Agent Monica Reyes drops off Agent John Doggett at his house in Falls Church, Virginia. They talk about their weekend plans or rather the lack thereof. Reyes suggests that maybe they need to get pets. Doggett says he was thinking about getting a cat. Reyes tells him he is a dog person.
“You’re faithful, you’re dependable, you’re without guile, you’re very comfortable to be around.”
They share a moment but it passes quickly. She drives away and is sideswiped by a speeding car.
She shows up at the hospital on a gurney but as the doctor starts to ask her questions, she fades into unconsciousness. She awakens in the hospital but there are no people and its very quiet now. She wanders around this empty place until she reaches the automatic doors at the entrance. Monica looks out from that threshold on the swirling sky-like void beyond.
Reyes encounters other people in the more tranquil hospital. Stephen Murdoch, who came into the hospital with chest pains, brings her to Val Barriero, who had an accident at a construction site and a deep scar on his head. Murdoch suggests that they have all died. Reyes denies this.
Agent Dana Scully arrives at the medical center and speaks with the mournful Doggett. He finds it strange how much things can change in an instant. He and Scully go to see Reyes and Scully confirms that she is brain dead, alive by machines only. Doggett refuses to accept this.
Reyes checks around some more and finds that all writing is gibberish there. There are no signs on the walls or doors and paperwork is now covered with nonsense words. She and Murdoch talk about their predicament and he suggests this is Hell or a way station on their way to whatever. Reyes attempts to find a way out and drops a coffee cup into the swirling void at the entrance. It is destroyed in a burst of electricity.
Dr. Jack Preijers informs Scully and Doggett of Reyes’ living will. He suggests that the plug be pulled and that her organs be donated as per her instructions within the living will. Doggett doesn't believe that should be done just yet. He finds the fact that Reyes has no broken bones or serious head injury, yet is brain-dead quite unusual.
Reyes pursues a strange woman but loses her at a dead end. Murdoch calls for her and she arrives in time to find Val Barriero screaming in agony as electricity flows through his body and he dematerializes. In the real world, Val Barriero is pronounced dead by Dr. Preijers in front of Barriero's family. The strange woman that Reyes chased pushes her flower cart away.
Scully admits the brain scans suggest only minor brain swelling but that there is no exact formula for how much damage equals death. Doggett says the doctors will carve up Reyes tomorrow. He takes the EEG papers that monitored Reyes’ brain in hopes of reversing whatever happened.
Doggett and Dr. Preijers discuss Reyes. Preijers is defensive and gives Doggett the records of what they did to try and save her. Doggett finds the strange woman at Reyes’ bedside and learns she is a patient aide. The woman says, “She’s not gone. Not her soul.”
The woman returns home where she has a model of the hospital. She stands before it and appears in the ward with Reyes and Murdoch. She introduces herself as Audrey Pauley. She says she can't help them but that Reyes’ friend loves her. Reyes asks her to tell Doggett that he is a dog person.
Nurse Whitney makes a dire mistake when she tells Dr. Preijers she noticed him administer an injection on Reyes that wasn't in the notes. She believes it's the kind of issue a malpractice lawyer would love to get hold of but she is sure he merely left it out of the paperwork by mistake. After Preijers asks if anyone else saw this, he thanks her, grabs her, removes a syringe from his coat, and injects it into her neck.
Doggett asks Scully to do an autopsy on Nurse Whitney shortly after her body is found, and test her blood to try and ascertain how she died and if it relates to Reyes in any way. Audrey Pauley delivers the dog person message to Doggett and he asks Audrey how she knew it. Audrey says Reyes isn't gone, like she said.
Reyes suggests to Stephen Murdoch that the problem with words being missing or jumbled is a clue - that the place they are in is like a movie set only made by someone who didn't entirely grasp what it was they were making. Murdoch falls over in great pain.
Doggett is shown the model of the hospital by Audrey Pauley. She lives in the basement of the hospital on the permission of the nuns. She explains how she visits the hospital in her mind and that it was just her in there until recently when the patients began showing up. Doggett asks her what patients started showing up in there.
Doggett tells Scully about the other patients and suggests Preijers may have poisoned them with something out of a “doctor death” sort of persona. He refuses to tell her the way he learned about them but they are too late to save Stephen Murdoch. Preijers pulls the sheet over the man's face while watching them. Reyes watches Murdoch go and he goes.
“There’s so much...I’d do differently.”
Reyes asks, “What?”
The dying man says, “Life.”
Doggett returns to Audrey Pauley. Though Audrey believes she isn't capable of much, he asks her to tell Monica Reyes to fight. He breaks down and cries. As he leaves, he walks past a concealed Dr. Preijers. Audrey Pauley returns to the astral hospital and asks Reyes to show them some sign that she is still alive. Reyes realizes that Audrey is dyslexic, that she made the hospital realm, and can change it however she wants. When Audrey returns to reality, Dr. Preijers is waiting.
“You’re not going to yell out, are you, Audrey?”
Reyes watches as the place begins to collapse. Audrey Pauley brings Reyes to the entrance and tells her that she has to leave. It is safe now, but Reyes will have to hurry.
Reyes asks her, “What about you?”
“I know now. I know who told me to build it.”
Reyes jumps into the void as Audrey shimmers and fades away.
Scully enters Reyes’ room and tells Doggett the transplant teams are ready. Suddenly, Reyes wakes up and tells Doggett that Audrey needs help.
Doggett slams Dr. Preijers into a wall as he finds the man pocketing an empty syringe. He finds Audrey Pauley dead in her room. Three days later, Doggett drops off Reyes at her home. They say goodnight to each other but as John watches her enter her apartment building and she looks at him, it is clear they have more to say to each other.
Cast and Characters
- "I'm not cuttin' her up..." - Doggett
- Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully
- Robert Patrick as Special Agent John Doggett
- Annabeth Gish as Special Agent Monica Reyes
- Stan Shaw as Stephen Murdoch
- Tracey Ellis as Audrey Pauley
- Jack Blessing as Dr. Jack Preijers
- Del Zamora as Val Barriero
- Michele Harrell as Mrs. Murdoch
- Vernée Watson-Johnson as Nurse Whitney
- Esther "Tita" Mercado as Mrs. Barriero
- Cynthena Sanders as ER Nurse
- Joe Nieves as Val Barriero's Son
- Ana Maria Lagasca as Val Barriero's Daughter