Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully pose as a married couple to investigate a series of bizarre happenings in an exclusive, gated community.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Dave Kline: Shroeder's out there painting our mailbox! You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to paint the whole damn house pink.

Nancy Kline: Dave.

Dave Kline: Forget about the mailbox, huh? I'm going to make this whole damn place look like you won it selling cosmetics. How about that? That'll show these Nazis.

Nancy Kline: Honey, would you just calm down. Rules are rules.

Dave Kline: They're repainting our mailbox, because it's Desert Sienna instead of Desert Sage. I mean, this guy is a freaking weirdo.

Nancy Kline: Hon... what's that package?

Dave Kline: I don't know. It doesn't say who sent it.

[It is a very tacky whirligig with a little man who chops wood as the wind blows the propeller]

Nancy Kline: Whoa.

Dave Kline: Tasteful.

Nancy Kline: Boy, the neighbours would really hate that.

Mulder: Wow. Take a look at this. Honey, what do you think? Is this place us or what?

Pat Verlander: You must be the Petries. Hi. Welcome. Welcome to The Falls.

Mulder: I'm Rob... this is my lovely wife, Laura.

Pat Verlander: Rob and Laura Petrie.

Scully: We pronounce it Pee-trie, actually.

Pat Verlander: Oh.

Mulder: Like the dish.

Pat Verlander: Well, it's so nice to meet you. I'm Pat Verlander. I live six doors down. I'm the neighbourhood welcome wagon.

Scully: Pleased to make your acquaintance, Pat.

Pat Verlander: I really must say, it's already ten after 5:00. I don't think you're going to make it.

Scully: I'm sorry?

Pat Verlander: The 6 o'clock cutoff? All move-ins are required to be completed by 6 pm. [Mulder and Scully look at her blankly] It's in the CC&Rs. [Contracts, Covenants and Restrictions] It's one of our rules.

Mulder: Wow. The photos did not do it justice.

Pat Verlander: [quietly to neighbours] Guys, fast, fast now. Come on. [Neighbours are already bringing in boxes and furniture]

Mulder: The previous owners left it so clean.

Pat Verlander: What do you do for a living Mr... Petrie? That's right, isn't it?

Mulder: Yeah, I, uh... I work mostly at home which is great for Laura because she gets me all to herself.

Pat Verlander: Oh.

Scully: This place really is immaculate, Pat. I, uh, I wouldn't mind sending a thank-you note to the previous owners.

Pat Verlander: That's sweet. Um... Good. [She runs nervously out the door]

Win Shroeder: Win Shroeder, next-door neighbour. Welcome, welcome.

Mulder: Hi, Win. Nice to meet you.

Win Shroeder: Now, don't you folks worry. We'll have you moved in before 6:00. [to Gordy] Time?!

Gordy: 5:19.

Win Shroeder: Uh... pardon me, neighbour.

Mover: Where's this [portable basketball hoop] go?

Mulder: Uh, you can just put that right here in the driveway.

Win Shroeder: Whoa, whoa! Hold on, hold on, hold on. Let's... let's talk. Um... A b-ball fan, huh? Shooting hoops — that's, um, that's not good. That's definitely going to stand out in your front yard over there.

Mulder: Stand out, Win?

Win Shroeder: Well, as in, uh... not be aesthetically pleasing... to the eye. But, hey, you know, maybe you can get special dispensation from Mr Gogolak, president of our Homeowner's Association. I'd take it up with him. But in the meantime, um... let's keep that in the garage.

Mulder: Just... put it in the garage.

Win Shroeder: Okay. Let's finish getting you folks moved in. Let's go, people. Let's move! Move!

Mulder: Oh, yeah. Nothing weird going on around here. Hey... ooh, wait a minute. You didn't let me carry you over the threshold.

Scully: You ready?

Mulder: Let's get it on, honey.

Scully: All right, then. [She hands him a pair of gloves and, checking in the box of china that had been dropped, pulls out a piece of broken lab equipment] Thanks to our friendly neighbours there will be no fluorescein bloodstain enhancement.

Mulder: Not that it makes much difference. This place is so clean you could build computer chips.

[Scully starts video taping the house, narrating as she films]

Scully: Okay. 6:01 pm, February 24. Agents Scully and Mulder in the former home of David and Nancy Kline who disappeared without a trace last July. The Klines were the third such couple to disappear since this neighbourhood was built in 1991. All were apparently stable professional people with no history of violence, domestic discord or mental illness and it took a family member or employee to realise that they were gone... including their cars and a few personal items. What local police found in each case was nothing — just impeccably-manicured homes and a community of neighbours who professed total ignorance that anyone had disappeared.

Mulder: That's pretty surprising considering how nutty this bunch is about being neighbourly.

Scully: The local police department were at a dead end so they turned to the FBI. AD Skinner, in assigning us this case, thought a fruitful approach to the investigation would be if we went undercover posing as prospective home buyers as this planned community would seem to hide a dark, possibly murderous conspiracy of silence.

Mulder: You want to make that honeymoon video now? [Scully turns the camera off]

Scully: Rob and Laura Petrie?

Mulder: Pee-trie.

Scully: Mulder, if we ever go undercover again I get to choose the names, okay?

Mulder: Fine.

Scully: This tells me that you're not taking this seriously.

Mulder: No, I'm taking it seriously. I just don't understand why we're on it. It's our first catch back on the X-Files. This isn't an X-File.

Scully: Sure it is. It's unexplained. What do you want, aliens? Tractor beams?

Mulder: Wow. Admit it, you just want to play house. [Doorbell rings] Woman, get back in here and make me a sandwich! [Scully stares at him in amused tolerance, removes her latex gloves and throws them at Mulder] Did I not make myself clear?

Scully: Oh. That's a caduceus. Are you a doctor, Mike?

Mike Raskub: No, a vet. Veterinarian. If you folks are thinking about getting a dog or any pet I'd be happy to check it out for you, no charge. Just, uh... you're not allowed to have over 16 pounds of pet. That's one of the CC&Rs.

Scully: Mighty nice of you, Mike. I, uh... gosh, with all this hospitality, I can't believe the Klines ever left. [Mike Raskub looks uncomfortable] That, uh... that was their name, wasn't it? The, uh, the Klines?

Mike Raskub: I have to go.

Scully: Mulder...

Mulder: The name... is Rob.

Scully: What you got there?

Mulder: Looks like whoever cleaned this place maybe missed a spot. That look like blood to you?

Scully: Mm-hmm. How'd it get way up there? [On the ceiling fan]

Gene Gogolak: These Petries, are they going to play ball?

Win Shroeder: Pee-tries. Uh, so far, so good. I'm keeping my eye on them.

Mike Raskub: Um... Mr Gogolak... Don't you think that, uh... maybe this time it would be better if we told them?

Win Shroeder: Mike... you and I have been through this before. We... we don't know yet if we can trust them.

Mike Raskub: It's just that... There are so many... so many rules. I think that maybe they would be able to keep up with them better if they knew what happened if they don't. It's the neighbourly thing to do. I really think we should do this.

Gene Gogolak: Son... Godspeed.

Mike Raskub: Thank you. Um... can I, uh, use your...?

Gene Gogolak: Second door to the left. There's Glade under the sink. Gordy, how about you go make sure he finds it. [Mike Raskub and Gordy leave the room]

Win Shroeder: Gene? I can talk him out of this.

Gene Gogolak: Win. The boy's a weak link, and a strong chain can't survive with a weak link.

Mulder: Morning.

Win Shroeder: Oh! Oh, Rob, Laura. I'm so sorry. So, good morning. So how was your first night? Peaceful?

Mulder: Oh, it was wonderful. We just spooned up and fell asleep like little baby cats. Isn't that right, Honeybunch?

Scully: That's right, Poopyhead. Win, are we in the right place? I thought this was Big Mike's house.

Win Shroeder: Yeah... Yeah. I'm just helping out. Mike had to leave town on business.

Scully: What kind of business? I thought he was a veterinarian.

Win Shroeder: Veterinarian business, I guess. I just know he's gone weeks at a time.

Mulder: I'll just leave this here then.

Win Shroeder: Let me take those. Just... tidier-looking than leaving them on the front porch.

Mulder: That would be more aesthetically pleasing, huh?

Win Shroeder: Exactly. Say, would you two like to join Cami and me for dinner this evening? About 6:00? We eat early.

Scully: That sounds great. Thanks.

Win Shroeder: Great.

Mulder: Oh, uh, Win, you mentioned, uh... that I could talk to someone about putting up my basketball hoop? Who was that again? Mr Gogolak, was it?

Gene Gogolak: All right, then, let's see. Basketball hoop and backboard. Portable. Nope, I'm sorry. It's not allowed.

Mulder: You're kidding?

Gene Gogolak: I'm afraid not. Rules are rules. It may not sound like anything — a simple basketball hoop — but from there, it's just a few short steps to spinning daisy reflectors and a bass boat in the driveway.

Mulder: In other words, anarchy.

Gene Gogolak: It may sound tough, but ours is a system that works. That's why The Falls is one of the top-ranked planned communities in all of California. Most of our homeowners have been here since day one.

Mulder: I love the decor here, Mr Gogolak. Is it, um... Occidental?

Gene Gogolak: Well, it's, uh, Nepalese and Tibetan, mostly. I go there twice a year on business.

Mulder: Oh.

Gene Gogolak: I run Pier 9 Imports. I can get you a great deal on rattan furniture if you're interested. Indoor only. Outdoor use is prohibited by our... CC&Rs.

Win Shroeder: Sweetheart? Did you use the dolphin-safe tuna this time?

Cami Shroeder: Dolphin-safe all the way, Honey.

Win Shroeder: We always use the dolphin-safe.

Mulder: You've got to love those dolphins... although they're pretty tasty, too. [His joke is met with stunned silence from the Shroeders]

Win Shroeder: So... Where'd you two meet?

Mulder: Actually, it was at a UFO conference.

Win Shroeder: Flying saucers? Interesting. Wouldn't have thought you folks would have been into that.

Mulder: Well, it's not me so much as Laura. She's quite the New-Ager. I mean, she's into those magnetic bracelets and crystals and mood rings, what have you. I mean, God bless her, she's a sucker for all that stuff.

Cami Shroeder: Well, I wouldn't have guessed that, would you?

Win Shroeder: Mm-mm.

Scully: No kidding.

Mulder: Yeah. You know, Win, uh, when you, uh... when you told me this morning that Big Mike was out of town on business... I don't think that's true.

Win Shroeder: You don't?

Mulder: Mmm. No, 'cause we called his office, didn't we, Honey?

Scully: We did.

Mulder: Yeah. We're thinking about getting a dog so we wanted to call him and ask him his advice, whatever, and see if maybe his office had a forwarding number and they said, you know...

Scully: That he wasn't there. They didn't know where he was.

Mulder: Yeah.

Scully: Do you know where he is, Win?

Win Shroeder: Really couldn't tell you.

Mulder: Mmm. It's got to be something really freaky-deaky, huh? I mean, for him to lie about it like that? Maybe he's got some wild secret life going on.

Mulder: But every community has its dark underbelly don't you think?

Win Shroeder: We don't have any underbelly. As far as I'm concerned this community is the American Dream.

Cami Shroeder: Um... I'm sorry. I, um... realise that it's past time that I walk Scruffy.

Scully: Would you like some company?

Cami Shroeder: Yeah.

Scully: Local PD came up blank on... [Mulder throws his sweatshirt across the room] Mike Raskub. No activity on his credit cards. No sighting of his '97 Mercury Villager.

Mulder: Yeah, there's no sign of him at his house. I didn't see him in the storm drain either. I take it he's dead, Scully.

Scully: Laura. Win Shroeder?

Mulder: Mmm, maybe Win cleaning up.

Scully: Cleaning up for who?

Mulder: Don't know.

Scully: Mulder, speaking of cleaning up, whoever taught you how to squeeze a tube of toothpaste?

Mulder: Hey, what do we know about this stuff?

Scully: I'm driving down to San Diego tomorrow and have it analyzed.

Mulder: All right.

Scully: Third warning. Toilet seat. [Mulder sprawls on the bed] Why kill Big Mike? [She walks out of the bathroom with her face covered in a bright green mud mask]

Mulder: Oh!

Scully: What's missing here is intent. What would be the motive? [She throws the sweatshirt at his head]

Mulder: Compulsive neatness, or lack thereof. Have you noticed how everybody around here is obsessed with the neighborhood rules and the CC&Rs? You know what? You fit in really well here.

Scully: And you don't.

Mulder: Well, anyway, tomorrow I got a, uh, surefire way of testing out my theory. [He pats the bed beside him and waggles his eyebrows at her] Come on, Laura, you know... we're married now.

Scully: Scully, Mulder. Good night.

Mulder: The thrill is gone. [Heading out with a pillow]

[Mulder plants a pink plastic flamingo in the lawn and looks around he neighbourhood]

Mulder: Bring it on.

Mulder: Hey, Win. Want to play horse?

Win Shroeder: What the hell are you doing?

Mulder: What am I doing? [Win Shroeder starts to put the hoop away] What are you doing?

Win Shroeder: Damn it, Rob, get off of it! Help me get this thing inside.

Mulder: Why? What's going to happen if we don't?

Win Shroeder: Fine. That's the way you want it?

Scully: Sorry, Mulder. Somebody was in the house.

Mulder: Tidying up. Whoever it was, they put away my basketball hoop. Somebody's looking out after us, Scully, which may not be a bad thing.

Scully: What do you mean?

Mulder: I got a look at that thing that's been scaring everybody and I take it back. This is an X-File.

Win Shroeder: What did we do wrong, Gene? Was our welcome mat not to your liking? Did I coil my garden hose clockwise instead of counter-clockwise?

Gene Gogolak: Hold the phone, now. Are you saying that I had something to do with this?

Win Shroeder: Who else? The exact same thing — the thing you had me do to Mike. Who else would do that?

Gene Gogolak: Son, you'll want to take a deep breath... and rethink that theory. It's your next-door neighbour, Win. He's a rabble-rouser. He's trouble with a capital T. And you and I both know it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch.

Mulder: Here we go. Yeah... I'm guessing there's one of these in every yard. I think this is how this thing travels — where it lives. [Under the turf of their front yard is a hole filled with with loose dirt]

Scully: In the ground. This huge creature you think you saw? Look, Mulder, huge creatures aside do you care to hear what I think?

Mulder: Always.

Scully: These are the lab results from the San Diego PD. First of all, the stuff that we found on the fan blade — the dried blood and scalp hairs? It's neither. The blood is predominantly ketchup and brake fluid and the hairs are bristles from a scrub brush and the same goes for the sample we found on the dog's muzzle. It's coffee grounds, eggshells and motor oil with about 50 other constituents, with a little mercurochrome for colour. In other words, Mulder, it's garbage. Which makes perfect sense because this entire neighbourhood has been built upon an old landfill.

Mulder: A landfill?

Scully: Mm-hmm. We found this stuff everywhere because it is everywhere. It's just beneath the topsoil and that protrusion in the front yard may occur from the venting of methane gas... but Mulder, I don't see how any of this has to do with the disappearances that we're investigating.

Mulder: It does. Somehow, it's one and the same. The Klines?

Scully: Yeah?

Mulder: What if they're still here.

Scully: You mean buried in the yard? Well, once we start a forensic excavation, our cover's blown.

Pat Verlander: What in God's name are you doing?! God...!

Mulder: Putting in a pool.

Pat Verlander: In the front yard?! What are you, insane? Have you even looked at the CC&Rs? You can't just put in a swimming pool!

Mulder: Ah... It's not a swimming pool. It's a reflecting pool. I checked the rules. There's no rule against putting in a reflecting pool. It's very tranquil. You'd like it.

Scully: Hey. Mulder. The Klines aren't down there. Maybe it's time you called it a night.

[The Klines whirligig is caught in the teeth of the backhoe scoop]

Mulder: Tasteful, isn't it? [There is a sticker on it that says Pier 9 Imports] Gogolak. Hey, can you get an excavation team out here?

Scully: Yeah.

Mulder: We need to dig deeper.

Scully: Where are you going?

Mulder: To price some rattan furniture.

Mike Raskub: It's come for you, Laura. You can't make a noise. Shh. Shh.

Scully: Mike. What happened to you?

Mike Raskub: You have to get out of here.

Scully: Why? What are you telling me? Who's downstairs?

Mike Raskub: Shh, shh, shh.

Scully: Mike... who did this to you?

Mike Raskub: The ubermenscher. It's our fault. The original homeowners — we asked for it and now we can't stop it.

Scully: Stop what, Mike?

Mike Raskub: I tried to give it Shroeder. You know, tit-for-tat. Just like Shroeder did for me.

Scully: Mike, listen, settle down. Okay. Just give me my gun. I'm a federal agent...

Mike Raskub: The ubermenscher wants you, Laura. Your husband — he's just broken way too many rules. I've been hiding in the sewer. I tried to warn him.

Scully: Mike, just give me the gun. Give me...

[Mike Raskub pushes Scully into the closet]

Gene Gogolak: FBI? What did I do?

Mulder: Let's start with the Klines. You're responsible for them being in little pieces in my front yard. You gave them that lawn ornament. The guy with the axe?

Gene Gogolak: Whirligig.

Mulder: Yeah, whirligig. It's tacky enough to break your rules and your CCRs — tacky enough to mark the Klines for death.

Gene Gogolak: And won't that sound good in a court of law? When the judge asks you who killed the Klines what exactly are you going to tell him?

Mulder: A tulpa. It's a Tibetan thought-form. It's a living, breathing creature willed into existence by someone who possesses that ability — an ability I think you picked up on your whirligig-buying excursions to the Far East. Why'd you do it? I mean, is it so damn important for everybody to have the same colour mailbox?

Gene Gogolak: It's important that people fit in.

Mulder: But you didn't know exactly what you were getting into, did you? I mean, you can summon its existence, but... you can give it life, but you can't control it. The best you can hope for is to stay out of its way.

Gene Gogolak: Son, my lawyers are going to make you sound so stupid that not only will I never see the inside of a jail cell but you'll be signing all your pay cheques straight to me.

Win Shroeder: Gene?

Gene Gogolak: Win. You've got two FBI agents living next door to you. Cheer up. It's not for long.

Scully: [voiceover] Several residents of The Falls have now come forward to blame the deaths in the neighbourhood on Home Owner Association President Gene Gogolak. These same residents deny Agent Mulder's allegation that they were in some sense all responsible for the demise of Gogolak himself, claiming ignorance as to what actually killed him. It would seem the code of silence that hid the sins of this community has not only survived but — in its creator — claimed a final victim. Meanwhile, The Falls at Arcadia has been named one of the top planned communities in California for the sixth year running.