In New York City, a man follows an office worker who is delivering mail to various offices. On an elevator, he sees her and the other passengers in black and white. Leaving the elevator, he runs down stairs to the basement and the elevator malfunctions, free falling down the shaft. The man photographs the bodies.
Agent Scully is assigned to work with agent Payton Ritter, from the New York City office. He has discovered crime scene photographs in which a clock shows a time before the crime was reported to police. There are other similar instances and Ritter believed the photographer, Alfred Felig, may be committing the crimes. Mulder believes it to be an X-Files, but Scully denies it, and goes off to New York. In New York, Scully determines that Felig has been a freelance crime scene photographer for many years. His departmental paperwork goes back to 1964, and photographs from the years in between show that Felig does not appear to have aged. That night, Felig witnesses a crime in which a mugger tries to steal an expensive pair of shoes from a jogger. The Jogger is killed and when Felig approaches to take his picture, the mugger returns, stabbing Felig several times. Felig pulls out the knife, gets up and walks away.
Police find Felig's fingerprints on the knife left at the murder scene and call him in for questioning. Under questioning from Scully, Felig admits he was present and was wounded. He opens his shirt to show the wounds and they are hardly more than scratches. Mulder is intercepting reports Ritter is sending Assistant Director Kersh and offers to do a background check on Felig for Scully. Meanwhile, Ritter stakes out Felig's apartment. When Scully takes over for her shift, she realizes that Felig knows he is being watched. She goes to his door and confronts him. Felig agrees to explain things to Scully if she will go for a ride in his car. After driving for an hour, Felig sees a prostitute on the street and tells Scully the woman is about to die, but he doesn't know how. A man approaches the prostitute and begins giving her trouble. Scully runs to arrest him, the prostitute says "I'm out of here," and steps into the street in front of a truck, which kills her. Felig drives off, leaving Scully at the accident scene.
Ritter doesn't believe Felig's story and accuses Scully of messing up his case. Mulder reports to Scully that he has found several fingerprints matching Felig's dating back 149 years. Scully returns to Felig's home and accuses him of profiting from other people's deaths. Felig makes clear that he is unable to die and is trying to catch Death in the act of taking people. He shows Scully one photograph in which he thinks he caught a glimpse of Death in physical form. He feels he is left out of something all other people expierence because he cannot die. He tells of the Yellow Fever epidemic. He was in a hospital ward and saw Death moving among the beds, but he looked away and Death took a nurse instead. Scully sees one of Felig's photographs from 1929 with the name Lewis Brady and calls Mulder to check out the name. In the archives, Mulder finds a photograph to show that Lewis was also Felig, and that he was convicted to killing two people but escaped from prison. Felig has taken and turned off Scully's cell phone, and now he sees Scully in black and white, indicating the she will soon die.
Mulder cannot reach Scully, so he calls Ritter, who is on his way to Felig's apartment. From Felig's comments, Scully realizes that he thinks she is about to die. Scully handcuffs Felig to a table but Ritter bursts into the room, shooting Felig. The bullet passes through Felig and hits Scully. As they both bleed, Felig tells her to close her eyes and not look at Death. He does look at Death, however, and dies.
One week later, Scully is at New York University Medical Center, recovering from her wound. Ritter is in trouble for shooting Scully. The coroner's report said only that Felig died of a single gunshot wound. Mulder tells Scully that he doesn't think Felig would have ever died naturally. [The date for this episode is given as Ritter prepares the tape recorder to record Felig's police interview.]