8×03 Patience

Lightning crashes as a car pulls up to an old house in Burley, Idaho. A man named George gets out and creeps inside the house. His wife bolts up in bed and yells at him for waking her. George, a mortician, is sent out to remove his clothes that are soaked with embalming fluid. As he changes, he sees something on the ceiling above him. It appears to be a large bat. The creature quickly leaps onto George. George’s wife hears his cries and treads downstairs. She screams at the bloody sight of her husband, and the bat attacks her.

At the FBI, Scully looks sadly at Mulder’s desk nameplate when she is startled by voices in the hallway. Doggett walks in with two other agents, laughing. At her glare, he dismisses them. Doggett asks Scully about their lack of desk furniture in the basement. “This is my partner’s office,” she says, placing the nameplate back in its rightful spot. “You and I will just be using it for a while.” She clicks on the slide projector with photos of the two homicides. Scully begins to describe the case, sliding easily into Mulder’s role of the lecturer. The bites on the wife appear to have come from a human.

Scully and Doggett travel to the couple’s home, and are met outside by Detective Abbott. The detective speaks directly to Doggett, turning his back to Scully. Although the footprints on the porch look neither human nor animal, Scully gathers that it may very well be from a human. The detective, believing that the prints came from an animal, doubts Scully’s credibility. Inside the house, Doggett finds another print and suggests that the suspect is a deranged killer with a deformed foot. Scully quashes those thoughts. Two of George’s fingers are in the attic, and their odor convinces Scully that they were regurgitated. The nail marks in the board above the fingers resemble the ones found on the porch. Scully says that it looks like someone was “hanging there.” Meanwhile, at the McKesson residence, an elderly woman looks at a photo album in her attic as the monster watches. The creature jumps out from the cobwebs and kills her. Later, at the morgue, Scully details how the scratches on the previous victims’ bodies match the nail marks on the wood. Enzymes found in the saliva from the bites suggest that a bat killed the couple. Doggett produces a Montana newspaper headline from 1956 about a human bat who was shot by hunters after it killed several people.

The next day, the agents investigate the McKesson murder. The woman’s daughter, Ariel, was found dead, her body burned, a week before. This woman last saw her daughter in 1956 — the same year as the newspaper clipping. Scully is convinced that Ariel is the connection to all the murders, while Abbott lashes out at her for her outrageous theories. After Doggett pulls Abbott aside, the detective agrees to follow Scully’s order to exhume Ariel’s body. She is angry with Doggett for humoring her, even though her notions are far-fetched. “Maybe I’m just an old fashioned cop,” he says, “But I don’t take leaps.” She humbles him by pointing out that he is taking a leap himself by believing the article about a bat man.

Detective Abbott goes to the cemetery, but Ariel’s casket has already been dug up. He orders the body to the morgue, but something catches his eye in a nearby tree. A man with the wings of a bat flies out from the tree and mauls Abbott to death. His bloodied body is later rolled into Scully’s morgue, as Doggett looks on solemnly. The other policemen tell Doggett that they mistrust her theories and blame her for the Detective’s death. Scully’s autopsy of Ariel finds that, although her body had been burned, she died of natural causes. The bat creature had killed people who had come into contact with her body. Myron Stefaniuk, the man who had found Ariel’s body, is still alive. Scully and Doggett, fearing for his life, rush to see him. Myron is not interested. His brother Ernie was one of the hunters who shot the bat creature over 40 years ago, and when Myron refuses their protection, they watch him from the car. Yet Scully begins to doubt herself, thinking she is trying too hard to act like Mulder. Doggett defends her judgement, and notes that “I’m no Fox Mulder, but I can tell when a man’s hiding something.” Oblivious to their surveillance, Myron loads up his truck as the bat creature lies in wait overhead. He loads a raft with supplies and pushes them out to Bird Island.

Later that night, a mysterious masked man goes to retrieve the supplies, but is caught by Scully and Doggett. They remove his mask to reveal he is Ernie Stefaniuk. He has been in hiding all these years, in fear for his life from the bat man. Ernie’s wife was Ariel, the burned woman that Myron found in the water. The bat monster killed everyone who had the trace of Ernie’s scent from the wife’s body. Ernie is afraid for his brother’s life, telling the agents that the creature has the habits of a bat and will only attack at night. Doggett runs off to save Myron, but is assaulted from behind by the bat man. Waiting with Scully, Ernie tells her that now she is a marked woman. They hear noises on the roof of the shack, and Scully shoots blindly toward the ceiling. She goes outside to investigate, but the creature charges at Ernie inside the shack. She runs in and shoots at the bat, but it takes off. Doggett stumbles in, bloody and scarred. He too, shoots at the bat. It flies into the night.

Back at the FBI, Scully once again looks at Mulder’s nameplate. Doggett brings in a fax from Myron, who has gone into hiding. She asks Doggett if he believes that this monster will now be hunting the two of them. “I’m pretty sure I hit it, Agent Scully,” he assures her. “I’m pretty sure you hit it too.” She is hesitant, but thanks Doggett for watching her back. “I never saw it as an option,” he says. She tells Doggett she will make sure he gets a desk in the office, and she places Mulder’s nameplate into the desk drawer.

Original Air Date: 11/19/00

Written and Directed by Chris Carter

GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully
ROBERT PATRICK as Special Agent John Doggett

Also Starring:
Bradford English as Detective Abbott
Gene Dynarski as Ernie Stefaniuk
Dan Leegant as Myron Stefaniuk
Jay Caputo as The Bat Thing
Eve Brenner as Little Old Lady
Annie O’Donnell as Elderly Woman
Brent Sexton as Gravedigger
Bryan Rasmussen as Sheriff’s Deputy
Gary Bullock as Tall George