Mulder investigates what appears to be a case of a woman from a small town gone missing, but soon turns out to be a murder by a spirit summoned from the underworld. Scully, meanwhile, must endure an uncomfortable stakeout.
A raven attacks a little girl, Michelle Crittendon, at a park while a neighbor, Jenny, watches, and the bird is found
later at her home. Her mother, Martha Crittendon, is then attacked and killed by what seems to be a monster. Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully are on a stakeout to find a woman who is possibly killing prostitutes. Mulder believes she has the power to disappear because every time police attempt to arrest her she cannot be found. Mulder gets a call and leaves. Back at the office, Skinner tells him that Crittendon disappeared and asks him what he knows about ravens. Mulder believes that it is usually associated with evil. Skinner tells Mulder that this is a top priority because Crittendon is the daughter of a federal judge. At the Crittendon home, Martha's husband, Howard, tells Mulder that his wife was cheating on him because he found birth control pills. Another neighbor, Ellen Adderly (the wife of the sheriff), is approached by Jenny and then sees a raven before the window of a car blows out. Meanwhile, Scully is still on the stakeout with no furnace. At the Crittendon home, Michelle sees the raven outside her window again and Howard leaves to check it out. Martha's body is found dead later with claw marks all over her face. Ellen tells Mulder that she saw a reflection in the mirror earlier, and that's what killed Martha. Mulder believes the glass are doorways and they are summoned forth by people who wished them harm. Ellen believes Jenny
Uphouse summoned the spirits, but she denies it. Later, Ellen finds a skeleton key in her house and a raven by her babies crib. A mirror then breaks and she sees the reflection of a person chasing after her. She hides in the closet and her husband comes home, but thinks she is imagining things because of stress. Mulder finds the skeleton key and it matches one found in Martha Crittendon's coat pocket. The sheriff is having an affair with Jenny and Mulder tells him that Martha was pregnant and that he thinks he's the father. He also tells the Sheriff that he wants the skeleton key he took from evidence back, and asks him what it unlocks. Jenny then sees ravens outside the hotel the next morning and is attacked and killed by the creature. As the crime scene is being investigated, Mulder finds that the skeleton key matches the door of the room Jenny was in.
Sheriff Phil Adderly admits he wanted a divorce from Ellen two years ago, but she got pregnant and wouldn't allow it. He also believes that he is the reason for this happening, that he summoned the entity. It turns out Ellen is the entity, which is given away by a cut in her back given by Jenny during the attack. After a hint from Scully over the phone, Mulder figures out that Ellen is the entity, but she does not know it. She breaks the windows not to face the truth. She transforms into the creature and attacks Mulder and attempts to drown him, but stops when she sees her monstrous reflection in the water. She is placed in a psychiatric hospital and the doctors say she has multiple personality disorder.
Mulder: (on phone) Well, she'll come, you know? It's just a matter of time. She'll show up—I'm sure of that.
Scully: (on phone) Yeah, well not before I die of malnutrition.
(She picks up a slice of cold pizza, then drops it again, disgusted.)
Mulder: (on phone) Hey, Scully, tough it out. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Right?
(At the table, Ellen Adderly filling Mulder's plate with assorted side dishes.)
Mulder: (to Ellen) No, no, no, no. No capers, thank you.
Scully: (on phone, confused) I'm sorry. What?
Mulder: (on phone, quickly) I said, "What a... what a crazy caper." I'll talk to you later... and, uh, keep warm. Bye.
(Mulder hangs up and returns to the table.)
Just after Mulder and the Sheriff finish questioning Jenny Uphouse-
Scully: (on phone) Mulder when you find me dead, my desiccated corpse propped up staring lifelessly through the telescope at drunken frat boys peeing and vomiting into the gutter, just know that my last thoughts were of you... and how I'd like to kill you.
Mulder: (on phone) I'm sorry. Who is this?
Cast and Characters
- Michelle Joyner (Ellen Adderly) previously played Connie Bangs in the Millennium episode "The Well-Worn Lock".
- Michelle Joyner as Ellen Adderly
- Gina Mastrogiacomo as Jenny Uphouse
- F. William Parker as Dr. Blankenship
- John Mese as Sheriff Phil Adderly
- Wendy Schaal as Martha Crittendon
- Charles Hoyes as Howard Crittendon
- Ashley Edner as Michelle Crittendon