written by David Amann
SKINNER: Ravens. What do you know about them -- their mythological or... paranormal significance?
MULDER: Well, the, uh... th-the raven is considered a-a very powerful symbol in certain Norse, Celtic and Native American cultures uh, mostly, a negative one. Indians view it as a deceiving spirit, Christianity mostly associates it with evil and, then, of course, there's Poe's raven and, "nevermore," an-and all that stuff.
MULDER: According to your Audubon book here a raven has four talons. That matches the scratches we found on Martha Crittendon's mantel.
SHERIFF PHIL ADDERLY: You're not saying a raven's the reason Martha's gone missing?
MULDER: No, no. Not... not a raven itself. But, in folklore, ravens are companions to evil-- evil spirits, witches, warlocks-- that kind of thing.
SHERIFF PHIL ADDERLY: Agent Mulder, I appreciate the different tack you're taking on this investigation, but this whole bird thing...? And keep in mind you're basing this on the word of a seven-year-old girl.
MULDER: Well, there was also a broken mirror in Martha's house. Mirrors are considered items of enchantment. A broken one … means something. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it means something.
MULDER: Mirrors are considered doorways. In the Victorian Era, they built mirrored rooms called psychomantiums where they thought they could summon forth spirits from the spirit world. Denizens from the spirit world were brought into this world.
SHERIFF PHIL ADDERLY: Denizens... of the spirit world.
MULDER: Well, you asked about the raven, right? The raven is a carrion bird attracted to death and decay. What if this entity that you saw is somehow a personification of that? What if this creature was brought forth in order to attack Martha? Then the question becomes, "who summoned it forth?"
SCULLY: Mulder, when you find me dead, my desiccated corpse propped up staring lifelessly through the telescope at drunken frat boys peeing and vomiting into the gutter just know that my last thoughts were of you and how I'd like to kill you.
ELLEN ADDERLY: Whenever my life's a mess, I just do some housework. It gives me the illusion I'm in control.
MULDER: Well, maybe I should try that sometime.
SCULLY: Mulder? I am free.
MULDER: You're free?
SCULLY: Mm-hmm. I'm going to go home, take a shower for, I don't know eight or nine hours, burn the clothes that I'm wearing and then... sleep until late spring.
MULDER: Oh, you solved the X-File.
SCULLY: Yes, except it's not an X-File, Mulder.
MULDER: What are you saying? You didn't catch our blond mystery serial killer?
SCULLY: Oh, no, we caught her, but she isn't a serial killer nor is she a blonde, and she isn't even a she.
MULDER: What are you talking about?
SCULLY: What I'm talking about is the six missing prostitutes aren't dead, Mulder. They are alive and well in a halfway house that was set up by this mystery blond who happens to go by the name of Mark Scott Egbert and Mr. Egbert wishes to acquaint lost souls with the teachings of Christ and that's his hook, I guess. He dresses up like a fellow prostitute to make the girls feel at ease but this vanishing act is no more paranormal than a change of wardrobe, Mulder. He goes into a place like a, like a woman and he comes out as a man, right under...
MULDER: … our noses.
SCULLY: Exactly. A wolf in sheep's clothing or I guess, in this case, a sheep in wolf's clothing.
SHERIFF PHIL ADDERLY: Doctors say she's got some kind of... dissociative disorder, split personality. That doesn't explain what happened, does it?
MULDER: I think it's about as close as science can come. I think the basic idea is right. There are some multiple personality disorders where an alternate personality displays traits that the host doesn't have -- like nearsightedness or high blood pressure or even diabetes.