fill. [Maggie is standing alone in the darkness beside Kevin's flower covered grave, crying softly. She looks up and sees the stranger approaching her] How could she know this pain would end? That love, unlike matter or energy, was in endless supply in the universe... A germ which grows from nothingness which cannot be eradicated even from the darkest of hearts. If she had known this — and who could say she would believe it? — she would not have chanced to remain at his sad grave until such an hour, so that she might not have to learn the second truth before the first; that to have love was to carry a vessel that could be lost or stolen... or worse, spilled blood-red on the ground. And that love was not immutable, it could become hate as day becomes night, as life becomes death.

[Maggie runs as the stranger follows her and knocks her to the ground]

Maggie: Don't! [She screams as the stranger pulls out her heart]

Scully: She's a no-show, at home or anywhere else she might go.

Mulder: No signs of a possible struggle at the grave site but the area's been so trammelled by the funeral that collecting evidence is going to be virtually impossible. I think this is a big jerk off.

Scully: Maybe his statement's to prove that he's telling the truth — that he truly just imagined it, Mulder.

Mulder: The only thing that he imagined was us out here... looking like idiots.

Scully: How did you know, Mulder, that the body was in the truck?

Mulder: I imagined it.

Scully: It's still no evidence that Padgett directed the killer.

Mulder: What do you need, a signed work order? Of course he directed him.

Scully: Mulder, you are making critical assumptions without any facts. What about time of death? What...? What are you doing?

Mulder: You're about to argue my usual side, aren't you?

Scully: Mulder, why couldn't he have imagined it? Why couldn't he just be in the killer's head?

Mulder: You read his book. You read what he wrote about you. Are you trying to tell me that he got inside your head? That what I read is true?

Scully: Mulder, of course not.

Mulder: I don't know how they communicate. This is the only way I can think to catch him.

Mulder: Mr Padgett... you can go. We apologise for our mistake. You're free to finish your book.

Phillip Padgett: Thank you. I made a mistake myself.

Mulder: What's that, Mr Padgett?

Phillip Padgett: In my book, I'd written that Agent Scully falls in love but that's obviously impossible. Agent Scully is already in love.

Ken Naciamento: Now what is this? [Picking up the manuscript]

Phillip Padgett: Big mistake. I misjudged her character — her interest in me.

Ken Naciamento: Now we're on to something.

Phillip Padgett: She's only trying to get his attention but doesn't know it.

Ken Naciamento: Hmm... the old unconscious at work.

Phillip Padgett: I wanted to love her.

Ken Naciamento: No wonder you can't finish this book, Padgett. Why do I want their hearts?

Phillip Padgett: You tell me. Why do you do it?

Ken Naciamento: I'm your character. You tell me. My reason is your reason.

Phillip Padgett: I want to feel love.

Ken Naciamento: No. No. You had it right up to there. You were a tool of the truth. And when it finally arrives — when I arrive — you don't want to see it.

Phillip Padgett: But what is the truth?

Ken Naciamento: Man imagines that he, too, can open up his heart and expose the burning passion — the flames of charity — like the creator himself but... this is not in his power.

Phillip Padgett: But I have love in my heart.

Ken Naciamento: Yes, as a thief has riches, a usurer money. You have it... but man's only power, only true power, is to destroy it.

Phillip Padgett: Then what's the end of my story?

Ken Naciamento: There can only be one true ending... if it is to be perfect.

Phillip Padgett: She dies?

Ken Naciamento: See? It almost writes itself.

Mulder: What do you think you're doing?

Phillip Padgett: Destroying my book.

Mulder: Destroying evidence, you mean. Let me see what you wrote.

Phillip Padgett: I'll tell you. He kills her.

Phillip Padgett: [voiceover] A story can have only one true ending. Even as the stranger felt compelled to commit his final words to paper he did it knowing they must never be read. To see the sum of his work was to see inside his own emptiness, the heart of a destroyer, not a creator. And yet, reflected back upon him at last he could see his own ending. And in this final act of destruction, a chance to give what he could not receive.