The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 20

Humbug (31 Mar. 1995)
"The X Files" Humbug (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,859 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

The agents search for a killer in a Flordia town inhabited by sideshow performers.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Jim Rose ...
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Sheriff Hamilton
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Mr. Nutt (as Michael Anderson)
The Enigma ...
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Lanny
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Curator
John Payne ...
Jerald Glazebrook
Gordon Tipple ...
Hepcat Helm
Alvin Law ...
The Reverend
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Storyline

Mulder and Scully find themselves delving into the world of freaks and circus sideshows when Jerald Glazebrook, otherwise known as the Alligator Man, is killed in his swimming pool. Mulder determines that this attack is identical to 48 others that have taken place over 28 years across the US, the last five of which have taken place in Florida. They soon find themselves in a Florida community where circus performers reside. They learn about the Fiji Mermaid, a half-ape, half-fish creature that never existed. Mulder however can't help but wonder. The murders continue but suspects abound and even the local Sheriff turns out to have once been a sideshow performer. Someone's twin is responsible for what is happening. Written by garykmcd

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31 March 1995 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Jim Rose and The Enigma actually are part of a circus, The Jim Rose Circus. It was founded in Seattle by Jim Rose in the early 1990s. They came to prominence while performing on the second stage at the 1992 Lollapalooza festival as the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. See more »

Quotes

[after the funeral, attended exclusively by circus performers, breaks up due to Dr. Blockhead's impromptu performance]
Mulder: I can't wait for the wake.
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Connections

References 60 Minutes (1968) See more »

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Symphony No. 3
(uncredited)
Written by Witold Lutoslawski
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User Reviews

 
X-Files Gets It's "Freak-On"
25 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You gotta love it when The X Files steps outside of itself, going beyond the usual to do something different. In the episode "Humbug" we get to see an excellent example of that as it tackles the world of so-called sideshow freaks. Of course it does so with a paranormal slant, but that is patently downplayed here and the absurdity of some condition, of what is perhaps a super-mutant type,yet human, creature, is ran with in a very creative way. And, not that The X Files never injects humor, I mean the whole Lone Gunmen spin off certainly substantiates that, but here we get it at a frequency and at inappropriate times which only makes it more present in a low-key brilliant way.

The whole premise of the story is interesting as there really is a Gibsonton Florida which grew into a home away from the road for countless side show performers. Not only that, but the additions to the cast of town inhabitants and current "freakshow" performers is "spot-on" as far as adding mysterious credibility to an otherwise too outlandish story ( I personally usually like X-Files best when the stories have just enough credibility to be only improbable, not impossible). The performances of true-life "freaks" Jim Rose and The Enigma really nail down "Humbug" catapulting it into one of my top two or three season two episodes. The late, and truly great, character actor Vincent Schiavelli brings what he does best in his limited role here too.

All in all, this is an excellent episode that proves if guest writers, such as Darin Morgan who is credited here, are let to allow their creative juices to flow X-Files doesn't have to be constrained by anything alien related. Recommended.


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