(Clyde Bruckman, an elderly insurance salesman, is reading from a tabloid newspaper called "The Midnight Inquisitor" with The Stupendous Yappi, a psychic, on the cover. Over his picture, it says "The Stupendous Yappi's Foreseeable Future. There is also a picture of J.D. Salinger in the left column.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: "I foresee a rock affair between superstar Madonna and super-witness Kato Kaelin." Well, that's a gimme, that's not really going out on a limb, is it? "I foresee Author J.D. Salinger finally publishing a new novel and hitting the talk show circuit to promote it." Hmmm... that's just playing the odds. "I foresee the revelation that not Elvis, but rather Buddy Holly is still alive, having faked his own death so many years ago. Holly will not only reemerge but also regroup with the Crickets and they will headline in next year's Lalapalaza..." Lalapaz... pazoola?
(He looks at the clerk.)
What the hell is Lalapalazo?
CLERK: Who's Buddy Holly?
(Bruckman glares at him and walks over.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Just give me my lotto ticket and, uh, a pint of malt scotch whiskey.
CLERK: Anything else?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Yeah.
(He reaches over and throws the magazine on the desk.)
One of these.
(He walks out of the store singing to himself, looking at his lotto ticket.)
"That'll be the day when I die... that'll be the day..."
(He walks into the street and nearly collides with a young man. They try to get around each other but always end up walking in the same direction to. Bruckman sighs and stops.)
(He walks around the young man.)
PUPPET: Don't apologize. You're a better dancer than my last date.
(Puppet continues on his way and walks into a palm reader shop. Police sirens wail in the background. Inside, Madame Zelma is reading Puppet's palm. She talks with a fake Russian accent.)
MADAME ZELMA: So, what has brought you to Madame Zelma?
PUPPET: Well... can you really know everything about me just by looking at my hands?
MADAME ZELMA: Mm-hmm. The palms tell me all.
PUPPET: I would just like for you to be able to tell me why I am going to be doing the things I'm going to be doing?
MADAME ZELMA: Madame Zelma, she is a palm reader, not a psychologist.
PUPPET: I know, I know, it's just... I think I've somehow caught a glimpse of my own future, myself. And I see me doing things that... that just seem so out of character for me. I mean, these are things that not only do I not want to be doing, but I can't even imagine myself capable of doing and yet, there I am. I'm doing them.
(Zelma tries to pull her hands away but Puppet grabs onto her wrists. Her fake accent goes away.)
MADAME ZELMA: Mister... please, you're hurting me.
PUPPET: I know, I know... and I'm sorry. But you're a fortune teller.
MADAME ZELMA: No...
PUPPET: You should've seen this coming.
MADAME ZELMA: Please...
(Puppet jumps onto her, knocking over things, and starts to choke her. As they are reflected in the crystal ball, she gags and struggles to no avail.)
(The police photographer takes pictures of the eyeballs and intestines laying on the ground in a bloody splotch. Havez walks up to him.)
WOMAN ON APB WIRE: Unit seven, unit seven...
PHOTOGRAPHER: They say the eyes capture the last image the murder victim sees before they're killed.
(Cline starts past them.)
CLINE: So what do they say about the entrails?
(Havez and Cline walk away from the photographer.)
HAVEZ: Is it true you asked for some help in this case?
CLINE: This guy's supposed to be an expert at this sort of thing.
(They stop at a long row of dolls on a shelf.)
HAVEZ: I heard he was a bit... unorthodox.
CLINE: He comes highly recommended.
HAVEZ: Yeah. I saw him on TV.
(The photographer walks over.)
CLINE: Hey, so he's a publicity hound. As long as he gets results.
PHOTOGRAPHER: I once worked on a case he did. Very spooky.
CLINE: As long as he gives us leads, I don't care how big a kook.
POLICEMAN: Sir, right in here, please.
(Mulder walks in and the three officers stare at him for a second.)
CLINE: Who the hell are you?
MULDER: I'm Agent Mulder.
(Scully walks in behind him.)
This is Agent Scully.
(She flashes her badge.)
CLINE: Oh, I forgot you were coming aboard. I'm, uh, Cline, this is Havez.
(They both shake hands with Mulder. They start back towards where the murder took place. Mulder starts to put on rubber gloves.)
HAVEZ: We're thinking this guy might be a satanist, what with the eyeballs.
MULDER: Satanists take the eyeballs and leave the body, not vice-versa. Not in anything but modern myths.
CLINE: He's gouging eyes for no reason?
SCULLY: No, nobody does anything without a reason. We've already composed a profile of the killer.
(She hands Cline a folder.)
We offer possible explanations for the nature of his attacks and also his choice of victims.
CLINE: Does it explain the entrails?
MULDER: Anthropomancy. It was once believed that you could divine your future by vivisecting a human being and studying the entrails.
(He walks around Scully and looks at the entrails closely.)
HAVEZ: So this guy is hacking up people in order to see his future?
SCULLY: Well, there's a possible connection with all of his victims being professional prognosticators.
CLINE: Till this one. She was a professional doll collector.
MULDER: And an amateur tasseographer. She read tea leaves.
(He picks up the empty cup.)
After drinking the tea, you can gain insight into your future by examining the pattern of the leaves on the bottom of the cup.
CLINE: You believe in this stuff?
MULDER: I'm not convinced of its accuracy but I'm pretty sure the victim was.
MULDER: Her leaves were telling her she was about to be murdered.
(He shows Cline the bottom of the cup.)
POLICEMAN: Right this way, sir...
(Woman are screaming and talking loudly in the hallway. The agents and police officers turn around to see the Stupendous Yappi, dressed in black, wearing sunglasses, followed by a supermodel. He finishes signing an autograph and walks in. The police officers hold the crowd back. Cline and Havez walk to Yappi, smiling.)
You're going to have to stand back, all right? This is official police business.
(Yappi whips off his sunglasses, his left eyebrow arched. His lady friend takes off his trenchcoat. The photographer takes a picture and Yappi looks at him, eyebrows still arched.)
CLINE: Mister Yappi, I appreciate you coming all the way down here...
YAPPI: Quiet! Yes, I'm seeing visions.
(The crowd in the hallway dissipates. He starts towards the bloody splotch on the floor, now arching his right eyebrow.)
Visions of the killer. He does not feel like he is in control of his own life. Very important. That's why he kills, yes!
CLINE: Can you see what he looks like?
(Yappi starts back around the table towards Cline.)
YAPPI: He looks like... A white man with facial hair. Or not. But he has... yes! A tattoo! Somewhere on his body. Maybe the tattoo has the facial hair. I think.
(Mulder rolls his eyes and, laughing to himself, he and Scully look at each other. Yappi looks down at a spot on the carpet and dives on it.)
Hmm! I see him here! Forcing himself, yes! On the girl! But he cannot perform... so he's taking out his rage.
(He looks up at Mulder, then slams his palm down and stands up. His eyebrows fluctuate rapidly.)
It's gone. I lost the vision. Someone is blocking me. I am picking up negative energy.
(He walks over to Cline and stares at him, then snaps his head around and looks at Scully, left eyebrow arched. Yappi walks over to her, eyebrows arched and stares at her closely, then quickly looks at Mulder, right eyebrow arched. He walks over to him.)
Please leave this room.
MULDER: I'm part of this investigation.
YAPPI: You give off negative energy.
MULDER: I can assure you, Mister Yappi, I'm a believer in psychic ability.
YAPPI: So you say with your mouth but your thoughts tell me the truth.
(He arches an eyebrow and walks away.)
CLINE: Agent Mulder, please.
(Mulder sighs as Scully leans over to him.)
SCULLY: I can't take you anywhere.
(Mulder waits outside until applause starts inside. Yappi walks out, followed by his supermodel.)
YAPPI: Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an interview to give.
(He walks over to Mulder.)
Skeptics like you make me sick.
MULDER: Mister Yappi, read this thought.
(Yappi stares at him a second, then lunges back slightly as if being hit, an eyebrow arched.)
YAPPI: So's your old man!
(The two celebrities walk away as Mulder walks back into the room.)
SCULLY: It's too bad about your "negative energy," Mulder, you missed quite a performance.
(Cline holds up a bent pen.)
CLINE: Look what he did to my pen.
MULDER: Well, let me impress you with my psychic ability. Mister Yappi proclaimed the victim's body would be found near water, he saw a church or a school in the vicinity, he got a flash of the letter "S" and/or the number "seven."
CLINE: So what's your point?
MULDER: Well, his leads are so vague as to be practically useless yet easily interpreted to be correct after the fact.
(Scully walks over to Mulder as Havez walks over to stand beside Cline.)
SCULLY: He said the killer doesn't feel in control of his own life but that's true of everyone at times.
CLINE: He said a lot of things.
MULDER: Yeah, and some are bound by percentages to be right but most will turn out wrong. Now, which is which?
CLINE: Look, all I know is that so far, Yappi has provided more solid, concrete leads on this case than you have. Now, if you don't mind, I have to get an A.P.B. out on a white male, age seventeen to thirty-four, with or without a beard, maybe a tattoo... who's impotent. Let's go.
(He and Havez walk out.)
SCULLY: Might as well go home, Mulder, this case is as good as solved.
(Bruckman sits at a table with a young couple, trying to sell insurance.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: So General Mutual has a very comprehensive two-hundred thousand dollar life policy at a net annual cost of twenty-four hundred dollars.
(The wife and husband smile at each other.)
YOUNG HUSBAND: You see, the thing is... we were really hoping to buy a boat.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Mister Gordon, uh, as a young husband, I think you're going to find that your new responsibilities to your family take precedent over your recreational needs.
YOUNG HUSBAND: But this is a really good boat.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: You don't get it, do you, kid?
(Mister Gordon looks embarrassed a little. Bruckman's eyes half-roll back into his head, his eyelids almost shut as he starts to channel.)
Two years from now, while driving down Route 91... coming home to your wife and baby daughter... you're going to be hit head-on by a drunk... driving a blue '87 mustang. You'll end up looking worse than sixty feet of bad road your body slides across... after flying out your front windshield.
(The couple are naturally horrified.)
YOUNG HUSBAND: Mister... you really need to work on your closing technique.
(Bruckman walks in, sighing. He pours himself a glass of J.P. malt scotch whiskey with ice. He takes a bag of lettuce out of his refrigerator and goes to throw it out. In the lettuce, he sees a face before dumping it into the garbage can.)
(Bruckman stands outside Lowe's door, her dog sitting in the doorway. Mrs. Lowe comes out and hands Bruckman her lighter.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, no, no, no, no. Not your lighter, Mrs. Lowe. I wa, I want your garbage.
(Mrs. Lowe, who looks to be half off-her-rocker, walks back in. Bruckman looks down at the dog and gets a vision of the dog eating a human body.)
Get out of here, you monster.
(He lightly kicks at the dog. Mrs. Lowe comes back and hands him the garbage.)
Is everything all right, Mrs. Lowe? Do you have enough supplies? You have enough dog food?
(The door slams shut. Downstairs, Bruckman opens the first dumpster and sees it's empty. He opens up the second dumpster, throws the garbage in and slams the lid shut. He starts to walk away but stops and looks back at the dumpster.)
(Later, the police have arrived and the dead body of Madame Zelma is laying on top of the dumpster. It's fingers are mangled. The photographer takes a picture as Cline looks at the body, talking to Mulder.)
CLINE: It's kind of creepy, isn't it? The Stupendous Yappi said the first victim's body would be dumped somewhere, then we find it in a dumpster.
MULDER: Oooh, I just got a chill down my spine.
(Scully rolls her eyes and looks off into the crowd. The people murmur and talk to one another. Amongst the crowd is Puppet.)
SCULLY: Who found the body?
(Bruckman sits in his chair. He takes a bite out of a piece of chocolate as Scully stands, reading off a clipboard. Mulder sits across from Bruckman.)
SCULLY: According to the police report, Mister Bruckman, you didn't touch the body after you found her.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Why would I want to?
SCULLY: But you reported that you found a body with its eyes cut out. The body was face down. If you didn't move it, how did you know the eyes had been removed?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Well, they had been, hadn't they?
(Scully nods, still waiting for an answer.)
Then what are you complaining about?
MULDER: How had the eyes been cut out?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: By a piece of crystal ball, of all cockamamie things.
MULDER: We did find some crystal shards on the body, how do you know it was from a crystal ball?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Well, well, it just, it just figures, I mean, uh... if a guy goes to kill a fortune teller, uh, he's obviously going to assault her with her own crystal ball and, uh, use the shattered piece as a sort of lance. Isn't he?
(Scully looks back at Mulder, who shrugs.)
SCULLY: Mister Bruckman, how much have you heard about the recent slayings in town?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Just that some nut is going around killing fortune tellers and ripping their eyes and entrails out.
SCULLY: How did you know about the entrails? That information hasn't been released to the press.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I never read the papers. Too depressing.
(Mulder stands up.)
MULDER: Mister Bruckman? Sorry, Mister Bruckman, but I'm going to have to ask you to come with us.
(Bruckman looks back at them.)
(Mulder opens the door to the room with the last murder. Clyde stands in the doorway.)
MULDER: Step inside, Mister Bruckman.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Why, what, what is this all about?
MULDER: A murder occurred here earlier this evening and we have reason to believe that it was committed by the same person who murdered the woman that you found.
(Mulder walks in and flicks on the lights. Bruckman walks in, followed by Scully.)
Is there anything you can tell us about it?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I didn't do it.
MULDER: You're not under suspicion... but I do harbor a suspicion that you can see things about this crime... things that we can't see.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'm, I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
MULDER: I think you do.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Yeah, yeah, right. I'd, uh, like to see both your badges again, right now.
(Mulder and Scully take out their badges and hold them out for Bruckman.)
SCULLY: I don't blame you, Mister Bruckman.
(Bruckman reads Scully's, then looks at Mulder's. He scoffs.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'm supposed to believe that's a real name?
(Mulder goes to say something as they put their badges away.)
What is this all about? I found a dead body in my dumpster. I, I, I reported it to the police. And now suddenly, I'm accused of doing things? Or, or being able to do things that I couldn't poss...
(Bruckman is distracted by a vision of the something happening on the blood-stained carpet. He walks over, sighing in grief and disgust. Mulder and Scully watch him intently. He looks back at the agents, gasping, then runs past them into the bathroom to throw up. Mulder is smiling ear-to-ear. We hear Bruckman vomiting and then flushing.)
MULDER: Pinch me.
SCULLY: This guy's performing the same routine as the Stupendous Yappi, he's just doing it in a different style.
MULDER: No, something told me, Scully, something is telling me this guy's for real.
SCULLY: Oh, so now you're psychic?
(Bruckman walks out.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: The killer... he doesn't feel like he's in control of his own life.
(Scully smiles slightly, thinking she's right. Bruckman walks over to them.)
I mean, like... who is, am I right? But this guy... he truly believes it. He sees himself as some kind of a... a puppet.
MULDER: Can you describe him? Do you get a visual impression of him?
(Bruckman shakes his head.)
SCULLY: So you can see into him but not at him.
(They both glare at her.)
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give any negative energy.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Negative energy, what is this...
(He walks over to the same spot on the carpet where Yappi picked out the victim and the killer having sex.)
MULDER: What is it? What do you see?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: He's having sex with her. There.
SCULLY: Is he raping her?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, no, no, no, not at all. In fact, she's instigating the whole thing.
MULDER: Then what's wrong?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh... sometimes, it... it just seems that everyone's having sex except for me.
(He walks over to the dolls.)
MULDER: Mister Bruckman, can you tell us why the killer is murdering people in the way that he is?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Why does anyone do the things they do? Why do I sell insurance? I wish I knew. Why did this woman collect dolls?
(Mulder looks back at Scully, a little tired and annoyed at Bruckman's philosophy.)
What was it about her life? Was it one specific moment where she suddenly said, "I know... dolls." Or was it a whole series of things? Starting when her parents first met that somehow combined in such a way that in the end, she had no choice but to be a doll colle...
(He comes to a horribly disfigured doll. He picks it up and stares at it.)
You'll find the woman tomorrow morning... by the fat, little, white Nazi stormtrooper. Glenview Lake. Her body's floating in Glenview Lake.
(Mulder looks back at Scully. Bruckman sighs and looks down at the doll, which is no longer disfigured but a very pretty doll of a princess. He starts out.)
Now, if you'll excuse me... I think I've seen enough death for one night.
(He walks out, giving the doll to Mulder.)
(As Mulder and Scully watch, divers pull the body out of the water.)
DIVER: One more... here we go...
(Scully looks out at the crowd of people. Puppet is there as well. A woman is talking to a police officer.)
WOMAN: From around here, you say?
MULDER: Be honest, Scully. Doesn't that propane tank bear more than just a slight resemblance to a fat, little, white Nazi stormtrooper?
(He points to a small white propane tank with a black top on it. They start towards it.)
SCULLY: Mulder, the human mind naturally seeks meaningful patterns and configurations in things that don't inherently have any. Given the suggestion of a particular image, you can't help but see that shape somewhere. If that tank weren't there, you'd see it in a, in a rock or in a tree...
MULDER: Did you answer my question?
(They stop walking and stare at it.)
SCULLY: Yes, it looks like a fat, little, white Nazi stormtrooper but that only proves my point.
MULDER: He named the specific body of water the victim would be found in.
SCULLY: Mulder, that only implies that he was the one who put her in there.
MULDER: I don't believe he's the killer.
SCULLY: I don't believe he's psychic.
MULDER: Well, if he's not, then how did he know where the body would be found?
SCULLY: Maybe he's just lucky.
(The numbers on Bruckman's lotto ticket are "9, 13, 37, 39, 41, 45." He is listening to the radio.
WOMAN ON RADIO: Thirty-eight, forty and forty-four. Once again, the winning lotto numbers are...
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Why?
WOMAN ON RADIO: ...eight, twelve...
(Bruckman turns it off.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Why do I do this to myself?
(He covers his eyes with his hands. There is a knock at the door.)
(Mulder slowly walks in.)
I knew it was you. I know why you're here. You're here because you found that woman's body where I told you it would be. And now you're convinced I have some kind of psychic power. So while your skeptical lady partner is off performing an autopsy, you came here to ask my help catching this serial murderer.
MULDER: Everything you said is correct.
(Bruckman looks up at him.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, it's you.
(Mulder looks perplexed.)
I won't help you. Please leave.
MULDER: But you do admit to having this gift.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, I got it, all right. The only problem is, it's non-returnable.
MULDER: Mister Bruckman, you possess an ability that not only has staggering implications upon physics and human consciousness, but it's one which most people, myself included, would be envious of. Yet you seem to treat it with disdain.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Do you want to know how you're going to die?
(Mulder stares at him.)
MULDER: Y, yes, I would.
(Bruckman laughs a little and smirks.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: No, you don't. Of course, not knowing has its own drawbacks which is why a good insurance policy is so important. I, I don't know what kind of coverage the F.B.I. has, but, uh, General Mutual has...
MULDER: Mister Bruckman, this murderer has already committed four homicides.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: And he'll commit more whether I help you or not.
MULDER: How can you be so sure?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: How can I see the future if it didn't already exist?
MULDER: Then if the future is written, then why bother to do anything?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Now you're catching on.
(He sits down.)
MULDER: Mister Bruckman, I believe in your ability but not your attitude.
(He sits down.)
I can't stand by and watch people die without doing everything in my, albeit unsupernatural, power to interfere with that fate.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Well, you see, that's another reason I can't help you catch this guy. I might adversely affect the fate of the future. I mean, his next victim might be the mother of the daughter whose son invents the time machine. Then the son goes back in time and changes world history and then Columbus never discovers America, man never lands on the moon, the U.S. never invades Grenada...
(Mulder is staring down at the floor.)
Or something less significant... resulting in the fact that my father never meets my mother and consequently, I'm never born.
(Mulder looks up at him.)
So when do we start?
(Mulder unwraps a small gold statue of three frogs all holding hands in a circle and hands it to Bruckman.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I don't know what it is but it belonged to one of the victims.
MULDER: That's a hit. In psychical research parlance, a correct answer's a "hit," an incorrect answer's a "miss."
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: The guy who cast the mold for this will die of prostate cancer at the age of eighty-two. Hit or miss?
MULDER: I have no way of verifying that information.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Then why'd you ask me?
MULDER: Do you receive any other impressions from it?
(He holds it up and studies it.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: It's ugly. Next.
(He puts it down. Scully walks over to the door and looks in through the door window. Mulder has his head on the desk, annoyed. Bruckman holds a piece of blue cloth to his head. Scully taps on the window and gives Mulder a look as if to say "come on." Mulder walks out.)
SCULLY: I was told you were interrogating a suspect but something tells me...
MULDER: I'm now convinced of our psychic's abilities, Scully, or rather, his one ability. He is able to divine how people are going to die but that's all. He can't provide any practical information on our case.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I got it! This is yours. This is from your New York Knicks t-shirt!
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: This is worse than playing the lotto.
(Scully walks in and hands Bruckman a bag with a keychain. Mulder follows.)
SCULLY: Try reading this.
MULDER: Save me the headache, Scully, what is it?
SCULLY: It was found on the woman that was pulled from the lake. Identical keychains were found on two of the other victims. I managed to trace the insignia to an investment firm called Uranus Unlimited. They provide market strategies based on astrological forecasts. And the company is owned by a man named...
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Claude Dukenfield. Age forty-three. 316 Roundview Lane. Divorced with two children. Makes about eighty-seven thousand a year. Non-smoker.
MULDER: Is that a hit or a miss?
SCULLY: As far as I know, that's correct.
MULDER: You got all that information just by handling that keychain?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, no. I sold him a policy a couple of months ago. Just a coincidence.
(He shrugs, smiling. Mulder looks disappointed.)
SCULLY: In any case, we're trying to get a hold of him.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, you won't be able to do that. He's been murdered.
(Scully's driving, Bruckman's in the front seat, Mulder's in the back. Mulder leans forward to talk to Bruckman.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: We're almost there.
MULDER: How are you receiving this information about the body's location?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: How should I know?
MULDER: I mean, are you seeing it in a vision or is it a... sensation? How do you know where to go?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I just know.
MULDER: But how do you know?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I don't know!
(Mulder slinks back in his seat. Bruckman half-looks at him.)
Look, it's just up ahead. You know, there are worse ways to go, but I can't think of a more undignified way than autoerotic asphyxiation.
(Mulder leans forward.)
MULDER: Why are you telling me that?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Look, forget I mentioned it. It's none of my business.
(He looks ahead, smirking.)
Oops, pull over here.
(Scully stops the car.)
(Bruckman gets out and looks around.)
This is the spot.
(They start walking through the forest, looking for the body.)
I guess you run into a lot of dead bodies in your line of work.
SCULLY: You get used to it.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I never have. I'm not sure you're supposed to.
MULDER: Do you remember the first time you foresaw someone's death?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: 1959.
MULDER: What happened in 1959?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Buddy Holly's plane crashed.
SCULLY: You prognosticated Buddy Holly's death?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, God, no. Why would I want to do that? But I did have a ticket to see him perform the next night. Actually, I was a bigger fan of the Big Bopper than Buddy Holly. "Chantilly Lace," that was the song.
MULDER: I'm not following.
(Bruckman sighs. They stop walking.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: There's... the Big Bopper was not supposed to be on the plane with Buddy Holly. He won the seat from somebody else by flipping a coin for it.
MULDER: I'm still not following.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Imagine all the things that had to occur, not only in his life, but in everybody else's, to arrange it so on that particular night, the Big Bopper would be in a position to live or die depending on a flipping coin. I became so obsessed with that idea that I gradually became capable of seeing the specifics of everybody's death.
SCULLY: Well, Mister Bruckman, I'm not one who readily believes in that kind of thing and if I was, I still wouldn't believe that story.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I know it sounds crazy, but I swear it's true. I was a bigger fan of the Big Bopper than Buddy Holly.
(She looks at him, annoyed.)
SCULLY: Where's the body?
MULDER: Yeah, Mister Bruckman, I don't understand how you can know that this is the exact area, but you can't pinpoint the exact spot.
(Bruckman looks around.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I guess I can't see the forest for the trees.
(Back at their car, Bruckman and Mulder prepare to push the car out of the mud when Scully pushes the gas.)
MULDER: Okay, now.
(The wheels spin, splattering Mulder's pants with mud. Bruckman looks down at the tire in front of him, apparently smiling.)
I'm glad I could bring a little smile into your life, Mister Bruckman.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'm not smiling, I'm wincing.
(Mulder looks down at his tire to see a hand sticking out of the mud under the tire.)
(Bruckman sits in his chair. Mulder gives him a piece of lace in a small evidence bag.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: What's this?
MULDER: The only evidence recovered from Claude Dukenfield's body. That fiber may have come from something the killer was wearing at the time of the crime.
(He sits down behind Scully on the couch.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Don't you have crime labs that analyze these things for you?
SCULLY: Yes, yes, we do.
(She looks back at Mulder.)
MULDER: But it'll take them time to provide any information. A similar fiber was found on one of the earlier victims and we're still waiting for the lab to determine it's source. You'd be saving us a great deal of work.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Look, I've got my own work to do. I'm not a crime fighter by trade.
(He goes over to his table and sits down. Mulder stands and walks over to him.)
MULDER: Mister Bruckman... I can't speak for my partner but I'm desperate... for some insurance.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: General Mutual has some very comprehensive coverage...
(Mulder waves the small baggie. Bruckman sighs and takes it. He smells the fiber.)
No... I, I can't tell you where this is from, but, but... the killer's going to kill more people before you catch him.
SCULLY: Can you see him physically yet?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: No, no, just more insight into his character, which I know you hate.
(She looks down at the floor, a little embarrassed.)
He thinks he's psychic.
MULDER: Is he?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I hope not. I've seen some of the things he's "seen."
MULDER: Like what? What does he see?
(Bruckman sees Mulder bursting through a double door, holding his gun.)
MULDER IN VISION: Hey!
(Cut back to Bruckman.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: You. He sees you. Trying to catch him.
MULDER: Where does this take place?
(Bruckman half-closes his eyes, channeling.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: In a kitchen.
(In Bruckman's vision, from the point of view of the killer, he sees Mulder slowly walking through the dark kitchen, pointing his gun.)
You're looking around for someone. He's behind you now, but you don't know it and he's stalking towards you and... and...
(Cut to Bruckman.)
(Scully runs up to them, entranced by the story.)
SCULLY: What? What do you see?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: He's got a knife. It's got blood on it.
MULDER: Well, why don't I see him, what am I doing?
(In Bruckman's vision, Mulder is looking down at a pie he stepped in. The killer moves closer.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: You're looking down. You stepped in a pie that's fallen to the floor. The killer comes up to you and...
(Cut to Bruckman.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: The pie... eh, coconut cream or, or is it lemon merengue? I don't know, it's... not sure, it's, it's hazy.
(Scully sits back against the couch, crossing her arms, her interest having left. Mulder kneels down.)
MULDER: Whatever, please continue.
(Bruckman makes like he's holding up a knife.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: As you're looking down, he comes up with the knife and...
(A quick flash into the killer holding up the knife behind Mulder.)
Banana cream! Definitely banana cream.
MULDER: All right, I'm looking down at this banana cream pie and then what...
(Cut to Bruckman's vision. The killer raises the knife, poised.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: He sees himself coming up to you from behind...
(Puppet slashes Mulder's throat. Mulder turns around, holding his neck as blood gushes out. Cut to Bruckman. Scully and Mulder both have their interest back.)
MULDER: And? And, what does he see?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh...
(Bruckman looks at his hand and unclenches the fist.)
Nothing. They're visions of a madman.
(Mulder stands and holds up the tiny bag.)
MULDER: You got all that from this?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: How am I supposed to get anything from this tiny little thing? This came in the mail today.
(He hands Mulder a letter.)
SCULLY: Who's it from?
(Bruckman takes the letter and holds it to his head, doing his best Johnny Carson/Karnak impression.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: The killer!
(He goes to water his plants. Mulder opens the envelope and starts to read.)
MULDER: "To whom it may concern. Like our lives, this is a mere formality to let you know I know that you know. Can't wait till our first meeting when I kill you. Not before you explain some things to me. First on the list, why in the world did I send you this letter? Sincerely, you know who. P.S., say 'hi' to the F.B.I. agents."
(Bruckman waves hi to the agents.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Hi.
SCULLY: He must've been at the crime scenes, seeing you with us.
MULDER: No, no, this letter is postmarked the day before Mister Bruckman joined our investigation. You're going to have to come with us, Mister Bruckman. We're got to get you out of here.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Look... I'll be dead before you catch this guy, no matter what you do.
(The tarot dealer is reading to Puppet. He flips over the first card, which is of "The Hermit.")
TAROT DEALER: You've come to me because you're searching for someone. But don't worry, this person will find you. It's a relative or a close friend.
PUPPET: Actually, a guy I'm going to kill.
(The tarot dealer laughs uncomfortably and flips the next card, "The Magician.")
TAROT DEALER: Ah, yes, it's clearer now. You seek answers from a special man who possesses a special wisdom.
(Bruckman takes another scoop of the cake with whipped cream on top.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: This is real cream. Not the phony stuff. I know the difference. And the chocolate, very rich. Look at these cute little doilies they put everything on. You sure you don't want to join me?
(He takes another portion and eats it. Scully smiles at him in a certain way as if to say "no.")
So what are you doing?
(She sits down and looks through a folder.)
SCULLY: Studying background checks. This is what detective work is really like. We can't come up with suspects by having visions.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Jealous?
(More cards have been flipped. He flips the next one.)
TAROT DEALER: You're very confused right now. Nothing seems to make sense to you.
(He flips the next card, "The Lovers.")
You don't know why you do the things that you do. But your confusion is soon to come to an abrupt end with the arrival of a woman. A blonde or a brunette. Maybe a redhead.
(Clyde is laying down on one bed. Scully sits on the opposite one and positions herself into a comfortable sitting position.)
SCULLY: It's something you haven't explained. Can you see your own end?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I see our end.
(Scully tilts her head forward a little in confusion.)
We end up in bed together.
(Scully tilts her head forward more in utter disbelief.)
I'm, I'm, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that, I, I, I don't mean to offend you or scare you, but, uh, not here, not this bed. I, I just mean I, I see us quite clearly in bed together. You're holding me hand, uh... very tenderly and then... you're looking at me with such compassion and I feel... tears are streaming down my face. I feel so grateful. It's just a... very special moment neither of us will ever forget.
SCULLY: Mister Bruckman... there are hits and there are misses. And then there are misses.
(She says the final word with a lot of emphasis. He just smiles.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I just call 'em as I see 'em.
(All the cards are overturned except for the last one.)
PUPPET: Wow, I'm really impressed. I've been to a lot of fortune tellers, but, by far, you're the best.
(The tarot dealer smiles.)
TAROT DEALER: There's still one more card left.
(He goes to turn it but Puppet stops him. The dealer gasps.)
PUPPET: This card's not meant for me. It's yours.
(The dealer overturns the card. It is the death card.)
(Bruckman and Scully are playing poker. Bruckman has three Aces and two eights, constituting a full house known as a "Dead Man's Hand.")
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.
(He smiles as she stares at him. There is more knocking. She looks through the peephole and opens the door. Mulder holds up a folder.)
MULDER: Get this, Scully. The lab analysis from the first bit of fiber that was found just came back. It's lace.
SCULLY: Chantilly lace?
MULDER: You know what I like.
SCULLY: Mulder, it's not likely that the killer was wearing anything made out of chantilly lace at the time of the murders.
MULDER: But what are the odds of the Big Bopper, "Chantilly lace..."
SCULLY: It's a coincidence.
MULDER: If coincidences are just coincidences, why do they feel so contrived?
SCULLY: That's one to pose to the psychic philosopher. Good night, Mulder.
(She puts the folder down in Mulder's hand, smiles and walks out. Mulder locks the door and looks at Bruckman, who is shuffling the deck. Later, Mulder and Bruckman are in separate beds. The light is on because Mulder is reading. Bruckman is wide awake.)
MULDER: Am I keeping you awake?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'm waiting for you to ask me another one of those psychic ability questions.
(Mulder puts the book down.)
MULDER: Well, I've had dreams in my life where I had a vision and then later on, I've seen that vision in reality and then... and as a psychic, have you ever had prophetic dreams like that?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I have only one dream. I dream it ever night. You're not one of those people who turns everything into a sexual symbol, are you?
MULDER: No, no, I'm not a Freudian, no.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'm lying naked in a field of red tulips.
(In Bruckman's dream, his body slowly wastes away into nothing. He speaks over it, describing it.)
I'm not concerned with where I am or how I got there. I'm at peace and it's then that I realize I'm dead. My body begins to turn a greenish-white with spots of purple. Next, the insects arrive. The inevitable follows, putridity and liquescence. Before I know it, I'm nothing but bones. When I start fading to dust, I lose whatever care I still might have had about where my clothes are and as I begin to feel myself slipping away towards I know not what...
(Cut back to Bruckman.)
I wake up. Well, good night.
(He turns off the light. Later, Scully knocks on the door. Mulder opens it and looks at her and Havez, who is smoking a cigarette.)
SCULLY: Mulder, there's... are you okay?
MULDER: Oh, yeah. I just didn't sleep well. What's up?
SCULLY: Havez is going to stay with Bruckman while we go over to a tarot card reader around the corner. There's been another murder.
(A few minutes later, Mulder, now dressed for business, walks out with Scully.)
MULDER: I'm beginning to lose patience with our psychic, Scully. What good are his prophecies if they're not preventive?
SCULLY: Actually, I'm starting to feel more sympathetic towards him.
MULDER: So, you're convinced he's a psychic now?
SCULLY: Well, no, not really.
(She nearly collides with the bellhop. They try to get around each other but always end up walking in the same direction to.)
PUPPET: Sorry, ma'am.
(He walks past her.)
SCULLY: But I am convinced that by thinking he can see the future, he's taken all the joy out of his life.
(Bruckman is still in bed. Havez is sitting on the other one, telling a joke.)
HAVEZ: So then the priest says to the rabbi...
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: "I had it set for quail."
(He laughs for a second, then stops.)
Hey, I thought you said you hadn't heard that one before.
(Bruckman looks at him.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I hadn't.
(Havez laughs a little uncomfortably.)
HAVEZ: Hey... is it true that you can see how people are going to die? I mean, can you see how I'm going to die?
(Bruckman shakes his head. Havez sighs in relief.)
(Bruckman sits up. Havez stands and checks his pockets for a match or a lighter. Bruckman lights Mrs. Lowe's lighter and Havez lights the cigarette. Havez exhales and starts coughing as Bruckman studies the lighter.)
Hey, I got to go visit your restroom for a second. Don't open that door for anybody.
(Havez goes into the bathroom as Bruckman's face becomes that of horror as he stares at the lighter.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Oh, God.
(There is a knock on the door. Bruckman opens the door and the bellhop walks in and puts the tray down on the desk. Bruckman gives him a bill and goes over to the tray. The bellhop looks at the bill and looks back at Bruckman. Bruckman and Puppet, though having never met each other, instantly recognize one another. Puppet smiles and walks towards him, then picks up the knife off of the tray.)
Was that not enough of a tip?
PUPPET: They brought you right to me, right to where I work.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: What are the chances of that happening?
PUPPET: They're astronomical! It's beyond believability.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: But not impossibility. I mean, after all, here we are.
PUPPET: It's funny how things work out sometimes, isn't it?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'll say.
(He sits down on the bed. Puppet takes off his hat.)
PUPPET: So there's something I've been wanting to ask you for some time now. You've seen the things I do in the past as well as in the future.
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: They're terrible things.
PUPPET: I know they are. So, tell me, please, why have I done them?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Don't you understand yet, son? Don't you get it?
(Puppet shakes his head and shrugs.)
You do the things you do because you're a homicidal maniac.
(Puppet thinks about it for a moment and smiles.)
PUPPET: That... that does explain a lot, doesn't it?
(He sits down next to Bruckman.)
It's all starting to make sense now.
(He laughs and looks at Bruckman. His smile disappears as he stands, ready to kill Bruckman.)
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: No. You don't kill me now.
PUPPET: I don't? Why not?
CLYDE BRUCKMAN: How should I know?
(Havez comes out of the bathroom, coughing. Puppet looks at him and lunges as Havez tries to get his gun. Bruckman looks on in horror.)
(Scully, wearing rubber gloves, looks at the card "The Page of Cups." Mulder walk around to the body, where Cline is kneeling down.)
MULDER: Now, we've either got a copycat killer or our guy's getting extremely lackadaisical.
CLINE: Not only did he leave the body, but he didn't even bother to remove the eyes.
(Scully looks out the window, hearing a commotion. She looks outside to see a crowd congregated around an ambulance. She thinks about something.)
MAN OUTSIDE: What happened?
MULDER: If my Miss Manners serves me right, that protrusion from his left cornea is a salad fork.
CLINE: Something tells me we're going to get prints off it.
(Scully looks at a piece of lace on the tip of her finger that she found.)
SCULLY: Mulder, I found another strand of that silk.
MULDER: Ah, we've got more than that this time, Scully. We've got fingerprints, probably a footprint even.
CLINE: Yeah, this is more like it. No more psychics and their vague visions and predictions. Hell, we don't even need our own hunches. This case is just now about good old-fashioned forensic police work.
SCULLY: It's the bellhop.
(They look at her.)
He's the killer, the bellhop at the hotel!
(She runs out.)
CLINE: How the hell does she know that?
MULDER: Woman's intuition.
(He runs after her.)
(Puppet hurries out of Bruckman's hotel room and walks down the stairs with a sign over it marked "exit." The elevator opens on the other side and Scully walks in too late to see him. She goes into Bruckman's hotel room.)
(She takes out her gun and walks slowly towards the bathroom.)
(She walks into the bathroom to find Havez, his cigarette still lit. Mulder hits the button on the elevator. Through the double doors next to him, Puppet is visibly seen through the window. They look at each other, then Puppet turns around, glancing back. Mulder, realizing who he is, makes chase as Puppet runs away. Mulder bursts through the double doors, gun in hand.)
(Puppet runs into the kitchen and turns the lights out. Mulder runs in and starts one way when he hears a clatter. Mulder slowly walks through the dark kitchen, pointing his gun. He feels something under his foot as Puppet stalks him. He looks down to see a pie. Remember Bruckman's vision, he turns around to see no one. Puppet comes at him from behind but Mulder blocks his hand with his wrist, struggling to keep the knife away. Mulder drops the gun and Puppet throws him into the steel locker, then punches him in the gut. Mulder goes down and Puppet kneels over him. Scully comes out of the service elevator and aims her gun.)
SCULLY: Drop it!
(Puppet looks at her, then goes to carve Mulder up anyway. Scully shoots him in the chest, much to Puppet's surprise and chagrin.)
PUPPET: Hey... that's not the way it's supposed to happen.
(He falls back. Mulder slowly tries to get up as Scully runs to him and kneels down. She tries to help him up.)
MULDER: How'd you know where to find us?
SCULLY: I didn't. I got on the service elevator by mistake.
(She checks the cut marks on Mulder's wrists.)
MULDER: Thank heaven for happenstance.
SCULLY: You know, none of Bruckman's prophecy came true. The killer didn't get to him first, but he did kill Havez.
MULDER: Then Bruckman is all right?
SCULLY: Actually, I don't know. I couldn't find him.
MULDER: Well, then where is he?
(Mrs. Lowe's dog sits outside the apartment, whimpering. There is a note taped onto the door. Mulder and Scully walk over and Mulder takes the note off.)
MULDER: "Miss Scully."
(Scully takes the letter out of the envelope and starts to read.)
SCULLY: "My neighbor, Mrs. Lowe, passed away last night. Please see that the remains of her remains are taken care of. Would you like a dog? He's paper-trained and well-behaved, regardless of his actions last night, which you can't really blame him for."
(Scully looks at Mulder.)
(Mulder and Scully walk into the dark apartment with the dog leading the way. They walk over to the bed where the deceased Clyde Bruckman is laying. He has a plastic bag over his head tightly. She picks up his hand and an empty bottle of pills rolls off. She holds his hand and looks at his face. A drop of the moisture in the bag rolls off a certain way to give the impression that Bruckman is crying. Scully starts to tear up as well. She looks at Mulder, half-realizing that the prophecy he had made about them had come true.)
(Scully is curled up on the couch with her new dog, Queemqueg. They are watching Laurel and Hardy. The two comedians' bodies are replaced with skeletons.)
OLIVER HARDY ON TV: Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.
(Laurel, as usual, is blubbering.)
STAN LAUREL ON TV: Well, I couldn't help it.
OLIVER HARDY ON TV: Come on. Let's get back to Peoria where we belong.
(The two skeletons walk towards the camera as it fades to black, replaced by a drawing of a bull with the words "The End" and a copyright by Twentieth Century Fox. Scully reaches over to get the changer when she hears a familiar voice on the TV.)
YAPPI ON TV: Do you want to know the future? Do you want to know what lies ahead?
(She looks at the screen. There is a commercial for the Stupendous Yappi's hotline. He is standing there, and the caption reads:
" The Stupendous
$3.99 Per Minute/For Adults & Entertainment Only")
Then call me, the Stupendous Yappi.
(He sits down.)
For years, I have entertained audiences with my psychic abilities. I have been consulted by Hollywood stars, police departments... even presidents.
(The camera zooms in on him as he leans forward, his right eyebrow arched up.)
Now, I can be your personal psychic consultant.
(Cut to a plain man sitting behind a desk on the phone.)
Do you want to know if you will get that promotion?
(Cut to a very beautiful woman on the phone next to her very handsome boyfriend.)
Do you want to know if your marriage will be successful?
(Cut to a man on a payphone as a woman walks by. They stop and look at each other.)
Do you want to know where you will meet your one true love?
(The woman looks at the screen and smiles, arching an eyebrow briefly. Cut back to Yappi.)
Then call me at 1-900-555-Yapp. Remember, the future is close at hand and so is your phone.
(Scully picks up her phone and raises it to her ear.)
So to hear tomorrow's secrets today, just pick it up.
(The camera zooms in on Yappi's eyes.)
I know you will. I can see your future.
(Scully throws the phone at the TV.)