Recap / The X-Files S04 E04 "Unruhe"

Mulder and Scully investigate a series of abductions in which the perpetrator leaves behind photographs of his victims surrounded by spectral images.


  • Anti-Villain: What Gerry does to his victims is truly nightmarish, but he's got a pretty big Freudian Excuse lurking in his past driving him to do it, and he believes that he's helping his victims overcome their "unrest."
  • Distress Ball: Scully gets kidnapped.
  • Eye Scream: Gerry Schnauz gives a transorbital lobotomy to troubled women, believing that it will help them. It used to be known as an icepick lobotomy and it involves inserting a leucotome through the eye sockets. Argh!
  • Foreign Language Title: The title of the episode "Unruhe" is the German word for unrest, anxiety, unease, disquietude or restlessness.
  • Gratuitous German: There are many German lines, courtesy of Gerry and Scully.
  • Haunted Technology: Photography that can capture what's inside people's minds.
  • Lobotomy: Gerry is a serial lobotomist. He thinks he's helping his victims and that he removes their inner demons. One girl is found dead and one is alive, apathetic and unable to speak.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Gerry's father's dental office has been untouched since his death.
  • Police Are Useless: One of the series' notable aversions, the local authorities play a major role in Mulder and Scully's investigation rather than obstructing or ridiculing it.
  • Spooky Photographs: Of the foreboding type. They capture the victims' and Gerry's mind, leaving clues about their whereabouts. Played with a bit in that Mulder assumes that the shadows being cast in the photos are the shadow of the killer as he looms over his victims, dominating them — but it turns out it's because Gerry perceives his victims as being tormented by "the howlers," which in turn don't actually exist.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Gerry has the most useless psychic superpower ever: unconsciously imprinting his schizophrenic delusions onto undeveloped film.