8.Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. (Season 3, Episode 4)
It was only a matter of time before X Files covered psychics and their powers, and they decided to explore it in Season 3. The episode is light-hearted enough to begin with, (apart from, of course, the discovery of bodies), and there is a healthy dose of snark that goes along with it. From the Stupendous Yappi, to the police, to the fellow FBI, to the villain himself, the characters are almost caricatures, larger-than-life, with Peter Boyle’s Clyde Bruckman as the only human being in the mess of it all.
What follows is not only a murder investigation, but makes you think about Clyde’s gift of seeing how someone is going to die, and whether you would really like to know. His prediction for Scully (“You don’t.”) is something that has been discussed by fans from time to time, and questions of her possible immortality come up again in later episodes. Unfortunately this is something that was never explored in the end of the show, and is only open to speculation (saved from death so many times…).
Clyde’s attempts at living a normal life by selling insurance (something his gift comes in handy for) are upset by Mulder’s insistence that he can help them with their case. He reluctantly does, and it becomes his fate, after all.
Clyde Bruckman: I knew it was you. I know why you’re here. You’re here because you found that woman’s body where I told you it would be. And now you’re convinced I have some kind of psychic power. So while your skeptical lady partner is off performing an autopsy, you came here to ask my help catching this serial murderer.
Honourable mention…Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space” (Season 3, Episode 20)
A great match for Clyde Bruckman’s… is the farcical Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space”. Mulder and Scully retell a bizarre story of their investigation into reported abductions, going by the reports from the supposed victims, to help an author create his latest work of genius.
As Scully tells her story, we see the events unfold, and as other ‘witnesses’ lend their version of events, the tale becomes more and more far-fetched and ridiculous. From the cop’s profanity being ‘bleeped’ (as in, the actors actually use the words ‘bleep’ ‘bleeped’ and ‘bleeping’), to Mulder’s high-pitched “girly scream” and appearing to be a ‘man droid’, to Scully supposedly threatening a witness, to Alex Trebek.. what unfolds is a hilarious and bizarre episode, where we try to separate fact from fiction, and see all the stereotypical reactions and assumptions about alien abduction.
Alien: This is not happening. This is not happening. This is not happening.
Mulder: He said it happened before the abduction. So what if they had sex?
Scully: So we know that it wasn’t an alien who probed her!
Scully: That was Detective Manners. He said they just found your bleeping UFO.
More episodes to come…