A wheelchair-bound girl named Dara Kernoff stumbles out into the rain on the evening of her baptism. She dies and has her eyes burned out after being hit by a flash of bright light from an approaching figure while praying. Scully goes to confession and says an innocent girl is dead because of her, and that she could have saved her but let her die. One week earlier, Scully's priest approaches her in regards to Kernoff's death and asked that she talk to them given her background. Her cause of death suggests lightning, but the medical examiner can't be sure.
Another girl, named Paula Koklos, dies in the same manner in a psychiatric hospital, and the agents find that she and Kernoff were part of a set of quadruplets; Mulder sees an inverted cross in the room and suspects a religious whacko. They visit a priest named Father Gregory, who was trying to adopt Koklos and has founded a church with an inverted cross as its symbol. He tells them that the girls' mother died in childbirth. Meanwhile, Scully's thoughts keep drifting back to her deceased daughter, Emily, including a vision of her during Koklos' autopsy.
Mulder gets a lead on a third sister, and arrests Father Gregory after he shows up at the girl's (identical) death. He claims he's trying to help the girls, and tells Scully that the last one is unprotected as long as he's in custody. Scully believes him, but doesn't tell Mulder. Father Gregory dies after refusing to give up the fourth girl's location to a social worker assigned to Koklos, and is burned to death.
Mulder finds that the fourth girl was taken from her foster father by Father Gregory, and Scully witnesses a man emitting a very bright light. Scully describes him as having four non-human faces, akin to a religious creature known as a seraphim: a figure who brings the offspring of angels into Heaven so the Devil can't get them. The devilish social worker meets Scully and takes her Father Gregory's church, saying the fourth girl is there. Suspecting him, Scully tries to rescue her, but instead lets her go toward the bright light of the seraphim after seeing another vision of Emily. Unfortunately, this results in the girl's death. Scully tells the priest that she is unable to reconcile her complicity in the girl's death with her belief that she was going on to Heaven, but also considers that faith is the ability to handle such a loss.
Emily Perkins, who plays Dara Kernof and her sisters, also played Sue Lewis on Da Vinci's Inquest.
Episode Body Count
Dara Kernoff: dies in a praying position with her eyes burned out after leaving her wheelchair and being approached by a mysterious figure.
Paula Koklos: dies in an identical manner in a psychiatric hospital.
The girls' mother: Father Gregory says she died in childbirth.
Third sister: dies an identical manner in an abandoned building.
Father Gregory: burned to death by Aaron Starkey in a police interrogation room.
Roberta Dyer: dies in Father Gregory's church after Scully lets her approach the seraphim.
Cumulative Body Count (114/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Humans: 1,389Creatures: 88
Grand Total: 1,537