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"Sein Und Zeit" is the tenth episode of the seventh season of The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on February 6, 2000. The episode was written by series' creator Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, and was directed by Michael Watkins.

Sein Und Zeit is the first part of a two-part story line which helped explore the series' mythology arc. Production of the episode was met with several difficulties - including the arrest of one of the crew members over a possible kidnapping.


The strange disappearance of a little girl leads Mulder to make connections with previous unexplained kidnappings. Yet Scully believes he is associating the case with the abduction of his sister.


Mulder asks to be a part of an investigation of a little girl, Amber Lynn LaPierre, who has disappeared from her home. Skinner tells him no, because this is not an X-File but simply a missing persons case, but Mulder does not listen and investigates anyway. The parents (Billie and Bud) tell Mulder that they found a note in the girls bedroom, but the episode shows the mother, Billie LaPierre, writing the note herself. They have a real estate attorney act as the family's lawyer. The family is held for questioning, but Mulder does not believe they did it. Mulder finds a similar note in a missing person case in Idaho from 1987. In that case, the mother was convicted and sentenced to twelve years. She had a vision of her son dead before he disappeared (as did Bud LaPierre on the night his daughter disappeared). The LaPierres are released because there is no evidence against them.

Meanwhile, Mulder's mother Teena is found dead in her home. It is found that she overdosed on sleeping pills after she burned all her pictures of Samantha and placed tape around her baseboards and turned the gas in the oven on. Mulder believes she was murdered and has Scully do an autopsy. The mother in prison tells Mulder that Samantha is a walk-in, and she was taken so that she can be shielded from the harm that would be suffered in her life. She says that they are okay, but does not know where the children are. Mulder believes his mother probably also wrote a note about the scenario of his sister's disappearance. He thinks the alien abduction never happened, and that his mother figured this out, which is why she was killed. However, Scully tells Mulder that it was definitely suicide, because she was ill with Paget's carcinoma.


Graveyard at Santa's village.

A man playing Santa at a Christmas-themed ranch is shown videotaping the children at his ranch.

Billie LaPierre tells Mulder she saw a vision of Amber Lynn in her room, and she thinks her daughter said the number 74. Mulder decides that he cannot finish the case and wants to take time off because he's too close to the case to make any sound judgments. On their way to the airport, Scully notices nearby road 74 leading to Santa's Village and decides to check it out because of the reference to Santa Claus in the notes. Here they find the videotape setup and tapes dating all the way back to the '60s, including one of Amber Lynn LaPierre. The man is arrested and Mulder finds graves all over his ranch.


  • The opening case appears to be based on the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a child beauty queen who was brutally defiled and killed and found in her family's basement. Her parents presented a ransom demand stating JonBenet had been kidnapped after her father came into a lot of money recently, but the letter was rumored to be in her mother's handwriting. Furthermore, one suspected in her death was a local man who would entertain kids by dressing as Santa Claus.

Background Information[]

  • Loosely translated the title of this episode means "Being and Time" in English. It shares a title with a 1927 book by German philosopher Martin Heidegger which is considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century by many professional philosophers.
  • Founded in 1822 and reaching over one hundred acres of land, Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in Alabama. Within the cemetery limits, tucked away in a peaceful cove surrounded by a rock cliff on three sides and picturesque paths leading through the woods, is the Dead Children’s Playground. Admittedly beautiful during the day, when dusk falls, the atmosphere changes into something quite sinister.
    Some say that the spirits of the dead children come to the playground to play. Another legend has it that Huntsville suffered a rash of child abductions in the 1960s, and sadly, the bodies of the children were found in the area of the playground. Since that time, there have been reports of swings moving on their own, children calling out, giggling, and when photos are taken, orbs of light believed to be the spirits of the children are captured. Much of this phenomenon occurs between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., far too late for any live child to be out playing.
  • At the end of the notes written by the children's mothers is the phrase "no one shoots at Santa Claus." This was a campaign slogan used by Al Smith in 1936 while running against Franklin Roosevelt in the Democratic primary, intended as a warning to politicians about the folly of attacking government entitlement programs.
  • The television show Bud LaPierre is watching during the intro was Harsh Realm, a third show developed for Fox by X-Files creator Chris Carter after the cancellation of Millennium. Bud's "this is great" during the intro and his stating he had never heard of it before while being interviewed by Mulder was obviously a not so subtle tongue-in-cheek promotion of the show and acknowledgement of its struggling ratings, respectively. Unfortunately, Harsh Realm had been officially cancelled after 3 episodes before Sein Und Zeit had aired.

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