The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 12

Leonard Betts

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 26, 1997 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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  • I woke up one morning, got myself a head

    A gross and slimy case that I thought for sure would turn Scully around to accepting an idea beyond scientific explanation. Come on dude a cut off head opened its eyes and mouth at you and your still dubious. Well thats who she is I guess but at least now she's learned some moves. When Leonard attacked her in the van it was a relief to see her fight back, she really is a strong character though my jokes aside.

    Dope ass effects are the big highlights here with this case that's full of horror. Supposedly dead bodies escaping, gathering body parts, love it.
  • Leonard Betts

    Leonard Betts was a superb and awesome episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching as Mulder and Scully investigated a seemingly miraculous man who had a special gift. The price of his gift was pretty steep. This was a fun story with some great character moments. The make up and costume artists did a great job with some of the more grotesque scenes. I liked how every thing played out. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!
  • The Real Cancer Man

    This episode should not have worked, the premise is almost laughably bad, but somehow it pulls you in and before you know it, another 45 minutes has gone by and you can't wait for the next episode.

    The writing might be the biggest reason that this episode is a success. It is tight and seamless and the action unfolds almost effortlessly with a good mix of humor. Speaking of which, Mulder's reaction when Scully asked him to dig into the medical waste dumpster was classic! It set up perfectly his quip a few moments later about finding the toy prize when he grabs Leonard's head. Too funny :).

    The special effects are very, very good and I liked how the gore that one would expect given the circumstances was muted so as to still be effective without being offensive. You really believe that Scully is about to slice into Leonard's head when it blinks (or was it winked?) and you feel her creeped out agitation as she describes the event to Mulder over the telephone. A classic moment in the series.

    But it's the ending of this episode that makes this one of the pivotal episodes of the series as Leonard tells Scully she has something he needs. The look of utter desolation on Scully's face is priceless, and haunting given the events that will play out in future episodes.
  • Great episode

    I haven't been the biggest fan of Season 4, but I must say, the last four or five episodes have been way more entertaining than the start of the season. This episode seems to be the pinnacle of the season, occurring right at the middle and combining everything (minus the conspiracies) that the show does best.

    The basic idea is that a man is killed in a car accident, losing his head (literally) at the same time. However, later that day, he gets up, headless, and walks out of the morgue. Mulder and Scully begin investigating and from here, we get our usual X-Files format: Scully believes it's body snatchers for profit and Mulder believes its full body regeneration. He compares this man, Leonard Betts, to a salamander or a worm who can regenerate body parts.

    The episode itself may seem a bit boilerplate, but it had plenty of humor, more than its fair share of eerie moments and an ending that hints at sinister things to come. Also, did Mulder invent the whole "will the real Slim Shady please stand up line" two or three years before it even came out? When he asked the real cancer man to please stand up, I burst out laughing since this is happening three years before Eminem came onto the radio.

    Definitely a great episode of X-Files and proof that stand-alone plots can be better than the alien/conspiracy stuff sometimes.
  • A very cool episode :)

    A very cool episode. Scully always the sceptical and Mulder always the believer.
    I thought it was so cool when Betts would regenerate or lose a part of his body. When he “regrew” his head, I thought that was pretty neat lol Or when Mulder said to Scully that the tumours where snacks, I was so disgusted! Lol Or when Mulder and Scully had “Albert Tanner” and Leonard Betts by them, and Mulder said “will the real Leonard Betts please stand up”… I laughed my head off lol

    I was so not expecting Leonard Betts to say “You have what I need” to Scully. I don’t believe she has cancer. What’s going to happen to Scully, if she really does have cancer? If and when Scully discovers she has cancer, how is Mulder going to react when he finds out? …
  • Will the real cancer man please stand up?

    Leonard Betts sees a dead man come back to life. The only problem there is that he’s hungry for cancer and is going round chopping it out of people. This is a really good episode and as always the special effects are amazing good for TV. The story unfolds at a good pace and keeps the viewer interested as well as on the end of their seat. There is a major event at the end of this episode- which I won’t spoil for people who haven’t seen it, but that event will affect the rest of this season. Overall a great episode.
  • The one with the guy that can regenerate himself.

    ‘Leonard Betts’ was yet another fantastic season 4 episode. Great storyline, great writing, creepy and very effective. And it also developed Scully’s character in a way we sort of wished it didn’t but deep down loved it did.

    The teaser begins with an ambulance going to the hospital, one of the doctors seems to know a lot about cancer. But then they have an accident, the woman that was driving the ambulance survived and goes to check up on the doctor named Leonard but she finds him decapitated.

    In the morgue, someone hears something. The man goes to check up on Leonard’s body and only finds the head, the man gets killed from behind.

    Mulder and Scully went to investigate the murder and case, the body of Leonard is gone but they do find his head. Mulder eventually gets weird things in his mind, he thinks that maybe the headless body walked out on it’s own. But Scully questions him like usual by replying that a body cannot find it’s way home without a head.

    Mulder goes to the apartment of the guy but doesn’t find him, only the clothes. But Leonard was hiding in the bath, he still got his head on. Or wait, it regenerated.

    Meanwhile Scully investigates the head and she gets her creep on when it moves. Later they look into it and they find that his brain is filled with cancer, the man should have died way before that could even happen.

    Leonars finger prints finds another man, who has a mother. They go to her house and she tells them that her son has already died six years ago. But they know she’s lying. When they come back she tells them that Leonard was always different from the most kids and that the only reason that he would kill would be for the greater good.

    When his collage Michelle finds out that he isn’t dead she wants to talk to him but he says that he’s sorry she found him and now he has to kill her and so he does. He’s caught and arrested but when he’s left alone he tears out his finger to cut loose and escapes.

    Leonard needs cancer to survive, he eats it like lunch. He finds a man who he kills to eat his liver with cancer. Then he makes another one of himself reborn out of his own body. When Mulder and Scully find him, they shoot at the car that escapes and it explodes. But the other body is still out there loose.

    Anyway, Scully. As stubborn as she is, still doesn’t believe so Mulder digs up the body of the man who claimed to be the son of the woman and both bodies are identical. That scene was hilarious btw, ‘Will the real Leonard please stand up’.

    Leonard is still pretty sick and bad so he goes to his mother who also has cancer and he eats her liver and then calls the hospital. His mother survives. While Scully stays behind she feels like he’s close to her. He attacks her and says that she has something of his, he tries to cut her open but she kicks him a couple of times and then burns him with the hospital machines.

    What we learn form this episode is that Scully has cancer. We sort of got a hit in the third season ‘Nisei’ Scully wakes up with a nosebleed at the middle of the night.

    The entire episode was fascinating, it began a bit slow and it wasn’t as creepy as it could be. But it was still definitely impressive.
  • A "monster of the week" classic

    Leonard Betts is a man who needs to eat cancer tissue in order to survive his own perilous medical condition. After "Squeeze" and "2Shy", this sounds vaguely familiar, but somehow, this time, the writers really manage to make the "Mutant Killer" retread a fascinating one. With the highest gross-out factor The X Files has probably ever had (and the highest Nielsen rating any episode ever got), this is a truly special version of the all-time classic "Squeeze".

    How exactly this is achieved is a mystery of its own, since the plotting is very similar to the previous shows, yet the suspense never lets up and a good amount of gore and understated humor help keep the episode high on the entertainment scale.

    Paul McCrane (of "ER" fame) is, as always, creepy but likeable in a very strange way. This combined with the writers' outrageous concept makes Betts one of the more memorable X Files villains.

    Finally, this is of course also the episode that provided the show with one of its most surprising and shocking story twists, the revelation that Scully has cancer - an arc that would provide endless great drama up until Season 5's "Redux II". So what more can the X-Phile ask for? An hour of great suspenseful entertainment capped by a shocking ending that leaves you wanting more... this is what we watch The X Files for.
  • The best monster of the week episode since Squeeze.

    Leonard Morris Betts(also known as Albert Tanner)is a huge step in the evolution of man.He is part cancer and therefore needs to feed on it to live.He also has the unique ability to regenerate himself whether its a thumb,head or even his whole body.He isnt a bad man but just needs to feed on the cancer of others so he can survive just like humans need to survive eating other beings.

    The episode revolves around his death at the beginning only for him to rise up and go find more victims of cancer.Scully is sceptical of all this,as always,till he attacks her and tells her "sorry but u have something i need".A subtle yet strong way to show Scullys battle with cancer for the rest of the season.

    Leonard is one of the most unique of monsters in the series showing compassion for his actions.There are some great scary moments with him in a tub full of iodine and the regeneration of his body which is givin extra suspense with the spine tingling music.

    For such a flawed season Leonard Betts surprised me in being a new approach to the near dead MOTW episodes.
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