In Pennsylvania, a man enters a home with a strange symbol on it and shoots some sort of creature dead over the protests of the two inhabitants. He drives off, and we see that it's...Mulder? Doggett goes to the same town to look into a missing person case that Mulder investigated a week before his disappearance. The two inhabitants, Paul and Marie Hangemuhl, maintain the story that Marie only went to her sister's after they got into a fight, but Mulder thought she was afraid of something coming to the house. Paul says that Mulder twisted Marie's fear of a Native American legend of a forest creature into a theory that someone was coming to get her.
Doggett finds evidence that Mulder shot someone or something and falsified his report, and that Scully assisted in the falsification; he takes the matter to Skinner so Scully won't get in trouble. The sheriff and a mob capture another creature being kept at a forest cabin; later, he tells Doggett and Skinner that a transient was found dead in the town soon after Mulder's visit. The body is missing, having apparently tunneled out of its grave. The creature is brought to see Marie, who is seriously ill with a kidney disease, and apparently devours her; soon after, however, it is seen vomiting up a substance into a human-shaped depression in the ground.
Doggett considers whether Mulder may have shot someone/something to protect Marie. Skinner finds the symbol on the door, and The Lone Gunmen inform them that it can be used to summon a "soul eater" shaman that devours sickness. Doggett visits the cabin and finds Marie alive, if a little sticky, and it is determined that her illness is gone. Doggett is still mystified about the shooting and who Mulder was attacking. Visiting the rustic woman who has overseen the creature, Doggett realizes that Mulder was trying to heal his own brain disease but saw that the creature suffered immensely to help people and shot it out of mercy.
The woman says the creature can't be killed and will keep suffering as long as the townspeople know it's alive. Doggett tries to take the creature away, but is blocked by the sheriff and his gang, who want to use it to heal the town's sick people. When Doggett refuses to relinquish the creature, they kill and bury him. The creature escapes, and ends up resurrecting Doggett, taking his death for himself and freeing himself from his suffering in the process. Doggett wonders how the hell he's going to write a report on the case, and Skinner suggests that he just give it a pass.
Caroline Lagerfelt, who plays the Rustic Woman, also played Inger Dominguez on Nash Bridges.
Episode Body Count
Creature: not exactly killed after being shot by Mulder. Later takes Doggett's death away from him, thus dying himself.
Chicken: the blood of the bird is used to paint a symbol on the Hangemuhls' door.
Agent John Doggett: killed when the sheriff hits him with a shotgun blast, but brought back to life by the creature.
Cumulative Body Count (172/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 1,908Creatures: 126
Grand Total: 2,097