A crime scene and news photographer named Alfred Fellig briefly boards an elevator in a New York City skyscraper, then races downstairs to snap some shots of the aftermath when the lift plummets to its doom. An FBI agent named Payton Ritter suspects Fellig in a string of deaths after seeing that the clock in a crime scene photo shows a later time than a photo Fellig took for the Post. Kersh agrees to relieve Scully from background check work to go on the case, much to Mulder's envy.
Checking Fellig's license records, Scully and Ritter find that Fellig apparently hasn't aged in decades. Fellig photographs a man having a heart attack, as well as a mugging where he is also stabbed but with no ill effect. His prints show up at the scene, so the police bring him in, but he is released after the agents find the stab wounds and his story checks out. Nevertheless, Scully wants to know why he's always the first on the scene of a death, and also works to cover up that fact. Fellig tells her that he only knows who will die and when, not how; after telling her a prostitute will die, Scully arrests a man harassing the prostitute only to see her get run down by a truck.
Ritter thinks Scully is compromising the investigation and that Fellig is still guilty of the mugging murder. Mulder calls Scully and says he's determined that Fellig is 149 years old. Fellig tells her that he is trying to capture a photo of Death so he can look him in the face and die. Scully asks Mulder to check up on a past alter-ego of Fellig, and determines that he murdered two people in the 1920s. Fellig sees Scully looking rather deathly. Scully realizes this, and both she and Fellig are shot when Ritter enters the apartment. Apparently feeling sympathy for Scully, Fellig tells her to close his eyes and dies after looking into Death's face; Scully makes a rapid recovery.
Episode Body Count
Six elevator victims: die when the elevator car plummets several stories.
Margareta Stoller: commits suicide via drug overdose.
Three other deaths: past cases of a suicide, heart attack, and a murder.
Blue Collar Man: dies of a heart attack.
Mugging victim: stabbed to death by a mugger for his light-up tennis shoes.
At least one murder: Scully says the man who killed the tennis shoe kid is a convicted murderer, so he'll have at least one body to his name.
Prostitute: hit by a truck.
Two more deaths: seen in Fellig's older photos.
Another two murders: Mulder finds a file from the 1920s saying Fellig was convicted of the suffocation deaths of two patients in a Connecticut hospital.
Alfred Fellig: dies after finally staring Death in the face, though the cause is ruled to be Ritter's gunshot.
Cumulative Body Count (127/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 1,478Creatures: 100
Grand Total: 1,639