In Michigan, a woman named Mary Louise Lefante gets a passport photo; her boyfriend is murdered and she is kidnapped not long after. The druggist is shocked to discover that the developed photo shows the woman terrified and surrounded by other ghostly images. Scully wonders if it's just a result of heat and out-of-date film, and Mulder obviously thinks that's reaching. Lefante is found to have been conducting mail fraud with her boyfriend, so the local cops and postal inspector think it was a staged photo. Mulder discovers that a camera at Lefante's residence that simply takes the same photo over and over, and wonders if it involves "skotography," involving the representation of the thoughts of a stalker on the film.
Lefante is found walking along the road with an amateur "icepick lobotomy." During a PET scan, she starts murmuring "unruhe," the German word for "unrest." Another woman, Alice Brandt, is abducted. A photo from an earlier crime scene includes a construction company that Scully feels could be a lead, while Mulder starts to look into the creepy passport photo and finds the images of a man and the kidnapper's shadow. From that, he finds that the kidnapper is unusually tall; Scully realizes that the description easily matches the foreman she's interviewing, considering he's on stilts and all.
The foreman, Gerald Schnauz, claims he's innocent. However, after Mulder shows him the photo which includes an image of his Schnauz's deceased father, Schnauz lets them know where Brandt is...she's also dead. Schnauz is booked, but gets away after stealing a cop's gun and killing the officer. Schnauz robs the drugstore, taking the camera and film, and soon after kidnaps Scully (again? Seriously Scully, what the hell?). Mulder realizes what's happened after seeing a developed photo of Scully in distress.
Mulder realizes that Schnauz may have been operating out of his father's dental office, and he and the police find that a dental chair has been removed from the place. Schnauz tells Scully that there are "howlers" that live inside people's heads, and he's trying to kill them. Mulder is intrigued by the six fingers that show up in Scully's photo, and realizes they signify the cemetery where Schnauz's father is buried.
Schnauz has taken photos of Scully, and thinks the developed results mean that he doesn't have much longer to live. Indeed, Mulder has found his motorhome, parked in the cemetery. Mulder busts in and shoots Schnauz before he can hurt Scully. Mulder finds photos in the motorhome showing his dead body. Scully's addendum to the report says a journal of Schnauz's was found with the names of the women he wanted to save from the "howlers," but has no explanation for the photos.
Episode Body Count
Billy the Dead Boyfriend: killed after getting stabbed through the ear.
Charles Selchik: killed by ear stabbing at the site of his secretary's abduction.
Gerald Schnauz's father and sister: Schnauz says his father has passed away, and Mulder says his sister committed suicide in 1980.
John Lennon: when Mulder asks what else happened in 1980, Schnauz replies, "Well, John Lennon got shot."
Alice Brandt: found dead under a remote set of power lines.
Mug shot cop: shot dead by Schnauz, soon after the Schnauz's mug shot develops showing the cop being gunned down.
Gerald Schnauz: shot dead by Mulder inside his motorhome.
Cumulative Body Count (77/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Grand Total: 1,022
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