The 20 Greatest X-Files Episodes
We count down Mulder and Scully’s coolest cases
||8 of 20
13. Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
Episode: Season 3, Episode 4
Aired: October 13, 1995
Darin Morgan could be relied upon to bring humour and pathos to the series whenever he wrote a script, and Clyde Bruckman is one of his best. Taking a clear pot shot at loopy, fake psychics and the celebrity culture that grew up around them, he spins a tale of a quiet, lonely, slightly bitter man who never sought out fame and fortune yet appears to possess true psychic power. With Mulder and Scully engaged on what would appear to be an odd and possibly occult-orientated murder, they come into contact with psychics of several stripes, including the showboating Yappi (a great, Siegfried & Roy-channelling turn from Jaap Broeker). The scene-stealer, though, is Peter Boyle, who imbues Clyde with a grouchy, deeply felt sense of morose doom and gloom, but with a thoughtful, optimistic side occasionally peeking through. Morgan seizes every chance to tweak the both the main characters and the conventions, including Mulder’s negativity, possible future death by autoerotic asphyxiation, and the confused, pie-obsessed warning about the real killer’s stalking of our hero. Stu Charno is also great as the killer known only as “Puppet”, slaying his way through various fad fortune-tellers until he meets his match in Clyde.
X-Fact: Clyde Bruckman is named after the director of Buster Keaton’s The General, who had a successful career in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, before hitting hard times and committing suicide in 1955.
8 of 20
Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.
|1 ||No Bruce Campbell|
Posted by cousinwalter on Thursday January 22, 2015, 14:33
|2 ||Hard to make a complete list of faves|
|But a good choice!
By the way, the competition does not work. Has a closing date of November 2013! WTF Empire! More|
Posted by Andybee76 on Tuesday January 20, 2015, 13:26
|3 || Really?!|
| No 'Tooms'?! Sure, you gave its prequel 'Squeeze' top-spot (and rightly so), but its Eugene's second outing in which he gloriously dislocates - then elongates - an arm in an attempt to escape incarceration, licks his fingers during his pest-control community service, and reveals to us that he likes art *eyes turn yellow, murders his own shrink*. Simply superb.
*EDIT* Oh yes, is the eponymous 'Piper Maru' the same Piper Maru seen in another Fox property; (the actually bloody good) 'AVP: Alien Vs Predator'? Is the black goo the same black goo seen in 'Prometheus'...? More|
Posted by Litshttam on Tuesday January 20, 2015, 01:18
|Chuffed to see Bad Blood on this list. Best thing about that episode is the way Mulder and Scully view each other; perceptions that are given to sarcy banter in Syzygy (Season 3 and featuring a very young Ryan Reynolds). Too many great episodes to choose from but, like my partner, i prefer the episodes that have more of an element of fear and intrigue than the alien/conspiracy episodes. More|
Posted by bocfahey on Monday January 19, 2015, 22:37
|5 ||Jose Chung, foos!|
|I hate to be one of those people commenting on what's missing ... but ... Jose Chung's From Outer Space is the greatest ep in the history of man. It's so intricate, you have to watch it more than once to get all the subtleties. But on face value, it's hysterical. Amazing performance from Charles Nelson Reilly. Worth it for Mulder's yep alone. But this is Darin Morgan's tour de force. It turns everything on its ear and an ep from which the seeds of great other eps like Bad Blood were sown. More|
Posted by xpai on Thursday November 7, 2013, 18:50
|The funniest episode was, by far, Hollywood AD. The moment when Gary Shandling's Mulder says "Oh, I love you Scully!" to Duchovny's wife, is hysterical and super-meta!
Also includes the first-ever TV use of the word "Bazinga"! More|
Posted by Grimm on Friday October 25, 2013, 13:10
|I fully expected to read this list and instantly want to come in and start ranting and raving about what was left out but its so bang on the money that I really don't have much to complain about.
I would bemoan the lack of Humbug and Jose Chungs from Outer Space. The latter in particular. You may have already had a decent amount of Darin Morgan entries but these two were pure gold. More|
Posted by Evil_Bob on Wednesday October 23, 2013, 13:22
|8 ||X files fanatic!|
|Most of my faves are in there, with the exception of Oubliette, Syzygy and Quagmire - 3 I watch over and over.
Thanks for the celebration feature Empire - love it! More|
Posted by annie__hall on Wednesday October 23, 2013, 12:28
|9 || my list|
| In dire need of an update especially because my list only covers season 1-5
The Erlenmeyer Flask
Little Green Men
The Blessing Way
War of the Coprophages
Jose Chung's From Outer Space
Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man
The Post-Modern Prometheus
The Pine Bluff Variant
Folie a Deux
The End More|
Posted by MattBecker on Monday October 21, 2013, 23:37
|10 ||Some favorites missing|
|It's an ok list for including Bad Blood, Small Potatoes, Clyde Bruckman, Piper Maru, and Duane Barry but where is Paper Hearts, Redux II, Monday, Field Trip and Tunguska? More|
Posted by mulscul on Monday October 21, 2013, 16:25
|11 ||This list is an X File|
|Honestly, the most bizarre XF list I've ever seen. The whole list is null and void through its omission of 'Pusher' which is a firm fan favourite and showcases everything wonderful about the show; the talent and chemistry of the main actors, the story writing, the guest stars, the cinematography...
Having said that, it is fantastic to see this show being honoured and hopefully glossing over the damage caused by IWTB. More|
Posted by johugrix on Saturday October 19, 2013, 21:58
|Good list all around. Would have liked to have seen "Humbug" somewhere though. That's easily my favorite episode. More|
Posted by GomJabber11 on Saturday October 19, 2013, 16:11
|13 ||Almost hits the mark.|
|The titles on this list pretty much equal my own. However, I could leave Die Hand Die Verletz and put either Arcadia, The Field Where I died, 4D, or Quagmire, all excellent episodes. I recently finished rewatching all 9 seasons and have found it far more enjoyable now than 20 years ago. Still my all time favourite tv show. I hope we can get movie No. 3 rolling, although the script would need to be far better than the 2008 film 'I Want To Believe'. More|
Posted by angelzbabe on Saturday October 19, 2013, 01:08
|14 ||Yes, Bad Blood!|
|I have watched that episode more than any episode of anything ever! Countless funny moments. Mulder singing Shaft. Luke Wilson's teeth. Mulder kicked the trash can. Absolute classic.
The Lake Placid-esque episode was also a terrific stand alone one.
But by and large, I can't argue with this list. More|
Posted by tysmuse on Friday October 18, 2013, 21:07
|I've got all of the box sets and this feature has made up my mind to go back and rewatch them all! More|
Posted by Hugh_Fran on Friday October 18, 2013, 19:42
|16 ||Death by autoerotic asphyxiation|
|Just as Clyde Bruckman foresaw, this is indeed how Mulder died (or at least David Duchovny in Steven Soderbergh's 'Full Frontal'). More|
Posted by davidtharwood.com on Friday October 18, 2013, 15:25
|That episode was the one that introduced me to The X Files... great episode! More|
Posted by TPM007 on Friday October 18, 2013, 14:39
|18 ||You've missed the best!|
|One of the best episodes ever was Anasazi. The Field Where I Died was also amazing! More|
Posted by paterk2 on Friday October 18, 2013, 14:22
|19 ||You missed out by far the best episode!|
|Jose Chung's From Outer Space! Every X-Files fan I've spoken to say this is their favourite episode! More|
Posted by Psycho Savager on Friday October 18, 2013, 14:13
|Some good choices there. A few of my favourites included by definitely think you missed a trick by not including the "Dreamland" 2 parter from season 6 - Michael McKean is excellent and hilarious in it and "Monday" from the same season. More|
Posted by Scruffybobby on Friday October 18, 2013, 14:13