Dedicated to the Skin Man Mitch Pileggi: The K Files Investigates Avatar | The K Files | The X Files Podcast | Case File 336

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Dedicated to the Skin Man Mitch Pileggi: The K Files Investigates Avatar | The K Files | The X Files Podcast | Case File 336


We’ve never been shy about our admiration for Assistant Director Walter Skinner’s real life counterpart, Mitch Pileggi, but today we let our flag fly freely: we’re investigating Avatar. Avatar is notable because it’s the first episode that gives us a glimpse inside Skinner’s beautiful bald head (and heart) – one of the few supporting characters to live and play in all of the original seasons, both feature films, and the most recent miniseries (and on into X Files eternity, one hopes).

In this episode, the Skin Man awakes to find he is the victim of a prostitute/murder conspiracy and  potential succubus encounter, while Mulder and Scully try to figure out what’s eating Walter Skinner. They don’t uncover any concrete answers, but this is only the first time the AD appears in the files, so, give it time.

Open the file below:


Plot (Spoilers):

FBI assistant director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) is given divorce papers from his wife, Sharon, after seventeen years of marriage. At a bar, he meets an attractive woman named Carina Sayles (Amanda Tapping); the two engage in a one night stand. However, after the tryst, Skinner has a nightmare of an old woman in bed with him. He awakens to find Sayles dead, her head twisted completely around.

As the murder investigation unfolds, Skinner tells agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) not to get involved. He refuses to take a polygraph test and is viewed as a suspect. Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) examines Sayles’ corpse, finding a phosphorescent glow around her lips. Mulder finds out that Sayles was a prostitute and interviews her madam, who claims that Skinner’s credit card number was collected the previous night.

Skinner sees the old woman looking at him on a city street. However, when he pursues the old woman, he instead finds Sharon. The agents talk to Sharon, who says that the marriage failed because of Skinner’s emotional distance. Scully learns that Skinner had been receiving treatment for a sleep disorder, in which he apparently had dreams about being suffocated in bed by an old woman. She fears that Skinner may have unwittingly killed Sayles in his sleep. However, Mulder believes that Skinner may be having visions of a succubus, a female demon, with the mention of similar symptoms of people’s bad dreams they’ve experienced.

Sharon visits Skinner at his home. After she leaves he falls asleep, seeing the old woman again. He awakens as detectives enter the house, telling him Sharon has been run off the road and severely injured. Skinner admits to Mulder that he saw the woman during his experience in Vietnam, but passed it off as being due to drugs. It is revealed that The Smoking Man is observing their conversation through the one-way mirror of the interrogation room.

Mulder investigates the airbag on Skinner’s car, which was the one used to hit Sharon. Scully defends Skinner to the Office of Professional Responsibility, but it does no good and he is fired. Mulder believes this was done to weaken the X-Files. Mulder, with the help of Agent Pendrell finds a face imprint in the airbag which is not Skinner’s. He goes to see the prostitute’s boss again but discovers that she has been murdered. The agents hope to use Judy, an employee who saw the man who actually hired the prostitute and use her to set up another meeting with him. They agree to meet at the Ambassador Hotel in an hour. Skinner goes to see his wife, telling her why he could not sign the divorce papers. An alarm on Sharon’s vital sign monitor starts sounding, but as Skinner is about to run for help, the old woman once again takes the place of Sharon, beckoning him to come closer. As Skinner leans in, he sees his wife again, now awakened from the coma; she says something inaudible to him.

Mulder waits in the hotel bar while Scully guards Judy in a hotel room. The assassin enters the room to attack them but is quickly killed by Skinner, who was also there. The dead man’s identity is unknown. Skinner returns to work, declining to say to Mulder how he knew to be at the hotel. After Mulder leaves, he reaches into his drawer and puts his wedding ring back on. – Wiki


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