Recap: The X Files S 03 E 20 Jose Chungs From Outer Space

Blaine (talking about Scully and Mulder): One of them was disguised as a woman, but wasn't pulling it off. Like, her hair was red, but it was a little too red, y'know? And the other one, the tall, lanky one, his face was so blank and expressionless. He didn't even seem human. I think he was a mandroid.


  • Absurdism: One of the best examples of this philosophy in recent TV, this episode actually has a serious message under all the comedy: it's about the conflict between the innate human desire to make connections with other and the fact that we are ultimately isolated by the subjective nature of our own perceptions.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms Mulder has one of this, when watching Bigfoot found footage.
  • Affectionate Parody
  • Alien Abduction
    • This episode crams nearly every variation of abduction stories (and their possible explanations) into one narrative.
  • Alien Autopsy: It's not an alien being autopsied.
  • Anal Probe
  • Better Than Sex:
    Lt. Schaefer: Have you ever flown a flying saucer? Afterwards, sex seems trite.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Zig-Zagged. Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek and wrestler/future governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura appeared in the roles of The Men in Black. The man in black played by Ventura was described as "creepy," while the one played by Trebek just "looked like Alex Trebek," which made those reporting them seem all the more crazy.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: A lot of them.
  • Continuity Nod: Stupendous Yappi, a Phony Psychic we met in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", appears in a video of the alien autopsy which Scully performed.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Detective Manners.
    • Jose Chung interrupts Scully when she seems to want to say what Detective Manners really said.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Chung.
  • Fiction as Cover-Up
  • Fictional Document: The book From Outer Space which is being written by Jose Chung.
  • Gas Leak Coverup
  • Hot Scientist / Fair Cop: The writer Chung fancied Scully, calling her a brainy beauty with good taste in literature.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The local police force, the FBI, the CIA, The Men in Black, and the Military. Wow!
  • Large Ham: You only saw the planet Venus.
  • Meaningful Echo: Certain phrases get repeated often, adding to the overlapping effect of unreliable narration to what really is happening in Klass County.
  • The Men in Black
    • They keep appearing throughout the episode.
    • Mulder himself is referred to as a man-in-black-government-authority-figure type, with a blank expression and emotionless face.
  • Mind Screw: What really happened there, we'll never know.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe reason why Chung is writing the novel.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Scully is uncomfortable with Detective Manners's cop-mouth.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Chung is largely based on Truman Capote, with his research trip to Klass County and boasting about creating a "new literary genre" of "non-fiction science fiction" being pretty obvious parallels to the making of In Cold Blood. He's also (like his actor Charles Nelson Reilly) very obviously gay, though this is never directly commented upon.
    • Klass County was named after Philip Klass, a prominent UFO skeptic.
    • Detective Manners was based on show director Kim "Bleeping" Manners, who did curse like that in real life.
  • Prison Rape: Mulder tells Harold that he's likely to experience this. The threat is gentler than you might expect because Mulder is sure that Harold is innocent of taking advantage of Chrissy, and is also trying to get the truth about the UFO.
  • "Rashomon"-Style
  • Room Full of Crazy: The Conspiracy Theorist who believes in aliens and who wants to be abducted in "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" has a corner in his room which is a nice foil to Mulder's office. He even has a similar poster but the message reads "I believe".
  • Sound Effect Bleep: Detective Manners in Scully's narration.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Several of them, some of which are having their unreliable narration re-told second hand by another Unreliable Narrator (either Chung or Scully)
  • Unusual Euphemism: Bleep used as various parts of speech, a-hole and many others.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot
  • You Look Familiar: Detective "Bleeping" Manners was Sheriff John Oakes in "Die Hand die verletzt". He would later appear in two more episodes.
    • Alex Diakun (as Dr. Fingers) had been in two episodes before this one (both also written by Darin Morgan).