MULDER'S ONLY HOPE OF STOPPING A PSYCHOTIC KILLER ARE PSYCHIC PHOTOGRAPHS THAT REVEAL THE MADMAN'S DARKEST FANTASIES.
Northern Michigan. A young woman is kidnapped and her boyfriend murdered. Her passport photographs, taken only moments earlier, don't show the expected smiling portraits. Instead, they display nightmarish images of the terrified girl.
The photographs fascinate Mulder. Scully tries to find a logical explanation: the pictures were planted, or the film is damaged. But to Mulder, they are an example of "psychic photography": the paranormal ability to create images on film with the mind. Mulder theorizes that the suspect doesn't even know he possesses this gift...and that the photographs reveal the killer's darkest fantasies.
The kidnap victim is found: alive, but almost brain-dead. Her abductor had given her a primitive, botched lobotomy with an ice pick inserted through her eyes. Her mind almost gone, she endlessly repeats the word "unruhe.": the German word for "trouble" or "unrest." Soon, the kidnapper abducts and kills again.
Scully realizes that the same construction company had job sites near each crime scene. While Mulder is in Washington to examine the photos at the FBI labs, Scully follows up on her lead. She knows foreman Gerry Schnauz is the kidnapper by his terrified reaction to the word "unruhe." She arrests him.
Schnauz is a formerly institutionalized paranoid schizophrenic with a history of violence. When confronted by the photographs of his victims, he's startled at the sight of his own paranoid delusions brought to life on film. Admitting the crime, he tells them where to find his other victim. She too has been lobotomized.
Schnauz kills a guard and escapes from jail. He returns to the scene of the first crime to steal the camera and film. Mulder's blood runs cold when he sees exposed photographs of Schnauz's next victim: Scully! Now, Mulder's only hope of saving her is studying the photos to get deep inside Schnauz's mind.
In captivity, Scully, too, must use everything she knows about Schnauz to keep herself alive. But she can't talk him out of his delusions. It won't be long before he wields the icepick to rid Scully of the "unruhe" he believes is tormenting her.
Mulder's insight into the madman's mind leads him to Schnauz's dark den. With hardly a moment to spare, he shoots Scully's kidnapper. And finds one last series of psychic photographs: Schnauz -- shot dead on the floor.