Episode Summary

As Mulder looks for a menacing raven, he learns to enjoy the creature comforts of a well-tended home. Scully, meanwhile, must tough it out on an uncomfortable stakeout.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Scully: Anything?

Mulder: No. She'll come. Matter of time.

Scully: Yeah. Well, I hope you realise there's no evidence whatsoever that this mystery woman of yours has even committed a crime... Though her wardrobe comes close.

Mulder: Ah... Six prostitutes were seen with her at Dirty Dames never to be seen again. Not only might she be a female serial killer — rare in and of itself — but twice police raided that club to arrest her...

Scully: ...and twice they came up empty-handed.

Mulder: She's on tape going in. The exits are covered. She's nowhere to be found. What happens to her? She disappear... turn invisible?

Scully: Well, I hope we catch her, so she can tell us, before I have to spend another night here. You know, Mulder, I don't know about you but I find this all very depressing... This round-the-clock exposure to the seamy underbelly.

Mulder: That's the job, Scully — vigilance in the face of privation... the sheer will that it takes to sit in this crappy room, spying on the dregs of society until our suspect surfaces. There's something ennobling in that. [Mulders mobile rings, he answers it] Mulder... Now...? All right. [He hangs up] I got to go.

Scully: Mulder...

Mulder: You wanted to see me, sir?

Skinner: Yeah, sit down. Two weeks ago a woman named Martha Crittendon disappeared from her home in Bethany, Vermont. Local police haven't turned up any sign of her. I'm hoping you may be able to.

Mulder: I'm already on a case.

Skinner: You're on a stakeout. I'm confident Agent Scully can continue in your absence.

Mulder: Why? What did I do?

Skinner: There may be aspects to this that... speak to your strengths as an investigator.

Mulder: Specifically?

Skinner: Ravens. What do you know about them — their mythological or... paranormal significance?

Mulder: Well, the, uh... the raven is considered a very powerful symbol in certain Norse, Celtic and Native American cultures uh, mostly, a negative one. Indians view it as a deceiving spirit, Christianity mostly associates it with evil and, then, of course, there's Poe's raven and, nevermore, and all that stuff.

Skinner: Martha Crittendon's seven-year-old daughter claimed that she was attacked by a raven earlier the day her mother disappeared. Later, she heard one inside the house before she discovered her mother was missing.

Mulder: No, really, what did I do?

Skinner: It's the only lead that hasn't been explored. I want to know if it has any bearing on the case.

[Mulder looks at Martha Crittendon's details in the casefile]

8092 Cliff St
Bethany, Vermont 05032
Father: Charles Campbell
Father's Occupation: US District Court Judge — DC
Mother: Maxine Campbell
Mother's Occupation: Housewife
Distinguishing characteristics: None

Mulder: I'm also assuming that the fact that Martha Crittendon's father is a federal judge also has a little bearing on this case.

Skinner: It's been made clear to me that locating her is my top priority. I'm making it yours as well.

Sheriff Adderly: Agent Mulder?

Mulder: Yeah.

Sheriff Adderly: Phil Adderly. Welcome to Bethany.

Mulder: Nice to meet you.

Sheriff Adderly: I appreciate the help.

Mulder: Sure. Uh, I don't know how much help I'm going to be. I know you already have a lot of good investigators on the case. So, um... You want to just take a quick look around?

Mulder: So, tell me about Martha Crittendon.

Sheriff Adderly: Well, she and my wife Ellen, they're best friends. Martha's... much admired here. She's devoted to her family... active in the community. I mean, needless to say, the whole town is very concerned.

Mulder: So, what's your theory on what happened?

Sheriff Adderly: I'm hoping you'll tell me. There's no ransom note... no prints or blood evidence.

Mulder: Her husband was out of town when she disappeared?

Sheriff Adderly: In Miami, at a conference. It checks out. Howard... didn't have anything to do with this.

Mulder: What do you know about a raven?

Sheriff Adderly: Yeah, yeah, Michelle, their, um... their little girl was saying something about that. Got me. Poor kid. You want to talk to her?

Mulder: Not necessary. [Looking around the immaculate living room] You're sure, uh, Martha's last name isn't Stewart?

Sheriff Adderly: Tell me about it. Last year, this place made the cover of New England Home.

Mulder: How many talons would you say a raven had? [There are three deep scratches on the mantle] Never mind. [He notices two empty picture hangers on the wall opposite the mantle] You know what this is? You know what was hanging here?

Sheriff Adderly: It was a mirror. It was found broken.

Mulder: You had no other signs of struggle?

Sheriff Adderly: Not a one. Does that mean something to you? [Howard Crittendon enters the room] Howard, this is Agent Mulder with the FBI.

Mulder: Sir. I hope we can help.

Howard Crittendon: I appreciate your coming. I'm wondering now if... this isn't just a waste of your time.

Sheriff Adderly: How so?

Howard Crittendon: With all the police coming and going, this place was a wreck. I was straightening up and I... found something.

Mulder: Uh, birth control pills.

Howard Crittendon: I think Martha was having an affair. After Michelle we decided not to have more children. I had a vasectomy. They're in Martha's name. She ordered them off the Internet... because, I guess... small towns talk. Of course, then I started looking all around and I, uh... found this in the pocket of her favourite coat. [He hands Mulder an old fashioned skeleton key bearing the number 6] I don't know what this goes to or what it means, if anything, but... the pills...

Mulder: Do you have any idea who your wife may have been seeing?

Howard Crittendon: Whoever he is... Martha may be with him. It explains why we haven't found her. She doesn't want to be found.

Jenny Uphouse: Cute kid.

Ellen Adderly: Oh, Jenny, you scared me.

Jenny Uphouse: You do those [the flyers about Martha Crittendon's disappearance] up yourself?

Ellen Adderly: Uh... yeah.

Jenny Uphouse: I know Martha and you were good friends. You must be pretty upset.

Ellen Adderly: Of course. I'm sure we all are. Hey, maybe you would like some of these to put up on your side of town.

Jenny Uphouse: My side of town. Yeah, sure.

Ellen Adderly: Look, I didn't mean that the way it might have sounded.

Jenny Uphouse: No, it just naturally comes out that way when you think you're better than everyone. You and Martha are two peas in a pod.

Ellen Adderly: Jenny, I don't think I'm better than anyone.

Jenny Uphouse: You and me got more in common than you know.

[Jenny Uphouse leaves. Ellen Adderly glances at the window of the car beside her and sees the reflection of a woman with a really scary face and stringy hair. She gasps as the window shatters, turns quickly, but sees no one behind her]

Sheriff Adderly: Whoever Martha was seeing, the two of them covered their tracks pretty good. Phone records don't show anything. You think this person took her? Harmed her?

Mulder: I wouldn't rule it out, but I doubt it. According to your Audubon book here a raven has four talons. That matches the scratches we found on Martha Crittendon's mantle.

Sheriff Adderly: You're not saying a raven's the reason Martha's gone missing?

Mulder: No, no. Not... not a raven itself. But, in folklore, ravens are companions to evil — evil spirits, witches, warlocks — that kind of thing.

Sheriff Adderly: Agent Mulder, I appreciate the different tack you're taking on this investigation, but this whole bird thing...? And keep in mind you're basing this on the word of a seven-year-old girl.

Mulder: Well, there was also a broken mirror in Martha's house. Mirrors are considered items of enchantment. A broken one... means something. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it means something.

Mulder: [answering mobile] Mulder.

Scully: Mulder, please tell me I can go home.

Mulder: Oh, hey, Scully. How's the stakeout?

Scully: Well, the furnace broke and I can just about see my breath in here.

Mulder: Ouch. I'm sorry to hear that.

Scully: That... and I've witnessed a couple hundred things I'd like to erase from my brain. Eww. But as of yet, no mystery woman.

Mulder: Well, she'll come, you know? It's just a matter of time. She'll show up — I'm sure of that.

Scully: Yeah, well not before I die of malnutrition.

Mulder: Hey, Scully, tough it out. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Right? [to Ellen Adderly] No, no, no, no. No capers, thank you.

Scully: I'm sorry. What?

Mulder: I said, What a... what a crazy caper. I'll talk to you later... and, uh, keep warm. Bye.

Mulder: What do you make of these claw marks?

Dr Blankenship: Well, one time I saw the victim of a bear attack look something like that... only bears don't plant their kill in the rose garden.

Mulder: I was going to say.

Dr Blankenship: The body's been around here for a while — probably since she went missing.

Sheriff Adderly: What about your ravens? Howard said something about ravens.

Dr Blankenship: Yeah. Feeding on her. See? [Sheriff Adderly walks away, head in hands. Mulder follows him]

Mulder: You okay?

Sheriff Adderly: I'm not arresting Howard. I don't care how it looks — body buried in his own yard — he didn't do this.

Mulder: I agree.

Sheriff Adderly: Poor guy has suffered enough already. [Ellen Adderly joins them] What are you doing? You shouldn't be here.

Ellen Adderly: Oh, my god. Martha. No.

Sheriff Adderly: Ellen, honey, I am so sorry.

Ellen Adderly: It can't be.

Sheriff Adderly: It's okay, it's okay. Shh.

Ellen Adderly: The thing that did that to her... I think I saw it today.

Ellen Adderly: I saw its reflection. It had a face out of a nightmare. These long claws — the kind that could... the window shattered — I don't know how — and when I turned around, it was gone. I don't know what I thought it was. I didn't think it was real. I mean, how could it be? But then, when I saw Martha's face...

Sheriff Adderly: Honey, you've been through a lot.

Ellen Adderly: You don't believe me.

Mulder: I do. You said the car window shattered after you saw the reflection and there's a broken mirror in Martha's house. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Ellen Adderly: But what could it mean?

Mulder: Mirrors are considered doorways. In the Victorian Era, they built mirrored rooms called psychomantiums where they thought they could summon forth spirits from the spirit world. Denizens from the spirit world were brought into this world.

Sheriff Adderly: Denizens... of the spirit world.

Mulder: Well, you asked about the raven, right? The raven is a carrion bird attracted to death and decay. What if this entity that you saw is somehow a personification of that? What if this creature was brought forth in order to attack Martha? Then the question becomes, who summoned it forth? Ellen, do you know if Martha had any enemies? Can you think of anyone at all who would have wished her harm?

Jenny Uphouse: I sure as hell didn't have anything to do with it.

Sheriff Adderly: They're just routine questions, Ms Uphouse. Answer them and we'll be out of here.

Mulder: We understand there was no love lost between you and Martha Crittendon.

Jenny Uphouse: And where do you understand that from? Mrs Sheriff, right?

Sheriff Adderly: It's not exactly a town secret.

Jenny Uphouse: Right. Like there aren't enough of those already. Queen Martha and her perfect little Easter egg hunts. She's so above the rest of us. Except I heard she was stepping out on her husband — knocking boots with who knows who. I'm not happy she's dead and all, but you need to look into that.

Mulder: Well, let's stay on the subject of you. On your police record, for instance. You don't suffer people that don't give you respect. I'm thinking of that hair salon owner you assaulted.

Jenny Uphouse: That was forever ago, and I paid for that. And I had nothing to do with Martha.

Mulder: Where were you the night she disappeared?

Jenny Uphouse: At home, all night. I got to get back to work. [She walks away]

Sheriff Adderly: I don't know about you, but I believe her. She didn't do it. I just don't get that vibe.

Mulder: Fair enough, but why did she lie about her alibi? I got that vibe pretty clear. [His mobile rings] Excuse me.

Sheriff Adderly: I'll be in the car.

Mulder: Okay. [answering mobile] Mulder.

Scully: Mulder, when you find me dead, my desiccated corpse propped up staring lifelessly through the telescope at drunken frat boys peeing and vomiting into the gutter, just know that my last thoughts were of you, and how I'd like to kill you.

Mulder: I'm sorry. Who is this?

Scully: It's a freak show, Mulder. It's a non-stop parade of every single lowlife imaginable.

Mulder: Well, the view may not be too different here. It's dressed up a little nicer but underneath the surface, it's the same seamy underbelly.

Scully: It's not the same, trust me.

Mulder: You know, Scully, this case has turned out to be a little more interesting than I thought and I could use your help.

Scully: Are you talking about a reprieve for me?

Mulder: Well, there's a murder victim that I'd like you to autopsy for me. What do you think? Scully? You still there? Hello?

Scully: That van is back.

Mulder: What? What did you say?

Scully: Nothing, Mulder. I'll talk to you later, okay?

Mulder: Are you feeling a little better, Ellen? Can you... just talk to me a little bit about what happened?

Ellen Adderly: It came back.

Mulder: It came back — the... the creature you saw?

Ellen Adderly: It was here, Phil. It chased me.

Sheriff Adderly: All right, Honey. [He speaks to Mulder privately] Please don't encourage this. This is not what she needs.

Mulder: I believe she saw something.

Sheriff Adderly: And I believe she didn't. Her best friend just died, for God's sake. These imaginings of hers are brought on by stress. I have been through the entire house and I didn't see any indication that anyone else was here.

Mulder: What about the two broken mirrors?

Sheriff Adderly: What about them? You think broken mirrors have some deeper meaning but you still can't tell me what it is. And in this case? I'm thinking Ellen broke them herself. [Mulder picks up a skeleton key from the floor] What?

Mulder: That's number six. It's a match to the one Howard Crittendon found in his wife's coat pocket. What would this be doing here?

Sheriff Adderly: I don't know.

Mulder: Ellen, do you recognise this key?

Ellen Adderly: Well, I was sweeping the floor and it got caught up in the sweeper. I... never saw it before today.

Mulder: You found it before you were attacked?

Ellen Adderly: Right before. Right before I saw the raven.

Sheriff Adderly: Let me see if my department can run this down, find out what lock it goes to.

[Sheriff Adderly is standing outside a ratty hotel, he goes to room number six and uses the skeleton key to enter]

Jenny Uphouse: Hi.

Sheriff Adderly: I can't do this any more.

Jenny Uphouse: You can't, huh?

Sheriff Adderly: No. We got to stop.

Jenny Uphouse: Well, that's too bad.

Ellen Adderly: Oh, hey — good morning.

Mulder: Morning, Ellen. [He sees the huge breakfast] Wow... Uh, have you seen my shirt? I left it...

Ellen Adderly: Oh, I'm sorry. It's over here. [Neatly washed and ironed]

Mulder: Oh. Oh, Ellen, you didn't have to go to the trouble of...

Ellen Adderly: No, it's no trouble. Actually, it helps me. Whenever my life's a mess, I just do some housework. It gives me the illusion I'm in control.

Mulder: Well, maybe I should try that sometime.

Ellen Adderly: Hey, have a seat. [She serves Mulder Eggs Benedict]

Mulder: Thanks. Yikes. Wow...

Ellen Adderly: It's just Phil's breakfast times two.

Mulder: Well, Phil is living large. Where is he this morning?

Ellen Adderly: Out — probably out on a call. He'll be back. You... you just dig in.

Mulder: Whoa. [Hot coffee]

Ellen Adderly: Sorry. Do you need milk?

Mulder: Uh-uh. That's fine.

Ellen Adderly: I get the feeling you're not used to anyone taking care of you.

Mulder: Well, that has a vaguely pathetic ring to it.

Ellen Adderly: No, I just meant I didn't notice a wedding band.

Mulder: Oh.

Ellen Adderly: Do you have a... a significant other?

Mulder: Um, not in the widely understood definition of that term.

Ellen Adderly: Ah. Well, the right woman will come along and change all that. Don't miss out on home and family, Mr Mulder. With all the terrible things you must see in your work — well, it could be a refuge for you. [Sheriff Adderly, still in uniform, enters the house] Hi, Honey.

Sheriff Adderly: Sorry I'm late — paperwork. Morning, Agent Mulder.

Mulder: Morning.

Ellen Adderly: I'm going to go check on Katie. [She leaves]

Sheriff Adderly: You sleep well?

Mulder: Eh, I only woke up once, when you went out.

Sheriff Adderly: Well, I'll try to be quieter next time. We got a deputy out — we're short-handed. I had to take some calls.

Mulder: All night?

Sheriff Adderly: Yeah. We were busy.

Mulder: Well, I spoke to the coroner this morning and the autopsy shows that Martha Crittendon was four weeks pregnant when she died — despite her birth control pills. She probably didn't even know it. Any idea who the father might be? I mean, Howard's vasectomy pretty much puts him out of the running... Any inkling who it might be?

Sheriff Adderly: Just say what's on your mind, Agent.

Mulder: You have a piece of evidence in your possession that I'd like back — the skeleton key. Number six. [Sheriff Adderly returns the key to Mulder] You want to tell me what this unlocks? Once I find out, we'll talk again.

Mulder: Sheriff, you know that talk I said we should have?

Sheriff Adderly: I left her sleeping.

Mulder: So you were having an affair with both Jenny and Martha Crittendon? [Sheriff Adderly nods] I got to hand it to you, Sheriff. You put the service back into protect and serve.

Sheriff Adderly: I cared about both of them.

Mulder: They knew about each other? [Sheriff Adderly nods] But I'm assuming Ellen doesn't.

Sheriff Adderly: No. But even if she did, she'd find a way to rationalise it. I'm not defending myself, but... two years ago I wanted a divorce. Ellen won't hear it. She got pregnant with Katie and locked me up good.

Mulder: Well, I think you got bigger problems facing you right now.

Sheriff Adderly: I didn't do this, I swear to you. Anyway, what about the broken mirrors and the raven? You said that it was an entity that did this. Don't you still believe that?

Mulder: I said it was an entity summoned by somebody else...

Sheriff Adderly: Whether or not they even knew about it. I mean, is that possible? Can I be the reason for all this... and not even know about it?

Mulder: [answering mobile] Mulder.

Scully: Mulder. I am free.

Mulder: You're free?

Scully: Mm-hmm. I'm going to go home, take a shower for, I don't know eight or nine hours, burn the clothes that I'm wearing and then... sleep until late spring.

Mulder: Oh, you solved the X-File.

Scully: Yes, except it's not an X-File, Mulder.

Mulder: What are you saying? You didn't catch our blonde mystery serial killer?

Scully: Oh, no, we caught her, but she isn't a serial killer, nor is she a blonde, and she isn't even a she.

Mulder: What are you talking about?

Scully: What I'm talking about is the six missing prostitutes aren't dead, Mulder. They are alive and well in a halfway house that was set up by this mystery blonde who happens to go by the name of Mark Scott Egbert and Mr Egbert wishes to acquaint lost souls with the teachings of Christ and that's his hook, I guess. He dresses up like a fellow prostitute to make the girls feel at ease, but this vanishing act is no more paranormal than a change of wardrobe, Mulder. He goes into a place like a, like a woman and he comes out as a man, right under...

Mulder: ...our noses.

Scully: Exactly. A wolf in sheep's clothing or I guess, in this case, a sheep in wolf's clothing.

Mulder: Well, good work, Scully. I'll call you back later.

Mulder: Ellen? Ellen, it's Agent Mulder.

Ellen Adderly: Please go away.

Mulder: Ellen, Jenny Uphouse is dead. Your husband is in custody suspected of murdering her, only I don't think he did it. Do you? Ellen, you went out, this morning after breakfast. Where'd you go?

Ellen Adderly: It's not me. It can't be.

Mulder: I think it is. Ellen, I think you have a whole other side that you're afraid to face. That would explain all the broken mirrors. You don't want to see yourself for what you really are. Ellen, you have to come out of there.

Ellen Adderly: Then what? My marriage, my life... everything I thought I had... is nothing. It's all lies. I wish you'd never come here.

Mulder: Ellen, you need to open this door. [He takes out his gun. The creature bursts through the door and attacks him. Mirrors shatter around them. She throws him through a door into the bathroom, pushes him into the bathtub and holds him under the water, but when the creature sees her reflection in the water she lets go. Mulder gets out of the bathtub, takes a deep breath and sees Ellen Adderly huddled naked on the floor]

Mulder: You want to see her?

Sheriff Adderly: Does she want to see me? [Mulder shrugs] Doctors say she's got some kind of... dissociative disorder, split personality. That doesn't explain what happened, does it?

Mulder: I think it's about as close as science can come. I think the basic idea is right. There are some multiple personality disorders where an alternate personality displays traits that the host doesn't have — like nearsightedness or high blood pressure or even diabetes. I think in Ellen's case the changes were just a lot more extreme.

Sheriff Adderly: Like Jekyll and Hyde?

Mulder: She wanted so much from her life with you — a perfect life — and I think that at some point she found out you were cheating with Jenny and Martha, I don't know when, but at some point she did, and... and, like you said, I think she had to rationalise that. She just bottled up her anger, swallowed it, and it had to come out some way. I think she did what she did to protect her family.