|Original Airdate:||February 11, 1994|
|Written by:||Scott Kaufer and Chris Carter|
|Directed by:||Michael Lange|
Mulder must stop an elusive stalker who he captured in his youth, but who seems to have remained the same age.
In 1989 in Tashloo Federal Correctional Facility, a prisoner, Joe Crandall, hears screaming from the doctor's office. Inside he finds prison doctor Joe Ridley operating on fellow prisoner John Burnett. While Ridley tells Crandall that Burnett is dead and threatens to kill him if he talks about it, Burnett blinks at him.
In the present, agent Fox Mulder is notified by his former supervisor Reggie Purdue about a note from a jewel store robbery stating "Fox can't guard the chicken coop". Mulder recognizes the message as being from John Burnett, the man whom he helped catch on his first case. While Burnett supposedly died in prison four years earlier, the note appears to definitely be from him. Purdue shows Dana Scully a video of Burnett's capture years earlier. Mulder had a clean shot on Burnett but couldn't fire on him due to him having a hostage, a violation of FBI regulations. Mulder's hesitancy resulted in Burnett killing both the hostage and a fellow agent. Mulder flashes back to testifying at Burnett's trial. Scully looks into his cause of death and finds that despite it being listed as heart attack, he went to the doctor due to an infection of his hand (from the underlying wound he received when Mulder shot him) and had no history of heart problems. Later Burnett leaves Mulder another note in his car along with photos of him and Scully.
Mulder and Scully visit the prison where Burnett died and meet with Crandall, who tells them that Ridley cut off Burnett's hand, but he wasn't actually dead. Mulder receives a call from someone who appears to be Burnett. Later, Burnett strangles Purdue with his salamander-type hand. Scully looks into Ridley and finds that his medical license was revoked in 1979 due to malpractice and starting medical trials on patients without permission. Ridley was experimenting on children with progeria, a disease that causes premature aging. Mulder believes that Ridley found a way to reverse the aging process. That night Scully suspects someone is in her house, and finds Ridley waiting at her door.
Once Mulder arrives Ridley explains that he found a way to reverse the aging process with Burnett, with the only downside being that he had to cut off his hand and grow him a new one from salamander cells. While sponsors within the government appeared, Burnett ended up stealing all of his research. Mulder meets with Deep Throat, who admits to this, and says that the government is negotiating with Burnett to purchase the research. Scully hears someone dialing into her answering machine and spots Burnett's fingerprint on it. After Burnett calls again, Mulder decides to set up a sting at the cello recital for a friend of Scully's which Burnett learned of from his access to her answering machine.
That night agents wait at the cello recital for Burnett's arrival. Burnett, who goes completely unseen due to his young age, is posing as a piano tuner. Burnett shoots Scully in the chest then flees, taking the cellist hostage. This time Mulder doesn't hesitate and shoots, killing him. Scully is revealed to be wearing a bullet-proof vest, and was unharmed. Although doctors and a mysterious CIA agent attempt to resuscitate Burnett, they fail, and he takes the secret of where the research is to the grave. A closing shot reveals it to be in a storage locker, waiting to be found and opened...
- This episode features numerous links to the novel Frankenstein. These include the idea of a doctor creating a monster as the result of unauthorised experimentation, the fact that the doctor explains his history and reasoning to a supposed neutral observer, the opening scene of a supposedly dead creature opening its eyes and the salamander limb that is grafted to the corpse, which echoes the novel's depiction of different bodies grafted together. Indeed, Joseph Ridley - the doctor character in this episode - even admits in one scene that people referred to him as "Doctor Frankenstein" in the past.
- When John Barnett dies in hospital near the end of this episode, it is the first time in the series that Mulder has been directly responsible for a death.
- As originally written, the scene in which Agent Purdue is strangled by Barnett's salamander hand was considerably longer. Fox cited concerns regarding the violence issue and felt uncomfortable about letting the murder scene drag on. Although producer Chris Carter argued with Fox's standards and practices department over the scene, he eventually admitted defeat and shortened the scene considerably.
- The CIA Agent who tries to obtain information from Barnett while doctors attempt to save him near the end of this episode is played by William B. Davis. Davis made many appearances in The X-Files television series as the recurring character, the "Cigarette Smoking Man". It is not specified whether the character Davis played in this episode is intended to be the same recurring character or another character. The only previous appearance of the "Cigarette Smoking Man" was in the pilot episode of The X-Files, in which the character is referred to as "Smoking Man" in the end credits. The character also had many aliases, however.
- Dick Anthony Williams as Agent Reggie Purdue
- Alan Boyce as Young John Barnett
- Christine Estabrook as Agent Henderson
- Graham Jarvis as NIH Doctor
- Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat
- Robin Mossley as Dr. Ridley
- Merrilyn Gann as Prosecuting Attorney
- Gordon Tipple as Joe Crandall
- William B. Davis as CIA Agent