Unruhe | The K Files | The X Files Podcast | Case File 203
Katie and new co-host, Kryzzalia Lopez, are disturbed by the dark psyche at play in monster of the week episode, Unruhe, and reveal big news for The K Files and announce special Comic-Con 2015 coverage details.
Open the case file below:
“Unruhe” is the fourth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 27, 1996, and was the first episode to air on Sunday night when the show was moved from Fridays to Sundays. “Unruhe” was written by Vince Gilligan, directed by Rob Bowman, and featured a guest appearance from Pruitt Taylor Vince. The episode is a “Monster-of-the-Week” story, unconnected to the series’ wider mythology. “Unruhe” earned a Nielsen rating of 11.7, being watched by 19.10 million people upon its initial broadcast.
The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files. In this episode, Mulder and Scully investigate a man who kidnaps women and lobotomizes them. The agents’ only clues to catching him are distorted photos of the victims taken just before their kidnapping.
Gilligan wrote the episode after being inspired by stories of serial killers he read as a child. Other inspirations include the concept of thought-photographs, and common fears associated with dentist chairs. The episode received a generally positive reception, though critics criticized the plotline featuring Scully being kidnapped. Critical attention also expressed a positive opinion of how scary the episode was in nature. Guest actor Taylor Vince received positive reviews as the episode’s antagonist.
In Traverse City, Michigan, Mary Lefante goes to a local pharmacy to get her passport photo taken. Realizing she has forgotten her wallet, she returns to her car and finds that her boyfriend has been murdered. The killer, clad in a hooded raincoat, renders Lefante unconscious with a hypodermic needle, then kidnaps her. Meanwhile, in the pharmacy, the elderly clerk peels open Lefante’s developed photo, which shows her screaming amidst a distorted background.
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are assigned to the case. Discussing the photograph, Mulder tells Scully about Ted Serios, who was famous for making photos which showed what was in his mind. He takes pictures of his gloved hand using a camera found in Lefante’s apartment, and they all appear the same as the one from the pharmacy. Mulder deduces that the kidnapper has been stalking his victims.
Lefante is found wandering on a roadside, but appears to have been given an improperly-performed lobotomy. Another woman, Alice Brandt, is later kidnapped. She wakes up bound to a dentist’s chair, with her kidnapper brandishing an ice pick and speaking in German. Mulder returns to Washington, D.C. to digitally analyze the photos and finds no evidence that they were doctored. By closely examining the photos, he finds the face of an old man as well as the shadow of the kidnapper, who appears to be abnormally tall.
Scully, finding a construction company referenced at both crime scenes, investigates the possible lead, meeting Gerry Schnauz (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who worked near both scenes of the kidnapping. Schnauz, who is wearing stilts that make him very tall, attempts to flee, but Scully pursues and arrests him. The agents interrogate Schnauz, who was once institutionalized for beating his father with an axe handle in retaliation for the abuse his sister suffered at their father’s hands. When questioned on the location of Brandt, Schnauz claims she is safe from the “howlers”. Brandt is soon found in the woods, lobotomized. Mulder believes that Schnauz thinks he is rescuing his victims from howlers and that the photos show his nightmares.
Schnauz escapes police custody by killing an officer and then robs the pharmacy from the opening, taking the passport photo camera, film, and an assortment of drug-related materials. While investigating the robbery, Scully is rendered unconscious and kidnapped by Schnauz. Mulder heads to the office where Schnauz’s father used to work as a dentist, and finds the exam chair missing. Scully awakens bound to the chair with Schnauz claiming he’s going to kill the howlers in her head. Schnauz takes a photo of himself, the result of which greatly disturb him, then prepares to lobotomize Scully. Mulder, having found a clue in a photo of Scully from the drugstore’s photo booth, finds a trailer in a cemetery and realizes it belongs to Schnauz. He manages to break in and shoot Schnauz in the nick of time. Mulder looks at the photo Schnauz took of himself, in which he is lying dead on the floor.
The Truth is Already Here.