Episode Summary

The strange disappearance of a little girl leads Mulder to make connections with previous unexplained kidnappings. Yet Scully believes he is associating the case with the abduction of his sister.

Part one of two

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Skinner: Why are you here, Agent Mulder?

Mulder: I want this case.

Skinner: I'm fairly certain I've got more than enough competent Agents in here.

Mulder: Ooh, I can see that. [Skinner's office is full of agents]

Skinner: This is a kidnapping, Agent Mulder. A little girl snatched from her bedroom. Basic missionary-style FBI work. It's not an X-File.

Mulder: I'm aware of the facts.

Skinner: We're trying to rule out all possibilities before we start making any statements.

Mulder: That's what I'm talking about — ruling out other possibilities.

Skinner: I can't just give you the case. I have to follow protocol. Behavioural gets first crack, then the people down at NCMEC.

Mulder: Two, three, four hours — this case is going to be a circus. Every starstruck attorney in America is going to want to represent these people for free. If somebody doesn't ask the right questions right now they may never get asked.

Skinner: You've got till noon. Mulder... the agents in my office... they have a pool going.

Mulder: They think she's dead. Don't bet on it.

Harry Bring: Sorry, no press allowed inside.

Mulder: Special Agent Fox Mulder, FBI. I'd like to speak to Mr and Mrs LaPierre, if I may.

Harry Bring: My clients have nothing to say. [He hands Mulder his card] Uh... Harry Bring. How can I help you?

Mulder: Mr Bring, your... your card says real estate law and conveyances. Have you ever handled a murder case?

Harry Bring: This isn't a murder case.

Mulder: Well, it might as well be once the facts about Amber Lynn's disappearance get out.

Harry Bring: My clients are not murderers and... and I resent any such accusation.

Mulder: Yeah. If you really want to help your clients, Mr Bring, get them a real lawyer.

Bud LaPierre: It's okay, Harry. Billie and I got nothing to hide.

Mulder: Mr And Mrs LaPierre, my name is Fox Mulder. I'm a Special Agent with the FBI and I have a lot of experience with crimes like the onethat took place here. Now I know you've made a statement to the police but I'd like to ask you some questions about that and I'd like you to answer in as much detail as both you and your lawyer are comfortable with. I want to ask you about the note you found. Where did you find it?

Bud LaPierre: In my daughter's bedroom.

Mulder: When?

Bud LaPierre: When I went to check on her.

Mulder: Um, do you know what time that was?

Bud LaPierre: 9:30, I think. Right about then. I was watching TV in here.

Mulder: What were you watching?

Bud LaPierre: I never heard of it before. It was good.

Mulder: What about you, Mrs LaPierre?

Billie LaPierre: I was in bed already.

Mulder: Were you asleep?

Billie LaPierre: Half.

Mulder: Is that Amber Lynn's bedroom that I saw down the hallway there?

Billie LaPierre: Yes.

Mulder: Do you always lock your doors at night even if you're home?

Billie LaPierre: Yes.

Mulder: You know most of your neighbours, I bet, up and down the street. You're on good terms with them?

Bud LaPierre: Most of them, yes.

Mulder: Can you think of anyone that might have wanted to hurt Amber Lynn?

Billie LaPierre: No.

Harry Bring: That's enough questions. They've been very helpful but I think you can see that these folks have nothing whatsoever to hide.

Mulder: Mr and Mrs LaPierre, I want you to understand something because it's going to get very confusing from here on in. But whatever else the FBI says or does they're going to try their damnedest to find your little girl.

Billie LaPierre: Okay.

Mulder: Thank you.

Billie LaPierre: Agent Mulder... do you think they will? Find her?

Mulder: Oh, I hope so. Yeah... I really do.

Mulder: It's open.

Scully: Mulder?

Mulder: Come on in.

Scully: What are you doing?

Mulder: Thinking.

Scully: About?

Mulder: Amber Lynn LaPierre.

Scully: Mind if I turn on a light?

Mulder: Yeah. I do.

Scully: Skinner is royally pissed. At you.

Mulder: I'm sure he is.

Scully: He expected a report at noon. He waited. Now he sent me to find you, to get it.

Mulder: I don't have a report.

Scully: They had to move on the case. The media got wind of the police findings and they're going to broadcast them. The parents are being held for further questioning.

Mulder: They're not guilty, Scully.

Scully: The facts would say otherwise. There's no sign of a break-in. Both the parents were at home at the time that the girl disappeared.

Mulder: They lied about where they found the note.

Scully: Why?

Mulder: That's what I've been thinking about.

Scully: Is it the media or just our own morbid fascination with the killing of an innocent?

Mulder: She's not dead, Scully.

Skinner: From the note we can and have determined several facts. There is a threat of physical violence but no demand for money or ransom. The note is short and written on a torn piece of paper suggesting haste and little or no planning. The paper's a type used by dry cleaners to protect laundered garments. The torn piece the note was found on matches exactly a piece that was found in the garbage at the LaPierre home. The ink matches a felt tip pen that was also found in the garbage. One set of prints were found on it — Billie LaPierre's prints.

Mulder: Is it her handwriting?

Agent Flagler: That's going to be difficult to prove due to the felt tip pen and the quality of the paper which tends to cause bleeding and makes the handwriting indistinct. It also looks like there's been an attempt to disguise the writing. By using samples of Mrs LaPierre's handwriting, you see dominant letter forms — the S in strangle..., Stray dog..., here in Santa Claus... matches up with the S's in dollars..., Seven and cents. [Comparing the writing with a cheque carbon] Enough to make a connection.

Mulder: But not an indictment.

Skinner: Do you have information you'd like to share with us, Agent Mulder?

Mulder: Bud LaPierre says he'd been watching television and had gotten up to go to bed when he found Amber Lynn missing. But according to the police report the TV set was still on when the first officers arrived on the scene. By his own account both mother and father put Amber Lynn to bed and were never more than 20 feet from her room during the period in which she was abducted. The LaPierres know all their neighbours up and down the street — are on good terms with them. But no one saw a stranger on a Friday at a fairly early hour enter into a locked and lighted home and remove this little girl undetected.

Agent Flagler: Husband's lying for his wife.

Mulder: I don't think so.

Skinner: Why?

Mulder: Because that doesn't explain what happened to this little girl.

Scully: What are you doing, Mulder?

Mulder: There's something in that abduction note that I've seen before.

Scully: That's not what I mean. You're personalising this case. You're identifying with your sister.

Mulder: My sister was taken by aliens. Did I say anything about aliens, Scully?

Scully: There are a lot of good agents up there in Skinner's office who do not have the patience for this.

Mulder: What did I do? I provided a logical counterpoint.

Scully: You told them that they were wrong, Mulder.

Mulder: And they are. [He hands her a file containing a note that ends: I will not hesitate to execute this child. Don't do anything dumb. No one shoots at Santa Claus.] Pocatello, Idaho, 1987. Look familiar?

Guard: Kathy Lee. Visitors are here.

Kathy Lee Tencate: Oh, can you let them in, please?

Mulder: Hi, Mrs Tencate, my name is Agent Mulder. This is Agent Scully. Will you have a seat?

Kathy Lee Tencate: It's not the Ritz.

Mulder: Um, we just have a few questions. We've reviewed the facts of your case and the facts seem to speak for themselves. Your six-year-old son, Dean, was taken from his bed while he slept. A note was found threatening his life later determined to be written by you. You plead innocent at trial but you were convicted and sentenced to 12 years even though your son's body was never found.

Kathy Lee Tencate: Yes, that's right.

Mulder: Your story is that, uh, on the night your son disappeared you had a vision of him dead, but you thought it was your mind playing tricks on you but when you got up to check on him he was missing from his bed. Is that accurate?

Kathy Lee Tencate: Yes.

Mulder: Now, three years ago after seven years of incarceration, you changed your story and confessed to the murder of your son in a fit of insanity. A psychotic break.

Kathy Lee Tencate: Yes, that's right.

Scully: Why did you do it?

Kathy Lee Tencate: I don't know. I was full of rage.

Mulder: I have a copy of the note that you wrote. Do you mind if I show it to you? [Kathy Lee Tencate shakes her head] Now there's a phrase down here at the bottom. No one shoots at Santa Claus. Can you explain what that means to me?

Kathy Lee Tencate: Uh, it means, that, uh... when someone promises you something, a gift — like Santa Claus — that no one would do anything for fear of not getting the gift.

Mulder: A little girl disappeared from her bed three days ago. This is a note that was left at that scene. Will you take a look at that and tell me what it says at the bottom?

Kathy Lee Tencate: Same thing.

Mulder: Neither note makes a specific demand. In both cases, there's no evidence of foul play or a break-in. And as in your son's case there's no body to be found.

Kathy Lee Tencate: I told them where the body was.

Mulder: Yes, you did, but, uh, it wasn't where you said it was going to be.

Kathy Lee Tencate: I can't explain it.

Mulder: I think you can.

Kathy Lee Tencate: I can't.

Mulder: You can't explain it because you didn't do anything. You didn't kill your son and you didn't bury him. You're not guilty of anything other than a lie just like these people. The only reason you changed your story was to get out of here because you knew the parole board might buy the story of a psychotic break and of your terrible remorse but they would never, never let a woman out of jail who claimed her son just disappeared out of thin air. Now, these people, they need someone to tell them it's okay. Someone to corroborate their story.

Kathy Lee Tencate: I'm not that person.

Mulder: They need your help.

Scully: That was utterly irresponsible, Mulder. It was out of line and it was without any basis in reality.

Mulder: Do you think that woman could have killed her son?

Scully: She was convicted in a court of law.

Mulder: So how do you explain those two notes written ten years apart could contain the same obscure phrase?

Scully: I can't explain it, Mulder, but you're doing exactly what I said. You're personalising this case.

Mulder: No, I'm going to solve this case. I am going to solve it.

Scully: How?

Mulder: I'm going to find those kids.

Scully: What if they're dead, Mulder? Don't go looking for something you don't want to find.

Mulder: [on answering machine] This is Fox Mulder. Leave a message. I'll try to get back to you.

Teena Mulder: [on phone] Fox, it's your mother. I'd hoped you'd call upon your return but I haven't heard from you. I'm sure you're busy. There are so many emotions in me I wouldn't know where to start. So much that I've left unsaid for reasons I hope one day you'll understand.

Harry Bring: This is highly unusual. I want to know what you're doing here.

Mulder: There's something I want your clients to see.

Harry Bring: I want to know what it is first.

Mulder: Don't shoot at Santa Claus, Mr Bring. You're going to want to see it, too. [to the LaPierres] I believe you share a secret. [He plays the video he brought in with him]

Kathy Lee Tencate: [on video] I'm, um... I'm doing this because I feel that it's the right thing to do and because I know what you're going through... and I wouldn't want to happen to you what happened to me. I just want to tell you that your little girl is okay. And I know you're afraid of the truth because I saw things that I was afraid of, too and I can't explain all of it except to say that I don't remember... ever... thinking those words that I wrote, let alone writing them. It was like they wrote themselves using my hand. But, um, what I know... for sure, because I feel it in my heart, is that my son is safe and protected and in a better place.

Mulder: [interview on video] ...Federal investigation of the case will continue but will no longer focus on the LaPierres as primary suspects. We, uh, we will intensify our search for Amber Lynn and we remain hopeful of her eventual safe return.

[Skinner pauses the video]

Skinner: Intensify our search where? The twilight zone?

Mulder: I have a corroborating witness.

Skinner: In state prison.

Mulder: There's a material connection between these two women.

Skinner: The only connection, Agent Mulder, is you. I've got people busting their butts on this thing, Agent Mulder. Putting together hard evidence, real evidence while you're out gathering Grimm's Fairy Tales from convicted murderers.

Mulder: It doesn't make sense. It's incomprehensible in any kind of a real world way.

Skinner: I deal in the real world, Agent Mulder. You begged onto this case as part of the solution. All you've done is hand our only suspects the Twinkie Defence. [Scully enters the room]

Scully: Sir?

Skinner: What? What is it, Agent Scully?

Scully: I need to have a word with Agent Mulder.

Skinner: It can wait.

Scully: No, it can't, sir.

Mulder: What is it, Scully?

Scully: Mulder, your mom's dead.

Scully: Mulder?

Mulder: Over here.

Scully: What is it?

Mulder: Diazepam. She used them to sleep.

Scully: Is there a note?

Mulder: No. She called when I was in California. She wanted to talk, but, uh... I never called her back.

Scully: Mulder...

Mulder: I didn't... Why would she do this? It just doesn't make any sense.

Scully: We never truly know why.

Mulder: No, she wouldn't kill herself. [He looks at the empty picture frames] Why are these pictures gone? There were photos here. There were photos of my sister and I. This is all that she had left of us and they're missing. Why...? She saw me on the news. She wanted to talk about the missing girl, Amber Lynn. She wanted to tell me something about her, or maybe she couldn't tell me over the phone because she was afraid that they would do something like this to her.

Scully: Who?

Mulder: Whoever took my sister. Look at this place. I mean, it's like... it's all staged — the pills, the oven, the tape. It's like a bad movie script. They would... they would have come here and they would have threatened her. She would be upset; they would have to sedate her. I would look for a, uh... a needle puncture mark or something else in her system besides these pills.

Scully: No, Mulder. Please don't ask me to do this.

Mulder: Scully, who else can I ask?

Scully: An autopsy, Mulder? I mean, it's one thing on a stranger but you're my friend, and she's your mother...

Mulder: I know, but if you don't do it, I might never know the truth.

Mulder: You've seen things. I need to understand them.

Kathy Lee Tencate: Something's happened to you.

Mulder: My mother is dead. You know why. [Kathy Lee Tencate shakes her head] Look, I can help you. I can talk to the parole board for you. But right now, I need you to help me.

Kathy Lee Tencate: I don't understand what you want.

Mulder: I'm not here by accident. My sister was taken away from me... when she was eight years old... like your son was taken away from you.

Kathy Lee Tencate: Where's your sister now?

Mulder: I don't know.

Kathy Lee Tencate: Your mother knew, didn't she?

Mulder: Why do you ask that?

Kathy Lee Tencate: She was trying to tell you.

Mulder: Tell me what?

Kathy Lee Tencate: She'd seen them.

Mulder: Who?

Kathy Lee Tencate: The walk-ins. Old souls looking for new homes. Your sister's among them.

Mulder: You can see them?

Kathy Lee Tencate: Yes. But sometimes it's very difficult because they live in the starlight.

Mulder: Is my sister dead?

Kathy Lee Tencate: They took her to protect her soul from the great harm it would have suffered in her life just like they did my little boy.

Mulder: Where do they take them? Your boy? This little girl, Amber Lynn LaPierre?

Kathy Lee Tencate: I don't know. But they're okay. I'm sure your sister's there, too.

Mulder: I'm glad you're here. My mother was trying to tell me something. I think I figured it out. It's something about my sister that she was never able to tell me. [He plays the answering machine message for Scully]

Teena Mulder: So much that I've left unsaid for reasons I hope one day you'll understand.

Mulder: She knew what I'd find with this case out in California.

Scully: How could she know that, Mulder?

Mulder: A child disappearing without a trace — without evidence — in defiance of all logical explanation? She knew because of what's driven me — what I've always believed.

Scully: Mulder...

Mulder: Scully, these parents who have lost... who've lost their children... They've had visions of their sons and daughters in scenarios that never happened but which they describe in notes that came through them as automatic writing and words that came through them psychically from old souls protecting the children. My mother must have written a note like that herself. Describing the scenario of my sister's disappearance of her, of her abduction by aliens. Don't you see, Scully? It never happened. All these visions that I've had have just been... they've been to help me cope, to help me deal with the loss but... I've been looking for my sister in the wrong place. That's... what my mother was trying to tell me. That's what she was trying to warn me about. That's why they killed her.

Scully: Your mother killed herself, Mulder. I conducted the autopsy. She was dying of an incurable disease. An untreatable and horribly disfiguring disease called Paget's Carcinoma. She knew it. There were doctor's records. She didn't want to live. Mulder...

Mulder: She was trying to tell me something. She was... trying to tell me something.

Scully: Mulder, she was trying to tell you to stop. To stop looking for your sister. She was just trying to take away your pain.

Skinner: Hi.

Scully: Hi.

Skinner: How's he doing?

Scully: It's been a hard night for him.

Skinner: Billie LaPierre is asking for him. She's got something to say and she'll only talk to Mulder.

Scully: It's not a good... [Mulder joins her at the door]

Mulder: What is it?

Skinner: This case has heated up. I've booked two flights for us.

[Mulder nods and goes back into the apartment]

Scully: Well, then you better book three.

Bud LaPierre: Honey, wake up. He's here.

Billie LaPierre: Come in, Agent Mulder.

Mulder: It's okay. She's [Scully] here to help. What happened here, Billie?

Billie LaPierre: I saw my daughter, right in this room. Standing right there. I swear to God. She was right over there, in the pyjamas her grandma gave her... saying something to me.

Mulder: What was she saying?

Billie LaPierre: I don't know. Her lips were moving but I couldn't hear. I thought... I thought she was saying 74.

Mulder: 74? The number 74? Does that mean anything to you? 74 mean anything to you, Mr LaPierre? [Bud LaPierre shakes his head]

Mulder: Let's go home.

Scully: Mulder, we just got here.

Mulder: We're not going to find these people's daughter alive.

Scully: How do you know that?

Mulder: What we're hearing — it's the delusional talk of people that don't want to accept the truth.

Skinner: You think they know what happened to their child?

Mulder: Maybe, maybe not but you can't see a ghost and still hope to find her alive. Both things can't be true. And if this little girl's spirit really did appear to her mother then there's probably only one explanation.

Skinner: You think their daughter's dead.

Scully: Well, what about the hand-written note?

Mulder: I don't know what that means. I don't know what is the truth and what isn't any more. I'm way too close to this case to make any kind of sound judgement. In fact, I would like to ask for you to let me off this case, please, and I'd like to take some time off.

[Skinner, Scully and Mulder are driving along a rural road and pass a highway sign for Route 74. Scully pulls a road map out of the glove box]

Skinner: What is it?

[Scully follows Route 74 on the map to Santa's North Pole Village]

Scully: Santa Claus.

Mulder: What?

Scully: Stop. Turn around.

[Mulder looks over one of the bookshelves full of labelled videos]

Mulder: Some of these tapes go back to the 60s. [Scully puts a tape in the VCR] I think I know what we're going to find here. It's what my mother was afraid of. My sister. [The tape shows children are looking at the reindeer. One of the little girls is Amber Lynn LaPierre]

Scully: It's Amber Lynn LaPierre. This tape was dated two days before her disappearance.

Skinner: Stop! [He fires his gun into the air and Ed Truelove freezes and drops to his knees] Keep your hands up. [Scully cuffs the man] What's your name?

Ed Truelove: Ed... Truelove...

Scully: You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak with an attorney and to have the attorney present during questioning. If you so desire...

Mulder: Scully. [Scully and Skinner turn to Mulder and notice what he's looking at — all around them are what look like shallow child-sized graves]