Frank Black suddenly disappears and is found again with no memory of what has happened to him. As he searches for answers as to his recent experience, he learns that he was a test subject in a strange and brutal drug trial.
In a medical clinic, a nurse escapes to the shops from a room, locking it just before someone inside can rape her. Inside the room, a group of people are screaming, panicking and self-mutilating; one man—Frank Black (Lance Henriksen)—begins pounding on a reinforced glass window until his fists bleed.
Millennium Group investigator Peter Watts (Terry O'Quinn) visits Catherine Black (Megan Gallagher) to tell her that Frank, her husband and a fellow Group member, disappeared on his way to Yakima, Washington. Watts combs Black's computer history for information, finding emails back and forth between Black—using the pseudonym "David Marx"—and a doctor called Daniel Miller. Catherine reveals that the pseudonym Black has been using is one he had also used to check into hotels during a previous mental breakdown.
Black is discovered at a bus depot by a police, his hands injured and bandaged. His pseudonym is found on a hospital bracelet; and he has no recollection of events save for the suspicion that someone died during the gap in his memory. Watts helps Black trace Dr. Miller (Željko Ivanek) to a hotel, where he informs them that Black was seeking a cure for his "gift"; a seemingly-psychic ability to understand others' psyches. Miller had been helping Black join a clinical trial for a drug called Proloft which would treat temporal lobe abnormalities; however, Black refutes that he would be interested in such a thing. Visiting a clinic, Black's ability reveals to him that he has been there before, during the nightmarish drug trial he cannot remember. From there, he is able to use the Millennium Group to persuade the drug company to release records which allow him to trace other participants. He finds that one participant died after gouging his own eyes out; the body of the supervising nurse is later found in a dumpster.
Research on the drug given to the trial participants reveals it to be a chiral chemical, with two enantiomer forms; one is the harmless and beneficial Proloft, the other is the dangerous hallucinogen which Black and the others ingested. Dr Miller tells Black that he had been working on drugs to cure his own visions, which he believes are similar to Black's. One night, years earlier, Miller's left him after he ran into the road amidst oncoming traffic, almost killing himself in a hallucinatory state. After Black leaves, Hans Ingram (Gregory Itzin), the doctor responsible for the trial, breaks into Miller's room.
Later, Miller is killed in a traffic accident after once again running onto a busy highway; Black finds a photograph of Ingram on his body. Watts and the police investigate Ingram's home, finding the eyeless body of the dead trial participant and sachets of something called "Smooth Time", which they ascertain to be the nightmarish enantiomer of Proloft. Watts and the Millennium Group receive news that workers at a city office building are rioting and panicking. Black realizes that Ingram had been distributing "Smooth Time" under the guise of a sweetener in order to drug a large number of people. Tracking Ingram to the office building's surveillance room, Black learns that the doctor believes that the country's dependence on antidepressants has created a nation of "zombies", and he is attempting to "wake them up" with violent hallucinogens. The doctor is arrested and taken into custody.
At home with his family, Black's motives for visiting the drug trials return to him—he is concerned about his young daughter Jordan, believing that she has inherited his abilities. He is now dissuaded from using pharmaceuticals to suppress this, opting instead to guide her to understand her gift.
Cast and CharactersEdit
- Zeljko Ivanek (Dr. Daniel Miller) previously played Roland Fuller/Arthur Grable in The X-Files episode "Roland".
- Ron Sauve (Tardot) previously played Ray in The X-Files episode "The Host" and Tim Decker in "Teso Dos Bichos".
- Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
- Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
- Terry O'Quinn as Peter Watts
- Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
- Stephen James Lang as Detective Bob Giebelhouse
- Bill Smitrovich as Lt. Bob Bletcher
- Ron Sauve as Tardot
- Dee Jay Jackson as G.J.
- Alison Matthews as Sandy Geiger
- Cheryl Mullen as Sal
- Nancy Kerr as Personnel Chief Dana Flender
- Arthur Corber as Moxie
- Kym Sheppard as The Trial Nurse
- Marcus Hondro as Superintendent
- Ian Alexander Martin as Other Scientist in Photo
- Cameron K. Smith as Injured Worker
SEMICOLON-SEPARATED LIST OF ITEMS/LOCATIONS REFERENCED IN EPISODE (BUT NOT LINKED TO IF ALREADY LINKED IN SUMMARY OR GUEST STARS SECTIONS)
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