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Recap / The X Files S 09 E 08 Hellbound

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Season 9, Episode 08:

"You can't stop it. You never do. You always fail. It's your lot."
Written by David Amann
Directed by Kim Manners

Reyes: What I'm saying is, this man was skinned alive just hours after describing it in exact detail.
Doggett: Maybe he could describe it because maybe somebody threatened him.
Reyes: He said it came in a dream, or a vision according to the woman who last spoke to him.

A man is murdered by being skinned alive after recounting a dream foreshadowing the event. Doggett and Reyes investigate.


  • The Atoner: The souls of the four original killers, when born again, try to atone for their past sins by doing good but the vengeful victim won't let them.
  • Flaying Alive: The killer's preferred method of murdering shown in full glory.
  • Police Are Useless: The crimes go unsolved for centuries and keep repeating. That's because the cop is the killer in each case.
  • Red Herring: Ed is not the killer, despite his abrasive attitude.
  • Revenge: The killer's motivation. Except he was murdered in a past form by different people and people who got born again with those souls just counts as Revenge by Proxy.
  • Reincarnation: Four men murdered a man by skinning him alive over a land dispute in 1868. The victim and the killers were born again. The victim then murdered the killers by skinning them alive, then killed himself to repeat the cycle. Ultimately, the killer is born as a cop resulting in the crimes always going unsolved.
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  • You Can't Fight Fate: Yeah, those murders? They're going to keep happening. Despite their best efforts, Doggett and Reyes ultimately changed nothing. The original victim reincarnated yet again, and the cycle will repeat.

Scully: Well, maybe in this life you succeed.
Reyes: Maybe.