Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Off-Topic: We're Not the Only Ones to 'Ship Dana and Fox

I dunno how this stayed hidden from me.

This is from a television sitcom Suburgatory - sort of a cross between Mean Girls, Community, and WWE - which only lasted a few seasons.

Just this one clip alone makes me wanna hunt down the DVD set at the library and... whadda ya mean Polk County Library Catalog doesn't show a copy?!  Sigh... gonna hafta speak to Acquisitions about this.

Monday, July 20, 2015

X-Files: Beyond the Sea 'Shipper Survey

As threatened, here's a Season One survey of a classic X-Files, and the first one to play with the Skeptic/Believe dynamic between Mulder and Scully: Beyond the Sea!

This is also a notable episode in that a couple of veteran actors from David Lynch productions - Don Davis and Brad Dourif - happen to show up.  Due to the production in Northwest US/Vancouver, a good number of alumni from Twin Peaks showed up in the first few seasons of the X-Files.  That Duchovny showed up in Season Two of Twin Peaks as a recurring character allowed for a lot of early crossover fanfic between the two shows to take place those early years.

Just to note: as the X-Files are returning, so too is Twin Peaks!  Although the details are still a bit murky, the news of Lynch returning to its production can be a good sign.

That said: here's the newly written survey of a Season One episode I just only got around to writing today!

Senseless 'Shipper Survey - Beyond the Sea

1) The episode opens with Scully entertaining two people in her apartment.  One of them is, in fact, a refugee from this small Washington state town of Twin Peaks!  It's Don Davis, kids! (applause)  As Scully salutes the Navy officer as her father, you realize:
A) Scully was a Navy brat?  Small world, my dad was Navy too!  How many curse words did you learn, Scully?
B) That with this episode getting rehashed due to the X-Files coming back, and because Twin Peaks is coming back, that you all are gonna get a sh-t ton of Lynchian cultural references!
C) This means Dana can arrange a marriage at sea with Fox!

2) Later that cold open, Scully wakes up in her recliner noticing that Don Davis is still in the apartment sitting across from her.  He's talking, slowly and with purpose, but there are no words, no voice.  The Christmas lights festooning the apartment are blinking in an unusual order.  A bottle of beer topples from the counter.  The phone rings.  This means:
A) The owls are not what they seem.
B) What bottle of beer was that?  Heineken!? F-ck That Sh-t! Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!
C) Dana's already figured out who killed Laura Palmer, and she just needs to trust Fox enough to tell him.

3) It turns out Scully's father suffered a heart attack and died during the time she had a vision of him silently trying to tell her something.  She's left comforting her mother during the funeral, a burial at sea involving her father's ashes while the song "Beyond the Sea" plays in memoriam.  You:
A) Cry for Scully, for she is Highlander and she will not cry so you will cry for her.
B) Try to ignore the dancing cowboy in the distance, because that's not really helping sell this scene Mr. Lynch.
C) Have something in your eye, just hold on... oh the screen's just a little fuzzy right now that's all... sniff... waaaaaaaaaaahh...

4) Oh, by the way, this is the X-Files, so there's a mystery to solve in the form of a kidnapped couple who may be the next victims of a serial killer.  The profile points to someone reliving a traumatic childhood accident, and there's a period of time where he tortures the victims before completing the ritual kill.  The twist in this case is that a convicted killer on Death Row, someone Mulder just happened to have captured as a Profiler, is claiming to have visions of the kidnapping and is asking for leniency.  For once, Mulder isn't buying the psychic vision element.  That tells you:
A) That Scully's Skepticism isn't even going to be needed this episode.  Hell, why even visit the guy?  Let's go find us some clues, jinkies!
B) That Mulder's not going to use the Tibetan Method of throwing baseballs at bottles to determine the spiritual connection of a suspect to the case.
C) That Fox is ignoring how important it would be to Dana to give her a hug after the personal loss she's had.  Sniff...

5) The serial killer is interviewed on death row in North Carolina.  Look kids!  It turns out that Luther Lee Boggs is played by Brad Dourif!  (Applause) That means:
A) Our quota of actors with creepy eyebrows has been met this season!  Good job to the casting agents!
B) It is by will alone I set my mind in motion...
C) Well, there's not a really 'Shipper moment to be said about this.  I *think* Dourif's played romantic figures in a few movies, maybe Billy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, was that him in Ragtime maybe?  That's about it.  He's been typecast as unhinged guys so often it's kinda sad...

This is actually one of the saner characters Dourif ever played...

6) Mulder tricks Boggs into giving up a clue about the victims' whereabouts by using a piece of cloth from his own basketball jersey.  Convinced Boggs is faking his psychic power, Mulder leaves the prison cell in a huff.  As Scully follows him out, she suddenly notices Boggs is appearing to her as her father, and Don Davis leans over and says "Did you get my message, Starbuck?"  You:
B) Wonder if Dirk Benedict and Katee Sackhoff are gonna sue Gillian for taking their BSG name?

every argument is hereby invalid

7) Another attempt to scam Boggs - this time using a fake news clipping about the victims - doesn't get the expected response, but Boggs gives cryptic clues about the location where the serial killer is set to kill the first of the two.  Later, Scully is driving around getting lost in Vancouver, uh North Carolina when she spies a statue that fits Boggs' clues.  Calling in Mulder and a SWAT team, you're convinced:
A) Scully is just certain this is the place because of her innate rational skills of deduction!  Yeah, that's our excuse and we're sticking to it...
B) That flashing neon sign "This Is It" had something to do with it.
C) That we're going to get a rescue mission that will involve trust issues and at least three hand holds!

8) The FBI team is able to rescue one of the kidnap victims before she can be killed, but the serial killer escapes by shooting Mulder, forcing Scully to stay and cradle him to stop his bleeding.  You:
A) Really think that SWAT!Scully needs a fight cry.  "BATTLE ON!" Yeah, that'll work! :)
B) Worry about the sudden flashback sequence that has Scully imagining herself talking to this elderly couple hiding in a blue box...
C) Are happy that Dana is comforting a Hurt!Fox, but this whole getting-shot-to-create-an-intimate-moment thing better not turn into a common occurance after Season One, okay?  OKAY?!

9) An angry Scully goes charging into Boggs' cell: "You set us up! You’re in on this with Lucas Henry. This was a trap for Mulder because he helped put you away. Well, I came here to tell you that if he dies because of what you’ve done, four days from now, no one will be able to stop me from being the one that will throw the switch and gas you out of this life for good, you son of a bitch!"  You:
A) Cheer.
B) Cheer.
C) Shout "DANA LOVES FOX!" then cheer.

Note: this must be YouTubed:

10) Boggs morphs into Mulder: "Dana... you're the one who believed me."
C) Damn NoRomos!

11) Boggs tries to explain to Scully what happened to him: that his experience on Death Row, going through the first run of an earlier execution attempt had exposed him to the dozens of souls now haunting him.  He truly fears now the fate the afterlife has stored for him, and while he accepts that he will die for his crimes he wants some atonement in this world to lessen his coming doom in the next.  You take this in and shout back at the screen:
A) "Look not to St. Scully for your absolution, you fiend!  Prepare the fresh trout, so that Boggs may be slapped first for his sins!"
B) "It would be better for you to die... in the innards of a Worm! Activate the thumpers! Watch for Wormsign!"
C) "Get back to the hospital and give Fox another hand hold, Dana!"

12) Boggs gives Scully one more clue, and tries to convince her to show up at his scheduled execution in four days by claiming he can pass on her father's last message to her.  He also warns her to avoid "the devil".  Scully takes the clue and figures out where the killer will attempt to kill the young man he still holds.  You figure out:
A) Scully will this time bring enough SWAT guys to cover all exits, destroy all hiding places, and serve some Scullyritas!
B) That the dancing midget singing backwards in the other jail cell would have better cryptic clues!  Go ask him!
C) Dana's gonna make it up to Fox by solving this case so they can get on with the post-recovery comfort treatment!

13) The second raid is more successful.  Scully chases after the serial killer, who goes running through the abandoned brewery.  He hurries into the production area, crossing over on an overhang ramp, and Scully stars to follow but stops herself when she sees the beer company's logo was a devil's face.  As the serial killer breaks through weak boards and falls to his death, you note:
A) SWAT!Scully needs to be a thing more often! Work on it, Chris!
B) Told you that beer is for sh-t!  PABST! BLUE! RIBBON!
C) Hey, is this gonna be an episode where only the bad guys die?!  Good news, that means we won't feel guilty when Dana and Fox have celebratory sex uh hand-holding!

14) It's time for Boggs to face his justice.  The souls of his victims silently watch him, and he stares back with genuine fear in his eyes.  As he gets strapped down to the chair for the gas chamber, he looks through the witness window to see if Scully would appear so he could deliver her father's message.  When he sees... just the priest and the executioner, you realize:
A) Scully didn't buy his bullsh-t story after all!  YAY!
B) Boggs' only way out now is to transform into a completely different person, like how that guy who played the President in Independence Day morphed into uh that other guy in prison, so they had to let him go and end up working for Frank Booth's second cousin Dick Laurent!
C) Dana is probably off giving Fox a comfort hug during his recuperation!

15) Scully is at Mulder's bedside, trying to come up with logical explanations about how Boggs' knew her personal details, and how he played on her father's recent death.  Mulder, still recovering from the wound, tries to comfort her but asks why she didn't take the next step and get enough evidence to finally Believe.  Scully answers, "I'm afraid, I'm afraid to Believe."  As the episode ends you reply back:
A) "It's not that you're afraid, Scully, it's that you are contractually obligated to be the Skeptic character for at least five seasons and a movie!"
B) "THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKE... oh, wait, no she hasn't.  Never mind.  Back to the spice mines, everybody!  Nothing to see here..."

If you more often than not answered:
A) You're a Scully acolyte bothered by the dynamic shift of Believer/Skeptic this episode and hopes it doesn't happen again.
B) You're a fan of David Lynch movies and television shows who understands exactly what happened in Lost Highway.  Yup.  Absolutely.  Every last frame.  Just take my word for it.
C) You're a 'Shipper who saw enough Comforting and Emotional exposure this episode to make you wish for more!  MORE!  MORE HUGS!  MORE HAND HOLDS!  MORE BEDSIDE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT BELIEF AND TRUST AND...

What do you think, sirs?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekly Poll 7/13/15: Which Season One Episode Should I 'Ship Next?

Okay, I'm a little swamped at the moment, but the need is paramount to get a newly-written Senseless 'Shipper Survey for Season One.

Problem is, which one should I do next?

I'm not prone to do a survey for an episode that's light on the 'Shipping between Fox and Dana, so getting one in that has 'Shipper potential is a priority over others.  There is *one* episode that's 'Shiptastic (man, I'm running out of 'Ship words) in "Tooms", but I'm saving that for when it's scheduled to be promoted on the 201 Days of X-Files (about 14 episodes away, at least 2 weeks).

So, here I am, polling YOU all for "What Season One Episode Should I 'Ship Next?"

The top five possibilities are:

  • Eve: advantages are it's well-known, a fan-favorite, a creepy plot, and it has Mulder being wrong about the cause right off the bat (which would appeal to the OBSSE crowd)
  • Beyond The Sea: a huge fan-favorite, Scully-heavy, with a shift in the Believer-Skeptic dynamic
  • EBE: a UFO-themed plot with Trust as a major topic, plus the introduction of the pervy Frohike
  • Darkness Falls: scary monster-of-the-week plot, unsettling implications, and it's essentially a date in the woods gone wrong
  • Erlenmeyer Flask: a season finale, wham episode with Rescue!Scully and Hurt!Mulder implications

So, what's it to be, X-Philes?  It's your call.  I give you all three days to vote, gives me time to post the response by Friday.  I shall leave the Comments field open or you can send up flares, broadcast your decision via telepathy, what have you. :)

Also, tomorrow is I HEART PLUTO DAY!

Update: all right.  It will be Beyond the Sea... and never again I'll go sailin...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

News: New Trailer, Binge-Watching 201

As part of promoting a binge-watch marathon, Fox released this trailer:

Which includes a brief NEW clip of Scully and Mulder stepping into a darkened room with their patented "Monster-Detecting Ultra-Bright" Flashlights.

The marathon itself does not seem to be on-air, but Fox is encouraging viewership so they're likely relying on people using their own DVD collection or access to Netflix to follow along each day's episode.  This started on the 7th, so we're looking at episode "Squeeze" as today's episode.

Ooh, I think I got a 'Shipper survey for that...

Friday, July 3, 2015

X-Files: X-Cops 'Shipper Survey

So, with me off in the DC area for the 4th of July, I've tried looking for a 4th-themed X-Files episode, but I couldn't find one.  So screw it, I'm going with one with a bit of snark and wit and hopefully people will laugh at the right jokes.

Oh, and I changed the final joke.  I updated it up for 2015.  Had to be done.

That said, from Season Seven I bring you:

Senseless 'Shipper Survey - X-Cops

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?  Ya gonna watch some X-Files,

NOTE: Senseless 'Shipper Surveys are written on location with the men and
women of fandom enforcement.  All suspects are guilty until copyrighted in a
court of law.  Names have been changed to protect the innocent.  For example,
Sean Carroll is now Geri Halliwell.  Gizzie is now Autumn.  Autumn is now
Gillian Anderson.  We hope all are satisfied.

1) We know it's Sunday night.  9 p.m.  But instead of aliens and mutants,
we've got blurred images of crack whores and t-shirt-wearing rednecks.  The
programming guys at FOX have screwed up again: they're showing COPS
instead of the X-Files.  You:
A) Curse the Fates and switch your allegiance to Masterpiece Theater
B) Throw the t.v. out the window and hope it hits a network executive
C) Worry that Dana and Fox are going to get nailed for public indecency

2) We're riding with a rookie cop working the night shift in a slum of Los
Angeles.  The cop, Wetzel, is talking about the insanity that comes with a full
moon at night.  As he gets a call in about a lady screaming about a monster,
you note:
A) That Wetzel needs to stop off at a deli first to pick up a trout he can use to
slap some sense into that woman!
B) That O.J. has got to stop going around looking for the real killers while
wearing a Nixon mask!
C) That the One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple-People-Eater is looking at
Laura C. the wrong way...damn slashers!

3) Wetzel shows up at the address, scaring off a mewling kitty and finding a
terrified elderly Hispanic lady.  Her door has large claw marks.  We hear a
noise on the other side of the house, and the cop goes to investigate.  He goes
off-camera, then suddenly comes running back screaming his head off, yelling
at the camera crew to make it back to the safety of the police car.  Once inside,
Wetzel hurriedly calls for back-up just as someone or someTHING huge starts
slamming into the police car, knocking out windows and flipping the auto
twice.  As the screen goes black and flashes the memorable opening credits of
the One True Show, you realize:
A) That the network executives would do anything for sweeps week...just as
long as they don't do anything embarrassing like try to marry off a stand-up
comedian posing as a millionaire...
B) That the Blair Witch has gone Hollywood!  Well, you'd expect that after
her movie made over $100 million in domestic ticket sales...
C) That we ARE going to see Dana and Fox get caught for public indecency!

4) More cops arrive to the scene.  Wetzel at first refuses to admit what
attacked the car, finally agreeing with the idea it was gangbangers who
overturned something that heavy.  A call quickly comes in that suspects have
been spotted a few blocks away.  Everybody goes running off to an alleyway
where they detain two people.  The guy is tall, with mussed hair, somewhat
spooky in demeanor.  The woman is petite, dressed fashionably if casually.
They claim to be FBI agents.  When it turns out they are, indeed, Special
Agents Mulder and Scully, you determine:
A) That the Punk has once again dragged the Blessed Redhead into another
embarrassing mess.  Well, Scully, at least you're not stuck in the sewers this
B) That if COPS exists in the same alternate universe as the X-Files, then that
means COPS exists in the same universe as Homicide...which also exists in the
same universe as Law & Order.  Do you think COPS could film an episode
with the law enforcement men and women of New Yawk's Finest?...
C) That if Fox was taking Dana to a nice Bed and Breakfast in California's
wine valley, he definitely took a wrong turn at Albuquerque...

5) Mulder and Scully are interested in the report of a monster prowling the
neighborhood.  Then they notice there's a camera crew focusing on them.  You
want their reaction to be:
A) "Holy (expletive deleted), Mulder, we're on film!"
B) "Oh no.  Are we going to be on the FOX Network? <various expletives
C) "(Extremely graphic expletives of a sexual nature)" "Excuse me, Dana, try
whispering that in my ear next time..."

6) Mulder confronts Wetzel on what he saw in the alleyway.  Mulder is
convinced it was a werewolf.  Wetzel's boss, Sgt. Duthie, can't believe any of
it, even after Mulder points out the bite marks on Wetzel's arm.  As Mulder
tells the poor rookie cop he's doomed to use fire hydrants to mark his territory
at night, Scully keeps hiding from the all-intrusive video camera.  You take this
all in and conclude:
A) That the Blessed One is horrified she doesn't have on her formal outfits to
appear on television!  Damn you, Punk, for tossing her suitcase out the car
window on the drive to L.A.! (trout-slap)
B) That Wetzel might be sent to the kennel, but Mulder's certainly being sent
to the nearest psychiatric facility!...
C) That Dana would like to stand close to Fox right now but she's worried
about incurring the wrath of a vengeful Bree Sharp!...

NOTE: regarding werewolves, the writer of this survey would have liked
seeing Seth Green make a cameo appearance so this can all tie into the Buffy
Show, but then again that's just me...

7) Sgt. Duthie: "With all due respect what the <bleep> are you talking about?"
Mulder: "I'm talking about preventing this man from becoming a danger to
himself and to others."  Duthie: "Can I see your badge again?"  You:
A) "Uh-oh.  She's gonna find out the Punk's badge came from a box of
cracker jacks!"
B) "Why?  Didn't you already get one as a gift from an X-Phile friend for your
C) "Uh-oh.  You've got a shot of yourself wearing Speedos in the flap, don't
you, Fox..."

8) Scully calls Mulder over to one side to try and slap, uh, yeah okay slap some
sense into him.  Scully: "Mulder, have you noticed that we're on television?"
Mulder: "I don't think it's live television, Scully.  She just said (bleep)."  You:
A) "Oh, okay. (Many varied and colorful expletives deleted covering
absolutely everything the Punk has done in the past seven years to embarrass
the Blessed One)"
B) "Bleep?  What the (bleep) does Bleep mean?  Smeg?  Snerk?  Gosh darn
golly gee?!?!  SNUGGLEBUNNIES?!?!?!?!"
C) "I think Dana's trying to tell you that your relationship is out in the open
now, Fox.  McGrath's oversight committee could be looking into those hotel
bills of yours again..."

9) Scully tries to point out that with the camera crew present (and constantly
stalking them, to make things worse), the FBI (and especially herself) could
well be embarrassed by Mulder's accusations of lycanthropy.  Mulder
disagrees, thinking that this might be the best opportunity to prove to a
skeptical public some aspect of the paranormal.  Mulder actually asks (politely,
I think) Scully to keep an eye on Wetzel.  As Scully calls out as he walks away
that she's calling Skinner, you sit there:
A) Actually stunned the Punk asked nicely for once. (eyes widened) (jaw
dropped) (Bleep), you think the Skeptical Redhead needs to re-think her
position on camera crews...they seem to force Mulder to behave!...
B) Certain that Leonard Nimoy already proved the paranormal with his epic
"In Search Of"series...
C) Worried that the camera crew missed that shot of Dana and Fox holding
hands while they flirted, uh, bickered...

10) Scully pulls out her cell phone to call Skinner.  The camera crew closes in
dramatically.  Scully tells them to "give it a rest."  They don't back off.  Scully
puts her hand over the camera lens.  Suddenly there's an edit, like as though
they don't want to show what happened next.  You're certain:
A) Scully did things to that camera that would take weeks to repair and clean.
Battle on, Scully!
B) The editing crew weeks later removed scenes that would have provided
vital clues on the disappearances of three film students in the woods of
Maryland back in 1994!...
C) That the scene was edited out because it didn't provide anything that would
have delighted 'Shippers everywhere.  We're still waiting for the prolonged
bee-free French kiss dammit!!!

11) Mulder and the police talk to the hysterical elderly woman about the "claw
monster" she saw.  She's asked to work with the police sketch artist so they
can get a good idea what they're up against.  Mulder examines the claw
scratches on the doorway, then shows Sgt. Duthie the earlier sketch drawing of
the werewolf that claimed a life last month.  Mulder's convinced the elderly
woman saw the same thing.  Finally, the sketch artist finishes, handing over a
drawing of...Freddy Kruger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  You:
A) Fall over on the floor laughing your (bleep) off!
B) Worry that Robert Eugland is a werewolf!
C) Sigh, grateful that this will end Fox's night of hunting and force him to go
back to the hotel with Dana and share a bubble bath with her!

12) Scully returns from the hospital with a relieved-looking Wetzel.  It turns
out the bite marks on his wrist were actually wasp stings.  Scully tries to cover
for Mulder, saying first that Skinner cleared their being on t.v. because the FBI
has nothing to hide, then adding that "anyone could have made the mistakes"
that Mulder had made.  You:
A) Task the Blessed Redhead for covering for the Punk when it's already well-
documented he screwed up!  Just trout-slap him and be done with it!
B) Note that the FBI does indeed have something to hide: J. Edgar's closet!!!
(girly scream)
C) Sigh because Dana's trying to be nice.  Aww.  Fox ought to give her a
complimentary backrub when they return to the hospital, yay!

13) A call comes in: there's been an attack 8 blocks away.  The camera crew
tries to ride with the federal agents but Scully scowls at them like a Klingon
warrior having a bad hair day.  The scene cuts to a nearby strip mall where the
body of the sketch artist is found: his chest has been slashed open, clean
through the body vest he was wearing.  For you, this means:
A) Yet another autopsy. <sigh> Get out the scrubs, guys...
B) There's a job opening with the LAPD for artistic types
C) Dana and Fox can't yet share that bubble bath. <Bleep>

Commercial break. (long pause) (flush) Ahhh......

14) We return to the scene of the crime, as the paramedics load up the sketch
artist's body.  Wetzel talks to the camera, very unconvincingly, of cops pulling
together at a moment like this to honor their fallen co-workers, even if they
were long-haired hippies, and "cowboying up" to catch the scum who did this.
A) see B)
B) see C)
C) Arch an eyebrow at all of this.  Cowboying up?!  Okay, Hondo, let's go
punch some dogies...

15) Sgt. Duthie suggests speaking to a local couple who call in regularly about
the stuff they see in this neighborhood: their names are Steve and Edy.  The
door opens to reveal two middle-aged black men, who report what they saw
about the sketch artist collapsing and screaming even though they didn't see
any attacker.  They did see a streetwalker named Chantara though.  Edy, the
more, uh, flamboyant one of the couple, turns to the camera as the crew walks
away and pleads, "When am I going to get my own TV show?"  As Edy sings
his song, you mutter to yourself:
A) "Damn.  Edy has better fashion sense than Scully does!" (Autumn Tysko
arches an eyebrow at the writer)
B) "Aw, dude, where's Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier when you need
C) "Steve and Edy are going to be the characters for the X-Files spin-off?!
But...but...what about the synopsis I submitted to Chris Carter about a rogue
librarian hunting down the mythical Book With the Blue Cover?..." (whimper)

16) The camera crew seems to have talked their way past Scully to sit in the
back seat and listen to Mulder explain the X-Files and his hunt for the
paranormal.  Of course, his constant stammering tips you off that he has no
clue what he's talking about.  No, there's no survey question here.  Just stating
a fact.  Thank you.

NOTE: Mulder's attempt to convince Scully she needs to dye her hair pink like
Chantara's means he ain't getting any when the two make it back to their hotel
room.  I know as a 'Shipper I shouldn't think like that, but honestly, man, pink
hair went out with the Flock of Seagulls, dude...

17) Our intrepid heroes (and persistent camera crew) find the pink-haired
Chantara, who witnessed the sketch artist's death and is convinced it was her
psychotic ex-boyfriend Chuco who did the deed.  She's terrified, convinced
he's going to snap her neck like a chicken if she talks.  Now that the police
have a name, it's warrant-serving time at the local crackhouse, complete with
battering ram, SWAT teams, and reggae music.  As the X-Files switch back to
COPS mode, you take a moment and:
A) Wonder why they just don't let Scully kick in the door with her titanium-
alloy high heels!
B) Check the bolts on your door.  Those SWAT teams keep getting the
addresses wrong all the time, dude!...
C) Wish that Dana and Fox stay out of the cops' way and let them do their
jobs...giving themselves an excuse to go hide behind the arrest van and, uh,
hold hands! (sigh)

18) We find out Chuco's been dead for at least a week.  We then hear shots
being fired outside the crackhouse.  We run back out to find Wetzel shooting
at...something that's run off.  We turn to the car where Chantara was supposed
to be protected...to find her neck snapped like a chicken's.  As the COPS logo
flashes back up to indicate another commercial break, we:
A) Take a breather.  That's a lot of running going on...
B) Hey!  What's this "we" stuff?!  We're sitting here in our La-Z-Boy recliners
eating popcorn!  We ain't running anywhere!
C) Turn back to our computers to finish up that 40-part fanfic story describing
Dana and Fox's honeymoon in Jamaica

19) The show resumes with this wicked camera zoom shot of a helicopter
flying across the full moon hanging above the City of Angels. (The writer of
the survey openly admits to being a cinematography slut) Mulder confronts
Wetzel about what he really saw, and what he shot at just before the
commercial break.  Wetzel gets antsy, then confesses that what attacked him
was the Wasp Man, a Monster Under The Bed his older brother would scare
him with.  Mulder uses this to posit other theory: a Fear Monster that morphs
into whatever it is the victim fears, be it werewolf, Freddy, Wasp Man, Bill
Gates...the list is endless!  Scully points out a weak link in Mulder's chain of
events: Steve and Edy haven't been attacked yet.  Oh.  Uh-oh.  Once they
figure that out, you figure out:
A) What it is you're most afraid of: a bad hair day!
B) That they should call in Buffy and the Scooby Gang: they've done this Fear
thing in two episodes!
C) Your favorite scary movie: Sense and Sensibility! (insert scream)

20) Mulder and Scully head back to Steve and Edy's place.  Mulder announces
out loud, "Thought we'd check on them because they seem to fit a victim
profile."  Scully: "I'm sorry. Are you talking to me?"  When Mulder
acknowledges the camera crew instead, you wish:
A) That Scully would go into her kick-ass DeNiro impersonation and whip out
a trout instead of her Sig Sauer.  "You betta be talking to me!" (whack)
B) That Scully would look straight at the camera and whisper, "I like cheese."
C) That Dana would look straight at the camera and whisper, "I like...I
like...oh, (bleep), will you guys just for once let me say I like Fox?" X-Files
staff of writers (in unison): "Not until the third sequel!"  Dana: "Oh, (BLEEP)

21) Mulder and Scully get caught in the middle of a tiff between the couple.
Edy is screaming that Steve doesn't love him anymore.  The situation is tense.
Everyone waits awhile, and it becomes apparent the Fear Monster won't be
attacking Steve and Edy, who are thankfully resolving their conflict.  In
Scully's opinion, however, something scarier than the Fear Monster shows up:
another COPS camera crew.  You:
A) Sigh and wonder if the Blessed One can ever explain this to her
family and her parish priest and her neighbors and the postman and
Santa Claus (the nice non-serial-killer version) and
B) Think Scully's aversion to cameras is due to an incident in her college
years something about Alan Funt, a hidden camera, and a fake cadaver at her
final exam
C) Are grateful that the Rift has ended and and okay, so it's not a Rift
between Dana and Fox, but hey a Rift is still an unpleasant emotional mess
irregardless of who's involved

22) Scully wants to perform an autopsy on Chantara to narrow down the clues
by determining what DIDN'T kill her.  Mulder wants to stick with officer
Wetzel because he's been witness to the Fear Monster twice already.  You want:
A) The Punk to pay for the gas in the rental car, dammit!  He's the one who
has been driving it most of this (bleeping) episode!
B) A nice big birthday cake on May Eighth with with (Writer gets
disapproving looks from relatives)  Aw, (bleep), I don't wanna diet!
C) (Explicit sexual fantasy - involving Fox, Dana, a refrigerator full of fresh
fruits, and a digital videocamera - has been deleted to protect younger

23) Wetzel talks to Mulder about the embarrassment this whole Fear Monster
thing is going to be to his law enforcement career.  Mulder, of course, can
sympathize.  You, of course, can:
A) Care less about these two.  Let's go see what Scully is finding out that will
solve this case!
B) Gargle Gershwin with gargoyles
C) Only hope that there's a red-headed female partner out there for Wetzel
who can hold his hand and make him feel loved, uh, trusted

24) Scully is trying to perform an autopsy on Chantara, but the assisting
medical examiner keeps hassling her about hantavirus.  When the terrified (not
a good sign in this episode) lady suddenly shows signs of hantavirus, you
A) That the Blessed One should have done a better job of calming that medical
examiner's fears, and told her that a Fear Monster was really responsible for
the streetwalker's death.  Oh, right, Scully couldn't do that with a straight
B) There's another job opening, this time for medical examiner.  Does
everyone have their resumes handy?...
C) That poor Dana is now going to be quarantined for the rest of the episode
and she'll never get a chance to hold Fox's hand for the closing scene (what a
'Shipper would call "the money shot")...(sigh)

25) Mulder shows up at the morgue where Scully is frustrated.  She can't
explain how the dead medical examiner could drop so quickly dying of
hantavirus: the disease takes hours to kill its victims.  Mulder points out that
the woman's fear of that plague proves his theory of a Fear Monster: the thing
is, you have to be DEATHLY afraid for the Fear Monster to strike.  Other
fears, like fear of separation (Steve and Edy) or fear of embarrassment (Scully)
isn't enough to be affected.  Your deathly fear is:
A) A skydiving elephant plummeting toward you whilst wearing a spandex
outfit and trumpeting Chuck Mangonie tunes (scream)
B) Rush Limbaugh: Monday Night Football announcer (scream)
C) A NoRomo in charge of script approval on the show! (scream)

26) Our heroes realize there's one potential victim left: Wetzel and his deathly
childhood fear of Wasp Man.  Wetzel, like any foolish character from a horror
movie, has gone back out into the night with one of the COPS camera crews to
wrap things up.  This means:
A) Scully should keep her medical scrubs on.  This'll get messy!
B) Yet another job opening coming up.  If anyone needs to study up for the
law enforcement civil service exams, check the shelves of your local public
library in the 363.23 shelf area for the study guides!
C) There's not enough time for Dana and Fox to hug right now!  Damn, but
make this quick!...

27) Wetzel has returned to the crack house with his camera crew in tow.  It's
empty now, dark and deserted.  Suddenly, the cop's flashlight goes dead.  In
the shadows, noises of something hideous comes closer.  The door slams shut.
Everyone is screaming as the camera shakes, unable to film the coming horror.
You're certain that:
A) see B)
B) see C)
C) The Blair Witch is back and bitchier than ever.  Oh (BLEEP)!!!

28) Mulder and Scully return to the crack house.  The other cops try the
battering ram on the front door while the FBI agents and the COPS crew go
through the back door.  With their flashlights out, the unusually distant sound
of the ram against the door, the cluttered discord of the living room, this all
conveys a really spooky place.  The closet door jiggles, and Mulder opens it to
find...the other camera crew screaming their heads off.  As Scully slams the
door on them, cursing "I hate you guys," you're certain:
A) That you've figured out where Heather and Mike are: they're hiding in one
of the closets of that haunted house they entered at the end of the movie!
Although, since it's been a few years, they're probably a little starved right
B) That the camera crew hiding in the closet will never hear the end of it when
their colleagues make it back to the FOX headquarters! (snickering)
C) That Dana is just a little jumpy right now...she's flashing back to that
wonderful domicile she and Fox had in "Arcadia"...

29) The camera crew follows Mulder and Scully upstairs to where they can
hear Wetzel screaming.  There's signs of a bloody struggle up the stairwell,
very Blair Witch-like.  They get to the door leading to Wetzel, but something
very powerful slams that door shut, forcing Mulder to bang his shoulder
ineffectively against it.  He tries to calm Wetzel down, reminding him he's a
bleeping cop and he has to "cowboy up."  Suddenly, the door opens.  Wetzel
stops screaming.  We find:
A) That Scully used her Jedi mind trick to get the Fear Monster to let Luke
and Obi-wan pass...
B) A few cameras and sound recorders, about twelve rusted cans of film,
Heather's journal, and Josh's tape mix of favorite tunes!
C) Dana and Fox planning to hunt the Fear Monster as far as Jamaica if they
have to!...(sigh)

30) Wetzel had survived into dawn.  Scully tries to comfort Mulder about not
getting the concrete proof he wanted of paranormal activity.  Mulder points to
the camera crew, noting, "Well, hey, you know, it all depends on how they edit
it together."  As Scully concludes with "It's going to be a hard one to write
up," you conclude with a:
A) "No (bleep), Scully!"
B) "What?  That's it?  A Fear Monster?  That is so lame!  They should have
come up with a mummy or a devilbunny or something! (Bleep)!"
C) "Damn!  No concrete proof of a relationship! (Double Bleep)!"

If you more often than not answered:
A) then you are an OBSSE acolyte who thinks the whole thing would make for
a lousy Hollywood movie...oh (bleep), isn't that coming up soon?...
B) then you are a trio of college students stuck in the woods of Maryland
walking in circles and shouting enough obscenities to wake the undead!
C) then you are a 'Shipper who has faced the greatest fear: President Donald Trump! (SCREAM)

HAPPY 4th of July to all Americans, White and Black and Hispanic and Asian and Grey and...