A writer named Philip Padgett , suffering from writer's block, appears to yank his heart and later sees the organ in the flames of the building's incinerator. Turns out Padgett is Mulder's new neighbor, and is smitten with Scully as she goes to see Mulder about a murderer who is removing people's hearts. Padgett eavesdrops on the conversation, a third victim shows up as he writes about the murders and investigation for a novel. Part of the story also involves Scully growing attracted to the killer after he sends her a charm of a burning heart.
Scully runs into Padgett at a church, where he shows an intimate knowledge of both Scully and a painting involving a removed heart. He also admits to sending the charm and being attracted to Scully, so she decides that the charm is insignificant. Mulder's not so sure, and becomes more suspicious of Padgett. Despite being weirded out by the encounter at the church, Scully also finds herself becoming attracted to Padgett. She ends up visiting him while returning the charm, and is surprised when Mulder busts in to arrest Padgett based on his writing.
Padgett's book has a Brazilian psychic surgeon as the murderer, but Scully finds that the named person has been dead for two years. However, the man committing the murders certainly looks like the surgeon, and another body shows up after Padgett writes another chapter while imprisoned. Padgett is released, and shocked when the surgeon character shows up at his apartment and tells him that the book can only end with Scully's death.
The agents have Padgett's place under surveillance from Mulder's apartment, but don't see the surgeon. Mulder follows Padgett to the incinerator, and the surgeon attacks Scully; she opens fire on him with no effect. Padgett burns the manuscript, and Scully survives. Padgett lies dead and de-hearted in the basement, and in a final voice-over says the novel only reflected his own emptiness and that his final act was "to give what he could not receive."
John Hawkes, as Philip Padgett, also played Sol Star on Deadwood. Jillian Bach, who plays Maggie, also had a recurring role on Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place as Irene.
Episode Body Count
Two victims: Scully goes to see Mulder about two cases in which people's hearts were removed.
Kevin: dies after his heart is torn out.
Dr. Ken Naciamento: Scully says he's been dead for two years.
Maggie: murdered while visiting Kevin's grave.
Philip Padgett: dies of a broken (or removed) heart.
Cumulative Body Count (135/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 1,544Creatures: 104
Grand Total: 1,710