9×12 Underneath

Flashback to 1989: On a rainy night, a Triboro Cable repairman named Bob Fassl pulls up to a house in Brooklyn, New York. A male voice from the back of the van tells him to “do his job.” After kissing his rosary, Fassl timidly goes to the front door and tells the teenage girl of the house that he her cable is out. Believing that her father may have called the cable company, she lets the man in. The father questions whether Fassl made a mistake, and he asks to see the work order. Yet when Fassl looks down at his empty work order, a spray of dark red blood splatters onto the paper. The father is suddenly lying on the ground, dead. A bloody screwdriver is in his neck. Fassl is horrified to see that both the mother and daughter are also lying in pools of blood on the kitchen floor. The front door immediately opens and two NYPD cops burst through and apprehend him. One of the policemen is Doggett.

In present day, Doggett is furious to learn that, after thirteen years, DNA tests cleared Fassl of being the “screwdriver killer” who had murdered seven people. Doggett is insistent that he caught the right man. Although Scully has verified the DNA tests, Doggett still wants answers to back up his police work. He asks both Scully and Reyes for their help. Fassl, meanwhile, is released from Sing Sing Prison in New York. The world around him seems to blur when he sees a scraggly bearded man near the courthouse. Fassl becomes disoriented, and the man mysteriously disappears.

In New York, Scully and Doggett convince Damon Kaylor, the Assistant District Attorney, to hand over his case files. Kaylor reluctantly agrees, and Doggett and Scully pore through the numerous boxes of evidence. Doggett summons his old partner, Duke Tomasick, to meet him at the Brooklyn courthouse. Unlike Doggett, Duke accepts the DNA test’s acquittal of Fassl.

Fassl’s lawyer, Jana Fain, brings Fassl to stay at her house. That night, as he prays silently with his rosary beads, blood appears on his hands. The words “Kill Her” have been scrawled in blood on the wall. He is terrified. Fain then catches Fassl praying, and leaves him in his solemnity. Suddenly, Fassl sees the bearded man in his room. He begs the man not to hurt Fain, but the bearded man slaps Fassl across the face. The man follows Fain. A screwdriver is in his hand. The next morning, Fain confronts Fassl because, when she left to see another client, her dresser drawers had been rifled through. Fassl is relieved that she is still alive. When Fain goes to work, Fassl finds her maid’s body stuffed into a dumbwaiter chute. Fassl removes the body and cleans the blood. He chops up the woman’s remains and places them in a plastic tarp.

Reyes meets with the Sing Sing superintendent, and he informs her that Fassl’s cellmate had also been murdered with evidence pointing to Fassl. The security camera caught the murderer on tape, but instead of Fassl it was a bearded man. This man did not fit the description of any prisoner, so the case was never solved. The superintendent, however, believes that Fassl had something to do with this killing. Scully, meanwhile, finds that the hair samples found at the scene of the crime do not exactly match Fassl, but to someone who is his blood relative. Yet Fassl is an only child whose parents are dead. Kaylor is furious at Doggett for ordering a re-test on Fassl’s DNA. Kaylor gets a settlement for Fassl from the county and retrieves his case files from Doggett. Reyes shows Doggett and Scully the picture of the bearded man from the Sing Sing file. The man has no identity, but he materialized in a federal prison and then disappeared. Reyes is convinced that this bearded man is responsible for all the murders attributed to Fassl. They can prove it by comparing the evidence from the Sing Sing murder to the ones in 1989. Yet Scully reveals that the 1989 DNA evidence needs to be thrown out. It had been planted to convict Bob Fassl. Doggett confronts Duke, who admits to framing Fassl in their initial investigation. Duke is troubled that he helped put an innocent man behind bars.

Damon Kaylor comes to Fain’s house to tell Fassl about the settlement, but Fassl asks to be sent back to prison. The bearded man appears, and stabs Kaylor with a screwdriver. Fassl dismembers Kaylor, wraps the body parts in a tarp and hides the remains in an underground sewer tunnel. The next day, Reyes questions Fassl about Kaylor. Fain interjects that her client had nothing to do with the Assistant District Attorney’s disappearance. Reyes shows Fassl the photograph of the bearded man, and Fassl begins frantically praying with his rosary beads. Scully tries to appeal to his faith, asking Fassl to tell them about the bearded man in the photo. Fassl begins to cry, and Fain quickly ushers him out of the room. Reyes suggests to Scully and Doggett that perhaps Fassl is such a devout Catholic that he can’t even admit that he has a sinful side. That other side of him may have manifested itself into a whole different personality that has its own physical traits. This might explain the DNA profiles not matching perfectly. Back at Fain’s house, the bearded man beats up Fassl in an attempt to have him kill Fain. When Fain enters the room, the bearded man is gone. She turns around, and the bearded man appears. She gasps in fear.

Doggett and Reyes sit outside Fain’s house in surveillance. He sees the bearded man leaving through the front door and chases him to the backyard. Fain tells Reyes that somehow Fassl disappeared and the bearded man was there. Doggett comes upon a manhole cover used for cable access, and he and Reyes descend into the underground tunnel. Suddenly, the bearded man appears and strikes Reyes to the ground. Doggett fires as the man runs off. Doggett and Reyes follow him, but separate at a fork in the tunnel. Reyes falls through a grate and lands in a culvert filled with water. With her flashlight, she spots the head of Damon Kaylor. She also sees the skulls and bones of well more than the seven victims known about. Reyes calls out for Doggett. When he turns around, Doggett is stabbed in the shoulder by a screwdriver. Doggett drops his gun. Reyes rushes up and finds the bearded man holding a screwdriver at Doggett’s neck. She tells the bearded man that she knows that he is Fassl, and that Fassl is a murderer and a sinner. The bearded man tells Reyes to shut up, and Doggett escapes his grasp. Reyes fires a shot at the bearded man, who falls into the water. Doggett turns over the body — it is Bob Fassl.

Scully informs Fain that the maid, Kaylor and many other bodies were found in the sewer. Fain can’t understand why she saw a bearded man. Doggett tells Reyes that he can not accept everything that has surfaced with the Fassl case because it’s not the way his mind works. Reyes says that what he believed was enough to close the case. “What happens next time?” Doggett asks.

Original Air Date: 03/31/02

Written and Directed by John Shiban

GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully
ROBERT PATRICK as Special Agent John Doggett
ANNABETH GISH as Special Agent Monica Reyes

Also Starring:
W. Earl Brown as Robert Fassl
Lisa Darr as Jana Fain
Arthur Nascarella as Duke Tomasick
Robert Curtis Brown as Assistant D.A. Damon Kaylor
Alan Davidson as Bearded Man
Mary-Margaret Lewis as Mrs. Dowdy
Paul Vincent O’Connor as Superintendent Brian Hutchinson
Kelly McNair as Teenage Girl
Michael Patterson as Dad
Carol Kiernan as Mom
Aaron D. Spears as Guard