Episode Summary

Another failed suicide attempt by a patient in a military hospital interests Mulder with the talk of a phantom soldier which has prevented the man's death. The general in charge is at first opposed to the FBI's involvement until the invisible killer begins stalking him. But none believe when the primary suspect is a quadriplegic.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Captain Draper: Protocol requires all criminal investigation of military personnel to be conducted through military channels and their superior officer.

Mulder: What? We didn't sign in at the front desk?

Captain Draper: You're in breach of code and procedure.

Scully: Excuse me. But does General Callahan have a superior officer?

Captain Draper: Ma'am?

Scully: Assuming that we wanted to investigate him. Who would we talk to?

Captain Draper: Investigate him for what?

Scully: Whatever.

Captain Draper: General Callahan is the senior officer here.

Scully: Well then we'd like to speak to him on our way out.

Captain Draper: I don't know that he's available.

Scully: Ask him to make himself available. Tell him that it's our protocol. But in the meantime we would like to finish up with Lieutenant Colonel Stans. You never know when he might try and kill himself again.

Leonard Trimble: What is it, Roach?

Quinton Freely: What's what?

Leonard Trimble: You got that I'm freaking out look on your face. What's the matter?

Quinton Freely: It's nothing.

Leonard Trimble: Bull. I spent two years with your sorry ass in a gun turret, I think I know when you got something on your mind. Come on Private, make your report!

Scully: Six months ago Ackland also lost his family to a house fire. Afterwards he received psychiatric treatment for delusional behaviour, telling the doctors that he wanted to die but that somebody wouldn't let him.

Mulder: Before throwing himself into a woodchipper on the hospital grounds. Now unless that's procedure and protocol, I'd say the coincidence of details has been rather strangely overlooked, Sir.

General Callahan: Hold on. Just who's under suspicion here? Look, I make no excuses for the sadness of these men's lives. They are casualties of war, once brave men, who we can do little but feel sorry for. If you think there's more to it, you are seriously mistaken.

Scully: That's your conclusion, General. But I'd hope you'd allow us the opportunity to come to our own.

Scully: Considering the government's absolute disavowal of Gulf War Syndrome, I'd say it's a pretty good reason to prevent our investigation. But you're not buying it.

Mulder: No. What I can't figure out is why a man who's so deliberately and methodically set out to commit suicide would leave the one entrance to the room unsecured. But then again I obviously have a feeble grasp of army protocol and procedure.

[Checking the backmasked tape on the General's answering machine]

Scully: Find anything?

Mulder: No, but I'm really beginning to like the tune.

Scully: It's insane.

Mulder: Sometimes the only sane response to an insane world is insanity.

Mulder: Leonard Trimble?

Leonard Trimble: No. It's Fred Astaire. [motioning to TV]

Scully: Mr Trimble, we'd like to ask you a few questions about Quinton Freely.

Leonard Trimble: Roach? What's he done now?

Mulder: He's dead.

Leonard Trimble: Yeah? Well... serves him right.

Scully: How's that?

Leonard Trimble: How's that? Oh, he's only the guy that turned me into second base by getting my arms and legs blown off. Other than that he was a real good guy.

Leonard Trimble: Nobody knows how I feel. They took my life away.

Mulder: So you took theirs.

Leonard Trimble: If I only could. Now if you're through questioning me, I'd like to get a little shuteye.

Mulder: No sleep walking.

Leonard Trimble: That's good. I haven't heard that one yet. Har de har har.

[Mulder's case study report]

Mulder: Amputees sometimes feel the pain of phantom limbs. Ghosts of hands still clenching, legs still aching. Is it not possible that Trimble developed a phantom soul. A malevolent psyche that took its violent revenge on those he held accountable... It was war that destroyed Leonard Trimble's body, but his wounds went deeper than the loss of his limbs. What destroyed those parts of him that make us human beings, those better angels of our nature. I cannot say.