10×02 Founder’s Mutation

At the headquarters of Nugenics Technology, researcher Dr. Sanjay arrives at work in a troubled state, hearing a mysterious high-pitched noise in his head. At a staff meeting, the noise becomes so overwhelming that he flees and locks himself inside a server room, where he begins frantically deleting data. Desperate to stop the noise, he shoves a letter opener through his eardrum and into his brain, killing himself. Before doing so, he writes something on the palm of his left hand.

With the X-Files now re-opened by the FBI, reinstated agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are dispatched to investigate the incident. Receiving little cooperation from Nugenics, Mulder steals Sanjay’s mobile phone and contacts the last person he called. At a Washington bar, he meets a man named Gupta, Sanjay’s secret lover. Gupta tells Mulder that Sanjay had expressed concern that his “kids” were dying. Meanwhile, Scully performs Sanjay’s autopsy and finds the words “founder’s mutation” written on his left palm – a reference to Nugenics’ reclusive owner, Dr. Augustus Goldman, known to employees as “The Founder”. Upon searching Sanjay’s apartment in Dupont Circle, the agents discover several photographs of horribly disfigured children. Police arrive, and Mulder suddenly becomes overwhelmed by the high-pitched noise which afflicted Sanjay. The sound somehow conveys the message “find her” to Mulder.

Upon presenting their findings to Assistant Director Walter Skinner, Mulder and Scully are told that the case has been closed in order to placate the Department of Defense, which has ties to Goldman and Nugenics. Privately, however, he tells the agents to continue. Observing footage of birds which flocked near the Nugenics building at the time of Sanjay’s death, Mulder thinks that the noise is a frequency normally unheard by humans. Citing Nugenics’ reluctance to assist in the investigation, the agents visit the hospital where Scully works in order to find Goldman, who happens to be one of the hospital’s biggest donors. They are approached by a young woman named Agnes, who expresses a desire to leave and claims her unborn child is abnormal. Outside, Mulder and Scully discuss the possibility that Goldman is experimenting on pregnant women for The Project, and reminisce about their son William, who remains in hiding. Later, Scully has a fantasy about living with William, shown as a teenager going to school, having an accident, and having alien, lizard-like black eyes.

The agents receive approval to meet Goldman, who purports to conduct research on children suffering from debilitating genetic conditions. During a tour of his facility, they witness a confrontation in which one of his patients causes objects to move on their own. Soon afterward, they learn that Agnes has been struck and killed by a car, with her fetus mysteriously missing. The agents next question Goldman’s wife Jackie, who has been confined to an insane asylum and claims her husband is keeping her there against her will. She recalls an incident in which her young daughter fell into a swimming pool and was thought to have drowned after spending ten minutes submerged. Jumping into the water, Jackie was shocked to find her daughter instead breathing normally underwater. Realizing that Goldman experimented on her while pregnant, she fled but wrecked her car. Under attack by the noise – her unborn child’s attempt to communicate with her telepathically – Jackie cut her uterus open with a kitchen knife; the baby escaped and was presumed dead.

Using security footage, Mulder and Scully discover that a Nugenics janitor working one floor directly beneath Sanjay reacted strangely at the precise moment of his suicide. They drive to the remote home of the janitor, Kyle Gilligan, and are confronted by his adoptive mother. Mulder is once again incapacitated by the noise. Noticing a nearby flock of birds, Scully quickly locates Kyle, forces him to stop, and takes him in to custody. Kyle reveals that he killed Sanjay unintentionally and demands to meet his sister, who is one of Goldman’s test subjects. Kyle is taken to Goldman’s lab, where he is presented with a girl who Goldman claims to be his sister. However, Kyle quickly realizes that the girl is a decoy and not his actual sister, and he runs down the corridor where he encounters the irate patient from earlier – his real sister, Molly. After speaking to each other telepathically, the siblings use their abilities to repel the agents. Utilizing the noise, they kill Goldman and flee the Nugenics building.

“Founder’s Mutation”
The X-Files episode
Episode no. Season 10
Episode 2
Directed by James Wong
Written by James Wong
Production code 1AYW05
Original air date January 25, 2016
Running time 44 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Doug Savant as Augustus Goldman
Jonathan Whitesell as Janitor
Rebecca Wisocky as Jackie Goldman
Chris Logan as Dr. Sanjay
Omari Newton as Rogers
Nikolai Witschl as Dr. Hill
Alison Wandzura as Cynthia
Aaron Douglas as Lindquist
Vik Sahay as Gupta
Ryan Robbins as Murphy
Christine Willes as Sister Mary
Kacey Rohl as Agnes
Craig March as Detective Gordon
Megan Peta Hill as Molly Goldman