Tuesday, December 8, 2015

X-Files: Chimera 'Shipper Survey

For some reason, my Twitter feed today was filled with references to this episode, so I pulled up my old HTML and decided to repost this survey for tonight's entertainment!

Just to note, this episode was made well before Suburgatory, so no I don't have any references to that wacky sitcom about Stepford Suburbian Subversions! Except for this paragraph. Go figure.

Anywho! Send In the Corvii!


1) The episode begins in a beautiful backyard garden. It's Easter. The birds sing a happy tune, and there is always music in the air. As two women complement each other for the success of this festive shindig, you realize:

A) That "always music in the air" line is the same thing the Dancing Midget said in "Twin Peaks." Dude, that's a pretty obscure cultural reference!...

B) This town of Stepford is still, for some reason, oddly...wrong, somehow...<ominous foreshadowing>

C) This is exactly how you'd imagine the wedding reception set-up would be for Dana and Fox! The flowers, the outfits, the food, the evil-looking ravens overhead... <sigh>

2) The two women, Mrs. Adderly and Mrs. Crittendon, turn from delighted to bitchy when the town tramp, Ms. Uphouse, shows up with leftovers in her Tupperware. The smiles are forced, the demeanors are darkened, and the trout are prepared. Later, Mrs. Crittendon's girl runs off looking for more Easter eggs when the little girl is scared by a big raven and the sudden appearance of Ms. Uphouse. That evening Mrs. Crittendon is calling her husband to complain about what happened to their daughter. Suddenly, the curtains fly open, the mirrors are shattered, and you're certain that:

A) There's about 14 years of bad luck thanks to this teaser...<another mirror shatters> Okay, 21 years...<monster enters the hallway> <more shattering>...Sigh, 35 years...Roll the credits before <another mirror gets dusted>...Damn!...

B) The raven is mighty pissed there's no bust of Pallas to perch on!

C) If it's not sludge monsters, it's mirror-shattering monsters! Will Dana and Fox ever find a nice quiet neighborhood to raise Emily clones?...

3) Warn the neighbors: Mulder's looking through a telescope again. This time, he's being a Peeping Tom with a purpose, working a stakeout to find a mysterious kidnapper stalking the streets of Vancouver. Scully shows up with food and coffee, disenchanted with the current assignment of constantly staring at hookers, johns, and comic book collectors. Mulder, of course, is thrilled to be watching the dark underside of urban civilization and...hold that thought, his phone rings. He promptly packs up and ditches Scully in this seedy, dilapidated building. You:

A) Shake your head, knowing this ditch would have happened. Scully, you should have brought trout instead of donuts! <much vigorous trout-slapping of the Punk>

B) Wonder about this dark underside stuff. Guys, it's early afternoon! It won't get dark until 6:30 p.m.!

C) Curse the Fates, noting that this is the first time Dana and Fox have shared a room on an assignment, and there's a mattress in the corner, too. DAMN!...

4) Skinner has called Mulder in to his office to re-assign him to the missing persons case on Mrs. Crittendon, the daughter of a federal judge. Mulder keeps thinking he's done something to tick Skinner off. Now, I'd like to use Spookycc in the survey at this point, so:

A) If Spookycc is a Scully fan, she'd be wondering why the Blessed Redhead didn't get this plum assignment while leaving the Punk in the cold, messy building watching hookers like he'd wanted to in the first place!...

B) If Spookycc is a Mulder fan, she'd be worried he IS in trouble with Skinner and they're going to fight again for the umpteenth time!...

C) If Spookycc is a Slasher, then...oh, don't you DARE think like that, Spookycc!!! <fume> <glare>

5) Mulder arrives in sunny...uh, what's the city supposed to be this time? Okay, sunny Calgary. He meets with the usual assortment of suspects: the grieving husband, the clueless sheriff, the cheerful babysitter from across the street with a mysterious henna tattoo on her hand, and the shifty-eyed owner of the town tavern out along the waterfront. Which one of these is the Fearsome Ferret Monster?!

A) Whichever one is the blonde. Damn blonde!

B) Whoever isn't allergic to rubber masks!

C) Old Man Hensaw who owns the copper mine! And he would've gotten away with it too if...if...<sigh> I shouldn't have watched that Scooby-Doo marathon on the Cartoon Network...

6) Mulder checks out the scene of the crime: the empty spots on the walls where shattered mirrors were removed, the claw marks, the half-eaten meals and spilled cups of grog, the missing captain's log and navigation tools of the Mary Celeste, and a crudely drawn map of an island with a pit overlooked by an oak tree. You take this all in and deduce:

A) The writer of this survey isn't doing a very good job of keeping up with the actual storyline of this episode. Stick to the facts, dammit! <trout-slap>

B) The Bell Witch and her buddy Bigfoot might have been involved in the kidnapping. Check the local airfields for five World-War-Two era Navy bomber planes!...

C) Dana and Fox are going to...<survey writer notices the number of evil glares he's receiving>...What? It's a typical C) answer, dammit!

D) Krycek is not in this episode. So don't answer with a D) dammit!...

7) The husband meets with Mulder and provides two vital clues: 1) His missing wife was taking birth control pills even though the man already had a vasectomy, and 2) He found a key with the number 6 on it. You deduce:

A) Mrs. Crittendon at least didn't have her ova removed, unlike some redheads we know of who deserved to keep theirs!...<fume>

B) She was having an affair with Patrick McGoohan!

C) Dana and Fox are going to get married! Ha! There, I finished the sentiment! <much cheering and celebration>

8) Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Mrs. Adderly, the sheriff's wife, is passing out MISSING posters of her friend. She is startled by Ms. Uphouse, who confronts the lady with stinging rebukes about her and her missing friend. Ms. Uphouse angrily declares, "You and Martha are two peas in a pod." As the town tramp storms off, you realize:

A) All is not well in the community of Stepford after all...

B) Mrs. Adderly and Mrs. Crittendon are Pod People! That explains everything!

C) The one science fiction homage we haven't used yet is Attack of the Crab Monsters! Which is good, because that movie didn't have any 'Shippy elements as far as I could tell...

9) Mulder and Sheriff Adderly follow up on both the hypothesis Mrs. Crittendon disappeared with her paramour and the reason how ravens can be tied to this disappearance. Adderly's not too thrilled with Mulder's focusing on the mythological importance of ravens being harbingers and foretellers of doom, and doesn't know how it ties in with shattered mirrors. Ravens, it should be noted, also have a more scientific value: they gather at corpses, especially the one of Mrs. Crittendon under her own rose garden. You:

A) Note the mythological importance of trout: they're used to slap Punk-ish people!

B) Wonder if it's just irony or dramatic irony the poor missus was left composting in her prize-winning roses...

C) Glance to the left, then to the right, before shouting that Dana and Fox are going to...<writer gets tackled by highly trained NoRomo ninjas>

10) Oh, just before the body was found, Mulder spent a sumptuous evening having dinner with the Adderlys: red wine, carved roast, sweet yams covered in marshmallow...<insert drooling noise here>. He's enjoying the meal, up until the point he gets a phone call from a shivering, starving Scully who wants to leave her last will and testament before dying all alone on her stakeout. You:

A) Think the Blessed Red-head should have gotten a number from her friends working RICO cases, and called Tony and Paulie to "order out" on the bleeping Punk!

B) Always wanted to use the word "sumptuous." Uh, Spookycc? Check the dictionary, make sure I'm using it properly, okay?...

C) Are horrified Fox didn't invite Dana up to the Adderlys! I'm sure Ellen would have saved a few slices of the roast! And they offered the guest bedroom! Moose and Squirrel could have shared! <openly weeps>

11) Everyone gets into the crime scene. You'd think after all those headaches from the O.J. and Jon-Bonet Ramsey stuff the police would know better, but I digress. Mrs. Adderly sees the body of her friend and reveals she may have seen the monster who did this. She tells Mulder about running into the town tramp (which normally gets the Punk's attention anyway) and then seeing a reflection of the monster before the glass shattered. Next thing we know, Mulder and Sheriff Adderly are interviewing Ms. Uphouse, who upset she's considered a suspect. As Mulder rattles off her arrest record, you note:

A) An unusual number of raven feathers on the diner's tabletops. Hmm...

B) She has to be the suspect! Her alibi about being with some ex-governor named Bill just won't wash!

C) A pamphlet on the counter top that reads "How to Be a Red Herring For Fun and Profit." Oh, okay...

12) Mulder gets a phone call. It's Scully: "Mulder, when you find me dead, my desiccated corpse propped up staring lifelessly through the telescope...just know that my last thoughts were of you and how I'd like to kill you." You add:

A) "Damn straight! And make sure the guys from Bada-Bing send their regards!"

B) "Scully. Just call in the SWAT units and use some of that stuff left over from Waco, and let that be the end of that."

C) "Dana! That's not a 'Shippy sentiment, now is it?" <Autumn trout-slaps the survey writer> "Autumn, couldn't you let Spookycc do that for once?" <Autumn swings the trout again> "Oh. Okay..."

13) While obsessively cleaning up the house, Mrs. Adderly comes across another one of those keys with the number 6 on it. Suddenly, the monster attacks. Mirrors shatter everywhere. Even though Mulder and the sheriff arrive in time, you realize:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) That, boy, Patrick McGoohan sure gets around!...

14) The tech boys are dusting the broken mirrors for evidence. Mrs. Adderly is distraught, and Sheriff Adderly is getting the same mind-set most sheriffs get when dealing with Mulder: he's sick and tired of the pseudo-mythic technobabble ol' Spooky keeps going on about. At this point, you're certain that:

A) If Sheriff Adderly's not a huge fan of trout-fishing before this episode, he sure is now!...

B) Skinner's going to get this report from the field office later this week that uses a lot of words like "moronic" and "lawsuit" and "full moon insanity" and "ought to be institutionalized" and...

C) Dana would prefer a white wedding because like Susan Sarandon said in "Bull Durham," honey, all women deserve to wear white...

15) Sheriff Adderly had taken the key from Mulder, claiming his boys will handle that piece of evidence. Later that night, though, the sheriff sneaks away from his bedroom and drives out to a motel lodge on the outskirts of Bellingham, where he unlocks the door, greets an amorous Ms. Uphouse, and handles that piece of ass. You:

A) Want to trout-slap the survey writer for being disrespectful to the fine upstanding citizens of the town of Bellingham. Their motels aren't used for that sort of thing!...

B) Wonder how long it took the survey writer to find a town name like Bellingham. No, it's a real place, check the gazetteers!

C) Think the last thing Dana wants for her honeymoon is a mirrored ceiling in the motel room, so sorry Bellingham, she and Fox will probably drive through but they're not staying. :-(

16) Mulder wakes up to find Mrs. Adderly making a big breakfast, doing laundry, anything it takes for her to get her mind off the fact her husband's a straying sunny beach. The wife chats with an overwhelmed Mulder, noting "I get the feeling you're not used to anyone taking care of you" and wondering if he's got a "significant other." You're sure Mulder's answer will be:

A) "Nah. Just my partner, who's gotten real used to me ditching her half the time, wiping out most of her friends and family members, and denying her even a chance of getting a bagel with real cream cheese and all..."

B) "No. For some reason I just can't find a red-headed girl who's also a Knicks fan..."

C) "Well, now that you've mentioned it, I do, but I've...never told Dana and...and I guess I should go tell her right now that it's more than trust, it's...it's love. Gee, thanks, Mrs. Adderly, you've helped me realize how important it is to..." <phone rings> <survey writer answers and is promptly chewed out by Spookycc for writing such a cheesy answer. "A simple YES would suffice!" she screams before slamming down the phone.>

17) Sheriff Adderly returns, and is discreetly confronted by Mulder who's beginning to suspect the officer of being...suspect. Ooh. Meanwhile, Ms. Uphouse is on the phone to her kid, telling him not to eat too many cookies for breakfast. She hangs up and spots the large number of ravens waiting outside the motel. You:

A) Remind those of you at home, especially those that never saw Hitchcock films, that when too many birds gather outside, it's a good time to run screaming for your life!

B) Count the number of ravens. Hmm, one for sorrow, two for joy, three a girl, four a boy, five means silver, six means gold, and seven for a secret that's never been told...<monster smashes into the motel room and goes medieval> Eight ravens equals vicious flesh-shredding monster, I take it...

C) Thought three ravens meant marriage! Or is that crows? Or magpies? Hmm. Where's Bartlett's Quotations when you need it???

18) Mulder arrives in time to find the medics carting away Jenny Uphouse's body. Mulder confronts the sheriff, revealing his intuition: that Adderly was seeing both women, betraying his wife to both her best friend and her worst enemy. Sheriff Adderly claims he didn't commit the murders, pointing out that the agent believes in some sort of malevolent spirit. But wait, we're not out of suspects yet. The camera edit-jumps back to the Adderly residence where the missus is noticing some battle scars she had picked up during her mandatory black-out. As we cut to commercial, you consider:

A) If that Punk Mulder finds out before Mrs. Adderly starts getting suspicious thoughts about her husband and the blonde college co-ed across the street...damn blonde! <Mrs. Adderly goes into Monster!Mode>

B) If this is just another red trout, uh, herring: after all, they've yet to explain the bizarre behavior of the Widow Lassiter out on the haunted marshes!

C) If we've got enough time left in this episode for Dana to show up, hold hands with Fox, and kick his ass for leaving her in a cold run-down hovel for most of the episode! Uh, just as long as the ass-kicking is in a romantic kinda way, that is...

19) Scully calls Mulder to announce "I'm free." <OBSSE members rejoice> She reveals how she cracked the case of the Voyeuristic Federal Agent: the blonde serial killer turned out not to be a serial killer nor a blonde: it was a cross-dressing street preacher placing the missing hookers in a half-way house. Mulder can't take time to help her celebrate yet: he has to solve his little project. He confronts Mrs. Adderly, who's hiding in her bedroom. He reveals the fact her husband was an adulterer, that her marriage was a fraud, that she is the monster of her Id. She can't deal with it, announces she wished Mulder never showed up, and goes into Monster!Mode. As she's kicking federale ass, you:

A) Would have thought the Punk would be used to getting his ass kicked like this, and learned a few tricks to...<vicious body slam> <sigh>, never mind...

B) Realize that if this is how a wife handles finding out her husband is an adulterer and the marriage was a lie, then Hillary IS capable of being a fiendish monster!...

C) Wish Fox really hadn't come to Milwaukee, too: he could have stayed in Vancouver with Dana and help her celebrate solving the Not!Blonde case!...

20) Mrs. Monster gets Mulder where he doesn't want to be: in a bathtub. But as he submerges, she sees her reflection in the water, and this time the reflection does not shatter. So the reflection shatters herself, reverting back to Wife!Mode and collapsing in tears as Mulder gasps for air. Later, as Mulder concludes the case, leaving a broken Sheriff Adderly turning away from the results of his destructive behavior, Mrs. Adderly looks out the window of her hospital room. The birds are gathering. You conclude with this thought:

A) "Hey! Did the Blessed One get her warm bath or not?"

B) "Did someone leave a newly washed car under that tree? Mulder!..."

C) "I hope this doesn't scare Fox away from the idea of marriage...well, with the Fowl One dead, Det. White chasing evil cheerleaders, Dr. Bambi chasing robotic roaches, and that Brit b-tch in England, I don't think there's any temptations for him to stray from Dana after the..." <the cross-dressing street preacher walks by in the blonde wig> "Oh, <expletive deleted>..."

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are Spookycc having a conniptic fit that...that, um, wait. I never did find out if you can wield a mean trout for slapping purposes...

B) Then you are Spookycc, who's grateful at last that you've been mentioned in a 'Shipper survey. But, dammit, there's nothing I can do about getting you to see Michael Ovitz!

C) Then you are Spookycc who is horrified that Dana and Fox didn't say anything about "trusting" one another at all during the episode! <weeping> <wailing> <gnashing of teeth>

Whatever happened to Spookycc, people...

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