Saturday, October 31, 2009

Season 7, Episode 8: The Amazing Maleeni


A magician, The Amazing Maleeni, performs a trick at a Los Angeles amusement park where he turns his head 360 degrees around. He is found dead soon after, his head having fallen off. Scully thinks it's a case of murder, but Mulder says there are no signs of that and thinks it's a dangerous trick gone wrong. They track down a heckler who was at Maleeni's performance and captured on video, and find that he's a rival magician named Billy Labonge. He tells the agents that Maleeni had significant gambling debts.

Scully finds that Maleeni's head was sawed off and being held on by spirit gum, and the body is over a month old. The agents visit a man named Albert Pinchbeck, a bank employee who is the brother of Maleeni (aka Herman Pinchbeck) and a former magician himself. Mulder thinks Herman died a month before and Albert performed his last trick so he could go out in style, but it turns out Albert lost his legs in a car accident.

A gambling debtor tells Albert he's going to make good on Herman's debts. Labonge, impersonating the debtor, shows up in the back of an armored car but disappears even after getting shot at. Mulder starts to wonder if there's misdirection at play, and Labonge is arrested after a confrontation where the debtor accuses Labonge of trying to frame him. Mulder reveals that Albert actually has legs, and he says he's actually Herman and faked his death after finding his twin brother dead of a heart attack.

The agents detain Herman, and Mulder suspects that he may have had plans to steal from the bank. He is jailed with Labonge, which seems to be part of the plan the two have. A bunch of money goes missing from the bank vault anyway, with no clue as to who did it. The debtor is arrested after showing up on the security tape to visit Herman and recognized by the armored truck courier, and the cash shows up at his hangout.

Herman and Labonge are set to be released from jail, but Mulder thinks they were actually cooperating to frame the debtor since Labonge wanted revenge on him for giving him a rough time in prison. However, Mulder has also nabbed Pinchbeck's wallet from the evidence room, saying it contains what the two needed to pull off their real scheme: a massive theft through electronic funds transfers using a fingerprint and badge number discreetly obtained from Mulder in earlier interactions.

Ricky Jay, who plays Maleeni and the two Pinchbecks, is a professional magician whose feats include holding the world record for fastest throw of a playing card (190 miles per hour). Jonathan Levit, who plays Labonge, is also a professional magician.

Episode Body Count

Three botched head re-attachments: Maleeni says three attempts have been made in the West to imitate an Egyptian trick of reattaching a severed head to a body with no harm done and all have ended in tragedy.

Albert Pinchbeck: dies of advanced coronary disease; his brother sets up his body to make it appears like a rotating head trick has killed him.

Humans: 4
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (147/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)

Humans: 1,613
Creatures: 113
Aliens: 62

Grand Total: 1,788

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