X-Files

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You're the Man Now, Doggett!

Back to dark and stormy Squamash, where it's always foggy and grim and people have been unhappy since the beginning of time. A multitude of cars, including Sheriff Shifty's, pull up in front of a lone cabin in the woods. Shifty and his posse gather around the outside of the cabin, their dogs straining at their leashes. It's a regular mob -- I wonder where they put their torches. A sad oboe plays on the soundtrack. The fog billows. It's almost evocative. Everyone stands around, soaking up the atmosphere. A blonde woman comes out of the cabin and eyes the mob. "It's dead. You know that. Dead and buried," she tells Shifty. The dogs yelp. Shifty snorts, and tells The Blonde that he knows she's lying, and that they've "come for it." As if on cue, Kevin comes tramping through the underbrush, grunting and yelping in his man-beasty Belvederean way. Shifty and the posse let the dogs go, giving chase. Kevin trips on something, but pulls himself up and keeps running. He's wearing what look like leather pants. Hey, just because your face looks like hell, that's no reason to give up on the rest of your look. Just as Kevin starts to gain some steam, he stumbles into a trap set, presumably, by Shifty and the posse (such a great band, by the way), and is caught up in a net like some kind of animal. Kevin yelps and gags as the posse drags him back to the cars. The blonde pleads with Shifty for mercy on Kevin's behalf, but he's having none of it. The posse loads Kevin, net and all, into back of Shifty's van, and drive off.

Skinner and Doggett whoosh into Shifty's sheriff station. 7:48 PM. Shifty comes stumbling out of the back room: "Back again?" Doggett does the intros, and cuts to the chase, telling Shifty that he found a death certificate for a bullet-addled transient whose body was found in the woods around the time that Mulder was in town. He wonders why there was no investigation into the murder. Shifty stutters. "Get a lot of shootings?" Doggett snips. "What are you insinuating?" Shifty retorts. Skinner just stands there, and watches Law Man Pissing Contest 2001. Doggett takes out his notepad and draws Shifty a helpful picture: a body found the morning after Mulder left town, dead of gunshot wounds; Mulder's gun missing three rounds. Do the math. "So Mulder came back to town and killed this man, and now the Hangemuhls are lying about it, and maybe I am, too?" Shifty asks. "Pretty much," Doggett deadpans. He wants to see the body.

Doggett and Skinner arrive at the graveyard. It is, of course, the middle of the night. The Cello of Foreboding wails on the soundtrack. Skinner, trailing Doggett, repeats that he doesn't think Mulder would have shot a transient. Doggett's lost in his own theory, and muses that, obviously, Mulder was in Squamash for a reason, and then he totally disappeared, and this body might have something to do with that whole crazy thing. Skinner points out that Shifty has no reason to cover for Mulder. Doggett ignores this salient fact as they come across the transient's grave -- which is freshly dug up, and totally empty. Doggett jumps into the bottom of the hole. He looks up and tells Skinner that, while he thinks Shifty dug up the grave, he didn't find a body because there's "another way out" of the grave: a tunnel of sorts. While Doggett ponders the mystery of a man who can get shot three times and still tunnel out of his own grave, Skinner notices that the earth is marked with rocks arranged in a mysterious pagan symbol.

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X-Files

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