In Arlington, Virginia, a deranged man opens fire in a fast food restaurant, but he and the others shot are healed by a man named Jeremiah Smith. The agents find out about it, but Smith disappears before they arrive. Cancer Man visits Mulder's mother in Rhode Island, and the two get into an argument after he asks her to try to remember something; she is admitted to a hospital soon after, having suffered a stroke. There, she writes the word "palm" as a message to Mulder.
A review of a videotape from the fast food restaurant shows that Smith has the ability to shape-shift. Smith is caught by members of the Syndicate while working at the Social Security Administration. Mr. X shows Mulder photos he took of his mother's argument with Cancer Man, and says he would have been seeking something from the Rhode Island house. Despite his capture, Smith shows up at the FBI and says he remembers nothing of the events at the restaurant. Mulder realizes palm is an anagram of lamp, and finds a stilleto akin to that used by the Alien Bounty Hunter in one of the house's lamps.
In captivity, Smith faces off against Cancer Man; the latter says men have to be protected by themselves and the "project" must go forward, and the former questions at what cost that will happen. Mulder tries to question the Smith who showed up at the FBI, but he disappears into a crowd and is lost. The real Smith and Cancer Man continue to face off on philosophical issues, including Smith's view that men are superior to the aliens (revealing himself as one) because of their undying love. He also says that Cancer Man is dying of lung cancer; go figure.
The Alien Bounty Hunter is brought to Smith's cell, but Smith has disappeared. Cancer Man shows up at the hospital where Mulder's mother is being held, and tells Mulder that his mother may have been trying to get information from Cancer Man on the whereabouts of Samantha. Scully's record search finds that there are six Smiths, all the same man, working in Social Security bureaus across the country.
Mr. X demands the stiletto, which is used to kill aliens when necessary. He and Mulder get into a brawl and a Mexican standoff, but Mulder refuses to reveal where the weapon is. Scully gets a visit from Smith, who says the other person the agents talked to was an imposter. The agents hold a meeting with Smith in the junkyard, but before they can discuss anything the Alien Bounty Hunter shows up aiming to kill Smith. To be continued...
Episode Body Count
Season Body Count
Human deaths increase again (thanks mainly to the Zeus Faber), creature deaths again increase by nine, and alien deaths decline dramatically.
Cumulative Body Count (73/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Grand Total: 996
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