Make your own free website on



Mulder and Scully are caught in a real life Rube Goldberg device as they investigate a man cursed with extremely good luck.


Mulder and Scully investigate a man upon whom fortune has smiled a few too many times, and witness first hand the theory of cause and effect and the consequences that occur when coincidence, chance and luck collide in "The Goldberg Variation" Since a freak accident caused him to lose his eye, this otherwise normal gentleman has been "cursed" with good luck.

Episode Summary

In Chicago at 10:24 PM, Henry Weems is playing cards in a high-stakes poker game with mobsters. One guy, Joe Cutrona has four kings in his hand. Weems asks for 3 more cards, and Joe lays down his cards thinking that he beat Henry, but Henry has a straight flush. He wins $100,000 but won't stay to continue playing. As he leaves, henchmen take him to the roof and throw him off, but he lands 300 feet below in a hole, survives and walks off, unsteadily.

Chicago 9:17 AM, Scully gets out of her taxi and calls Mulder on her cell phone. Behind her, Mulder comes up out of the pavement in a freight elevator from a basement that extends under the sidewalk.

Agents staking out the mobster, Cutrona, who the bureau had been trying to build a case on for organised crime, gambling, exortion and murder, saw an unidentified man fall from the roof (30 floors high) then walk off. Mulder wonders whether this man has some kind of special healing power. Scully thinks he just got lucky. Going down into the basement they find a cart with broken wheels, filled with towels, suggesting the man may have landed in it. Mulder tells Scully that the basement had not been thoroughly searched as it wasn't a crime to fall 300 feet and not die.

Scully tells Mulder that the wind could have been blowing in a certain way, or he landed just the right way, and just was really lucky. Mulder tells her that thousands of variables would have convene exactly right to be involved in that. In the towels in the cart they find an artificial eye. (Mulder: "Looks like maybe we found part of him already")

Melrose Park, Illinois, Mulder and Scully identify Weems because he was the only person that day to make an appointment to get fitted for a new artificial eye, even though atleast 600 people in Chicago used it. They visit the apartment where Weems is building superintendent, but no one answers the apartment door. An old woman comes out the front door, and Mulder grabs it before it closes. (Mulder: "Come on, Scully, I'm feelin' lucky")

In the hall a woman, Maggie Lupone, calls them into her apartment for help. She can't find Weems and she needs help turning off a water valve because her sink is leaking. As Mulder turns it, the valve breaks, spraying Mulder with water. Then the floor gives way and he falls into the apartment below, and Scully looks at him ("You OK, Mulder?", "Yeah, its all right, my ass broke the fall"). They find Weems there, who was hiding with a patch over his eye. Mulder gives him back his glass eye but Weems refuses to testify against mobster Jimmy Cutrona. Weems' hobby is making complex machines, like Rube Goldberg depicted. Scully tells Weems that Catrona will probably try to kill Weems again.

As the agents leave a hood enters. Mulder realizes he lost his car key when he fell through the floor and buzzes Weem's apartment to get back in through the front security door. Mulder and Scully return a few moments later to find Weems gone and the hood hanging dead from a ceiling fan by his shoelaces.

lMulder tells Scully that it was not murder, but probably a heart attack, because of cause and effect - he tells her that the guy went to shoot the gun, but a noise startled him -- Mulder's buzz at the door. Missing, the bullet knocked over the lamp, which knocked over the ironing board. As the bullet ricocheted, Henry jumped over the couch. As the man went after Henry, he tripped over the ironing board, bounced off the chair, flipped end-over-end and his shoelace got caught on the ceiling fan. Scully smiles at his theory, but accepts it.

Weems seems to have an unusual amount of luck. Scully talks with a neighbor boy, Richie, who is a friend of Weems. Scully asks him what is favourite sport was and he tells her its baseball. She tells him that she liked baseball too. She sees one of Weem's Goldberg devices in his room. When she makes it go, at the end it causes a little basketball do go in a hoop. Richie tells her that Henry made it for him when he was in the hospital for a liver disease. He tells her that Henry said he made it because "Everything happens for a reason. Only just sometimes hard for us to see." Weems is hiding in the building and visits the boy after the agents leave.

The agents while going over Weem's records learn Scully that Henry had no criminal record, and he made so little money that he didn't file taxes, no savings or checking account, no insurance, or even have a library card for that matter. He didn't have a driver's license either. Scully says that he's 'retired from the world.' They also learn that Weems survived an airplane crash in 1989, which Mulder thinks is where the lucky streak started. He was the only survivor, which is how he lost his eye. He had been bumped from three previous flights before they found him a seat in the fateful plane. His seat number was 13 and the flight number was 7. After the crash, Weems severed his ties with all his friends. Mulder wonders why he has resumed using his luck. Weems goes into a shop to buy a rub-off lottery ticket and wins $100,000. The payment schedule is too long, though, and he throws it away. Another man grabs it, but Weems tells him not to take it, or something bad would happen to him. The man doesn't listen and he runs outside and is hit by a truck.

At the crime scene, the store owner tells Mulder and Scully that Henry had run away after he had confirmed that the man was alive. Scully tells Mulder that for a fortunate man, a lot of unfortunate things keep seeming to happen around him. Mulder tells her that maybe that's part of the package--he can't have one without the other.

Mulder and Scully split up to search the apartment building in more detail. Meanwhile another assassin begins looking for Weems. Mulder picks a lock and enters an apartment where he finds Weems hiding in a heating duct. The assassin sees him through the open door and shoots, but the bullet bounces off Henry's chest, grazes Mulder's arm, and comes back to strike the assassin. Scully walks in, wondering what happened. Henry takes the knife out of his pocket, which is what the bullet hit. Mulder looks at him in amazement.

At the emergency room, the injured assassin is wheeled in. Mulder is treated for a flesh wound. He uses cards to test Weems, who always gets one card higher than Mulder. It is a nightmare for him because when you get really lucky other people suffer, which is why he keeps a low profile. (Henry: "I think it's a balance thing. Something good happens to me, and everybody else has to take it in the kiester") Mulder asks him why he came out and started using his luck. He needs the money to help Richie who needs a liver transplant, but Richie has a very rare blood type (B negative and he is also CNV negative) and can't find a donor. An experimental treatment program needs $100,000 to get in. Henry pulls out another card from the deck, its a King.

Scully wants to put Henry in protective custody but Mulder doesn't think Weems' life is in danger. Several hoods arrive at the hospital. As Weems dodges them outside, Scully tells Mulder that all luck eventually runs out and picks up a card from the deck, an Ace. Mulder rushes out into the street calling for Weems, as he turns around to look at Mulder, he is hit by a truck but survives. Scully tells Mulder not to tell her that it was just luck that Henry is all right. He tells her that he thinks it's far from it. He says that he agrees with her that there are lucky streaks, and that maybe his just need to run their course. She also tells him that Henry had agreed to testify against Cutrona.

Richie suffers an attack and is taken to the same hospital by EMTs. As his mom, Maggie, gets ready to follow, a mobster kidnaps her.

Weems visits Richie in the hospital and is convinced that Cutrona is responsible for taking Maggie. Richie is gravely ill and needs a transplant in the next few hours. Mulder finds a phone book and just flips through it to see where his finger lands. He stops on an advertisement for "The Muhaymin Daycare Service". He blows it off, and next he flips to "Grayson's Linen Service"

Weems visits Cutrona. He won't testify if Maggie is released. The mobsters take him to the building basement where Maggie is locked up. They suspend Weems from a hoist but his luck holds and the hoods are incapacitated by an unlikely series of events. One of the men goes over to the wire pen where Maggie was, and goes to open it. A wire is broken and when he touches the wire, he gets electrocuted. Henry swings over to the other side of the room, where the cord holding him breaks. He falls onto a board, which knocks a bucket into the air. It causes the hook to move in the other direction--straight into Cutrona's head.

In buildings in the city, the electricity flickers. In the hospital, Scully turns to the window, and sees the "R.I. Childes Pediatric Care." Sign. Most of the lights on the sign go out, all except for a few letters with spell out "RICHIE." Scully gasps. Henry helps Maggie out as Mulder and a cop come in to see what has happened. The camera pans down to Cutrona's body, and to his wrist. On it, is a donor bracelet, saying that he is of blood type B negative.

Ritchie starts to look a lot better and his skin colour comes back to normal. Outside Richie's room, Mulder asks Scully what the odds were that Cutrona would be a perfect match--maybe 1000 to 1 or 1,000,000 to 1. Scully says it could be higher. She smiles as does Henry.

Scully: Maybe everything does happen for a reason. Whether we see it, or not.
Mulder: Maybe your luck is changing.
Henry: Maybe (Smiling)

Epsiode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Willie Garson Henry Weems
Marshall Manesh Mr. Jank
Dom Magwili Mr. Ng
Nicholas Worth Mr. Haas
Tony Longo Dominic
Ramy Zada Joe Cutrona
Alyson Reed Maggie Lupone
Shia LaBeouf Richie Lupone
Ernie Lee Banks Maurice Albert
Bobby Moynahan Paramedic
Chip Fogelman Billy
Dominique DiPrima Megan MacLean

Written by Jeff Bell
Directed by Tom Wright

Air Date: December 12th, 1999


Rohan's X-Files Realm
Visit: Rohan's X-Files Realm