Monday, July 6, 2009

Season 2, Episode 20: Humbug


Mulder and Scully travel to Florida to investigate the death of a circus "Alligator Man" who is attacked and killed in his pool; tracks that may be simian are found near the site, and dozens of other murders with a similar massive wound to the side have occurred in the past. The agents take up lodging in a motor park populated by several former circus hands, including an alcoholic man named Lanny with a human-like deformity on his side.

Of particular interest to Mulder and Scully are Dr. Blockhead, who crashed the Alligator Man's funeral, and his mute jigsaw-tattooed partner The Conundrum, who Mulder sees eating a raw fish after emerging from a river. Meanwhile, two other murders occur and Dr. Blockhead is arrested. However, Scully realizes that Lanny has an internal twin, Leonard, who can detach himself; Lanny admits Leonard is responsible for the attacks, and is apparently seeking another brother.

The agents try to track down Leonard, who has escaped. Leonard attacks The Conundrum, non-fatally, and makes his new home there; Lanny dies soon after. Dr. Blockhead and The Conundrum hit the road, with Blockhead saying that their mission will be to remind people that "nature abhors normality." When Mulder asks if ill-looking The Conundrum is all right, he speaks his only line in the episode and says it must have been something he ate.

Alix Diakun, who plays the curator, also had a role on Da Vinci's Inquest as Detective Chick Savoy and a few other X-Files roles, including the second movie. The first X-Files episode to take more of a dark humor plot, this is also looking to be the bloodiest so far, based mainly on Mulder's tab of past murders.

Episode Body Count

Jerald Glazebrook: a man with icthyosis who performs as a circus "Alligator Man" and is killed by Leonard.

47 other victims: Mulder says Glazebrook is number 48 in a series of murders that have occurred over the past 28 years in every state in the country.

Fiji Mermaid: Hepcat Helm mentions an old circus attraction that involved nothing more than a dead monkey sewed to the tail of a fish; two animal deaths, I say!

Hepcat Helm: a funhouse artist killed by Leonard.

Chang and Eng Bunker: actual historic deaths, two Siamese twins who died on the same day in 1874 of a cerebral hemorraghe and fright, respectively. I know some historic deaths will be coming up later in the series, so they should probably be game.

Mr. Nutt: a little person who runs the motor lodge.

Lanny: dies of advanced cirrhosis of the liver.

Humans: 53
Creatures: 2
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (44/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 384
Creatures: 26
Aliens: 23

Grand Total: 433

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