The episode starts out simply enough----an office building where a woman is 
delivering mail to the occupants of each floor. It is her nightly route, and she 
is used to it----until she sees a strange man following her. She speeds up, and 
he follows. She gets into an elevator and he follows. She is, needless to say, 
terrified. Finally though, we see the occupants of the elevator change from 
technicolor to black and white, and the man suddenly backs out. The elevator 
doors close behind him, and he starts walking in the other direction---of the 

The elevator suddenly stops. The lights blink. The cables snap, and, in true 
X-files classic spookiness, we watch in half darkness as the terrified occupants 
drop to their death. The mysterious old man (having run down the stairs) is 
waiting for them at the basement floor. And as the elevator doors open to reveal 
a limp, dying hand, he flashes his camera. 

Scully is called into AD Kersch’s office---alone--- while doing background 
checks at her desk with Mulder. She is offered a case with an “up and coming” 
FBI agent Peyton. Peyton is trying to figure out how a crime scene photographer 
(man named Felig) always manages to be at the “crime scene” right after the 
victim dies. He shows Scully photos and tells her he could use her help. Scully 
watches him leave and is suspicious. Kersch then makes it clear---this is NOT 
her and Mulder’s case. Mulder’s career, in Kersch’s opinion, is a lost cause. 
However, he wants to save Scully’s even if, as it would appear, she does not. 
Kersch tells her it could mean promotion. (not in those exact words, but he 
implies it.) Scully closes her eyes and does NOT look happy. 

When she gets back to Mulder, we see that Mulder’s been doing a bit of 
snooping. He’s got the crime scene photos that Peyton showed Scully on his 
computer. He seems a little perturbed that she’s going to be working on an X 
file without him----and with a new partner. He emphasizes that. She tells him 
no----this is only a one time shot. Peyton comes in, and introductions are made. 
Scully leaves with Peyton for NY, and Mulder looks sad. 

Meanwhile, the old man manages to catch another photo op. ----A young kid is 
beaten and murdered for his shoes. Felig (the photographer) goes and takes some 
photos. He is stabbed, and his camera is taken. However, he pulls the knife 
out and walks away. 

Scully and Peyton do some digging. Apparently, it seems like this 
photographer doesn’t age. All his ID photos----from the 60’s and onward all 
look almost exactly the same. 

Next day, Peyton and Scully are called to the crime scene. Scully notices 
blood on the pavement, and asks to have it checked. The knife from the stabbing 
was left behind also. 

Fenig is questioned by Scully and Peyton. Peyton wants to bring the guy in 
for murder, and Scully notices he acts like he’s in pain. When she checks the 
marks on his back, she sees stab wounds that are almost healed. That puzzles 
her---the wounds are only a day old. Fenig is released then, with only minimal 
evidence (his prints on the knife) but when the wounds on his back are revealed, 
they let him go. Peyton is FURIOUS. He wants to catch the guy for murder. 
Scully isn’t so sure.  

That’s when Mulder calls. “Hi, this is Fox Mulder. I’m looking for Dana 
Scully---she used to sit behind me at the FBI…” 

Scully manages a half smile at that. Mulder asks her how her “X File” is 
going, even though she insists it isn’t one. Mulder admits he’s been snooping 
again, and tells her he knows about the marks on the guy’s back. He tells her 
not to let Felig get away---to watch him. 

Peyton and Scully go on surveillence, and Scully is left by herself to watch 
Fenig’s apt. She hears a noise, and notices a camera flashing. She goes up to 
talk to Fenig, then asks him what is going on---they think he’s a murderer. 
Felig takes Scully with him on a little “excursion.” 

They go downtown, and Felig finds what he’s looking for---he tells Scully 
that the prostitute they’re looking at is going to die. She tells him 
no---whatever he’s planning, noone is going to die. He insists that he doesn’t 
“plan” anything. “He” just takes them. Who is “he?” Scully asks, but Fenig 
doesn’t respond. 

The woman is soon hassled by a thug, and Scully gets out to break it up. The 
woman walks away in disgust, and is hit by a truck. Scully watches, horrified. 
Felig takes photos from his car, and leaves. 

Next day, Peyton approaches Scully, FURIOUS that she left with Fenig---that 
she let him go. They argue, and he insists that he will bring Felig in for 
murder. He’s going to tell Kersch about this, and tells her he should have seen 
it coming, considering her and her partner’s track record. He calls her “dana.” 
“Scully,” she corrects him coldly. 

That’s when Mulder calls. He tells her that Felig is about 150 years 
old----he did a background check. He’s also discovered that Alfred Felig has 
not always been Alfred Felig. He’s gone by a few other aliases as well. Mulder 
tells Scully to go and see the guy---“before he vanishes and becomes someone 

Scully goes to see Felig. She asks him about what’s going on, and he insists 
that he doesn’t kill people. She wants to know why he has such little regard 
for human life. He tells her that he takes photos of death so that he can 
confront it. She notices a photo marked with the name “Lois Brady.” Leaving the 
room, she asks Mulder to check it out. He agrees. She tells him that she’s 
going to stay----to make sure that Felig won’t “bolt.” 

Scully re-enters Felig’s dark room, and he bumps into her---taking her cell 
phone without her noticing. He switches it off and hides it. 

Mulder goes to the FBI archives and looks up “brady.” He discovers that Lois 
Brady was wanted for murder---that Felig changed his name to escape charges. 
Felig really IS a murderer. Mulder bolts from the archive, gathering papers, and 
desperately tries to get ahold of Scully. When he gets ahold of Peyton, he 
orders the man to find Scully----Felig is a murder---but don’t ask him to give 
out details. Peyton is confused, but agrees. Fearing for Scully, Mulder bolts 
from the office.  
Scully asks Felig about his “being able to live forever.” She insists that 
she doesn’t believe him. He thinks she does----or else, why would she be there? 
He tells her he’s tried to kill himself numerous times, but he never dies. He 
hopes to see death and look into it, so that he can die. Scully tells him that 
he has something most people would love to have: immortality. He says that most 
people are idiots. 

“What about love?” Scully asks softly. 

“what?” Felig asks. “Does that last forever?” 

He tells her that he can’t remember his wife’s name. He says, “Love doesn’t 
last forever and believe me, you don’t want to be there when it’s gone.” 

Scully closes her eyes painfully, and sighs. (wonder what she’s thinking 
about…) And that’s when Felig notices it----Scully has turned black and 
white---the color of death. He looks at her, disturbed. (It’s obvious he’s 
taken a liking to her…) 

“Count your blessings,” he says to a very confused agent Scully. 

Scully asks him about what happened to make him this way, and Felig tells his 
story: He tells her of the yellow fever, and how he almost died in a hospital. 
He tells her that he was so close to death, he could see it sucking the life out 
from others. Then, he saw it looking at him. But he closed his eyes 
then----didn’t look, and held the hand of the nurse who was comforting him. 
When he awoke, she was dead. ----He had given her his death, by wishing it away 
from him. All the while, he’s loading his camera. 

“I missed my chance,” he tells Scully. “You’re very lucky.” 

He tells her to be careful what she wishes for… 

Suddenly, Scully gets it----he thinks she’s about to die. She orders him to 
turn the camera off---to put it away. She is clearly upset. They fight over the 
camera, and Scully handcuffs felig to the table. She looks at her watch, 
nervously, fishing for her cell. It’s gone. She demands to know why. 

“make peace with him,” Felig says. 

“SHUT UP!” Scully yells. 

There is the sound of a door opening, and then Felig says “he’s here.” 

A light shines into the dark room, and the camera’s flash is turned on. 
Scully shades her eyes to see; it’s the sillohette of Peyton. He sees Felig 
and shoots, getting him in the chest---through the camera. Felig begins to 
slump, and Peyton lowers his gun, noticing a person behind Felig----Scully. 

Scully stares ahead in mortification and shock, as we watch her slump to the 
ground also----blood smearing up the wall behind her. The bullet pierced Felig 
and got Scully as well. 

Peyton is horrified. “No, no no no no no ,” he says, (more like he fears for 
his job now, rather than her safety…)as he checks her for a pulse (she looks 
pretty catatonic by this point.) He calls 911. Felig lowers his camera (which is 
ruined) and picks up another from the table next to him. But as he looks at her, 
he realizes that he can’t do it. He realizes why the picture taking never 

“don’t look at him,” he tells a barely sentient Scully. “Close your eyes.” 

Scully does, painfully, and Felig takes her hand. Death is transferred from 
her into him, and Felig closes his eye, a moment of content stark on his face. 

Later in the hospital, Mulder watches as Kersch and Peyton speak with Scully 
in her hospital room. Peyton leaves, and Mulder looks at him coldly on the way 

“You’re a lucky man,” he tells Peyton gravely, warningly. 

Peyton only nods and walks off. Kersch exits. Mulder enters, a soft smile on 
his face. Scully forces one on her own as he walks over to her, taking her 
hand---their fingertips lightly running over each other. He tells her about 
Felig---how he died of a single gunshot wound. Then, a bright smile on his face, 
he utters words to Scully that seem to make her pale: 

“The doctor says you’re making the fastest recovery he’s ever seen.” 

She tells him that she doesn’t understand how she ever could have 
“entertained” the notion. 

“People don’t live forever.” 

Scully then looks away, as if she’s about to cry. But Mulder tells her he 
thinks Felig would have: 

“I think that death only looks for you, once you’ve achieved its opposite.” 

Well, as far as shippiness goes, this episode was not the most conducive to 
the “Mulder/Scully love” dynamic. However, Mulder’s concerns for Scully, his 
missing her while she’s away on assignment, and his happiness at her recovery 
are very real. They are almost “friendshippy” in nature, but they’re there. 
The shippiest part of this episode, in my opinion, was the end---when Mulder and 
Scully held hands in her hospital bed. It wasn’t as if they JUST held hands. He 
didn’t squeeze her hand supportively, or just take it, he intertwined his 
fingers in hers, and they turned each others palms over gently----caressing 
their thumbs to one another-----like they were trying to communicate on a higher 
level. And now, call me crazy, but I DOUBT that would have happened, had Scully 
been a man. 

But my real focus here, what made this episode the SUPERB X File that it was, 
was the way it was played out. The story, and the many levels that it touched. 
On one level, we had death; horrificley taking those who were innocent and 
unsuspecting. And then here was this man, taking photos of death, trying so 
desperately to look into it and get back what he lost; his own chance to die. 
Through him, we see what happens, when the most coveted gift in this world; 
eternal life, turns out not to be a gift at all, but a punishment. What 
happens, when you wish to live, because you’re too cowardly to die? Outliving 
loved ones, never getting to move beyond life, to end it. Because after awhile, 
it seems, there just isn’t anything left when you’re alone. Love, after there is 
nobody left, really DOESN’T last forever… But is that REALLY what eternal life 
is? Lonliness? Is it not something to be coveted, but rather, feared? 

“Be careful what you wish for,” Felig tells Scully. So, did he mean that he 
was being punished by closing his eyes? By wishing death away? For wishing it 
onto another person? Is that what the divine irony of life really is? Eternal 
life, as a fate worse than death? 

In the end, that would appear to be the case. Which brings us to the next 
level of this episode, which was the (alluded, assumed) tie-in to the also 
wonderful “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” and the subject of death, as it 
pertains to Agent Scully. (If you’ll remember, that was the episode about the 
old man---who also got attached to Scully-----and who could see HOW people were 
going to die, but not when…) Scully had asked Clyde(in that episode) “How DO I 

Clyde’s cryptic answer was, “You don’t.” 

At the time, the response puzzled Scully, but now, it suddenly seems clear. 
Could it be that the end of this episode was really just an allusion to that 
single line? How DOES Scully die, anyway? Well, apparently, she doesn’t. 

After all, Scully closed her eyes and cheated death----she looked away and 
gave her death to Felig. She wished for life, and she got it. But remember what 
Felig said? Be careful what you wish for… 

SCULLY: “Ok, how do I die?” 

CLYDE BRUCKMAN: “You don’t…” 

But perhaps most incriminating, (supportive of this theory) was Mulder’s 
admission that not only was Felig dead, but that Scully was making “The fastest 
recovery the doctor had ever seen.” (remember Felig’s fast healing stab 
wounds?) At these words, Scully looks away, not happy as she should be, but 
clearly pained and sad. From this vantage point, we can only imagine that 
Scully is remembering Felig’s words, “I gave up my chance. I held her hand and 
when I woke up, she was under a yellow sheet.” 

Perhaps Scully realizes that she cheated death; that she is alive and, 
subsequently, Felig is dead. So though Scully is ever the skeptic, she can’t 
help but remember Felig’s lonely tale of outliving love, outliving the joy of 
life; of punishment because he was not “careful” about what he wished for. At 
the end, Scully’s words to Mulder, “People don’t live forever,” is not REALLY 
meant as a statement for him. Rather, it’s a statement directed towards herself; 
to convince herself that it isn’t possible. That it really WONT happen to her. 
Because, although Scully would never admit it, the idea (although fantastic and 
somewhat implausible within the realm of science) terrifies her. Thus, those 
words are her way of remaining “the skeptic.” It’s her way of calming her 
fears. Of denying it----or banishing the thought as trivial, whichever way 
she’d prefer it. Of course though, she’d never tell this to Mulder… 

Yet another stand point, was the way death was looked at: black and white, 
and opposed to the vivid colors of life. Those about to be killed turned shades 
of black, white, and grey, signifying that they were about to be robbed of their 
“color.” (life.) Of course though, the twist here, was that Felig saw DEATH, 
rather than LIFE as the more “colorful” option. He would have given anything to 
be black and white, to be one of the pictures he so carefully crafted, but he 
was always in color; his perpetual punishment. 

And finally, the acting in this episode was SUPERB. Fantastic. Namely, (the 
stand outs) that of the lovely and talented Gillian Anderson, and Geoferry Lewis 
who played Alfred Felig. This was a very emotional , touchy episode, and it was 
carried out with the utmost care and quality. Hats off to both Gillian and Mr. 

So, I give this episode full star value, because it was, without a doubt, one 
of the best I’ve seen in ages. It just goes to prove that the X files is STILL a 
force to be reckoned with; A TV show still able to turn out spooky, chilling, 
and (in this case) classic episodes. And though I still love their new style of 
comedy and quasi-romance, it was refreshing to get back to what the X Files 
really does best: turning out superb spookiness with characters you can’t help 
but care about and root for. 

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