6×10 Tithonus

Relegated to doing background checks, Scully and Mulder are bored stiff. Assistant Director Kersh finally calls Scully up and pairs her with New York City field agent, Peyton Ritter, for a special assignment. While scanning old crime scene photos into the computer, Ritter stumbled upon inconsistencies in the times that the photos were taken. He thinks that the man who took the pictures, a stringer named Alfred Fellig, is responsible. Ritter theorizes that Fellig kills people, takes their picture, then shows up later when called to do the crime scene photo job for the wire services.

In a dark alley in the Bronx, a mugger tackles and kills his victim. Mid-crime, the mugger looks up to see Fellig on a fire escape, taking pictures. The mugger then turns on Fellig and knifes him in the back. Fellig falls to the concrete, presumably dead, and the mugger takes off. Minutes after he’s gone, Fellig pulls the knife out of his back and staggers off into the night.

Fellig is brought in for questioning but denies killing anyone, saying he was just there for “the shot”. And since they have no proof that Fellig committed the crime, they release him. However, Ritter begins 24-hour surveillance on Fellig. Scully relieves Ritter late at night, only to realize shortly after Ritter leaves that Fellig is watching her. Exasperated, she confronts Fellig about his involvement in the murders that he photographs. He invites her to come for a ride and he will show Scully how he happens to be johnny-on-the-spot when a murder is committed.

After driving around for hours, Fellig finally stops and points to a hooker. He tells Scully that the hooker will be dead within the hour. When the hooker is accosted, Scully scolds Fellig for not helping those he knows are going to die. She jumps out to assist the woman. After Scully arrests the man, the hooker heads into the street and is run down by an oncoming truck. Scully, in shock, looks up in time to see Fellig drive off.

Mulder does some low-tech research on his own and calls Scully to tell her that Fellig has a penchant for changing identities, the farthest one dating back to 1849. This makes Fellig 149 years old. Scully, not wanting Fellig to have another identity crisis, goes to Fellig’s apartment where he ushers her into his darkroom. He explains that he was marked for death a long time ago, but somehow Death missed him. Fellig has been taking photos of dying people ever since in hopes of capturing the visage of Death on film so that he can look into Death’s face and die as well.

During the conversation, Fellig realizes that Scully is marked for Death and readies to take her picture. Agent Ritter arrives and fires instinctively into the darkened room. The bullet hits Fellig as well as Scully. As Ritter moves into the other room to call for help, Fellig takes Scully’s hand and tells her not to look into Death’s face. She closes her eyes and Death finally takes Fellig.

THE X-FILES “Tithonus” #6X10
Original Air Date: 01/24/99

DAVID DUCHOVNY as Special Agent Fox Mulder
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully
MITCH PILEGGI as Assistant Director Skinner.

Richard Ruccolo as Agent Peyton Ritter
Geoffrey Lewis as Alfred Fellig.

Vince Gilligan

Michael Watkins