A woman is trapped in an endlessly repeating time loop that ends in a tragic bombing in which Mulder and Scully lose their lives every time.
FBI special agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) bleeding out from a gunshot wound while Scully tends to him. They are revealed to be hostages in a bank holdup, and Scully attempts to reason with their captor (Darren E. Burrows), only to have him reveal a bomb strapped to his chest. The police begin to storm the building, prompting the gunman to detonate the bomb, seemingly killing them all.
Mulder then wakes, unharmed, to find that his water bed has sprung a leak, his alarm clock is broken, and he needs to pay his landlord for water damage. To do so, he is forced to go to the bank, instead of going to the meeting with his partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and various other FBI officials. When he arrives, the same gunman, named Bernard, arrives and nervously attempts to rob the bank, shooting Mulder in the process. The teller sets off the bank's silent alarm and police cars come rushing to the scene. Scully arrives and once again attempts to help her partner as he lies dying, but events go the same way - the police rush the building, Bernard detonates the bomb, and everybody dies.
Suddenly, the action starts over. Mulder wakes to find that his water bed has sprung a leak, his alarm clock is broken, and he needs to pay his landlord for water damage. To the audience, time itself is stuck in a loop. Everyone is oblivious to the repetition of events except for one person, Pam (Carrie Hamilton), Bernard's girlfriend. Over multiple iterations of the events, Pam does everything in her power to save the agents, including trying to prevent them from entering the bank, trying to inform them of the time loop, and even begging Skinner not to let the police into the building. It is implied that she has lived these events many times, as she refers to having had Mulder ask her the same question over fifty times. There are subtle changes in the events, and Mulder and Scully's conversation is worded differently each time, but the results are always the same: Bernard detonates the bomb, usually after shooting Mulder, and they all die.
The time loop continues ad nauseam, though each time Pam speaks to Mulder, he comes closer to being able to remember her. She is finally able to convince him that events are repeating themselves, and before he is killed by the blast, Mulder begins repeating "he's got a bomb" to himself, in an attempt to recall it the next time around. In the following iteration of the day Mulder finds himself repeating the phrase in the bank, and acting on his hunch, calls Scully and then confronts Bernard before he begins the holdup, changing events on a fundamental level. Scully, acting on Mulder's phone call, brings Pam into the Bank. Mulder and Pam convince Bernard to give up and walk out with Pam. The sirens of the approaching Police response become audible and Bernard becomes agitated and attempts to shoot Mulder, but Pam throws herself in front of Mulder as he fires. As she lies dying, she admits, "This never happened before." Bernard collapses to his knees, horrified by what he has done, and is peacefully arrested. The bomb blast averted, time continues as normal.
- This episode was previously titled "Mobius". A Mobius (or a Mobius strip) is a one-sided surface that can be formed from a rectangular strip by twisting one end 180 degrees and fastening it to the other end. Fitting for an episode where the day keeps "looping" until they get it right.
- This episode is similar to the movies Groundhog Day and Run Lola Run, the Stargate SG-1 episode "Window of Opportunity" as well as the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Cause and Effect", as it traces the variations of a single, repeated bad day. According to writers John Shiban and Vince Gilligan, the inspiration for this episode didn't come from Bill Murray's 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, like most viewers would assume, but from an episode of The Twilight Zone called "Shadow Play".
- The Cradock Marine Bank is named for a suburb of Portsmouth, Virginia where Holly grew up, and Holly's mother's maiden name is Bernard. see Holly (disambiguation)
- Scully's comment, "When did you get a water bed?", refers back to the episode, "Dreamland II", when Morris Fletcher bought himself a new water bed (thinking he would be living the rest of his life in Mulder's body) and put it in Mulder's bedroom. Fletcher even invited Scully to his new bed. Neither Scully nor Mulder have memories of those events, so they have no idea where he got his water bed from. This is why, in the beginning of the episode, Mulder says that someone may have given it to him as a gift.
- While some might construe the continued presence of a waterbed in Mulder's apartment as a blooper or continuity violation, considering the reset ending of Dreamland II, one should remember that Scully too was left with a mysterious memento of that episode's events, in the form of the two coins fused together. At the end of Dreamland II, it was hinted that Mulder's new furniture did not vanish, as he is very surprised after entering his apartment.
- Mulder's waterbed is shown with a leak spraying water in the air. This might happen if one or more people were lying on the bed or pressing down on the mattress, but the fountain continues to spray when he is out of the bed. Waterbed leaks don't spray so much as ooze. Furthermore, the amount of water lost to cause the degree of saturation on the carpet (not to mention leaking into the apartment below) would mean that the bed would have lost most or all of its water, leaving Mulder waking up lying on the bottom of the mattress box.
- This episode takes place in Washington D.C. but, in the scene when Mulder is walking to the bank, Los Angeles City Hall is clearly shown in the background.
- Lt. Kraskow implies that they have "a body on the floor", after hearing a shot fired. One shot doesn't mean that anybody is hurt, and everyone is already laying on the floor, which is typical for hostage/robbery situations.
- Mulder wakes up each day to the bang of newspaper against his apartment door around 7:15am. Kind of late for the newspaper to be delivered. Maybe the newspaper delivery guy's waterbed also sprung a leak?
- Movie: Groundhog Day In the movie "Groundhog Day", Bill Murray keeps experiencing the same day repeatedly. However, he is the only person who remembers the previous "days".
- Suanne Spoke as Woman Customer
- Monique Edwards as Head Teller
- Arlene Pileggi as Arlene
- Wayne Alexander as Agent G. Arnold
- David Michael Mullins as Tour Guide
- Mik Scriba as Lieutenant Kraskow
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