Thursday, December 31, 2015

X-Files: Millennium 'Shipper Survey

Because it's New Year's Eve, you get this.

Happy 2016, X-Philers!  WOO-HOO!


Hey, wasn't there a t.v. show by that name?...

1) The episode begins in a funeral parlor. A grieving widow is meeting with her dead husband's co-workers, finishing up with a rather bland-looking middle-aged fellow who actually gets more than one line in the script. That clues you in that this guy's going to hang around, open the casket once everyone is gone, and do something really disgustingly gross. And he does: he strips the dead guy down to his underwear and starts exchanging outfits. Your reaction is to:

A) Note the medical hazards of taking clothes off dead people, especially ones that seem to have rapidly decayed. Isn't there some kind of necro-bacteriological infection you get from doing this?...

B) Wonder what the bleep Donnie Pfaster has been up to in the past five years...

C) Worry if this guy does disgusting things at weddings too. <shudder> Keep this one off the invite list, okay? Not even if he's the one bringing the pressure cooker as a gift!...

2) Scully arrives at the cemetery, where the funeral director approaches her and asks that they stop spreading rumors of people being buried alive. She quickly appraises the situation and when she finds Mulder (where else) pecking down in the grave she openly wonders who it was spreading such stories around in the first place. You want Mulder's answer to be:

A) "Gee, Scully, all I did was come up to this blonde chick and tell her 'They're coming to get you, Barbara...'"

B) "Scully, you know perfectly well the only rumors I spread around involve Demi Moore and kitchen utensils..."

C) "Dana, I'm sorry. <guilty look> Hug?"

3) MULDER: "Merry Christmas, by the way, Scully." SCULLY: "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, too." YOU:

A) "Yeah, thanks for the fruit cake, you Punk!" <crush Mulder voodoo doll with the 12-pound paperweight known as fruit cake>

B) "Gosh, that means they didn't have any ghosts this year..."

C) "Screw Christmas! New Year's is coming! <pant> <gasp> <foreshadowing of things to come> <grin>"

4) Mulder describes the situation to Scully: a ritualistic excavation of a suicidal retired FBI agent suggests the dead man was part of some kind of zombie resurrection. Scully looks for the more rational explanation: that whoever dug up the body staged the evidence to trick people into that "zombie" conclusion. You look for:

A) The distinct possibility that for once Mulder is going to agree with the Blessed Skeptic after all...hey, is that a pig flying? Call Pink Floyd. We found their balloon...

B) Clues leading to the conclusion that the evil Professor Mori...what? <writer gets served with papers from solicitors representing the estate of Sir Conan Doyle> Damn,, I can't use Sherlock Holmes' nemesis in this survey...who was that nemesis from the Encyclopedia Brown series? Can I use him?...

C) Lots of sexual tension that hopefully will finally get resolved! <gasp> <pant>

5) Mulder and Scully report in to the Bald Boss. The other FBI agents give the standard background search going nowhere: Mulder gives the standard "zombie resurrection" theory he gives at all the meetings. As Scully's eye-rolling puts a strain on her retinas, you exclaim:

A) "Damn Punk! For once, can't you just blame Canadians for criminal activities like you're supposed to?!"

B) "Hey! That explains what happened to Jimmy Hoffa! Case closed!"

C) "Can everybody leave so that Walter and Gizzie can do some serious flirting here? Oh, wait..."

6) Skinner mentions the Millennium Group, the secretive force of darkness from Chris Carter's other show "The Nanny." We next see Mulder and Scully entering a mental institution in Virginia where Mulder seems to know his way around. C'mon, he says hello to that smiling patient they walk by. Which leads you to conclude:

A) This is a perfect opportunity for Scully to secure Mulder in a straitjacket, order up some electroshock treatment for the Punk, and head back to her family holiday down in San Diego

B) That Mulder should know who that guy was: he was the downstairs occupant in his apartment complex who was driven insane by Mulder's constant basketball dribbling

C) Not much. But you are wondering about what happened between Dana and Fox during their car ride here...hmm...<sigh>

7) Camera turns to reveal former FBI agent and former consultant to the Millennium Group Frank Black. He's busy trying to watch the Notre Dame/Boston College football game and doesn't want to discuss conspiracies. When he tells Mulder "It's first and eighteen," even though it's obviously third and ten for the Fighting Irish, you note:

A) That there's a serious continuity glitch here! Notre Dame didn't qualify for a college bowl this year, and those are the only college games being played at the end of December!

B) That no one sane would root for Notre Dame! Go Gators!

C) That Dana and Fox are in love! <writer gets stares from everybody in the sports bar> Well, they are!

8) The Praying Man has a problem with a flat tire, and a deputy shows up to try and help. Noticing the man's growing nervousness, the deputy smells the decay of a dead body and assumes the worst. The Praying Man pulls out salt, forging a circle of protection as the deputy opens the back of the truck to find a zombie snarling and growling. As the cop shoots with no effect, you realize:

A) That there's no such thing as zombies...<living dead start smashing in the windows> Dammit, BroSean, didn't you board up the windows like you were supposed to?!...

B) Augh! It's eating brains! The zombie is going to want to go to Lucky Boy's next and order their Shark-Boy Special!

C) That there's nothing really romantic about brain-eating. Can't they have zombies drinking tea instead?...

9) Mulder and Scully join the search for the missing deputy. They uncover the circle of salt, which Mulder notes is a sign of protection. Scully wonders protection from what, when the deputy's body is found. They discover the deputy's mouth had been filled with salt and stapled shut. Mulder removes a slip of paper and reads the note. You're sure it says:

A) "Lather rinse repeat."

B) "See you next Wednesday."

C) "Kiss the girl."

10) The note is a quote from Revelations, a clue that Frank Black tried to tip them to earlier. Mulder goes back to confront him, demanding straightforward answers instead of vague hints. Black refuses to help on the case, and Scully finds out why: Frank is fighting custody for his daughter Jordan, because his dead wife's parents feel he's too obsessed with conspiracies to properly care for the child. As the retired FBI agent declares he would even sell insurance to prove his sanity, you declare:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) That there's nothing sane about selling insurance, man! Just look at the last insurance guy we bumped into! Poor Clyde Bruckman...<sob> <weep>

11) Finally convincing Black to do a little off-the-radar analysis, the agents listen to the profile he gives of the four dead men: that they were members of the Millennium Group convinced they would be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so they committed suicide and hired the Praying Man to resurrect them to bring about Armageddon. As Black gives a profile of the Praying Man, you:

A) Wonder how four brain-eating zombies are going to qualify as high-ranking as the Four Horsemen. C'mon, what exactly can four dead guys do?...

B) Worry that along with the Four Horsemen, the Praying Man is going to bring back that wimpy Rudy guy to play for Notre Dame. Go Gators!

C) Watch as Dana and Fox keep their hands under the table. Ooooooooo...<wicked grin>

12) Frank Black is convinced that the Praying Man will return to claim the dead deputy before he rises as the living dead. Mulder is convinced they have to stop the Four Horsemen first. Scully argues that "Even when they were alive (they) mangled biblical prophecy to the extent that it's unrecognizable. The year 2000 is just their artificial deadline and besides, 2001 is actually the start of the new millennium." As Mulder snidely answers, "Nobody likes a math geek, Scully," you reply:

A) "She's not a math geek! She's the Blessed Enigmatic One! Prepare to be trout-slapped, Punk!" <trout-slap>

B) "The best way, really, to stop the Four Horsemen is to line up 8 men in the block, using the strong safety as a linebacker to keep the Notre Dame running game from being effective..."

C) "2001? That'd be a *great* date movie! Well, it'd certainly be a lot better than that dull 'Eyes Wide Shut' fiasco..."

13) As Mulder goes off to find the Praying Man, he asks as a favor that Scully keeps the dead deputy's mouth stapled shut. Of course, as he says this the county coroner is opening the mouth and spooning out the salt. She gets distracted by Scully's call to her answering machine asking that the autopsy not begin, and when she turns back around the dead deputy is standing and a-hungering for brains. You:

A) Shake your head. Damn, there sure are a lot of openings for medical examiners on this show...

B) Scream. Okay,'ve got a thing against brain-eating zombies...

C) Faint into a state of bliss. Fox asked Dana for a favor! <sigh>

14) Scully shows up in time to find an eerily quiet morgue. She pulls out her gun and slowly search the area. She finds the brutally attacked coroner and quickly turns to spot the Praying Man. Aiming at him distracts her from aiming at the real threat as the deputy-zombie steps out of the shadows to gnaw on Scully's medulla oblongata. She pumps off three shots to no effect. Her gun goes sliding across the floor. You:

A) Scream, "USE THE FORCE, SAINT SCULLY!" <swing that lightsaber>

B) Scream, "DEAD GUY BREATH! YUCK!" <offer a Breath Saver>

C) Weep, "NO! She hasn't slept with Fox yet!" <gnash teeth> <wail>

15) Skinner shows up asking where Scully is. He's pointed to a corner where a body is covered with a sheet. Saddened, he lifts the sheet to find...some dead guy. Skinner turns to find Scully scarred but still alive, rescued by the Praying Man who shot the zombie in the skull to stop the senseless slaughter of skeptical saints (repeat five times fast). Skinner wonders why Mulder isn't answering his phone. You wonder:

A) If this means the damn Punk is ditching everyone again and secretly driving off to Graceland! Dammit!

B) If Scully shovels up seashells by the seashore for sale at Sears...<tongue self-destructs>

C) If Fox is going to get all upset that those zombie bites on Dana's neck were hickeys. No, Fox! Don't get jealous! <whimper>

16) Mulder, meanwhile, has gone off to find a secluded, fenced-off area that would rent out to living-impaired boarders. He finds a spot, especially noting the bags of salt in the trash can. He sneaks inside, heads right for the basement, and forgets to turn on the lights as he goes downstairs. As the zombies rise from the soft dirt ground and as the Praying Man bolts the door shut, you:

A) Snort, "Yeah, Mulder, always go for the dark spooky corners of the house, why don't ya? Sheesh, it's a miracle the Punk's lasted this long!..."

B) Query, "Gee, there goes the property value of the place! No realtor is going to sell off a house infested with zombies!..."

C) Worry, "Fox, next time, check out the kitchen and make yourself a nice snack before going off to chase monsters in the basement, okay? It'll give Dana a chance to show up and cover your cute ass!"

17) Scully goes to confront Frank Black, convinced he knows more about the Praying Man and should do something to find Mulder instead of hiding from the world. Scully poses him a question: "Good and evil-- which would prevail?" After she leaves, Black asks to check himself out of the hospital. To you, this means:

A) The Blessed One has used her spiritual knowledge to ask the fundamental question of our existence, stirring righteous passion in others to do great deeds! Woo-hoo!

B) That Frank Black is finally tired of watching Notre Dame games on the t.v. and wants to go to a hotel that gets HBO instead

C) Not a lot. Philosophical questions outside the realm of "Should Dana wear white?" or "Who will get the candlesticks as a wedding present?" don't do a lot for 'Shippers...

18) Frank Black goes straight to the Praying Man's house. The Praying Man is grateful Black arrived, apparently knowing him from the Millennium Group. It seems Mulder succeeded in killing one of the Four Horsemen, and the Praying Man wants to "convert" Black so there can be four again and assure the Endtimes. Black, thankfully, has other ideas and captures the Praying Man. He heads down into the basement finding Mulder standing nervously in a small circle of salt. Mulder warns to "Shoot for the head. That seems to stop them." You warn:

A) "Shut up, Mulder. If the zombies hear you they'll wear protective helmets or something..."

B) "I think Frank Black knows this. I kinda saw that Millennium episode guest-starring KISS where Frank's partner showed him all those horror classics..."

C) "Stay alive, Fox. No matter what happens, Dana will find you!"

19) Frank Black goes to war against the three remaining zombies. He gets one, but the next one knocks him down. Mulder finishes off his clip on that dead guy, but that gives the last of the Four Horsemen to smash through the wall and threaten to eat some brains. As Scully shows up at the last second to waste Dead Guy Number Four, you:

A) Cheer, "Battle On, St. Scully!"

B) Groan, "Damn, now we'll never get that zombie sequel 'Millennium II: Dawn of the Dead' now!"

C) Pray, "Okay, now can Dana and Fox hug each other, grateful to be alive?"

20) The hospital t.v. is showing the New York New Year's Eve celebration. Dick Clark is hosting the festivities. Everyone is there to get bandaged up after their horrifying ordeal against the Four Horsemen. Scully brings in a smiling Jordan, Frank's daughter. Frank Black gives his thanks and looks to go home. You:

A) Think it was a good idea to let the Blessed One allow Frank Black a chance to enjoy his victory. All right!

B) Realize to your horror that...the ageless facade...the empty expression...OH MY GOD! DICK CLARK IS A ZOMBIE! <scream>

C) Can't wait! Oh boy oh boy OH BOY!!!...

BONUS: The ball drops. It's 2000. Mulder looks down at Scully, getting an idea. She looks up at him, sharing the same thought. They kiss. It's not a passionate, tongue-lashing, breathless kiss, but hey, it's a lip lock. You:

A) Critique the kiss and fault the Punk for his lousy aim. Not her nose, you jerk!...

B) Blame it on the Bossa Nova...

C) Faint. No, really. THEY DID IT! THEY KISSED! <blissful coma>

ADDED BONUS: They part. MULDER: "The world didn't end." SCULLY (faint smile): "No, it didn't." They walk out, still embracing. YOU:

A) "Ack! There's not enough room in the doorway for both of them to squeeze through! Watch out for..." <thud> "Ouch, say goodbye to the shoulders..."

B) "Hey! Shouldn't Y2K be causing the hospital power to shut down and..." <power blackout> "There we go!..."

C) "..." <still in a blissful coma>

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr convinced that Good will prevail over long as Pat Buchanan stays out of the White House!

B) Then you are an X-Philer wondering if we're ever going to get a cross-over episode with a show that really matters: "Mystery Science Theater 3000!" What? Canceled?! Well, so was "Millennium!"...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who can at last stare down those damn NoRomos and say, "Pay up, suckers!"

Oh, and it's 2016!!!

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