Mulder and Scully investigate a murder for whom the primary suspect is woman who has been blind from birth, and who may have a strange connection to the real killer.
As Marty Glenn, a twenty-something woman, moves about her apartment, she suddenly experiences an internal vision. As she watches, horrorstruck, a murderer, switchblade in hand, advances on an another man standing before a bathroom sink. A short time later, police are summoned to a motel, where the body of the murderer's victim lies on the bathroom floor. Marty, a bloody sponge clutched in her hand, is discovered hiding in the shower. As the officers place Marty into handcuffs, they realize she is blind.
Scully and Mulder meet with Wilmington Homicide Detective Lloyd Pennock, who has been assigned the murder case. Pennock explains that, under normal circumstances, Marty would have been charged with the murder. But since Marty has been blind since birth, he is at a loss as to how—or why—she managed to kill the heroin dealer, Paco Ordonez. Pennock states that he has 48 hours to prove to the District Attorney that his suspect possesses a kind of "sixth sense"... or wait until she kills someone else.
The detectives meet with Marty inside her jail cell. During questioning, it becomes obvious that Marty—who has adopted an uncooperative attitude—possesses knowledge that only the murderer should know. As Mulder stays behind to supervise Marty's polygraph test, Scully visits the scene of the crime. There she discovers a bloody leather glove hidden behind the bathroom mirror. Meanwhile, by phrasing a question in a certain manner, Mulder determines that Marty did somehow manage to witness the murder.
Marty experiences another internal vision. This time, the killer makes advances on a sexy woman, Susan Forester, who sits at a bar. Marty notices the name of the bar reflected in a mirror. She requests that she be allowed to make a phone call from jail. By using an information operator, Marty phones the bar and makes contact with the murderer, a man named Gotts. She warns him to leave the woman alone.
Scully brings the bloody glove to the jail. She informs Marty that her fingerprints were located on the glove, and perhaps even more importantly, the glove fits Marty perfectly. Pennock concludes that Marty is the murderer. Mulder, however, is plagued with doubt. Scully offers a possible explanation: Marty may not be blind. Scully expands upon this theory, noting disorders that would permit sight on a subconscious level. As Marty undergoes an eye exam, she is suddenly struck by another internal vision. Mulder notes a reaction on a measurement mode screen used by the ophthalmologist. But Marty refuses to explain what she saw. Though the examiner concludes that Marty is completely blind, Mulder tells Pennock and the Daniel Costa from the District Attorney's office that there is evidence of neurological activity which caused her pupils to dilate—perhaps a physical response to images in the mind's eye. Costa concludes that it is unlikely his office could convict a blind woman based on fingerprints alone. As a result, Marty is released from custody.
As Marty makes her way through the city, she is struck by another vision. This time, she witnesses Gotts attack the sexy woman from the bar. With some help from a passerby, Marty makes her way to the alley where the attack occurred. She discovers the woman's body inside a dumpster. Marty then returns to the police station and confesses to both murders.
Marty supplies Pennock with the location of a locker that contains a briefcase filled with Gotts' heroin. Meanwhile, a lab test reveals that neither of the stains found on the leather glove match Marty's blood type, bolstering Mulder's suspicion that Marty is innocent. So confident is Mulder that he approaches Marty directly. He tells her he discovered the original police report detailing her mother's murder—a single stab wound to the right kidney—which is identical to the manner in which Ordonez and Forester were killed. Mulder concludes that Marty gained her unique sense when her then-pregnant mother died at the murderer's hands.
Marty is released from custody after police match fingerprints on the briefcase taken from the locker to Gotts... who turns out to be Marty's own father. Marty tells police that Gotts, who was recently paroled from prison, can be located at the Blarney Stone tavern. Mulder and Scully stake out the bar, waiting for Gotts' appearance. Meanwhile, Pennock provides Marty with protection from harm by guarding her at her apartment. Marty experiences another vision, this time seeing Gotts reading names on mailboxes in the lobby. Using a coffee pot, Marty knocks Pennock unconscious. She pulls his gun from his holster and takes position, waiting for Gotts. Meanwhile, Mulder realizes that the blind Marty has been experiencing visions of the inside of Gotts's prison cell for almost thirty years. He tells Scully that Marty misdirected them on purpose... to keep Gotts from going back to prison. They race to Marty's apartment, where they find Gotts dead on the floor. Later, Marty asks for no special treatment in her defense and is sent to prison—where she is finally free of Gotts.
- Scully appears in every episode from this one onwards.
- For her performance as Marty Glenn, Lili Taylor was nominated for an Emmy award in 1998 in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
- Lili Taylor, who plays Marty Glenn, was a drama school classmate of Gillian Anderson.
- Would Detective Pennock really have missed that sharps fixture if he had turned the bathroom inside out?
- Editor Casey O. Rohrs also received an Emmy nomination for his work in this episode.
- The wisecrack 'even if the gloves do fit - you can still acquit' was an on-set improvisation by David Duchovny and was a jibe at the O.J. Simpson trial.
- Referencing Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1, specifically, "As the mote is to trouble the mind's eye." The line is spoken by Horatio, to Marcellus and Bernardo, after the Ghost departs.
- Uncanny to an American slasher film, Eyes of Laura Mars considered a "giallo" but outside of Italy, where the giallo genre's originated from. In the movie, the female lead, portrayed by actress Faye Dunaway of Mommie Dearest, can see through the eyes of a serial killer murdering her friends and colleagues, assisted by a detective in catching the killer portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones.
- 16:26 The wires for the explosive packs - squibs, are visible on the floor.
- In the final scene, as Mulder exchanges final words with Marty, during the shots from inside the bars, their hands are touching; in the reverse angle from outside the bars they're not, until Marty takes his hand near the very end.
- During the eye examination, Marty sees through her "mind's eyes" and her eyes constricts but Mulder says that there is some evidence of neurological activity that caused her pupils to dilate. Marty's eyes were permanently dilated by her blindness except when she sees her visions when they constrict not dilates as Mulder states.
Cast and Characters
- Blu Mankuma (Detective Pennock) previously played Claude Peterson in The X-Files episode "Ghost in the Machine".
- Peter Kelamis (Daniel Costa) previously played O'Dell in The X-Files episode "Lazarus", Lieutenant Foyle in "Fresh Bones" and Second Husband in "Small Potatoes".
- Lili Taylor as Marty Glenn
- Richard Fitzpatrick as Charles Wesley Gotts
- Blu Mankuma as Detective Pennock
- Henri Lubatti as Dr. Wilkinson
- Peter Kelamis as Daniel Costa
- Joe Pascual as Examiner
- Colin Lawrence as First Cop
- Jason Diablo as Angry Man
- Veronika Stocker as Susan Forester
- Dalias Blake as Second Cop