In Maryland, a man named Joseph Patnik has killed his wife and four other people after he sees the same man in all of their faces. Mulder gets tipped off to the case, and finds that a babysitter also attacked a couple of kids after thinking they were wolves. Patnik freaks out when he sees the face on TV, in a news report on a Yugoslav war criminal. Mulder and Scully find a ton of videotaped news programs, including some of the war criminal.
After reviewing some more of the tapes herself, Scully thinks she sees Mulder amiably meeting with Cancer Man. Nearby, a woman thinks she sees her husband carousing with a young blonde and kills her, but it turns out to be her neighbor with a golden retriever. More tapes are found at the residence, and Mulder sees the same TV repairman in the area that was around Patnik's house.
Mulder takes a distinct transmitter from a box on the pole, and the Lone Gunmen tell him that it's emitting a signal. Scully gets increasingly paranoid, searching her motel room for bugs, opening fire when Mulder arrives, and then simply taking off. The Lone Gunmen discover that the transmitter is sending subliminal signals that affect brainwaves...basically, mind control.
Mulder finds Scully at her mother's house, and Scully pulls a gun on him, saying he's been in on it since the beginning and was complicit in her abduction. Mulder says Scully is the only one he trusts, and Scully's mother backs him up. Scully is hospitalized, and Mulder thinks the transmitter is turning people's anxieties into dementia. Mulder tracks down the doctor at the psychiatric hospital where Patnik is, and observes him meeting with the cable man. Mr. X kills both the doctor and the cable man to cover up whatever's going on, and Mulder goes so far as to pull a gun on him and demand to know what's going on. Mr. X simply tells him that he failed, and that he won't kill him because he needs him. In the final scene, Mr. X meets with Cancer Man to let him know about the coverup, but says the person who tipped off Mulder's source on the case is unknown.
Episode Body Count
Patnik's five victims: killed after he mistakes them all for a war criminal.
John Gillness: shot and killed in his hammock after Helene Riddick mistakes him for her husband flirting with a younger woman.
Not Scully: Mulder is called in to ID a body that might be Scully, a woman who was found nude and shot in the forehead on the side of the road.
Dr. Stroman and the cable guy: shot and killed by Mr. X.
Mulder's source: Mr. X tells Cancer Man that he's been eliminated.
Cumulative Body Count (72/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Grand Total: 996
8 hours ago