When Mulder's mysterious source gives him a tip on a case, Mulder is nonplussed to discover that it is already being investigated by another agent, one Alex Krycek. The case involves a noted sleep scientist who shows every sign of having burned to death—except without any fire. Mulder and his new partner must work together to uncover a government atrocity 24 years in the making—but is Krycek all that he appears?
- Anti-Villain: Preacher has been left with a decidedly skewed idea of retribution by the experiments that were performed on him against his will, removing his ability to sleep but not his exhaustion from sleeplessness.
- Do with Him as You Will
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Surprisingly subverted. The climax scene starts out as Cole stares at a jagged pipe below him and contemplates suicide by jumping for it. When he is shot by Krycek, he doesn't lose his balance and fall over backwards to be impaled by the pipe, despite what the lingering shot of the pipe heavily suggested, but he collapses sideways and bleeds out on the floor.
- The Insomniac
- I Work Alone: Mulder says the exact words to Krycek.
- Just Following Orders: Dr. Girardi says that of his participation in the experiments. Cole doesn't buy it.
- Mysterious Informant: We meet X in the flesh for the first time this episode
- The Reveal: Krycek is a mole for the Cigarette Smoking Man.
- Scary Black Man: Tony Todd, no less. Averted with X, however.
- Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet: Done intentionally by the victim with a bible.
- The Sleepless: The "cannot sleep" variant.
- Your Mind Makes It Real