5×08 Kitsunegari

Inside Lorton Penitentiary, a physical therapist works with Robert Modell, otherwise known as Pusher (see episode 3X17). An older orderly tells his younger protege that Modell is extremely dangerous and must never be underestimated. Despite the warning, Modell lures the young orderly into his cell… and soon after escapes.

Skinner, Mulder and Scully brief a group of FBI agents and US marshals about the escapee. The group reacts with skepticism when Mulder reveals that Pusher is able to project his will onto others, forcing them to do themselves harm. After the meeting, Scully and Mulder interview the physical therapist, who tells of a nun who visited Modell, as part of a charity group, on the day before his escape.

The ailing Modell makes his way to a sporting goods store, where he eats several high-protein candy bars. He telephones Mulder from the location, and speaks long enough for the call to be traced. The agents rush to the sporting goods store. Mulder notices a man outside the building wearing prison pajamas. But when the man is caught, he turns out to be the sporting goods store employee.

The body of the prosecutor who helped convict Modell is discovered in his upscale home, his entire body covered with cerulean blue paint. Surrounding the body is a Japanese ideogram, repeated hundreds of times. The agents summon a Japanese agent to the scene, who translates the ideogram, kitsunegari, as meaning “fox hunt.” Mulder notes a wedding band on the victim’s finger. He contacts the real estate agency where Linda Bowman works, and obtains the address where Linda is scheduled to meet a “Fox Mulder.” Two police officers are dispatched to the location, but they are fooled by Modell, and one officer “apprehends” his partner. The reason for Modell’s interest in Linda remains a mystery. Mulder, Scully and Skinner meet with Linda, who is shaken when notified of her husband’s passing. The agents place her in protective custody and transport her to a safe house. Mulder suspects Modell may still be in the general area where the prosecutor’s body was discovered. His hunch proves correct: he discovers Modell inside a nearby engineering firm. Mulder draws his weapon, ordering Modell to remain silent. But Modell forces his will onto Mulder and escapes.

Mulder tells Scully that Modell’s message was “don’t play the game.” When Mulder voices his doubts as to Modell’s motives–and the possibility he didn’t kill Nathan Bowman–Scully begins to suspect her partner was influenced by Modell’s will. Later, Mulder again interviews Linda Bowman, hoping to discover a reason for Modell’s interest in her. He reacts with mild surprise when Linda reveals she had only been married to Nathan for a little over two months. During the conversation, Mulder cannot help but notice subtle clues in Linda’s words, such as “brush with greatness” and “paint him.” He concludes that it was Linda who killed her husband, not Modell. Believing Mulder is under Modell’s influence, Skinner demands his service weapon and instructs him to go home.

Mulder suspects that the nun who visited Modell in prison was, in fact, Linda. He returns to the prison, hoping the therapist will verify his theory. But before the therapist can positively identify Linda, she receives a phone call from someone who “wills” her to commit suicide. Mulder phones Scully, and tells her it was Linda, not Modell, who made the call. Modell possesses the mind of a police officer, who transports him to the safe house where Linda is under constant guard. Modell finds Linda and places a gentle hand upon her face. Skinner spots Modell and draws his weapon. Modell tricks Skinner into believing he is holding a revolver, drawing his fire. A badly wounded Modell is transported to a hospital.

Mulder tells Scully that Modell pretended to have a gun to “take the fall” for Linda. But his theory does not explain the motive for his action. Mulder travels to the hospital, hoping to speak with Modell should he regain consciousness. But Linda uses mind control to slip past Mulder, making him believe she is a nurse. When Modell does regain consciousness, Linda wills his heart to stop beating. Mulder discovers an index card dropped by Linda. On the reverse is an address for a commercial building. Mulder travels to the structure, where he finds Scully waiting within. Scully claims Linda is inside the building, and is using mind control to act against her will. Scully raises her weapon and places it against her own temple–firing a shot. Scully’s lifeless body falls to the floor. A few moments later, Linda walks into the room, a gun in her hand. Mulder grabs the revolver from Scully’s hand and aims at Linda. But Linda claims she is Scully… and that the real Linda is standing right behind him. “Linda” suddenly aims her gun slightly to the left of Mulder and opens fire. Mulder turns to see Linda’s body behind him. Linda is transported to a hospital Later, Scully and Mulder learn that Linda and Modell were fraternal twins.

Original Air Date: 01/04/98

DAVID DUCHOVNY as Special Agent Fox Mulder
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully

MITCH PILEGGI as Assistant Director Skinner

DIANA SCARWID as Linda Bowman
ROBERT WISDEN as Pusher/Robert Modell
DONNA YAMAMOTO as Female Agent
KURT EVANS as Sports Store Employee
TY OLSSON as Young Orderly
MICHELLE HART as the Trace Agent