October 25, 2015
The X-Files 1.22, Born Again: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Cop Reincarnated as an Eight-Year-Old
Summary: Detective Sharon Lazard leaves a police station in Buffalo, spotting a girl sitting by herself in an alley. Lazard takes the girl inside, but she won’t talk. Another officer, Detective Barbala, takes over, and the girl tells him that her name is Michelle Bishop. Before he can get any more information out of her, he’s thrown through a window. Michelle has no reaction.
Mulder and Scully are called in, since Lazard knows of them from the Tooms case. She reports that Michelle says there was another man in the room with her and Barbala. Lazard knows that’s not possible, but she also knows Barbala wouldn’t have killed himself. Mulder notes that he probably also would have opened the window before jumping.
Mulder works with Michelle to put together a sketch of what the other man looked like. The computer tech gets a laugh out of Michelle by showing her silly mustache options. Then the computer screen flashes, and a different mustache appears on the sketch. Meanwhile, Scully questions Michelle’s mother, wondering how her daughter ended up half an hour from her home. Mrs. Bishop says that Michelle has gone through multiple nannies because she’s “disturbed” and different from other kids. Michelle claims to see things and hear yelling in her head.
Mrs. Bishop takes Scully outside to the family’s pool, which has been covered. Apparently Michelle would scream whenever she got close to the water. Mulder shows Mrs. Bishop the sketch Michelle put together, but Mrs. Bishop doesn’t recognize it. She reports that Michelle sees a developmental psychologist, Dr. Braun, twice a week. Michelle throws an origami hawk out the window to Mulder, and Mrs. Bishop says she doesn’t know where Michelle learned the skill.
Mulder sends Scully to examine Barbala’s body while he goes to see Dr. Braun. He thinks Michelle might have killed Barbala through psychokinesis. Dr. Braun doesn’t recognize the sketch either, but she thinks Michelle could have made it up. Michelle’s intense emotions could have caused her to from another personality. Dr. Braun has been trying to find the source of the rage Michelle experiences.
One of Michelle’s neat little tricks is a habit of dismembering dolls. Dr. Braun suspected that Michelle was being abused, but now she thinks something else is going on. She considered hypnosis, but decided it was inappropriate. Mulder asks if Michelle has displayed any behaviors that might be considered supernatural. And just like that, Dr. Braun’s done with the conversation.
Scully does Barbala’s postmortem exam, finding a huge legion on his stomach. It indicates electrocution, which is inconsistent with Barbala’s reported cause of death. Lazard stops by to show Scully a picture of an officer named Charlie Morris who looks like the sketch Michelle made. However, Morris died nine years ago, which means the only way Michelle could have seen him is if he’s a ghost.
Scully and Mulder regroup to discuss Lazard’s finding. Scully reports that Morris was killed in Chinatown, possibly by a gang. She wants to preemptively shut down Mulder’s idea that Michelle saw a poltergeist. Mulder doesn’t get why Scully would immediately dismiss the possibility of something supernatural happening. Scully notes that there’s a picture of Morris in the middle of the precinct; Michelle must have seen it.
Mulder asks for the details of Morris’ death. The poor guy had his arm severed, possibly by a chainsaw, and had an eye gouged out. Mulder shows her one of Michelle’s dismembered dolls, which is missing an eye and an arm. He thinks the next step is to talk to Morris’ former partner, Fiore. Fiore, who keeps the agents out of his house so they don’t wake his wife, says that Morris was probably killed because he tried to shut down the Triad gang. When Mrs. Fiore appears, her husband rushes the agents off. Scully notes that Mrs. Fiore was baking, not sleeping.
Fiore then goes to see an insurance office, where he tells Leon Felder about the agents’ visit. He’s worried about the connection they’ve made between Morris and Barbala. Fiore’s adamant that they go to the bank to get their safety deposit box and dump the contents. Felder thinks he’s overreacting – with Barbala and Morris gone, there are only two of them left.
Fiore says Felder can have all the money (more than $2 million), but Felder wants to stick to their agreement to wait ten years. Fiore’s tired of listening to Felder after what happened the last time he did. Felder reminds him that what happened to Morris was an accident – no one wanted him to end up dead. He warns Fiore to keep it together. That night, as Felder is getting off a bus, something invisible sticks his scarf between the doors. The driver tries to stop, but the bus drives itself, dragging Felder to his death. Michelle watches the whole thing.
Mrs. Bishop is summoned to the police station so Scully and Mulder can tell her that her daughter witnessed another death. Mrs. Bishop says she can’t think of anything that would have caused the trauma that led to Michelle’s weird condition. Lazard pulls Mulder aside to tell him that Felder was a cop before he sold insurance – and his partner was Barbala.
The agents discuss the four cops, whose only connection seems to be the drug bust that seemed to have led to Morris’ death. They wonder why Fiore said he only knew Barbala by reputation. They see that Fiore was in Felder’s building, so they go back to his house to question him. Mrs. Fiore reports that her husband didn’t come home the night before.
Mulder takes a look around the Fiores’ living room, spotting a tropical fish tank and bunch of origami animals. Scully asks Mrs. Fiore if her husband ever mentioned Barbala or Felder. Mrs. Fiore says they didn’t socialize with cops. Mulder asks about the origami, and Mrs. Fiore says they were her first husband, Charlie’s. That would be Charlie Morris, her current husband’s former partner. When he died nine years ago, he was working on all the animals in a painting. He only had the giraffe left.
As the agents leave, Mulder notes that Michelle is eight, which means she was conceived around the time Morris died. Scully thinks he’s jumping to conclusions about reincarnation just because Morris and Michelle both know origami. Mulder thinks it makes perfect sense, of course. People with strong memories of past lives often display psychic abilities. He thinks they’re just “one short step away from proving the preexistence of the human soul.”
The agents take Michelle to a psychiatrist for a hypnosis session. Michelle she says she’s 24, then yells, “We can’t do this! It’s wrong!” Mulder wants to keep going, but Mrs. Bishop puts the brakes on the session. Scully doesn’t think they’re going to accomplish anything anyway. They can find out what happened to Morris when they find Fiore. Mulder says that Fiore might already be dead. Scully notes that Michelle’s hypnotic-regression testimony won’t hold up in court, so no matter what truth they uncover, they won’t have a case.
Mulder writes up a report while he watches the tapes from Michelle’s hypnosis session. The screen flashes like it did when Michelle was working on the sketch, and Mulder’s able to pause the tape to see a figure in the room. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fiore thinks her husband has come home, but all she finds on her porch is an origami giraffe.
The agents take the tape from the hypnosis session to the computer tech, who says whatever’s on the tape was in the room. Mulder says this could be like a case of a man who could create shapes on undeveloped film with his mind. Lazard tracks down Morris’ autopsy report and learns that he didn’t die from his gang-inflicted wounds – he drowned in seawater before he sustained the injuries. It’s possible he was wounded after the fact to make the gang look responsible for his death.
Fiore goes home and tells his wife to pack a bag. He thinks his life is in danger. He’s probably right, since Michelle is outside the house. Meanwhile, the computer tech cleans up the tape enough to show a small figure – the diver from the Fiores’ fish tank. Mulder puts that together with the seawater Morris drowned in and figures out the location of Morris’ death.
While Fiore packs, Mrs. Fiore shows him the giraffe and asks if he knows where it came from. Before he can answer, the power goes out. While Fiore goes to check things out, Mrs. Fiore stays behind in the bedroom, which locks itself. Downstairs, an electrical cord wraps itself around Fiore’s legs, tripping him and causing him to drop his gun. Michelle appears in the room with him.
The agents rush to the house, hearing crashes and a gunshot from inside. Michelle uses her mind to destroy the living room as the agents try to get in the house. Michelle stares down her last victim, who’s figured out who she is. Fiore complains that Morris was supposed to just take the money and keep quiet. Michelle throws stuff at him with her mind, looking really mad.
Scully goes upstairs to get Mrs. Fiore as Mulder calms Michelle. Fiore admits that he was involved in Morris’ death, saying he just wanted to take care of Mrs. Fiore. A blue glow enters the room and Michelle starts breaking stuff again, including the fish tank. Mrs. Fiore asks her to stop hurting Fiore, so Michelle turns all her energy to the fish tank, destroying it.
Mulder’s report wraps up the case, letting us know that Fiore pled guilty and Michelle doesn’t remember anything that happened. Also, she’s swimming again. Mulder tried to convince Mrs. Bishop to take her daughter for another hypnosis session, but Mrs. Bishop refused. Mulder considers the status of the case “unexplained.”
Thoughts: Lazard is played by Maggie Wheeler, as you can see from the picture. She’s really good in this role.
Yay, another creepy-kid episode! No one ever said there were too many of those!
For someone who studied psychology, Mulder has a poor understanding of what schizophrenia is.
Okay, but did the fish have to die? Mrs. Fiore ends up with a dead first husband, an incarcerated second husband, and no fish. Thanks a lot, Michelle!