X-Files

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The One With Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle strolls out of the convenience store. According to the date stamp, we're in St Paul, on September 16. As he crosses the street, he runs into a putzy-looking little blond dude. They do the "I can't seem to get around you," sidestepping dance. "Sorry," Peter Boyle says "Don't apologize," Putzy replies. "You're a better dancer than my last date."

Putzy goes in to see a fortune teller, next to the liquor store. She takes his hands in hers and asks in a phony accent what has brought him to her. Putzy tells her that he wants to know why he's going to be doing the things he's going to be doing. The fortune teller irritably points out that she's a palm reader, not a psychologist. Putzy knows that. But, he says, the things he's going to be doing are just so out of character! They're things he can't imagine himself being capable of! He tightens his grip on her hands, until she cries out. Putzy calmly tells her that, as a fortune teller, she should have seen this coming. Then he jumps her. And not in the good way.

Crime scene. North Minneapolis, three days later. There's a pair of bloody eyes and some disemboweled entrails clumped on the carpet. Appetizing! The victim must have been a doll collector, since the room is lined with hundred of dolls in glass cabinets. That's as creepy as the eyeballs, but for an entirely different reason. Cops are all over the place. Let's call the ones with lines...oh, Blond Cop and Bald Cop. Because, um, one is bald, and the other is blond. Blond Cop is irritated because Bald Cop has called in what Blond Cop dubs "some unorthodox help." Bald insists that "the guy" is an expert in paranormal phenomena. Mid-argument, Mulder walks into the room, all pretty in spite of his bad, bad hairdo. Everyone looks up. "Who the hell are you?" Bald asks. Get it? We were supposed to think they were talking about Mulder when actually, they were not. The old bait and switch. Actually, is that a bait and switch? Not exactly. Whatever. You know what I mean. The heat here has addled my brain. At some point over the weekend, I think I was actually on fire. Wearily, Mulder introduces himself and Scully. The cops explain that they're worried they have a Satanist on their hands, but Mulder comfortingly points out that Satanists generally take the eyeballs. Good to know. Scully hands over a profile they've worked up on the killer, as Mulder runs through a number of his usual Wacky Paranormal Theories for a Crime Scully is Sure Has a Reasonable Explanation. Each person at the crime scene makes a skeptical face except Scully, who just looks bored. She exposits that they're dealing with a serial killer who preys on "professional prognosticators." But, the cops point out, this woman was a professional doll collector. She was also, Mulder notices, an amateur reader of tea leaves. Just like Tabitha on Passions! Except I'll bet that, unlike Tabitha, the doll-collecting tea-leaf reader isn't all reading horrible fates for everyone and then privately cackling over them with her talking doll. Actually...maybe she is. One of those dolls could easily be a talker. Anyhoo, there's a big hubbub in the hallway, and eventually Yappi -- the guy on the front of the tabloid from the opening scene -- comes sweeping into the room, along with a Addicted-To-Love Robert-Palmer-Girl-type chippie. Yappi dramatically runs onto the crime scene, his eyebrows working overtime. Seriously. While Scully is the master of the artfully raised brow of disgust, employed at various appropriate moments, Yappi's brows rise and lower willy-nilly, like two spastic caterpillars sprung full-grown from his skull like Athena from the head of Zeus. Yappi squeals that he's having visions of the killer: "White man. With facial hair. Or not. But yes, yes, a tattoo! Somewhere! On his body! Maybe the tattoo has the facial hair." Mulder and Scully exchange bemused glances, as Yappi runs over to an area of the carpet and starts caressing it. He sees the killer there, he says, forcing himself on the girl. But he's impotent, Yappi says. And frustrated. And so he kills her. Yappi hauls himself off the floor. "I lost the vision," he snips. "Someone is blocking me. I am picking up negative energy." Eyebrow, eyebrow, eyebrow. After going nose to nose with Scully, Yappi fingers Mulder as the negative one. Eyebrow. "Please, leave this room," Yappi huffs. Mulder insists he's a believer in psychic energy. "So you say with your mouth [eyebrow]. Your thoughts tell me the truth [eyebrow]," Yappi squeals. The cops firmly ask Mulder to leave. "I can't take you anywhere," Scully mutters.

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X-Files

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