A Pennsylvania postal worker, Ed Funsch, starts seeing messages in electronic equipment urging him to kill after he is laid off. In the same city, four people on an elevator are murdered, the latest in a rate of notable killing sprees in the normally sleepy area. Mulder is called in to investigate as Funsch, who has a fear of blood, tries to resist further electronic messages to kill.
A woman kills her mechanic after seeing messages, and is killed by a police officer after attacking Mulder during the investigation. Scully theorizes after the autopsy that an unknown chemical found in the body, combined with substances secreted during phobic episodes, created a substance akin to LSD. The Lone Gunmen tell Mulder that an insecticide called LSDM creates a fear response on insects. Mulder finds that crops around the city are being sprayed with the substance, and that the killings might be a result of heightened fears in the killers.
The city agrees to stop spraying and start blood testing of residents, but of course that doesn't appeal to Funsch. The agents find electronic devices at Funsch's residence trashed, and Mulder realizes that he has a fear of blood. Funsch begins opening fire on a blood drive from a clock tower on a college campus, but Mulder is able to capitalize on Funsch's fear and stop him.
William Sanderson, who plays Funsch, has played a number of roles including Larry on Newhart, E.B. Farnum on Deadwood, Sheriff Bud Dearborne on True Blood, and Oldham on Lost.
Episode Body Count
Four elevator victims: killed by a real estate agent named Taber, apparently with his bare hands.
Taber: shot by a security guard after the massacre.
Eighteen other victims: a police officer, Spencer, tells Mulder that 22 people have been killed by seven people in six months; I presume he's including the latest victims in his tally.
Six other killers: Spencer also says the suspects in the sprees were all killed in "suicide by cop" scenarios.
Mechanic: stabbed with a piece of mechanical equipment by Bonnie McRoberts after she sees messages on a diagnostic reader.
Bonnie McRoberts: shot by Spencer after attacking Mulder with a knife.
A truck driver appears to be shot during Funsch's attack, but the number of deaths, if any, in that incident is not mentioned.
An appropriate count for an episode of this title, and definitely high enough to merit the Deadliest of Season for now.
Cumulative Body Count (27/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Grand Total: 236
8 hours ago