7×10 Sein Und Zeit

Five year-old Amber Lynn LaPierre says her prayers before her parents tuck her into bed. Bud LaPierre sets in for the evening to watch television, but he hears a noise in the house. He checks Amber Lynn’s room and is horrified to see the little girl’s face has turned blue from strangulation. He recoils at the sight. Yet at second glance, she appears to perfectly fine and still asleep. Meanwhile, his wife Billie is in their bedroom. She is oddly concentrating on writing an abduction note. Bud moves down the hallway to tell his wife of the strange hallucination when Amber Lynn’s bedroom door slams shut. He struggles to open it. Blood oozes out from under the door. Bud breaks in to find Amber Lynn has vanished.

That same evening, Skinner assembles a team of agents to find the girl. Mulder insists that he be put on the case. Although Skinner does not consider this to be an X-file, he gives Mulder until noon to file a report. The next morning, Mulder arrives at the media circus surrounding the LaPierre home in Sacramento, California. He inquires about the ransom note. Bud tells him that the note was in Amber Lynn’s room. Billie lies and says she was already in bed. Mulder is unsure what to believe. Later, Scully arrives at the motel to find Mulder deep in thought. Skinner sent her to retrieve Mulder’s report. Mulder’s cell phone interrupts their conversation. It is Mrs. Mulder, who asks her son if he is investigating the abduction case. She seems troubled, and wants him to call when he gets back.

Mulder and Scully return to Washington, where Skinner is analyzing the letter with his team. Handwriting analysis seems to shows that Billie LaPierre did write the note, but there is no demand for money or ransom. Although the other agents believe that the parents are involved, Mulder knows that none of their theories explain what happened to the little girl. Scully follows him back to his office and attempts to convince him that he is identifying the case with the disappearance of his sister. Mulder rummages through old files and he finds a document from a 1987 case in Idaho. The last line of the ransom note matches the one found in the LaPierre home: “Nobody shoots at Santa Claus!” The agents visit the woman whose handwriting is on the note, Kathy Lee Tencate, who is imprisoned for kidnapping her six year-old son. Although the boy was never found, she confessed to the murder. Mulder notes that her case resembles the LaPierre situation and believes she is innocent. Kathy Lee refuses to help, so they leave. Alone in her cell, Kathy Lee has a ghostly vision of her son and summons the agents.

Mrs. Mulder calls her son again, but leaves an answering machine message, saying there has been much unsaid that she hopes he will understand. She proceeds to burn photographs of Mulder and his sister. Mulder returns to Sacramento to show the LaPierres a videotaped confession by Kathy Lee. She assures them on the tape that their daughter is protected. The couple react emotionally. The LaPierres change their statements about the event on the night of the abduction, and they are released from police custody.

Back in the office, Skinner scolds Mulder for bringing his paranormal ideas into the case. Scully interrupts. She informs Mulder that his mother is dead. They investigate Mrs. Mulder’s house, finding an open gas oven and a bottle of sleeping pills. Mulder believes that his mother was trying to contact him about the LaPierre case and that whoever took his sister has now killed his mother, staging a suicide. He notices the missing family photos, and pleads with Scully to do the autopsy. Looking for answers, Mulder goes to the Idaho prison to see Kathy Lee Tencate again. She tells him that his mother was trying to tell him that his sister Samantha is with the “walk-ins” — old souls lurking in starlight who protect other souls from harm that they would have suffered in real life.

A paunchy man watches some children play in the Santa’s North Pole Village theme park. He changes into a Santa suit next to a group of television monitors taping the village. Nearby are stacks of videotapes. Mulder, meanwhile, replays his mother’s message for Scully, trying to discern what she was trying to warn him about. Scully found that Mrs. Mulder suffered from an incurable cancer and did commit suicide. She tells Mulder that his mother would want him to stop looking for Samantha. She had probably hoped to take away his pain. Mulder breaks down in Scully’s arms.

Billie LaPierre sees a vision of Amber Lynn next to her bed. The little girl is mouthing something. Skinner and Scully take Mulder to Sacramento because Billie wants to see him. Billie tells Mulder that the apparition of Amber Lynn said the number seventy-four. No one understands the significance of the word. As the agents drive from the LaPierre home, a beaten and exhausted Mulder asks to be removed from the case. Scully notices a highway sign for Route 74 and she looks on the map. They head down the route toward Santa’s North Pole Village. Skinner checks the grounds while Mulder and Scully enter the building. They come upon a bank of video monitors and stacks of videotapes dating back to the 1960s. One tape has footage of Amber Lynn LaPierre. Suddenly, the paunchy man appears and locks Mulder and Scully in the office. Skinner chases the man around the property and arrests him. Mulder and Scully catch up and find themselves standing on freshly turned earth. They realize that there are dozens of unmarked plots — each the size of a child’s grave.


Original Air Date: 2/6/00

Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Michael Watkins

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

Also Starring:
Mitch Pileggi as AD Walter Skinner
Mark Rolston as Bud LaPierre
Rebecca Toolan as Mrs. Teena Mulder
Shareen Mitchell as Billie LaPierre
Megan Corletto as Amber Lynn LaPierre
Spencer Garrett as Harry Bring
Kim Darby as Kathy Lee Tencate
Martin Grey as Agent Flagler
Randall Bosley as Paunchy Man
John Harnagel as World Weary Dad
Marie Chambers as Guard
John Bisom as News Anchor #2
Nancy Tiballi as News Anchor #1
Dylan Stjepovic as Kathy Lee’s Son