Episode Summary

Having been kidnapped for ten years, a little boy mysteriously reappears but hasn't aged one bit.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


[Scully is examining Billy Underwood in an observation room. Doggett is watching them through the glass window and holding the ten year old missing flyer of Billy Underwood]

Doggett: He won't speak?

Sheriff Sanchez: No, not even to his parents.

Doggett: Are they here, his parents?

Sheriff Sanchez: Oh, they've been here around the clock. I took his prints... It's him. Boy should be a teenager by now, but look at him. Explain to me how that can be.

Doggett: I can't say, Sheriff. I'm just here to find out who took him.

Sheriff Sanchez: I talked to everyone at school and no one saw him come back or how. The boy just come out of the blue.

[Scully leaves the examination room and joins Doggett and Sheriff Sanchez. Two nearby deputies are carrying boxes]

Doggett: Are those the case files?

Sheriff Sanchez: Oh, yeah. Plenty more where those came from. There's lots of files. There's just not much in them. We never even had a suspect.

Doggett: Have them set them over there, would you.

Sheriff Sanchez: [to deputies] Set those on that table. [He leaves to direct the deputies]

Scully: Well, what we've got here is a healthy seven-year-old boy who was born 17 years ago.

Doggett: And a healthy boy who won't speak.

[Lisa and Doug Underwood join them]

Lisa Underwood: Excuse me? Are you finished with Billy?

Scully: Mr and Mrs Underwood?

Lisa Underwood: Um, you're with the FBI...

Scully: Yes. I'm Agent Scully, and this is Agent Doggett. We are, uh, investigating this case.

Lisa Underwood: It's a miracle, isn't it?

Scully: Mrs Underwood... whatever your son has been through, it has somehow affected his physical condition.

Lisa Underwood: So we've been told by every doctor here. We just want to take him home. After ten years, can we do that?

[Doggett takes an evidence bag from one of the file boxes]

Doggett: Not yet. I want to talk to him first. [He leaves them and joins Billy Underwood in the examination room] How you doing, Billy? My name's John. I'm going to have a seat over here, is that okay? Is that all right? Billy, I want you to know that you're not alone. I've talked to lots of other boys and girls who've been hurt just like you. Sometimes when they talk about it the hurt starts to go away. You want to talk about it, Billy? You know, maybe you think bad things happened to you because you've been a bad boy... but I'm here to tell you, that's not true. The bad guy is the one who took you away and it's up to you and me to get the bad guy. See, 'cause as big and tough as I am, I can't do it alone. I need your help. Can you tell me about him, Billy? What's his name? What did he look like? [He opens the evidence bag, removes a backpack and sets it on the desk] You remember this, don't you, Billy? Would you like to have that back? [Billy Underwood reaches for the backpack, but Doggett moves it away from him]

Lisa Underwood: [to Scully] What is he doing?

Scully: Uh...

Doggett: [to Billy Underwood] All I want is his name.

[Lisa Underwood angrily enters the room, picking up Billy Underwood and the backpack]

Lisa Underwood: Who the hell do you think you are? He's only a little boy. [She carries her son out of the examination room]

Scully: Mr Underwood...? [Doug Underwood follows his wife out of the hospital. Scully confronts Doggett] You think this is a game?

Doggett: A serious game; one we have to win.

Scully: Have you really worked kid cases before, Agent Doggett? Child abductions?

Doggett: I worked the child abduction task force. I know the horror stories, but this kid can help us.

Scully: This isn't just a horror story. This is a biological impossibility.

Doggett: Well, that's your area of expertise. I just want to put the person who did this out of business. Billy just didn't show up. He got away or was let go. And if he can talk, he can tell us by who. Or he can look at photos in the files and point to the man who did this so this doesn't happen to some other little boy.

Scully: You are ignoring the fact that he is still seven years old.

Doggett: Failure to thrive. Isn't that the term? I mean, aren't there diseases that delay puberty and so on?

Scully: I told you... he's not sick.

Doggett: Good. Then he can talk.

Scully: You going to sleep here, too?

Doggett: What time is it?

Scully: I spoke with the doctors who treated Billy. I looked at his charts.

Doggett: And what, did you find something?

Scully: Yes and no. What showed up is that Billy is the same boy who was taken ten years ago.

Doggett: We know that.

Scully: No. I mean the same boy. He has no cavities. He has no tooth decay. He still has four baby teeth that he's never lost. He had a routine blood test six weeks before he disappeared in 1990. His cell counts, his enzymes, his hormone levels, they are all exactly the same as they were ten years ago.

Doggett: Now how can that be possible?

Scully: It's medically impossible.

Doggett: So, what's the punch line? Where are you saying he's been?

Scully: There are... X-Files cases that describe similar paranormal findings. Alien abductees who came back with anomalous medical stats.

Doggett: You know, these words: anomalous, supernatural, paranormal... They purport to explain something by not explaining it. It's lazy.

Scully: I'm not saying that I can explain it, Agent Doggett, but this is definitely not normal.

Doggett: I went back to the witnesses at the crime scene the day Billy vanished, to this guy, Ronald Purnell. [He shows Scully a mugshot] He was detained, questioned and dismissed as a suspect.

Scully: What's your interest in this guy?

Doggett: He's a high school dropout, convicted of possession, arson, and shoplifting since 1990.

Scully: These are juvenile records. These are sealed by the court, Agent Doggett. We're not supposed to have these.

Doggett: And we're at a standstill here.

Scully: Yeah, and you're breaking the law.

Doggett: Look, I want to catch this guy, Agent Scully, whatever it takes.

Doggett: Anybody in there? Hello? Ronald Purnell? Ronald Purnell?

Ronald Purnell: Yeah.

Doggett: Can I talk to you? Can you come out, and we can have a conversation?

Ronald Purnell: Is this about my probation?

Doggett: It's about a little boy named Billy Underwood. You know that name? Ring a bell?

Ronald Purnell: No.

Doggett: It does to everybody else in this area. He vanished from a school fair you were at ten years ago. You remember him now?

Ronald Purnell: Yeah. I remember him.

Doggett: You think he'd remember you?

Ronald Purnell: Me?

Doggett: You. Your face.

Ronald Purnell: You're a trip, man. You know that?

Doggett: This has nothing to do with you being stoned or violating your probation. All I'm asking is that we go see Billy. See what he says.

Ronald Purnell: See what he says where?

Doggett: Where? Wherever. Wherever you want. I'll make sure he's there.

Ronald Purnell: You're not making sense, dude. Just leave me alone.

[Lisa Underwood checks Billy Underwood's room]

Lisa Underwood: Billy? Honey, are you here? [She goes to Josh Underwood's room, there is a bloody hunting knife sticking out of the mattress beside her sleeping son — she screams and wakes her son]

Josh Underwood: What?! What are you doing?!

Lisa Underwood: Joshy! Oh, my god! Are you hurt?

Josh Underwood: No. [There is blood on his pyjamas]

Lisa Underwood: You're bleeding.

Josh Underwood: Mom!

Lisa Underwood: Where did that [the knife] come from?

Josh Underwood: I don't know.

[They turn to see Billy Underwood standing in the room]

Lisa Underwood: Billy... Billy, honey... what are you doing here? Please, Billy, answer me.

Sheriff Sanchez: Just got word back from the lab. Ran the blood twice and no doubt about it. It's the little boy's.

Doggett: But I thought you said he wasn't cut.

Sheriff Sanchez: No. You're misunderstanding. It's the other son I'm talking about, Billy — the boy who was kidnapped.

Doggett: That doesn't make any sense.

Scully: No. Billy wasn't cut either.

Sheriff Sanchez: No, but he definitely handled the knife. His prints are on it.

Doggett: Where did he even get it?

Sheriff Sanchez: His father's never seen it before. He's no hunter. Never cleaned an animal, which is about all a knife like that's good for... except for killing, of course.

Scully: Well, I hate to say this... but I think that the best thing for Billy and his family is if he's removed to an institution under the observation of people who are experienced in these things.

Doggett: You mean, remove him? Take him away? After all his family's been through?

Scully: This is not a normal child, Agent Doggett, and this is not a normal act.

Doggett: You make it sound like he's possessed. Call the exorcist. He's a kid — a kid who's been through who knows what kind of hell. Give him a chance. How do you know he's not trying to communicate something?

Scully: And what's the message? Yes, he's a kid, Agent Doggett, you're right. He's a kid who materialised out of thin air, unaged. Do you not somehow recognise how strange this is?

Doggett: Did anybody notice this? This symbol? [A simple five-armed symbol is engraved on the knife handle]

Sheriff Sanchez: Yeah. Yeah, uh, I was going to mention that to you 'cause it's... uh... kind of weird.

Doggett: Weird how?

Sheriff Sanchez: Well, like I told you, we tried everything to find that boy, and who abducted him went so far as to bring in a police psychic ten years back — came up with that very same symbol.

Doggett: Well, how exactly did he come up with it?

Sheriff Sanchez: She. Sharon Pearl. Couldn't say how it came to her.

Scully: I've seen this symbol before, too.

Doggett: You have?

[Scully enters the observation room, she picks up the sheet of paper that Billy Underwood was drawing on and holds it up against the window for the men to see]

Sheriff Sanchez: I'll be damned.

Doug Underwood: This is great. Now, I've got a psychic sitting in my living room who's going to tell me what's wrong with my son.

Scully: I understand your misgivings, Mr Underwood, but perhaps you can look at this as just another avenue.

Doug Underwood: An avenue to what?

Doggett: We're going to solve this case, Mr Underwood. We're going to find out who did this to your son.

Doug Underwood: And then what? What am I left with? A kid who stabs knives into his brother's mattress? You don't know the half of it. He gives everyone but his mother the creeps with that stare of his.

Doggett: I just know that this is going to tear you apart. It's going to tear your family apart. And you can't let it. You've got to save them from the damage this can do.

Doug Underwood: I'll be happy to save what I can. Come on, Josh. Let's go. [He leaves with Josh Underwood]

Sharon Pearl: Is this going to happen?

Doggett: Shouldn't you be telling us that?

Sharon Pearl: You're no doubt confused, Agent Doggett. I take psychic readings not see through walls.

[Lisa and Billy Underwood come downstairs]

Lisa Underwood: Sorry to keep you waiting.

Sharon Pearl: Mrs Underwood. I'm Sharon Pearl. I consulted on your son's disappearance back in 1990. [to Billy Underwood] And you're Billy? [Her warm friendly expression shifts to shock, then horror]

Scully: Ms Pearl? Are you okay?

Sharon Pearl: There are very powerful forces at work here. Working through this boy. Drawing him to his brother. I feel this force... I feel this force... [She looks at Doggett] ...coming through you. You lost someone just like Billy. [She begins convulsing and speaking gibberish]

Doggett: What's happening to her?

[The five armed symbol that Billy Underwood drew appears on Sharon Pearl's forehead]

Scully: Oh, my god.

Cal Jeppy: Hey, Fartknocker. Where are you going in such a big hurry? Hmm? What's the matter? Got something in your ears? [He sticks his finger in Ronald Purnell's ear]

Ronald Purnell: Don't... don't touch me, Cal.

Cal Jeppy: Oh, listen to him. No wonder he wears them baggy britches. Our Ronnie's a big man now. Your old lady said the cops came and talked to you. Hmm? [He smashes his beer bottle and holds the edge of the broken neck against Ronald Purnell's head] I am talking to you, not the side of your head. Better mind your Ps and Qs, Jones. Or I'm going to tell them what you did to that little boy. I'm going to tell them what you got buried out there in the woods. [He slices Ronald Purnell behind his ear]

Marcia Purnell: What's going on with you two?

Cal Jeppy: Talking about cars.

Scully: Well, they've got her stabilised and it looks like she's going to be okay... if you're at all curious about her condition.

Doggett: I'd be more curious if I believed it.

Scully: Believed what?

Doggett: The act.

Scully: You think that was an act?

Doggett: It's pretty standard fare, isn't it? Float a few choice revelations, as if they came from on high, roll around on the floor.

Scully: You saw that symbol appear on her forehead.

Doggett: It's a damn good trick. Don't ask me how she does it. [Scully plays the tape recording of Sharon Pearl's gibberish] Agent Scully, please.

Scully: No. I think you ought to hear this. Now listen to it backwards.

Tape: When you wake...

Doggett: What was that?

Tape: ...you shall have...

Scully: It's a child singing.

Tape: ...all the pretty little horses...

Scully: Lyrics.

Tape: Hush-a-bye, don't you cry... go to sleep, little baby...

Scully: You hear that, under the noise? Now...

Doggett: What's he doing here? [Ronald Purnell has pulled up in front of the Underwood's house]

Scully: Count to ten, Agent Doggett.

Doggett: He took Billy.

Scully: He couldn't have.

Doggett: How are you going to back that up with Billy now missing from his home?

Scully: By the certain knowledge that not five minutes earlier, I saw him enter his home with his mother.

Doggett: I saw him! I saw Billy riding in the car with Ronnie. Why else would Ronnie take off like he did?

Scully: It's impossible, Agent Doggett, like everything else about this case. Like how Billy can be in his home one minute and then in Ronnie's car the next. Everything about this case is impossible.

Doggett: This kid is the key, Agent Scully. I've been saying that from the beginning and I'll say it now.

[Sheriff Sanchez opens the door]

Sheriff Sanchez: Agent Doggett, Agent Scully, I got bad news on top of worse. Josh, the Underwood's other little boy, has disappeared. I'm not joking, not even close. I got the parents out here now. Come on.

Doggett: I've got to talk to this kid, Agent Scully. I'm absolutely sure.

Doggett: Have a seat, Ronnie.

Ronald Purnell: I know what you're going to ask... but I got no answer.

Doggett: Well, there can be only one answer, right? I mean, why else did you go to the house? You went there for Billy, to get him back.

Ronald Purnell: No.

Doggett: You had him in your car.

Ronald Purnell: I don't know how he got there.

Doggett: Then why go to the house at all?

Ronald Purnell: Because I didn't believe you.

Doggett: You didn't believe what? What's so hard to believe, Ronnie?

Ronald Purnell: You said I could talk to him.

Doggett: You needed to talk to him. After all those years, you couldn't live without him. You wanted him back. All those years, Ronnie. All those years. Where'd you keep him?

Ronald Purnell: Man, you don't understand.

Doggett: You were sorry you let him go.

Ronald Purnell: No, I... I couldn't let him go.

Doggett: Who else knew about him? Your mom?

Ronald Purnell: No.

Doggett: Where'd you keep him?

Ronald Purnell: I didn't.

Doggett: What did you do to him?!

Ronald Purnell: I didn't do anything. I took care of him. I sang to him... you know, so he wouldn't be afraid.

Doggett: Afraid of who? Who was he afraid of, Ronnie? Somebody else involved? Somebody else make you do it? He take that other kid, too? Billy's brother? He take him? You're afraid of him, too, aren't you? You're a victim, just like those other kids. Is that right? You... me, Billy. This is our chance, man. What's his name?

Doggett: FBI! Cal Jeppy! Come out! [They enter the horse float and find Josh Underwood, bound and gagged under the floorboards] All right. It's okay, Josh. You're okay. We're not going to hurt you.

Scully: Agent Doggett... He's on the run. [She stays with Josh Underwood as Doggett chases Cal Jeppy]

Doggett: He's in the woods! [The others follow Doggett] Watch your fire! There may be another boy! [Doggett catches up with Cal Jeppy] Down on your knees! Hands in the air! Where's the kid?!

Cal Jeppy: He's in the trailer.

Doggett: Other kid!

Cal Jeppy: There's no other kid.

Doggett: Billy Underwood!

Cal Jeppy: There's no other kid.

[Doggett turns and looks behind him, Billy Underwood is standing there]

Doggett: Get this man in cuffs! Read him his rights! The kid's over... [He turns, but Billy Underwood is gone. As the other officers cuff Cal Jeppy, Doggett walks over to where he saw the boy standing — a small skull has been exposed]

Doggett: I don't believe it.

Scully: Okay, the clothes, the age and condition of the bones, the location of the grave. There is no doubt that that is Billy Underwood's skeleton that is in that grave.

Doggett: We spent time with this boy. Doctors took Billy's blood. You examined him yourself. Now, I can't accept it. I can't believe we're asking them to.

Scully: I know, but the forensic evidence is going to come out, and what then? What if I'm right?

Doggett: Well, what then, Agent Scully? What we do? We move on, let it go, case closed?

Scully: Look, I know where you are with this. I have been there. I know what you're feeling — that you've failed and that you have to explain this somehow. And maybe you can.

Doggett: Not if that's Billy's body, I can't.

Scully: But maybe that's explanation enough. That that's not Billy's brother lying in that grave, too. That that man who did this is never going to be able to do it again. Isn't that what you wanted, Agent Doggett?

Doggett: Agent Scully, don't ask me to believe that this is some kind of justice from beyond the grave.

Scully: All I'm saying is that maybe you succeeded... whether you're willing to see that or not.