A man is tossed off the top of a 29 story building by gangsters. Amazingly, he gets up and walks away unscathed. Mulder and Scully investigate when Mulder suspects this man may have ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Henry Weems
Maggie Lupone
Joe Cutrona
Richie Lupone (as Shia La Beouf)
Mr. Haas
Dom Magwili ...
Mr. Ng
Mr. Jank (as Marshal Manesh)
Ernie Lee Banks ...
Chris Fogleman ...
Billy (as Chip Fogleman)
Dominique DiPrima ...
Megan McLean
Bobby Moynahan ...


A man is tossed off the top of a 29 story building by gangsters. Amazingly, he gets up and walks away unscathed. Mulder and Scully investigate when Mulder suspects this man may have paranormal abilities. The man in question may just be the luckiest man on Earth. Written by Muldernscully

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Release Date:

12 December 1999 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Second appearance of Willie Garson in the series. The first was in Season 3, episode 7, The Walk. See more »


When Mulder and Scully enter the basement about seven and a half minutes in, Mulder says the line: "No technically falling 300 hundred feet and surviving isn't a crime", and his mouth is clearly seen closed, not moving. See more »


Scully: You OK, Mulder?
Mulder: Yeah, it's alright. My ass broke the fall.
See more »


References The Sting (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Maybe he just got lucky.
16 April 2007 | by (Roy, Utah) – See all my reviews

The Goldberg Variation is a decent monster of the week episode with a few plot holes that lessen the enjoyment. It's interesting to see Willie Garson(from season three's "The Walk" as Roach) return in a starring role as Henry Weems, an extremely lucky man. He does a fine job in this starring role. What immediately caught my eye was Mulder telling Scully "nice outfit" when they first meet in the episode; further evidence of them acting differently towards each other after their kiss in "Millennium". It seems to be intentional by the writers. I don't understand why Mulder and Scully are investigating this in the first place. No crime was committed. They are just there because a man miraculously survived a thirty story fall. Mulder says that the agents who saw Henry get thrown off the roof gave chase but didn't catch him. Weems is walking, visibly limping, away from the shaft, and two able-bodied FBI agents couldn't catch him? For maybe the first time, Scully solves the case early by suggesting that Weems may have just been lucky surviving the fall, for which Mulder ridicules her. She ends up being right in the end, even though she doesn't believe her own theory. I like the parallel of the Hangman Goldberg device of Henry's with the mobster subsequently hanging himself, albeit upside down. A final plot hole is when the mobsters kidnap Richie's mom in the end. The mobsters had no way of knowing that Weems cares for the sick boy enough to trade himself for her. The Goldberg Variation is funny at times with several Mulder one-liners, but it doesn't totally work, trying to weave comedy with a serious story of a dying boy in need of a liver.

20 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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