Episode Summary

Convinced it is an X-File, Reyes is drawn to a murder where the victim has been skinned alive. Yet she is unsure why she has such a strange connection to the case.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Terrance Pruit: I always said there's three kinds of people in the world: them who make things happen, them who watch things happen and them who wonder what happened. I made things happen. The wrong things. I caused pain to anyone who came near me. [A tattoo on his left bicep reads Hellbound] This tattoo, it used to be my badge of honour. I'm a different man since I've joined group. A better man. I never thought words like that would come out of my mouth. It's all because of the help and the love that I found in this room.

Dr Holland: You're new here. Is it Ed?

Ed Kelso: Yeah, I'm new to this BS.

Dr Holland: Why do you think it's BS?

Terrance Pruit: I mean, listen, man, I turned my life around. A lot of us here have.

Ed Kelso: Our kind of lives go one way. You can't change any more than you can undo the crimes you've done.

Terrance Pruit: Well, I feel sorry for you, man.

Ed Kelso: Don't feel sorry. You going to hell just like I am, brother.

Dr Holland: Why are you here, Ed?

Ed Kelso: I drove Victor. He knows I'm right.

Dr Holland: Victor's been doing good.

Ed Kelso: Oh, yeah... just look at him.

Dr Holland: Victor, you want to talk about it?

Victor Potts: I've just been having bad dreams. Really bad dreams.

Dr Holland: What kind of dreams?

Victor Potts: Oh... seeing people skinned alive.

Terrance Pruit: It's a hard road, Victor. It's a shock to the system: changing the way we think, taking charge of our lives. We're all afraid. And that fear preys on us night and day, brother. In our minds and in our dreams.

Ed Kelso: You ever get enough of that crap? A shock to the system crap? This fear preying on us night and day crap? Those boys in there are afraid of one thing: themselves... their true natures. You know what I'm saying, Victor?

Victor Potts: Sort of.

Ed Kelso: What do you mean, sort of? Don't tell me that bull does you any good. And don't tell me you feel any better about yourself coming here... that it makes these nightmares go away.

Victor Potts: No... it don't. [He looks at Ed Kelso and sees a skinned man]

[Reyes is looking at a file]

[name] Potts, Victor Dale
[alias] None
[address] #4 327 Lamer Rd., Novi, VA
[number] R-7432 a [operator's license number] VA c54683 n
[race] White [date of birth] March 8, 1960 [place of birth] Parsons, VA [age] 41
[special associates] None
[single] X [male] X]

Doggett: Hey.

Reyes: Thanks for coming. Sorry about the hour.

Doggett: The way you sounded seemed like something that couldn't wait.

Reyes: No. I need another set of eyes on it. I called Scully in, too.

Doggett: A little late to be looking for a sitter. What's so pressing? [Reyes hands him a file] Victor Dale Potts. Ex-con, three-time loser, career criminal.

Reyes: He was murdered five days ago. Scully's got the crime report.

Doggett: I'm sorry, what am I missing?

Reyes: It's the way he was killed. [They join Scully in the autopsy bay]

Scully: Agent Doggett.

Doggett: Agent Scully.

Reyes: I'd like him to see the body. [Scully lifts the sheet]

Doggett: Damn. I've seen a bunch of these when I was a cop." [The body has been skinned] It's a favourite of some of the pan-asian gangs.

Reyes: The difference is Victor Potts had a premonition of his death.

Doggett: And?

Scully: That was my question.

Reyes: What I'm saying is, this man was skinned alive just hours after describing it in exact detail.

Doggett: Maybe he could describe it because maybe somebody threatened him.

Reyes: He said it came in a dream, or a vision, according to the woman who last spoke to him.

Doggett: Who's that?

Reyes: Dr Lisa Holland. She's a therapist who runs an anger management group for ex-cons.

Doggett: Lifelong criminal's bound to have some bad enemies. People capable of this very thing. I mean, unless there's something here that I'm just not seeing.

Scully: Well, from what I could see from my visual exam the skin was removed with considerable skill by someone using a hunting-type knife. Arteries and veins were left intact so as to prolong the period that the victim would suffer.

Doggett: Terrible way to die, for sure.

Reyes: I know.

Scully: Is there anything else... Agent Reyes? Something special that brought this case to your attention as a possible X-File?

Reyes: No. I just know I need to solve this and I'd appreciate your help.

Detective Van Allen: You Reyes?

Doggett: I'm Doggett. She's Reyes.

Reyes: Detective Van Allen?

Detective Van Allen: That's right.

Reyes: I appreciate your help on this.

Detective Van Allen: What help is that?

Reyes: On this investigation.

Detective Van Allen: There isn't a lot to investigate. I mean, Victor Potts wasn't exactly one of the FBI's ten most wanted.

Doggett: I think she means your insight into the way he died, Detective.

Detective Van Allen: Don't have any. But I'm sure you'd rather talk to somebody who actually gives a damn, right? [He walks away]

Doggett: Hate to say it but, he probably sums up most peoples feelings.

Dr Holland: It's hard for the Victor Potts' of the world. Nobody cares much about them in life or in death.

Reyes: Victor told the group a story about a dream he'd had.

Dr Holland: These men are haunted by their pasts. That's why they're here.

Reyes: But this dream came true.

Dr Holland: Sometimes the past they want to escape won't let them. There was a man: Ed. He drove Victor to group that night. He was all over Victor's case.

Doggett: You think he could have killed him?

Dr Holland: I try to help these men. Some have been violent, some still are. It's not my place to judge them.

Doggett: Dr Holland there's justice to be served here. You can't forget that.

Dr Holland: I'm sure Agent Reyes won't let me. Probably won't let anybody.

Reyes: Thank you for your help. [She leaves]

Doggett: She contacted you with this case?

Dr Holland: I think the police would have given up on who murdered Victor Potts if it wasn't for her.

Detective Van Allen: You know something, Agent Reyes? You seem real familiar to me.

Reyes: Excuse me?

Detective Van Allen: You ever visited Novi before?

Reyes: No, I never have.

[Ed Kelso is butchering a pig when Terrance Pruit approaches him]

Ed Kelso: You eyeballing me? You got some kind of problem or something?

Terrance Pruit: Problem? Your friend is dead.

Ed Kelso: Yeah, I guess the good news is I get to move up the ladder here now.

Terrance Pruit: You know how it happened.

Ed Kelso: Now, why don't you just back off.

Terrance Pruit: FBI wants to talk to me now because of the way he died. Going to want to talk to you, too.

Ed Kelso: I got nothing to tell nobody.

Terrance Pruit: You were messing with his head.

Ed Kelso: I'd watch what you go saying.

Terrance Pruit: Or what? You going to do me, too?

[The shift buzzer sounds]

Ed Kelso: I got a ride to catch.

Terrance Pruit: Yeah, that's right; walk away. But just like you said you can't run from what you are.

Ed Kelso: Yeah, and I'll see you in hell.

[Terrance Pruit follows Ed Kelso on a parallel path, Ed Kelso looks like he's been skinned]

FBI Cadet: Here you go, Dr Scully. Everything you ever wanted to know about skinning people, but were afraid to ask. This is every case of removal of the human dermis I could find within the last dozen years.

Scully: Most of these are post-mortem skinnings.

FBI Cadet: That's all I could find. And most of it's Asian gang-related, like you mentioned.

Scully: Wait a minute. What's this? [She opens a file from Haywood County Sheriff's Department on a John Doe]

[age] 40's [sex] male [colour] white [height] 5'10"
[date of death] 08/03/60
[viewable] no [body condition] skin stripped from body
[identified by] none
[law enforcement] Haywood Cty. Sheriff]

FBI Cadet: I'm sorry I probably shouldn't have included that one because it's pretty much ancient history.

Scully: There's a pattern. There's a pattern... the way the skin's been stripped off. It's identical.

FBI Cadet: But how could it be? Did you notice a date?

Scully: 1960.

Scully: Excuse me. Dr Mueller? Dr Bertram Mueller?

Dr Mueller: Yes?

Scully: My name is Dana Scully. I'm with the FBI. I want to ask you some questions about a John Doe you did an autopsy on in 1960.

Dr Mueller: You honestly expect me to recall some case from way back when? I'm 84 years old.

Scully: Sir, this particular victim was skinned alive.

Dr Mueller: In all my days, I never saw anything as inhuman as this. [He's looking through the case file and autopsy photos]

Scully: Sir, I haven't located police records from the investigation. Was there ever a suspect who was charged or arrested in this case as far as you know?

Dr Mueller: No suspects, no investigation for that matter.

Scully: I don't understand.

Dr Mueller: The victim was a John Doe — a nobody. Carl Hobart, the county sheriff, figured he was a drifter. Hobart said he didn't want to stir up the community.

Scully: And no one called him on that?

Dr Mueller: I tried... the sheriff had other things on his mind, I suppose.

Scully: Why do you say that?

Dr Mueller: Well, it wasn't long after that he put a bullet through his head. What are you thinking, doctor? This is some copycat murder 40-odd years later?

Scully: If so, it's the most perfectly executed that I've ever seen. And why copy an obscure murder that nobody's ever even heard of?

Dr Mueller: A string of murders.

Scully: I'm sorry?

Dr Mueller: I thought you knew. John Doe... was only the first.

Reyes: Dr Holland? Lisa? Dr Holland? [She reaches the closed door and opens it. A skinned figure stands outside. She wakes up]

Doggett: Monica? What the hell are you dreaming about.

Reyes: Nothing. It was a nightmare. How did you know to come in here?

Doggett: I was on the phone. I could hear you through the wall, calling out.

Reyes: Who were you on the phone to?

Doggett: Dr Lisa Holland. That anger-management group she runs, it's getting smaller.

Detective Van Allen: It's okay. Let them through.

Reyes: What happened to the lights?

Detective Van Allen: Somebody cut them. Might want to watch your step. We got some blood on the floor. Not as much as you'd expect. [He shines the light on the floor to indicate the blood, moving his flashlight from the floor to the roof and down the body to show the agents the skinned body of Terrance Pruit]

Reyes: Oh, my god! [She rushes out]

Doggett: Hey, you okay? Monica?

Scully: Agent Reyes, I got a call from Agent Doggett. He said there's another victim. Monica, you okay?

Reyes: I'm just catching my breath.

Scully: Well, if you're up for it, I've got something to show you. Case files from crimes back in 1960.

Reyes: What are they?

Scully: More skinned bodies... cut with the same precision as the body I examined.

Doggett: Can I see that light a second? [He pokes Terrance Pruit's cheek. The man moves] Holy god, he's still alive! Somebody get in here and get him down! We need a medic in here! [to Terrance Pruit] Can you hear me? Do you understand? Who did this to you? Do you know who did this to you?

Doggett: FBI! Stop right there! [Ed Kelso runs. Doggett chases him out of the house and through the backyard before tackling him] What part of stop right there did you not understand?

Doggett: So, what? He's just waiting for his lawyer? That's what he's doing?

Dr Holland: He's in a bad place. I've been there myself once or twice sitting right where he is now, not thinking you have a chance.

Doggett: Yeah? You ever murdered two men?

Dr Holland: He's four years out of prison holding down a job, showing up to work sober. Why do it? Kill a friend and a co-worker?

Doggett: You're the one that said he was a hothead, right? Why run if you're not guilty? Bag packed to hit the road... packed with knives?

Reyes: I don't think we're going to find the murder weapon on him.

Doggett: What makes you say that?

Reyes: Because I think this man here is running from something else. I want to talk to him. [She enters the interrogation room] Hi. My name is Monica. I know what you're thinking, that I must be the good cop.

Ed Kelso: No such thing.

Reyes: You didn't do it, did you? Your friend, Victor, he said he had bad dreams, seeing things. I think you're seeing them now.

Ed Kelso: How would you know?

Reyes: Maybe I see them, too. [Doggett opens the door]

Doggett: Can I talk to you for a second? [Reyes leaves with him] You want to explain to me what you're doing in there, Agent Reyes?

Reyes: I'm trying to make a connection.

Doggett: Hell of a way to do it. I can see this guy's defence already. Your honour, I was having bad dreams... seeing things. Ask Agent Reyes, she's seeing them, too. Something you're not telling me? [Detective Van Allen arrives]

Detective Van Allen: You two about finished?

Doggett: With what?

Detective Van Allen: The suspect. He's not our man.

Doggett: What are you talking about?

Detective Van Allen: Girlfriend vouched for him. Said they were getting hammered down at the Bent Oak from 6:00 'til closing. Bartender confirms it. [He enters the interrogation room and speaks with Ed Kelso, Ed Kelso leaves the room]

Doggett: I don't believe this. I know where you live, partner.

Dr Holland: You're always welcome at group.

Reyes: [answering mobile] Agent Reyes.

Scully: I need you to come to Quantico right away, Monica.

Reyes: Why?

Scully: I have something to show you.

Reyes: Agent Scully?

Scully: Agent Reyes.

Reyes: What are these?

Scully: I showed you files of men killed in 1960, skinned alive like the current victims. Well, I had two of those bodies exhumed looking for crossover forensic details.

Reyes: Are there any?

Scully: Yes, there are cuts in the bone... on the tibias and on the shoulder girdles, that matched the cutting patterns I found on Victor Potts... using the exact same knife which left a signature pattern of grooves.

Reyes: Same knife, same killer, that's what you're saying, right?

Scully: Well, it's even weirder than that. [They leave the autopsy bay and enter Scully's office] I ran bios and backgrounds from the victims from 1960.

Reyes: They're both ex-convicts like the current victims?

Scully: Mm-hmm. But look at the date that they died.

Reyes: March 8th, 1960. June 21st, 1960.

Scully: Birth dates of Victor Potts and Terry Pruit. Potts and Pruit were born on the exact same dates that the previous victims died. You knew that we'd find something like this didn't you, Agent Reyes? How?

Doggett: [answering mobile] John Doggett.

Reyes: Where are you?

Doggett: Sitting outside the suspect's house wondering where the surveillance is I ordered.

Reyes: I need a birthdate on him.

Doggett: Who?

Reyes: The suspect, Ed Kelso. It's important. He may be in danger.

Doggett: He may be gone. I'll call you. [He hangs up and quietly approaches Ed Kelso's house. He makes a call] Yeah, this is John Doggett. I need to speak with Detective Van Allen. Yeah, I'll hang on. Just get him. [He knocks on the door and gets no answer] No, I'm still holding. [He peers through a side window and sees Ed Kelso's skinned body]

Doggett: I said this house was supposed to be under a 24-hour watch.

Detective Van Allen: Patrolman says he wasn't gone more than five minutes.

Doggett: You see that man in there? You think it takes five minutes to do that to somebody, Detective?

Detective Van Allen: I don't know how long it takes, Agent Doggett. Only know you said watch him so he don't run. [He walks away]

Reyes: Agent Doggett... I have something to tell you.

Doggett: This thing with the birthdays is weird, no doubt about it. Looks to me like we're dealing with a real sick puppy here.

Reyes: I don't think so.

Doggett: Choosing your victims because of their damn birth dates, it's the very definition of a serial killer. I think we should get the boys from behavioural science out on this.

Reyes: No. That's not what's happening here.

Doggett: It's the only thing that makes sense.

Reyes: To you.

Doggett: Okay, what do you think it is?

Reyes: He knew he was going to die. He had a premonition of his death. Just like the first victim did.

Doggett: So how do you figure that?

Reyes: I'm involved in this some way. I have some kind of memory of it. It's all happened before and now it's happening again.

Doggett: You mean that it's a copycat and you have some kind of recall.

Reyes: These men were born to die this way. The same way they died before.

Doggett: The same way they died before?

Reyes: Not the men... but their souls. Their souls are murdered over and over again from one lifetime to the next. By someone who won't let them rest.

Doggett: How's this happening... their souls coming back? Reincarnation?

Reyes: It doesn't strike you, that these men were all born on the dates of the previous victims' deaths?

Doggett: Yeah, it strikes me. It strikes me that the killer is clever.

Reyes: A rag is stuffed in his mouth. A dirty rag. Black with soot. [Doggett is surprised. Reyes hasn't seen the body yet to know this detail] Coal dust... from a coal mine.

Doggett: How the hell did you know that?

Reyes: I don't know.

Doggett: What are we looking for?

Reyes: I don't know exactly. But if the old files are correct, there's going to be a fourth victim.

Doggett: It looks like housekeeping hasn't been here in a while.

Reyes: You or me? [Doggett continues to peel the boards away while Reyes continues on further outside] I'll check out the mine. [She finds a wall in the mine that is covered with old newspaper clippings and photographs. Skinned Body Still Unidentified, Motive Is Sought. Sheriff Carl Hobart Victim of Suicide, Fourth Skinned Body Found — Authorities Without Suspect, Lawman Disappears After Failing to Catch Killer dated 27/9/1909, Prospector Slain in Mining Claim Dispute, Murderers Acquitted: Prosecutor Says Justice Not Served dated 3/11/1868. She moves further into the mine and discovers the skins of the murdered men — rows of them. At the back of the collection are the skins of Victor Potts, Ed Kelso and Terrance Pruit; readily identifiable by his distinctive Hellbound tattoo]

Detective Van Allen: You shouldn't have come here.

Reyes: I'm a federal agent. I'm armed. [Detective Van Allen grabs her and holds a knife to her throat]

Detective Van Allen: Let go of the gun now. [Reyes drops her gun] You can't stop it. You never do. You always fail. It's your lot.

Doggett: Agent Reyes. Monica! Agent Reyes. Are you hurt? Talk to me.

Reyes: He was here.

Doggett: Who?

Reyes: Van Allen. He's who's killing these men.

Doggett: Van Allen?

Reyes: He was skinned himself. Back in 1868 by four men in a mining dispute. His killers were never punished. Now he's born to keep avenging that injustice. Again and again.

Doggett: Van Allen's the cop here.

Reyes: That's why these cases never get solved. Every time, four murders. Every time, four bodies. Then he takes his own life so he can just start it up all over again. There's still a fourth victim, and I think I know who it is.

Dr Holland: [answering mobile] Lisa Holland.

Reyes: Dr Holland, it's Monica Reyes. You've seen the visions, haven't you? Just like the others in your group. Visions of people skinned alive. It's true, isn't it?

Dr Holland: How did you know?

Reyes: Where are you now?

Dr Holland: I'm just finishing a session.

Reyes: Is there anybody with you?

Dr Holland: No, they've all left. Why? What's this about?

Reyes: Get out of there. You're in danger. It's Detective Van Allen. He's coming after you. Dr Holland? Dr Holland.

Detective Van Allen: Time's come! You're the last. No use running. It always ends the same.

[Dr Holland runs out of the church and slams the door behind. Detective Van Allen pulls the door open to see Reyes pointing a gun at him, he hesitates for a moment before going for Reyes with his skinning knife. She fires]

Reyes: Get the paramedics out here.

Detective Van Allen: You... always fail.

Reyes: You're not dying on me. Not until you tell me what you mean!

Doggett: Doc says it's going to be touch-and-go tonight... that we should go home. Go on, Monica. Go on home. There's nothing you're going to learn here now.

Reyes: You still won't believe it, will you? My connection to this man.

Doggett: However you did it... however you knew what you know, what matters here is you saved a woman's life.

Scully: He's trying. We all are. It's just a long way to go from this... [a photograph] ...to this... [Detective Van Allen in the ICU]

Reyes: Do you believe in second chances, Dana? A chance to correct the mistakes we make in our lives?

Scully: You mean in a future life?

Reyes: That's what these people were trying to do. All the victims... trying to atone for their sins from what happened in that photo. Only this man wouldn't let them.

[Photo reads: Four men stand over a skinned body at Fitzgerald mining camp. c 1868... killed in a claim dispute by the men standing over his corpse. No persons...]

Scully: And Lisa Holland? What about her?

Reyes: She was one of them. One of the men you see standing there.

Scully: And you?

Reyes: Whoever I was, I failed. In 1868. In 1909. In 1960, I failed. I was always there, but I couldn't stop the killings. And he knew that. Just like he knows I'm here right now. He feels me — the way I felt him when I saw that picture of the first victim. And somehow he knows my deepest fear that I'll fail.

Scully: Well, maybe in this life you succeed.

Reyes: Maybe.

[Detective Van Allen flatlines. A resuscitation attempt fails and he dies. A baby boy cries in the hospital nursery]