The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 8

The Amazing Maleeni

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 16, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
266 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a small-time magician performs a trick where it appears that he turns his head all the way around but is then found in his van dead with his head neatly sawn off, Mulder and Scully suspect he was murdered and get caught up in an intricate scheme planned by two magicians trying to rob a bank.moreless

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  • The Amazing Maleeni was quite magical!

    The Amazing Maleeni was a magically entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really liked watching because the story was extremely awesome and well thought out. It was intriguing to see master magicians leading Mulder and Scully around the investigation. The magic tricks were amazing and it was fun to watch every thing unfold according the magician's plans. I also enjoyed Mulder and Scully's individual showcases of magical ability. The ending was awesome and I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Mulder and Scully look into the world of magic.

    When it's all said and done, there's nothing really too X-Files-ish about this episode. Besides one moment near the beginning of the episode, we have a pretty standard drama episode that's geared more towards "Monk" than "X-Files."

    However, that being said, that doesn't mean it's not fun. A magician named The Amaxing Maleeni is doing a show at a pier and claims that this will be his best show yet.. near the end, after being heckled by a fellow magician, he does a dangerous trick: he makes his entire head twist around without moving his body. 360 degrees around. People cheer, the heckler leaves and about 5 minutes later, the magician's head falls off.

    Mulder immediately believes this to be a supernatural event, as usual, while Scully plays the skeptic. However, as the episode progresses, it becomes clear that Mulder and Scully may be victims of magic's most important component: misdirection. Soon, they come to realize that the Amazing Maleeni had a twin who was in a car accident, and that the heckler, LaBonge, had a grudge against Maleeni. The fun of the episode is watching how it all plays out. I described it as a "Monk" episode not because of the OCD elements or anything like that but because we don't know all the pieces until the very last minutes of the episode, and we get the typical Monk flashbacks that show us how all the pieces make sense with the final bits of information.

    Some people may be thinking, "Hey, there isn't too much supernatural stuff here," but I think the show sometimes is just as much proving the supernatural exists as debunking fake supernatural things. This episode is somewhere in between and a good addition to Season 7.moreless
  • A very clever and original episode.

    This is a very fun episode, the elaborate conspiracy, the unexplained head-turning trick, Belange's magic (which looked convincingly real) and a nice sense of humour.

    Conspiracy – certainly explains the apparent intense dislike between Maleeni and Belange, part of the misdirection. A very elaborate plan to steal money and put the man that made Belange's life hell in prison behind bars. It would be very hard to prove the conspiracy, not to mention the jail break, to clear Alvarez. Though he is ironically innocent, all the evidence points straight at him. It certainly would do society a favour to get Alvarez off the streets.

    A very cute episode.moreless
  • It's magic!

    A guy turns his head 360° around and looses it shortly afterwards. It doesn't sound like an X-File and it really isn't. Nothing paranormal is happening in this episode and Mulder doesn't even have a theory.

    Why then did I rate it so highly? After the last rather dark episode it was a relief to see a lighter, funnier one. Mulder and Scully tease eachother, the tricks are neat, you can't figure out who the "murderer" is and the fact that the magicians are working together is as well hidden as their ultimate plan. In short it is a funny, light episode and I just loved that (for a change)!moreless
  • entertaining episode to watch.

    a magician & his protege planned a heist, a perfect misdirection that agents mulder & scully were to get involved for their plan to work. it started w/ the magician impersonating his dead brother who's also a magician then framing a gambling lord to whom he owed money. & his protege helping him thruout w/ the set up. they went to a lot of trouble just to steal money from the bank. my favorite scenes were the magicians performance of their tricks along w/ scully & mulder who have a few tricks of their own. this reminded me of scully in that episode humbug in season 2 where she tricked mulder into eating that bug. (though she really ate it for real & it's edible). it's really funny & entertaining to watch. it's like watching a magic show.moreless
Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay

Herman & Albert Pinchbeck

Guest Star

Jonathan Levit

Jonathan Levit

Billy LaBonge

Guest Star

Robert LaSardo

Robert LaSardo

Cissy Alvarez

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Mulder calls the dust in Maleeni's van "lycopodium powder" that the Los Angeles Police Department used to collect fingerprints, but the real LAPD uses latent print powder not lycopodium.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Mulder: Neat trick, huh?
      Scully: I can think of a neater one. How you convinced me to drop everything and get on the first plane to Los Angeles.

    • [Scully turns her arm all around 360 degrees]
      Mulder: Hey, how did you do that Scully?
      Scully: ... Magic!

    • Mulder: Ah, there's more. Behold! The Amazing Maleeni's wallet.
      Scully: You picked his pocket?
      Mulder: No, I pilfered it from the evidence room to prevent them from completing their final act of prestidigitation.

    • Mulder: You think this was murder?
      Scully: Don't you? The man's head was cut off, Mulder.
      Mulder: Ah, Observe: the nearly complete absence of blood. Observe: the paucity of fingerprints, as evidenced by the L.A.P.D.'s liberal application of lycopodium powder.
      Scully: Why are you talking like Tony Randall?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Ricky Jay is himself a very famous magician, who is renowned for his ability for sleight of hand and card tricks, as well as a whole host of 'magical' abilities. He has appeared in many shows, done other acting roles and advised on a number of series and films.

    • Billy LaBonge is named for the Second Unit Director of Photography, Bob LaBonge.


    • Scully: Why are you talking like Tony Randall?

      Actually, Mulder was talking like Felix Unger, the fussy neat freak played by Tony Randall in the 1970-75 comedy series Odd Couple, opposite slovenly Oscar Madison, played by Jack Klugman.

      The comedy series, based on the play and movie by Neil Simon, derived most of its humor from the contrast between fussy Felix and Oscar the slouch, two divorced men sharing an apartment. Felix had a very affected and pedantic of speaking.

      It was revived for a single, less successful season as The New Odd Couple with Ron Glass as Felix and Demond Wilson as Oscar.

    • Malini taking a magician's name and then spelling it different is a reference to Houdini. He got his name from the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin whom he later discredited.

    • LaBonge: A guy at the turn of the century, Max Malini

      The Amazing Maleeni was named for real-life magician Max Malini (1875 - 1942). Famous for relying on his own skill rather than props, Malini performed for Kings, Queens, and Millionaires.