Two FBI agents staking out a religious cult in Pittsburgh find the cult members dead of axe blows to the head. The cult leader, Anthony Tipet, kills both agents as well and escapes. Doggett and Skinner work the case as Scully deals with her pregnancy. Skinner says Tipet believed that he could reach a higher spiritual plane using hallucinogens from the bark of an African tree; when the victims are all found in places with the doors locked from the inside, Skinner wonders if he succeeded in separating his body from his consciousness. A homeless man who previously saw Tipet is axed after imagining himself being encased in the sidewalk and seeing Tipet with a third eye.
Skinner and Doggett track down a former drug dealer, who admits to having made hallucinogens for Tipet, and take him in for questioning. Doggett has a trippy dream involving Tipet meditating in mid-air and a decapitated Scully. That and Skinner's discovery that the dealer was making a strong amphetamine for himself makes Doggett realize that he's trying to avoid sleeping. The dealer is mauled by rats apparently summoned by Tipet. Doggett meets the Lone Gunmen, who have shown up in the X-Files office; noting the third eye imagery of Tipet's cult, Doggett wonders if he is trying to destroy the third eye of others after discovering his own. The Gunmen also make note of a rumored CIA mind control experiment involving LSD.
Skinner and Doggett find Tipet in the dealer' lab, where he gashes his forehead with a saw blade while rambling that he has to stop it. Tipet goes into a coma, and Doggett discovers that Scully has recently checked in at the same hospital with acute abdominal pain. Kersh accepts Doggett's conclusion that Tipet mutilated himself out of the belief that he was invading the subconscious of the victims and making them live their nightmares, but Doggett doesn't consider the case closed. After seeing some strange things himself, Doggett wonders if he's having a waking nightmare. He has another vision of Tipet, who assigns him the task of killing Scully. He is woken by Scully before he can do so and informed that Tipet has died. Doggett is willing to believe that some outside influence was at work; Scully tells him it was just a bad dream.
Episode Body Count
Twenty cult members: all killed with a single blow from an axe while sleeping.
Agent James Leed: also axed by Tipet while asleep on a stakeout.
Agent Angus Stedman: gets the axe from Tipet while sleeping in his Pittsburgh condo.
Tipet's wife: Skinner says Tipet served 12 years in prison for bludgeoning his wife to death.
Homeless man: axed by Tipet after imagining himself trapped in the sidewalk.
Andre Bormanis: killed after he is swarmed by rats in a dream.
Anthony Tipet: dies while in a coma following a self-inflicted wound to the head with a table saw.
Cumulative Body Count (168/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 1,772Creatures: 116
Grand Total: 1,951