Welcome to 1989 and the origin story of The Lone Gunmen! In Baltimore, a SWAT team responds to a report of shots fired in a warehouse and finds both Mulder (naked and saying "They're here!" over and over again) and the Gunmen. A detective tries to figure out what exactly happened, and one of the Gunmen, John Fitzgerald Byers, says he was working as a public affairs officer with the FCC and attending a computer and electronics show. Smitten by a beautiful woman, Byers follows her as she gets pitches for bootleg cable from the other two Gunmen, Melvin Frohike and Richard Langly.
Byers manages to catch up with the woman, who says her child has been taken away from a psychotic ex and identifies herself as Holly. She has a lead on where her child might be, and convinces Byers to hack into a defense network; there, they find an encrypted file on Susanne Modeski, Holly's daughter. Holly also sees her "psycho ex" outside: Mulder! They enlist Frohike to decode the file, though Frohike is more in favor of pursuing Mulder (who is checking out a booth of alien detectors with the slogan "They're here.")
Mulder tells Byers and Frohike that he's with the FBI and looking for Holly, and Frohike enlists Langly to hack into the FBI mainframe to figure out what's going on. A search on Susanne Modeski reveals that "Holly" is actually Susanne, and that she is wanted for killing five people at a weapons research plant in New Mexico. Modeski says this is a lie, and that she's seeking help to expose a plot by the government to release a bio-weapon to cause paranoia and anxiety in Baltimore, then goes off into more conspiracy looniness. However, the decoded file seems to corroborate the bio-weapon charge, and also notes that someone is monitoring her. Modeski recognizes the name as her dentist and yanks out a molar, revealing a tracking device.
The file says where the bio-weapon is being stored, and the Gunmen and Modeski find that it appears to be stored in a box of asthma medicine. Mulder arrives and tries to apprehend Modeski, but instead gets involved in a firefight with some unknown men, growing paranoid as the gunshots release the bio-weapon. Modeski flees, Mr. X shows up with a team to sanitize the scene.
Mr. X orders that Mulder stay alive, and after Byers asks what authority he has Mr. X "shoots" him with an empty chamber. When Byers asks if everything Modeski said is true, including the government's complicity in JFK's assassination, Mr. X says he heard it was a lone gunman. The Gunmen are released after Mulder corroborates their story, and find Modeski after she's unsuccessfully tried to expose the plot to the press. Modeski is captured soon after by some men in a black sedan, and the Gunmen solidify their alliance with each other and Mulder.
Richard Belzer, who plays Detective John Munch, played the same role on Homicide: Life on the Street and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Episode Body Count
Five people: Modeski's file says she's blown up a lab and killed four employees and an MP who tries to stop her as she flees. She denies it, but the encrypted file says the research team has been scrubbed and the blame placed on her. Either way, they're dead.
Two men: shot and killed by Modeski as they try to kill Mulder. One survives, but is body bagged by Mr. X's men anyway.
Cumulative Body Count (100/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Humans: 1,218Creatures: 80
Grand Total: 1,353