The X-files

Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
Episode: 3X04
First aired:10/13/95
Written by: Darin Morgan
Directed by: David Nutter

A very famous episode.

A man brutally attacks a fortune teller asking her why he is doing the things he will be doing.

The fortune teller is found with her eyes and entrails cut out, the latest in a string of murders involving psychics. Mulder and Scully arrive at the scene only to find the police have called upon the Studpendous Yappi, a TV psychic, who prances about the room. Yappi stops abruptly and says that Mulder is blocking him with his negative energy.

Clyde Bruckman, an insurance salesman, urges a young couple to buy a comprehensive life insurance policy. He ends the meeting by foreseeing the husband's gruesome death. Bruckman later finds the body of a fortune teller in a dumpster. Mulder and Scully investigate and he tells them details he couldn't possibly have known.

Mulder believes Bruckman can see things about the crime so they take him to the crime scene. Bruckman goes into a trance and tells them where they'll find the next body, which they in fact do, near specific objects Bruckman described.

Bruckman does not want to get involved, saying the guy will continue killing no matter what. Mulder realizes the Bruckman can see how people are going to die but has little pratical informaiton about the case. Bruckman takes them and they find another body. Bruckman later foresees Mulder's death, Mulder steps in a pie and the killer sneaks up behind him and slits his throat. He then gets a note from the killer that says the killer will murder him but wants to question him first. Bruckman tells Mulder and Scully that he will be dead whether they catch the guy or not.

Scully watches over Bruckman in the hotel room. Bruckman says he sees them in bed together, but not in a sexual way. She asks how she dies but Bruckman says she doesn't. Mulder and Scully rush to see the latest murder and pass the killer who is dressed as a bellhop. Bruckman encounters the killer, now known as the Puppet. They chat calmly. The Puppet asks Bruckman why he is killing and Bruckman responds that he is a homicidal maniac.

The agent that was left in the room is killed. Mulder and Scully rush back to the hotel when Scully realizes it was the bellhop. Mulder chases the Puppet downstairs. Just like Bruckman's vision, Mulder sees that he has stepped in a pie. Realizing that he is about to be killed, he reaches up to fend of the approaching killer. Scully arrives and shoots the killer just in time.

They find Bruckman with a bag over his head and dying of an overdose of pills. Scully sits on the bed with him, deeply moved, the scene is just as he had described. Bruckman left her a note asking her to take care of the small dog, latter named Queequeg that belonged to his neighbor who passed away the night before.

We see Scully at home petting the dog. She sees a commercial for the Stupendous Yappi, picks up the phone but pauses and puts it down.

Important Quotes:
Scully -- "I can't take you anywhere."

Mulder -- "Mr. Yappi, read this thought."
Yappi -- "So's your old man!"

Bruckman (to Mulder) -- "I'm supposed to believe that's a real name?"

Bruckman -- "Oh, sometimes it... just seems that everyone's having sex except for me."

Bruckman -- "You know, I can think of more dignified ways to die than autoerotic asphyxiation."
Mulder -- "Why are you telling me that?"
Bruckman -- "Look, forget I mentioned it. It's none of my business."

Scully -- "All right. So how do I die?"
Bruckman -- "You don't."

Scully -- "Chantilly lace?"
Mulder -- "You know what I like."

Back to The X-files: Season 3

This X-Files episode, in addition to its many other virtues, also incorporates a running joke of references to great silent film comedians and comedy script-writers. For the sake of making the in-jokes more widely enjoyable, I've listed some characters or events in the episode (in bold), and the real people or events they refer to:

Clyde Bruckman -- Clyde Bruckman, director and gag writer for Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields, and other greats. He worked with Laurel and Hardy in what was conceived of as the zenith of pie-throwing movies, The Battle of the Century. Unfortunately, Bruckman's fortunes went sour in the 1950s and, destitute, he killed himself in 1955.

detective Cline -- Eddie Cline, another director and gag writer who worked with Keaton and Fields, and played villians in Keaton's movies

detective Havez --Jean Havez, another gag writer who worked with Keaton and Lloyd. Died of a heart attack in 1925.

Claude Dukenfield (murder victim under wheels of car)-- W.C. Fields, whose real name was William Claude Dukenfield.

Le Damfino Hotel (where Bruckman checks in) -- The name "Damfino" was a running joke in Keaton's films; for example, it is the name of the little boat in The Boat.

Mulder's fated encounter with a cream pie, an obvious echo of The Battle of the Century

In the episode, Bruckman incorrectly predicts that he will die before Havez, and later commits suicide -- in life, Bruckman likewise died after Havez, by committing suicide.

The end of the episode sees Scully watching a TV movie -- it's Laurel and Hardy in The Bullfighters, widely regarded as one of their worst movies. (It's not one that Bruckman directed.)

The research for this writeup is from www.busterkeaton.com/x-files.htm, which contains more details about the real people.

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