It is so funny. Watching True Blood, William Sanderson is the sheriff. I was looking at what X•Files to watch from the second season, and Blood just kind of stood out. So I popped in the DVD and gave it a fresh look-see. There was poor Sanderson, being laid off from his job, cutting his finger, and seeing murderous readouts anywhere there's a machine operational when blood resurrects a phobia that encourages burgeoning homicidal tendencies...but is it just blood? Before the first readout, Sanderson had never went crazy. Why now?
When a security guard in an elevator massacres those inside with him due to an influx of claustrophobia and a woman with intense rape phobia kills her auto mechanic, as both saw hallucinations of mechanical readouts telling them to kill others around them immediately; Mulder starts putting together quite an extraordinary hypothesis regarding insecticide on crops linked to mind tricks. Scully is involved when examining the bodies of those who went crazy. The rape phobic woman slashes Mulder on the arm and the local sheriff has to shoot her. Speaking of the sheriff, John Cygan has a nifty character. He's quite wise, intuitive, and humble. He isn't resistant to Mulder but appreciative of his reputation as a criminal profiler and receptive of his investigative results. I mean pesticides linked to hallucinatory killing is quite a leap to take but when sad sack Sanderson goes Charles Whitman (hearkening back to also Targets) aiming a rifle at a blood drive station, Mulder's theory earns merit. He'll scale a clocktower in order to find Sanderson, hoping to stop him.
Sadly, Scully has little to do but coroner work. She, of course, disputes Mulder's theory. Mulder aiming his claims of the cause of the murders on pesticides causes a stir, and Scully not completely sold on it does hurt his credibility.
Still the creepy readouts and Sanderson, pitiable and vulnerable, unable to withstand the blood phobia hallucinatory subliminal urges to kill, certainly give this episode serious potency. Mulder seems bored and underwhelmed. I think you can see he's not in a good place. He still solves a seemingly inexplicable rash of crimes. The sheriff aware of the dubious arrival of twenty deaths when the town had been safe and pleasant for so long prior to them is attune to possibilities lesser law enforcement might not be. He listens to Mulder, respects him. Gosh, it was refreshing.