wendelah1: (I can't take you anywhere)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] scully_fest
HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY DANA SCULLY!

As chosen by the Scully Fest members, our final episode is "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," one of my favorites. Though it begins with a murder and ends with a suicide, it doesn't leave the viewer feeling hopeless. The story is a perfect mixture of light and dark, with the bleakness of a serial murder investigation interlaced with black humor. The script won an Emmy for Darin Morgan. In the span of 44 minutes, Peter Boyle creates an unforgettable character, winning an Emmy for his performance.

 photo b74f4142-1cca-4387-9598-9b9379f152d2_zps344441d1.jpg


Writer/s: Darin Morgan
Director: David Nutter
Originally aired: October 13, 1995 (in the US) – 6th March 1996 (in Australia)

Synopsis: In the course of the FBI's investigation into the serial killings of psychics, Mulder and Scully meet Clyde Bruckman, a psychic whose only ability is to predict when people will die. (What does he do for a living? He sells life insurance.) He will eventually help lead the FBI to the killer.

Most Memorable Quote: How do I choose just one? The entire episode is quotable. This dialogue inspired some of the fandom's best fanfiction.
SCULLY: So, Ahab mistakes the prophecy and as a result, dies. A similar fate happens to MacBeth.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Still, you're not the least bit curious?
(There is a knock on the door.)
SCULLY: That must be Mulder. Time for the midnight shift.
(She puts her cards down and stands up. She goes towards the door, but then walks back up to Bruckman.)
All right. So how do I die?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: You don't.

Links:
Episode transcript.
Not Just a Fluke: How Darin Morgan Saved The X-Files Jonathan Kirby, Pop Matters.
The Immortal Agent Scully Josh Daniel, Slate.
Autumn Tysko's review.
Sarah Stegall's review.

Fanfiction: These are all takes on the Scully is immortal trope. They are all different, all brilliant, and all very dark. That's a warning. If these look familiar, it's because they're all cribbed from the "Tithonus" post.
Fata Morgana by Julie Fortune. Another take on how Scully becomes immortal.
How a Resurrection Really Feels by [livejournal.com profile] idella. Summary: Experimental living.
Fathoms Five by [livejournal.com profile] penumbra23. Summary: Never is a very long time.

From the spoilers section at Gossamer, I can recommend "Monotone" by Pacquin. She calls it an homage to the Mulder/Scully first time genre. It made me laugh, though it has nothing to do with the episode as far as I can tell.

Date: 2014-02-23 07:00 am (UTC)
tree: scully washing queequeg; text: suck it fangirls ([xf] would you like a dog?)
From: [personal profile] tree
i love everything about this episode except for the very end. scully would so not throw a phone at her tv.

clyde bruckman just looks so happy when he says, "you don't." d'aawwwww. also, mulder and scully's card is 'the lovers'. darin morgan, you tease.

Date: 2014-02-23 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Good catch on the card! And you're probably right about the phone, though it never bothered me. What DID bother me was the last line in WOTC. Just had a bad smell to it.

Date: 2014-02-23 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
No! I mean what Mulder says to Scully. I don't pay attention to the philosophical stuff.

Date: 2014-02-23 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Yep, ya got me. But I didn't have time to rewatch. I just finished Theef and Clyde this afternoon. I'm loving this, but it's interfering with my wallpaper search.

I don't know how you manage. Honest.

Date: 2014-02-23 09:25 pm (UTC)
tree: scully and mulder from the pilot; text: you're really hot ([xf] scully is RLY HOT)
From: [personal profile] tree
she is secretly a superhero.

Date: 2014-02-23 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
An open secret, if you ask me.

Date: 2014-02-23 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
That totally nails it.

Date: 2014-02-23 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
It also supports a rather old-fashioned theory of mine: the chemistry between M&S wouldn't have caught sexual fire in the way that it did (for audiences, including moi but not tu) if the romance had rushed right in to respond to demand. We get a chance to know and appreciate the characters; therefore, their relationship takes on power.

I am aware that this resembles mommy/daughter advice, but I'm not a big believer in love at first sight. Nor--recalling the conversation in the restroom--is Scully.

Date: 2014-02-23 12:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chinapatterns.livejournal.com
I had forgotten how amusing this episode was. I sat and giggled through most of it and still see the negative energy out-take in my head when that scene plays.

I love the gentle ribbing between Scully and Mulder throughout and it still stands the test of time.

Date: 2014-02-23 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
I can't really comment now, though I've lost count of how often I've seen this, but I know what impressed me most was how both funny and tragic this episode is. It's part lark and part weeper. No, that's demeaning. It has genuine heart.

Date: 2014-02-23 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com
"All right. So, how do I die?"
"You don't."

Aaah, the line that launched a thousand fics.

Scully telling Mulder: "I can't take you anywhere" because he gives off "negative energy" is so adorable.

I love how Clyde Bruckman's keep thwarting the preconceptions Mulder and Scully have on him.

Few episode manage to achieve this perfect mix of comedy and tragedy. I guess besides Morgan only Vince Gilligan could pull something with as much heart.




Date: 2014-02-23 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
"Fish"y reasons why I love CBFR:

1. It is brilliantly crafted, but so much line-by-line fun that you don't get it all until you watch again...and again. Like Clyde missing the lottery by l number, or his future vision of bed-with-Scully coming tragically true. There is a very unusual wit to Darin's stuff. You might call it whimsey ("Oh, it's you!"), but it's weightier than that. Frankly, I like humor mixed with my sad. Big Iolokus fan; enough said.

2. As sad as I am for Clyde, that's how happy I am for Pete. Heart-attack survivor and gigantically popular movie monster (Young Frankenstein) is lured into television, makes his peace with it, and is gigantically rewarded. Well, he got an emmy and a retirement-insuring job in Everybody Loves Raymond. Dead now, unfortunately.

3. Wonderful music.

4. Wonderful pop-cult references. "Who's Buddy Holly?"

5. About Scully's fashion look: unapologetically schlubby. I understand the hatred of the beige suit and the dumb hair. I myself was gratified when S got a good cut and an expensive suit. But there is something wonderful about her beauty as it shines through the FBI dullness as it surely exists. That is a thoroughly lovely woman. No more so than when she trains that gun on a killer through a window in a door.

6. She saves Mulder. And you can't say he doesn't appreciate her. "Woman's intuition" indeed. He has the fascination, but she has the chops.

7. I *thought* I had read that essay about Darin M. saving the X-Files, but maybe not, because I didn't remember some of the interesting things DD said about him. (DD was an excellent critic. Is, I guess.) I believe every word of it. The influence that reluctant genius had on the show was miraculous. He allowed it to be light, sardonic, and near-meta when that's exactly what it needed. "I'm supposed to believe that's a real name?" Mulder's a name you wouldn't have found on TV before then. Although Haven's "Wuornos" comes close. Of course, S. King wrote the origin story and it's yet another X-conscious series.

8. Scully breaks the "future is set" spell. "It wasn't supposed to end this way." (Or words to that effect.)

I'm noticing the hook coming out from behind the curtain. But I MAY NOT BE FINISHED. Live in apprehension.

Date: 2014-02-24 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
8. hmm, if Scully breaks the "future is set" spell here, maybe it means she can also avoid the fate of not dying. what can i say, i'm holding out hope for her mortality, odd as that sounds.

Date: 2014-02-24 05:52 am (UTC)
maidenjedi: (what i like)
From: [personal profile] maidenjedi
Epic.

I realized just now that both my current XF icons are from this episode. Which says a lot about how much I love it.

I have nothing more coherent than that. I always adored this and it grows on me even more.

Date: 2014-02-24 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
This was so fun to re-watch! Scully has a lot of good lines combined with facial expressions to go with:

"I can't take you anywhere"

"Oh, so now you're psychic?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give off any negative energy"

(after Bruckman says don't you have crime labs to analyze the piece of lace): "Yes, yes we do" with a pointed look at Mulder

"We can't come up with suspects by having visions" with a tiny smirk

"there are hits and there are misses, and then there are *misses*" and her face as she says it to Bruckman! so great!

There were also good visual touches like when they go into the woods on Bruckman's instinct and both M&S stand with their hands on hips as they wait for him to come up with where the body is. Also, the murderer does his little "dance" with Bruckman in the beginning outside the convenience store and then repeats it with Scully in the hotel where he is the bellman.

And Scully saves the day! A great episode.

Date: 2014-02-24 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chinapatterns.livejournal.com
After watching both Orison and Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose in succession is it me or does Scully have the same house phone through all 9 Seasons?

Pilot
Duane Barry
Quagmire
Orison
Vienen - maybe
Scary monsters ?

Memory a bit fuzzy when it comes to the later seasons will have to break out the box sets.
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