February 7, 2016
The X-Files 2.13, Irresistible: Give Me a Head With Hair, Long, Beautiful Hair
Summary: There’s a funeral underway for a young woman named Jennifer, and there’s a creepy-looking guy in attendance. Once the mourners are left, he admires the beauty of the dead woman, then closes her casket. In the morgue, his boss gets a little spooked by the dark, thinking he sees a monster. It’s just the creepy guy! He’s Donnie Pfaster, and he’s been giving Jennifer a little haircut. His boss calls him a freak and fires him.
Sometime later, Mulder and Scully are called to a cemetery by Agent Bocks, who wants them to investigate a grave robbery. Bocks was so shocked when he looked at the grave’s corpse that his first instinct was to call MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network. He thinks the grave was disturbed by aliens, since the body has been mutilated like cattle allegedly are by aliens. Mulder says a human is most likely guilty, probably one who works in a mortuary or cemetery.
Scully’s disturbed, as this is the first time she’s seen a desecrated grave. Mulder educates her on fetishists who like to collect fingernails and hair. That doesn’t help her feel better. She’s surprised that he was so calm when he saw the corpse. Mulder admits that he came in knowing they were probably dealing with a human criminal. He only dragged Scully all the way to Minnesota because he has tickets to a Vikings/Redskins game.
Donnie goes to a frozen-foods company for a job interview, apparently wanting to make a change from his former line of work, cosmetology for dead people. He admires his interviewer’s shade of lipstick and mentions that he’s going back to school to study comparative religions. The interviewer confides that the head of the company likes people as religious as Donnie claims to be, so this could give him an edge.
Mulder gets to see the football game, but only on TV at the FBI field office in Minneapolis. More bodies have been found, and Bocks wants him and Scully to do some actual investigating. Three bodies have now been desecrated in the past two days, with either their hair cut or their fingernails removed. Scully gets so creeped out by the removed nails that she has to leave the room.
Mulder tells Bocks to release a statement about an “escalating fetishist.” Bocks wonders why they should scare everyone if the fetishist goes after corpses. Mulder thinks he’ll start going after the living. Bocks says they’ll get criticized, like his colleagues in Milwaukee who were slammed for not catching a serial killer before he killed so many young boys. He confides that no one believed it could happen. Plus, apparently Minneapolis doesn’t have enough agents to move on this quickly.
Scully’s still shaken but agrees to stick around to help with the investigation. This involves looking into fetishists and writing up a report on their motives. She says it’s sometimes easier to believe in UFOs than in the possibility that a human would scavenge from the dead. While the agents are working, Donnie heads to Minneapolis’ red-light district and picks up a prostitute. He takes her to his apartment and offers to run her a bath, since the place is so cold. He’d also like to wash her hair.
While the prostitute gets ready for her bath, Donnie gets a phone call telling him he’s gotten the job as a delivery man. The prostitute emerges from the bathroom, complaining that the bathwater is freezing. She gets a look at the bedroom, which is full of dead flowers. She suddenly realizes that she’s in a really, really bad situation and tries to run away. Sometime later, her body is found with cut hair, missing fingernails, and some fingers removed. Scully has to steel herself before she takes a look.
Donnie starts work at his new job, delivering food to people’s houses. This gives him access to families with attractive teenage girls, and the bathrooms where they discard hair from their hairbrushes. He learns that one family always leaves their back door open. At the morgue, Scully hesitantly examines the body of the prostitute, voicing over how every body tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end. She thinks the prostitute was killed specifically for her hair and nails.
Bocks brings another prostitute in to view a line-up, but she doesn’t recognize the man who hired her friend. Bocks and Mulder realize that since there was nothing remarkable about Donnie, he’ll be very difficult to find. Mulder thinks they should look into Donnie’s motives for targeting young, beautiful women. Does he hate women? Does it have to do with his mother? He suggests that they contact psychiatric facilities and ask about people who match Donnie’s profile.
Donnie was telling the truth about going back to school, and one of his classes has to do with mythology. As his professor talks about the psychology of fairy tales, Donnie admires the hair and fingernails of one of his classmates. After class, he finds her at her car and asks about their homework. When she tries to leave, he won’t let go of her car door. She’s justifiably creeped out and fights him off, yelling for help.
A phone call wakes Scully from a dream about a body in the morgue not being dead. Mulder’s on the line telling her that their killer might have been arrested. They’re wrong – it’s a guy who was injured by a prostitute – but Donnie’s in a nearby holding cell. Scully decides that she’d be more useful to the investigation if she focused on the bodies. She’d like to take the most recent victim’s body back to D.C. and leave Mulder in Minneapolis. Mulder supports this decision, but he doesn’t want Scully to hide how she really feels about the case.
Donnie tries to strike up a conversation with his fellow arrestee about the people who were questioning him. He learns that the FBI are on his trail, and that the redhead’s name is Scully. Donnie’s classmate drops the charges against him, so he’s free to leave as soon as he talks with a social worker.
In D.C., Scully and a lab tech go over the evidence as she tries to shake off the creepiness of the case. She meets with a therapist who thinks she’s struggling with feeling vulnerable, since she’s usually so strong. The therapist wonders if Scully has a problem trusting her partner. That’s definitely not it – Scully trusts Mulder with her life. She just doesn’t want him to know how much the case is bothering her.
The therapist thinks Scully’s abduction and the death of her father have left her feeling vulnerable. Scully says she knows the world is as dangerous as it’s always been. She’s always feel like she needs to protect people, and now she needs to regain the faith that she can. After the session, Scully returns to the lab, where the tech shows her a fingerprint they found on the prostitute’s nail. A man the tech thinks was Mulder called, and the tech told him Scully would be returning to Minneapolis.
Scully talks to Mulder on the phone and gives him an update on the case. Mulder says he and Bocks didn’t call earlier, but she doesn’t seem to find that suspicious. As she heads back to Minneapolis, a team of FBI agents breaks into Donnie’s apartment, finding hair and the funeral flowers. There’s also a human finger in a box of frozen vegetables. Donnie stakes out the car-rental agency Scully uses when she returns to Minneapolis, so he’s easily able to follow her and force her car off the road. When Mulder and Bocks come to the scene, she’s gone. Donnie takes Scully to an empty house with a for-sale sign in the yard and runs her a bath.
Mulder and Bocks run a paint sample from the car that hit Scully, but it’s one of 60,000 in the area with that shade of paint, so that’s not really helpful. Mulder can’t believe that people videotape police beatings and claim to see Elvis all the time, but not one person saw Scully being forced off the road. He and Bocks go back to Donnie’s profile, trying to figure out where he would take someone he kidnapped. Bocks quips that he would go anywhere but his mother’s since Mulder thought he might hate her. Mulder realizes he may be on to something.
Donnie cuts through the binds he’s put on Scully, who briefly sees him as a demon. He fingers her hair and tells her not to be afraid. He’s run her a bath and is ready to wash her hair. Scully manages to push him into the tub, which gives her a little head start to head for the door. Unfortunately, it’s locked. Also unfortunately, Donnie has a gun. Scully is more resourceful, though, hiding in a closet and using an aerosol can as a weapon. She manages to hold him off until Mulder and a rescue team arrive.
Mulder tells Scully that they’re at Donnie’s mother’s house; a patrolman saw his car outside. She insists that she’s fine, though she’s clearly not. After a whole episode of fighting it, she finally lets herself be vulnerable, crying in Mulder’s arms. Mulder gives the end-of-episode voiceover, talking about how scary it is that a human can be so monstrous. The unremarkable boy next door could grow up to be devilish. The thing you fear in the darkness is as scary as anything in an X-File.
Thoughts: Bocks is played by Bruce Weitz.
Why would Mulder go all the way to Minneapolis for a Vikings/Redskins game when he could just wait for the Vikings to come to D.C.? Oh, right – why does Mulder do anything he does? Because he’s weird.
I like seeing Scully having a human reaction to brutality. It shows that being an agent hasn’t hardened her emotions.
Do you think Skinner ever gets annoyed by the flowery writing in Mulder and Scully’s reports? “Stop talking about humanity and just tell me what happened!”