Scully becomes personally involved when she encounters several women who had no way of naturally conceiving but who claim to have been abducted and impregnated with alien babies.
Kath McCready is in labor as Dr. Lev is called in. He tells her husband, Duffy, to wash up if he expects to stay. The nurse quietly locks the door behind him after he leaves. The doctors drug her but before she passes out, she sees the baby in her blurry vision. “What is it?” As unconsciousness sets in, the doctors clean up the infant’s alien body.
Agent Scully goes into work and encounters Duffy Haskell and Agent John Doggett down in the X-Files offices. Duffy Haskell claims to have contacted the X-Files offices in the past and that his wife Kath McCready, an abductee, has been murdered because she gave birth to an alien child. He believes the doctors killed his wife and stole the alien baby.
After he leaves, Scully fumes at Doggett for bringing the man in because she finds the whole story to be ridiculous. Doggett is highly skeptical too but he thought Scully would be interested because the story of Kath McCready, years of being abducted and experimented on, is identical to Scully minus the pregnancy (he is still unaware of Scully being pregnant). Scully tells him that she appreciates his thoroughness in looking through the X-Files but to stay out of her personal files.
Scully remembers the time she told Mulder about being infertile because of the tests. Mulder told her then how her ovum were taken and stored in a government lab and were no longer viable; he had not bothered telling her this because with her cancer she had enough bad news at the time.
Scully goes to Zeus Genetics’s office (where McCready was) and decides to go beyond the reception area when she hears raised voices. Spying on the medical staff talking with a female patient, she overhears: “There are no similarities between your baby and the others.” When a doctor heads for the door, Scully runs away into another room. She turns on the light switch…
And finds a room of deformed infants suspended in fluid in containers. The doctor (Doctor Lev) asks her what she is doing there. Scully bluffs and claims she was there to see her friend, the patient in the room. When she returns home, she calls her doctor, James Parenti, who inspects an alien infant body in the same jarred infant room after finishing his call with Scully.
Assistant Director Walter Skinner, Agent Doggett, and Agent Scully interrogate Duffy Haskell because he has threatened Doctor Lev and Agent Mulder in the past. He claims there are other women out there like Kath before he leaves. He calls Doctor Lev in the elevator to inform him about being called back into the FBI as they knew would occur.
A flashback reveals that Mulder agreed to conceive a child with Scully through in vitro fertilization through Doctor Parenti. Mary Hendershot then arrives seeking Scully’s help.
Doggett, Skinner, and Scully meet clandestinely to tell Doggett that Scully is taking a leave of absence. Doggett is irritated that they are hiding something from him but Scully still refuses to tell him about her pregnancy.
Scully and Mary Hendershot arrive at a distant hospital where they meet with a team of obstetricians led by Doctor Miryum and explain about her being pregnant with something not human. Scully wants them to figure out what the woman is carrying. Meanwhile, Doggett is informed that Duffy Haskell died twenty years ago. The man they met is probably a “spook.”
Scully gets an ultrasound and is told that her baby seems perfectly healthy by Doctor Miryum.
In Washington, D.C., Doggett intercepts his old friend Knowle Rohrer to discuss Haskell. Rohrer tells him that he needs more time to figure out who Haskell is. Rohrer scoffs at the conspiracy idea but admits CIA wouldn’t be in Doggett’s office just to kill time.
Scully has amniotic fluid removed from her womb for tests. After they leave she notices something. The television that displayed her ultrasound has the VCR running. She gets up and removes a tape of another woman’s ultrasound used to deceive her. She finds Hendershot and tells her they need to escape.
Doggett catches Skinner as he is leaving and explains it was all a setup from day one when Haskell showed up. Skinner calls the hospital to try and get security to protect Scully.
Scully and Hendershot escape from the hospital with the help of Knowle Rohrer. They evade military police but stop in the woods when it is clear Hendershot is about to deliver. Rohrer keeps Scully away from Hendershot while claiming to be protecting her. They sedate Scully but she is conscious long enough to hear the strange cries of Hendershot’s inhuman newborn.
Scully awakens to find herself in the hospital with Doggett at her bedside. He now knows the secret she was hiding from him and says that she put herself and her baby at risk but is stable now. He explains that Mary Hendershot gave birth to a normal human baby boy. Scully claims they switched the infants.
Doggett relates that the doctors believe Scully overreacted to everything out of fear of complications with her own pregnancy and that it was her ultrasound taped over an old ultrasound tape. Doggett admits that the men who showed up acted on information he provided. They ended up saving Scully’s life.
Scully confesses that she believed if the FBI found out about the pregnancy they would remove her from the X-Files. After Doggett leaves, she remembers that the in vitro attempt failed but Mulder told her not to give up. “Never give up on a miracle.”
- This episode marks the first appearance of Adam Baldwin as Knowle Rohrer, a character whose role in the series would eventually grow to be quite significant. Victoria Gallegos also makes her first appearance as Follmer's secretary.
- Mulder appears in flashbacks several times during this episode.
- "Per Manum" means "by hand" in Latin.
Cast and Characters
- David Duchovny as Special Agent Fox Mulder
- Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully
- Robert Patrick as Special Agent John Doggett
- Jennifer Griffin as Dr. Miryum
- David Purdham as Dr. Lev
- Jay Acovone as Duffy Haskell
- Saxon Trainor as Mary Hendershot
- Steven Anderson as Dr. James Parenti
- Megan Follows as Kath McCready
- Adam Baldwin as Knowle Rohrer (First appearance)
- Diana Castle as Delivery Nurse
- Elizabeth Cheap as Second Nurse
- Christopher Stanley as Agent Joe Farah
- Karl T. Wright as First Associate
- Alexandra Margulies as Second Associate
- Victoria Gallegos as Receptionist