The X-Files (1995) – Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose, and The List

Darin Morgan who was first cast as the Fluke-Man, then penned the season two classic Humbug, joined the crew of The X-Files as a story editor at the beginning of the third season, and he turned in another instant classic scipt with Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.

First airing on 13 October, 1995 the story is a perfect blend of comedy and poignancy as Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) hunt for a serial killer who is killing would be psychics and fortune tellers. There investigation leads them to Clyde Bruckman (an Emmy-winning performance by Peter Boyle) who has a psychic gift himself, he can see the circumstances of everyone’s death – and he may be the agents’ only hope of finding the killer.

A brilliant blend of humour, drama and character work, this episode doesn’t introduce any story thread that doesn’t at some point pay off in this story, or through the course of the series.

Bruckman passes on advice to Mulder about his death, advises Scully that she doesn’t die, and as the episode closes out, gifts her with a dog that she will christen Queequeg.

There is such attention to dialogue, and detail in this episode. Everything is so beautifully layered, and often very funny, as the show plays with expectations, as well as demonstrating what the series and the actors are capable of.

Morgan’s name is one that fans would get excited about when they saw it in an episode’s titles.

I could rave about the episode, its production, its performances, but others have already done so for me. Instead all I will say is watch this episode (again!) and enjoy it anew.

The List was written by series creator Chris Carter and first aired on 20 October, 1995, and features a guest appearance by J.T. Walsh and Bokeem Woodbine.

Mulder and Scully head to Florida to investigate a series of unexplainable prison guard deaths following the execution of ‘Neech’ Manley (Badja Djola). As the duo investigate they hear rumours of a list with five names on it, and those men are turning up dead.

Neech promised to return, to wreak revenge from beyond death, with a philosophy that embraces reincarnation… is it possible?

But there are other more rational events that may provide an answer, Neech’s wife (April Grace) has been having a relationship and living with one of the prison guards, and they may have had a motive for the guards’ deaths.

But what is the answer, what actually happened in that Florida prison? This is one of those rare episodes when an answer, paranormal or otherwise, isn’t provided, and the viewer is left to decide for themselves.

Explorations into the paranormal continue Thursday when I dig into more x-files, because, you know, the truth is out there…

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