In rural West
Virginia, a female FBI agent is kidnapped (by a character identified as
the First Abductor) from her garage as she arrives home in the evening.
She strikes his face with garden tines, but he overcomes her. FBI agents
search for her in the snow using rods, led by a snow-covered field. One
man, not an agent, runs out in front and eventually kneels and digs in the
snow, where a man's severed arm is found. He is a defrocked pedophile
priest, Father Joseph Crissman, who claims to be having visions about the
Special Agent in Charge Dakota Whitney approaches Scully at Our Lady of
Sorrows, a Catholic hospital where Scully is employed as a physician. Whitney
wants Mulder's help with the case of a kidnapped female FBI agent. Scully
says she no longer works with Mulder, but Whitney persists in her believe
that Scully probably at least knows how to contact Mulder. If
Mulder helps, all FBI charges against him will be dropped.
Scully returns home -- a two story country house. There
are out buildings suggesting it was once a farm house. Mulder is
inside, busily cutting out newspaper clippings about paranormal phenomenon.
Scully tells him about Whitney's offer and he at first declines. But
he relents, if Scully will join him. An FBI helicopter picks them
up and flies them to Washington where they join a briefing on the missing
agent. Scully, of course, is skeptical, and is also revolted by his crimes.
Whitney wants Mulder to determine whether these really are visions. Whitney's
partner, Agent Mosley Drummy, thinks Father Joe knows the kidnappers.
They go to see
Father Joe where he lives, in an apartment complex for sex offenders.
He cannot explain his visions and denies any connection to the missing woman.
Scully walks outside, disgusted, but Mulder talks her into coming along as
they take Crissman to the field where the arm was found. He
finds nothing. Scully encourages Mulder to drop it.
Back at work,
Scully is preoccupied by one of her patients, a boy named Christian Fearon,
who has a degenerative disease. Conventional therapies cannot
help him and the rest of the medical staff thinks there are no alternatives.
They take Father
Joe for a drive in West Virginia, to see if he can identify the location
of the kidnapping, which he does.
A second woman
is kidnapped in West Virginia. When she leaves an indoor swimming pool,
a man driving a pickup truck with a snow blade on the front (identified as
the Second Abductor) follows her and forces her off the road, taking her
semi-conscious from her wrecked car. When the agents ask Father
Joe, he claims that the second victim is alive, but he cannot tell where.
He can also see the first victim, as through a glass darkly. At one
point, Father Joe tells Scully, "don't give up. " He also
cites Proverbs, 24-2. Scully doesn't understand.
get Father Joe out onto a frozen lake. The officials
are ready to give up, as is Scully, but Mulder persists, calling back the
FBI agents. They end up finding the severed human head of the first
victim in the ice. When a massive chunk of the ice is removed and
melted, many other body parts are found. This is clearly a serial
kidnap and murder case now. Mulder interprets the "through a glass
looking through the ice.
Mulder gets the
FBI to assemble a listing of recent disappearances of women and the team,
including Father Joe, soon arrive at the wreck of the second victim, still
where it was run off the road. Father Joe gets no feeling
from sitting in the car. In the trunk, they find the second victim's
swim suit. Near the car, Mulder finds a Medic Alert bracelet in the
snow. He remembers seeing a photo of the kidnapped FBI agent and
she also wore a Medic Alert bracelet. Mulder asks where the nearest
swimming pool is and they go to the building, where the attendant isn't much
they eventually determine that both women swam there and both had the same
rare blood type. The FBI concludes that it is a black market body
organ harvesting ring, and they proceed to investigate in that mode. An
autopsy of the FBI agent's remains reveals the presence of a powerful drugs
used as a muscle relaxant in animals.
Scully is increasingly
disturbed about her patient, Christian. She goes to Father
Joe 's apartment, urgently asking why he told her to not give up. Was
it about her patient? He has no idea. The words just came to him. As
they talk, Father Joe goes into convulsions. Mulder arrives with
other authorities as the ambulance prepares to take Father Joe to the hospital. Mulder
is surprised that she is there, but she insists that she cannot go back to "the
dark" with Mulder. (Note: Fr. Joe ends up at Scully's hospital for treatment, suggesting that Our Lady of
Sorrows is located in Richmond, Virginia.)
In her office,
Scully Googles stem cell therapy and begins planning a cutting edge surgery
with Christian, even though the hospital administration opposes her. About
this time we also see a fenced compound in West Virginia where the second
victim is locked in a box. The First Abductor is
obviously in bad condition under medical care and other people in the background
appear to be in an improvised surgical room.
In another hospital,
the Second Abductor picks up a human organ provided in a surgery suite.
Police officers there, alerted to the organ harvesting ring, stop him and
question him, but he appears to be legitimate, because his employers really
is in the human organ business. When word gets
back to the FBI, they research him and discover that the man is married in
Massachusetts to another man (the First Abductor) who was one of Father Joe's
victims, years ago and today suffers from many cancers.
her gene therapy procedure on Christian, inserting a fluid deeply into
The FBI gets
a search warrant for the business where the Second Abductor works and while
they are there, the Second Abductor approaches, but slips away. Mulder
and Whitney, however, are outside she see him emerge. They
give chase through nighttime city streets, ending up in a building under
construction, where they become separates. The Second Abductor
pushes Whitney off an open floor and she falls several stories to her death,
and he escapes.
Scully and Mulder
confront Father Joe with photographs of the two. He is mortified, but this
is clearly the connection that has caused the visions. Father
Joe sees the visions as a gift from God to allow him to redeem his
past offenses. Mulder and Scully argue and Mulder appears to decide to leave
Scully, because his search for answers is so important.
Soon after, Christian's
parents tell her that they wish to discontinue the gene therapy on their
son, even though they do not know yet is it is working. They have
been counseled by a priest who has repeatedly urged Scully to NOT use aggressive
treatments, but they say they have decided for themselves. Scully
asks, however, what if the therapy were to actually work?
Mulder goes off
on his own, driving in Scully's car through the area where the women were
kidnapped . He inquires at a feed story whether they
sell the animal muscle relaxant, and they do, but only with a prescription.
The Second Abductor also visits the store, but in a moment of intuition
(or maybe recognizing him through a window), Mulder hides from him and
follows when the pickup with the blade drives away. The Second Abductor
notices Mulder and turns around, using the blade of the pickup to push
the car off an embankment. It rolls several times before coming
to rest. The Second
Abductor drive away, but a hydrolic line on teh snow blade of the truck breaks, dropping the blade to the ground. The Second Abductor leaves the truck and walks back
to the fenced compound.
Scully, in her
office, notices that her computer printer his paused with a document in
memory. When she prints the pages, she finds a report
of some Russian research that amputated a dog's head and attached it to another
dog's body. Father Joe's mention of hearing dogs in his visions causes
Scully to put two and two together. She cannot reach Mulder and phones
Agent Drummy. He refers her to the local police to report Mulder is missing.
Scully flies into a rage and demands to talk to someone who has the fortitude
(not the word she used) to help her.
crawls from his car and begins walking along the snowy road. At the abandoned pickup,
he finds a tire iron and takes it with him for protection. He
comes to the fenced compound and enters, but is attacked by a large dog,
which he injures critically with the tire iron. The Second Abductor
investigates and searches for Mulder. Mulder bursts into the surgery
room where the second victim has been drugged and placed into a vat of
ice water. The
surgeon is doing something to her neck. But Mulder is overcome and,
himself, drugged with the muscle relaxant.
Scully has enlisted
the assistant of FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, her former boss.
They are searching for Mulder and are called to his (Scully's) damaged car.
Mulder is nowhere to be found but they find his cell phone, so they know
he is on his own. They continue driving. Skinner tells Scully not
to worry, that Mulder is obviously OK because he walked away from the car.
Mulder won't do anything stupid, Skinner says. Scully just gives him THAT
look, and Skinner has second thoughts about his statement. As they
drive, Scully shouts to stop. She
has seen a rural mailbox with address 24-2, the citation from the proverb
mentioned by Father Joe. She and Skinner get out and hear dogs barking.
But from what direction?
The Second Abductor
drags Mulder outside to a clopping block which is obviously used to dismember
bodies. Mulder is groggy and can hardly focus, but
he knows he is in trouble. Just as the Second Abductor prepares to drive
the axe into Mulder's chest, Scully strikes him hard with some kind of
blunt object and knocks him out. The first thing he says to her,
in his groggy condition, it "sorry about your car." Skinner,
meanwhile, has entered the surgery room. The First Abductor's head
has been removed from his body and is being kept alive by something similar
to a heart-lung machine. The
doctor has made the first incisions to remove the head of the Second Victim.
Skinner, with his gun, stops them. Scully enters, saying
that Mulder is outside, but immediately realizes that she needs to act to
save the Second Victim. Skinner goes out to Mulder, puts his jacket
around him, and holds him to help warm Mulder as he considers how to get
the dead weight of Mulder inside.
Back at their
rural farm house, Scully is about to leave for work. Father
Joe died at the same instant that his former victim, the First Abductor,
did. The FBI say he was an accomplice, but Mulder thinks that is unfair.
Maybe the visions really were messages from God. Scully is still troubled
about whether to continue her gene therapy on Christian. Mulder
counsels her that she has to decide what feels right. He says that
the two of them could just get out of there. Somewhere where the
darkness won't follow, she asks? Mulder doesn't think it works that
in the hospital, it is clear that Scully is continuing the therapy.
The closing credits
of the movie show repeated stylistic scenes of ice, slowly transitioning
to scenes of ocean, eventually revealing a rowboat. Mulder
is rowing while Scully reclines in the boat in a bikini. They both
wave at the camera.