Recap: The X Files S 09 E 14 Scary Monsters

FBI Agent Layla Harrison contacts Scully with what she thinks is an X-File: a woman had (apparently) stabbed herself to death, but Harrison thinks she was killed by monsters her son saw. Scully is unconvinced, but Harrison ropes Doggett and Reyes in and the three of them go up to see the son, who is with his father in a remote cabin. When they get there they find themselves unable to leave, and the monsters may or may not be more real than anyone thought.


  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The bugs look to be about the size of a grown man's forearm.
  • Character Shilling: Agent Harrison says at the end that Doggett was better equipped to handle the situation than even Mulder would have been, since Mulder would have believed in the monsters and thus made himself vulnerable to them. (It's not too obnoxious, though, given that this was well into Doggett's run on the show and the audience generally liked him.)
  • Chest Burster: Tommy can make people think this is what's happening to the point that they cut themselves open to get at what's inside them. But it's all in their heads.
  • Creepy Child: Tommy Conlon.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Doggett uses the fact that Tommy believes in the things he's creating against him by dousing the house with water but pretending it's gasoline and "lighting it on fire." Tommy sees real flames, and shuts down his power to save himself.
  • Hydra Problem: Doggett shoots one of the bugs in two with his gun, but both halves grow their missing parts back, so now there are two bugs to deal with.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Tommy draws things and they become real.
  • Power Pincers: Some of the bugs have these.
  • Tears of Blood: Agent Harrison sheds these when Tommy targets her.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    Agent Harrison: I have to say, it's clear to me now that you were better-equipped for this challenge than even Agent Mulder would have been. I mean your lack of imagination saved our lives.
    Doggett: Gee, thanks.
    Agent Harrison: That... didn't come out right, did it?
  • Things That Go Bump in the Night: Tommy is afraid of these.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Doggett's inability to believe in the monsters ultimately protects him from them.