Tuesday, January 19, 2016

X-Files: Rain King 'Shipper Survey

So here I am to bulk up the archive of Senseless 'Shipper Surveys before THE BIG REVIVAL THIS SUNDAY, and I'm glancing about for something 'Ship-tastic.

So what you get are flying cows. Enjoy.


Okay, here we go:

1) The episode begins on Valentine's Day, with someone filling out a romantic card, finishing it off with a lipstick kiss. This makes you realize:

A) That Scully would never kiss a Hallmark card...it's a waste of perfectly applied peach lipstick, dammit!

B) That you've never gotten a Valentine's Day card like that before...well, you've never gotten a Valentine's card period... Oh, God, and I thought Christmas gets so depressing... :-(

C) That if Fox is seeing some girl named Sheila on the side, Dana has no choice but to trout-slap that cheatin' bastid!

2) We watch Sheila (ex-SNL player Victoria Jackson) get into an argument with her worthless boyfriend, who ridicules her and drives off into the night drunk as a skunk. So we've got some broken hearts, half-eaten boxes of chocolate, and hail the shape of hearts (anybody who starts singing "We know that diamonds/mean money for this art/but that's not/the shape of my heart" will receive a free copy of "The Best of Sting and the Police Playing Polka Remixes by Puffy Combs!!!"). This all makes you think:

A) Bill Murray's guest appearance later on as Caddyshack Man is going to make you shut off the t.v. and toss it out the window

B) That whoever gets CancerMan a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day is going to find out what it's like to have an alien probe up the a--! (Pardon my Swedish...)

C) About how Dana and Fox are celebrating Valentine's Day this year...probably inside a pup tent with an infinite number of Bee-B-Gone spray cans! <hopeful grin>

3) After the credits roll, we fast-forward six months later (solar calendars, guys, anybody going by lunar months will be off by a few weeks!) to watch a plane buzz an airfield. The plane finally lands, letting our intrepid heroes Mulder and Scully step out to a grand welcome...of a John Deere cap-wearing mayor and one (rather good) baton twirler (they don't get much visitors around these parts, do they?). When the mayor thanks Mulder for coming and mistakes Scully as "the missus," you reply:

A) With a wrathful "That's AGENT SCULLY, you Jay-Hawking corn-eating <additional expletives deleted to protect younger viewers, but suffice to say anyone in a Navy family would understand>!!!"

B) With a disdainful "At least you don't confuse her for an airline stewardess..."

C) With a hopeful "Oh, IF ONLY!...<sigh>"

4) Scully finds out why Mulder dragged her out to the mountainous terrain of Kansas: Daryl Mootz, the bum from the opening scene, has been going around promoting himself as "The Rain King," and the mayor is convinced Daryl is controlling the weather and inducing a drought so he could then force people to pay for his skills of precipitation. As Scully keeps glancing this look at Mulder who keeps trying to glance a look of innocence back at her, you interpret it as:

A) A pre-trout-slap glance meaning "You Punk, dragging me out here on a flight that didn't even have peanuts, dammit, just to find some wannabe Weatherman!Elvis"

B) A withering "Oh, great, another small town with wacky inhabitants. Didn't we do this already with 'Post-Modern Prometheus'?"

C) A seductive "Hey, this mayor knew something I didn't! You dragged me out here to get married, didn't you? That's why he thought I was the missus, because we're honeymooning out in the Kansas wine valleys! Oh, Fox, that's so sweet..." <hopeful sigh>

5) Our heroes walk the Main Street of Kroner, KS., where Mulder points out is a center for the most bizarre weather conditions in the Midwest. Scully points out the boarded-up shops and deserted streets, reflecting on how desperate the locals are in blaming their plights on any available scapegoat or in placing dubious faith in a loser who claims to control the weather. You note:

A) That the Blessed One is really upset there are no bagel shops here, dammit!

B) That Vince Gilligan's diner seems to be doing pretty nicely here, and you wonder if he's got a chain of them between Vancouver and L.A.

C) That if the locals are expecting them to be a married couple, they ought to walk down the street holding hands! <extremely wishful grin>

6) Mulder and Scully bump into the Rain King's secretary Cindy, then make their way to the local t.v. channel to question the weatherman there. They arrive and are quickly greeted by an excited Sheila, who shepherds them forward and announces that our intrepid heroes are...the Gundersons?!?! As both agents arch eyebrows to that, you determine:

A) That you can't picture belonging to an organization named "Order of the Blessed St. Gunderson the Enigmatic"...c'mon, OBSGE just won't fly!...

B) That you just can't picture the show changing its title to "The Gundersons Versus the Mysterions"...that just won't work!

C) That Dana and Fox really ARE having a truly romantic getaway...that's just fine! ;-)

NOTE: I am not touching upon when the real Gundersons arrive. Nope. Uh-uh.

7) After quizzing weatherman Holman Hardt on the ditzy blonde, uh, ditzy weather covering the vast Kroner terrain, Mulder and Scully drive out to catch the Rain King start up another performance, strapping on an artificial leg marking the one he lost in the prologue's hailstorm, calling upon his 1/64 Cherokee heritage and drunkenly dancing to a really bad song. Scully gets her patented "Oh God Why Am I Here?" look and walks out of the tent. Mulder tries to point out that rain dances fall back on a grand native tradition, letting Scully to point out her Irish aunt has more Cherokee in her than Daryl. When Scully queries "I mean, look at him... Does that look like a man who can control the weather?" you know:

A) That the Blessed Skeptic shouldn't set herself up like that...next time, O Redheaded One, please do that while the Punk has his umbrella open...

B) That someone off-camera is having a blast with that water hose

C) That there's nothing like a romantic thundershower to get Dana and Fox in the mood...you hope! <deep sigh>

8) Okay. Two words. Bovine aviation. This means:

A) That the translation of that startled cow moo-ing during take-off comes out roughly as "OH NO NOT AGAIN." <knock on the door> <writer gets served with a restraining order from Douglas Adams' lawyer> Oh. I see. Um, people, please disregard this answer. Sorry.

B) That the commercial possibilities of bovine aviation as explored in certain Monty Python skits have yet to be perfected. <knock on the door> Oh, c'mon, you gotta let me have this one!...

C) That Fox is going to hafta share a room now with Dana! YEEEESSS! Fanfic alert! Fanfic alert! All 'Shippers, report to your keyboards!!!

9) With the dawn comes sanity...except in this town. Scully finds out the hotel managers have moved "her boyfriend's stuff" into her room. She finds Mulder, still ranting about someone using the weather to toss cows at him, getting treated for his scars, so she uses the moment to check for any sign of head trauma. Holman shows up, worried if anyone was hurt, and Sheila walks up with her mascara running as she tearfully claims she is the one responsible for the weather. All this makes you declare:

A) "Aha, so now the plot turns, as fate points its fickle finger at the ditzy blonde. And so, gentles all, can we dare say that...that...you know, talking like Shakespeare is harder than it looks..."

B) "Hey, ground sirloin is now half off at the Piggly Wiggly!"

C) "Aha, the excuses Dana has to come up with in order to make physical contact with Fox! You know if she spots a bruise she'll gently kiss the area and ask if he's all better...oh, by the way, is that a small bruise on the corner of his mouth? Yes!..."

10) Sheila gives Mulder and Scully a brief rundown of all the meteorological troubles she has had in relation to her love life: a tornado at prom, snow at her July wedding, laughing clouds on the day of her divorce, the hail of hearts, and now flying cows. Mulder and Scully keep giving each other these looks while she talks. Mulder, surprisingly, tells Sheila she's NOT the cause for the weather and asks Scully for her confirmation. As Scully glares in surprise at her partner while stammering out a "No, no doubts," you realize:

A) That Scully's shock comes from having the Punk finally - FINALLY - asking for her opinion - and ACCEPTING it - on this sort of thing! Wow!

B) That Sheila's abilities to destroy a prom just can't compete with Carrie's...

C) That those glances between Dana and Fox mean only one thing... ice cream!!! ;-)

11) Mulder notes Holman's reaction upon learning that Daryl's leg injury was due to drunk driving and not the hailstorm. Promptly, the rains that have followed the Rain King stop. ("Uh-oh.") Scully, just taking a moment to note how quickly Mulder has moved into her room (and made a pig sty of it), informs him that the rains have stopped, Daryl Mootz is now considered a fraud by the locals, and they can go home. But as Mulder starts telling her that Holman the Weatherman is the One True Rain King, you:

A) Knew that the Punk's bachelor ways were the reason why the Blessed One kept wanting separate hotel rooms.

B) Knew that the days of wine and rains would not last for the <insert Elvis accent> Rain King, thank you very much...

C) Knew that Dana and Fox weren't about to flip a coin to see who gets the bed...<wiggle eyebrows> <insert Roy Orbison growl here>

12) We watch as Holman, sad lonely Holman, speak before a mirror in a wimpish attempt to work up the nerve to ask Sheila (or should that be "beg", ladies?) to be his Rain Queen. The phone rings, and lo and behold it's Sheila, saying she has finally given up on the loutish Daryl. Holman gets excited as Sheila wants to ask him something (he starts sweating), and she asks... (his heart is pounding) "What do you think of Agent Mulder?" At that point you shout at the screen:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) "Uh-oh. RUN Fox RUNNNNN!!!" <lightning flash> "And don't hold that umbrella too high!!!"

13) Mulder shows up at the t.v. station to confront a miffed Holman. The FBI agent tells the weatherman that he knows Holman is the Rain King, but that his control of the weather is based on his emotional state: his bottled-up feelings for Sheila is what's causing the drought, and until he tells her it'll stay that way. Holman, however, can't work up the nerve and begs Mulder for help. Scully calls from the airport: fog (Holman's desperation) has grounded the planes. Mulder explains to Scully they're stuck in town until he can give Holman dating advice. When you hear the silence on the other end of the phone, you realize:

A) That the Blessed Skeptic knows the Punk too well: asking Mulder for dating advice is like asking Dr. Kervorkian to cure your headache!

B) That you're hoping to get some dating advice as well...<writer of survey counts the years since last date> <weeps> C'mon, David, talk!...

C) That Dana's wondering if she and Fox should provide demonstrations on such techniques as hand-holding and wistful-gazing and lip-locking...especially lip-locking!!! <wicked sigh>

14) SCULLY: Mulder, when was the last time you went on a date? MULDER (miffed): I...will talk to you...later. SCULLY (look of disbelief): The blind leading the blind... YOU:

A) "You said it, sister!"

B) "Well, there was that vampire chick from Season Two...and Bambi, if you could call that dating...and Kersh's secretary, well that was actually somebody else...oh, there's Phoebe...<very long pause> uh-oh..."

C) "It doesn't have to stay that way, Dana!" <weep> <gnash teeth>

15) Mulder and Holman talk about the birds and the bees (No, NOT THE BEES) and the monkey babies. HOLMAN: I've been envious of men like you my whole life. Based on your physical bearing, I'd assumed you were...more experienced. I mean... You spend every day with Agent Scully a beautiful, enchanting woman. And you two never, uh...? Mulder just stands there in silence. HOLMAN: I...confess I find that shocking. I've seen how you two gaze at one another... YOU:

A) "That's not gazing. Scully's just fixing her aim so she can hit him with a trout every time he drags her out to the boonies to investigate flying cows!"

B) "They're not gazing. They're telepathically telling one another about this great bagel shop just off of State Road 819!!! They'll be stopping by next episode!"

C) "You're not the only one, Holman! We're all shocked and disappointed! Damn bees!"

16) Mulder doesn't answer Holman's queries regarding the agent's relationship with Scully. He's just here to help the One True Rain King flirt with Sheila. Mulder proclaims that he's "perfectly happy with my relationship with Agent Scully," which leads to this kind of response:

A) "What relationship? You don't let her drive, didn't let her have a desk in the basement, you kept taking her parking space, stole her bags of peanuts during those long flights, and never gave her a chance to get those bagels she likes with cream cheese! Damn Punk!"

B) "Hey! If he's acting like a psychologist this episode, why wasn't he one last episode?!" <writer: yep, Chris Carter and Co., we will be ragging you on that flagrant continuity error for the rest of the year. Enjoy!>

C) "We're not happy! <weep> <wail> <gnash teeth> Fox! It's so obvious everybody else sees it! You and Dana were meant for each other! <continue weeping>"

BONUS: Mulder adds he does not "gaze" at Scully.

A) This doesn't cause you any difficulty

B) You shrug this off, doesn't bother you at all

C) You weep, pull out your hair, destroy the 1,000-page romantic novel you were writing of Dana and Fox getting personal in a cabin during a winter storm, bewail the dashing of all your hopes, and collapse in the bathtub crying your eyes out until your relatives shove some Prozac down your throat

17) Holman tries to tell Sheila. Sheila is oblivious to Holman's "I love you" and instead focuses on Mulder. Daryl, no longer earning income as a Rain King, is desperate to get back together with Sheila. Complications ensue. Especially when Sheila kisses Mulder. Your response:

A) Echoes that of Scully: arched eyebrows, false look of shock, a sign that she's going to blab about it over the water cooler meaning you can snicker about it on the next session of the #OBSSE chat room...especially with that lipstick all over his face...<snicker>

B) Sticking your tongue out with a "Thhhpt!" C'mon, you're sure you saw this before on an episode from the "Monkees"!!!

C) Is to run back to the bathtub for more crying. These damn blondes keep kissing Fox! Nooooo...

18) Mulder and Scully crash the Kroner High School re-union, as the rains of Holman's anger over Sheila's kissing of Mulder flood the countryside. They argue with Holman to make the rains stop. Holman argues that this is Mulder's fault for "kissing" Sheila. You reply:

A) "Well, he's got you there, Mulder. Here, Holman, just slap him with this trout..."

B) "You call that a kiss? I didn't see any tongue!"

C) "We know, we know! <weep> <run for the bathtub>"

19) Sheila arrives blissfully unaware of the situation, eager to dance with Mulder. Mulder stammers until Scully notes that "Holman was just telling us that he wanted to dance." As Sheila gets the hint, you realize:

A) That the Blessed Redhead is the one who knows the dating rules! You go, girl!

B) That Mulder, like most white guys, just simply can't dance to 70s music, uh-uh, no way...

C) That Dana is doing what she can to keep Fox all to herself! Yay!!! <sigh of relief>

20) Mulder tries one last trick he learned in psychology school: he growls "Tell her, Holman!" You growl:

A) "Oh, yeah, you stayed awake in all those classes you took at Oxford, uh-huh, sure..."

B) "Cerulean! Oh, wait, you need psychic powers for that to work..."

C) "Tell HER, Fox! YOU tell Dana YOU LOVE HER, okay???"

21) Ah, the things we do for love. Mulder and Scully sway to the music as they watch Holman finally get through to Sheila. When she storms off, Mulder quips "I'll build the ark, you gather the animals." You respond to this scene by:

A) Quoting from the Gospel of Sister La: "Yea, verily, did the Blessed One gather the animals by two, for two is the number and thou shalt only count up to two. And thus did St. Scully bring the animals to be saved, and The Creator Carter was pleased. And they gathered in the spot where Mulder was to build the ark, and they saw it was built. And then did Scully, with the blessedness of her righteousness, seize upon the two trout brought with her. And with this trout she slapped the Punk, saying, 'Oh Lord, let me shew thee thy foolish ways, for you see a single piece of formica bought for $42.99 at Home Depot maketh a raft and not an ark!'..."

B) Piping up your very own love song on your CD player: Dead Kennedys "Too Drunk To F---!" Yeah! <begin slam dancing with your loved one(s)>

C) Swaying back and forth with your fellow 'Shippers across the globe, hoping that this might somehow spark an emotional moment between Moose and Squirrel...<big swaying sigh>

22) Scully finds an upset Sheila in the bathroom. Sheila's convinced that Scully is trying to use Holman to keep Sheila from getting to Mulder. Scully notes "her partner's" theory (yeah, you just tell yourself that, Scully) that Holman's emotions control the weather and that his love for Sheila is behind all the bizarre storms. Scully tries to explain the ways of love (So THANKS to Tiny Dancer and CarriK for the transcript): "Well, it seems to me that the best relationships-- the ones that last-- are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is... suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with." (Nice speech) You answer with a:

A) "But in Mulder's case, the switch is probably connected to Old Sparky, Florida's electric chair!" <zap>

B) "What? You mean I have to make friends with a woman first? Damn! And all those times I went up to the ladies with a 'Hi there, talk to me, I'm FABULOUS' wasn't working!..."

C) "Somebody! Find that switch! Turn it on! HIT THE SWITCHHH!"

23) The lights go out, the plumbing gets backed up, and Sheila and Holman finally have a heart-to-heart talk. And, aw, they kiss. The flooding ends, the rains cease, and the sparklers flare up. Aw, so romantic. Which makes you wonder:

A) How Scully could weasel her way out of being the maid of honor at the wedding...well, after all, do you know how hideous those maids-of-honor outfits can GET?!

B) Why did they still hold the re-union when the weather was so bad? Wouldn't they have needed the gym for an emergency shelter or something?

C) What will it be like when Dana and Fox finally kiss?! Oh, WOW, just thinking about it boggles the mind!...<faint>

24) Like a Shakespearean play, all are reconciled at the end: The Rain King has his Queen, the false King learns his lesson, gets his leg and his true love Cindy, and Mulder and Scully are still Mulder and Scully...unless they switched identities with anybody...nah, not this episode. When Mulder asks Holman how it's going, the weatherman grins and replies, "You should try it sometime," meaning:

A) Scully now is going to have to keep the Punk away from blondes, entomologists, two-timing British women, L.A. vampire chicks, and anything else that'll cause her trouble on a full-time basis! <mutter> <grumble>

B) You are confused: wasn't Holman upset when Mulder kissed Sheila? <scratch head> <watch scene again>

C) Dana and Fox SHOULD DO IT!!! <emotion runs high> <relatives show up again with the Prozac>

25) As Judy Garland sings "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," the scene shifts ahead a year to a pleasant mid-western home as Holman talks the weather on t.v. noting how it's going to be another beautiful day. As the camera pans across the room, we see Sheila smiling and sitting there with a newborn son, and as the camera moves past them to the window showing us the fertile farmlands of our youth, we conclude:

A) With the understanding that someday Scully is going to have to come back to this town to stop the Rain Prince's temper tantrums!

B) With the realization that this is the X-Files and there are no happy endings, dammit! Don't you see that swarm of bees in the horizon? Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!...

C) With the knowledge that somewhere, out there Dana and Fox are listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" as they enjoy their honeymoon...<deep romantic sigh>

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who knew St. Scully would be the one to fix things between Sheila and Holman...now if she can just tell those animals lining up outside her apartment that the flooding has stopped!...

B) Then you are an X-Phile who's just noticing there's been a lot of references to the "Wizard of Oz" lately...hmm...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who WANTS Dana and Fox gazing at each other, who WANTS Dana and Fox to hold hands, who WANTS them to kiss at a high school re-union, who <family members take away keyboard> who NEEDS another bottle of Prozac! <writer whines, "Mot-her! Not now!...">

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