When an influential former killer who was arrested by Mulder and Scully escapes, the agents search for him but discover that he is not their only concern.
In the Lorton Penitentiary Hospital Ward in Lorton, Virginia, a physical therapist is supporting a patient as the patient slowly pushes a big plastic wheel across the floor. Nearby are two orderlies, whose names are Chuck and Piero. As the therapist encourages the man to take another five steps, Chuck and Piero bring a wheelchair behind him, and the patient is lowered into the wheelchair after his five steps. As they wheel him towards his cell, Piero explains to Chuck that the guy in the wheelchair was a "cop killer", and Chuck was never to underestimate him if he wanted his stint here to last more than a week. The guys wheel him into the cell, and we see the man's face for the first time. It's Robert Patrick Modell.
That evening, Chuck is sitting in his office on duty. Suddenly, he notices the red light next to Modell's cell blink. He walks over to the cell and sees Modell chained to the bed. However, the light is still blinking. Pulling out a can of pepper spray, he unlocks the cell and walks towards Modell. Modell's mouth moves, but the words are unintelligible. Chuck leans closer to him.......
The next morning, Piero walks towards the office and notices that Chuck isn't at the station. He then hears some thudding noises down the hall. He runs down the halls and stops at Modell's unlocked, open cell. The bed is empty, and Chuck is sitting against the wall with his arms around his knees in a daze, rhythmically banging his head against the wall. Piero demands to know what happening. Dazedly, Chuck replies, "He had to go."
A few hours later, AD Walter Skinner is in the penitentiary ward, briefing many US Marshals on the case just as Mulder and Scully walk in. It appears that Modell simply walked out of the front door when he escaped. Skinner then announces that the investigation will be led by SACs Mulder and Scully. Mulder briefly introduces Modell, and that he was looking for a worthy opponent. Scully adds that he thought of himself as a ronin, a warrior without a master, and likes to leave clues to his whereabouts. When Mulder explains how Modell can force his will onto others by talking to them, the marshals don't believe him, and Mulder tells them to just approach Modell with extreme caution. Having ended their briefing, Mulder and Scully move aside as Skinner hands out assignment notes to the marshals. Scully tells Mulder that Modell's condition is extremely weakened and that he can barely walk. Apparently, he had suddenly woken up from his coma, induced by a bullet Mulder had shot in him a couple of years ago, six months ago. The brain tumor in his head was still affecting him a lot. Mulder suggests that they speak with the physical therapist here, but Scully worriedly asks him if he's deliberately playing Modell's game again by heading the investigation.
In a sports shop, a person named Todd is watching a news report on Modell just as a person approaches the counter. It's Modell. Todd slowly reaches for a baseball bat stashed under his counter, but Modell tells him that it's a timber rattler he's holding by the head. Sure enough, Todd believes him, although he's actually only holding the bat. Modell tells him quietly not to drop the "snake" and to go to the back and put the "snake" down. Todd walks off carefully as Modell goes behind the counter and grabs a Carbo Bar. He rips open the packet and begins to eat the bar as he watches the television and sees Mulder and Scully exiting their car and entering the prison.Just then, Mulder and Scully are talking to the physical therapist. Scully reads the visitor log and notices that Modell had a visitor yesterday afternoon by LSC. The therapist explains that it stands for the "Little Sisters of Charity", who try to visit all the hospitalized inmates. The therapist then says that she talked to him sometimes. Mulder asks what they talk about, and she says that it was all unimportant small talk, like how she was. Suddenly, an agent bursts into the room and announces that they've heard from Modell. Immediately, Mulder and Scully leave, and the agent leads them to the meeting room and joins Skinner. Skinner tells Mulder that Modell's asking for him, and that they just need thirty seconds to run a trace. Modell tells Mulder that he wants him to hear something. Mulder refuses, and says that he would only listen to Modell in person. Modell tries to get Mulder's attention again, but Mulder hangs up. The trace agent announces that they got a lock on the number.
The agents burst into the sports shop from earlier. Mulder notices the Carbo Bar wrapper on the counter and examines it. The agents fan out into the store, but there is nobody in it except for them. Mulder looks outside and catches sight of a white figure slowly walking down the middle of the road. Mulder runs after him, almost getting knocked down by a car. He whips out his gun and spins the man around. It's not Modell, but Todd, the person behind the counter of the sports shop. Skinner and Scully catch up to the pair and Skinner demands to know where Modell is. In a daze, Todd replies that Modell "had to go".
Inside a house, Modell is looking at a photograph of a middle-aged woman, and he leaves a blue fingerprint on the photo as he puts it down. We then see a spilt bucket of blue paint on the floor and a head of a man drenched in blue paint as the door closes. A while later, Mulder and Scully are seen in that house examining some blue symbols that have been scrawled on the walls. Scully opens the dead man's mouth. Blue paint spill out of his mouth, much to Scully's revulsion. She notices the color of the paint: cerulean blue, just like the color of the paint the truck was exporting as it crashed into the car Modell was in in TXF: Pusher. She then tells Skinner that the dead man was Nathan Bowman, who was the one who tried Modell back in 1996 in TXF:Pusher. A female agent, who is probably of Japanese origins, examines the blue symbols on the walls and announces that they're the same idiogram written over and over again. The word is "kitsunegari", which is Japanese for "fox hunt". Scully contemplates the fact that Mulder's first name is "Fox", and Mulder is a little offended. He then notices the photograph of the young woman with the blue paint smeared on its cover and asks if Nathan had been married. Scully checks the body, finds a wedding ring on his fourth finger and says yes. Mulder then examines the speed dial list next to Nathan's telephone and finds one called "Linda office". On a hunch, he rings that number and asks to speak with Linda Bowman. However, the receptionist tells him that Linda has just gone to visit a Mr. Fox Mulder at a commercial property in Falls Church.
The agents are now at 214 Channel Avenue, Falls Church. Two of them enter the warehouse and split up. Suddenly, Modell's voice can be heard echoing through the warehouse, as he leads one officer towards him tauntingly. The officer stops at a dead end and Modell turns around, clutching a gun. He yells for "Modell" to put the gun down and get down on the ground. He yells for his partner, seemingly somewhere else, to join him. Outside, a few cars stop in front of the warehouse and Mulder, Scully and Skinner enter the building. When they get to the officer, they see that the officer is actually pointing the gun at his partner who is on the floor. His partner begins yelling frantically that the officer's gone crazy, that he wasn't Modell. Skinner relieves the officer of his gun, and states that Modell did come, but he came for the woman, Linda Bowman. Scully is baffled at what he would want with her. Just then, another officer comes up to them and announces that they've got a visitor. Outside, Mulder approaches the visitor and sees that it is Linda herself.
Shortly after, the agents interview Linda in the warehouse. Shakily, Linda says that her secretary was the one who made the appointment and that she only knew that she was to meet a Mr Fox Mulder here. Scully asks Linda if her husband, Nathan had ever discussed his work with her, and that if he ever mentioned a person known as Robert Patrick Modell. She is shocked to find out that they think that Modell was the one who murdered her husband, and that his cell had been empty since that morning. Skinner offers to place Linda in protective custody, before ordering Mulder and Scully to find him. Scully turns to leave but sees Mulder pondering over something. Upon being asked what was he thinking about, Mulder asks Scully why Modell didn't just kill the two officers, and that something just wasn't making sense. He then borrows a radio from a US Marshall.
As Skinner helps Linda into a van, Modell watches the goings-on from a nearby building. He is eating another Carbo Bar. He gets up to leave, but not before giving the janitor who is nonchalantly taking a break in the same room a friendly "Gracias, amigo.". Just then, Mulder enters the same building he is in. He spots a Carbo Bar wrapper on the ground and pulls out his gun. He continues on upstairs. As he turns around a corner, he sees Modell standing at the end of a hall. Modell asks him, "What took you so long?" Mulder, pointing the gun at Modell, speaks to Scully in the radio, telling her to come quickly. Modell tells Mulder to hold on as they need to talk. Mulder tells him to shut up. Modell still tries to get Mulder's attention and Mulder tells him to shut up again. Finally, Mulder threatens to shoot Modell if he doesn't shut up. However, his resolve is clearly weakening.....a few minutes later, Scully and a couple of agents run up to the building, and Mulder walks out of it, without meeting their gaze. Scully asks him what happened, and Mulder replies casually, "He had to go."
Ten minutes later, Scully hangs up from the conversation she was on and walks over to Mulder, concerned. He is leaning against a police car with his head down. To Scully's question on how he was feeling, he replies "Well, aside from the utter grinding humiliation that comes from knowing I let our suspect go? Pretty good." Scully tries to comfort him that it could have happened to anyone, but Mulder says that Modell was finding him, and not Mulder finding him. Modell wanted to give him a message. Scully asks what the message is, and Mulder tells her. "Don't play the game." The agents are not sure what game he is talking about. Again, Mulder asks Scully why Modell didn't kill the officers when he had the chance, or the prison orderlies or even Mulder himself. Scully says that Modell did kill Nathan Bowman. Mulder disagrees. He agrees that Modell was definitely there, but it did not mean that he was the one who did it. He then says that Modell was involved, somehow, but not in the way they thought. Finally, he decides to revert to something that they both agree on: Why Modell was after Linda Bowman, and why.
Later, Mulder and Scully interview Linda again, but this time in the FBI safe house. Linda apologizes for not being able to add anything else to what they already know. She then goes on to say about how Nathan had discussed the case a lot with her, like how he wished that Mulder had just shot him dead instead of leaving him comatose as it would have saved the tax payers the cost of the trial, and like how the case was Nathan's "first brush with greatness". Mulder asks her how long it had been since she knew Nathan, and she replies that they've only known each other for two months and two days. She said that Nathan was not impulsive or flighty, and she wouldn't want to "paint him as that". Mulder thanks her, and then leaves the room with Scully. As Skinner joins them, Mulder announces that Linda was the one who killed Nathan, that Modell was there for some other reason. Scully and Skinner are surprised at his statement, but Mulder goes on to say that Linda had said weird things such as "first brush with greatness" and "doesn't want to paint him as being impulsive". He says that she was waving it under their noses and playing with them. Modell warned them not to play the game, which in Mulder's opinion, referred to Linda's game. Skinner does not believe him, but Mulder also finds it strange that Linda had not asked how Nathan had been murdered, or any of the details of the murder. She also does not appear afraid from the escaped serial killer that is supposedly stalking her. Skinner rebukes this, saying that Linda is in shock, that she's not herself. "Neither are you," Skinner adds. Mulder rounds on Scully for support, but she only tells him that he was the one who told them not to listen or trust Modell, but he had done both. Skinner asks Mulder for his weapon, tells him to go home and that he was suspended from the case until Skinner was sure Mulder's judgement was sound. Scully tells Mulder that she thinks he should do what Skinner says. Mulder is stunned, but gives his gun over to Skinner. Just then, Linda asks for some water and Skinner tells her that he get someone to get her some. Mulder then walks away, vowing to prove his theory right.
Mulder is back at the penitentiary ward, talking to Modell's physical therapist again. He asks her if he had ever talked about his past. The therapist says no, but there was one thing someone else had said about him that ever struck her as unusual. Mulder asks what it was, and she said that one of the nuns from the Little Sisters of Charity had called him a conquered warrior. On a hunch, Mulder takes out the photograph of Linda Bowman and shows it to the therapist, asking her to confirm if that was the person. The therapist says that she'll need her glasses. Just then, the phone rings. The therapist picks up the phone, and Mulder hands her her glasses case. As she speaks into the phone, she opens the case to find it empty. She starts to search her desk for her glasses, while talking at the same time. Mulder turns away to look somewhere else, just as the therapist walks over to an electrical switch box on the wall. "Oh yeah, he's here.", she then says into the phone. Overhearing this, Mulder turns around suspiciously, just in time to see the therapist open the electrical switch box and reach into the box with her bare hand. Mulder yells "No!" as he races to stop her, but it's too late. Hand and bare wires connect, sending thousands of jolts of electricity into the therapist's body and she begins convulsing wildly. Mulder grabs a mop nearby and uses the handle to prod her hand away from the switch box. The therapist falls to the floor, motionless. Mulder yells for help as he begins to administer CPR on her.
Just then, at the FBI safe house, a Falls Church police car stops at the security checkpoint and the US Marshall sees Modell in the backseat. Modell rolls down the window and tells the marshal to "Go home.". Not much later, Modell enters the room that Linda Bowman is in and locks the door behind him.
At the Chain Bridge Mall, Scully's phone rings. She picks up and finds out that it is Mulder. Mulder tells her that he's at the prison, where a paramedic can be seen pulling a black cloth over the therapist's face. Ignoring Scully's warning that he was asked to lay off, he tells her that Modell's therapist had just electrocuted herself right in front of him, and that she was on the phone when she did it. He tells Scully to trace the call and cut off Linda's access to a phone. However, Scully wasn't at the safe house, but was investigating a suicide at Chain Bridge Mall. Mulder then asks why wasn't anybody picking up at the safe house switchboard. Realizing that there was something wrong, Scully commands the marshals to get back into the trucks to get back to the safe house.
At the safe house, Skinner is walking past Linda's room when he notices the phone ringing and no one on duty outside of her room. Sensing something was amiss, he pulls out his gun and turns the doorknob slowly. It's locked. He then kicks the door down and finds Modell and Linda standing opposite each other. Skinner orders Modell to get down. Modell turns to look at Linda. As Skinner orders him to get down again, Modell calmly says that he has a gun. He turns around. Sure enough, he is holding a gun. Without hesitation, Skinner shoots Modell and he falls to the ground. Linda gasps. Skinner moves towards Modell, and sees that his right hand is curled into the shape of the gun, but there is actually no gun in his hand.
Outside Linda's room later, Modell is being wheeled out in a stretcher, and Scully follows it. Scully asks Skinner if Modell tried to speak with him, and Skinner replies that he said that "we got our man". Mulder comes running, and asks what happened. Skinner tells him that Modell had a gun, but Scully says that they haven't found a gun yet. Mulder then says "He said he had a gun.". Skinner agrees, then excuses himself. Mulder claims that Modell was actually unarmed and that he got Skinner to shoot at him on purpose in order to protect Linda Bowman. Scully doesn't believe him, as usual. Mulder asks where Linda is, and Scully says that they've taken her home as there was no need to keep her in protective custody anymore. Mulder then says he's going to the hospital to talk to Modell if he makes it through surgery. Scully tells him that talking to Modell has already done him enough harm. Mulder, annoyed, asks Scully to give him a call when she thinks he's come to his senses, before leaving.
Mulder gazes at Modell, who is unconscious in his bed, waiting for him to wake up. Just then, a nurse enters and tells Mulder that she has to change the patient's bandages. Mulder makes to leave, and tells the nurse to call him if Modell wakes up. As he walks out of the room, we see that the nurse is actually Linda Bowman, with a piece of paper with the word "NURSE" on it safety-pinned to her shirt. Linda enters the room and calls Modell's name. His eyes open slightly. He tries to talk but the tracheotomy on his throat prevents him from doing so. Linda places her finger over the hole in the tube to allow him to talk. In a faint croak, Modell tells her not to make a mistake. Linda tells him that she' going to finish what he started. Modell croaks out, "No...stop no. Stop...", and Linda removes her finger from the hole. Modell is in great pain and gasps. Linda then talks Modell into relaxing and his heart into stopping, turning the heart monitor off as it begins to beep frantically. The monitor then begins to register flat lines. Mulder is walking around in the hospital when a nurse suddenly runs past him. He also begins to break into a run and follows her into Modell's room. It is obvious that Modell is dead. As a sheet is pulled over Modell's head, Mulder notices the piece of paper with the word "NURSE" neatly printed on it on Modell's bedside. He then flips it over to read the words "214 Channel Avenue".At night, Mulder enters the commercial property at 214 Channel Avenue and walks through it. Suddenly, he hears Scully's voice from far away. He runs towards the voice and sees Scully standing in the middle of a room. Mulder asks Scully what she's doing here. Scully tells him that he was right about her, as she draws her gun and points it at Mulder. She says that she's making her do this. Mulder asks where she is, and Scully says that she's here,and asks him to make her stop it. Mulder shouts Linda's name out, and demands that she show herself. Scully then raises the gun to her temple. Mulder races towards her, yelling "No!". There is a loud bang and Scully falls to the ground. Mulder approaches her and checks for a pulse. He hears footsteps behind him and whirls around. It's Linda Bowman, walking towards him and pointing a gun at him. He grabs Scully's gun and points it at her, threatening to kill her. Linda tells Mulder not to listen to her, that it was her, and that Mulder was right. She then claims that she's Scully and that Linda is right behind him, telling him that she's her. Mulder turns around and sees Scully dead on the floor, blood leaking out from the wound on her temple. Linda then tells him that she was Scully, that she wasn't dead. "She wants you to shoot me. She knows you'll never forgive yourself." Mulder yells for her to shut up. Linda demands that he listen to her. Mulder tells her to shut up again. Linda then shouts thatMulder's mother is Teena and that his sister is Samantha. Again, Mulder tells her to shut up. Linda says "Modell warned you. Don't play her game.", as a figure can be seen coming up behind Mulder. Linda fires a shot and the figure falls to the floor. Mulder turns around, looks at the body, then back at Linda. In her place is Scully, still wielding the gun. Linda Bowman was actually Scully all along. Scully walks towards the real Linda, who is bleeding on the ground. Linda whispers "You think you can hold me..." Scully then calls for an ambulance.
In Skinner's office, Skinner looks at Linda Bowman's brain scan, where a bright white patch can be seen at Linda's temporal lobe. Mulder and Scully are present in the office. Scully explains to Skinner that like Modell, she too had an advanced temporal lobe tumor. "It seems to run in the family." Skinner is surprised to learn that Linda and Modell were fraternal twins, separated when they were two weeks old. It seemed that she initiated the "fox hunt" in order to get revenge for what Mulder did to her brother, Modell. Skinner asks Mulder if he would like to add anything else to the report, and Mulder says no. With nothing else to add, Mulder and Scully get up to leave. Just then, Skinner asks Mulder to stay. Skinner then praises Mulder for doing a good job. Mulder doesn't know what he did in order to get his praise. Skinner replies, "Nobody could have figured this out but you. You knew it was Linda Bowman and not Modell. You were way ahead of me.". Mulder argues that he nearly killed his own partner. Skinner says that he won her game, despite that minor detail. However, Mulder says that he feels that he had lost the game. He then leaves the office.
- This is the first episode in which Mulder's mother, Teena is named.
- The title, Kitsunegari, means fox hunt in Japanese.
- How was Modell tried and convicted in 1996 if he only woke up six months ago? 6 months before this episode would be at least mid 1997. You can be tried in absentia if circumstances require it. In this case, they had no way of knowing when he'd wake up.
- Mulder calls Linda Bowman's office and gets the name of her client and the address of the appointment without even having to give his name or a reason why he wants the information!
- The time stamp when Modell enters the sports store reads 9:13AM and yet when Mulder and Scully get to Bowman's apartment the clock reads 9:10AM. Also, Mrs. Bowman's secretary says that she is headed to her 12:15PM appointment; at ten past nine in the morning? She must have had a long distance to travel since she was late for it anyway and they all arrived before her.
Cast and Characters
- Colleen Winton (Therapist) previously played Examiner in The X-Files episode "Squeeze" and Dolores Garry in the Millennium episode "Covenant".
- Stuart O'Connell (First Cop) previously played First SWAT Officer in The X-Files episode "Unusual Suspects".
- Michelle Hart (Trace Agent) previously played Marjorie Holden in the Millennium episode "Dead Letters".
- Michael Dobson (U.S. Marshall) previously played Marksman #2 in The X-Files episode "Duane Barry", Sergeant Philip Hynek in "José Chung's From Outer Space" and BATF Agent in "The Field Where I Died".