Saturday, August 13, 2016

X-Files: Tithounus 'Shipper Survey

So as I'm going back through the backlog of Senseless 'Shipper Surveys I did during the last half of the show's original run, I keep coming across a lot of references to stuff I did as fanfic stories (which I jumped into from Season Two onward).

Say hello to one of them.

X-Files Senseless 'Shipper Survey - Tithonus

1) The episode begins with an elevator full of people, and the camera stays with a pretty blonde secretary as she does her mail drop for the night. She gets nervous as a mysteriously dour man discreetly follows her. She finally makes it back to the elevator, but the man arrives just before the doors close. He sees something the others can't: he stops and gets off the elevator. As the secretary sighs with relief, the elevator shakes and plummets. So, as a long-time viewer of the show, this reminds you:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) Of X-Files Rule #19: If the X-File involves an elevator, TAKE THE STAIRS!


2) After the opening credits, the camera begins panning across the crowded work area of FBI headquarters where our intrepid heroes are making phone calls on "routine" background checks. You respond with:

A) A sarcastic "Hey! Scully, will you tell your Punkish partner to stop all that heavy breathing? It sounds like he's calling one of those 900 numbers again!"

B) A horrific "Oh GOD No! Mulder and Scully have turned into phone drones! It's hiding in the light! Dial and smile! Dial and smiiiiillllleeeeeeeeeee..." (oops, I need to do "Foix la Due" next)

C) A hopeful "Three more phone calls and Dana and Fox can win that free trip to Jamaica!"


3) Scully gets called to the carpet by Kersh. It seems this Agent Ritter from the New York City field office thinks a free-lance crime photographer named Fellig is taking one too many pictures right at the time people die, and he needs a forensic pathologist to aid his investigation. Scully offers that she and Mulder will be right on it, but when Kersh reveals that Scully is being partnered with Ritter as Mulder is "a lost cause," you:

A) Retort, "We know Mulder's a lost cause, but there's no way on God's Green Earth that pup Ritter can keep up with the Blessed Redhead!"

B) Whisper, "No, a Lost Cause would be hoping the Falcons win the Super Bowl. Mulder's just someone to have around in case the pencil sharpener needs to be fixed..."

C) Reply, "Dana, Ritter's just a boy. Go easy on him and don't break his heart when you tell him Fox is your one-in-five-billion..."


4) Mulder sneaks a peek at the case file before Scully shows up to warn him of Kersh's intentions of "saving" her career with the FBI by pairing her off with a new partner. Mulder tries to warn her of the X-File possibilities here: murder by telekinesis, maybe a shamanistic death-touch, something about the Muslim superstition that photography can steal their souls. Scully gives him the usual "All very helpful," before assuring Mulder that they're not splitting up, "This is a one-time thing." As Mulder frets that if she does good on this assignment, she "won't be back here," you:

A) Know that this is where they create the new X-Files spin-off, "Scully: NYPD Redhead" (Picture Gillian running around NYC shouting, "Freeze, you bleeping hybrid!")

B) Consider the possibility of Scully running into the cops from "Law & Order" and getting a chance to testify in court before an incredulous McCoy about the existence of alien hitmen working for the Russian Mob (Just watch GA go "fuggeddaboutit" in front of Lenny) (Note: thanks to the "Unusual Suspects" episode linking Det. John Munch to pretty much everybody in the Westphall Universe, this is a real thing)

C) Fret that they are... <sob> ...splitting up and...and... <weeping> ...they won't be partners <sniff> anymore and...and...they would no longer <tearful wail> be covered by the FBI policy on interoffice romances and...and... <gleeful grin> Oh. Never mind!... :-)


5) Agent Ritter meets Mulder. Ritter calls him "Fox." You:

A) Want Mulder to pull out a trout and scream, "Only Scully's mom can call me that, you bastid!" <whack>

B) Want Mulder to grin wickedly and retort, "You know, the last FBI agent to call me 'Fox' got eaten by killer mutant moths from Japan..." just so we can see that horrified look on the rookie agent's face... <tee-hee>

C) Worry that Peyton was looking at Fox the wrong way...damn Slashers! <mutter><curse><grumble>


6) Ritter and Scully go to New Yawk City, where they start checking up on Fellig's history as a photographer. Scully finds his registration forms with the cops, dating back to 1964...and check this, all of the pictures look the same. As the agents try to comprehend how that could be, you notice:

A) That at no time has Scully made any attempts to get directions to CBGB's...nuts! (Note: CBGB closed as of 2006 NOOOooooo)

B) That at no time has Ritter proved himself to be anything other than an overeager, klutzy rookie agent...ha!

C) That this would have been the perfect time and place for Dana and Fox to hold hands and talk about root beer instead of having Dana show up the rookie...dammit!


7) The streets of New York City (Please read Encyclopedia of Fantasy by John Clute and John Grant to get a true sense of the place) are alive at night, and on this night in this particular corner the streets are filled with the screams of a victim running from death. The killer comes, stabs the victim, all for the blinking red shoes. Above, a picture is taken. Fellig slowly moves, not even fleeing as he takes more pictures, and the killer returns to finish off this picture-taking witness and take the camera. But as Fellig stumbles to his feet, still alive, you reply:

A) "He is Immortal, he is Highlander! Scully, you'd better have brought that samurai sword your father got while stationed in Japan!"

B) "Ah! The bleeping dead bleeping lives! It's looking for brains! RUN!"

C) "Well, this is interesting. I wonder if the popcorn's done yet in the microwave. Maybe when I get back to my chair Dana and Fox will be flirting over the phone... <sigh>"


8) <Insert the "Da-Da" noise from Law And Order> Morning. Crime scene. Ritter is pumped, because the knife found at the scene had prints matching Fellig's. Scully points down and just to check on Eager-Boy's IQ, asks "What's this?" Ritter goes, "That's a lot of blood." You want Scully's response to be:

A) "No s--t, Sherlock. <trout-slap> You just failed the test, you wanna-be Punk!"

B) "Really? Blood? <dips finger in goo> <tastes it> Hm. Needs salt."

C) "You know, Peyton, you're a <as brutal as a girl can say it> nice guy and all <ladies, trust me, this hurts>, but I'm looking for a...partner that has at least one brain cell working..."


9) The police drag Fellig in for questioning. Ritter does his "check check" routine to the microphone before handing it off to a noticeably miffed Fellig. Ritter confronts the suspect on his whereabouts and actions last night but gets nowhere. Scully cuts to the chase, confronting the photographer about his fingerprints being on the weapon, and then makes the intuitive leap to checking Fellig if he was stabbed. As Fellig takes off his coat to reveal his scars, you:

A) Celebrate the interrogative abilities with a Scullyrita and a hearty "You go, girl!"

B) Question the quality of the tape recorder, wondering if they should do this with some digital equipment in a sound booth to make sure they get all the vocal nuances just right...

C) Wonder if Dana is trying to set up an opportunity to speak to Fellig alone so she could ask him to take pictures at her wedding with Fox...well, Fellig would only show if the maids of honor drop from eating poisoned truffles, so maybe she shouldn't...


10) Ritter is not too thrilled that Scully isn't taking the opportunities to arrest Fellig on any pretense. Meanwhile, some doofus named Fox Mulder calls Scully to remind her they use to work together. He keeps thinking her case in New Yawk is an X-File, but she disagrees. As Mulder offers to do a background check since he's getting so good at it, you realize:

A) That Scully would go get her car's air conditioner fixed and the Punk would still think it was an X-File ("C'mon, Scully, think about it...")

B) That Mulder would save ten cents a minute by dialing 10-13-1121 and the number! Oh, sorry, those damn commercials are getting to me...

C) That Fox is doing all he can to help Dana solve her case, even though it could mean... Oh, the things we do for love... <sigh>


11) We catch Scully as she takes her turn on the stakeout casing Fellig's apartment. Scully's eyesight is good enough for her to catch the photographer taking pictures of her. For you, this means:

A) This Fellig guy knows beauty when he sees it! Hey, Gillian, pose for a few more mag covers! <wicked grin>

B) Scully's about to die in some hideous fashion!!! No! Watch out for that 16-ton weight!!!

C) Dana's got this problem with attracting old, lonely, death-obsessed guys... if she hurries up and gets that engagement ring from Fox, maybe this wouldn't happen all the time...


12) Her cover blown, Scully confronts Fellig with the truth: that he is under investigation for his ability to be there when someone dies, and that unless he explains himself he will be hounded for the rest of his life. Fellig sighs, and offers Scully a chance to ride with him. You consider:

A) Whether or not she gets to drive

B) Whether or not she gets to play her Ramones tape on the radio

C) Whether or not she warns him she's practically engaged to Fox...damn bees!


13) Fellig shows Scully the streets of New Yawk at night. He explains what it is he's looking for: the shot. He stops the car near a prostitute and warns that she is about to die, maybe in a minute, maybe in an hour, but she will die. SCULLY: "That woman right there is going to be murdered?" FELLIG: "I didn't say that...The how is always a surprise. I just always know when." SCULLY: "You want me to believe that?" You realize:

A) That when she says that is also when she gets knocked unconscious right before the UFO shows up. Dammit, Scully, come up with another retort, okay?

B) That if they wait another minute an Atlanta Falcon player might show up and change history

C) That it's been five minutes since the last phone conversation between Moose and Squirrel and already you're getting antsy for some hand-holding! And you used to hold out a lot longer than this! This season has been wearing you down...


14) A thug shows up to hassle the hooker. Scully gets worried, gets out of the car, and gets medieval on the guy's ass. She takes down a bully twice her size, chains him up, and bitch-slaps him for good measure. You respond:

A) With a Xena!Cheer, the downing of your Scullyrita drink, and the purchasing of a "Scully Kicks Ass!" t-shirt from the OBSSE Gift Shop

B) With a "You know, ever since the NYPD's been cracking down on crime, the criminal element downtown just hasn't been the same..."

C) With polite applause and accepting nod of the head...okay, so we know who wears the pants in this relationship!...;-)


15) Scully checks with the prostitute to make sure she's okay, but the girl wants out of that scene. Which is when you shout:

A) "Watch out for that!... eeew..."

B) "Look out for that!... oops..."

C) Nothing. It's not nice when people get hit by speeding trucks... even those who only have one or two speaking lines per episode...:-(


16) Ritter isn't too thrilled about Scully breaking the surveillance. Scully informs him Fellig already knew about it, so she confronted him and learned the photographer has the ability to know when people are going to die. Ritter prefers to think Fellig is the murderer, and the thug who stabbed the photographer back in scene 7 is giving the rookie the excuse he needs to issue a warrant. Scully refuses to go along with this, and Ritter brings up Kersh's warning about Scully's "unconventional" behavior. Ritter threatens her not to muck up his case, and asks "Are we clear on that, Dana?" She glares at him as her phone rings. "Scully. And we're done with this conversation." You reply:

A) "Yes! The Rookie Punk has been officially trout-slapped! Pour me another one, BroColin, this calls for a toast to the Sainted Skeptic!"

B) "Guys! Check that thug's shoes! They ain't Bruno Maglis, but he's still the killer you're looking for!"

C) "Go away, little man. She's got some serious flirting to do with the one she truly lov...uh, trusts!"


17) Mulder calls about Scully's non-X-File case, which she now admits is an X-File. Mulder agrees, because this guy Fellig is proving to be an old pro at photography...about 150 years old to be more precise. Fellig is someone for whom the phrase "life in prison" carries serious weight. As Scully plans to keep an eye on the photographer, you realize:

A) That for Scully to admit something is an X-File... wow... that happens once in a blue moon, but you know of course blue moons have a scientific basis in fact...

B) That this Fellig guy must have gotten really tired of taking yearbook pictures for the local high schools again and again and again and again... and he'd have gone blind from all that glare from all those braces! Augh!

C) That this is a serious conversation... neither of them are doing the eyebrow-raising that indicates the humorous flirtation they normally do!


18) Scully goes to confront Fellig once more, revealing not only her knowledge of his past identities but also her ire at his lack of compassion in refusing to even try saving those about to die. Fellig calls them "lucky bastards," able to die when he can't. He's just there to take the picture, to try and get a shot of Death. You:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) Tell him Death is easy to spot: she's a petite pale woman with shoulder-length brunette hair with a big golden ankh hanging from her neck down to her belly-button. Oh, and hi! Neil and hi! Tori!... ;-)


19) When Fellig explains to her all the times he's tried to kill himself, you consider:

A) If Scully can come up with a persuasive enough argument to use his powers for good instead of evil...

B) If life in New Yawk is that bad, why not move to Joisey?

C) If all this guy needs is a good, uh, hand-hold. But not with Dana, she's spoken for, dammit!


20) Scully spots a name on a picture and discreetly tries to call Mulder to check that name for her. When she gets back to Fellig he bumps into her, nicely picking her pocket for her cell phone. As he turns it off and hides it, you:

A) Worry that Scully's going to have to waste more money getting that phone replaced too... just like the ones she lost in Antarctica and Alaska and Maine and Indiana and Vancouver, well maybe not Vancouver...

B) Wonder if she'd be better off keeping her personal belongings in a portable interdimensional pocket... or whatever it was we used in Dungeons and Dragons to carry heavy things and... yes, I played D & D. Okay???

C) Wobble back and forth in your chair because no phone means no contact between Dana and Fox. No contact means no 'shippy moments. No 'shippy moments... brain freeze! Aiieeee...


21) Mulder calls Ritter, trying to find Scully. Mulder quickly realizes Scully is in trouble because her phone's not working. The name she gave him turns out to be a wanted murderer from the 1920s. When Ritter tries to comprehend how wacky that sounds, Mulder just tells him to get to Scully before it's too late. You notice:

A) That the rookie doesn't do a very good job of shooting down the Punk's spooky theories... tsk tsk

B) That considering traffic in the Big Apple, Ritter would get there a lot quicker if he went on foot

C) That all that matters to Fox is getting in touch with Dana! <sigh>


22) Scully, meanwhile, is trying to figure out the concept of immortality, that noone could have too much of living. Fellig, who has lived a long life, focuses instead on the despair of living too long: see too many people die, seeing the futility of it all, losing not only his wife but even her name. As Fellig begins to view Scully in a whole new way (the black-and-white image of approaching Death), you consider:

A) How Scully will handle HER Immortality: after all, Clyde Bruckman says she will never die! Fellig's just got fuzzy vision, that's all!

B) How Scully could die! Hmm, meteorite slamming into New Yawk... Sloppy arrow shooting by Ted Nugent from across the hall? Oh, no, NOT THE BEES!...

C) How Fox would react to Dana's death! No! Such a sad thing to think of! <sob><wail><gnashing of teeth>


23) Fellig warns Scully that Death is coming. The scene slows down. Each breath takes a minute. The curtain to the darkroom pulls back, and Scully sees Death in the form of:

A) Marita! Damn blonde!

B) Dr. Bambi! Damn entomologist!

C) The mascot for Georgia Tech! Damn bee!


24) Both Fellig and Scully are shot. Fellig suddenly tells Scully not to look at Death, and he looks up instead to see... Later in the hospital, Mulder waits for Ritter to finish his apologies to Scully. When Ritter leaves the room, he bumps into Mulder who whispers "You're a lucky man." What he means is:

A) "If Scully died, I'd have fed you to my fish" (Autumn's suggestion)

B) "If Scully died, I'd have forced you to eat Frohike's omelets"

C) "If Dana died... I would have lost the only person who kept me sane... and you would have experienced the most painful, slowest, hideous death in human history!"


25) Mulder tries to comfort Scully with the news that she's healing pretty quickly. He also reports that Fellig is dead of a simple gunshot wound. Scully doesn't think Fellig could have lived forever. Mulder thinks he could have, because Death "only looks for you when you seek its opposite." You:

A) Take a moment to try and figure out what the Punk just said.

B) Take another moment, because it still sounds a bit spooky.

C) Realize that he means Death only comes for you when you've really lived... that Fellig, having no enjoyment in living, would have never found Death until he had a reason to live... which means... Fellig had a crush on Dana! Oh. <insert background music from a certain Queen song> Who wants to live forever? / Ooooh, when love must die...


If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who has always known Scully is Immortal...and now we'll get to see her carry around that samurai sword her father got when the family was stationed in Japan! Woo-hoo! <start singing that other theme song by Queen>

B) Then you are an X-Philer who hasn't read this writer's story "Scully Is...A Highlander," my finest in free verse! Now go, read it now!

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who knew that Dana will never die...not until she and Fox DO IT, get married, raise some hybrid clones, and gracefully die of old age having lived a full life. <sigh>

So... any other news, kids?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

X-Files: Drive 'Shipper Survey

One of the things about the X-Files being a show of the 1990s is how time marches on. This blog started in 2015, more than 20 years after, and so there's a lot of hindsight involved in getting the original 'Shipper surveys reposted. For starters, looking back and recognizing big-name actors before they ever started winning Emmys and Oscars.

This is one of those classic episodes. This is, in fact, the episode Vince Gilligan remembered when it came time to cast someone for the iconic role of Walter White for his own television epic Breaking Bad. As I need to edit this Survey to update for modern times, I may well insert a few Bryan Cranston memes into the half-baked jokes here. Now, to wit:

X-Files Senseless 'Shipper Survey - Drive

1) The episode begins (for the writer at least) with a commercial promoting an upcoming installment of the Donny and Marie Show. Then the scene cuts to a LIVE on-air transmission from FOX Channel 11 out in Nevada, where a high-speed chase is keeping the highway patrol on their toes. They stop the car, but when the try to arrest the driver (Bryan Cranston!) and rescue the woman passenger, the poor woman keeps banging her head against the glass until her head, well, explodes. When the opening credits take over, your primary thought is this:

A) High-speed chases with exploding people, you can deal with. But the Donny and Marie Show?!?!? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo <dies>

B) What's Walter White doing driving outside of New Mexico like this? Anyway, HE is the one who HONKS!

C) This is in Nevada? Hey, doesn't that state have a lenient marriage license policy? After all, you can get an Elvis Impersonator to preside over your wedding, right?...;-)


2) After an Intel commercial where Homer Simpson gets implanted with a chip in the back of his head, the show continues with Mulder and Scully out in Idaho, doing routine work on checking a farmer's recent purchase of fertilizer (as Mulder puts it, "So routine it numbs the mind."). As they look for the paperwork, Mulder spots the news report showing the bizarre death in Nevada. While the agents watch the replay, you realize:

A) That if Homer takes that Intel chip out of his head, he'll get cancer! D'oh!

B) That it was either checking fertilizer bags in Idaho or checking for meth labs in Albuquerque!

C) There's a good chance, because the FBI will be reining in their "dubious" travel expenses, that Dana and Fox will have to share one hotel room on this trip! Yes!


3) Scully finds Mulder near the car just as he's finishing up a phone call. She already knows that Mulder wants to detour to Nevada to investigate that death, but points out that they're being watched closely on this one and any deviation from their routine will get them in trouble. He argues that this routine of hunting down big piles of doo-doo is going nowhere, and besides, they can go to Nevada, be in and out in a day, and "nobody has to know." When he says that, you know:

A) Scully should have learned after five seasons of this sh-t that "nobody has to know" means the bosses will be chewing them out for property damage and body counts again!

B) That every Fox Channel west of the Mississippi is going to catch them on tape and play it over and over again for a new hit show, "When FBI Agents Attack!"

C) That Fox's real excuse is to get Dana close enough to Las Vegas so they can get a quicky wedding presided by an Elvis Impersonator, oh yeah!...<sigh>


4) Our intrepid heroes make it to Nevada, where the driver Crump is under lock and key for carjacking. Scully volunteers to go check the autopsy on Crump's wife, while Mulder agrees to stay and talk with poor guy, whom the audience noticed earlier is starting to nosebleed and scream in terror. When this happens, you:

A) Notice that it's Scully initiating the ditch this time, beating the Punk to the punch

B) Know they won't see each other for another 38 minutes and 40 seconds

C) Realize they're both politely ditching one another, courtesy of 'Shipperdom's favorite writer Vince Gilligan (so don't forget his new movie - for 1998 - Home Fries starring Drew Barrymore and Luke Wilson, the Sheriff Bucktooth from "Bad Blood"!)


5) Scully goes to follow up on the autopsy with the local pathologist, who notes how the poor woman died: one side of the head blown away as an exit wound, but no sign of an entry wound, like something was already inside her. Scully notices something unusual in what's left of Mrs. Crump's inner ear. As she starts poking at it, you scream:

A) "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

B) "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

C) "Uououououououououo!" <there are some type of screams that involve the letter 'I', but we'll save that for later>


6) While Scully learns too late not to pick at things like that, Mulder follows after Crump, now suffering from a seizure of some sort and getting placed in an ambulance. Scully goes into In-Charge! Mode setting up a quarantine in the morgue, getting word that another body had been found and assuming whatever killed Mrs. Crump is communicable. She calls Mulder, warning him of the quarantine and warning him to isolate Crump ASAP. She specifically warns Mulder not to see the guy. As she says that, you realize:

A) That the Blessed Skeptic should have learned by now that Mulder is always in it up to his ears by the time she tries to warn him...

B) That every warning about Bryan Cranston characters never get heeded UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE...

C) That it was sweet of Dana to call and warn Fox, but next time, hon, try it before he's taken hostage, okay?


7) Guys, you gotta be quick with the pause button: Scully flashes her phone number on the screen. You're pretty sure it's:

A) (202) SNT-DANA

B) (900) FBI-SEXY

C) (202) MAR-RYME ext. FOX


8) Well, actually, her number's (202) 555-0166, but meanwhile she's learned Mulder has been taken hostage and forced to drive Crump westward. She plans with the local law enforcement to set up a roadblock with people from CDC to quarantine the two, but Crump calls in demanding the chasing police cars pull back. The cars do pull off pursuit, but when someone dials Mulder's cell phone, Crump angrily tosses it out the window. As Mulder freaks out, you realize:

A) That it had to be Scully calling, and even the Punk knew this time he needs her to save his Speedo-wearing butt!

B) That it's not really Crump. It's Heisenberg, and everyone's got to play the game his way now!

C) That Fox really needs to hear Dana's voice from time to time, aw, isn't that romantic? <sigh>


9) When Mulder slows down the car, Crump freaks out and gets sicker. Mulder's intuitive skills kick in and he hits the accelerator, watching as Crump's condition improves. He realizes that this is what happened to Crump's wife, if you slow down you die. "I think I saw this movie," mutters Mulder, and you guess the movie he saw was:

A) Playing God...no, that's if you star in a cruddy movie, your career dies...

B) It wasn't a movie! It was an acclaimed five season Emmy-winning series on AMC!

C) Godzilla 2015! Well, it could work as a date movie for Dana and Fox!


10) Scully finds out that they've avoided the roadblock, hinting that Mulder has learned of something. She gets a call, and hey, it's from her new boss AD Kersh, who asks how it's going in Idaho, with the addendum "Think carefully." Realizing that the "nobody will know" promise from Mulder is now out the window (along with the cell phones), she admits that they had gone to Nevada because of this case they felt needed investigating. Kersh calmly promises to await the report and offers the nearest field office for support, but he makes it clear Mulder is going to get chewed up and spat out for this one. As Scully ends the phone call with one of her patented "oopsies" look, you:

A) Notice, after she makes an intuitive guess that the victims are connected by location, that it's always after getting chewed out by her bosses that Scully does her best thinking.

B) Realize Kersh must be watching the show, because he learned Scully's phone number the same time the rest of us guys did (expect that phone to ring non-stop for the rest of the episode!)

C) Know full well that Dana REALLY wants to see Fox alive more than Kersh does! <protective grumbling>


11) Meanwhile, Mulder and Crump are happily exchanging recipes for bundt cakes... Crump, who's not exactly enjoying this day, insists when Mulder calls him Crump he put "Mister" in front of it. He then snarls if Mulder's a Jewish name. Mulder growls back "That's Mister Mulder, you peanut-picking bastard." As the audience learns this is going to be one of those fun family drives, you:

A) Know that if Scully was driving, she'd growl, "That's Miss Scully, you <many and varied expletives deleted>" because as Sister Autumn points out so often, Our Little Sailor's background as a Navy brat has exposed her to the best selection of four-letter, eight-letter, and twelve-letter vulgarities on the seven seas!

B) Realize Bryan Cranston is going to put that gun to Mulder's head and growl. "Say... My... Name..."

C) Wonder if Dana's going to ask Fox about that bottle-smashing bit in Jewish weddings...better yet, if he can demonstrate it <deep sigh>


12) After an exciting commercial for Puppy Chow, the show resumes at night at the Crump residence. Bathed in a fog-filled moonlit light, Scully leads a team of Disease Control staffers into a potential hot zone. They find a dog, agitated and constantly barking as it runs back and forth on its leash. As the team tries to subdue the dog to see if there's any infestation, you:

A) Would think someone from a dog family like Scully would just let the poor thing be...

B) Know that dog ain't working himself up for some Puppy Chow! :(

C) Scream "NOOO! Not the poor puppy! Don't! No, don't...." <ick> "Oh, not the poor doggie..." :( :( :( :( :( :(


13) After the poor puppy incident, Scully and the team leader for CDC discuss what diseases can affect both dogs and humans. She spots a light in the distance and notes the Crumps might have neighbors. She enters the far trailer, using her extra-powerful Super-Flashlight (for you Brits, the Super-Torch) to examine the clutter and carnage. She spots some dead tweety-birds, proving whatever kills here doesn't discriminate, and moves toward a still human figure in a chair. As Scully gets closer and closer, you:

A) Notice the lady is watching this weird sitcom about teenage boys driving their crazy parents even crazier, including a bumbling dad who moonlights as a meth cook.

B) Thank God the FBI finally re-issued those big flashlights to our intrepid heroes...I mean, those dinky little lights couldn't generate an INCH of fog-cutting beam, and these are so much more cooler!

C) Go ahead and scream that "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!" scream when the old lady jumps up.


14) Scully ponders what could kill almost everything within a mile radius yet leave a deaf woman intact. Realizing it's not a virus they're fighting but something to do with the aural tracks of the ear, Scully takes off her helmet and listens for a sound. When a beeping noise suddenly chirps up, you realize:

A) That, damn, this girl is GOOD...

B) It's a bell, someone keeps ringing a bell, this old guy sitting in a wheelchair with a bomb strapped to th... OMG DUCK (explosion).

C) It sounds like the wake-up beeper Dana and Fox have back at the hotel room they're sharing!


15) Mister Mulder and Mister Crump take a few minutes to talk. Crump rants against the government conspiracy he's certain has used him and his wife like guinea pigs. He points out it's no way to treat a man, to take away his dignity like that, that it would be better just to kill him, that's all he's saying. Mulder points out that they'll find a way out of this. Crump nods but notes they have to hurry, "There's not much West left." As they pass a Welcome sign for California, you realize:

A) That this sign is yet another dig from the producers about moving the show to L.A. You Vancouver-hating bastids...it ain't right to take the dignity of a Canadian town like that, man...

B) This is the acting bit Bryan used for his Walter White audition, wasn't it!

C) That Crump is hinting at the treatment Fox is getting from his FBI superiors, a metaphor of how men struggle against the injustice of a cruel and chaotic universe... But Fox may have this consolation to carry with him in the darkness, that the bond between him and Dana, the bond of Lo...well, the bond of Trust, will yet save him!


16) Scully goes to a nearby Navy base, home of the Seafarer communications system, to find out about that humming box in the Crumps' backyard. The Navy lieutenant who comes to speak with her assumes she's from the FCC and apologizes for the power surge that disrupted TV signals. As Scully bluffs her way into finding out more, you note:

A) That Scully's got to work on her hemming and hawing when she bluffs, otherwise the Punk is going to beat her at seven-card-stud every time they play poker

B) What is it with these military guys? First it's that private who didn't know his phone from his butt in the "Fight the Future" movie, now it's this Navy idjit who can't spell between FCC and FBI!

C) Dana and Fox are both really bad at bluffing because they keep throwing their games when they play strip poker <wicked and hopeful grin>


17) Mister Mulder wakes up Mister Crump, warning him that the California Highway Patrol is pulling up on them. You respond:

A) With a "Hey! Dad! 'CHiPS' is back on the air! Ponch and Jon, rolling on!"

B) With a "Hey! Is that a Hello Kitty phone from Saul Goodman's office?"

C) With a "Hey! Dana and Fox are finally going to talk with each other! Finally! Let's hope they say the 'Trust' word about five times!" <sigh>


18) With a replacement phone in Mulder's possession, Scully tells Mulder her theory: the power surge through the Navy's Seafarer project, used to communicate with subs, somehow created ELFs, low-level radio frequencies which have been known to cause biological changes. It's possible those frequencies altered the Crumps' bodies to create their own frequencies, causing pressure to build in the inner ear to the point that it explodes. As Mulder winces while Scully describes how she might be able to save Mister Crump, you respond to the screen:

A) "Uh, Mister Crump, when you suggested that someone was sticking it to you, you didn't really want it to be in your ear, did you?"

B) "Oh great. Throw all this on top of Walt's medical bills why don't you? HE'S JUST GONNA COOK MORE METH THAN EVER..."

C) "Wow, this must be serious...Dana and Fox didn't flirt at all during the phone conversation..."


19) They make it to the end of the West. The camera rises over the hill as the car passes, the Pacific Ocean in view. Scully has her needle ready, waiting for the car to pull up. As it does so, you realize:

A) That Mulder didn't stop the car in front of her but right at the ocean's edge, meaning Mister Crump didn't make it...and that the Punk is going to get all angsty on us again...:(

B) That they could have filmed the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver...but Nooooo, they had to actually do it in California this time! <mutter> <grumble>

C) That Fox is going to need some serious hand-holding...once he's done taking care of that business he mentioned to Dana a little earlier...


20) Mulder and Scully have returned to D.C. AD Kersh is reviewing their expenses. Mulder curtly interrupts, knowing how little a deal this really is. "Are we done here?" Mulder continues, wondering aloud if they have to go back to grunt work hunting down big piles of manure. "You can always quit," notes Kersh, nailing home the point of the episode. Mulder silently walks out. Scully tries to defend Mulder noting he's been through a lot, but Kersh points out she apologizes for him a lot. Scully believes that what they did shut down a dangerous military operation and may have saved lives. Kersh doesn't see it that way. He reminds Scully that they're not on the X-Files anymore, and the sooner she and Mulder know that, the better. As Scully turns and walks out with a "Big piles of manure" under her breath, you conclude with the thought:

A) That the Blessed One does seem to apologize for the Punk a bit too much, but hey, that's the forgiving nature of the Saint, ya?

B) That if they're not on the X-Files anymore, why call the show by that title? Why not change it to "Breaking Malcom In the Middle" or something? WHADDA YA MEAN THAT WILL BE TAKEN?

C) That Kersh didn't mention the extra cost of two hotel rooms...so did that mean they shared one for once? YES!

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who thinks Scully should have gotten on a helicopter, flown it over the speeding car, jump down in an exciting stunt sequence, smash her way in through the roof, and then slam that needle into Crump's ear, saving his life and keeping the Punk from getting all angsty at the end

B) Then you are an X-Phile who wonders if all this could have been avoided if the United States just went with a universal healthcare program that could have treated Walter's cancer... I mean Crump's earache...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who watched this episode worried that Dana and Fox didn't take an extra minute after the talkdown by Kersh to hold hands... Ever! WILL THEY EVER HOLD HANDS, CHRIS CARTER YOU SADISTIC... (gets told about Season Seven) Okay. Fine. We'll hold out for ONE MORE YEAR...

Monday, July 25, 2016

X-Files: Pine Bluff Variant 'Shipper Survey

One of the horrifying things about reprinting these Senseless 'Shipper Surveys is coming across aged and decaying references to things you can't even conceive once existed.

Yes. I am talking about versions of Microsoft Windows that predate XP.

AIIIIIIIEEE.

Also, welcome to the part of the X-Files that's all gross-out freak-out. But this is honestly one of the better ones!


Senseless 'Shipper Survey- Pine Bluff Variant

1) As the episode begins with Mulder jogging through the parks of Washington D.C., we realize we're spying on a surveillance operation conducted by Skinner with Scully sitting in the control van keeping track of the suspect. As one of the suspects suddenly goes into convulsions and dies, everything goes crazy, with Mulder chasing the prime suspect and Scully chasing Mulder. You note:

A) That Scully is once again running in high heels, and is doing a damn good job of it.

B) That the image of the Capitol Dome in the distance was computer generated because you saw it waver and a Windows95 image flashed in the corner

C) That Dana and Fox would have done a better surveillance job in the park if they were there as lovers on a picnic... sigh...

2) Scully is watching the surveillance tapes, noting how Mulder actually talked to the prime suspect before he escaped. Mulder arrives to pick up papers from his desk, evading all the questions she has about his activities. You shout:

A) "Dammit, Scully, shoot the Punk!"

B) "Dammit, Mulder, a simple `It's not what you think I can explain it later' would suffice!"

C) "Dammit, you two, clear off that desk and use it for a quickie!"

3) You watch the credits across the screen during the high-level meeting and see this: "Written by John Shiban". You:

A) See B)
B) See C)
C) Scream your damn bloody head off in sheer terror (note: Shiban is the one responsible for some of the weaker episodes in X-Files canon. To wit: killer kitties.)

4) Mulder drives off to a roadside motel for a late night... something. You determine:

A) That it's a good thing Scully followed him to make sure he doesn't go all Led Zep and trash the place

B) That he's really there to watch "Love Confessions" on Cinemax

C) That Fox planned on Dana to follow him, and he'll eventually invite her in for some red wine, sob stories about prom nights, and intense (deleted to protect younger viewers)

5) Scully confronts the motel manager about Mulder. He asks, "You the wife?" She replies (in THE perfect tone of voice) "Not even close." You:

A) Cheer for the Sainted One

B) Roll on the floor laughing your ass off

C) Burst into tears...if Dana feels that way, then... then... (sniff) (cries)

6) Mulder is dragged off by the militia group Losers-R-Us for some finger-breaking torture and pinochle. You:

A) Stoically nod to yourself: sure, Mulder's a good guy and doesn't deserve to get tortured, but the Punk's been asking for it since Season Three

B) Realize poor Mulder's free-throw shooting is going to suck from now on

C) Realize Dana's REALLY got to give him some hugging this episode

7) Mulder returns to his darkened apartment, finding Scully waiting there. She's found out he's under orders by Skinner in a deep cover operation to break the militia group and stop their bio- warfare terrorism. She sees the broken finger and earns her doctor's pay cleaning the wound and setting it. You:

A) Praise her for her saintly patience and maternal healing qualities

B) Wonder if anyone's ever going to clean off that "X" symbol on the window

C) Watch them sit in the darkness holding hands and talking about trust, finally fainting away in orgasmic bliss

8) Mulder goes back to the militia group to set them up for a future sting, while Scully goes back to investigate more dead bodies and figure out how they were killed. As the action picks up, you come to the conclusion:

A) Scully will solve this case like she always does, and it still won't get her a desk

B) Shiban's script doesn't suck this time

C) That they shouldn't have cut away from the scene where Dana fixes Fox's finger because you're damn sure they made sweet love afterwards

9) Mulder is forced to wear a Dracula mask and help the militia break into a federal reserve. Scully waits for Mulder before suddenly realizing how the militia has been killing people. You note:

A) That Scully's psychic abilities aren't just a plot device but a sign of the Enigmatic One's powers

B) That a Stormtrooper mask for Mulder would have been more kick-ass

C) That Dana seems to do her best thinking at roadside motels, so she and Fox should hang out at those places more often... (wink) (wink) (nudge) (nudge)

10) Mulder has been betrayed, caught on tape confessing his deep cover role to Scully. His betrayer, however, turns out to be working for the CIA, which had funded projects on developing the killer bacteria. He escapes to meet up with Scully so the two of them can berate the government official that had set them all up in order to contaminate evidence of a large-scale shadow ops fund. As the episode ends with the last surviving militia man dying from the bacteria, you realize:

A) That Scully had already proved the CIA was behind it all, but she just needed the Punk's hands-on observations to back her up

B) That all Shiban has to do is not write about killer kitties or guys with fungus faces and he just might be a half-decent writer

C) That, even though Skinner has heard from Fox by now, Dana should still go by to feed his fish... and check his fingers... and hold his hands and give him a nice hug and (writer is dragged away from computer terminal and forced into a nice, comfortable straitjacket)...

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who knew the Punk would be trouble this episode, but as the Enigmatic One is a forgiving sort you'll cut Mulder some slack (for now)...

B) Then you are an X-Philer who finally doesn't have to equate Shiban's name with "killer kitties" anymore... well, unless the FX channel shows a repeat (shudder)...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who's convinced the CIA double agent captured a lot more, uh, talking yeah that's it talking, between Dana and Fox on that tape recorder of his (veery wicked grin)...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

X-Files: Kitsunegari 'Shipper Survey

I have to note this upcoming survey was for a pretty weak episode. A sequel to one of the best episodes "Pusher", this was an unwelcome follow-up to what had been a powerful stand-alone Monster of the Week story. It wasn't particularly inventive with the plot or the twists and scary deaths. So if the survey seems flat, the episode was flat.

Oh, one other thing: I like the color blue, but I liked it waaaaaaaaay before I even started watching the Cerulean-Files. Uh, I mean X-Cerulean. Uh, is a gentle breeze. Wait. WAIT MY MIND IS MY CERULEAN BLUUUUUUUeeeee (drools)

X-Files Senseless 'Shipper Survey: KITSUNEGARI

: SPOILER Space for those who watched Babylon 5 instead...

: In SPOILER SPACE noone can hear you say "I'm fine, Mulder"...;-)

1) As the episode opened with the first look at the blankless stare of Robert Patrick Modell, the Pusher, your first thought was:

A) "Gee, he looks about as emotional as all of the characters are going to get this episode!"

B) "Cerulean! Cerruuuuuulean..."

C) "Oh, BOY! More hand-holding by Dana and Fox!!!"

2) As Mulder, Scully, and Skinner detailed the search team on the hunt for the escaped Pusher, did you:

A) Want Scully to finish off the speech-making with a Psalm quote and a hearty "Let's go get that bastard!"

B) Find yourself flashing back to that Babylon 5 episode where...oh, wait, cerulean...cerruuuuulean...

C) Wait for the officers to leave so Dana and Fox can get close and whisper their thoughts and theories to each other in a highly romantic setting like somewhere behind the boiler

3) As they found the prosecutor dead of paint ingestion, you found yourself focusing on:

A) The byzantine, surreal Japanese writing on the wall, hinting at the darkness to come against our heroes

B) The paint was cerulean blue! Cerulean.......

C) The fact Dana knows what a wedding ring looks like, and hope that prefigures something to come...(deep sigh)

4) As Mulder stumbled away from his confrontation with Modell, a blank expression on his face, did you:

A) Want Scully to slap him right then and there

B) Wonder if he's switching the color of his Speedos from red to cerulean blue...cerulean...

C) Want Dana to hug him and console him and tell him he'll be fine and then (deleted to protect sensitive X-Philers)

5) When Mulder determined that the prosecutor's wife (I call her Pushyr) was the real culprit even though Scully disagreed and Skinner ordered him off the case, did you:

A) say to yourself "What the hell has gotten into you, Punk?!"

B) mutter "brush...paint...cerulean..."

C) run screaming from the room yelling "Oh GOD NO! THE RIFT! THE RIFT!!!"

6) As the physical therapist calmly reached for the fuse box, your first thought was:

A) "Oh MY GOD! Her's name's really Kenny! You bastards!!!!"

B) You had no thoughts... your mind is blank expect for the color blue... ceruuulean blue...

C) "Scully, I had to call and check on you. By the way, does your cell phone have a surge protector?..."

7) As Pushyr came to visit Pusher in the hospital, as Modell slowly died under the watch of his sisterly feminine half, did you:

A) Wonder why this was the most emotional moment in an otherwise flat and unemotional episode

B) Think only of... you know the color by now!!!

C) Hope that Fox will recognize and accept his feminine half in Dana and finally quit his job, settle down with Dana on a small farm in Montana, and raise an army of Emily hybrids

8) When Mulder watched "Scully" shoot herself in the warehouse, your first thought was:

A) "That'll never happen! The Enigmatic One can never be pushed!!!"

B) -blank stare-

C) "NOOO! Now Fox is stuck with the UNiBlonder!!! NOOOOO!"

9) As the real Scully shot the real Pushyr standing behind Mulder, your reaction was:

A) "At last! Scully gets to shoot a blonde!!!"

B) Standing at attention and singing "Inna Gadda Da Vida" in German. I have no idea why.

C) Sigh with relief that Fox had enough sense to hold his fire and that Dana had enough practice with her aim!

10) As the episode ended, with Mulder pondering a possible defeat even though he won Pushyr's game, your final thought was:

A) "He would feel that way. Everybody's emotions have been whacked out of orbit this episode..."

B) "I will avenge my mistress Pushyr upon you... cerulean... ceruuuuuulean..."

C) "Oh NO! He's referring to the RIFT!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!...." (weeps uncontrollably)

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who's confused by all the emotionless acting this episode

B) Then you are a mind-slave of the Pushyr and will paint your house/ apartment/ college dorm cerulean blue before getting dragged off by the OBSSErs assigned to capture all of Pushyr's victims

C) Then you are a 'Shipper terrified of one thing...one unmentionable plot development...that...that...NOOOOO, the RIFT IS RETURNING! (runs) (hides) (watches the dance scene from Post-Modern Prometheus to stay sane)

Just remember, kids: Cerulean Blue is a gentle breeze... a gentle breeeeeeeeze... CEERRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUULEAN...

CERULEAN!


Thursday, June 30, 2016

X-Files: Monday 'Shipper Survey

Wait, have I done this before...?

X-Files: Monday 'Shipper Survey


1) Police cars pull up to surround a bank in DC. Skinner arrives to appraise the situation. A strange blonde woman approaches begging Skinner not to let it happen "again." Inside, we see Agent Scully checking a wounded man who turns out to be Agent Mulder. On the verge of tears, she tells the gunman he's "in charge" and "you don't have to do this." As the police storm the building, the gunman says he has to, and hits the switch to the bomb strapped to his chest. Ka-boom. You:

A) Weep for the deaths of the Blessed One and the Punk, and wonder if the Pope will waive the five-year waiting period to declare Scully a Saint of Enigmaticism

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Weep for the end of the show now that Dana and Fox are gone...and despite the gentle caresses she kept giving her wounded partner up to the explosion, we never did get anything resolved sexually...<tears flow>


2) The credits roll. You:

A) Shout at the screen, "Dudes! Mulder and Scully are dead! The show's over! You can go home now!"

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Wonder how the show can continue now...maybe with Skinner and the Lone Gunmen...but then, any sexual tension would...oh GOD NO! Well, not that there's anything wrong with it...<muttering "damn slashers!">


3) Suddenly, we see Mulder asleep, stirring, finding something wrong with his...waterbed? (SEE "Dreamland Pt.2") He gets up to find a serious leak, which has spilled onto the floor, has splashed onto his alarm, and (finding out from the downstairs neighbor) soaked through to the apartment below. When his cell phone falls into the water, you:

A) Pity the poor Punk. This just isn't his Groundhog's Day, is it...<tsk> <tsk>

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Sigh with relief! It had all been a wet dream! Dana and Fox are going to use that waterbed after all! Well, right after Fox patches the hole...


4) Mulder shows up late for work. He quickly tears into his envelope, pulling out a check which he immediately endorses. Scully shows up, and he apologizes for missing some meeting. She notes the meeting isn't really over yet, they're having a coffee break. Mulder explains how horrible his morning ("Any moment I'm about to burst into song") has been all because of a leak in his waterbed. Scully's eyes light up as she asks when he ever had a waterbed. You:

A) Worry the Punk is going to start singing the theme to "Shaft" again...oh GOD no...

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Reply "Hey, forget the 'when he got it,' and consider the 'when he'll offer to show it off to you,' Dana! And don't forget the handcuffs!!!" <kinky sigh>


5) Mulder gets to the bank, but so does the mad bomber and the mad blonde Pam, who seems upset. She also seems to know what people are saying as they say them, although when Mulder walks by he glances at her with an odd look of recognition, something she never expected. The mad bomber goes in, struggles with a note, then goes for his gun doing an old-fashioned hold-up. Mulder goes along with it, until Scully shows up. You:

A) Shout "Scully! Use the Force! Pull that gun out of his hand!"

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Shout "Dana! Fox! They've got a great deal on first-time mortgage rates for newlywed couples at this bank! Go for it!"


6) Mulder gets shot. Scully does she can to care for him, checking his wound, cradling his head in her arms (hey!), caressing his cheek (HEY!), etc. She tries to start a conversation with the robber, asking for a name (she guesses "Steve"), telling him not to go through with what he's doing. The teaser repeats itself: the police storm in, Bernard hits the switch, end of show. You:

A) Wonder who the hell "Steve" is...must be a first cousin living in Virginia who has membership in this bizarre esoteric society covering up some dark secret in Rennes-le-Chateau...oh, wait, that's this writer's fanfic stories. Never mind...

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before... and that you've seen that Bernard guy hang out with moose in Alaska...

C) Get the idea of this story, that it'll repeat this scenario until something right happens, so you're cool about Dana and Fox blowing up. What gets you all hot and bothered was watching Dana take care of Fox! <faint>


7) Mulder wakes up. His waterbed has hit an iceberg again. He's not having any fun this time either. You:

A) Want the Punk to have learned one thing for this go-around: direct deposit!!!

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Wonder if there will be a re-start where Dana wakes up in the bed next to Fox...oh, IF ONLY!!! <deep sigh>


8) This time around, Mulder's phone rings a second time. Believing it either to be the peeved downstairs neighbor again or a miffed Scully wondering how late he'll be, he refuses to answer it, taking a moment to trip over his shoes again. The camera cuts to Pam, who is trying to call Mulder this time and warn him not to go to the bank. When she hangs up before Bernard catches her doing it, you:

A) Know damn well the Blessed Skeptic might be a saint, but all patience flies out the window when the Punk fails to show up for the Third-Longest-Meeting in FBI History! <mutter> <grumble>

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Worry that Pam was calling Fox's 1-900 number! Fox! No!...:-(


9) Mulder is back to get his check, except this time he rips a corner of it. Scully shows up, Mulder apologizes for missing the meeting, but Scully replies "Well, not yet, but only because it's the longest in FBI history." (Writer: what? It broke the record? Call Guinness Book of World Records! Woo-hoo!) Mulder asks if she "ever have one of those days you wish you could rewind and start all over again from the beginning?" When she says "Yes. Frequently," You:

A) Cheer the fact that she DOES want to become a spokesperson for the Ab-Roller! Woo-hoo!

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Weep and collapse before the television, because Dana has her regrets about her relationship with Fox! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo...


10) They discuss fate versus free will. SCULLY: "No, I think that we're free to be the people that we are: good, bad or indifferent. I think that it's our character that determines our fate." MULDER: "And all the rest is just preordained? I don't buy that. There's too many variables. Too many forks in the road." He mentions how he wanted to be on time for work but how his waterbed's leaking changed all that. Scully is still surprised to hear he has a waterbed. He adds he has to go to the bank to cover the check he had to write for the damages, making him incredibly tardy for the meeting. When Scully asks AGAIN, "Since when did you get a waterbed?" You:

A) Quip, "Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, I've seen a lot of strange things, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling...everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls MY destiny..."

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Get all excited. Dana's fixating on the waterbed! She wants to see it! She wants to USE IT! And she's bringing the handcuffs! YES!!!! <faint>


11) Mulder ignores the waterbed query to finish him argument for free will. He points out Scully could easily have stayed in medicine and not gone into the FBI, meaning no X-Files as we know it. Scully still thinks it's Fate. MULDER: "Free will. With every choice, you change your fate." When Scully grabs the check and replies, "Then let's change yours. I will deposit your check. You gather your files, go to Skinner's office, and give your report before he takes it out on both of us," you:

A) Know the real reason Scully is willing to go to the bank for Mulder isn't to test his concept of Free Will, it's so she can get out of that Godawful meeting and let the Punk suffer through it instead!

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Wonder what it would have been like without Dana's decision to join the FBI creating her destiny with Fox...hmm. It would have meant the executives at the FOX Network would have successfully petitioned Mulder's partner to be a leggy blonde...Oh GOD NO! <powerful wave of nausea> Dana, it's a good thing you made this choice! <sigh of relief>


12) Mulder realizes he signed the check's stub and not the check itself. He runs after Scully to the bank, but Pam confronts him, begging him not to go to the bank. She figures he's the only one who might understand what's going on: that he goes to the bank, something bad happens, and "we all die." When Mulder gets this look on his face, you:

A) Interpret it to mean "So who's being Spooky now? I hate it when other people are weirder than I am!..."

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Know he really wants to get to the bank so he and Dana can pose as a married couple to get that great deal on a vacation loan to Jamaica! <deep sigh>


13) There's a gunshot. Mulder goes in to the bank. A woman has been shot and Mulder and Scully are in a standoff with Bernard. When Bernard hears the cops are on their way, he hits the switch. Boom. End of show. You:

A) Wonder what Gillian will do next now that the show's over...maybe do a few more romantic yuppie movies, try out for a role in that epic "Lord of the Rings" production perhaps, hey, they ought to be looking for a few good Jedis for Episodes Two and Three of the Star Wars saga!... (note: this is years before her upcoming gig as Media for American Gods)

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Hope that this time Fox wakes up with Dana in that leaky waterbed!!! <hopeful grin>


14) The newspaper delivery guy shows up to deliver the paper. Then he does it again. He does it a third time, suggesting we've had three re-starts since the commercial break. You:

A) Realize there must have been a version where Skinner goes to cash the check, where Frohike goes to cash the check, where Skinner goes to cash the check, where...hey, am I repeating myself here?!?!?!

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Wonder if there was a version where Skinner goes to cash the check, or if Frohike... damn causality loops! We'll never get out of this temporal distortion field that trapped the Enterprise-D!


15) We get the same-old. Mulder's bed has a leak. But this time, our focus shifts to Scully, who gets a warning "not to go to the bank" from Pam who sneaks into the Hoover Building as a tourist. Scully gets confused but just shrugs it off as "just another wild and wacky day with the X-Files." She finds Mulder in the basement, working on his check, and he suddenly gets a feeling of deja vu. They talk about the concept of "deja vu," where Mulder brings up the Freudian concept of repressed memories and a desire to change a wrong in the past, while Scully assumes it's just a chemical reaction in the brain causing memory glitches. When Scully finds out Mulder has to go to the bank and she warns him of the weird message she just got, you:

A) Wonder how Pam got a Tour pass so quickly that morning, and how she was able to sneak away from Bernard in order to make her warning, and why they didn't scan her for chronoton particles at the main gate, and...

B) Get the extremely bizarre feeling you've had this question before...

C) Worry that this time Dana didn't have a chance to express an interest in Fox's waterbed. Nuts! And they were doing such a good job of flirting this time! (Writer: for those of you just joining us this evening for like the first time ever, it has been an established fact that when Dana and Fox discuss/argue their opinions on philosophical issues, it really means they are flirting. So there.)


16) Mulder tries the ATM, but it's broken. He sees Pam and tries to find out why she warned his partner. Pam explains it to him, as he's the only one who seems to understand: this day has been repeating itself over and over because Bernard blows up the bank. He blows it up because Mulder and/or Scully show up to interrupt his bank robbery attempt. They all relive this day because it wasn't supposed to happen that way, but for some reason she is the only one who remembers anything. She tears up, convinced that they are all in Hell, and she is the only one who knows. You:

A) Know that the idea of Hell was born from an undigested apple turnover. Yes! We get in a quote from "Moby Dick!" Woo-hoo!

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Realize the true reason Dana and Fox keep reliving this day is because Fox hasn't figured out yet how to become a better person, thus winning Dana's true love so he won't have to keep waking up alone in that Pennsylvania inn! Oh, wait, that's "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. Well, it could apply here!


17) Mulder goes to the meeting instead of the bank, but he finds that Scully went off to look for him at the bank. He hurries back over to catch Bernard being distracted by Scully and shoots him before he can shoot her. Bernard is still alive and hits the switch. As Mulder stands there repeating to himself "He's got a bomb he's got a bomb he's got a bomb (Ka-BOOM)," you:

A) Know if the Punk hadn't shown up Scully would have disarmed Bernard and deactivated the bomb! That's why they keep repeating this day! <trout-slap Mulder> Next time, stay out of it!

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Notice that Dana and Fox were going to sit next to each other at the meeting! Giving them ample opportunities to pass notes under the table and discreetly rub their ankles together! <swoon> Now, if only they can be there at the same time!!!...


18) Here we go again. Mulder. Leaky bed. Wet floor. He hurries to work, gets the check, and hurries out, this time saying little to a confused Scully. Pam has returned to her situation in the car, crying uncontrollably convinced nothing will change and she's stuck in Hell. Mulder comes by, recognizing her, but she no longer cares and lets him go into the bank. He passes Bernard, and as he starts repeating to himself "he's got a bomb he's got a bomb he's got a bomb," you:

A) Wonder why the Punk can remember that but keep forgetting to tell the poor Saint a simple "Thank You" from time to time?! Damn Punk! <trout-slap>

B) Get the feeling you've had this question before...

C) Worry that Fox was looking at Pam the wrong way...Dammit, you Punk, no more fake blondes!!!


19) Mulder calls Scully (who seems relieved) out of the meeting to go get Pam from the car. Mulder surrenders his gun to Bernard before he can act, calmly telling him he doesn't have to do this. Sadly, Bernard goes through with the robbery again. Scully brings in Pam, and reacts to Bernard by pulling her gun. Both Mulder and Pam try to talk Bernard out of this, Mulder exclaiming the fact that this day keeps repeating for Pam and that this is Hell for her. When Bernard hears the sirens, he pulls the trigger. Pam steps into the path of the bullet. Bernard, stunned, falls helplessly to his knees. Scully checks Pam's pulse and calls for a paramedic, but steps away to give Mulder a chance to check Pam, who smiles and notes "this never happened before." You:

A) Task the Saint (Yes, HER) for forgetting her medical training by walking away from a wounded victim! What, she only takes care of the Punk when HE gets shot? Dammit, Scully, do your job! <mutter> <grumble>

B) Get the feeling you've... Hey! What's been going on around here?!?! Who's been shot? What day is it? How long have I been sitting in this La-Z-Boy chair?!?!

C) Hope this means the causality loop is over, and that Fox can take Dana back to his place to show off the waterbed! At last! And Dana still has her handcuffs! YES!!! <faint>


20) Mulder wakes up...on his futon. His phone rings, and it's Scully wondering how late he's going to be this time. She warns Skinner wants a report on what happened at the bank, and how Mulder knew there was a bomb and that Bernard had an accomplice in the car. Mulder says Pam wasn't an accomplice, she was "just trying to escape." You conclude:

A) With the thought that all of this could have been avoided if Bernard had gotten that job with the telemarketers selling aluminum siding and...and...oh, wait, they don't have a decent pension plan because all the workers end up zombie-fied. Hmm...

B) Thank God the causality loop is closed so you can get on with your life as...as...oh. That's right. Not much of a life if you keeping watching the same X-Files episode over and over and over and...

C) That Fox didn't get to use his excuse of a leaky waterbed to sleep over with Dana. DAMN!


If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSE member who wondered what the show would have been like if Scully had gone into medicine instead of the FBI...Uh-oh. Visions of that show "Providence" are flashing before your eyes... AUGH

B) Then you are a fan of other sci-fi/fantasy shows who gets the feeling you've seen this episode before... <trout-slap> But it's TRUE!!!...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who's worried Fox has gotten rid of that waterbed once and for all, and now won't be able to show it off to Dana like he was fated to! And she was bringing her handcuffs too! NUTS! <mutter> <grumble>

So, this IS the first time I'm reposting this, right...?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Think Gillian Posed for This Photo BEFORE Getting the American Gods Gig

So we all know GA is signed up to play the New Goddess Media for the upcoming American Gods miniseries.

There's an infamous bit where Media tempts Shadow while posing as Lucille Ball.


Shadow might go for it when she does.

Monday, June 20, 2016

X-Files: Chinga 'Shipper Survey

So, one of the things that happens with a successful horror/sci-fi/supernatural show getting into later seasons is that the producers get desperate for gimmicks and attention grabbers to avoid flagging ratings. Sometimes in the form of guest stars (Burt Reynolds?), or wacky crossovers (X-Cops) or Sweeps Week Lesbian Kissing (it has its own trope).

Sometimes it's in the form of famous horror/fantasy writers contributing a script, bringing in their own brand of character tics, plot devices, and bloody mayhem.

So of course they called in Stephen King.

"Can I do it about food?" He probably asked Chris Carter.

"What are you, Weird Al?"

"Can I at least set the story in Maine, even though there's no godforsaken reason to set a story there?"

"As long as you don't set it in Cabot Cove and violate Murder, She Wrote copyrights, knock yourself out!"

And so he did. And after waking up from the concussion, he wrote this script.

Which begs the question: WHAT THE HELL IS A CHINGA?

Senseless 'Shipper Survey- Chinga

(note: this was still early into Season Five when I didn't draw out the surveys into more than 20 questions or so. I've also cleaned up some of the survey with better details and hopefully funnier punchlines...)

1) As the show opened with a bratty little kid and her evil Twilight Zone doll wrecking havoc in a grocery store, your first thought was:

A) "At last! An X-File where St. Scully solves something without getting angsty!"

B) "Did Stephen King ever get ripped off at the local Publix or something? He really has it in for grocers..."

C) "Wait! That woman looks like Samantha! Dana will find her, end Fox's quest, and allow themselves the chance to settle down and develop a relationship! Yay!"

2) When Scully drove into town, convertible top down and classical music playing, all fashionable in blue jeans and t-shirt, did you:

A) want to buy a touristy t-shirt yourself so you could emulate the enigmatic one

B) wonder how much the gas costs in Vancouver... uh, Maine

C) know that Fox was beeping on the cell phone with helpful tourist tips and a possible marriage proposal (we have, after all, read the SPOILERs)

3) Scully calls in the bizarre mutilations and death in the grocery store. Mulder rattles off the X-File idea of witchcraft. Scully counters by rattling off everything she knows on the occult- and brother is it everything, like so:

SCULLY: Like evidence of conjuring
or the black arts
or shamanism,
divination,
Wicca
or any kind of pagan
or neo-Pagan practice.
Charms, cards, familiars, blood-stones,
or hex signs
or any of the ritual tableaux
associated with the occult,
Santeria,
Voudoun,
Macumba,
or any high or low magic?

MULDER (aroused): Scully... MARRY ME.

You wanted Scully's response to be:

A) "Not now, Mulder, I'm solving the case."

B) "I'm grateful that my arcane knowledge impresses you. Does this mean I can have my own desk now?"

C) You wanted Dana to say "YES!", but you were too busy overdosing on orgasmic bliss to care! 

4) Typical as always: Scully finally gets in a good bath and the phone starts ringing. Your response to the entire situation is to:

A) Call up to the show with a Scullyrita recipe so the Blessed One can enjoy that too while she soaks

B) Wonder at the impressive bubble placement in the bathtub!

C) Want Dana to answer the phone, dressed conservatively of course, so she can hear Fox offer more possible solutions and almost certainly another marriage proposal...(sigh)

5) More bizarre deaths in a small Maine fishing community. Who could possibly solve it? (informed this is getting too close to copyright violations) When the town sheriff asks Scully if she's technically still on vacation, a subtle asking for her help in this case, did you:

A) Celebrate yet another "authority figure" bowing before the wisdom and strength of St. Scully

B) Realize that Scully wasn't wearing the t-shirt anymore, proving that she already knows the vacation is shot to bleep

C) Worry that "Jack" and Scully were getting a mite too familiar with each other...EEEK NO NOT THE RIFT

6) Scully finds out the doll the little girl lugs around everywhere wasn't bought in a shop or a yard sale, but recovered mysteriously by her now-dead father who dragged it in off a fishing net. You realize:

A) Scully had it lucky: Her father brought her GI Joe action figures from the Navy commissary!

B) Isn't it typical for East Coast fishermen to be dragging in devil dolls like that? But wait, devil dolls weren't in season that month!

C) That Fox hasn't called back with another marriage proposal. Maybe he's shopping for a ring first...

7) Scully and Jack the Sheriff arrive in time to see the devil doll force the poor mommy to hit herself with a hammer. As Scully politely asked the little girl for the doll so she could toss it into the microwave, you realize:

A) St. Scully has the patience of a...well, saint. :)

B) That somebody should have made the mental connection before now: doll, dead people, doll, dead people, evil doll = lots of death, Hey Jack toss that doll into the microwave, will ya?

C) Dana's real good with children, if only she accepted that marriage proposal from Fox and settled down in Montana to raise Emily hybrids...(sigh)

8) Mulder has been left the whole weekend watching bee movies (NO NOT THE BEES), bouncing the ball, and sharpening the pencils. Scully arrives having defeated the forces of darkness, finally asking about his poster and discovering the bizarre case of pencils being where they shouldn't be. Your closing thoughts were:



A) "See? The PUNK doesn't know what to do with himself while the Enigmatic One's away! And that wouldn't happen to the pencils if they had a proper storage area, like Scully's new desk, hint hint!!!!!"

B) "Who helped Stephen on the story? It looks like...Darin?!? At least it wasn't Shiban!..."

C) "Who cares about the pencils? Dammit, Fox, make that marriage proposal again!!!!"

If you more often than not answered:

A) then you are an OBSSEr who's grateful Scully knew how to play with dolls

B) then you are an X-Phile oddly surprised that a guest writer didn't stick up the place with his first script

C) then you are a 'Shipper wondering why Dana didn't say YES dammit to Fox's marriage proposal, and Valentine's Day right around the corner and everything...(here's your Sweeps Week ratings grabber, network execs! Weddings!)

Now, who wants pictures of Gillian as Lucille Ball?