Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully must find the paranormal among the abnormal when they are sent to investigate a long standing series of ritualistic killings which match no known patterns. The latest of which was the death of the Alligator Man, just one of many sideshow acts around which the town of Gibsontown, Florida is built.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Reverend: For although Jerry was a world-renowned escape artist, there is one strongbox from which none of us can escape...

[Coffin begins to shake violently. Mourners lift the coffin away and Dr Blockhead claws his way up out of the ground]

Dr Blockhead: Not having known the deceased personally, I'm in no position to perform a eulogy. I'm sure he was a nice guy, etcetera, etcetera. But as an admirer of the man's work, I am in a position to perform an impromptu tribute in his honour! Namely, ramming this spike into my CHEST!

Mulder: I can't wait for the wake.

Mulder: I got the impression that Glazebrook wasn't the only sideshow performer residing here.

Sheriff Hamilton: Now some of them may be different on the outside, but it's what's inside that counts, and on the inside, they're as normal as anybody.

Scully: Until their arrest, many serial killers are considered by their friends and family to be quite normal. If you truly regard these people as normal, then you must also consider the possibility that they are capable of committing these crimes.

Sheriff Hamilton: It's just been my experience that other people have a harder time accepting these peoples deformities than they do themselves.

Hepcat Helm: Who are the rubes?

Sheriff Hamilton: These are FBI agents Scully and Mulder. This is Hepcat Helm, he operates a carnival funhouse.

Hepcat Helm: Oh man, how many times have I told you not to call it that. It's not some rinky dink carny ride. People go through it, they don't have fun, they get the hell scared out of them. It's not a funhouse, it's a tabernacle of terror.

Sheriff Hamilton: It's a funhouse.

[Mulder shows Sheriff Hamilton track leading from the scene of similar murders]

Sheriff Hamilton: You don't mean to tell me you think these tracks are made by the Fiji Mermaid?

Scully: Do you recall what Barnum said about suckers? [Scully nods at Mulder and looks in his direction. Sheriff Hamilton also turns to look at Mulder]

Mulder: Tell me, have you done much circus work in your life?

Mr Nut: And what makes you think I've ever spectated a circus? Much less been enslaved by one?

Mulder: I know that many of the citizens here are former circus hands, and I just thought that...

Mr Nut: You thought that because I am a person of short stature, that the only career I could procure for myself would be one confined to the so-called Big Top. You took one quick look at me, and decided that you could deduce my entire life. Never would it have occurred to you that a person of my height could have possibly obtained a degree in Hotel Management.

Mulder: I'm sorry. I meant no offence.

Mr Nut: Well then why should I take offence? Just because it's human nature to make instantaneous judgements of others based solely upon their physical appearances? Why I've done the same thing to you, for example. I've taken in your all-American features, your dour demeanour, your unimaginative necktie design, and concluded that you work for the government; an FBI agent... but do you see the tragedy here? I have mistakenly deduced you to a stereotype. A caricature, instead of regarding you as a specific, unique individual.

Mulder: But I am an FBI agent.

Lanny: Mr Nut, the kind-hearted manager here, convinced me that to make a living by publicly displaying my deformity lacked dignity. So... now I carry other people's luggage. I believe these are your trailers; if they are not... then I am wrong.

[Mulder takes the suitcases from Lanny and tips him]

Lanny: Oh, that's most considerate. Thank you very much.

[Mulder shows Scully that he still has the tip in his hand]

Lanny: Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite. No, no, that's... that's not what I meant... I... I didn't mean to imply that we had bedbugs... I... I meant to say don't let... don't let the...

Mulder: The Fiji Mermaids bite?

Lanny: Yes, that's right... The Fiji Mermaids...

Scully: Mulder, what is this Fiji Mermaid business?

Mulder: Every murder investigation begins with a list of possible suspects. You should try not to be so exclusive, Scully.

Scully: As long as you try not to let the atmosphere of this town distort your list all out of proportion.

Dr Blockhead: How many people do you know that can get out of a straight jacket in under three minutes?

Scully: Fortunately none.

[Mulder and Scully watch as Dr Blockhead hammers a long nail up his nose]

Mulder: Have you ever performed this... act on anyone else?

Dr Blockhead: What, are you sick? I tell my audiences that if they're stupid enough to try this on themselves they'll end up with a slight lobotomy. I am a professional.

Mulder: Exactly how does one become a professional Blockhead? May I? [Mulder extracts the nail with a pair of pliers]

Dr Blockhead: Did you know that through the protective practice of Tiea Bu Shan, you can train your testicles to draw up into your abdomen?

Mulder: Oh, I'm doing that as we speak.

[The Conundrum bursts to the surface of the large cauldron that Dr Blockhead was performing his escape over]

Mulder: I saw him this morning down by the river. He was eating a fish.

Dr Blockhead: He knows between-show snacks will ruin his appetite.

Mulder: I could be mistaken. Maybe it was another bald-headed jigsaw puzzle tattooed naked guy I saw.

Scully: Is this man also a body manipulator?

Dr Blockhead: No, in the classical sense The Conundrum is a geek.

Mulder: He eats live animals...

Dr Blockhead: He eats anything; live animals, dead animals, rocks, light bulbs, corkscrews, battery cables, cranberries...

Scully: Human flesh?

Dr Blockhead: Only The Conundrum can answer that question. But, he doesn't answer questions, he merely poses them. When an audience partakes in The Conundrum's human piranha act, they are left to ask themselves... [Dr Blockhead tips live crickets into The Conundrum's mouth] why? But, where are my manners? [He offers Scully a cricket from the jar]

Scully: [taking one] Thank you. [Eats cricket, smiles at Mulder then walks away. Mulder refuses the crickets and follows Scully]

[Scully pulls cricket she ate from behind Mulder's ear]

Scully: It's an old sleight of hand my uncle taught me. He was only an amateur magician but he was still better than those two.

Mulder: Well I'm going over to the lab to see if they can test the blood on the window against the blood on Dr Blockhead's nail. [Producing nail from mid-air] Everybody's uncle's an amateur magician.

Curator: At the autopsy it was officially concluded that Chang died of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Scully: And what was the official cause of Eng's death?

Curator: Fright.

Mulder: Does Agent Scully know you're under her crawlspace?

Mr Nut: I was merely repairing the plumbing on this unit. I know what you're thinking my friend, but you're grossly mistaken... Just because I'm not of so-called average height does not mean I must receive my thrills vicariously. Not all women are attracted to overly tall, lanky men such as yourself. You'd be surprised how many women find my size intriguingly alluring.

Mulder: You'd be surprised how many men do as well. [Mr Nut is about waist height compared with Mulder]

[Mr Nut storms off in disgust]

Scully: Oh, it's you. Is Mr Nut finished with the plumbing?

[Mulder and Scully are digging up object buried by Sheriff Hamilton]

Mulder: [pausing from his digging] You know, Scully, hypertrichosis does not connote lycanthropy.

Scully: What are you implying?

Mulder: We're being highly discriminatory here. Just because a man was once afflicted with excessive hairiness, we've no reason to suspect him of aberrant behaviour.

Scully: It's like assuming guilt based solely on skin colour, isn't it?

[Sheepish looks are exchanged; but they keep digging]

Sheriff Hamilton: May I ask what you're doing? [Shining a flashlight on Mulder and Scully]

Mulder: We're exhuming... [Mulder removes the object from the hole] Your potato.

Sheriff Hamilton: May I ask why?

Scully: Sheriff, it... it... it's been documented that many serial killers often possess a fascination with police work. Some of them even holding positions on their local force. So surveillance of investigation team members is often utilised as a precaution and —

Mulder: We found out that you used to be a dog-faced boy. [Handing the pamphlet to Sheriff Hamilton]

Sheriff Hamilton: Boy, look how skinny I was back then.

Scully: So that is you.

Sheriff Hamilton: Oh sure, I spent the first half of my life as Jim Jim. Then one morning I noticed a bald spot on top of my head and realised I wasn't only losing my hair but my career as well. Eventually all the hair went, on top my head anyways. The rest of my body's still pretty hairy, which is... why I never go to the beach.

Scully: That doesn't quite explain the potato.

Sheriff Hamilton: I got... ah, some warts on my hand.

Mulder: That doesn't quite explain the potato.

Sheriff Hamilton: To get rid of warts, you... rub a sliced potato on your hand and bury it under a full moon. Investigation isn't going too well, is it?

[Mulder tosses the potato back into the hole]

Mr Nut: So tell me, Commodore, why are the weirdos the only ones that pay their rent cheques in advance?

Scully: You know, Mulder. For a while there I was beginning to suspect this case involved something a bit more um...

Mulder: Freakish? You really shouldn't complain about banality, Scully. When your main suspect is the human Blockhead.

[Dr Blockhead is adjusting the fishing lines attached to the hooks in his chest]

Dr Blockhead: If people knew the true price of spirituality, there'd be more atheists.

Dr Blockhead: I don't answer any questions until I talk to my lawyer.

Scully: Who is your lawyer?

Dr Blockhead: I represent myself.

Scully: Sir, if you're going to be uncooperative, I'll have to handcuff you.

Dr Blockhead: What gives you fascists the right to do that?

Scully: Did I not mention we're federal agents?

Dr Blockhead: Did I not mention that I'm an escape artist?

[Dr Blockhead breaks free, pushes Mulder down and goes out the door. Mulder falls onto bed of nails]

Scully: Mulder, are you okay?

Mulder: It's more comfortable than a futon.

Sheriff Hamilton: Hey, look what I caught! [Tugging the fishing lines running from Dr Blockhead's chest]

Dr Blockhead: Ouch!

Sheriff Hamilton: Now you're sure it was the twin you saw running around here? I mean maybe it was the Fiji Mermaid, he jumped back in the river and swum his way back to Fiji.

Mulder: [to Scully] Now you know how I feel.

Dr Blockhead: Then it'll probably try to crawl back up in to it's brother.

Scully: No, his brother Lanny died last night. I already performed the autopsy on him this morning.

Dr Blockhead: So I guess it's true. You can never go home again.

Dr Blockhead: You see, I've seen the future, and the future looks just like him... [Mulder in a classic GQ pose] Imagine, going through your whole life looking like that. That's why it's left up to the self-made freaks like me and The Conundrum to remind people...

Scully: Remind them of what?

Dr Blockhead: Nature abhors normality. It can't go very long without a mutant. Do you know why?

Scully: No. Why?

Dr Blockhead: I don't either. It's a mystery. Maybe some mysteries are never meant to be solved

Mulder: What's the matter with your friend?

Dr Blockhead: I don't know what his problem is. Maybe it's the Florida heat?

Scully: Hope it's nothing serious.

The Conundrum: Probably something I ate.