An ex-con in Virginia is skinned to death, not long after telling an anger management group that he was having dreams of just such a thing. Reyes seems particularly affected by the case. One of the group members, Terrance Pruit, thinks another one, Ed Kelso, is involved. Like the dead man, he also sees Kelso without his skin. Scully finds another skinned victim from 1960, and in interviewing the doctor from that case finds that he was part of a string of murders. Pruit is killed via skinning at the slaughterhouse where he works. Reyes also has a dream about the killing and is horrified to see that it has actually happened.
Pruit has managed to survive his skinning, and points the agents to Kelso; they arrest him as he tries to leave town. Reyes thinks he was trying to flee something else and trys to make a connection with him, but Kelso is freed after his alibi checks out. Scully finds that the two current victims were born on the same days that two people in the 1960 murders were killed. Kelso also turns up dead, and Reyes tells Doggett that she is somehow connected to the case, given her recollection and premonition of details. She also thinks that the men are being murdered by someone who doesn't want their souls to rest, and so the cycle is repeated every 41 years.
Since a rag with coal dust on it has been stuffed in Kelso's mouth, Doggett and Reyes investigate a nearby coal mine on a hunch. There, they find newspaper clippings from a set of murders in 1960 and 1909, as well as the skins of the dead men. Reyes is held at knifepoint by a local detective who tells her she can't stop him, and never does. Reyes realizes that detective has the persona of a man who was killed in an 1868 mining dispute, whose murderers were never punished; she says he kills the four men each time and then commits suicide so he can start the cycle again. Reyes warns the final victim, the leader of the anger management group, before can be skinned and also shoots the detective. At the hospital, Reyes says the men were trying to atone for their sins but not allowed to do so, and also ponders her own role in the cycle. The detective dies, and his soul is apparently transferred to an infant in the nursery.
Episode Body Count
Victor Dale Potts: dies after his skin is removed.
John Doe: Scully discovers a case from 1960 where the victim's skin has been removed in the same way as Potts'.
Sheriff Carl Hobart: Dr. Mueller says the sheriff committed suicide not long after the discovery of the John Doe's body.
Terrance Pruit: he survives a skinning, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that probably didn't last too long.
Three 1960 bodies: Reyes says that four people are killed in every cycle, meaning three other people were skinned in 1960. Scully has two of the corpses exhumed for examination.
Ed Kelso: found skinned in his home.
1868 Van Allen: skinned after a mining dispute.
Five 1909 bodies: Reyes says she also failed to stop a 1909 set of killings. The body of a sheriff is also found in the mine.
Detective Van Allen: dies in a hospital after he is shot by Reyes.
Hoo boy. These circumstances make it a little difficult, but since this is a body count and an immortal soul count would be no fun, I thought I should add each of the fleshy remains that are left behind in this 150-odd-year-old sparring match. It's unclear whether Van Allen's killers are also murdered in 1868.
Currently tied for Deadliest of Season, so I'll let Daemonicus hold onto it for now.
Cumulative Body Count (190/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 2,151Creatures: 130
Grand Total: 2,345