Back in Squamash, Shifty watches as some kind of industrial digging machine digs up a patch of grass, conveniently marked with the same symbol that was painted on the Hangemuhls' front door. Enter Paul, breathless. "I can't believe it," he pants. "Is it true?" Shifty comments that he's about to find out.
Welcome to the Firearms-Toolmarks Unit at FBI HQ. At the tone, the time will be 4:41 PM. Doggett's all hunched over a computer, looking at the forensics report on Mulder's weapon. Enter Skinner, looking hot in a partially unbuttoned oxford shirt over a crisp white tee, and a casual, navy-blue windbreaker-type jacket. After a few brief pleasantries -- and some smoldering glances -- Doggett wonders whether Skinner knew that Mulder carried a second weapon. "Yeah, on an ankle holster," the Skinman snorts. Doggett exposits that he found the gun under Mulder's sink, and that it's three clips shy. "What's this about?" Skinner asks, testily. It's about the bullet holes in the Hangemuhl house, and the fact that Mulder never filed a report on the case or on the discharge of his firearm. Skinner shirtily comments that Mulder never failed to file a report on anything he did. Well, I'm pretty sure that's a big old lie, and Skinner knows it. Doggett responds that while Mulder's FBI records show he was in Washington, his cell phone records prove he was in Squamash. "Are you calling Mulder a liar?" Skinner shirtily slams some paperwork down on the table. How much do these two want each other? Just do it, already, you two. Doggett cites some forensic evidence, proving that Mulder fired his weapon at close range at something or someone. Hey, maybe he was out back, shooting tin cans off tree stumps. Maybe he got locked out of his apartment and had to shoot the lock out. Oh, there's blood on the gun? Maybe he and Scully went on a crime spree, à la Bonnie and Clyde. Proving that Mulder discharged his firearm does not prove that he did so in Squamash. Nevertheless, Skinner looks uncomfortable. "I've heard enough," he snits, and turns to go. As he gets to the door, though, he thinks better of it, and turns on Doggett. "You're trying to build a case that...what? Mulder killed a man, then made himself disappear? That's not what happened. He was abducted. I saw it." Doggett lodges the stick more firmly up his ass. "Agent Mulder falsified case reports!" he snits. Skinner narrows his eyes: "Come on, John, this isn't about Mulder! It's about you." He continues, explaining his theory that Doggett's motivation to solve Mulder's disappearance comes only from his desire to be removed from the X-Files and put back on track to landing a directorship. Doggett makes a face. "I'm just trying to find the truth," he grumps. "You want the truth? Then ask Agent Scully!" Skinner snaps, winning now and forever my eternal devotion. Doggett leans back in his chair and confesses that he can't ask Agent Scully, because...awkward pause. Because she's AWOL? Because she's run off to the Cayman Islands with Hot Autopsy Guy? Because she isn't in this episode? Doggett uncomfortably admits that Scully signed Mulder's falsified case reports. Skinner looks simultaneously disgusted and hot. He takes a gander at the report in question. Doggett has the good grace to look ashamed of being such a tattletale. Skinner, through gritted teeth, informs Doggett that taking this story to OPR could cost Scully her job. Doggett sighs that he's taking the story to Skinner, not to OPR. They stare at each other. Then they do it on the desk. Come on, you know you were thinking it, too.